I received an email from a local resident, SGÄĚ, asking me what I knew about the new development on the corner of Shacklegate Lane and Stanley Road, where the old Jet garage was. We exchanged several emails, and SÄĚG gave me his permission to extract his memories from them for this page. There is a link down the page to a film onYouTube. I made this by taking many photographs of work on the Jet garage site. I will be editing and updating it as work progresses.
The plan is ERECTION OF BUILDING COMPRISING 195M2 OFFICE FLOOR SPACE AND 9 FLATS (5 NUMBER ONE BED AND 4 NUMBER TWO BED) PLUS TWO PARKING SPACES (ONE DISABLED), CYCLE STORE AND LANDSCAPINGÄĚ. Full details here.
29th July, 2007
I have been reading your website and I just wanted to compliment you on it. I was brought up in York Road and, goodness me, how it has changed over the years. When I was a lad it had a terrible reputation and it has been suggested that was the reason the name was changed from Florence Road. I understand from local estate agents that it is now a desirable and sought-after place to live!
It is hard to imagine now but when I moved there as a boy in 1950 aged 3, the Stanley Road shops catered for all our daily needs. There were 3 greengrocers, 2 butchers, a chemist, 2 newsagents selling sweets, 4 other sweet shops, 3 grocery shops, a toy shop, a haberdasher, a bakers, an ironmonger, a shoe repairer, a fish and chip shop, a wet fish shop, a ladies' hairdresser, a barber, a Post Office, a corn chandler and of course, Palmers. Palmers sold petrol in those days, from pumps standing on the pavement. The insurance offices were part of the custard factory, access to which was gained via the driveway in Princes Road. Most of the side roads also had shops. There was a grocery shop in Windsor Road, 3 in Victor Road, 1 in Stanley Gardens Road, 1 in Shacklegate Lane plus another sweet shop, a grocery shop on the corner of Winchendon and Stanley and yet another sweet shop/iron monger on the corner of Wilcox Road and Stanley called Quesnalls, a shoe repairer in Elmtree Road and a grocery shop and a fish and chip shop on each corner of York Road and Elmtree Road. The Fish and Chip shop sold Spam fritters which were delicious and seemed massive. Mind you, Wagon Wheels were massive in those days.
There was always a public phone box outside Gunters (it was called Gunters then), and on the corner of Stanley and Princes was a police "Tardis" box.
Our leisure time was spent in Bushy Park or making camps on the various bomb sites around Church Road, or the "bombies" as we called them, Teddington outdoor swimming baths and our favourite was the Savoy Cinema.
I left York Road in 1968 when I married and then lived in Twickenham. My wife and I have moved to Devon, Dorset and West Sussex but have now returned to Hampton and we are happy to be back where we belong. Hope you find the Stanley Road shops information of interest and my apologies if I have told you everything you already knew.
I have many fond memories of the area and if there is anything you have wondered about and think I may be able to help with, please email me.
31st July, 2007
Glad you found the info on Stanley Road shops of interest. I didn't know whether you would, but decided to email, just in case.I found your excellent website by searching for Shacklegate Lane. I was curious to know how the name came about and whether there are any other roads by that name in England. It would appear not.
As for the origin of Stanley Road, I had always assumed it was from Stanley of Livingstone fame. I attended the Stanley Road schools. Perhaps you don't know but when I started school in 1951, Stanley Road schools taught Infants, Juniors and Secondary boys. The Secondary Boys school was called Waldegrave which is now the name of the girls school in Fifth Cross Road. In 1962 we went to the newly-built school in Broom Road, then named Teddington Boys.
Did you know that the playing fields at Stanley School were surrounded by air raid shelters? They consisted of a series of long mounds and every so often there was a doorway which was protected by a "V" shaped brick bomb-blast screen.
The current building site on the Shacklegate Lane/Stanley Road junction was a vehicle repair garage until about 1964 or 65 when a JET petrol station was built. There were no traffic lights at that junction then and it was a regular accident spot.
My sister worked at the grocery shop on the opposite corner of Shacklegate on Saturdays and during school holidays, and I was a delivery boy for West's the "Wavy Line" grocery shop on the corner of York Road.
I don't know whether I mentioned it but there were also a couple of shops in Fulwell Road, one half way along and another at the Hampton Hill end. Kays, the grocery shop at the junction of Victor Road and Elmtree Road, was prosecuted several times for trading on a Sunday.
