Woolworths Kngston upon Thames

Kingston places

Note: Some of the comments below are from our old site. As they hold a lot of information about Kingston, we have transferred them. You can comment on any of these older posts by using the form at the bottom of the page. All comments are moderated.

Pubs, clubs & cafes

Anyone remember J and A (Animals, Yardbirds, etc) – by the church, at the junction on London Road with the New Malden Road? I was a Saturday Girl at Woolworth’s, in the market place, and worked the whole of winter 62-63 and bought a pair of stilettos with my earnings….. and wore the immediately… what’s a little bit of snow?? Also went to the Folk Boat and the Cellar Club and Eel Pie Island, where I stood next to a bloke gaping open-mouthed at Long John Baldry….we called him Rod the Mod (worked as a gravedigger).

Being a student and living in Wimbledon in the early 60’s I and a few friends would visit a jazz boat moored not far from the town centre. We had a reunion a couple of weeks ago here in Oxford and the subject of the great times we had at Eel Pie Island and this boat became a major conversation piece, but none of us could remember it’s name. Can anyone help with as many details of the boat as possible as I have been charged with writing an article in which it is hoped the boat will feature. Many thanks in hope, Les Steward

Does anyone else remember the Cellar Club from around 1964-5. This was not a cellar but an old boathouse behind what had been the Odeon Cinema in the High Street, which was then a Bingo Hall. The Yardbirds with Eric Clapton used to play there every few weeks. One could see the river below through the floor boards and the floor used to vibrate in sympathy with the beat. The club was not licensed for alcohol and eventually it lost its licence to play music, why I’m not sure, but the owner seemed decidedly dodgy and I’m sure the place horrified the Council. Shirley.

Does any body remember the kingfisher bar and grill in London road I have very fond memories of meeting friends in there and the mulberry tree in bentalls when bentalls was a great store it had real class not like it is today Michelle a Kingston born and bred.

Hi can any one remember what the burger bar in London road was called in the 70s it was quite large and you could walk in from London road and the market side.

Anyone, George and Dragon Public House Kingston Hill Surrey I lived at this pub and was there till the end, when it changed to the Kingston Lodge, also attended Rivermead Boys school. Has anyone got any photos would love to see. Andy Marshall

Does any one remember berni inns in the market place or la lampara down the rd from new policestation in 1966 onwards I would be interested to hear from anyone michaelturner8@hotmail.com

Does anyone remember the name of a small restaurant in Fife Road about 1973-ish, It was about 6-8 buildings down on the right hand side, in the direction of Bentalls? It did up-market burgers and bistro food as I recall.

I do remember a Burger Restaurant along that side of the road I used to use about 1975 onwards for a few years.It was only a couple of shops along,where the Nepalese Restaurant is now. I wouldn’t call it a Bistro type place.It was more of a hippy type ’60’s place where you had background music playing and the owner would let you play your own cassettes or records if he liked the music himself. Very casual and laid back place.Wouldn’t get through health and safety and hygeine laws these days. To use the toilets ,you would have to walk through the back yard where I remember there were sacks of spuds and other bits and pieces around.They used to make their own burgers and proper home made chips.Used to go there regular on a Saturday afternoon after the pubs shut at 2.30 p.m. and have a great meal and plenty of drunken chat.The owner was a tall,big guy who had one or two big dogs that were like Golden Retrievers but seemed a lot bigger to me.He always seemed to be taking them for a walk around Kingston. Him and his missus were around Kingston for a few years and the place just closed down and they disappeared.I must admit I don’t remember the name of the place and it may be a differant place altogether…………………Tony Fowler

Yes that’s sounds more correct. I was about 15-16 and it was one of my first restaurant experiences – it probably felt up-market at that age, but on reflection the hippy ambience is coming back to me! Thank

I certainly remember watching the carnival procession which happened every year in the 50s and 60s and brought Father Christmas to Bentalls. I believe the procession was organised by Bentalls and Hawkers’ Aircraft Factory which used to be on the Kingston side of the Kingston/Richmond border at Ham, and staff of both places took part. The procession went from Ham to Kingston town centre along Richmond Road. It happened around Guy Fawkes day. There also used to be a huge public bonfire on Ham Common, but it got very rowdy at times and my Dad wouldn’t let us go to that.

I certainly do remember Bentalls Parade even though I must have been quite young at the time. Crowds used to line the roads as the floats travelled from Ham (I think) through Kingston to Bentalls itself. Wasn’t it a pre-Christmas event bringing Father Christmas to his Grotto? Does anyone else remember Jiminy Jingle? He was a big Christmassy figure who they placed on the platform above the doors on the corner of Bentalls.

In the 1960s- whimpys bar was a very popular place to hang out for teenagers ,also remember the three fishes pub.And of course the Dolphin which was a great place for entertainment ,locals could get on stage and sing. The Kingston hotel also a public bar .I lost contact with a friend from those days John Farley who came from Ireland to find work in that area as many did in the 60s he lived in Richmond rd in digs,would be in his late 60s, would be nice to hear from him if hes still around the area.

I used to be a regular of The Row Barge when Andy and his boss used to use it usually at lunchtimes. Andy was a young guy who worked at a jewellers in Kingston. Think it was James Walker in Clarence St. or in the Market Place where the flower stall still is.It was in the days of Sam and Eileen who were the best landlord and landlady of the Row Barge pub in all the days I used it.Sam had got Andy to do a cartoon of ”Rowbarge Rat” which I think was way before Roland Rat came on the scene.I think about once a week ,Andy would do a comic strip about him that would either be pinned up in the pub or printed on sheets of paper and customers could pick one up and read and keep it. It was roughly around 1975-76 period as I remember wearing the ”Rowbarge Rat” t-shirt in the hot summer of ’76 and a young lady wanted me to take it off .She wanted her mate to take a picture of her wearing it on top of her bikini. I gladly obliged. Sam got loads of t-shirts printed and sold them in the pub. I think we even used them in friendly football matches and other social events that Sam and Eileen organized.When the pub closed down,some of the regulars still used The Outrigger with good old Roy Stringer and the one opposite Bentalls I think was called The Two Brewers. Sadly both now long gone as well as Roy. Over the years people lose contact and I dunno whatever happened to Andy. I think he wanted to be a professional cartoonist so he may be out there somewhere in cartoonland.I still have my t-shirt somewhere ,but it will take a bit of digging out ‘cos I haven’t got a clue where it is. I am in Spain quite a lot and it is back with a load of old clobber including flares etc. in my mums place back in Kingston. Hope this helps you and if anyone sees my post it may trigger off some memories. My e-mail is tony.fowler3@btinternet.com

Found out that Andy who created Row Barge Rat was named Andy Andrews by his parents. No more leads to where he is now,but hope it may help. Tony

I’m trying to find information regarding a cartoon strip/comic book character by the name of the Row Barge Rat. All I know is that the artist’s name was Andy and that it was somehow affiliated with the old Row Barge pub, that was torn down in ’81. Anyone out there remember this? You may e-mail me at vmars@echo.rutgers.edu

The question Does anyone remember Bentalls Parade? I sure do I rode a Lambretta made to look like a Tropical Island
Kingston Upon Thames Jeffrey Downes

Talking with my mother today she asked me the name of the Tea Dancing place which was located on the right just before the bridge. I thought Zeeta but it seems I am wrong. this would be during the mid to late fifties and maybe into the sixties Kingston Upon Thames Jeffrey Downes

Me and my mates used to drink in the Outrigger in the late 1970-  to late 1980s. There was me, Tony, Glen, Brendan, Fiona, Helen, Elsa and Bonnie. What a brilliant place. Roy used to throw us all over doing his stuntman bit. Non locals must have been petrified. Sometimes we pored out own beer when Frank or Brenda couldn’t be bothered to serve. Other times, we’d have great after hour sessions and crashed there. Great characters too. Our bunch were the youngest in those days but the pub was a good mix of ages and nutters including the Turks Boatyard crew. Roy had 2 Alsatians , – think they were Noble and Nero. Up from the Outrigger was the Old Rowbarge. (Not the newer one which got shut) It was a real pub like the Outrigger. In between them, before John Lewis was built was a huge open car park and blimey you knew how cold it was when the wind blew off the Thames. Other good pubs were the Royal Charter and the South Western. Would love some photos of the Outrigger, The Royal Charter and the old fishing cottages that were behind the rigger.

I read with interest the comment re the Outrigger. I along with John Upton and Jim used to belt out of Bentalls Staff entrance, across Wood Street and down the lane to the Outrigger where we we would drink far to much bitter and await the grand entrance of the landlord and his wife.
I see him now in double breasted suit and his wife Kitty plastered with cosmetics yet some how holding their proud position as they entered for the evening. In an effort to sober the next move was to Richmond to a coffee shop on the hill to one’s right as you arrived and after that often to the only place we knew of that was open 24 hours was London Airport. Then two escalators and a grand coffee shop. Kingston Upon Thames Jeffrey Downes

I lived above the Outrigger along with a collection of other flotsam & jetsam. Very happy days.
Went to the Captain’s funeral in Southampton & then the RAF Yacht Club @ Hamble – very sad, but also a great celebration of his life and a show of of all the friends he’d made along the way. pubs like that are thing of the past now. Chris Brighton

I know that it was demolished some years ago, but does anyone remember the Outrigger pub, in Water Lane, and the liscensee, Roy Stringer?: Totnes, W . Country

i remember the Outrigger. Kingston ! I worked there, had my first pint there. knew Roy “stuntman” Stringer. but what happened to him and all the gang? And who knocked down the pub? merde. anybody,with any info. that be good.

Unless I miss my guess this has to be a question from Keith? Of course I remember it – and blush at the many happy memories. Roy now lives in Hamble, I understand. I live on the Ox/Bucks border and have long since lost contact with any of the old croud. I saw you mentioned in the trade press recently, though. Still stiring up trouble, I see! Best regards to any old friends who read this. Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire

Hi does anyone have pictures of what was i believe the Liverpool arms pub which is now a block of flats above carphonewarehouse next to Asda and the Church on the corner of London and Cambridge rd? Would really like to get some history on it too But really would love to see the old building that stood there: Jo

Does anyone know what the name of the pub was on London Road that got burnt down and is now flats with a Carphone Warehouse below (next to Asda and the church)? Trying to win a bet!

The pub was the liverpool arms. Berrylands

Does anyone remember the following pubs in Kinston & have stories to tell on them – Dophin, Seven Saxons, Liverpool Arms, Outrigger, Row Barge, Two Brewers, & in Surbiton – Toby Jug, Britannia, Railway Tavern, Rising Sun, Bun Shop, Southampton, PJB, Berrylands

What a suprise to see the Outrigger and me mentioned. I had many mad, crazy happy times working there with Eva and getting Roy ‘Captain Carruthers’to go to bed with his hot chocolate after a hard day of vodka and apolinaris!Yes,Johnny Please affectionately known as the Windsor Pig,Charlie wellie (he always wore them)Dave the garage (in Water lane) Peter Littlt Belinda (his boat)all the other boat guys. Caroline (skinny) Is it Keith the lorry or Keith I spy in Totnes Devon? Oh can’t forget Noble and Nero the alsations. John Du Gay, Twinkle, Linda and Greg from the White Hart. Many, many more characters. Happy days. Brenda Bangor N Ireland

With regard to the various requests from people remembering the Outrigger pub,here’s some of the charactors who used to drink there– George and Tony(the Bear), driving instructors who worked for BSM–Ernie Russel,Bill Scrivens,Nick Hart,Keith Mountain,Len Hazeldene all skippers who worked for Turks—Monty,a digger driver—Johnny Please,a dredgerman—Dodgy Reg,who did a bit of anything, and the lovely Irish Brenda who worked for many years behind the ba: Keith Now in Totnes, S.Devon

Anyone who remembers The Southampton in Surbiton, may be interested to know this. in 1995 I worked in an English style pub called The Cock and Bull in Cairns, Australia. Turns out that the owner of this pub, who was visiting relatives in Surbiton when The Southampton was being demolished, purchased the panelled interior and all fixtures and fittings, shipped them to Oz and ressurected The Southampton inside a typical Queensland detatched property. Mandrake don’t play there, but the food’s good! Mat

Hi Kingston residents, I am from Australia and have found in the 1881 census of England that my great grandfather was the landlord of a pub called the Liverpool Arms in Richmond Rd, Kingston on Thames. His nave was Thomas Kent. Any info on the area, pub or family would be appreciated. His son, my grandfather left England in the mid 1880s. Ann, Sydney

I have a connection to the Liverpool Arms although this goes back to the 1841 census when the landlord was John Pettit. One of his daughters was called Temperance and she married my great great great granfather in 1844 Nigel Thomas, Haywards Heath, West Sussex.


