Christmas in Brixton, old and new
Looking hard for festive cheer on the streets of Brixton
(updated Dec 2008. Report by editor ©urban75)
Brixton was once famed for its Christmas decorations, with its upmarket showcase shopping street, Electric Avenue, a veritable winter wonderland for visitors.
Electric Avenue, Christmas 1908.
It wasn't just the shopping and the decorations that brought the crowds into Brixton, with the nearby Brixton Theatre and Opera House in Brixton Oval putting on a hugely popular Christmas pantomime.
December attractions in 1932 included twice daily performances of The Sleeping Beauty (2pm and 7.30pm) and the intriguing Euphan Maclaren's Dancing Daffodils.
Sadly, the 1896 theatre was destroyed by a bomb during the Blitz in November 1940, with the Ritzy cafe occupying the former entrance.
Christmas Fancy Bazaar, Bon Marché, Brixton, Christmas 1890.
lectric Avenue, Christmas decorations, Brixton Christmas 1911.
Even the Bon Marche department store got into the swing of things, running an annual Christmas Fancy Bazaar, which was, apparently, a 'Grand Show.'
A feast of Christmas lights covering Bon Marche, and the 'Great Toy Fair' at Quin and Axtens, 1927. [© pic]
More decorations than you can shake a big stick at, Electric Avenue, Christmas 1908.
Nearly a hundred years on from the photos above, we took a stroll around Brixton on an icy cold day to see how 2006 compared. We weren't impressed.
Christmas in Electric Avenue, 20th December 2006.
Look hard and you'll see a bit of tinsel!
A decidedly unfestive view along Electric Avenue from Brixton Road.
The Town Hall and its underwhelming lights.
Brixton Road. Note the curious 'hot chilli' lights.
What have they got to do with Christmas?!
Let's hear it for Brixton's oldest department store Morleys, who clearly made a big effort to introduce some Christmas cheer into the high street.
Nice one Morleys!
A half-arsed sprinkling of tinsel in 'Brixton Village' (that's Granville Arcade to most people).
A slightly more festive offering of Christmas tinsel around the fishmongers, Granville Arcade.
Happily, there was considerable more Christmassy goings-on to be found outside the tube station on Christmas Eve, with some delightful carol singing.
Some festive accordion action on Brixton Road.
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