|About The Harrison Family Tree
Welcome to my Home Page.
I can only talk about my personal experiences so any person, place or event that I have omitted
please forgive me as I may have just simply forgotten or may not have seemed important to me at
the time! Jean, Norman & Melvyn Harrison lived at 84 Malham Road, Forest Hill, London, SE23 until
applying under some post-war Housing Scheme for a house / flat. From memory I think that we were
offered a flat / house overlooking a busy railway line which we declined. We applied again and this
time were more successful and were offered a flat on the just completed Peak Hill Estate. My dad
and I moved in to 9E Peak Hill, Sydenham, London, SE26 4LS (Tel. 020 8778 6479 installed 24/9/1969)
on Wednesday 14 December 1955. Mum moved in a little later as she was in hospital at the time. The
flat was continuously occupied by the Harrisons from then until 12 November 2001 when my dad died
(on 22 October 2001) - some 46 years later. My mum always wanted to move to a house but it was not
Malham Road is part of what was known as The West Kent Park Estate, in the angle of Stanstead Road
and Brockley Rise. It was laid out c1850 by Arthur Gurney a Farringdon Street wine merchant. He
was lucky to buy the fields a few years before the Crystal Palace boom hugely inflated the land
prices in the area, but unlucky to have sold it again almost immediately in small plots. As a
result The West Kent Park Estate became a rare poor area, almost a slum, in the middle of wealthy
Forest Hill. Malham Road, called South Road until 16/2/1877, was demolished with nearly all of
West Kent Park in the 1970s and replaced by flats. Information courtesy www.ideal-homes.org.uk.
It may be construed from the family tree that some of the Cory, Fairey, Ford, and Headlam families
lived over the years in a number of houses in Malham Road other than 82 & 84. This is not strictly
the case. The houses that I knew as 82 & 84 Malham Road were built on vacant land by a H. Hooper
of 8 Swiss Terrace, Stanstead Road, Forest Hill in 1877-1878. They were originally numbered 88 &
90 and were possibly a continuation of part of an existing terrace called Park Cottages. The
confusion arises because of an 1877 house re-numbering exercise to try to resolve the problem of
individually named and numbered terraces, cottages and villas and was carried out by Lewisham
Board of Works. Later there was a further re-numbering exercise by the London County Council on
14/6/1913 to try to resolve problems created by the 1877 exercise and subsequently. The 1877 re-
numbering exercise did allocate the numbers 82 & 84 to some houses (these were subsequently re-
numbered to 76 & 78 in 1913) and the 88 & 90 created in 1877 were re-numbered to 82 & 84 in 1913 -
how confusing! Because of the 1913 exercise 88 & 90 Malham Road re-appeared 2 houses down on the
other side of Wastdale Road.
Key to numbering of houses in Malham Road:
14 (numbered as 4 Arundel Terrace in 1877) = 14 Malham Road in 1913
50 (numbered as 50 Flint Cottages in 1877) = 50 Malham Road in 1913
51 (numbered as 51 Grosvenor Villas in 1877) = 51 Malham Road in 1913
58 (numbered as 58 Osborne Terrace in 1877) = 58 Malham Road in 1913
88 (vacant land until September 1877 but numbered as 88 Park Cottages) = 82 Malham Road in 1913
90 (vacant land until September 1877 but numbered as 90 Park Cottages) = 84 Malham Road in 1913
101 (numbered as 4 Prospect Cottages in 1877) = 101 Malham Road in 1913
84 Malham (and for that matter 82) was always bustling with lots of people living, coming, going
and just generally being there. I had no true aunts or uncles as such but I would certainly get a
telling off for not prefixing all elders as such!
Some of the people living in 84 at various times were me and my parents, Nan (Louisa Violet Lily
nee French), Grandad (George Ford), Aunt Pat (Martha Emily Cory nee Ford), Uncle Ben (Benjamin
George Charles Ford) - respectively a sister and a brother to George. The number of visitors was
enormous. Just a few of those that were regular visitors and / or considered important to me (for
one reason or another) at the time were Uncle Charlie (Charles Arthur Ford), his wife Aunt Vi
(Violet Alice Ford nee May), Aunt Flo (Emily Florence Guy nee Cory), Uncle Alf (Alfred Benjamin
Hackman) his wife Aunt Dorothy (Dorothy Hackman nee Southgate), Aunt Doris (Doris Alice Roper nee
French) and many, many others.