Does anyone know the name of the department store that was in the market place? I’m going back to my student days 1970-73

The department store in the market place was Cheesemans. It’s now Borders (book shop) part of the Charter Quay development and the old staircase (Elizabethan I think) is listed, so it’s still being used!

The dept store was called F W HIDE & SONS: Finchley: Rob (fred)

Does anyone remember the bentalls christmas prosession it used to march through kingston a few weeks before christmas and it did’nt matter what the weather was like kids turned out in there thousands to watch father christmas come to town. leighton buzzard

My father worked at Plato musical instruments in crown passage near the apple market in the 60’s. Did anyone visit or buy anything from here and what sort of equipment did they sell?

Does anyone remember either an electrical shop or radio and TV shop in five road in the 1950’s? The name of the shop was C Wall.

Electrical shop in Fife Road was Brightways. Spent many a happy time there listening to 78’s in their two listening booths. Also good Wimpey Bar on eyes corner opposite Kingston station.

Does anyone remember an undercover market/antique place, maybe, in Fife Road in the 70’s or 80’s. I was once in somewhere with my Mum and looked at an old-fashioned fold-up wooden slatted bed. A friend is now disputing the existence of any such place and as Mum has since died, I have no-one to confirm my memory. I think it was at the now Station Building end of the street on the same side. Any help would be wonderful. Love the website, by the way! Great memories of Kingston.

Wondering if someone can help my wife before she pulls her hair out? Back in the early 80’s there used to be a homeware shop on the junction of Eden Walk and Eden Street where Heals and Dwell stores are today. I can remember this shop being more popular than the Habitat shop which was a little way further down in Eden Walk as it stocked quite trendy glassware and objectdar (particularly green coloured glass) which a lot of were seconds but at a very keen price! The wife thinks that it had either Cargo or Pier in the title but we are totally lost and can’t find any reference to it on the internet. Can you help? Thanks in advance and best regards for a great website. Brian and Lynne Ives

The name Pier 1 Import Cargo rings a bell, but I think that was the large shop in Fife Road where there is now a car park..Had an entrance in Fife Road and also opposite the old Bus Station in Clarence St. Can’t recall that place in Eden St. Always seemed to be a furniture shop to me.

I believe there is a tunnel but from Hampton Wick. Apparently is runs from the basement of a house on the east side of Kingston Road roughly halfway between HW station and the start of the grounds of the old Normansfield hospital. This building was at one time the local office for Kelly’s Directories. A direct route would take the tunnel under much of Bushy Park.

Does anyone remember Harry Lucas who played the accordion at the Surbiton Assembly Rooms in the late 1930s. Did he play in a band. Thank you Margaret Farrow.

Harry was my step father. He lived at glen road chessington but sadly died in the late seventies he would play his accordion once a week on Sunday evening for about one hour he played for several bands in and around the Kingston area and was a car mechanic by day working at bentalls garage Kingston. Keith Davies

I used to clean hadleys spectical factory when i was in my teens and saving up to get married i needed extra money i worked at british home stores in the day and hadleys in the evening. leighton buzzard

I am replying to this topic. My father Denis Barnett with partners Barry Mason & Ronald Clements owned the Hadley spectical factory which was behind the Carl byrant school of dancing Victoria Road Surbiton Surrey.Attached are picts of my father & co working in the factory. Thanks to David Barnett for photographs. Click image for full photo

My father walter george lightfoot, did his apprenticeship at hadleys kingston back in 1937-19401sh, he will be 90 on oct 6th, i am doing a this is your life red book, and need to gather as much information, photos, press cuttings regarding any thing of him, does any one know where i might get this information,

Ghostly Kingston

I worked at Bentalls for a while but never heard of any ghosts there, though who knows… Does anyone remember the old vicarage frontage that used to be built into it? There were old buildings over the road too, one with a fire mark, demolished when the car park was built. Yep Bentalls was an interesting place to work, had passageways through the walls and you could come out from a door with mirror on and make people jump! Galleries you could survey the stationery department from too. A few lovely art deco grills set into the walls, bet they’ve gone now. Manned lifts. I remember the homeware department in the 60’s, bean bags and very expensive fibre optic table lamps. As kids we used to enjoy running the wrong way up the escalator til we got told off. Graduated to being a fan of the Dolphin and Southampton pubs, happy days!

My father was born in the above old premises in 1899 where the family ran a boat builders. There was a large family who were there until the 1970s.. Spent much time there and NEVER saw or heard of any ghosts.

The small cottages adjoining the old Crown Court. I don’t know about female ghosts but I have been told they were originally built for workers of the LSWR in building the railwayline behind. Apparantly one of the cottages is haunted because one of the men working on the construction of the railway was suddenly run over and killed by a train in the late 1880’s. I worked on British Rail from 1988 for fourteen years at various stations along this line and spoke with some of the old steam drivers who said they had been told the same throughout the years. It may just be old railway stories I don’t know. Phil Caldwell Kingston upon Thames.

I most certainly do. I lived on Kingston Hill in a Gardeners cottage called ‘Woodlawn’ in the 40’s and 50’s and the old cottage was definitely haunted. As a young boy I was ‘woken’ one night to clearly see a ghost looking over me.We had sounds of furniture moving around upstairs and on going to check, nothing had been moved. There were sounds like a radio tuned between stations, large handprints appearing on the mirror in the morning. I remember my mother telling me after one christmas she went to put a Father Christmas tree decoration back in the waredrobe with a large internal mirror and felt a hand go round her neck so she threw the decoration at my sister and asked her to put it away. Nothing was said until the next day when my sister said the same thing happened to her. I heard of several real ghost sightings, experiences years later in some of the old houses on Kingston Hill. An old peoples home had poltergeists and ghosts. I knew a woman who was a live in cook there and a poltergeist tried to suffocate her. She also saw ghosts disappear through walls. A young nurse who had just started working there was found screaming one night trying to climb the wall. I believe many of the old houses on Kingston Hill are haunted.

 The old Moss Bros building which is where Pizza Express is now, is haunted. A woman and child were killed in a fire there once and there have been many sightings reported over the years. There were certainly sightings when it was Moss Bros. It is one of the oldest buildings in Kingston.

In brief – we lived in Kingston in 1992-93. In the summer of 1993, when my wife was pregnant and expecting our daughter, we were in Bentalls and she had an inexplicable encounter, in broad daylight, inside the store, that we have only ever been able to explain as being a ghost. It wasn’t frightening, but unnerved her enough that we asked staff in the store at the time if anyone there had seen anything similar or perhaps if one of the shop assistants had died. We would be interested to know if anyone else has since seen or encountered something similar.

I worked at Bentalls for a while but never heard of any ghosts there, though who knows… Does anyone remember the old vicarage frontage that used to be built into it? There were old buildings over the road too, one with a fire mark, demolished when the car park was built. Yep Bentalls was an interesting place to work, had passageways through the walls and you could come out from a door with mirror on and make people jump! Galleries you could survey the stationery department from too. A few lovely art deco grills set into the walls, bet they’ve gone now. Manned lifts. I remember the homeware department in the 60’s, bean bags and very expensive fibre optic table lamps. As kids we used to enjoy running the wrong way up the escalator til we got told off. Graduated to being a fan of the Dolphin and Southampton pubs, happy days!

Hello i worked in laser quest in kingston and have seen and heard many random things going on in my work place. i have heard about chalky and many stories linked with his death and things that have happened. can anyone tell me more about ‘chalky’ please. laser quest was part of the old empire cinema located in clarence street in kingston. we had a ladder which i believe chalky hung himself from. is this true?

My father was born in the above old premises in 1899 where the family ran a boat builders.
There was a large family who were there until the 1970s.. Spent much time there and NEVER saw or heard of any ghosts.

82 Richmond Road is or was haunted by a poltergeist. There are details of this in a book called Mysterious Kingston by Barbara and Tracy Russell. Kingston seems big on mischievous ghosts as there are also stories about a poltergeist nicknamed ‘Chalky’ at the old Empire Theatre in Clarence Street.

Places of work

I am replying to this topic. My father Denis Barnett with partners Barry Mason & Ronald Clements owned the Hadley spectical factory which was behind the Carl byrant school of dancing Victoria Road Surbiton Surrey.Attached are picts of my father & co working in the factory. Thanks to David Barnett for photographs. Click image for full photo

hi can anyone remember my mum who went to hollyfield school her name was maureen kelly she worked at hadleys glasses factory and also my dad who worked at harts boat yard. castleford west yorkshire: tracy corbett

I am Jan Schiere, a Dutch citizen. My father, also named Jan Schiere, owned a company named Ebora Propellers in Kingston-on Thames during the first worldwar. The address was: Surbiton Park Terrace, Phone Kingston 672, Cable-address Ebora, Kingston. The company was a contractor to the Admiralty & War Office. This information comes from an advertising I still have in my possession. I also own one of the wooden propellers, produced in 1913. As my father died when I was a child I have not very much information about his life. It seems Ebora stands for Efficiency by our rotating airfoils. Later he founded Ebora Clocks and, back in Holland, Ebora Radio. Now my son has an industrial automation company named Ebora. I would be very grateful to learn more about the propeller company. Do you know more, please contact me. Thanks in advance! Arnhem, The Netherlands

There used to be a factory at London Road named Celestion and then Micro Precision Products made cameras at the same factory. Can anyone give me any information about the factory when they made cameras or put me in touch with someone who knows.Please ask your friends about it particularly anyone living in Kingston around 1960. Sorry all you teenagers reading this but maybe your parents could help. I can go back to before 1950 too, when I think, there was a Tram Depot at London Road.Can anyone confirm this. Thank you to all who have troubled to read this and please try and help. Mr Basil Skinner (Newquay,Cornwall)A309: Micro Precision Products were  still making cameras back in the ’50’s. They made a camera that was a ‘copy’ of the Rollieflex/cord series of 2 1/4 square twin lens reflex – a very fine camera it was too !!!. I cant recall the name of the camera at the moment, but will get back to you if it comes to mind. They may have been involved with the Corfield Periflex from about that time also. Ex-Kinstonian Tony

Reply to Mr Basil Skinner on Celestion London Road Kingston. I came to Kingston in 1968. In 1976 the building was Delta Controls. Then for a short while it was a carpet warehouse Then it became a place what sold Second hand engineering machines. I worked next door at Rawlplug House, now Clarendon House. The building where Celestion was, was demolished and a new building was built for Croner Publications which is still there.
The Liverpool Arms next to the Church has been demolished and shops with flats above built there.
My wife worked at Celestion in the late 1950s.

Unfortunately the only building left in London Road to do with the trams is the old power generating station, everything else is gone. I will do some research into your question re: Celestion and Micro Precision Products. You may find that the factory has now been demolished, there are a lot of very new buildings dating from the 1990’s in London Road now. Check back in the next few weeks, I might have some info. Phil Caldwell Kingston upon Thames.