It is hard to imagine it now but we used to collect car numbers along Stanley Road (why, I don't know) but soon got bored as not enough cars would pass! You couldn't write the numbers down quickly enough nowadays.
We bought pea-shooters in Gunters and then a quarter of dried peas in Baker's the corn chandlers a couple of shops along. Mr Baker was a very kind man.
The Red Lion had a bad reputation. The pub had two bars which were divided by a corridor which was the off licence and had its own door off the street. Kids were allowed in there and we went there to return beer bottles we had found to get the 3d deposit on each bottle. If we found a Soda Siphon, we were in the money as that had a 17/6 deposit on it.
I remember the 601 trolley buses and their demise when all the overhead wires were removed. I also remember the terrible 1963 winter when we had snow for 6 weeks and the buses would slide about and the arms on top of the buses would come away from the overhead wires. The buses carried long poles on the back so that the rods could be hooked back on the wires by the conductor.
Along Stanley Road, just past Sutherland Grove, was a large timber merchants which burned down, and beyond that up to the Hampton Road junction were prefabs. Opposite were the ruins (bombies) of the old church which is now the green.
I am happy for you to mention any of my ramblings on your website but I would prefer not to be mentioned by name. If you would like to know where any of the particular shops were in Stanley Road, I am happy to email you.
1st August 2007
Thanks for your email with the details of the proposed planning application for the Jet site. I can't believe that the council are even considering building 9 flats with only 2 parking spaces (well, one really) on a busy junction like that. Do you know where the name Shacklegate comes from? It is so unusual.
I used to watch the steam trains slowing at Shacklegate Halt from the "temporary" classroom windows which were adjacent to the track.
"Pay attention ‚ÄúS‚ÄĚ" or "What did I just say?" were regular comments from my teachers. How long have you lived in the area? Did you know that there were public loos in Shacklegate Lane, between the allotments and the cemetery? The most basic of local needs gone forever.
Did you also know that Bushy Park had herds of cattle along with the deer? I read that they are trying to re-introduce them to Richmond Park and if successful, perhaps Bushy. Was the Boating Pool still in Bushy Park when you moved to the area? The Park also had a children's paddling pool, which is still there. It is the stretch of Longford River which runs adjacent to Chestnut Avenue from the swings area to the Hampton Court Police lodge.
The only signs now of its past are the long steps to gain access. I wonder how dirty that water must have been with cattle and deer using it! Still, we survived. I shall visit the Stanley Road area soon and try to remember where each individual shop was.
29th Oct, 2007
Thanks for the info on Shacklegate Lane, very interesting.
(Note from Martin: At about this time there was an article on the Richmond & Twickenham Times websiteabout local buses being re-routed. A reader had commented, "I guess they don’t want riff-raff in their area late at night, and wish they could have a gate to keep poor people out like they did down Shacklegate Lane to keep the slum dwellers outĚ)
As I was brought up in York Road, I was probably one of the slum dwellers they wanted to keep out. Can't blame 'em for that. When we moved to 12 York Road in 1951 it was a slum, and York Road had a terrible reputation. It is hard to believe that there is a house for sale there today for £500,000, less £1.
My father was offered the first five houses up to number 12 (number 2 having been bombed, but now re-built) for £500 - for the lot. I remember him saying, "Where on earth would I get that kind on money"!! As is often the case in life, "if only".
I purchased a CD of the Teddington Directory of 1912. It shows all the businesses and residential properties of Teddington, Strawberry Hill and Hampton Wick at that time. I can search by road name or householder's name and it is great fun to see some of the family names of some of my school chums and who lived in my old house, and others, in 1912.
As far as I have been able to ascertain, there is very little information about the history of the area around the Red Lion. There must be lots of old photographs stashed away in peoples' lofts. I reckon Palmer's would be a good starting place as the Palmer family are still there. Perhaps we should research it and compile a book. Maybe we could make enough money to be able to afford a house in York Road!
There is a book to be published shortly on the History of Stanley Road Junior School. As soon as it is published I shall let you know in case you are interested.
In January 2009 a friend told me about this film on YouTube. It shows the voyage of the inaugural trolleybus from Barclays in Twickenham to Teddington and back up Stanley Road to the old depot. I passed it on to ‚ÄúS‚ÄĚ, who replied as below.
