London 1978


Michael's Shoe Repairs, South Lambeth Rd, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1978
14r53: vauxhall, lambeth, shoe repairs, shop

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This is a part of a long parade of shops with accommodation above from the corner of Fentiman Rd, Barrett's Corner, dated as 1884, and thought to have been built to house the workers from Barrett's Brewery in Bondway, and also as wine and spirits vaults for the company.
The Vauxhall Brewery was designed by Henry Stopes (1852-1902) (father of Marie Stopes) in 1885, and unusually featured a 119 ft high tower which carried a large illluminated bottle advertising Barrett's Half-Crown stout, 20ft long and 6ft in diameter, which was on roller bearings to rotate with the wind, and the taller chimney carried a giant screw bottle stopper at its 147ft high top. The brewery also had two giant beer bottles on the street flanking its Wandsworth Rd entrance, and it only produced bottled beer and closed in 1951.
The giant bottles had disappeared long before - perhaps when the factory was hit by a bomb from a Zeppelin in 1918 but some of the brewery complex remained, mainly as the Bondway Self-Storage but an attempt to get it listed failed and the Aykon 50 storey tower is being constructed on the site.
Not only is No 45 still standing (along with the rest of the row) but it is still Michael's Shoe Repairs, though with an updated shop front.