I hear an air raid type of siren every tuesday at 9am when I’m near the river in Kingston. It sounds like it comes from the Hampton side of the river. Does anyone know what it is?

The Siren is a test for a Chlorine leak warning from the Water Treatment Plant on the Lower Sunbury Road. www.teddingtontown.co.uk/2010/10/08/tuesday-siren-test/

Can anyone remember my mum and dad getting married at emmanuel church they where the 1st people to get married there which is maureen kelly and brian kent they have been married for 50 years in october 11th.castleford west yorkshire: tracy corbett

Eric Clapton went to the ‘old’ Hollyfield in Hollyfield Road, nearer Tolworth. It’s a piece of trivia, I know, but it’s always bugged me just the same: given that he was born and raised in Ripley, how and why did the young Eric manage a daily trip of some 24 miles to get to and from such a distant school?
A second question: I well remember places in Kingston such as the old Crown Arcade and it’s caff (where Eric is said to have busked), the Toggery, which supplied me with a pair of Dickies straight-leg jeans in 1971 when loons were still king, the Kingston Hotel (haunt of the much-feared skins back in those gentler days), the Outrigger and the Row Barge pubs by Kingston Bridge, the little colony of houseboats squatting by the South bank after they’d flattened the Horsefair to make way for what was eventually to become John Lewis etc.(does anyone recall a character we knew as ‘Filthy Paul’ – he lived on a small, equally filthy motorboat by the bridge?), but I can’t remember the name of the pub on Eden Street, just along from where the entrance to Brady’s Arcade used to be.

I remember “filthy Paul”. He was a great unshaven character, he used to ride an old triumph motorcycle,wearing an even older leather jacket and suck his thumb (not at the same time)His 2nd home was a black 1950s Rieley that was parked near the old Gridley Miskins site. His 3rd home was the Copper Kettle cafe in Hampton Wick. An oily establishment run by a nice Irish lady.This was all back in late 60s, I moved way back last century My older brother went to Hollyfield School he remembers uncle Eric,although he did,nt know him. My misspentyouth was mainly the Fishes and the Jolly Brewers. Finchley, Fred (rob)

This is what Eric Clapton says: “Around the age of 12 or 13, I was still spending all my time in the country, at the secondary modern school in Ripley. But then I passed something called the 13-plus on the strength of my art accomplishment and got a scholarship to a school in Tolworth, near Surbiton. I had to go on a Green Line bus up there and I met a bunch of people at that school. They were all bright and they were all talented at art and we were all nutcases and it was a perfect breeding ground for this stuff.” Kingston

I am also looking for any information on the Cambridge Asylum which was on Cambridge Road, Norbiton. I have recently located a Census for 1891 for the asylum and located my Gt Gt Gt Gt Grandmother- so the building was still there in 1891 ! (I also have a date of 1853 but suspect that was when it was built.) Would appreciate a photo of the building or any other info about this. Any ideas where the local cemetry would be for these old residents ? Lincoln Mike Cullen

Does anyone really know what the Coronation Hall in Surbiton was used for? I heard it was going to be a nude bathing pool but couldn’t get a license.: It was called Kingston Baths in the mid sixties. I saw bands such as the Yardbirds, The Tornados, The Cheynes and the Zombies, Barron Knights. The Surbiton Assembly Rooms also saw some action with Georgie Fame and Alan Price . It was a rhythm and blues club.The Toby Jug at Tolworth was a also big favourite where everyone from Jethro Tull to the Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Johny Lee Hooker also played.Happy days. Wimbledon.

Can anyone tell me anything about the Kingston Empire?  The Empire was the place to go in Kingston in the 40s and 50s. I saw Frankie Vaughan there when he was just starting out.

I think it may have been opposite the new cinema development in Kingston. There is an old building there which has Empire still painted on it. Or is that just an old department store? (Surbiton)

The Kingston Empire building still exists opposite a new nightclub called Oceana, it is a public house now called the Kings Tun. It was one of the best variety theatres in London from the 30’s to the early 50’s when it closed. Unfortunately the lower part of the building has been ripped out and the stage door has been bricked up but I am told that the upper parts of the building still exist in pretty much the same condition as when it closed. If you walk towards Kingston railway station from Eden Street you’ll see the words EMPIRE in very large (painted out) tiling on the sidewall of the building. Phil Caldwell. Kingston upon Thames June 03.

Comments 245

  1. Mike
    I use to hang around at that coffee shop in Richmond for quite a while when I was living in England. I immigrated to Canada in the 1960s and have been here ever since. Im glad to say I am now retired from de Havilland Aircraft which was a division of Hawker Siddley until many years ago.
    I should ask you if you ever went to “the Swan” Mill Street. That was my main haunt as a young man.

  2. I worked at Vine Products, VilliersRoad from 1969 to 1978 – my elder Brother worked there also, and was one of the last to leave and lock the place up when it closed. I lost contact with pretty well everyone I worked with, and would love to hear from anyone who worked there up to that time. many thanks.

    1. Is Vine Products the wine business? I used to have a friend who worked at the wine co. Dave Felpts – I always thought it was spelled Phelps but someone on Facebook told me Felpts was correct.
      He was known as Phelpo – or I guess Felpo ! He used to hang out at The Three Fishes and was a jolly fellow
      who had very ruddy cheek – not tall and a bit stout. He apparently drinks at The Park Tavern and is friends
      with someone on Facebook called Robert Bullett – he’s part of a group on Facebook called Kingston upon Thames Past & Present. There’s also a group called Memories of Kingston upon Thames. Join them both – they are a lot of fun – a lot of memory lane and a way to find old friends. Good luck 🙂

      1. Yes the famous VP Wine (well, it was at the time!) Dave Felpts certainly rings a bell, and I used to be an on/off regular at the Fishes (later Royal Charter) so our paths must have crossed at some point. I will check out the two Facebook Groups and hope something comes up. Thanks very much for your suggestion – all the very best, Brian.

    2. hi brian, you dont know me, my name is kenny mills and my dad freddie mills worked at vp for many years from the sixties into seventies he was a fitter on the bottling lines ,i allways remember we had lots of wine at christmas, best wishes to you

      1. Thanks for your reply Kenny – I’m sure I would have known your Dad, as although I was office staff, I spent a fair bit of time in the bottling hall as my job revolved around products for customers with their own labels on. I also worked on the lines during the Christmas rush, as a lot of office staff did in the evenings. As you say, always plenty of wine at Christmas – I still have two unopened bottles of VP Sherry – not sure if they’re drinkable now though! Again, thanks for replying – I’m good at faces, but not so much names, but I’m certain I knew your dad. Best regards, Brian.

      2. Kenny & Brian !
        I dont know either of you but I was friends with Dave Felpts – Felpo who I used to hang out with at The Three Fishes and he used to work at VP Wines – I think along the Richmond Rd. if that is the same place you’re talking about ? I was looking for him on Facebook but thought his name was spelled Phelps….Apparently he lives near and drinks at Park Tavern in Kingston. Hope this helps ?
        Kate Perry who grew up on Woodside Rd now living in Brooklyn NYC USA

        1. Hi Kate – VP Wine was at the Kingston end of Villiers Road, directly opposite Bonner Hill Girls School. Dave Felpts certainly rings a bell, but I can’t put a face to the name. I have a list of staff at VP in the mid 70s, and his name appears on that.

        2. hi kate you got a reply from brian about vp, and you said woodside road, did you know the allen family i cant remember what number they were ,but i went to richmond road school with two of the sons , also i remember the park tavern as the new inn when i was a teenager

          1. Yes ! The Allen family lived a few doors away from us on Woodside…..they had several children – mostly boys ? They emigrated to Australia at some point…
            They were Irish and had certainly suffered some discrimination…..

            1. ok kate thanks for the info about the allens , i lost contact years ago so didnt know about the aussie thing , and yes there was four brothers but i only knew mick and ernie the two youngest , also did you know linda warren who lived on woodside road

    3. I remember Vine Products, they made VP wine, It tasted absolutely awful, I believe that today it would be on the poisons list!

    1. Just off Eden Street past the market on the left I think.
      Was a barbers in there plus a army surplus shop and a couple of other dodgy looking doors


      1. I remember coming across Brady’s Arcade very clearly when I was a child. It was the winter of 1963, snow and ice on the ground. I’d never seen anything like it there was a shop selling army and Nazi memorabilia and right inside there were load of old phonographs and tubes on the ground. I was fascinated by them. They’d be worth a fortune now.

        Does anybody remember that ancient building near the old folk barge? I think it was called Ye Olde Malt House or something. My mum and I peered in and it looked like it hadn’t been touched for centuries. We were both upset some time later when the Surrey Comet reported that it had been demolished without permission.

    1. I remember the Seven Saxons, first Space Invader machine in Kingston prob 1979. Jam packed with KCFE students queuing up to play. Sure beat studying. Good times & cheap beer.

    2. the seven saxons was about where the three horseshoes pub used to be in the sixtes which i went into as a teenager, happy days

  3. yes brian remember herbies junk yard
    well, myself and mates allways took bottles ,rags ,and anything else to get some money for sweets and abottle of tizer, then on to the fairfield ,he was a nice old man,well he was old to us kids

    1. Hello Kenny, I worked for ‘Kingprint’ a printing firm in the early 60’s and we used to get all our rags from Herbie.

  4. hi again mark ,the CD is entitled the cliff richard show live at the abc kingston 1962 ,there is a number on the back emi 724353 793128 , but the CD was a special limited edition so it might deleted after 16 years,and yes i was cheering and shouting ,a sqweeky little voice amongst adults

  5. hi mark dont know if you knew , but the cliff show was being recorded to be put out as a live LP, but for whatever reason itdidnt happen untill 2002 forty years after the event, emi then released a cd which i bought to give me another memory of my first concert,best wishes kenny

  6. to mark, i saw cliff and the shadows at the abc ie the regal in 1962 ,my mum and dad took me i was ten and ahalf , the first concert i ever went to ,well cliff is still rock and so am i , best wishes

    1. Hi Kenny
      I was only about 16 seeing Cliff & the Shads but got me really into Rock ever since. Even started playing bass trying to pick up tips from Jet Harris. (He died in 2011 ).
      Long live Rn’R
      Cheers Mark

  7. I worked in Delta Controls middle 60s the works office. Wasn’t it next door to Celestion who made speakers and were also in Thames Ditton?
    Anyone remember Graham Bond playing at the Kingston Hotel and John Hiseman and Dick H-Smith at the Cellar
    Hey what about Cliff & The Shads at the ABC!

    1. I remember as a kid delta controls being in London road opposite the junction bottom of Cambridge road ‘ palmer and Harvey were thee other side and the London transport inspectors office .

        1. He was there in the 70s aswell we used hang around there of a night sometimes at the takeaway window we would scrape up enough money to share a burger between us

  8. Mike,
    I was reading the correspondence and noticed that you and I have a lot in common. I was born and raised in Kingston-upon-Thames….my name is also Mike….and born in 1941. Before moving to Canada, I worked at Hawker Siddely Aircraft Company on Richmond Road.
    I would like to have a chat with you re: the old times n Kingston where I made a lot of friends going to the Jazz Cellar and other clubs like it, and in that general area. I could go on like this forever but would prefer to perhaps make a call and chat over the phone for a short while. I have attached the basic information required to provide a more direct method of contact.
    Look forward to hearing from you when you have some free time.

  9. Does anyone remember “Winston”, an ageing Teddy Boy by night, and a dustman by day, who used to get into Jester’s nightclub, which used to be situated in the Apple Market in Kingston during the early to mid 1970’s? He was certainly a character around the town.