In 82 there was Aunt Rose (Rose Alice Fairey nee Ford), Uncle Albert (Albert Fairey), Aunt Pam
(Pamela Peggy Charlton prev. Headlam nee Fairey) and her children Bill and Janet.
There were other houses that I used to visit sometimes - 9 Rojack Road (the Guys), very rarely 46
Vestris Road (Aunt Vi & Uncle Charlie Ford) and then of course there were the trips to Westgate,
Margate, Kent - what trips they were! - and still more 'aunts and uncles' - the Ropers, the
Darlows and the Otts.
84 Malham Road was to me as a young boy and even when I got into my teens a wonderful place of
mystery (and with care) exploration. As you entered the front door the first room on the right was
the Front room. To be allowed into the Front room was a privilege almost beyond words and only
reserved for important occasions with adults present. To go in there on ones own I had to be very
brave or very stupid as it was considered almost tantamount to sacrilege. When you entered you
could almost hear the room waking up. Next were the stairs on the left. On the right was a bedroom
(Grandad's at one time I think). Further down the dark hall on the right was a door that if opened
would lead out to the back garden but was never used to my knowledge as there were coat hooks in
front of it. Opposite that was a large fitted cupboard used I think as a food larder. Next and
straight on came the 2 glass panelled Dining Room door. Inside to the left was a Welsh Dresser and
fireplace, on the right was a window with a dining table beneath and straight on (and slightly to
the right) was another door to the scullery / kitchen. The sink was I think on the left below a
window looking out to the garden. I believe there was a wash boiler to the left. On the right was a door
door leading to the garden and outside toilet. This was located round the house to the left and had
a scrubbed wooden seat that stretched from one side to the other and the little squares of toilet
paper (or even newspaper). Down into the garden itself was the two halves of the garden with a path throug
through the centre, the remnants of the Anderson Shelter on the left, a Gooseberry bush at the botto
bottom right and beyond that a small shed.
Back inside and up the stairs and straight on was a bedroom with a smaller box room beyoned. This
bedroom was my room. Back along the landing there was a room on the left (the purpose of which I
cannot remember but probably a bedroom) and another room straight on which was Aunt Pat's bedroom -
this was a large room and over looking Malham Road.
82 next door was a mirror image of 84. On the other side of 84 was a small garage door used by the
owner of a Rolls Royce who used it for weddings and funerals. The garage is still there today but
with a new door.
I was sometimes sent on errands to the local shops in Wastdale Road (originally called Park Road) -
Neville's ironmongers and oil shop (lovely smells)
Scale's fish & chip shop
Pooley's butchers (still trading in January 1990)
Moy's sweetshop (great place!)
Perks the newsagent (a long, dark and mysterious shop)
Metcalfe's corn & seed merchants
Peark's Dairy and grocers
Unicorn darts shop (I remember them selling bows and arrows as well). Their factory was
where Shurgard is now in Stanstead Road.
Hall's Off Licence (corner of Malham & Wastdale Roads)
Gerrish's Drapers (corner of Dalmain and Wastdale Roads) (always something new to look at)
Astoria Cinema (or 'flea-pit') as it was better known.
a bakers shop (that I cannot remember the name of) on another corner of Malham & Wastdale Roads
The houses was always full of happiness and laughter especially at Christmas times with the men
playing cards, or 'Housey-Housey' and drinking beer and the women knitting, talking and reading.
This all came to an abrupt end on 20 January 1972 with the death of George Ford. Aunt Pat being
quite elderly moved in with her daughter Aunt Flo at 9 Rojack Road on 26 April 1972 and by the 1
June 1972 the house was being used by a company called Law Brothers Industrial. The last of the
original occupants of 84 was gone. Pam Headlam nee Fairey lived in 82 for a few more years until
17 June 1974 when that was declared 'empty'. She said that 84 was used as a store for a pet shop
that had it's premises in Stanstead Road and created lots of rat problems. As the houses were old
and rented from Blaxill's Builders in Stanstead Road and were now vacant they were sold to the
London Borough of Lewisham. They were demolished during the week ending 18 March 1978 and the land
sold on 13 April 1995 for building a Wolseley PLC Parts Centre which was still operating in 2018.