Banbury Street And Price's Candle Factory

A Memory of Battersea

From the end of WWII until Sept 1957, my parents rented rooms in one of the houses in Banbury St that still stands. I was five when we moved to Surrey but have vivid memories of the house. I remember the coal-hole in the semi-basement filled from the pavement outside up the area steps. There was a toilet next to it, but no bathroom. Before I was born, the family used a tin-bath in our upstairs kitchen, but in my time, there was a partly plumbed-in bath in the kitchen in the semi-basement which the elderly lady who lived down there let us use on a Friday night. I also have memories of Battersea Park, Clapham Junction and of buying plastic farm animals, I believe, in Jon Jax shop.
I now want to write a novel based on my childhood memories of Battersea and with Banbury St as the core, and wonder if anyone would like to help with my research. Do you remember what the houses looked like on the other side of Banbury Street that were demolished in 1970s, or even better, did anyone live in them who could describe what they were like inside? I'd also love to know what it was like to work at Price's Candle factory 1930s-50s. I know it was so huge it had its own internal railway, made loads of other things apart from candles such as soap and lubricating oil, and gave out clouds of black smoke, but I'm really interested in working conditions. Another memory I have is of a very creepy approach to Clapham Junction station that involved walking past a row of railway arches used for storage, etc. I assume they must still be there, but can anyone tell me exactly where they are, please? If you have any information, I'd be really grateful. Very many thanks, I'm really excited about this!

A memory shared by Tania Crosse , on Mar 26th, 2014.

Comments & feedback

Sat Mar 21st 2015, at 10:14 am

Ron Large commented:

I grew up in Battersea during and after the war. I recall Banbury Street ran from Battersea Bridge Road to I believe Stanmer Street. I don't recall what the houses looked like.
Prices Candle Factory was situated on York Road on a double
bend, often got my bike wheels stuck in the tram lines there.
The factory was hit by a bomb at some stage. If my memory serves me right part of the factory was taken over after the war by a Rolls Royce dealer. The 'creepy approach' to Clapham Junction was probably the arches on the south side of a very large railway arch on the Falcon Road, still there and used by various small firms, not that creepy now!. I moved away when I married in 1959. Returned two years ago, much has changed, but a surprising amount of the old place is still intact, mostly put to different use.
While on holiday two years ago I met a gentleman who had himself looked into the history of Battersea, he loaned me a book which got me going into my own research. I later managed to get my own copy and several others.
Happy to forward you book titles, they have a great many photos. I will plough through them to see if I can find any reference to the area you are re-searching, I could talk for hours about my 'Battersea' history and what I remember. Clapham Junction, the Granada, Battersea High Street, Battersea Park and the fun fare, could go on for ever. Do you remember the Battersea General Hospital on Battersea Bridge Road? known locally as the 'Anti Vive' hospital.
I was born in 1936 and left London when I married in 1959. Now live in Bracknell. Happy to help with your research if you wish. either leave a further comment or contact me via my email.
Ron Large

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