What a great film, thanks for sending it to me. Interesting to see the old church at the Stanley Road/Hampton Road junction and shops on the right of Stanley Road. All destroyed by a bomb during WW11. When I was a lad, and for many years after, there were "temporary" prefabs on the shops site. And the Odeon at Twickenham brings back many happy memories to my wife and I. Happy days. Glad to see that something is happy at the Stanley Road/ Shacklegate Lane junction - at last. Hope you are well. Thanks again.
Subsequently I came across this film of trolleybus driver training at Fulwell.
Addendum, June 2009:
While doing additional research for this page I came across this site, The Internet Archive, which describes itself thus ‚ÄúThe Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public.‚ÄĚ
I will certainly be returning to it, but for now I will only mention the following extracts from:
HOUSING UP-TO-DATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE HOUSING HANDBOOK. By W. THOMPSON. THE LIBRARY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES HOUSING UP-TO-DATE (Companion Volume to the Housing Handbook) BY ALDERMAN W. THOMPSON (RICHMOND, surrey), Chairman National Housing Reform Council, Author of " The Housing Handbook^'' ''Housing of the Working Classes,'' and " Richmond Official Housing Reports A PRACTICAL MANUAL GIVING THE LATEST FACTS AND FIGURES FOR THE USE OF OFFICERS, MEMBERS, AND COMMITTEES OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES, MINISTERS OF RELIGION, MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT, AND ALL SOCIAL OR MUNICIPAL REFORMERS INTERESTED IN THE HOUSING OF THE WORKING CLASSES. Published by the National Housing Reform Council at 432, WEST STRAND, LONDON, W.C. COPIES MAY ALSO BE OBTAINED OF- W. THOMPSON, 37, Mount Ararat Road, Richmond, Surrey, and P. S. KING & SON, 2 and 4, Great Smith Street, Westminster, S.W. 1907. LEICESTER : CO-OPERATIVE PRINTING SOCIETY LIMITED, 99, CHURCH GATE.
The above document, which I believe to have been digitally scanned from an original, is here
The following (scanned again, and I have not edited the errors) extracts will be of interest to anyone who has made it this far!
Teddington. -After a series of elections fought mainly and successfully on the housing question, the District Council, by an almost unanimous vole, decided to buy 6 acres of land in Shacklegate Lane, at a cost of 4,2oo, and to utilise 4^ acres, valued at 2,8i6, for the erection of 72 four-room cottages at 5/- per week, and 42 five- room cottages at 6/- per week, at a total estimated cost of 24,393, including 2 acres of land, valued at 1,384, which is be developed afterwards. At the time of writing it is difficult to say whether these tenders will be above or below the estimated figures of i8o and jQiSo for five and four-roomed housed respectively, but in view of the figures for Altrincham, Bangor, Merthyr, Neath, and Sheffield, it would appear to be only a question of modifying plans and specifications to secure the erection of the dwellings at the figures mentioned, even if the first tenders, as at Richmond, come out in excess of the sum for which they may subsequently be constructed.
A rather common feature in recent housing schemes was developed at Teddington with exceptional force, and as it is typical of what may be attempted elsewhere, a brief account may be useful. A number of local slum owners, cottage owners, and house and estate agents, took alarm at the low rents proposed to be charged for the cottages, and organised an association to wreck the scheme. The local press was deluged with letters periodically for about six months prior to the annual district council elections, and leaflets were scattered broadcast containing all sorts of misrepresentations with regard to the Act of 1890, and housing schemes carried out elsewhere under Part III of the Act, while all the public-houses but two had petitions at their bars against the scheme. Appeals to the prejudices of well-to-do ratepayers, and to the fears of the tradesmen, lest their rates should be increased, were made with such success, that although the working classes voted almost solidly for the housing scheme, half the new members elected were returned as opponents of it, and in one district consisting mainly of villa residents and tradesmen, the chairman of the Council, who was the chief supporter of the scheme, was hopelessly beaten at the polls. The clergy, and with few exceptions, the great body of organised Christian men and women were idle or apathetic, while the forces of greed and self-interesl were unwearying in their exertions against the supporters of the scheme. Fortunately a majority of the Council are still in favour of better housing, although, as a result of the elections, the Local Government Board have requested the Council to obtain tenders for building the cottages before giving their sanction to the necessary loan.