Why We Love Bromley

We love Bromley and we think that, despite its problems, it has many things worth fighting for.  Here are just a few:

History— its might not look it but Bromley has a rich and varied past.  The place is steeped in history!

Landscape—on its hilltop overlooking Shortlands Bromley has one of the most impressive settings of any London town centre.

Open Spaces—we are lucky to have a great many public parks and gardens right in the heart of the town centre— Queen’s Garden, Bromley Palace (Civic Centre) Grounds, College Green, Queen’s Mead, Martin’s Hill and more…

Buildings—a variety of buildings in central Bromley are listed because of their national importance.  These include Bromley College, London Road, the Old Town Hall, Tweedy Road, The Royal Bell, High Street and even the red telephone kiosk on College Green.

Conservation Area— most of central Bromley is designated as a conservation area.  This means that the Council recognises that it is of architectural and historic interest and is committed to preserving its character or appearance.

Shops and Leisure facilities— Bromley is a very important town centre for South London and the goods, services and leisure facilities are worth fighting for.

Communities and Facilities—Bromley is the administrative heart of the London Borough of Bromley—based at the historic Civic Centre.  We have Police and Fire Stations, places of worship and many other important community facilities. We also feel that local communities are very important  and any changes must take them fully into account.

The Civic Society recognises that Bromley has its share of problems and that plans need to be made to reinvigorate it.  We strongly believe that this should be done sensitively and cautiously to ensure that we don’t make the mistakes of the past.

Bromley must build on and conserve its strengths and not destroy them.  We do not want Bromley to become another Croydon.  The people of Bromley deserve better than that.

4 Responses to Why We Love Bromley

  1. Brian Pearson says:

    My name is Brian Pearson,I was born in Bromley but have lived in Australia for most of my 82 years.I was drawn to your website when I was looking for references to Sharpes cottages,Walters yard and The Greyhound hotel.
    When I was living in Bromley, during the war I was staying with my grandparents in Sharpes cottages when a bomb dropped into the carpark of the Greyhound hotel and no more that 50feet from where I was sleeping.It didn’t explode and was later found to have been sabotaged during assembly by French workers with”bon chance” written inside the bomb casing.
    I have no verification of this story other than my memory.I was probably four years old at the time of the incident.I have been trying to confirm the details without success. I would be very pleased if you could point me in the right direction in my endeavours.
    Many thanks,
    Kind regards,
    Brian Pearson.

    • Peter Martin says:

      Dear Brian
      Thank you for your amazing wartime story which has been posted on the Bromley Civic Society website.
      As you know Bromley was very badly hit with night-time bombing during the early part of the war. It must have been a terrifying experience to be in at the area at that time.
      The Ordnance Survey map of 1933 shows that Walters Yard was a maze of small buildings and two rows of cottages known as Orchard Place. One of these rows of cottages was just behind the Greyhound pub and probably included Sharpes cottage that belonged to your grandparents.
      We have some information about bombs that fell in Bromley during the war from the Bomb Sight website. The website shows that there were 5 bombs that fell in Walters Yard in the period from 7th October 1940 to 6th June 1941. One of those fell just to the rear of the Greyhound pub – probably in the car park. Our assumption however is that these bombs actually exploded – the website doesn’t make this clear.
      If the bomb shown landing near the pub did explode the building would have been destroyed; certainly the Greyhound pub building today appears to be of post war construction.
      Perhaps this one didn’t explode..? We will keep looking and see if we can uncover more information.
      Thank you for sending us this incredible story
      Peter Martin

  2. John Bull says:

    Hi Peter Martin – We sat in on the Zoom evening last Tuesday for the virtual walk around historic Bromley. Really interesting! Many thanks for that. There were some great photos there. Interested in one in particular, taken of ‘Clarkes’ in Church Road, the printers with amazing gas lamps hanging outside. The shop closed sometime around the First WW but some of the Clarke family still live just down the road there in Glassmill Lane.

  3. Peter Martin says:

    Thank you for your comment and thank you for your information about the Clarke family. I’m glad you enjoyed the tour of Victorian Bromley. I don’t have any further information about the circumstances of the photo – it was posted on the ‘Bromley Gloss’ Facebook page. It’s important as it presents a view of the Bromley Parish Church before it was almost totally demolished in WW2 – and those amazing gas lamps!

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