23 October 2010

any ideas?

after so many trips to kings this previous year, i noticed a bell in the central window above some shops opposite the hospital. trying to rack my brains what the use of this object would be. ok i know it would be rung, but for what reason?. as you can see the photo was taken on a rainy day. any ideas? would love to know, i think the shops were built around 1910 or so.


Coffeecup said...

Gosh you have eagle eyes! What on earth could it be doing way up there? Perhaps they rung it as a warning before they chucked the contents of the chamber pot straight out of the window? ;)

Tis strange indeed Em. If you can find the address and I'll see if I can locate it on a census to discover who used to live there or what the premises was used for in Victorian times maybe? :)

Love these little curios x

Achelois said...

You must have neck ache! Or did you notice it after taking a picture.

Anyway no matter. I have a few ideas but I think Coffeecup will come up with the answers with well directed research long before I.

Dying to know now as well.

Looking on photograhpical website I use although most unhelpfully cannot remember the name, may bring up that this used to be another type of business.

For some reason fire alarm springs to mind but thats probably just the worrier in me!

diver said...

Yeah, what a curio! Fascinating and well posted Em.

I'm at a loss for an explanation. My best guess : it's a Rapunzel Bell, rung on those special occasions when a Victorian lass let her hair down :)

Em said...

hi steph

wasnt my eyes, my mums. theres traffic lights, sitting there for a number of times she spotted the bell. the road is; denmark hill, the number mmmm i could only see the shop number, i dont suppose that would do? pretty sure the it would come under, the london borough of lambeth. im really scratching my head over this one. thanks.x

hi achelois

certainly a mystery. im sure the buildings are around 100 years old or so. i wonder what would tie in with that age? x.

hi diver

let your hair down bell! or could it of been a crafty victorian playing games to fox the next generations?! i simply do not have a clue. x

Nechtan said...

Hi Em,

No idea either but a fascinating find. I wonder if it was the equilivant of a door bell for people upstairs. Its great that whatever it was used for it is still there.

All the best


Em said...

hi nechtan

what a mystery. theres still lots of old boot scrapers seen in old building door ways, how nerdy am i noticing these things! just not a lot of bells outside flat windows!x

Coffeecup said...

Em, in the photo the shop next door is no.49 as it's painted on the sign. (I don't know about London boroughs so tell me if I'm right or wrong on this one) -

49 Denmark Road Camberwell London 1911. The head of the house was George Blackman aged 50 and his occupation it says is 'dining rooms'. Perhaps the house was a cafe? His wife was Louisa Kate Blackman 37 from Torquay and she was 'assisting in business'. They had two kids.

So if the address is correct I'll have to look at no.s 51 and 47.


Coffeecup said...

Oh I've just found it on google! Sugar Momma 47 Denmark Hill London.

In 1911 it was owned by a dairyman. Thomas Williams 39 and Catherine Williams 41 from Cardiganshire. They had 3 children born in London and had three servants/assistants living with them, all in their early twenties also from Cardiganshire.

So the house was being used by a milkman! Wonder if the bell had something to do with getting him up at the crack of dawn in the morning?

So strange! When you said the hospital was across the street I wondered if the house could have been used as doctors digs and maybe the bell had a long pulley to ring it if they were needed for an emergency. Oh well. That theory is dashed.


Em said...

thanks steph, bloody amazing what you can find out at the touch of a button. yeah pretty sure its camberwell, i know theres the camberwell butterfly nearby.

a milkman, mmmm.something to do with that then. or some bugger put it up outside to fox the likes of my mother!!!. thanks for the info, very interesting. xxx

mitch said...

My guess would be an alarm clock bell. If someone lived in a room that high up, a knocker upper wouldn't have a long enough stick to rattle his windows with but a bit of string hanging down might have served the same purpose.