New Eltham, Greenwich
A predominantly white, working-class district situated south-east of Eltham proper and east of Mottingham
This was formerly the farming hamlet of Pope Street, which was centred on what is now Avery Hill Road. Pope Street was the early name of the station that opened here in 1878, primarily to serve first class ticket holders who maintained rural retreats nearby.
An early phase of building followed the arrival of the railway but the village retained a rural character to the end of the century. Several of the old fields have survived as sports grounds, with their original boundaries. Shown in the photograph above,* the Beehive was rebuilt in 1897 and for a while the pub hosted trotting races and travelling circuses in the adjacent field.
New Eltham’s remaining streets were laid out in the early 1930s and most of the present housing dates from that period. The community finally gained a library in 1931. A handful of light industrial enterprises set up shop, most of which have since departed. One of the last to go was Dickerson’s, the builders’ merchant and plant hire contractor, which relocated to Norfolk in 1996 after eighty years in New Eltham. The company’s Avery Hill Road site was soon built over with houses and flats.
Charlton Athletic’s Sparrows Lane training ground is among the sports facilities that presently pack the northern part of New Eltham.
Postal district: SE9
Population: 13,062 (Coldharbour and New Eltham ward, 2011 census)
Station: South Eastern (Zone 4)
Further reading: John Kennett (editor), Memories of New Eltham, Eltham Society, 1998