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Tag Archives: london history

Where have all the pram shops gone?

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Walking along Hoe Street this morning, I stopped at the junction with Albert Road to take a look at what was going on. There is a big corner shop here that for many years was Sainsbury & Sainsbury the office equipment people. When they moved out it was used to sell satelite dishes. At the time of writing it is all boarded up and there are signs of a major refurbishment going on.

What took my eye was the shop sign. It had been peeled back to the original owners. McClanes, Prams, Cots, Toys, Wheelchairs all in red metal letters on a creamy background.

This got me thinking what happened to all the prams shops there used to be? I expect the use of buggies has a lot to do with it. You simply do not see people pushing prams anymore.

Do you remember your local pram shop? What s it used for now?


The Piano Factory in Grange Road

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The 1915 map of Leyton is all houses tightly packed together. Or is it?

I looked closer and saw the words Pianoforte manufactory, then I saw another one. Two piano factories and near where I live. So as part of my evening walk I, headed along Capworth Street, then Lea Hall Lane and before long I was at the end of Grange Road. My heartt sank as everything looked fairly modern, I had walked past rows of terraced houses but here …oh well I walked along Grange Road, most of it now taken up with a medium rise block of flats, and acroos the road a school occupied what would have been houses before.

I got to the end and recognised what had been the pub. Looked like more flats, but there was no mistaking the building, it had been a pub. I walked abck along Grange Road looking at the map for clues. Then I stoped and smiled. There was the wall at one end, then along the back butting onto the houses in the next road. I walked along and sure enough at the other end more wall. The piano factory had gone but the back and side walls had survived.

Then a friendly voice called out asking me if I was looking for somewhere particular? I walked across and spoke to this guy, telling him once there had been a piano factory here. We had a nice chat, he had been there some 20 years since the block had been opened. I pointed out the walls, we both smiled. I said good-bye and continued with my evening walk.

Imagine … they made pianos here in Leyton … someone might still have a piano made in Leyton