Brixton history: Coldharbour Lane, Brixton Road and Valentia Place street scenes, September 2002 – Brixton Buzz

2022-09-04 19:04:22 By : Ms. Jojo Hou

Brixton news, photos, features, listings, music, arts and activism

Here’s our latest instalment of archive photos, showing scenes taken around Brixton in September 2002.

The month started with Atomic Kitten’s rubbish version of ‘The Tide Is High’ topping the pop charts – the last time they ever saw chart action – and ended with Pink’s ‘Just Like A Pill at number one, while Coldplay’s ‘Rush Of Blood To The Head’ hogged the album charts.

Looking north west across Coldharbour Lane from the Barrier Block. In the foreground is the former Texaco garage (now a tatty car washing site).

To the left the lights are still on at the Angel public house.

Looking north with the 1950s Barrington Road tower blocks in the distance.

Car washing at the Texaco garage.

Looking east along Coldharbour Lane with the looming skyscrapers of Canary Wharf  on the horizon. There’s a lot more there now!

Coldharbour Lane, looking west towards the town centre. On the left can be the sign of the much-missed BEM Music Store, which closed in 2013.

It was later home to the relocated Phoenix Cafe, before a short lived spell as Dirty Burger.

Brixton’s legendary 414 Club had been a fixture on Coldharbour Lane for over 30 years. Sadly, the much-loved venue was closed down in May 2019 after a prolonger legal battle.

The Prince Albert during its cheery orange phase.

Formerly the Coach & Horses, this Coldharbour Lane pub has enjoyed a colourful recent history.

Looking to cash in on the popularity of the nearby Dogstar, it was relaunched as the groovy Isobar in the mid-1990s, then it turned into the Living Bar, before being closed down in 2007 and then reopening as a Fishmonger and Vintage Shop in 2009, with a hairdresser upstairs.

Relaunching as The Market House in April 2011, it’s remained a popular late night destination apart from a short lived catastrophic spell as an Indian restaurant in 2021. 

After the Joy fashion store closed in Coldharbour Lane in January 2014, it was briefly squatted five months later before the site was swallowed up by the Premier Inn.

Lambeth Town Hall on a murky September afternoon.

Superdrug is still with us.

The old signage of Marks and Sparks. The building looks in poor repair these days,.

Atlantic Road, still a ghost town thanks to Lambeth and Network Rail’s disastrous redevelopment plans.

To the left is the Atlantic jacket potatoes takeaway and to the right the sorely missed A&C deli.

Read more:  Brixton’s A&C Deli: the inside story of a small business destroyed by gentrification, Network Rail & Lambeth Council.

Foot Locker was burnt down during the major disturbances of August 2011.

Brixton Road with work on the tube station slooowly continuing.

The former Sanders jewellery building located on Brixton Road had traded as Homelook, Poundstack and Universal Plus before being taken over by the Costa coffee chain in 2012,. which closed in 2022.

The Pope’s Road car park, which was demolished in 2011. The site is now used by the trendy Pop Brixton container park, a community-splitting enterprise headed up by Shoreditch property developers The Collective.

Station Road arches during refurbishment. Amazingly, not all of the other businesses had to be evicted at the same time.

Valentia Place, soon to be flanked by the ludicrously named ‘The Edge’ upmarket housing development, with fake ‘gig’ posters inviting those wealthy enough to buy flats to “Cut Your Own Groove” while spending upwards of half a million on the luxury apartments.

Former works on Valentia Place. This used to be a popular spot for prostitutes to, err, deliver their services at night.

The old coal yards off Valentia Place.

The old Voice building on Coldharbour Lane, now buried underneath the large and social housing free Brixton Square development.

Next door was the wonderful Cooltan community arts squat. Cooltan was once the beating heart of Brixton’s arts and activist scene, with the buildings providing accommodation for campaign groups such as Reclaim The Streets, Freedom Network, Earth First!, the Green Party, Lambeth Green Party and London Friends and Families of Travellers.

The squatted former unemployment office also housed rehearsal rooms, cinema screenings, yoga classes, galleries, studios and a cafe.

The venue put on some incredible all night benefit parties – some attracted up to 1,500 people – where you might find a hardcore rave in one room, pastoral folk and jazz in another and bizarre performance art in another. It was a wonderfully eclectic and inclusive place.

Read: History of Cooltan Arts.

After the squatters had been evicted, the site was briefly used as a car park.

The blue, white and red livery of Network SouthEast trains.

Highly Bless on Coldharbour Lane.

Towards the end of the month, the London Underground was hit by an all out strike by members of the Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) and Aslef. Just 15 tube drivers reported in for work out of the usual 600 or so normally on duty.

Rushcroft Road, once home to lively community of artists, musicians and squatters. And a lot of our friends.

A huge eviction operation cleared the properties in July 2013.

Part Worn Tyres on Coldharbour Lane.

Broken market stall, Station Road.

Brixton Buzz’s features on Brixton’s history Brixton History discussed on the Brixton forums View the comprehensive urban75 Brixton history archives Lost pubs of Brixton Discuss Coldharbour Lane on the forums

[Note: this article was first published in Sept 2017 and was updated in Sept 2022]

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