Then and Now: Marks & Spencer, 448-450 Brixton Road
Photographic comparisons of old and modern views of Lambeth
(Modern photo © urban75, July 2009)
January 1930 Previously standing at 448-450 Brixton Road was general department store, Francis and Son Ltd.
Topped off by a delightful set of Victorian iron railings bearing the company's name, the store sold provisions, groceries, books, confectionary, wines and spirits.
Here you can see a final clearance sale in full swing before the building was emptied out and demolished.
To the right is the 'direct entrance' to the Bon Marche 'Mens & Boys Outfitting & Clothing Department.'
Above the building can be seen the signalbox guarding the approach to Brixton railway station.
More views of Francis & Sons here: 1920 view and 1921 view.
4th November 1931 Resplendent in natty Art Deco styling, the new Marks and Spencer 'super store' is close to completion in this 1931 view.
The company had set up their first London store in 1904 as the Marks and Spencer Penny Bazaar in a railway arch in Station Road, Brixton.
The street facing billboard declares that 'Over 90% of all goods are British made' and there's 'Nothing over 5/-' (that's 25p in modern dosh).
To the extreme left is British Home Stores, with the side of the building advertising itself as the '3d to 5/-' store.
(pics: Lambeth Archives)
July 2009 Sixty years on and Marks and Spencers are still trading from the same premises, which enjoyed a considerable revamp in 2008.
Although the building is well looked after, it's a shame that a few original Art Deco features have disappeared, with the attractive windows going the same way as the glazed vertical strip.
The signal box was demolished in the early 1960s, and the BHS store is now owned by Superdrug - see 1963 photo.
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