    1. Yeah I remember him he used to do the rubbish at the market by the old town hall lovely little fella never said a bad word to anyone

      1. Yep, I remember Winston well, Pale blue drape jacket with black velvet collar and cuffs( he had a wonky eye and a stammer) He was a “Skinhead” before his “Teddy Boy” transformation, but a lovely bloke, and quite harmless. He used to go to the “Jolly Brewer”, but I don’t think he ever drank..
        Winston used to come to “The Dolphin” and “The Swan” to see me play in the first R’n’R band I was in, “Thunderbird”which would have been in about 1971/2.
        He was a character indeed, especially when he did his Elvis impersonations.

        1. Yes I remember him ,used to have drink with him in Apple Market. Quite a character! Does anyone know how I can contact old friends from the Kingston scene,from 60’s /70’s. Three Fishes,Apple Market,The Crown.etc.?

          1. HIYA Mick,
            No mate, I’ve been in Northern Ireland for the past 27 years.
            I went back 2 years ago when my Dad died, didn’t recognise it and so many people I knew were dead!
            I got quite nostalgic when I found this site and recognised a few names.
            All the best,

            1. HIYA Mick,
              No mate, I’ve been in Northern Ireland for the past 27 years.
              I went back 2 years ago when my Dad died, didn’t recognise it and so many people I knew were dead!
              I got quite nostalgic when I found this site and recognised a few names.
              All the best,

    2. Winston indeed. Always in sunglasses and could be found in the Seven Saxons around 1976.
      I am led to believe he had his drapes made by a Kingston tailor?

    3. I knew old Winston well, he lived with his brother in a house left to them by their mother just off of the Richmond Road. He would not take time off work and carried on when he had pneumonia and that is what killed him. One of Kingston’s characters!

  10. Apart from all the wonderful places mentioned for seeing fantastic acts (Jimmy Reed and John Lee Hooker at the barge referred to – in the company of my boyfriend at the time, Jimmy Page) there was also St. Peter’s church hall where I saw the amazing Gene Vincent. Imagine a group of suburban kids at a youth club church hall watching them arrive.

    We all used to go to a coffee shop next to the church in Kingston, and the Crown pub was favourite.

    I wonder if Eric Clapton was at Hollyfield. He mentions passing the 13 plus which would indicate he was eligible for a place at a grammar and Hollyfield was a comp. Tolworth Secondary on the by-pass had a grammar “stream” in the boys and the girls schools (occupied the same building and premises but kept segregated, which was a hoot.) The only other boys grammar was in Surbiton next to the railway bridge.

    1. Hi Anna…was the coffee shop that you referd to known as the Kenya Coffee House?
      I well remember passing Saturday mornings with friends sitting on the church wall outside when not raining.
      Fun days….innocence’s of youthmike

  11. Trying to reconnect with /Georgina Bridges who lived in Kingston and who I used to meet at The Swan..mill
    st. Hope my some miracle you see this!

    1. Thanks for the comments.I often think of her and nights at the swan. thnx .again Hope she sees this…..She was one of a kind!

      Did you live in Kingston………

  12. Does anyone remember the name of the men’s tailors in the high street (I think it was on a corner) – was it John Collier? This would have been in approx 1979/80.

    Also I used to go in the Jolly Brewer pub when it was run by Tom (can’t remember his last name) does anyone remember him. They just seemed to disappear.

    1. Hi Carol
      I was pleased to receive your reply to my post. You are correct concerning the men’s outfitters. In the same area, I believe there was a store where you could buy school blazers etc. My mother use to take my brother and I there when we changed schools. I think it’s name was Bardwell or something similar. There was also a men’s clothing shop around the back of the old church in the Center of town.
      I am actually now a Canadian citizen having left Britain in 1966. I really enjoy chatting to people like yourself which brings back fond memories. In Britain I lived not far from the Old Kingston swimming bathes.

  13. not sure if I’m doing this correctly since I have yet to receive a reply. I was born in Kingston during the war and have many memories of such places as the Swan Mill Street The cellar club etc.
    I was friendly with a girl named Georgina Bridges who lived close to Kingston Station. Hoping I can re-establish contact with her. Any Ideas?

  14. This is my first time on here. I’m hoping I am doing things correctly and not screwing things up completely.

    I grew up in Kingston near the swimming baths and have many fond memories of my younger years at such places such as the Swann, mill street , The Jazz Cellar ( at both locations ). Even tried Felecia’s school of dancing but soon got bored with that! I turned 76 recently but some things are still imprinted in my mind. I’m hoping this gets to you.


    1. Hi Chris seems to be a long delay on this message board ‘ hope your well and life’s good ‘been to Kingston a few times lately caught up with a few people have to try and catch up soon let me no where your drinking I will come down take care .

        1. Yes I said hello to her on face book through the latchmere school sight don’t no if she really remembers me though rob

  15. I have just found out my dad ‘Thomas James Honey’ was a local snooker champion before he joined the army in 1938. Sadly my mum and dad are no longer with us and there is no one around to ask any questions. Thomas was born in 1919 and lived in Hudson Road, Kingston-upon-Thames until he joined the army. Would anybody know how I could find out any information, where to look, or who to contact. My dad passed away in 1985 and I am trying to find out more about him as I know very little.

    1. You could start with the Queen Surrey Regimental HeadQuarters down by the Thames, opposite the river if it is still there! I’m not sure about its location since I have not lived in the UK for many years. They might be able to check records etc.

      Good luck,

  16. Hello Steve it was on may 26th I did try to get in touch with you but couldn’t get your number from anyone I didn’t bother putting it on here coz I see you hadn’t been on here for a while but I have got a do for my birthday on July 22nd at Richards place with a live band playing be great if you could make it Steve

  17. Hi Sally hope your well ‘any news on when Richard hunt is having his do or have I already missed it let me no thanks .

  18. Hi all, Very intresting site.I’m just wondering if anyone out there would know of Dennis King who I believe lived in Kingston for a long time.I think he may have passed away now but I know he had children who would be in their 40’s.I know he was a builder but think he maybe worked at Boeing but I’m not sure. Any info would be very appreciated. Thanks for reading this.

  19. Thats good news…anyway its been great catching up a bit,im signing out now as i need my beauty sleep( i wished) catch up again soon xx

  20. Omg you remember everything and everyone..mum and dad moved to devon about 1983 mums not well but they are both still with us as are the rest of my family..what about yours ? I remember your sister and your 2 younger brothers and your mum and dad. Do they all live in liverpool ?…you got it right about cookie..went down wrong path…xx

    1. No my mum and dad live in Somerset ‘ one of my brothers and a sister still live in Surrey ‘ the rest down south west all still with us ‘ and healthy at the moment x

  21. Hello Steve it would be great to see you if you could make it on that night its may 26th a Friday night Sally’s coming as well there’s gonna lot of old Kingston faces there we could do a bit of jungle rock

  22. Did you ever know a pub called the port of call it was on jubilee way tolworth/chessington richard hunts place is opposite that..well the pubs gone now x

    1. Yer remember port of call used to play football on a Sunday morning on jubilee way ‘ I think I no what’s wrong with cookie shame realy not seen him for years and years ‘ how’s your mum and dad I remember your mum being called bobby I think ‘ and your dad used to drive a lorry for Norman road haulage if I remember right ‘ I remember the names of your brothers and sisters Jackie through to cherry won’t mention them all on here . X

    2. Yes The Port of Call was then the Maverick and now a One Stop store.

      Someone mentioned the George and Dragon on Kingston Hill.
      Did you know Nick Mullings and possibly Twinkle?

  23. Of course you can come…cookie really is not well but dont want to say on here whats wrong but you might already know…

  24. I remember those days really well..you came round our house one night and gave my dad some lemon and orange jelly slices for her…shes still married to colin cook..i havent spoke to her for 10yrs…long story ..steve it is richard hunts place x

  25. I remember those days really well..you came round our house one night and gave my dad some lemon and orange jelly slices for her…shes still married to colin cook..i havent spoke to her for 10yrs…long storyxx

    1. Yer I heard she was still with cookie I’ve heard he’s not well ‘ I probably nicked the orange and lemon slices from baileys sweet shop

  26. Funny you should say that we’re having a meet up in may at a place called hunts chris has arranged it , he’s got the details..it was chris that told me about this site last night and that he was talking to you…its been lovely talking to you and il keep in touch if you dont mind.. xx

  27. Hi steve i live in tolworth now..sue and dave have split up now…where do you live and are you married with kids..i have 3 grown up daughters and 2 grandaughters..i last saw you way back when i was on my way home from work walking down kingston rd, you past me and beeped , you was driving an american car i think, or it looked like one…i wasnt sure if you would remember me xx

    1. Of course I would remember you had some great times when we were kids ‘ moved to liverpool in 89 then spain in 99 and back to liverpool 2009 I’ve got a son and daughter and they have 2 kids each ‘ I come to Kingston quite often to have a catch up with the lads was there last week in th bricklayers ‘ if your about next time I’m down be nice to say hello ‘ want to arrange to catch up with Chris watts aswell .

  28. I found it chris ..bloidy mission though ..i went to all those old haunts ..best nights …would live to go back to the 70s

  29. Lol hi steve i used to go to the swan with sue edwards, it was my favourite place for rock n roll…hope you keeping well

    1. Hi Sally how are you remember you well even before the swan’ Douglas road’ was there bonfire night went to kings meadow or old norbiton sports ground as it was when we were kids ‘ used to jive with sue last time I heard she was still with Dave Hancock been together for years ‘ rely good to hear from you are you still in Kingston .

      1. Steve ive just scrolled down and seen your older comments, i must say you have one hell of a memory..but you forgot to mension you lived in the house on the end of king henrys road ..i was gutted when you moved lol xx

        1. I was saving that bit up Sally me living there ‘ we used spend a bit of time over the searchlight together do you remember ‘ and mount juniors I was in Miss holtens class and they realised I was in the wrong year so the next term I jumped a year and went straight into miss dearings class 4th year where I ended up going out with your sister Jeanine jane as we called her ‘ I remember I was playing football in the playground and she found out that I had given up being a prefect witch meant I wouldn’t be spending break times with her she slapped me so hard in the face I can still feel it now ha ha x

  30. Yes I did Steve there used be loads of us as you say it also used to be on a Saturday morning everyone used to go mad when jungle rock came on do yo remember the Claremont as well and the floor used to bounce up and down when everyone was dancing

    1. Yes mate then bit later on surbiton assembly rooms Thursday night rob Randall’s disco and Friday night dj tom cat at the Coronation baths ‘ don’t no where the kids go now but I bet they don’t have anywhere near the fun we used to have

    2. Hi Chris Sally said your arranging a meet up in may at a place called hunts I would like to come to that if that’s ok ‘ where is hunts not heard of it ‘ is it something to do with Richard

  31. Hello Steve hope your well yes Danny’s shop was called kandy korner used to go round there to knock for Danny also remember coming to yours at coanation baths good days

    1. Hi Chris hope your well ‘ they were great days wouldn’t mind having a few of them back now ‘ I can’t remember if you used to come to the swan disco with me and simsy on a Thursday evening we were 13 14 years old Kingston rockers ‘ every one got involved in that dancing to rock n roll mental ‘ loads of old faces. Came with ius we only started it for a bit of fun next thing there were loads of us .

      1. Is Tony Clayton of the ‘Impalas” still above ground?
        I was in a band called “Thunderbird” and played a few times with Tony at the Swan, and another Tony, Tony Vincent (Collick) of CSA
        “Thunderbird” had it’s first gig in the ‘Dolphin’

        At the top of this page a girl asked about the boat that was a night club moored on the Portsmouth Rd. It was called “The Roland”, it caught fire…
        Richard Hunt’s sister lent me a skip that I filled with water. I jumped off the roof of the “Yellow Heaven Soup Kitchen” on Richmond road into the skip after being set on fire. (A stunt to raise money for charity.)

