Continued from Previous Page

The rapid expansion of London into the surrounding country side was given a further boost be the coming of the railways. At the start of the 19th century public transport consisted of horse drawn short stage coaches or Hackney carriages and ferry boats. Only the better off could afford to travel by them but this did not matter so much as most people lived within walking distance of their place of work.

George Shillibeer copied an idea from Paris and introduced the 20 seat horse drawn Omnibus. With low fares these soon became the mode of transport for the lower middleclass. By 1850 with fierce competition amongst the numerous rival companies had led to the development of double decker Omni buses with around 1300 buses on the streets of London. 

Soon the various companies were bought up by one company, The London General Omnibus Company and by 1875 they were carrying 50 million passengers annually. 

The first railway to be built in London was the London & Greenwich railway (L&GR) in 1836,  which ran for four miles from Spa Road Bermondsey to Greenwich on a brick viaduct of  878 arches. Within 10 Months it was extended to London Bridge.

Even though much of the route was in open country side, ground level railways in London  were out of the question  due to the amount of roads to be crossed. 

Within a few years many railway lines followed, some on earthen embankments, which were to dominate the environs of Millwall's 5th & 6th home in New Cross and South Bermondsey. 

The first of these railways was The London ad Croydon Railway  (L&CR) which would branch off the L&GR  at Corbetts Lane (Just north of the site of the New Den) and run through New Cross mostly along the route of the recently constructed Croydon Canal (opened 1809). The Canal rose 174 feet through 28 locks along its 9 mile length.  The Canal was not a financial success and was sold to the L&CR for 40,250 (around 3m in todays money) in 1836. It was a good job that bank notes had become legal tender as 40,000 in gold coins may have required a large barge to carry them!

As can be seen from  the 1860's map above the area north of the New Cross Road was rather rural, with the grounds of Hatcham House and Market Garden including Cold Blow Farm.

The Painting below, shows 5 Bell Lane (later renamed Hatcham Park Road) as it crosses the Croydon Canal.

(To be Continued.......The growth of London, the advent of working class leisure time, football mania and a group of Tin Smiths from C&E Morton works on West Ferry Road)

The Current "The Five Bells" pub on the corner of New Cross Road and Hatcham Park Road was built in 1850

Above: Junction of Croydon Canal and Surrey Canal survived the building of the Railway and was later to become Mercury Way

The consultant engineer for the new line was William Cubitt, who we met earlier as the Developer of much of the east side of the Isle of Dogs and went on to become Lord Mayor of London.

 

 

The railway was later in coming on the Isle dogs. Shortly after the construction of the Millwall Dock
 Continued from Previous Page

The rapid expansion of London into the surrounding country side was given a further boost be the coming of the railways. At the start of the 19th century public transport consisted of horse drawn short stage coaches or Hackney carriages and ferry boats. Only the better off could afford to travel by them but this did not matter so much as most people lived within walking distance of their place of work.

George Shillibeer copied an idea from Paris and introduced the 20 seat horse drawn Omnibus. With low fares these soon became the mode of transport for the lower middleclass. By 1850 with fierce competition amongst the numerous rival companies had led to the development of double decker Omni buses with around 1300 buses on the streets of London. 

Soon the various co

mpanies were bought up by one company, The London General Omnibus Company and by 1875 they were carrying 50 million passengers annually. 

The first railway to be built in London was the London & Greenwich railway in 1836,  which ran for four miles from Spa Road Bermondsey to Greenwich on a brick viaduct of  878 arches. Within 10 Months it was extended to London Bridge.

 Even though much of the route was in open country side, ground level railways in London  were out of the question  due to the amount of roads to be crossed. Within a few years many railway lines followed 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(To be Continued.......The growth of London, the advent of working class leisure time, football mania and a group of Tin Smiths from C&E Morton works on West Ferry Road)

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