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Authority record

Breidenbach Co Ltd.

  • CB173
  • Corporate body
  • 1900 - 1929

Breidenbach Co were wholesale perfumers occupying premises in Church Road (rear of the Gun Tavern) between 1900 and 1929. The firm was established in London in 1793. A 1930 trade directory lists Breidenbach Co Ltd, wholesale and export manufacturing perfumers, toilet soap makers, head office and factory at Tower Works, Church Road, Croydon. In November 1922 Reginald Blackwell Breidenbach (59) died at his home at Aberfoyle, Addiscombe Grove, East Croydon . The executors of R.B Breidenbach sold the firm to Eugene Rimmel Ltd in 1930.

This collection spans the years c1869 - c1890 and would therefore indicate that this is representative of a much earlier period in the history of the company and may not necessarily have any bearing on its business activity in Croydon.

It would appear that the volumes are not written in the same hand and although some are marked Mr Mortlock it is uncertain if they are all his work. Although, Mr Mortlock was in all probability an employee of the company at one time, the volumes are not necessarily representative of the official company records.

Britannia Club

  • CB146
  • Corporate body
  • 1844 - 1939

Location of Britannia Club 34 Surrey Street, corner of Bell Hill and Surrey Street.

Formerly Black Lion public house from 1682, renamed Britannia c.1844 closed c.1939

The building was refurbished and became the Britannia Club, a club for service women. It was opened on January 19th 1943 by HRH Princess Alice Duchess of Gloucester. It was also visited by HRH Princess Marina , Duchess of Kent at a later date.

It closed in 1946.

Croydon and the Second World War by Berwick Sayers page 80 1943 quotes;

On January 19th the Duchess of Gloucester opened the Britannia Club for the Womens Services. This had been a derelict public house in Surrey Street which a committee, with Councillor Basil Monk as its Chairman, acquired on loan from the Corporation. It was repaired, and the rooms were each treated as representing a part of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland by means of singularly effective and attractive wall paintings by Mr H. R. Hatch. It was comfortably furnished with the amenities of a residential club, a canteen service, sitting rooms, a library and sleeping accomodation for about forty girls who could stay there on those times of occasional leave which were not long enough for them to travel to their own homes. It was especialy useful for girls who came from overseas or who had no home of their own. Relays of voluntary women helpers assisted the residential hostess and did much to make the club one of the most popular and beneficent institutions of the time

The 1955 Street Directory lists the building as Britannia Club ( R.A.F. Association) .

British Red Cross Society Croydon Branch

  • CB215
  • Corporate body
  • c. 1960 - 2010

47 Coombe Road was vacated by the British Red Cross in 2010. The building was renovated and is now divided into flats

Broad Green Fire Station

  • CB140
  • Corporate body
  • 1880 - 1907

In 1880, the existing Volunteer Fire Brigade (which had absorbed earlier brigades) was dissolved by the Local Board of Health, and superseded by a Retained Fire Brigade: this consisted of paid permanent firemen, and 'retained' firemen, who were used and paid as required. However, as a result of some disagreement, a new Volunteer Fire Brigade was established by a Captain Blogg, with himself as Chief. Its main station was in Church Street, and it also had a sub-station at Broad Green, at 149 (later 7) St Jamess Road. This Volunteer Fire Brigade was disbanded in 1886; but the Broad Green station was taken over by the Retained Fire Brigade (by now run by the Borough of Croydon), and numbered as Branch Fire Station No 6. It continued to be manned, like some of the other branch stations, on a voluntary basis. In 1903, there was a general reorganisation of staffing arrangements, and the volunteers became known as Auxiliary Firemen. The Broad Green station was closed in 1907, following the opening of a new enlarged Central Fire Station.

Francis Hadfield, who was largely responsible for compiling, and later preserving these books, was a fireman at Broad Green for much of this period. He eventually became fireman-in-charge, before standing down in 1905. A photograph of him in firemans uniform is held in the Local Studies Library photograph collection.

Broadmead Infant School

  • CB085
  • Corporate body
  • 1873

Founded before 1873. The history of the school before 1961 is intermingled with that of Broadmead Junior School. Known earlier as Sydenham Infant School; renamed Broadmead Infant School when it moved into new premises, January 1972.

Byron Family

  • F009
  • Family
  • 1755-1962

The Bryons were Lords of the Manor and residents of Coulsdon from the purchase of the Manor in 1782 until the sale of the estate and its dispersal in 1921.

Thomas (1) had no children and the manor was inherited by his nephew, Thomas (2) (1772-1845) before passing to the eldest son, Thomas (3) (1809-1863). Thomas married his cousin, Julia Jeffreys (1813-1899), daughter of Thomas’s aunt, Charlotte, who married Revd. John Jeffreys. Thomas and Julia are the first members of the family to feature significantly in the Byron Collection AR1057.

Thomas and Julia’s only child, Edmund (1843-1921) inherited the estate in 1863. He married Charlotte Jeffreys (1845-1908) in 1867. This was also a first cousin marriage into the Jeffreys family, Charlotte being the daughter of her Edmund’s uncle, Gen. Edmund Jeffreys. Consequently, they, and their five children who survived into adulthood (one daughter died at the age of 5) and the grandchildren, features relatively prominently in the Byron Collection

The manor and all the estate were sold and dispersed upon Edmund’s death in 1921 with his children as the primary inheritors.