          1. Hi Patricia,
            Thanks for the reply.
            Glad to know Tony has survived longer than a lot of his peers.
            Please forward my regards to him.
            All the best.

    2. Hi Chris when is the reunion at richard hunts ‘ may Sally said wouldn’t mind going to that if I’m about ‘ let me no mate thanks

  32. Hello Linda all my family worked for Clifford’s glass in the 50s and early 60s I think overall there was about 9 of them dad grandad uncles and cousins what is your dads name I will ask them if they remember him

  33. Yes he did opposite vp wines and next to bonnerhill girls ‘ see Danny last year his mum and dad are still about ‘ John and Chris are ok but his elder brother steve died

  34. This was one of my earliest memories, but as others have said, is as clear as anything to me all these years later. I was three at the time and children of friends were on the boat. We were watching from the towpath as the boat passed and capsized. Even now I can sense the panic in the crowd and remember my father stripping off and diving into the river to help.

  35. Hi I lived in West Molesey but spent all my teenage years in Kingston but moved away in 1981 ….during the 70’s as a young teenager, I went to a pub situated along a back lane behind the ‘3 Fishes’ pub, it was a real run down place as far as I can remember,..It played music, a lot of hippies and druggies hung out there and run by a guy called Alex…But does anyone remember the name?? was it the Brewers or similiar???
    Also does anyone know of the church in Kingston which on a friday night use to open its doors to people and had music playing and served health foods and breakfast??? Im trying to put together a kind of rough life story and would love more info on these places….

      1. the jolly brewer long since gone it was the first pub I ever went in don’t know how I got away with it I was only 15

        1. Hi Kenny,
          The “Jolly Brewer” was my first pub too, Alvin was the Guvnor.
          Did you go out with the eldest of two sisters who lived in Elm Road?
          One was called Julie who went out with one of the Road Rats, he lost part of his foot in a motorcycle accident…

          1. thanks for the reply rob i dont know the girls you mentiond,as i said i was 15 when i went in the jolly it was 1967 ,so maybe we are in a differant age group, but thanks again

          2. hi brian thanks for the reply, i dont know the girls you mentioned, as i said i was 15 when i first went in the jolly, it was 1967 so maybe we are in a differant age group, best wishes to you

    1. The church was called the the John Bunyan baptist church also the part of the church that used to have music was called the kalidascope

    2. Hi Maggi.
      It was called “The Jolly Brewer” yes, it was an “Eclectic” crowd, and a pint of Mild was 26p.
      A lot of people from “The Searchlight” would go there.

  36. Hi John,
    Glad to find someone who worked at the Cellar Club.
    My name is John Maskell and I was the lead vocalist for a group called The Beat Syndicate. In 1965 we played at the club supporting The Nashville Teens. Having arrived on time and after playing from 7 until 9 we took a break and was asked if we could play on until whenever as the Teens were fog bound in Manchester. For us it was a great night and played on until 12.30am. when the Nashville Teens arrived. During our performance two ex Screaming Lord Such guys Danny McCulloch and Derek Sirmon came on stage and gave our bass guitarist and drummer a break. By the time The Teens went on I’m afraid the night was over but we had a great reception from the crowd when we eventually came off.
    Do you know anyone who has any posters/flyers of the gigs there or even lists of gig dates, I have been searching for some time without success.
    They were great times
    John Maskell

    1. google Kingston cellar club and there is a lot of information about who played there and when. I was the DJ there in the 60’s and Hugh O’donnell was the owner. He sold the place to Donald Slack who owned Bookies and snooker halls. He turned it into a bingo hall and I worked for him into the 70’s when it moved to the old snooker hall in Fyfe road

    2. Hi John,

      Danny McCulloch and I had many a gig at the Cellar club with The Savages and later The Plebs. We sometimes went to watch other bands when we got a rare night off.

      Sadly Danny passed away three years ago, but I’m still alive and kicking and living in Goosnargh near Preston. Been hear for fifty years next month. Who knows, I might even settle down here!

      Glad you are still “with us” – God bless and Good fortune to you.

      Derek (Degs) Sirmon

  37. I was born and grew up in surbiton ,I went to the old st marks and St. Andrews then moved in to the new one in maple rd when it opened,as a kid in surbiton it had everything I need parks fishing and the 65 bus to the zoo,my dad work at the Portsmouth rd water board yard,

  38. I remember that the man who rescued the child was my neighbor Ian Tree of Woodside Rd. Both his parents were blind and he can’t have had an easy childhood. He was a hero that day. I believe you can find the story in the old newspaper archives.
    I went to Latchmere School have many memories of those early days.

  39. I remember that the man who rescued the child was my neighbor Ian Tree of Woodside Rd. Both his parents were blind and he can’t have had an easy childhood. He was a hero that days. I believe you can find the story in the old newspaper archives.
    I went to Latchmere School have many memories of those early days.
    I remember the fabulous Christmas parade that began at Hawkers and went along the Richmond Rd. We used to stand outside the Kingstonian Football Ground. Also waved at the Queen when she visited Kingston in the 50’s.

  40. My mum lived in London Road as a young girl – not far along from the Elite Cinema corner. Her brother Jack Chandler, my uncle, was a window cleaner in Kingston for many years. As a young boy mum used to take me to places such as the Kingston Empire … we saw Donald Peers there starring as Buttons in Cinderella, on one occasion … The Regal, under the railway line, The Odeon, the Cattle Market and of course the Market, among so many other places too. Mum worked for Knapp Drewitts as a young woman. Mum & Dad were married at St Agatha’s Church in Kingston early in 1938 and I was born in the West Middlesex Hospital in November 1938. Mum was the youngest in her family. Besides Jack she also had a brother named George, who Worked for Gazes, and two sisters, Edith & Kit. Would love any feedback

  41. I remember the hamburger cafe in Fife Road being called ‘The Trans Atlantic’.
    They did a mean banana cream pie. A whole crowd of us from the art school at Knights Park would go on a Friday night before going to the cinema. Circa 1971/2.

    I also worked as a pot washer at a cafe in Fife Road, opposite side to the burger cafe, the owner as far as can remember was the spitting image of Anthony Quinn and came from Greece or Cyprus. Anyone remember his name?

  42. Hello,
    Would appreciate any help to find my mother’s father who she has never met!
    He was named John hill/hills & ran a car garage in the late 1960’s by Kingston bridge?
    I believe he had a wife named Diane & two children, a boy and a girl.
    He would have been born about 1938 at a guess..
    And help or advice would be much appreciated!

  43. I lived opposite Decca Record in New Malden. Word went round one evening that some Decca stars would be visiting the factory early one evening. We went over to the car park and saw the Bachelors and the Applejacks (who were unusual then for having a female guitarist) and a couple of other acts that I can’t recall now. What stands out in my mind was a very strangely dressed (to us) longish haired American guy who nobody knew apart from one girl who gave him a hug. The very next night the Beatle TV Special “Around the Beatles” was shown and lo and behold there was the unknown American guy, PJ Proby! Have looked up dates and the programme went out on April 28th 1964. It was one day before my eleventh birthday.

    1. My Dad worked for Decca, a radio station used to be played from there. I think it was radio London but not 100o/o sure. I was 15 when my Dad took me to meet the bachelors and the Apple Jacks. I have photos of the day. Jimmy Savill was there also. The Beatles wanted Decca to sign them but they were turned down. Decca did not make the same mistake with the Rolling Stones. I had their signatures written all up my arms. Someone lately said I should have had them tattooed over !!

  44. the shop was called Pier imports if I remember great stuff from all over the world stuff at pocket money prices, a bit of an Aladins cave for a boy of 9-12. rugs vases baskets toys etc
    I also remember the Arcade which is now Alderman Judge mall, a great place for junk and antiques army memorabilia

  45. I remember a mr. Emms being the caretaker, I was friendly with his daughter and often went swimming through the private door from their flat. I have a feeling we went to school together. park lodge school in Claremont road Surbiton. Also belonged to Surrey ladies swimming club.

  46. Yes I was there too and remember it like that I also remember seeing frogmen divers going in to the water. My mother brought us away. I think it would have been between 1965-67 but cannot find any info on google etc

  47. There was a brewery there I’m sure it was called Kingston brewery it was opposite the post office that wAs on the corner off ash down road ‘ ‘ also thee was a pub opposite the brewery and post office called the 3 compasses’ I think that belonged to the brewery as well .

      1. I remember it in the early 70s they pulled brewery down mid 70s. And put the shops and car park that are there now it was biggish brewery in the day ‘ Kingston has changed a lot since then and not for the better I think .

        1. I tend to agree, with one exception. The brewery was inoffensive enough but the tannery near Kingston bridge gave off an awful stench. If the wind was in the west it stank out the whole of the town centre.
          Apart from Hawkers aircraft factory, there was quite a lot of other industry in Kingston in the 1950s and 60s. It was not just place where people could sleep and shop.

          1. Your right my man lived in kings road and the power station used to give off a smell of burning coal my nan was always wiping the soot of the window sills .

          2. Steve is right about the power station, but even that does not compare the the old coal gas works, which stood between the power station and Richmond Road. Google earth still shows where the two gas holders were. The works gave off brown fumes which stank of sulphur and tar. During the cold winter of 1962-3 the acidity turned all the chrome on my bike into green dust. I am still suffering from the effects on my lungs.

            1. That’s terrible Shirley ‘ I was only just born August 61 and taken back to my nans house at 80 kings road that’s where I stayed for the first year of my life then moved round the corner to Windsor road until I was 9 years old went to latch mere school so do remember a lot of strange smells especially on them really foggy nights we used to get . I still think that north Kingston is still one of the nicer parts of Kingston .

      2. Also the brewery had a club house and bowling green opposite it it’s now the social security buildings and car park I no this as I lived in orchard Ross for a short while and our house backed onto it ‘the house has now gone since they widened the road .

  48. My father used to work for Clifford’s the glaziers in Kingston in the 1950’s. Does any one remember it? I seem to remember the works were situated in the road that ran down the right hand side of what was then the C and A store? We lived in Tolworth and I can remember him cycling to an from work.

    1. Yes you are quite right as to where Cliffords was situated. We had a hall mirror made there in the early 1960’s. We had it framed in the craft shop which was situated on the site of Habitat. P. Wey, Walton on Thames

  49. I used to live at the kingston swimmlin baths also known as the coronation hall when they put the floor down over pool 1 , my step dad was supervisor there in the 70s and there was a one storey house at the side of the baths that we lived in , there was a door from our house that went straight into pool 2 so when it was shut me and my mates used to swim for free and use the sauna my mates at the time peter lorrenti barney moody danny sexton brendan culligan , in the winter when the boards went down there used to be a dj on there called tom cat I used to sneak in for free had some great nights there , including susie and the banshees being on there and most of the punk rockers rioting round kingston and smashing shop windows after she finished , there used to be weddings dog shows alsorts on there in the winter. It was pulled down in the early 80s once they had built the kingfisher baths at the fairfield, good memories , steve smart smartie.

    1. Hi Steve,

      I have been looking for the lifeguard who worked at the Coronation swimming baths in the 70’s? He may have lived in Lingfield avenue in Kingston. I remember a family living the property adjacent to the baths. As far as my memory serves me correctly there was a young boy who lived there who was also quite friendly with the lifeguard. Could this be you? or do you know this person? this was probably between 1973 to 1978. I await your reply


      1. Hi Dave remember him vaguely was a long time ago haven’t spoke or heard from anybody who worked at the baths since it closed .

        1. Hi Steve,

          I was born and bred in Kingston and do have some great memories and also some sour ones. Just as you my memory was not great about certain things up until recently and for what ever reason things started to come back to me.

          As for the lifeguard at coronation baths, he certainly was not my friend, but I also remember him possibly working at the lagoon (the big open pool) Anyway if anything comes back to you just drop me a line. I have found it very difficult to try and trace any events that happened in the 70’s.

