My first job was at C.Isler and company, 33 bear lane, Artesian well drillers, also made turnstiles. Used to love looking at cores withdrawn by drilling..loved the feel and smell of workshop as I went up rickety stairs.
Lovely old fashioned company. I was fifteen year old office junior...sitting at a desk with frothy skirts that showed my legs ( well four inches under knee!) the managing directors felt it would be better if they provided me with a modesty board ..so they had carpenter surround the whole desk with floor to desktop panels!
Years later on here someone was following Islers, one of the quiet manager directs a Mt.Stanley Goodwin was a WW1 pilot, a hero.. so in his navy blue suit I can see him now..sandy haired...
What a shame it had been demolished..it would have made wonderful Dickensian film set..
The Bear Lane development will in its present design fall short of looking at the depth of history in this area. To remove this historic architectual creative space for yet another office space and coffee shop is a miss so big that history will regret it.
The artisan making that happens in both the silver studio and the set builders will be yet another missed moment in the rich history of Southwark. Making made this area rich in skills and production, it made it buzz with use and innovation. The new buildings proposed do not claim the Dickinsian beauty but aim to wipe it away, with a ridiculously tall, oversized and out of character building. Bear Lane should be enriched not destroyed, with it's tiny road and remaining architecture it deserves to be made in to a jew box celebrating not cleansing its history.
We need making spaces at street level in buildings that echo our rich architecture, not tall buildings that will starve the people who live there of light and privacy and take yet more creative making spaces away.
Oh I hope the leave a little bit of my early life left. Is the school opposite still there, that's the school that my Mum and her sisters attended. Mum was born in Hopetownplace ,off Zoar street. Think Zoar Street is still there...under monstrous office buildings!
After Mum died she was cremated, we went to the floating pontoon opposite the Globe theatre.. Delivered her ashes into the Thames, followed by flowers. Oddly enough they caught a narrow current ,it looked beautiful and meaningful as they headed towards Southwark Bridge...
Mum had returned virtually round the corner from where she was born.
I loved all the area before it got all jazzed up. Nothing wrong with progress or new architecture, but leave a bit of history...please...
Bermondsey street in my mind from fifties still had many old companies..goldsmith made my Mum a gold ring, unique design like looking through a picture frame onto picture of Flowers.. My brother bought it for her for her fifthtieth...it was stolen many years later..
There as also a factory that made bread, you could waltz in and buy fresh yeast by the half a pound!