Grove Vale Depot


dad & frank grove vale depot adjusted 720 frank was a driver copy MASTER

Fred Chinery & Frank Rea (Driver) at Grove Vale Depot in the late 1970s

Grove Vale Depot is where all transport came from, i.e Dustcarts, Roadsweepers, Various Bedford Lorrys, Small & Large Vans, it also where all the maintenance on the vehicles was carried out  – Transport for Bermondsey area would come out of Neckinger Depot.

below: photos of a manual stamped Grove Vale Depot my brother Fred Chinery Jnr has sent me, Fred worked at Grove Vale Depot in charge of Transport.

Copyright – ©  Important Notice – Please note all material on this website, photos, information & design is protected by owner copyright. It is an offence to use any of the material from this website without the owners permission.©

9 Responses to Grove Vale Depot

  1. Computedshorty says:

    Do you remember that they always used the oldest lorry to be fitted as a snow plough, I think that it was because the salt ate through the steel body.
    Yes I was at Neckinger Depot, when I joined the council I thought I was going to Vale End Depot near home in Lordship Lane.

    • John Chinery says:

      I don’t remember the snow plough being fitted but I do remember snow clearing by hand with a shovel, and also spreading the salt & sand by throwing it off the back of the tree gang lorry while we were driving up Lordship lane, I was made up to Tree Gang Foreman down in Bermondsey when I was 22 years old, our lorry used to come out of Neckinger Depot, our Driver’s name was Charlie, don’t know his surname, I first started on the council straight after leaving school at Honor Oak Nursery, aged 15 years old, when I was 16 I joined the Tree Gang and my Foreman was Johnny Silvester, good times.

  2. computedshorty says:

    1945 was the year I left school aged 14 to join the East Dulwich workers that managed to find work close at hand and stay in East Dulwich, within walking distance or use bicycle or by tram or bus for just a few pence.
    It is just a memory now of the large factories, and places where we all worked, since then 67 years later now they have all gone without a trace.
    I can list hundreds of thousands of those workers in the places named.

    My own place of work was dictated by my employer Greenaway & Son Building Contractor, although only the office staff worked from Lordship Lane, we once sent to a bombed building would work there until told to go to a new site, so there could be as many as two hundred men based from Lordship Lane.

    The former East Dulwich Depot of the Camberwell Borough Council before being amalgamated with Southwark, was at Grove End opposite East Dulwich Station, although a small entrance near the bridge over the road, it opened up to use the space of the length of Coplestone Road, here were buildings that was used to store the many items used in the district, road signs, granite curb stones, sandstone paving slabs, sand, cement, New galvanised Dust bins, railing gates, road tar and chipping. There were many workshops such as the Blacksmiths, Joinery, Paint Shop, Vehicle repair & Maintenance buildings.
    There were the many vehicles that were deployed daily from the Depot, the Refuse vehicles not as those used today, but low walk in ones just a foot from the ground, the dust man would go into the dust cart tip his bin behind a steel moveable divider, then as it got filled it would be adjusted forward to take more refuse, the crew had a small compartment behind the drivers cabin., once these carts were filled they went to the depot at Glengall Road Peckham and were tipped in to Barges on the Surrey Canal that were towed to Creek Road Deptford then down the Thames to be dumped out at sea. There were the smaller dust carts with curved covers that collected the leaves from the roads, and collected the sweepings from the various points where road sweepers waited with their bins. Early morning a procession of Road Sweepers emerged from the Depot pushing their double dust bin mounted pushcarts, with the set of broad bass brooms hanging at the side.
    The Road repair gangs left to do repairs in the vehicles loaded with sand or granite chippings, a Steam Roller towing a Tar Boiler with a tall metal chimney smoking from the fire below the boiler.
    Another Steam Roller towing the Men’s Caravan that served as a shelter and toilet.
    A lorry carrying the guard trestles and poles that had to be placed around every open hole.
    The lorry towing pneumatic compressor, with the air pipes and hammers.
    A lorry that serviced the road name plates washed them or changed them for a newer one, all the street furniture such as poles with signs keep left island illuminated Bollards had a regular wash.
    Many of the staff worked away from the Depot and many worked there, I am not sure of the numbers but it must have been 250.

    • Madeleine Berks says:

      I was very interested in your story about The Grove Vale Depot. I had no idea that it was so big, and went all along Copelston Road.

      My brother Michael Golding left school at a similar time to you, and began work in the Grove Vale Depot. In a department that was to do with electricity.

      I believe he started work in the autumn of 1949 but sadly died in February of 1950. He was only 17.

      So you see your story has given me a bit of knowledge into his short working life. Thank you. Madeleine

  3. Gary Smith says:

    Hi John

    My name is Gary Smith and my father features in some of you photos (Johnny Smith). He’s here visiting me at Stratford upon Avon and I’ve shown him the photos and they have brought back a lot of good memories. If you have any more pictures or information it would be great to here from you.

    Thank you, Gary

    • John Chinery says:

      Hi Gary
      Thank you for your message, glad you liked the photos, they were great times and a lot of fun, hope your dad is ok, please give him my best wishes, sorry but I don’t have any other photos, these are the only one’s I have, just wish I had more.

      All the best, John

  4. Michael Kemp says:

    Hi John ~ speaking of Grove Vale, do you have any information or old photos of no 52? It is currently a Blackbird Bakery ~ but I remember it as being “Rogers the Joke Shop” back in the early ’60s when I was a schoolboy in Dulwich. I used to skive off school & go down to 52 Grove Vale to buy masks and stuff. It was run by an old lady who would’ve been great in an Angela Carter novel, but I’m having no luck finding any photos of the original Joke Shop in its heyday. I’m sure there’s a story there…

    • John Chinery says:

      Hi Michael, Sorry but I don’t have any information or photos about no 52, hopefully someone might see your request and be able to help you, Kind Regards, John

  5. roger metcalfe says:

    Hello Michael/John
    I remember most clearly the Joke Shop keeper- she had very bright red cheeks (obviously make-up) but most in keeping with the shop and all its wares.
    Do you remember when the library started (on the other side of the road): Higgins the newsagents, Redapples the confectioners, a small sweet shop in Melbourne Grove also run by a little old lady, the ‘snobs’ (shoe repairers) whose name escapes at the minute………and many more.
    I went to Grove Vale school (1945-51)… do you know of anyone of that period…………love to hear from you/them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *