Then and Now: Brixton Road, Marks & Spencer
Photographic comparisons of old and modern views of Lambeth
c 1921 Dominating this scene is a huge advert for the Bon Marché store, Britain's first purpose built department store. The store was the brainchild of a James Smith, who built the store in 1877 after winning £48,000 on the horses. In the foreground is Francis & Son, a large, traditional store.
(pic: Lambeth Archives)
May 2003 Bon Marché finally bit the dust in 1975 with the building being split up into business units, small shops and a pub. A new Art Deco-styled Marks & Spencer building replaced the Francis & Son store in the 1930s, with the railway bridge now stripped of any advertising (it briefly featured an optimistic, "Welcome to Brixton" message after the 1981 riots).
Related pic: Zebra taxi cab in Brixton Road
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