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5 January 2023

Charles Herbert Tidman, optician in Stockwell

I just pulled together a montage of some of the nice things I spotted in the Wandsworth and Vauxhall area last week, and added it to that post see here. Whilst doing that, I rediscovered a couple of pics I'd snapped from the top deck of that No.88 bus, just north of the Stockwell station junction.

Facing the street outside the house at No.247 South Lambeth Road I spotted what looked like railings at that resembled co-joined spectacle frames:

Here's the view from checked on Google Streetview: 

A quick delve into the old street directories shows that an optician called Charles Herbert Tidman was here in 1939, though I have no other access to other info to find out when he might have had these marvellous railings installed.
My guess is that this was his home and workshop where he performed eye tests etc, and No.159 was the shop/showroom were customers could choose frames and make appointments. 

The Stockwell Partnership is at No.159 on the corner of Tradescant Rd today, complete with some interesting nature-inspired pavement mosaics – these two pics I photographed back in 2009:

I wonder how many people in the Stockwell area walk past these things without noticing them...?  

1 comment:

  1. Erm... that's my flat! I was aware vaguely of the optician background, but not the finer details. Thank you so much for filling in some gaps. We're very protective of the railings and currently looking at giving them a little TLC.

    I started to do some research on South Lambeth Road at the Lambeth Archives last summer. It's fascinating stuff. I've only touched the surface going back from 1876 to 1901.

    247 was originally called 9 Rugby Villas in 1868. In 1886 the wonderfully named Fleetwood Shrapnel lived at 247 through until 1894. He was a descendant of Lt. Gen. Shrapnel, the inventor of the shell which bears his name. Their son played cricket for Surrey at The Oval.


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Thanks, Jane