The Sydenham Project – Part 2 – Business

To continue the Sydenham Project series, lets show off some of the more interesting business premises in the High street and Kirkdale.

Behind bars
Behind bars

Behind bars has been closed the entire time I’ve lived in Sydenham (over 5 years) and I can see why they may have failed. I love shops with pun names, but hat were they thinking?? I want to buy a bike, I know, i’ll get it from the place that looks like a prison. Wish I could have been at the naming brain storm!

Suds-sational!
Suds-sational!

Now this is a proper use of a pun name. Fabulous.

Machray chemist
Machray chemist

This chemist has been derelict for years, but had some wonderful leaded glass windows. It has recently been turned into a coffee shop called ‘Kente” who unfortunately had to rip out these windows. I’m glad I got a few pictures before it all went.

Sydenham DIY
Sydenham DIY

I love the irony of the DIY shop needing a bit of a spruce up. To be a little bit fair, they did change the sign after about a month.

Cummin Up
Cummin' Up

Erm, not sure how they get away with this, but it gives me a smirk which is nice.

S & M Removals Ltd
S & M Removals Ltd

This is my top favourite sign in the ‘nam. From what I can see from the outside, it’s just a normal second hand furniture shop. Which begs the question, why are they going on about ‘S&M’, strippers and just in case that wasn’t enough – have a picture of a dominatrix?

These are just the highlights (or maybe low-lights) of glorious sunny Sydenham. At least it’s not Penge! It always pays to have someone else to look down on.

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The Sydenham Project – Part 1 – Inclement weather

Crystal Palace Park in snow
Crystal Palace Park in snow

One of my over-arching projects for this year (2009) is to document and photograph the area that I live in – Sydenham, south London.

I’m a north Londoner by birth and instinct and i’d normally consider myself like a black cab – I don’t do sarf of the river. I eventually came to live in deepest south London for the noblest of reasons, for love.

I moved in with my girlfriend (now wife) over five years ago and have ever so slowly got to tolerate, then actually to like Sydenham. I have to have access to a bit of green and the proximity to Crystal Palace and Wells Park is pretty nice. Wells Park particularly is a bit of a gem. Other than the parks there is Dulwich woods and some lovely Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian buildings. I’m slightly gutted we don’t still have the actual Crystal Palace around.

Sydenham Station in fog
Sydenham Station in fog

Surrounding the diamonds is quite a bit of rough including several ugly council estates, including the close that we live on which is a fairly bland 1950s terrace. In their own way, even this urban grunge has some character.

There have been some interesting weather conditions at the beginning of this year, notably some fog and severe (for London) snow that have made for good photographic opportunities.

Have a look at some more pictures of interesting weather in Sydenham.

In future parts of this series I’d like to cover architecture, people, businesses, transport and recreation. See the photos as they go on over the year.

Wells Park in snow
Well's Park in snow