Gilpin Grove, Edmonton, 1957: Rear of 38 Gilpin Grove

JEFF Avery on the Web


HOME        SITEMAP        ABOUT        CONTACT        INTERESTS


Photo courtesy of

Enfield Local Studies Library & Archive

39 London Road, Enfield EN2 6DS, England

Tel: 0208 379 2724

Gilpin Grove, Edmonton, 1957

Rear of 38 Gilpin Grove

This is a 1957 view of the rear of some Gilpin Grove houses. The house nearest to the camera is No. 38, the last house at the Gilpin Crescent end of the western row. The white area on the end shows that the adjacent smaller houses in Gilpin Crescent have been demolished. In this row, the houses were even-numbered, running from No. 38 at the south-west end to No. 66 at the north-west end. I lived at No. 56.

The houses are back splits and here we see the two-storey back of the houses. Tagged on to the rear are small sloping roofs covering the outside flush toilets. The toilets had bench seats with no cover and overhead cisterns with a pull-chain. The toilets were uninsulated and unheated and the cisterns sometimes froze in the winter at which time we had to leave a small kerosene lamp burning on the bench seat. It was usual, at least for us young kids, to have a “po” (chamber-pot) under the bed rather than to have to brave the dark and the elements by visiting the outside toilet at night.

The room next to the toilet was the scullery a small room with a sink and a bath with cold running water. Hot water was heated in a “copper”, a large gas-fired copper vessel used for heating water and laundry. We also had a mangle outside, protected by the roof of the outside toilet (in our house, the toilet roof extended to the corner of the building).

The many chimney pots show that there was a fireplace or a cooking range in each room. Initially, heating was with coal and lighting with gas. Later, electricity was added. The Clean Air Act of 1956 mandated a change of heating from coal to coke.