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The Bishop, The EDT, The Great Exhibition, the Actress or another?
messageAustin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by Carrie 14 June, 2011 10:37

Google has let me down - does anyone know when Austins originally opened in Peckham, I know tha tthe houses that replaced it were built in the 1990's but don't know how long Austins had stood on the site previously.

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by Vik 14 June, 2011 11:28

1905.

From Edith's Streets:
"Austinís Court now occupies the site of Austin's at Peckham Rye.
This was one of the largest antique and second-hand dealers in Europe.
It was started by George Austin who in 1876 had opened Oxford Farm Dairy and also advertised Household Removals and Warehousing. In 1905 they took on the site at Peckham Rye. His son George Edward Austin and his four sons built up the business in the 1930s. It was later run by his great grandson with his sister Valene. L it closed in 1994."

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by Carrie 14 June, 2011 11:43

Fantastic - thanks for your help

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by Townleygreen 14 June, 2011 19:05

It was a great place apparently. Sounds like its closing was a disaster really.

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by Peckhamgatecrasher 14 June, 2011 20:33

I loved Austins. It was a massive warren of a warehouse crammed with antiques (one of which I am lucky to have) - such a good place to waste time in.

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by Undisputedtruth 14 June, 2011 22:40

There was also another Austin store on Brayard's Road between the bridge and the junction of Consort Road.

UDT

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by KidKruger 14 June, 2011 23:42

The sofa I got there for £85 I still sit on, though recovered now.
I have a 1930s kitchen cabinet from there with all sorts of cupboards and drawers, shelves and storage bins.
Used to spend time wandering around in there when friends visited, they were always amazed. The building itself had a lovely exterior, I'm sure somewhere there'll be a photo of the facade, from memory it was turn of the century architecture. Gutted when I saw it'd been bulldozed, didn't even try to preserve the exterior walls !

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by GSJ57 14 June, 2011 23:51

I used to love going in there too - agree with KK .. such a shame they bulldozed the building.

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by Drxyster 15 June, 2011 00:50

A fabulous Aladins cave of antiques, curios, and both old and sometimes new items. I believe they mostly cleared houses for their stock. I remember visiting quite often with my dearly departed mother. New stock was usually placed on sale on Tuesdays, that is when most of the dealers would visit the emporium. Sadly missed.

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by Freddy1929 15 June, 2011 09:57

Yes what a place!! use to spend hours wandering around - could never afford anything though!
ccould never understand why the developer was allowed to knock it down - now I think the front would be kept and flats built behind - thinking about it I seem to remember a large parking area infront of the shop.

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by malumbu 15 June, 2011 23:28

Agree with the lot of you. But it wasn't that busy when I went. I liked the way it was divided up quality wise. Of course it is Austin's court or whatever now (one of the letters once dropped off) and just down the road you have the former c-op building that was knocked down and turned into flats ironically with a cheque cashing place and Tescos Metro taking the retail ground floor.

Peckham has loads of gems, I came into the area too late, not that I am unhappy with the eclectic mix now. Shame the Peckham Society are only interested in a small cross section of society.

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by jimmah 16 June, 2011 08:27

This thread is really interesting, I always wondered what preceded Austin Court, does anyone have pictures of it before it was demolished.

I would like to join the Peckham Society but it seems you can only pay membership by cheque, and I haven't had a chequebook for donkeys!

Slightly off the topic but I don't know if anyone knows the story behind the burnt out blue house/shop next to the Co-op building, what was that and why is it a wreck?

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by SimonM 16 June, 2011 09:09

Austin's even got referenced in one of Graham Greene's novels (think it was him and not Le Carre!) - as the place to to furnish a house. It was truly an Aladdin's Cave. I still have a mahogany corner cabinet I got from there years ago. They had had this amazing brass bed for sale but alas it was already sold: best I have ever seen!