          Best regards


          1. Yes I do remember Debbie we used to go to the power station and swam she was best freibds with Debbie linden at that time ‘ I bumped into her a couple of times in the 80s haven’t seen her since ‘ how is she would love to speak to her rob .

          2. Hi rob I do remember her we used to go to the power station discos and coronation hall’ she was best friends with Debbie linden ‘ how is she haven’t seen her since the 80s would love to speak to her ‘ don’t live in kingston now but I’m down there in December rob

            1. Hi Kenny,
              The “Jolly Brewer” was my first pub too, Alvin was the Guvnor.
              Did you go out with the eldest of two sisters who lived in Elm Road?
              One was called Julie who went out with one of the Road Rats, he lost part of his foot in a motorcycle accident…

    2. I used to live in berrylands surbiton and during the sixties visited surbiton assembly rooms frequently watching many acts , used to go to the cellar club in Kingston and watched rod Stewart and many other acts. I was a hairdresser in berrylands and Chris dreys from the yardbirds mother used to come weekly to have her hair done. Was an amazing era!! Also went to Kingston a lot watching Eric Clapton , long john baldry , Alan Price and Georgie Fame . All good fun!!

        1. yes i know i went to his funeral i wasn’t going to mention it i still remember him he was such a great freind and he is sadly missed

          1. Yer I was there aswell massive turn out ‘ I go to his grave when ever I’m in Kingston cemetery ‘ what a waste of a life .

        2. Hi rob little I remember you from working at Hampton court palace.ur sister debbie worked on the cruise ships I live canbury park rd still and you were in kings road we used to drive back from working at the palace gardens..do you remember les strudwick the foreman there?

    3. didn’t Danny sextons dad have a small corner shop in Villiers road next to Bnner hill school
      i was in the same class as Danny and Peter

  50. I used to live at the kingston swimmlin baths also known as the coronation hall when they put the floor down over pool 1 , my step dad was supervisor there in the 70s and there was a one storey house at the side of the baths that we lived in , there was a door from our house that went straight into pool 2 so when it was shut me and my mates used to swim for free and use the sauna my mates at the time peter lorrenti barney moody danny sexton brendan culligan , in the winter when the boards went down there used to be a dj on there called tom cat I used to sneak in for free had some great nights there , including susie and the banshees being on there and most of the punk rockers rioting round kingston and smashing shop windows after she finished , there used to be weddings dog shows alsorts on there in the winter. It was pulled down in the early 80s once they had built the kingfisher baths at the fairfield, good memories , steve smart smartie.

  51. Hi I was at Kingston poly in the late 80’s/ early 90’s wracking my brain after a reunion weekend with friends I hadn’t seen from there in years. Does anyone remember the name of the funky restaurant down past spud u like etc, that was all bright splashed paint inside and had a mum on a Harley coming out of the front of the building thanks

    1. Hi Claire,
      Yellow Heaven Soup Kitchen….I set myself on fire and jumped off the roof into a skip full of water as a charity stunt
      The Nun was actually on a ‘Vellocette”, but I’m being pedantic…

  52. Does anyone remember the dolphin disco around the 80 ,used to go there with me mate Kevin and two girls Maria and Catherine knocked about with a bunch off guys and girls can only remember a couple of there names mark, anson black guy,and a tall slim girl called Karen. Mark I think used to work at boeings down the road. Contact me on Facebook flob_1@hotmail.com thanks had some wicked nights down there.

    1. I was wondering if anyone out there remembers Danny, he used to drink in The Dolphin Pub & The Wheelwrights Arms in Kingston, around the late 80’s & 90’s. He was fair haired, tall & slim, & often wore a black hat & black suede fringed jacket. He was friendly with a chap called Jim for a while (who worked in the Apple Market pub for a bit), as well as myself (I had the nickname Bubbles around that time – possibly – its all a long time ago!) I believe his Dad may have been a scrap merchant. If anyone has any info please reply, thanks.

      1. Hi Bubbles,
        I can’t help you with ‘Danny’ , I know who you mean, but I DO remember you. I was mates with Charlie Hockin, who was our drummer, Richard Topp who played bass, “Ozzy” Harrison, “Paddy” (Anthony) Padberg….

    2. yes had some great times there met my wife there in 1980 I remember the door man called ray kennet a right hard nut but a lovely block. there was a dancer who was brilliant when he danced everyone cleared the floor.

    3. used to go to the dolphin all the time at wekends in the late 70’s early 80’s remember the doorman a chap called ray kennet we big fella hard as nails. i met my wife there in 1980

      1. Yes I knew Ray Kennett well , he used to have a flat in Richmond Road over a shop and used to run a dodgy card game on Friday nights. He made the news when he was shot abroad when minding Joe Pyle. He died when he was in his forties.

        1. I also knew Ray, we met at the Battersea Boxing club and occasionally at the Jazz Club when it was down by the river close to the Odeon cinema. He was quite a character and not someone to be taken lightly.
          I was also friendly with a girl named Georgina Bridges who lived close to Kingston railway station. Would love to chat to her again and find out how she did since all those years ago.

          Cheers and all the best,


  53. Hi, looking for support in Estab. approx. at what point along the Kingston area of the Thames was the Watney Mann brewery? My Watney Mann brewery query is based around family history & the Boatrace (1960s/1970s) Support & Info. appreciated.

    1. The Watney Mann Brewery was in Mortlake and stood on the south bank of the river just before the end of the University boat race course at Chiswick Bridge. There is still a large industrial building on the site in Lower Richmond Road which may be a brewery.

      There was a brewery until the mid 1960s in the centre of Kingston, on the site bounded by Eden Street, Brook Street and St James’ Road. I can’t remember who owned it.

      1. Thank you for that feedback to my enquiry , both informative and very kind of you. Thank you also to ‘Kingston online’ for posting my question and request.

      2. the brewery in Kingston was run by Whitbreads as many of my family worked there during and after WW2 until they closed approx. 1950’s.

    2. I used to drink in the rigger with monty and co . We were from scotland working down there for a year…….. Miss the rigger and peter the barman ex flying squad I believe ……

    3. Hi, the Watney Mann Brewery I think you are referring to was as Shirley says at Mortlake. I worked there for 6 months in 1971 when in fact they tried to replace “Red Barrel” with “Red”. By golly it was vile.

      I liked reading all the comments about Toby Jug, Assembly Rooms, Coronation Baths, etc. I was involved with a lot of the gigs put on by The Poly Student Union.

      In fact am visiting this page, looking up to see if anyone else has my memories of David and Angie Bowie, etc. I recall out with them and Lou Reed on early morning. Heady days, but they just seemed normal at the time. Sometimes in my home area of Alnwick, I meet one of the “Lindisfarne” band members on at Kingston before they achieved fame. He still performs.

  54. My sister and I are convinced that we remember a carnival which took place on the river at Kingston. There was a pirate boat, children dressed up, they fired one of the “guns” everyone jumped to one side of the boat and people fell in the river. This would have been in the 1960’s. We have searched for information but can not find any. Does anyone remember this or are our memories playing tricks on us?

    1. Tragically, yes, it did happen, Anne. Fortunately i did not witness it happening. My Father, Charles, had hoisted me onto his shoulders and was working his way to the front of the crowd for a good view of the “pirate ship”. Luckily a gentleman we were passing said to him “I hardly think this is appropriate for children”. I actually remember those words. Seeing our confusion, he explained that the boat had capsized.
      He later read to me from the newspaper that one man had dived in under the upturned craft and pulled out a child that survived. The child was his. He was unaware that he had boarded the craft. Fireworks had been rigged to look as though they were being shot out of a cannon. My understanding is that the children were frightened and ran to the far side of the boat, causing it to capsize. Those feelings of terror, fear, confusion and panic are clear as day. So yes, Anne, your memories are correct. Regards, Julia Henchy

      1. I was there too in Canbury Gardens I remember it well I remember frogmen going in and I know there were some drownings but I cannot remember how many

    2. Hi Anne …. strange, I was also wondering whether there was any more information on this event. My best friend Beverley Manders died on that tragic day….. I was devastated at the time. We went to Primary school in New Malden – at the end of Gainsburgh Road. At that time she had a younger brother.

  55. Does anyone have any information about Berrylands Nursery, I think it was located in King Charles Road.,

    Did anyone work at the War Office located in the long low buildings behind Toby Jug in Tolworth, even slightest info very helpful.

    1. Not sure where the nursery was but if its any help the berrylands road had shops and a bar called the Bun Shop andwas a place for music and dancing . King charles road started at tolworth opposite the rec right up to the Iron Bridge where there was a Pub called the rising sun, now flats. The only nursery I recall was in the street called the retreat off King charles rd/ alpha road. in fact I lived yards from it at no 42 Alpha road my parents purchased a grocers shop, but changed it to a cafe due to the redevelopment in the 60s

      1. As newly-weds, we lived in a bed-sit in King Charles Road for six months in the winter and spring of 1970-71. We were next door to Christ Church so were woken every Sunday morning by loud bells and the organ playing.
        I remember the Bun Shop pub quite well. It was opposite the launderette. There were loads of power cuts that winter and one began at about 8 pm just after the washing had started. It was very cozy by candlelight in the pub, but we could only afford one drink apiece in those days. The water had cooled by the time the power came back on, so it was well after closing time before the washing was ready.

    2. I worked at DOS on the opposite side of Ewell Rd and used to use the canteen in there. It was then the ministry af agriculture and fisheries. This would be late 70s early 80s. Used to drink in the Toby Jug.

      1. I worked on those buildings behind Toby jug painting the windows and gutters in 1979 it was called agriculturel fisheries they used to do animal testing in there and when you got near the windows it stank ‘ they pulled them down recently just a pile of bricks there now .

    3. I remember a Berrylands College, which was in Norton Avenue, Tolworth.
      Went to it for several year, as I lived next door but one to it.

  56. I am part of a small group that is currently investigating doing a project to collect the fascinating stories and history of music in Kingston upon Thames in the 1950’s and 1960’s – everything from the Cellar Club to Decca Records. We are in the really early in the thought process of this project and would really like to talk to anyone who was a part of the scene at that time to help us formulate the best way to run this project. If anyone would be happy to meet up for a chat over a beer then please feel free to drop me an email at yellyellyell @ gmail . com

    1. I certainly remember the Cellar Club behind the cinema. It must have been 1966 when my friend Nigel and I went there to see the new supergroup ‘Cream’ set out on a pre-tour before showing the world their magic sounds. I can’t imagine why but there were very few of us in the audience. My memory suggests about 20 of us but who knows? We knew about Eric Clapton who had played often at the club when he was in the Yardbirds. ‘Melody Maker’ had informed about the other two (Jackand Ginger) who we had ever heard of. We certainly got into the swing of the evening as nobody was going to show any enthusiasm for what was going on. Obviously Nigel and I thought that Eric Clapton was pretty good, although he never lifted his head up from his guitar. Jack Relph was pretty good but who was the old bloke on the drums?

      1. The Yardbird’s drummer was Jim McCarty. The singer/harmonica player was Keith Relf. The rest of the line-up I saw play at the Cellar Club in Kingston about 1964-5 was, Eric Clapton lead guitar, Chris Dreya rhythm guitar and Paul Samwell-Smith bass guitar. The membership of the band was always changing until they broke up in 1968

      2. Never heard of Jack Bruce or Ginger Baker, two of the countries top musicians. I was DJ that night and it was a full house I don’t know when you went.

    2. I worked as a DJ at the cellar club until it became a bingo hall in 1967, i then stayed on as a bingo caller and later manager. The owner of the cellar club was hugh o’donnell.

