Picturing the past

I was in Soho yesterday and took some photos of addresses associated with my Robb, Roe and Blanch forebears. Here’s Old Compton Street, where my great grandfather Charles Edward Robb was born in 1851. The picture shows the current No. 33 (the ‘Veg’ cafe), but the numbering may have changed and I can’t be sure if this is the exact building:

birthplace of Charles Edward Robb

33 Old Compton Street, Soho: birthplace of Charles Edward Robb?

The next photo isn’t in Soho, strictly speaking, but it’s the church – St. George, Hanover Square – where Charles Robb’s aunt Matilda (sister of my 2 x great grandfather William) married Frederick King in February 1860:

St. George, Hanover Square

St. George, Hanover Square

I took the next photo from the entrance to Ham Yard, where the Blanch family had a coach-building works, looking up Great Windmill Street. On the corner at No. 20 is what used to be the Red Lion, famously the pub where Marx and Engels composed the Communist Manifesto in 1847-8, now inexplicably renamed ‘Be At One’ (do these people have no sense of history?). Further up the street you can just see the site of No.23, where another of my great grandfathers, Joseph Priestley Roe, was born in July 1862:

Great Windmill Street from Ham Yard

Great Windmill Street from Ham Yard

Apparently the house at No.23 was demolished in 1870, eight years after Joseph Roe’s birth, to make way for the primary school which still stands there today:

23 Great Windmill Street

Soho Parish School: 23 Great Windmill Street

Here’s a photo looking into Ham Yard, and one looking from it towards Archer Street, another road with Blanch family associations:

Ham Yard from Great Windmill Street

Ham Yard from Great Windmill Street

Archer Street from Ham Yard

Archer Street from Ham Yard

The next two photos are of Dufours Place, off Broad Street, where my 2 x great grandmother, Mary Ann Roe (nee Blanch), died in 1870:

Finally (for now) here’s a photo of some old houses in Broad Street, close to Dufours Place, of the kind that might have been there when Mary Ann’s orphaned children were living in this road with their grandmother, Keziah Blanch, in 1871:

Broad Street, Soho

Broad Street, Soho

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One Response to Picturing the past

  1. P.E.Robb says:

    Thanks Martin

    Really interested – what hsitory we have

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