Pictures of Southdown (Bowling Alley) 1890, 1900 and 2007 compared

Someone researching family history wondered if any of the houses their ancestors occupied were still standing. At one time they lived in Southdown (Bowling Alley).

Southdown (Bowling Alley) 1890

A few years later the tall building on the right had replaced what was probably Ogglesby’s blacksmiths (but see comment below)

Southdown (Bowling Alley) 1900

Comparing these photographs of Wheathampstead Road (now Southdown Road) as it was 1890 and 1900 with how it looks today and checking the census of 1891 meant we could more or less pinpoint the cottage.

Similar view 2007

A photograph taken in 2007 from a similar position shows that the buildings are much the same (check the chimney pots!).  Providence Place (see census page) are the cottages to the left of the tall building and are so named today.

It is difficult to exactly say who lived in which cottage. The cottages were not originally numbered; there have been some alterations (shops come and go) and for some reason the number of households recorded for Providence Place varied from census to census so there is no consistent marker building.

page from the 1891 census

Comments about this page

  • The original forge was opposite the Rose & Crown and was later moved under the bridge up Walkers Road. I also lived in one of the cottages behind the forge. This was part of the former Titmus farmhouse. In the field between the farmhouse and the railway, the Watler brothers from Heath Farm, grazed cows. Heath Farm was where Heath Close is today. My grandparents lived in Southdown Road just below the bridge.

    By Roger Clark (18/07/2011)
  • The tall building in the top picture was Yaxley’s shop but did not replace Oggelsby’s forge as that was to the west of the railway bridge on Walkers Road at the junction with St. John’s Road. What did stand on this site was Oggelsby’s garage which was a separate bussiness to the forge. By the time the garage was in business the forge had gone and the site now houses the block of flats on St.John’s Road.

    By John Olley (15/07/2011)
  • Regarding the comment about Oggelby’s blacksmiths I can tell you that their yard was further up Walkers Road at the junction with St. John’s Road. Oggelsby’s forge was in a brick building facing Walkers Road on the site where the high rise block of flats now stands. Next to that building stood a large Dutch barn used for storing farm machinery awaiting repair. At the back of the forge was Mr Cross’s wheelwright’s shop and beyond that a small workshop where Jimmy James made up bundles of kindling bound with two strands of wire. I know this because I lived in a cottage at the rear of Oggelby’s yard.

    By John Olley (11/07/2011)
  • With regard to Oggelsby’s forge, this stood further up Walkers Road, the other side of the railway bridge. Their yard, with the forge, a wheelwright’s shop, a Dutch barn and a kindling shop, stood at the corner of Walkers Road and St. John’s Road. I know because I lived in a cottage at the back of the yard.

    By John Olley (10/07/2011)

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