    3. I was the DJ at the cellar club in the 60’s and stayed on when it went over to a bingo hall/casino in 1967. The owner was ex boxer Hugh O’donnell

      1. Hi John,

        Glad to find someone who worked at the Cellar Club.
        My name is John Maskell and I was the lead vocalist for a group called The Beat Syndicate. In 1965 we played at the club supporting The Nashville Teens. Having arrived on time and after playing from 7 until 9 we took a break and was asked if we could play on until whenever as the Teens were fog bound in Manchester. For us it was a great night and played on until 12.30am. when the Nashville Teens arrived. During our performance two ex Screaming Lord Such guys Danny McCulloch and Derek Sirmon came on stage and gave our bass guitarist and drummer a break. By7 the time The Teens went on I’m afraid the night was over but we had a great reception from the crowd when we eventually came off.

        Do you know anyone who has any posters/flyers of the gigs there or even lists of gig dates, I have been searching for some time without success.

        They were great times


        John Maskell

      2. Hi john,

        It’s good to find someone who worked at the Cellar Club.

        My name is John Maskell and I was the lead vocalist for a group called The Beat Syndicate.
        In 1965 we appeared at the club supporting The Nashville Teens, unfortunately they were fog bound in Manchester and we were asked to play on until whenever, which we did. During our stint Danny McCulloch and Derek Sirmon of the Plebs, kindly gave our bass player and drummer a rest.
        We eventually came off to a great ovation at 12.30am as the Teens had arrived. By this time the night was over for us and off we went home back to East London.
        I have been searching for years for paper evidence of our performances and especially of the nights like we had at the Cellar Club. Do you know of anyone who has an archive of the Cellar Club gigs or lists if dates of performers ?.
        I would love to find some info.

        Kind Regards
        John Maskell

        1. Hi John – Good to see your post. I am the Derek Sirmon (Drummer) you referred to. Just Chris Dennis (Teaching music in Italy) and I left from The Plebs. Danny Mculloch, Terry Crowe and Mick Dunsford have all gone on ahead. Before The Plebs, I was with Screamin’ Lord Sutch’s Savages and “poached” Danny from Frankie Reid and The Casuals. Happy days and wonderful memories. Still think about the little Hippy girl (Margaret) and wonder where she is now. – God bless.

          1. Hi Derek
            Interesting about Lord Sutch.
            We played a week gig in Hamburg 9(1968?) with Freddie Fingers Lee.
            What an eyeopener! Freddie was usually pissed and used to stop mid play to retrieve his glass eye which seemed to fall out a lot.

            The trams someone mentioned may be the trolley buses that came into Kingston from Long Ditton just past Comerfords passed the 3 Pigeons pub.

          2. Hi Derek,

            I was very pleased to see your response to my article.
            As I am tracing my time in a couple of bands I was in touch with the Nashville Teens and their manager contacted them to see if they could remember that evening. Oddly enough not on of the Teens remembered. As I was there, I was not imagining the gig. Do you remember that night coming on stage with Danny to give our guys a rest ?.

            Really good to hear from a real pro, respect. Hope all is well with you.

            Kind Regards

            John Maskell

  57. Does anyone around recall Alpha Road Surbiton during the early 60s . My parents had a grocers shop at no 42 then became a cafe before the redevelopment in the 70s.

  58. The Coronation Hall was a cinema called “the Ritz” It then became a bingo hall and in the @80’s I believe having had the Yardbirds back for a one off event was sold to one of the many “swinger” enterprises who refurbished it and installed a custom made stainless steel swimming pool at huge expense. Unfortunately the cash ran out and the company went bust. I am not sure if licensing came in to it as it was going to be a private club. Weatherspoons bought it and re refurbished it. Apparently the pool is still there although I cannot confirm or deny this.

    1. The Coronation Hall was built in the 1930’s and named for the coronation of George VI in 1937. It was a large dance hall, open only in the winter, and suitable for the big bands fashionable at the time. It had a bar and a gallery. I remember traditional jazz bands playing there in the 1960’s. It was not really suitable for rock bands then, as audiences preferred more intimate venues with a good atmosphere. The large rock concerts were a 1970’s development, like discos.
      In summer, the floor was taken up to reveal a substantial swimming pool. It was 331/3 yards long, six lanes wide, and 10 ft at its deepest. There was a ?30 foot diving board.. This was in addition to the smaller pool in the other half of the building which was open all year, which had no space for spectators and had freezing cold changing rooms.
      The Coronation Hall and Baths was still standing when I left Kingston in the mid-seventies. I believe they were demolished in the late eighties and the land sold for the housing which still stands. They were located at the north-west end of Denmark Road between the road and the Hogsmill on the Kingston side of the old boundary. There was also a large car park. According to Google Maps, Watersplash Close marks the approximate position of the hall/bath with the smaller bath to its north-west.
      I do not know what happened on the site between the baths closing and the housing being built. Perhaps Tony’s weird and wonderful account dates from this period.

      1. I think you’re both talking about two different places, one in Surbiton , now Weatherspoons. The other as you say Nr Denmark Road.

        1. Coronation hall was on the corner of Denmark road it was a hall in the winter and a swimming pool in the summer ‘ they used to board over pool 1 to make it a hall and it was used for all sorts dog shows discos weddings etc ‘ in the summer it was pool 1 the bigger of the 2 pools there and the bigger diving boards ‘ the coronation hall in surbiton is a pub named by Witherspoons nothing to do with the one that used to be in Denmark road .

  59. Re “Celestion” I’m not sure of the camera side, but they made superb Hi-Fi speakers in the 70’s and I believe they moved to Thames Ditton, I’m sure that I remember them being there as I was into music and always longed for a pair of them.

    1. Hi , Re; Celestion; My name is Danny , I worked at that factory in 1955,was when I left school it was known then as Mc Murdos . Yes we used to make camera’s I think they were called a Microcord. My cousin still has one, she used to work there on the assembly line putting these things together ,that we would make in the machine shop. However I can recall many names from there . Mr Dell was the manager , Mr Wally Cox was in charge of the machine shop. Also had an Aunt and Uncle and two more cousin’s working there. However hope this helps if you wish to know more pleas get in touch .

  60. I do seem to recall an indoor style of marketplace or Emporium, somewhere in the Fife Road area in the early ’60s. I wonder if it had a frontage on two roads, to Fife Road and to Wood Street, though the road pattern has altered considerably. Never went in to it, as I remember.

    I do recall Brightwells for records, and rather upmarket Maxwells Music Shop was nearby. The Temperance Billiard Hall I think was in Fife Road, occasional miss spent afternoon when I had no class to go to at school!

    I used to buy 2nd hand jazz records from a small record shop in London Road, between C&As and The Grammar School (prob somewhere near The Fighting Cocks)

    1. There Was an indoor arcade in Eden Street with stalls selling antiques and bric-a-brac, It would be roughly where BHS is now.

      1. That sounds like Brady’s Arcade, other side from the Post Office. Bought my first guitar and amp somewhere at the back of that place. 61-ish, maybe

          1. I remember frank and Mannys being next to Kingston station opposite the south western or artful dodger as it was known in the 80s ‘ .

    2. Phil I think that the one you are talking about was called Pier 1 or something like that. It was sort of hippyish and always smelt of joss sticks.

    3. I used to know a Sears, Dud or Dudsy I think We played a bit of football in the early sixties. Started off having a kick around at the Kingston gate end. A few of us got together and formed Spartan Rangers Football Club in 1962, division 8 of the Kingston & District League.
      I left Kingston in 1964

  61. Surbiton Assembly Rooms was the venue for the long running Folk Club, run by Derek Sargeant, and hosted all the major names on the Folk scene through the 60’s and 70’s. It was a large venue as Club’s went at the time, with a rather more formal ‘concert’ style atmosphere. It was said to be the largest Folk Club in the Country with a reported 23,000 names registered as members. Records don’t show that they ever turned up all at the same time!

    There was also a very friendly small Folk Club at The Union pub, in Surbiton, on the end of a parade of shops near what is now The University. I recall being booked as a guest there a few times.

    Another Folk Club in Kingston, apart from the above and The Folk Barge, was at The Fighting Cocks, London Road. They were a very traditional unaccompanied club, instruments were somewhat looked down upon! Don’t recall ever working there (or particularly wanting to!). There was this divide among Clubs, later to become even more entrenched as the scene retracted into the ’80s

    1. Instruments were never looked down on at the Fighting Cocks – it started in 1963 with a folk band called Oak, who played loads of instrumentals. When I started going there in 1970 there were lots of instrumental groups including Gryphon (with former KGS pupil Richard Harvey- now a noted classical composer), the New Lost City Ramblers (Tom Paley and Joe Locker)., etc. It was open to any style of acoustic music.

      There was also a folk club at the Students Union ‘sheds’ on the Kingston side of the Polytechnic in Penrhyn Road (now University).

      I seem to remember that the Barge had a fire in the late 60s -and it remainded half sunk for a few years after!

    2. On my 16th birthday we went to see Zoot Money and the Moneymen at Surbiton Assembly Rooms. In the interval they played records and my then boyfriend and I danced to You’ll Never Walk Alone !! Happy days

  62. The Coronation Baths were in Denmark Road (I think it was) just across from County Hall between Kingston and Surbiton.

    There were two 33yd pools and from 1957 to 1964I used to swim there abt three mornings a week at 8.00am before rushing off the Grammar School. I was coached by Charlie Meritt, former Olympic Coach and competition diver, until seriously injured. Also in the pool at that time was Jackie Dyson, of Bonner Hill School, who became Commonwealth Silver medallist 220m Breaststroke in 1958 and 1962.
    Pool No2 remained open all year round, I think cost 4d for a swim, but Pool No 1, with full spectator balcony on three sides, diving boards etc, (hence 6d (2½p) for a swim!) would be closed in the winter, a temporary floor laid, and it was used as a function hall, for music/concerts and other ‘dry’ entertainments. Apart from School Speech Day (!) I don’t remember ever going there other than for swimming, including the Kingston & District Sports, as well as School and Inter-school Meets, which I arranged as Secretary of School Swimming.
    Another prominent swimmer at the time, was Dave Ashcroft from Tiffins School.

    1. I also attended Kingston Grammar from 1958 to 1965 and went to the swimming pool most mornings at 8:00 and took life saving lessons, I recently came across some medals 🙂
      The great thing about going swimming was that you were excused from attending School Assembly at 9:00 ! And the summers at Surbiton Lagoon.
      I spent most lunch breaks at the Temperance billiard Hall. My father paid school lunches by cheque each term and I was eating a chees roll ! I think we paid 6d for toujours lights for 20 minutes so one always tried to play with the best player and play fast
      I didn’t go much to the pubs in Kingston, I was living in New Malden and our group used to meet up Fridays and Saturdays at The Crown at Thames Ditton and sometimes drive down to Esher or Walton and Weighbridge.
      Are you planning to be at KGS for the October 10 meeting.

    2. I was also trained with Mr Merritt in late 50s at the coronation baths
      With this, the Cellar , the gigs at the Kingston Hotel and Brady’s arcade you brought back many memories
      What was the late night coffee bar next to the ABC cinema and opposite the Fishes?

      1. I don’t recall that particular coffee bar, probably didn’t often spend late evenings in town, apart from those days working at the Folk Barge. I do recall spending happy hours at the Kenya (Kenco) Coffee House near the church, making an espresso coffee last for as long as possible whilst playing an impromptu game of ‘chess’ (called spiegel?) using whatever was on the table at the time and maintaining a serious and earnest face. A bit like BBC Radio’s Mornington Crescent but with salt and pepper etc – we just adapted the rules as we went along – much to the amusement and mystification of other ‘normal’ patrons. One step up from asking the girls in Woolworths if they had any striped paint!

        1. Thanks Phil
          I think it was on the corner of Canbury Pk Rd adjacent to the ABC.

          In Brady’s Arcade there was a war time surplus shop as well as a barbers shop. Deeper in looked more seedy for a young lad! When was it all pulled down?
          Also what happened to the leather tanning factory by the river? I can smell the urine now!!

