Old Images of Deptford, London

Trinity Hospital Deptford 1801

Enjoy a glimpse of history through old images of Deptford, in Greater London, England, UK.

WW1 Street Parade

A mock tank and mock aeroplace form part of the recruiting street parade seen in this 15 seconds of footage.

Street Parade in Deptford, 1910’s – Film 92074 – HuntleyFilmArchives on YouTube

WW1 War Hero

The Reverend Edward Noel Mellish was ordained in 1912 at the age of 32, serving at St. Paul’s Church, Deptford, South London.

He had been born in Barnet, fought in the Boer War in South Africa, and served in Baden Powell’s Police force before ordination.

He joined the Army Chaplains Department in 1915. It was the same year his borther, 2nd Lieutenant Richard Mellish, died at the Battle of Loos.

Rev. Mellish was at Battle of the St. Eloi Craters south of Ypres when he bravely went into no-man’s land to rescue injured men.

During heavy fighting on three consecutive days, he repeatedly went backwards and forwards under continuous and heavy shell and machine-gun fire between our original trenches and those captured from the enemy, in order to tend and rescue wounded men.

He brought in ten badly wounded men on the first day on ground swept by machine-gun fire and three were killed while he was dressing their wounds.

The battalion to which he was attached was relieved on the second day but he went back and brought in twelve more wounded men.

On the night of the third day he took charge of a party of volunteers and once more returned to the trenches to rescue the remaining wounded.”

He was awarded the Victoria Cross for this outstanding bravery; the first padre to receive one.

Deptford gave him a hero’s welcome.

In the background you can see buildings, soldiers, policemen, and the top of what is probably a tram.

He later married and had children, dying in Somerset in 1962.

Rev. Mellish; V.C. Honoured At AKA Rev.Noel V.C (1914-1918) – British Pathé on YouTube

Deptford’s Children 1920

The Duchess of Albany arranged a Charity Ball to be held in Devonshire House on 14th April 1920, in aid of the children of Deptford.

So this film clip introduces some of the children who would benefit from the fundraiser.

The Kiddies Of Deptford AKA Children Of Deptford (1920) – British Pathé on YouTube

Rachel Macmillan Training College for Children in 1930

In 1930, the Rachel Macmillan Training College for Children was officially opened by Queen Mary.

The footage opens with a lovely shot of the nearby street, complete with tram lines and crowds of cheering locals.

Her Majesty The Queen (1930)- British Pathé on YouTube

Rachel Macmillan Nursery School in 1939

A newsreel filmed some of the many activities of the 2-5 year old attending the Rachel Macmillan Nursery School in 1939.

The children play, brush teeth, serve food, sleep, and even take a bath!

The newsreel include footage of Queen Mary’s visit to the nursery in 1930.

Nursery Days! (1939)- British Pathé on YouTube

Dover Castle Pub in 1946

The building in which the Dover Castle public house was located was built around 1743.

Situated at 7 Deptford Broadway, it was demolished in the 1980s and replaced by a retail and apartment block remarkable for nothing but its utter blandness.

In 1946, the landlord, Mr Edward Castle, was filmed training a group of young women in the art of serving pub drinks.

School For Barmaids (1946) – British Pathé on YouTube

Retiring Midwife in 1957

Elsie Walkerdine was a midwife in this part of London for 40 years. In that time, she helped women deliver about 4,000 babies.

On her retirement, the newsreel recorded her final professional visit.

We see her walking down a street of traditional London terraced homes, of the type demolished at scale during the 1960s and 70s.

She’s shown holding two week old Colin Paul Leary, accompanied by Mr Leary and her mother Mrs North.

Deptford – 4,000 Babies (1957) – British Pathé on YouTube

Deptford Power Station in 1980

Footage records what the power station looked like before the tower was blown up in a controlled explosion and the building dismantled.

Deptford Power station – Borough of Lewisham – 1980 – Thames TV on YouTube

Albany Theatre in 1985

On Friday, 4th January 1985, thames News reported on a free panto given at the Albany Theatre.

Some of the children are wearing stickers that say ‘Dig Deep for the Miners’, referring to the long lasting and bitter Miners’ Strike against the government plans for closure and privatisation across the industry.


Milton Court Estate in 1986

On 16th September 1986, Thames News reported on the problems of the Milton Court Estate.

Muggings on the estate had got so bad, postal workers were refusing to do their rounds there.

The residents were informed by letter than their postal deliveries were being suspended, with the delivery of these final letters made under police protection.

Milton Court Estate | Deptford | No Go Area | Postal Delivery Workers | Muggings | TN-86-115-015 – Thames News on YouTube

Royal Visit in 1988

On Tuesday, 5th July 1988, Prince Charles – now King Charles III – opened a new complex of workshops and flats. The development had cost half a million pounds to build.

As Prince Charles gets out of the car, there’s a nice clear backdrop of the Sewing Machine Centre.

DEPTFORD : Workshops – Thames News on YouTube

More Pictures of Old Deptford

Old Deptford‎ in London, England, enjoyed through historic photos, vintage pictures & archive film. Browse history in these fascinating old images of a bygone era on my Pinterest Board.


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