A while ago my dad was looking to replace his typewriter and found that they'd almost disappeared from the market. I think it would be even harder to replace a typewriter ribbon, and many people wouldn't even know what carbon paper was or what it was used for. Here, on the National Cycle Route 21, on an industrial estate by Lower Sydenham Station, is a factory whose fate was sealed by computers and printers.
Though the Columbia Ribbon & Carbon Manufacturing Co Ltd no longer seems to exist, the building is still in use - lights on, the odd door open from time to time - perhaps as warehouse storage, but the frontage, which displays a degree of assured confidence that makes it stand out from the rest of the light industrial units surrounding it, has prevailed. So far. Maybe it is under some kind of preservation order. Or perhaps the present occupiers are an industrial version of the hermit crab - happy to occupy the shell of a now dead animal.And, while talking about industrial buildings that stand out, just off the NCR21 there's also this one. It's on Ladywell Bridge, just by wartime the ''shelter for 700'' sign (see earlier blog - ''Shelter'')
This building also seems a million miles away from any similar enterprise - it simply stands out on its own.
Welcome to Ladywell
4 hours ago