Cobbs Department Store

The History of Sydenham from Cippenham to present day. Links to photos especially welcome!

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sydeman
Posts: 148
Joined: 23 Sep 2007 07:15
Location: Upper Sydenham

Cobbs Department Store

Post by sydeman »

Does anyone know much about the department store which once stood at Cobbs Corner, named i assume Cobbs Department Store? When was it open, and did it once occupy the whole of the corner plot, or was once part of it a cinema or club?

brian stimson
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Location: forest of dean

Re: Cobbs Department Store

Post by brian stimson »

sydeman wrote:Does anyone know much about the department store which once stood at Cobbs Corner, named i assume Cobbs Department Store? When was it open, and did it once occupy the whole of the corner plot, or was once part of it a cinema or club?
I remember Cobbs from the forties. I went to St. Barts school in Kirkdale and walked home to Wiverton road via Cobbs corner. As I remember it was the entire building although they had a rather nice café/restaurant which took up most of the top floor I think. Incedently I don’t know what is there now it’s been many years since I’ve been back to Sydenham but between Cobbs and Peak Hill Avenue was a bomb site.

Eagle
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Joined: 7 Oct 2004 06:36
Location: F Hill

Post by Eagle »

IO remember Cobbs well in the 50's and 60's , wre very old fashioned but great. Even when cards came out had to put in vacumn tubes which took to the accounts upstairs.
They probably had floor walkers like in Are you being served.
There was also a Cobbs Annex where the Kirkdale Bookshop and other shops are now,
I seem to recall posh cafe on ground floor but I am talking about 10 to 15 years after Brian.
Also went to St Barts.

Thomas
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Joined: 22 Feb 2007 13:08
Location: Upper Sydenham

Post by Thomas »

There is some interesting information on this earlier thread:
http://sydenham.org.uk/forum/viewtopic. ... 74c4aec44d

I'm sure there is some further information in one of the local history books (available in all good local bookshops or possibly one of the libraries) if you're interested.

sydeman
Posts: 148
Joined: 23 Sep 2007 07:15
Location: Upper Sydenham

Post by sydeman »

thanks for the comments! I did do a search on the forum for Cobbs Dept store but nothing came up. Thanks for the link. I always thought it would make an interesting book, one about the surburban department store. Everywhere you go there is the remains of one, Tooting, Streatham etc. They were once such a local asset to the community.

Steve Grindlay
Posts: 606
Joined: 4 Oct 2004 05:07
Location: Upper Sydenham

Post by Steve Grindlay »

Cobb's was founded as a draper's shop by Walter Cobb in 1860 and finally closed in 1981.

I've written a short history of the store here

tulse hill terry
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Joined: 25 Jun 2007 01:33
Location: sarf lunnen

Post by tulse hill terry »

"Deceased eccentric aunts aren't usually cut up and sold in second-hand chunks, but that was to be Chubb's fate. Accounts and ladies' modes are now vacant office space; lingerie and the Father Xmas habitat have metamorphosed into the Regency Billiard and snooker Club - a wet-look plastic sun-blind ogles pot-blackers, like a pair of false eyelashes. The old banqueting suite has also sprouted wet-look shades and is now the Regency Banqueting suite, with a non-stop calender of dinner-dances. The west wing is boarded up, the east wing empty, the space between occupied by a good-as-new and a plumbers' merchant. Reg says it should have been turned into a community centre, the whole shebang. Maybe, in a well-ordered world; but in a well-ordered world eccentric aunts would be fairy godmothers and do amazing things with Pumpkins. The truth is, Chubb's Corner is now all corner and no Chubb's, a fare stage on a bus-route, no longer a destination; a sign of the times. Penge itself is only a bend on the London-Croydon road, these days, a kind of metropolitan elbow or funny bone - funny peculiar that is, funny, painful, even; and more so now that Chubb's is gone. Perhaps white elephants should be a protected species."

"Penge Papers" by Brian Wright. 1985

budweiser
Posts: 44
Joined: 6 Oct 2009 18:04
Location: Cambridge

Cobbs.

Post by budweiser »

I remember that the shoe dept used to have an X-ray machine that you could put your foot in and see through a green light, all the bones in your foot! :D Played on that until a floor walker told me off and that it wasn`t a toy!.

Pancake
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Joined: 10 Apr 2012 13:31
Location: Bexley

Re: Cobbs Department Store

Post by Pancake »

Meeting Father Christmas on the top floor :D

budweiser
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Joined: 6 Oct 2009 18:04
Location: Cambridge

Re: Cobbs Department Store

Post by budweiser »

Pancake wrote:Meeting Father Christmas on the top floor :D
I`d forgotton all about that! :D

Chiny
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Joined: 30 May 2011 11:24
Location: Far far away

Re: Cobbs Department Store

Post by Chiny »

I used to live In Sydenham in the 50s & 60s and well remember Cobbs dept store, especially that wacky "vacuum tube" system for money/receipts. Just been speaking to my mother about the place and she recalls it being "well out of date" in the 60s. She also mentioned that my grandmother (who lived in Herne Hill in the 20s) saying Cobbs was "only for the carriage trade". I bet not many even understand that phrase nowadays :) ( http://www.thefreedictionary.com/carriage+trade ).

I guess the retirement of the original Cobb, followed by the war damage, finished off Cobbs store as a viable proposition.

Annie.
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Joined: 11 May 2012 17:48

Re: Cobbs Department Store

Post by Annie. »

It was still trading in the mid 70s early 80s can,t remember when it eventually shut down,but what I do recall is we thought of it as a"posh shop"

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budweiser
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Location: Cambridge

Re: Cobbs Department Store

Post by budweiser »

Annie. wrote:It was still trading in the mid 70s early 80s can,t remember when it eventually shut down,but what I do recall is we thought of it as a"posh shop"


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Think of `Are you being served`.!! :D

Annie.
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Re: Cobbs Department Store

Post by Annie. »

Exactly.:0))

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Eagle
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Location: F Hill

Re: Cobbs Department Store

Post by Eagle »

I remember the payment system. Your money was put in an hydraulic type item which sent it to the accounts dept in the roof somewhere. Shortly down came the change and the receipt.

Some posters mention it being Posh. If so surely a plus factor compared with the slum it is now.

Annie.
Posts: 2070
Joined: 11 May 2012 17:48

Re: Cobbs Department Store

Post by Annie. »

Thats true Eagle, I don,t remember ever buying anything there because I was in my early 20s then and it was a tad too expensive for me,I do remember that it felt " posh" though.

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Eagle
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Location: F Hill

Re: Cobbs Department Store

Post by Eagle »

The staff , it is true , were well attired and well trained in social graces.

Says something that Sydenham could support such an up market store from 1860 to 1970 . Not sure it could now , you know what I mean , innit.

Annie.
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Joined: 11 May 2012 17:48

Re: Cobbs Department Store

Post by Annie. »

I was talking to someone the other day,and was relaying a story, and at the end of each bit she said,NO!innit!
Haha it was amusing,but back in the day it wouldn't have been the done thing.

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Eagle
Posts: 10658
Joined: 7 Oct 2004 06:36
Location: F Hill

Re: Cobbs Department Store

Post by Eagle »

I am sure these people have no idea they are using such stupid phrases. You know what I mean..


I feel like going up to one of these gentlefolk and shouting ( What do you mean ).

budweiser
Posts: 44
Joined: 6 Oct 2009 18:04
Location: Cambridge

Re: Cobbs Department Store

Post by budweiser »

No.Innit!? Lol :lol: :lol: :lol:

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