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New Eltham

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A predominantly white, working-class district situated south-east of Eltham proper and east of Mottingham. This was formerly the farming hamlet of Pope Street, which was centred on what is now Avery Hill Road. Pope Street was the early name of the station that opened here in 1878, primarily to serve first class ticket holders who maintained rural retreats here. An early phase of building followed the arrival of the railway but the village retained a rural character to the end of the century. Several of the old fields have survived as sports grounds, with their original boundaries. The Beehive Inn was rebuilt in 1897 and used the adjacent field for trotting races and travelling circuses. New Eltham’s remaining streets were laid out in the early 1930s and most of the present housing dates from that period. The community finally gained a library in 1931. A handful of light industrial enterprises set up shop, most of which have since departed. One of the last to go was Dickerson’s, the builders’ merchant and plant hire contractor, which relocated to Norfolk in 1996 after eighty years in New Eltham. The company’s Avery Hill Road site was soon built over with houses and flats.

Shop closures are common in New Eltham
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New Eltham

Charlton Athletic’s Sparrows Lane training ground is among the sports facilities that presently pack the northern part of New Eltham.

Postal district: SE9
Population: 12,425 (Coldharbour and New Eltham ward)
Station: South Eastern (Zone 4)
Further reading: John Kennett (editor), Memories of New Eltham, Eltham Society, 1998

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

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