Book reveals a fascinating lost Orpington from another time
PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 August 2019
So many of Orpington's well known, and indeed lesser well known, places have been lost over the years, but now a new book is brushing away the shadows.
The town grew rapidly in the 19th century following the arrival of the railways in the 1860s, with industrialisation following, and its development was boosted further by a new arterial road built in the 1920s.
Over the centuries, it has changed significantly.
Now Phil Walker and Tom Yeeles have highlighted some of those in their book, Lost Orpington and Around.
The detailed book presents a portrait of a town and a way of life that has radically changed or disappeared today, showing not just the buildings and industries that have gone, but also many popular places of leisure and entertainment.
One favourite image for the authors is one of Barclays Bank and the London and County Bank among the many in the book.
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Phil said: "As with the Royal Mail, and the services they provided to towns and villages, in the late 1800s banks soon started to establish their branches across the country. Banking services were now no longer only available to the elite of society. Orpington's banks established themselves at the northern end of the established High Street and the southern end of the new developing section. While some of the services offered are not entirely lost, the banks in the images on this page have gone."
And another is The Old Cottages in 1937, and Will said: "Destroying history in the name of progress is not as new as we may think.
"The Victorians, while giving us an immense wealth of architecture, some of which will last 1,000 years, were also quick to remove anything that stood in their way. The same principles existed in the 1920s and 1930s.
"Orpington boomed and a couple of buildings in the High Street stood out as hindering progress.
"The image is of the early 17th century Old Cottages, which existed until demolition in 1938 in order to widen the road."
Lost Orpington and Around by Phil Waller and Tom Yeeles is published by www.amberley-books.com