Loughborough Road project

Loughborough Road, its shops, pubs and people is a project to uncover the hidden stories of the people who have lived and worked on this south London street over the past 200 years.

The project is led by LEAF TRA, the tenants and residents association for Loughborough Road (Brixton Road to fiveways junction), Evandale Road and Akerman Road (Mostyn Road to fiveways junction). Lambeth Archives, the Brixton Society, shop owners, local businesses and importantly residents are all joining the project. We have also been working with RHS Lindley library and archive as one of the former residents, who lived and worked above the shop at 72 Loughborough Road, was Nellie Roberts, RHS orchid artist for 53 years from 1897.

The idea for the project really came about following LEAF TRA’s art exhibition of local artists’ work in the gallery in the old Loughborough Hotel in 2016. Some of Lambeth Archive’s images of the street were on show in the exhibition and people loved them and started talking about what they remembered about the shops, pubs and street from years ago. Residents talked of the chemist, now a house, and nights at the Loughborough Tavern, now flats and the gallery. One of the main aims of the project is to collect and record people’s memories of the changing area along with the wider history of the shops and pubs to be explored through archive research, visits and conversations.

Over the past year we have been spending time in Lambeth, London Metropolitan and Royal Horticultural Society Archives looking at maps, photographs and lots of documents , directories, electoral registers and more exploring the history of Loughborough Road. We’ve also been talking to family and neighbours past and present, recording oral histories and using social media to ask people about their memories. We’ve shared some of the history and stories through two talks – one at Jamm, the former White Horse pub and the other at the San Mei Gallery the formerly Loughborough Tavern.

We are working towards our exhibitions and events in September as part of the month long Lambeth Heritage Festival 2019 where we will be sharing more of the history we have uncovered. Our September events include:

  • An exhibition along the street with posters outside some of the shops and pubs telling histories and stories of individual businesses.
  • An exhibition of the life and works of Nellie Roberts, Royal Horticultural Society orchid artist who lived and painted on Loughborough Road all her life. 5-22 September at the San Mei Gallery, 39 Loughborough Road.
  • An exhibition at Lambeth Archives about the history of Loughborough Road shops and pubs.
  • Talks at San Mei Gallery at the Loughborough Hotel about the people that lived on the street and ran the shops and pubs including a talk on 12 September 7pm by current Royal Horticultural Society orchid artist Deborah Lambkin and 19 September 7pm talk about the shops and people of Loughborough Road.

For details of our forthcoming events, see the Walks/Events page

Contacts for the project:        Email leaftra@gmail.com             Facebook            @RoadSW9

Thank you to all our supporters including the Royal Horticultural Society Lindley Library and