          1. Frank and mannys opposite the abc and south western / artful dodger was I was always a great place for coffee and a mean breakfast ‘ gone now unfortunately .

  63. I was at Kingston Grammar School from 1957 to 1964. You ask about the Barge moored at the start of the river frontage by Portsmouth Road, not far from the Market Place and the King’s Stone.

    It was called Rowland, Barge 987, the tallest mast on the River Thames and was owned by a guy called Geoff (not sure I ever new his surname)..
    Geoff ran it up to the early 60’s as The Jazzboat, with an alcohol licence. He subsequently lost the licence due to underage drinking, but re-opened as The Folk Barge with coffee and non alcoholic drinks available.
    The Folk Club was hosted by former sailor Theo Johnson (who was also involved with a Folk Club, Bunji’s, off Tottenham Court Road) and a former Kings College School, Wimbledon, pupil, Tom Brown. The Folk Club operated on Thursday and Saturday nights. They needed a break in about 1962/3, Theo wanted to get back to Bunji’s and Tom was joining the Drama School, RADA, and was due to head off to Denmark. As a result, the guys I was performing with, Derek Turner (from Epsom Downs) and Doug Drew (from Ashtead), who had been gigging as The Dustbowl Refugees since 1961 were invited to take over – which we did, two nights a week until I moved to Brighton and started my solo career in late 1964. It had been mostly just Derek and me at The Barge and we tended to rely mostly on people who dropped in to play rather than many booked artists. John Renbourn, of Pentangle fame and subsequent glittering solo career etc, was at the Art School and frequently jammed with us on a regular basis. Sandy Denny, a nursing student from Wimbledon and then changed to Kingston Art School, started her career at The Barge as a floor singer, then began her solo club career, when our paths crossed many times, before being spotted by Dave Cousins formerly of the (local) Strawberry Hill Boys, later becoming The Strawbs, saw her at The Troubadour, Old Brompton Rd, and invited her to join them. And she did and they went to Copenhagen to record an album, organised by no less than The Barge’s Tom Brown. That LP was sadly not released until many years later. Sandy went on to join Fairport Convention in abt 1968 influencing the birth of English folk/Rock, before resuming her brilliant singer/songwriting career until her tragic death in April 1978. Tom Brown had a small yacht kept at Minima Sailing Club, off Kingston Market Place, which was where I had first met him via a mutual friend. The last I heard of him was as regular DJ on BBC Radio introducing Top Twenty records on Sunday afternoons, in an unmistakeable posh English/mid Atlantic voice! After the public left The Folk Club at the Barge, the owner, Geoff, would get out his homemade sherry for those of us left. I recall it being powerful stuff and probably could remove most paint finishes. Memorable visitors to the Club, whilst I was there, were a group of actors from BBCtv soap opera ‘Compact’ which was a popular programme at the time, with one of whom I formed a friendship for some years. Two of the Rolling Stones also appeared one evening, just down the road from their home in Richmond, but didn’t stay for Geoff;s sherry – pah! When we left The Barge in autumn 1964, I think The Countrysiders took over, but I am not sure for how long. I gather from other sources, if they have their dates correct, that Theo Johnson returned at some stage and was very helpful in promoting Sandy Denny, and about whom she may have written in one of her many songs where a sailor is mentioned.
    The performance area was small and intimate, dark stained timbers, a unique smell, and a low ceiling, where you had to be careful moving about if you were as tall as Derek! I recall John Renbourn actually lived on the Barge for a while, having to leave his previous accommodation. Later he shared a house with Bert Jansch (Pentangle etc) and Beverly Kutner (The Levee Breakers etc) before she married Folk musician John Martyn. John Martyn, I believe also had some connection with The Barge and was helped by Theo Johnson in developing his acclaimed career. (See John, Bert and Beverley on Bert’s album cover, ‘It don’t Bother Me’.
    For how long The Barge remained active, I don’t know, I don’t recall going back there, though I remained working on the Folk Scene for abt 20/25 years in all, in London and South East, down to the South Coast.
    I did make enquiries with an online group interested in River Barges some years ago, and I was very helpfully advised that ‘Rowland’ Barge 987 was towed away and broken up some years later. I have the date, but would need to research some emails on another computer to advise further.
    Thank you for prompting some happy memories of the place and the people.

    1. Lots of good information about “The Barge” in the 60’s so here is a little bit more that I will drag from the memory banks.
      I first got to know “The Barge” in about 1966 and remember Theo well. There was also a woman with long dark haired who lived with him but I cannot remember her name.
      As well as the folk club they also started a disco in the tight confines of the holds. Max was about 60 people plus those seated in the gloom of the useful forward hold.
      I had my first experience of DJ-ing during one of these sessions and of course messed it up badly. I persisted and carried on with the radio stuff rather than the dj-ing, doing forces radio. This was at the time of the Pirate ships Caroline, London and a good local pirate station at Thames Ditton.
      I got to know John Martyn well for about two years with friends Terry Petty and Steve Hammond Evans then our paths drifted apart. Terry was a good guitar player and would jam at “The Barge” and anywhere else he could get away with playing. We ven had a short lived group called the Metropolitan Warehouse Jug Band (Metropolitan Warehouse was written on the side of the tea chest – so it seemed a good idea at the time)
      During this time the Kingston Mods and Rockers battles took place in the High street outside C&A but this never really affected “The Barge” since at the first sign of trouble the plank was lifted on board and we were reasonably secure.
      Eventually there was a dispute with Theo (?) and the town council who wanted to revamp the public mooring area along the A3. Theo (owner ?) scuttled “The Barge” in an act of defiance. Thus ended the Jazz Barge, Folk Barge and “The Barge” history for a while.
      I believe it was eventually refloated and moved to Clatterbrook, behind Woolworths but what happened after that I have no information.
      Recently I came across some history of the barge “Rowland” to give her her proper name.
      She was either the first or second barge to be built in Ipswich by ‘Pauls’ a malting company in 1896 and was named after one of the sons. She was registered in Lowestoft and weighed 65 ton. She carried about 100 ton of grain from Ipswich to London and would take back cargoes on her return. Paul’s mark was a white cross on the sail
      She was eventually sold by Paul’s, following the introduction of motorised barges, to the Amalgamated Portland Cement Company (was Blue Circle Cement) where she carried barrels of cement from the Thames / Medway area (Gillingham, Rochester, Grain).
      There is no history of her working at Kingston-upon-Thames but other barges were laid up at Kingston and / or converted to houseboats or broken up.
      Other areas of interest during this time were The Auberge cafe at Richmond (called by us The Verge!) did excellent Espresso coffee in glass cups. A very hippy type of place with Joss sticks burning everywhere. Spent many a wet day there when we should have been at school.
      The Three Fishes pub was now notorious for its Saturday night fights and stabbings.
      The Wimpy bar opposite the station was a centre for trouble from rival gangs and Same Son Moorings was Kingstons red light area. The the Kenco coffee house opposite the church at the end of the market place was a good places to hang out all day. Then there were the girls at Tiffins, first love in Claygate and endless walks from Surbiton to Ham because the last bus had gone.
      Do you recall the smell from the VAT69 wine companies premises that got into the whole town when they started fermenting/boiling the stuff. There was a girls school opposite it where we went for drama lessons.
      Ah memories!

  64. Does any body remember Vera goldsmith who worked in British home stores in the 1940 also worked raw plug house and celestion then she married john ede where by she became Vera ede she also worked as a dinner lady at bonner hill school in the 70s she also worked in fads wall paper shop in London road then moved to round by the new post office she worked in key markets super market which is now Argos if any of her old friends are still about we are giving her a surprise 90 th birthday in jan 2015 please get in touch as we would like to invite as many people who new her regards Lorriane

  65. Hi my names is Lorriane steward I’m looking for any one who remember gazes general builders my dad worked for them in the 50s his name was leslie steward any one with info much appreciated and also mill street at the end there was a laundery that became a ammunition suppliers I’m looking for the name as my auntie is 90 yrs old in jan and we are trying to do a this is your life book for her she worked there in 1939 when she was 14 yrs old from there she went to Dundee in Scotland to teach others how to use the machinery she can’t remember what the factory was called so if any body out there remembers could they let me no I’m also trying to find Arthur Tomlins who would be around 90 yrs old if he is still alive he was my aunties first love he lived of one of the side roads of of elm road new malden he was a van driver roughly 1944 on wards any info would be great and if any body remember s Vera goldsmith from bonner hill school from 1930 till 1940 would love to hear from you she lived in asylum road hope some one out there remembers cheers Lorriane

    1. Hi Lorraine

      This may be a few years too late, my apologies. I’m researching the block of flats where I live, Langham Court in Raynes Park. Apparently it was built by HW Gaze and Co of Kingston so I guess that’s who your Dad worked for. Any info on the firm and what became of them gratefully received. For searching rellies I’d recommend findmypast-you can get a free trial and check all sorts of info, censuses and the like-very useful. Best of luck

  66. I moved to Kingston in the early 60’s and became the DJ at the Cellar Club until it closed in 1967 and was converted into the Cosy Bingo Club and Casino. I continued to work there until 1977 by which time it had been transferred to the old snooker hall in fife road. It later moved to Surbiton but never really took off. The premises did indeed become a nudist club but that also was short lived. It is now a Weatherspoons pub

    1. I grew up in Kingston and recall, as a child spending one Boxing Day in the early sixties with my family inside the Cellar Club. No music obviously. There were only 8 of us in there that day and I only recall that it was dark, and there was a stage with a drum kit which my brother had a go on . My uncle, David Harriman worked there…something to do with management perhaps? He was a shortish fella with a spivvy moustache.

    2. Hi John,

      I was around Kingston during most of the 60 and70s, We had some great time there including at the Cellar club. Before that I believe it was located in an old home close to the beer bottling company also not far from the post office.
      This is a very interesting venue and hope to make contact with a few old friends Particularly Georgina Bridges who lived down elm road. People here have a lot in common and are fun to talk to.

      Best Regards ,

  67. I belive the upmarket burger bar / bistro in Fife Road was called Bluey’s . and for triva , my sister held her wedding reception in The Outrigger pub in 1973 !!! I remember Import Cargo , loved the smell. Also The ice cream soda bar in Bentalls , next to the silver cafe.
    Happy memories of the Silver Hake fish bar , opposite the bus station.
    Kingston has changed so much in the 49 years I have lived here , not all good , its very sterile now and lacks character.

    1. I remember a sweet shop called Frankis (I think) opposite the bus station. I used to go to Tiffin Girls School with the daughter, Andrea

  68. Yes it was Lauberge on the corner by the cinema a great hangout for me early to mid-70s (egg and chips 15p) run by Italian Andy Juke-box filled with singles donated by the groovy kids who frequented this legendary spot, a mixture of squatters from Twickenham, cute duffle-coated desert-boot wearing posh schoolgirls and local hipsters, spent many hours socializing and watching the world go over Richmond bridge and down Petersham road towards Kingston there from the “goldfish-bowl window, ahh happy hippy days!

  69. To Jeffrey Downes – I believe the coffee shop on the right as you went up to Richmond (just before one would take a left to Richmond Bridge) was called the L’Auberge Cafe. At least that is what I remember, it used to get pretty packed and had a small outside patio.

    1. Barbara, You are correct about the L’Auberge Café in Richmond.
      I used to go there regularly in the late 60 s and early 70s. There was also a coffee shop just down the road where they used Dracula type furnishings (tables any way). You sat in a sort of Coffin
      I think although i’m going back many years so my memory may be playing tricks.
      I Ieft London in the late 60s and have been living in Canada ever since.
      This program really brings back memories for me. Please let me know if you wish to talk again.

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