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SimonM

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by december 25 August, 2011 18:09

I worked at the Brayards Road shop as a 'Saturday Job' during the early 1970's (£2 a day!).
The boss was Mr Alf Austin (he lived somewhere in Dulwich Village) and his brother Mr George Austin was also there.
Mr Alf got most of his stock from auctions of house clearance furniture etc. When it arrived by lorry it was divided into the decent furniture and antiques which went on the ground floor, the other household furniture and beds were man handled on to the upper floors (there was no lift).
There were other full time staff at the shop, Ken Begley and Maurice Wonacott and a Mr Masser question mark who worked in the office. There was also a full time upholsterer/french polisher who used to smarten up many of the antiques. One of Mr Austins' sayings was that 'every thing is for sale' and this was certainly true. I learnt that you can sell anything if the price is right, and lots of punters would come into the shop and buy complete rubbish. We also used to see some buyers from the big London auction houses who came round looking for items to 'pad out' sales in the west end. Looking back I certainly learnt a lot. They were good times.

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by sjsl 26 August, 2011 17:54

Ah happy days, remember both Brayards Road and Peckham Rye bit, best bit was the lifts at Peckham Rye - with those old fashioned metal concertina gate things that you had to pull across... used to take the kids there on rainy days for an explore and a lift ride...

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by PeckhamRose 26 August, 2011 22:26

Lots more information about Austins in Peckham Society booklets. I highly recommend joining. Look on line.

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Humanist Funeral Celebrant

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckhamattachment
Posted by greenfreakman 11 February, 2013 14:17

I've attached a few photos of photos of the front of Austin's that my dad took at his cousin's house in Dulwich after a visit last year.

George Austin was my great, great grandfather. My middle name is Austin and am pleased I found this post as I wanted to find out a bit more about the shop knowing I was named after them.

Attachments: IMG_0008-01.jpg (88.1KB)   IMG_0009-01.jpg (92.3KB)   IMG_0010-01.jpg (69.1KB)  
messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by bob 11 February, 2013 15:49

I to spent many hours in both shops and spent some mony there I still have a doubel 13 payn book case that came from the shop on the Rye.I did hear a story many years ago that they started with hand cart's then on to horse and carts and after the 1st ww some ex army lorrys dont know if it's true.
Bob S

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by KidKruger 11 February, 2013 21:50

My sofa is from there - it was 2nd hand then ! It's f**ked now, just can't say goodbye to it.
Great photos BTW.
Used to spend hours in there.

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by hothamwater January 06, 07:10PM

Hi,
Interesting thread. I hope people still see replies after all this time - it's possible that my family occupied the location before Austins but I am not certain. Was it the space behind number 65 Heaton Road?
The images on the post above don't work any more but I would love to see them if anyone has copies.
Thanks!

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by RichH January 07, 01:12PM

hothamwater Wrote:
---------------------------------------------
> Was it the space behind number 65 Heaton Road?

Not quite, it was on the Southbound stretch of Peckham Rye between Philip Walk and Scylla Road.

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by snoopy17 January 07, 02:14PM

there was a shop in peckham called zodiac does anyone know the year it closed?

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by malumbu January 07, 02:16PM

Perhaps one for Robert Elms in his notes and queries. Oh, I forgot, he doesn't do SE post codes.

Thinking of books, Cobbs Corner (the former Cobbs Department store) in Sydenham was referenced in the book and radio series the Penge Papers. It's not a best seller, being almost two millionth on Amazon in terms of popularity. More on this from our country bumpkins down the road [www.sydenham.org.uk]

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by DulwichFox January 07, 03:45PM

I remember Austin & Sons. back in the 1950's

My Mum used to get really freaked out by the place.

https://i.pinimg.com/564x/aa/ac/c8/aaacc83b9740f4a4ba1b4fcefb0c1270.jpg

DulwichFox

messageRe: Austin's furniture store, Peckham
Posted by PeckhamRose January 19, 01:35PM

The Peckham Society does do direct debit now and also whilst it tries to be inclusive it would be fair to say its membership is not representative of the Peckham we know. So it is up to folks of all backgrounds to join it and make it what you want it to be. Having said that, it is a great source of historical information. Its website is not updated regularly enough but it is back to the usual thing about any local interest organisation / special interest organisation. They tend to be run by volunteers who have full time jobs. [www.peckhamsociety.org.uk] I realise the original post was about Austins but I hope my post is acceptable!

On that note, Austins was down the road from me and I also loved walking around there. My American relatives visited it with me and wanted to ship much of it across to USA had they been able to afford to do so! If memory serves, it closed down because the younger members of the family did not want to carry on running it.

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Humanist Funeral Celebrant


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