Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Bohemia Remembered part 5

Tower Road Tollgate. Right, is the toll-keepers cottage, where the Tower Hotel now stands.

Tower Road Tollgate. Right, is the toll-keepers cottage, where the Tower Hotel now stands.

In part 5 of extracts from his forthcoming book, Vic Chalcraft remembers some of the old street names – and the tollgate. Vehicle owners would have paid the toll-keeper to access the next stretch of road. The wood fence on the left (pictured) is where Tower Road School was built. At one end of the passage which runs between Upper South Road and Upper Park Road – its proper name was Shornden Passage – is a garage, and at the other end was a mineral water firm which according to Kelly’s Directory for 1950 became Silbrom Photographic Trade Printers. Road names or more often the names we knew them by have gone. Upper Clarence was always the ‘Back of Shornden’, St Helen’s Road was ‘The Arterial’ or ‘New Road’, ‘Jessie Hack’s Hill’ was Battle Road down past the Victoria pub. ‘Ebden’s Hill’ from the Harrow towards Kent Street and ‘Bombay Hill’ I’m sure was on Elphinstone Road, and one that has always riled me: what is now Gilsman’s Hill was always ‘Joesman’s Hill’. Strange to say, recently [2006] during work at Park Road Church a time capsule for 1891 has been uncovered and it was then named the New Wesleyan Chapel in New Park Road. Even today Park Road Church is often referred to as the Chapel.

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