The children of Edmund and Charlotte were:
Lucy (1868-1967), who married Theodore Hall Hall. They had one child, Owen.

Thomas (1869-1940), who did not marry. Emigrated to Canada.

Cecil (1870-1911), who married Katharine McAfee. They emigrated to Canada. Two children died in infancy; one son survived into adulthood, Arthur (1906-1984). Arthur wrote a family history, which was privately printed and a copy is held by Croydon Museum and Archives.

Eric (1875-1964), who married Margaret Daisy Robinson. Eric stayed in England; he is the main recipient of personal family letters held by the archive and he is the one who essentially amassed and preserved the Byron archives. He donated an important archive to the Museum of Croydon in 1934, AR384.
Eric and Margaret Daisy had three children. The oldest, Robert (1905-1941), did not marry. He was a renowned author of travel books, art historian and political campaigner; the second was Anne (1909-1977), who married Percy Charlesworth; and the youngest was Lucy (1912-2009). It was Lucy who took on custodianship of the archive.

Mary Eva (1880-1964), who married Charles Hilton. Eva was the youngest child of Edmund and Charlotte. Eva and Charles had no children.

Lucy Byron later married Ewan Butler (married 1934-1955) and Ewan’s brother, Rohan (married 1956); Lucy and Ewan had three daughters, the youngest of whom, Setitia (1946-2017), donated the archive (AR1057) to Croydon Museum over 2010-2012. Following her death, her husband, Anthony Simmonds, assumed any copyright issues relating to the Byron papers and archives.

Family trees are available in:
• Elliott, Nigel (2020) The Byrons of Coulsdon: Abroad and at Home, Bourne Society, Surrey, p.XIX.
• Scales, Ian (2000) ‘The Byrons of Coulsdon’ in Ian Scales (ed.) Bourne Society Village Histories 5: Coulsdon, Bourne Society, Surrey, p.48. These two family trees serve to complement each other in the periods covered. The volume by Elliott has a specific focus on the Byron archive, drawing extensively upon it.
• The Museum of Croydon holds a copy of a handwritten and comprehensive family tree running from the seventeenth century through to the 1970s/1990s, including the ties with the Jeffreys family. This was produced as a working research document and may be used in conjunction with the published family trees.
• Byron, Arthur (1982) A Short History of the Byron and Jeffrey Families, privately printed. This work may also be consulted for reference. The book is primarily text based rather than providing family trees but it takes the reader through the generations of these two families in a structured manner. A copy is held by the Museum of Croydon.

Byron Junior School

  • CB083
  • Corporate body
  • 1968

Founded 23 April 1968 as a combined infants and junior school. A separate infants school opened 5 January 1977.

Cane Hill Asylum

  • CB002
  • Corporate body
  • 1883 - 1992

Cane Hill Asylum, later Cane Hill Mental Hospital, was opened in December 1883 by the Justices of the County of Surrey. Surrey already possessed two asylums, at Wandsworth and Brookwood, and Cane Hill was intended to alleviate the shortage of spaces which was particularly being felt in several of the inner London Boroughs and by Richmond Guardians. It was built on 148 acres of land purchased from the Portnalls Estate by the Justices of the County of Surrey in order to alleviate the overcrowding of the existing Surrey asylums. (The remaining Portnalls Estate land would be purchased for the hospital in 1914). At the time of opening, Cane Hill could accomodate around 1200 patients and another 800 places were added in the next decade. It stood on high ground and had commanding views of the surrounding countryside.

In 1889 the hospital was taken over by the newly created London County Council, along with Hanwell, Colney Hatch, Banstead and Claybury Asylums which had previously been administered by Middlesex. (Wandsworth passed from Surrey to Middlesex County Council; Surrey would get another asylum with the opening of Netherne in 1909.) Cane Hill by this time was expected to serve mainly South London and also, for the time being, Croydon. However as a County Borough, Croydon would be expected to provide its own asylum in due course.

The newly formed National Health Service took over its administration in 1948 and it served the area of South London stretching from London Bridge to Crystal Palace as well as Beckenham and Penge. At the time of its 70th anniversary in 1953 it was reported to be overcrowded, despite modernisation to the interiors.

The last patients left on 15th March 1992. The hospital buildings are currently unused although a purpose built medium secure unit for the assessment of persons awaiting trial was set up in the hospital grounds in the 1980s. This remains open.

Caroline Spratt

  • P056
  • Person
  • 1855 - 1944

Mrs Caroline (Carrie) Spratt was a dresser at the Grand Theatre (High Street, Croydon) at the same time as her husband was stage door keeper there.

Castle Hill Primary School

  • CB082
  • Corporate body
  • 1955

Castle Hill Infant School opened on 19 April 1955; Castle Hill Junior School nearby on 7 September 1955. The two schools were amalgamated in August 1992 under the then junior head teacher.

Chadderton Family

  • F006
  • Family
  • 1884

Jessie (b. 1884) and Dora Chadderton (b. 1890) were born in Lancashire and later moved to London. The sisters lived with their uncle Albert and Aunt Martha in Camberwell. Jessie at 17 was already in teacher training. Both girls lived and worked in the Camberwell area (as the photographs illustrate). In 1927 Albert moved to Croydon, 28 Tunstall Road. Jessie by this time was married to Mr Percy Wood. There is no record that Dora married. Also there are records that Jessie did work in the Croydon area.

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