Homepride to Beauty Lounge

The former builders’ merchant Homepride, which had closed, re-opened as The Beauty Lounge in April 2016.

Bexley Times reported on 6 June 2016: “A clock dating back to the 1940s has been put back into working order as a new business moved in. The Beauty Lounge moved into the former home of Homepride Builders on Blackfen Road at the turning for Sycamore Avenue earlier this year.

Beauty Lounge_Bexley Times_June 2016

As locals showed concern for the building’s heritage, the new owners continued their redevelopment of the site by not only preserving the clock, but by getting it back in working order. Owner Claire Cousins said: “The clock has been there for so long and it has become quite a feature for everyone in the town. Once we took over there were people commenting on social media asking what would happen to the clock, so we told them that were renovating it with the rest of the building. It has the same clock face as before but changed the workings so that it can tell the time.”

The business owner, who has lived in Sidcup for nearly 30 years, originally opened the beauty parlour along the same road in 2013, but moved in to the new shop in April.

New shops in Blackfen

Our newest shops in Blackfen, March 2016. We have Posh Paws dog grooming, Kent Meze and Grill coming soon, and The Beauty Lounge with ‘The Men’s Room’ in the former Homepride. There are still a few empty premises around, but at least we have new ones opening.

Mr Nejati Ali

I’m very sorry to have to report that Mr Nejati Ali has passed away. You may remember him as the owner of Golden Fish Bar, Blackfen Express Cleaners and Antalya Kebab House in Blackfen. Mr Ali was born in Turkish Cyprus and came to England as a refugee in 1959. He worked hard, always wearing a suit and tie, and he enjoyed talking to his customers.He will be driven through Blackfen between 9.30 and 10am on Tuesday 8th September. There will be a service at Peckham Mosque and then he will be taken to Cyprus to be buried there. 

  

Strawberries

Strawberries

Blackfen homegrown strawberries! Does anyone else grow strawberries in their garden? Blackfen has a tradition of growing them. James Lee grew them at ‘Strawberry Gardens’ (where Gwillim Close is now) until he went bankrupt in 1906 after bad crops due to 3 years of wet weather. Blackfen Farm also had a strawberry field where RACS Stores (now Katie’s Playpen, a chemist and off-licence) was later built, and according to the farmer’s granddaughter, they were the juiciest she’d ever eaten.

Former RACS Stores which opened in 1931. Before that, the site of the strawberry field at Blackfen Farm

Former RACS Stores which opened in 1931. Before that, the site of the strawberry field at Blackfen Farm

RIP Homepride 1932-2014

Homepride, the builders’ merchant in Blackfen Road closed its doors for the final time on 6 December 2014. It will be much missed.

“It was such a marvellous place to get those little things you could often get nowhere else.
The amount of times I have been doing a household job and find I need a handful of screws or some wood preserver or whatever and he has been able to supply for a very reasonable price are innumerable.” [Paul Duffett of Flame Photos]
“I used to work in Homepride as a Saturday boy between 1986 and 1989. Working round the front with Dave in the mornings and round the back with Steve in the afternoons. £10 a day and had such fun.” [Stuart Tanner]
Homepride in 1948

Homepride in 1948

Homepride first opened in 1932 and so it was one of the few original shops remaining, along with Copelands the newsagent and J. Ayre bakers. It certainly is the end of an era.

 

Pie and Mash

With the opening of a new pie and mash shop in Blackfen Road, I just had to try it. I was nervous as I’d never eaten it before and wasn’t convinced I’d like it. What was that green sauce made of exactly?

The shop had previously been ‘Smile Please’ photography studio (one of two branches in Blackfen Road).

Pie & Mash shop in Blackfen Road, Jan. 2013

Pie & Mash shop in Blackfen Road, Jan. 2013

There were huge queues and steamed up windows, which added to the atmosphere somehow.

Pie and mash shops became popular in the East End of London in the late 1800s, providing hot, filling and inexpensive food for manual workers. These first pies were filled with eels which were cheap and plentiful and caught right from the Thames. These days the meal consists of a baked minced beef pie with mashed potato and a green parsley gravy, with or without jellied or stewed eels. I felt better about eating it when I discovered that the liquor is from parsley, not from Thames eel-fishing water!

Actually, it was much nicer than I expected, especially with a splash of chilli vinegar! But I did wimp out at sampling jellied eels…!

Pie, mash and liquor

Pie, mash and liquor