Friday, 13 August 2010

I was right about that saddle though...

Many thanks to Bunneh for posting this up.  It's an old Yellow Pages advert that I'd never seen before, in which a northern lad is dreaming about getting a racing bike. His dad is talking down his expectations - about that kind of bike without proper mudguards and chainguard and with a razor-sharp saddle.  ''Mebbe next year, eh...''  And then, come his birthday...yes you've guessed it....

(For some reason - it worked when I tested it but it hasn't embedded  - here's the address anyway.)

 But the main reason why I liked the clip was because when the lad sets off up the hill, I suddenly realised that I knew this ''northern'' street.

Because it's Maidenstone Hill, all the way north in London, SE10 - a street which I ought to recognise because my very first ever girlfriend lived at the top of that hill.

I couldn't take a photo from the first floor, but this is how it looks from the street - note the corner shop in the ad was once a corner shop but hasn't been one for over 30 years - they've just dressed up the outside
So down the hill I cycled, got back to a computer to see how they compared.  So I started the youtube video again and went ''hang on a minute..." because if was only after coasting back to Deptford that I realised the opening shot was also up that hill.  But there was no way Google Streetview could have that image on streetview because it's not a road.  Right, off up Point Hill for the second time. Here's the opening shot:

And here's the view from the path.
(I was going to take a closer picture but there was a woman with a child at one of the windows and I thought I might get taken for a snooper.)

Greenwich, bikes, nostalgia...right up my street.

Talking of Greenwich, bikes and nostalgia, here's a curiosity about Witcomb's cycles in Deptford (now gone)...the presenter fails to cycle up Hyde Vale and remounts up by the drinking trough.
The video's here


CarolineLD said...

Great detective work!

Deptford dame said...

Is she riding a Raleigh Twenty in the early part of the film?!

Marmoset said...

DD, I don't think so - not that I knew what a Raleigh 20 looked like until tonight! This page ( ) shows that there's a straight tube from front to back on their £38, 15/- Raleigh 20s. If you manage to freeze the Witcombs video at precisely 1:28, where the presenter arrives outside to meet Len (or was it Ernie?), you can see that the tube goes directly down to the bottom bracket before rising up again to the seat post.

On a side note though, if you freeze it there, you'll see that there's a No Entry sign because it's one way. But when she sets off for her exploration of the Greenwich mountains, she sets off with the mechanic the wrong way up this street. I learnt a couple of days ago that what they are doing is sometimes referred to as ''doing a salmon.'' The phrase made me smile.

Sam Roberts said...

Some of the old photos would sit well on this site.

d said...

heh heh, 'doing a salmon'- great phrase. Yes you're right about the bike, although it's definitely something of the same ilk.

darryl said...

I remember the ad! Maidenstone Hill was also used in BBC Christmas idents a few years ago (5:56 into this compilation).

Marmoset said...


That's a great little site - I didn't know about it till you linked it. Thanks - though I only have screenshots of youtube videos for the old shots and you can't upload videos to the site.


You're determined to wear me out going up and down that hill, aren't you? You do realise that I'm going to have to take screenshots of all those different locations and see how many of them I can find now? (In other words: excellent!)