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Canals and rivers, cemeteries, historic buildings, parks, whatever next? Well, old London ‘villages’. So far we’ve been to Peckham, Camberwell and Dulwich and most recently we headed down to Brixton. According to a local history site, the area got its name from a meeting point at ‘the stone of Brihtsige’, later shortened to Brixton. Development began after the construction of Vauxhall Bridge in 1816. Lots more history available at: www.urban75.org/brixton/history.
It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day as we explored an area that neither of us had been to for years. Heading right out of the station and after a few wrong turns we came across Electric Lane and from there on to Electric Avenue, immortalised by Eddy Grant, and the outdoor market, built in the 1880’s and the first to be lit by electricity. To the left is the indoor Village Market leading through to Coldharbour Lane. On the opposite side of which we noticed the top of a mural over hoardings around a building site. By peering through the gate we could see the ‘Nuclear Dawn’ mural completed in 1981, more info here: http://www.londonmuralpreservationsociety.com/…/nuclear-da…/ and the explanatory plaques. On up Coldharbour Lane to Windrush Square https://www.brixtonsociety.org.uk/friends-of-windrush-square/history-of-windrush-square overlooked by the Bovril ghostsign, magnificent Town Hall, Library https://www.brixtonsociety.org.uk/friends-of-tate-library/ and the Ritzy cinema. From there we walked up Brixton Hill, turning right at the racket makers’ ghostsign and up past the beautiful Victorian red brick sorting office, which is still in use. From there it was no distance to the, very fine, windmill which is currently being renovated but usually holds regular open days: www.brixtonwindmill.org  Back down Brixton Hill to turn left at the Town Hall on to Acre Lane  where we found Bayley’s Almeshouses and the Sunlight Laundry. It is clear that the laundry was once a beautiful Art Deco building, but it is now offices and sadly neglected. As we turned to find a bus home, Mike spotted the most fantastic mural on the side of a house down a side street. It is called ‘Big Splash’ and was created by Christine Thomas and others in 1985, depicting many local residents/references including some of the women who worked at the Lambeth Doulton factory. See picture above and background here: http://londonmuralpreservationsociety.com/murals/big-splash