East Street No. 41, former Southern Suburban Co-operative Society

fine 3-storey shop terrace with triangular pediments over dormer windows
The former Southern Suburban Co-operative Society department Store on East Street

Though this striking Arts & Crafts building is now several shops, originally it was a large Co-Op store, with a meeting hall above, built in 1888.

Delicate tile-work between dormer windows and pediment

Bromley Little Theatre is housed in two linked buildings at the back – they were originally a Victorian bakery, store rooms and hay loft for the Coop. The theatre movement was founded in 1934 by Harold Wilson Pook, and took a lease on the vacant bakery the following year. The first production was in December 1937.  The raked auditorium was built and seating was installed having been obtained from the Alhambra Theatre in London. The theatre opened with its first production in December 1937 and, apart from a break during WW2, has been showing performances ever since.

The Southern Suburban Co-operative Society was an amalgamation of a number of co-operative organisations, including both Bromley and Croydon.

The No 1 Branch of the Bromley Co-operative Society, which went on to form the Southern Suburban Co-operative Society from Muriel Searle

The upper storeys include a large hall on the 2nd floor. In the early 20th century (as listed in the 1924 and 1930 Kelly’s Directory) this was used by a variety of societies in Bromley:

  • * The Ancient Order Of Foresters
    • * The Loyal Order of Anglo-Saxons
    • * The Salvation Army
    • * Bromley Cage Bird Society
41 East Street, the former Co-operative emporium, with 2nd floor lights on in the hall.

Triangular pediment over the dormer windows, copying designs in medieval city of Bruge
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