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Book reviews — March 1974

The Phoenix Suburb: A South London Social History, Alan R. Warwick
vm+217pp, ill, Blue Boar Press, 1972, £2.85
This account of Norwood provides a useful background to the development of the area. Of particular interest are sections on the early charcoal burners, the Croydon Canal and the later London & Croydon Railway with its bold but ill-fated experiments in atmospheric power. The Crystal Palace inevitably looms large: its second life (and death) in South London are well described, as are the displays of aeronautics and ballooning that attracted many to this early 'fun palace'. The book concludes appropriately with an account of the Norwood Society's promising efforts to stimulate positive interest in the future development of the area. Don't be deterred by the sub-title, there are no 'sociological' glosses: the author deals with individual people and real communities.

A number of books on London suburbs and districts have appeared recently: the following might repay attention:

Semi-Detached London: Suburban Development, Life and Transport, 1900-39, Alan A. Jackson
Allen & Unwin, £6.50

Islington, Pieter Zwart
Sidgwick & Jackson, £1.95

Hampstead: Building A Borough, 1650-1964, F.M.L. Thompson
Routledge, £7.50

The Streets of Hampstead: A Survey of Their Origins and Names, Their Historic Houses and Famous Residents, compiled by Christopher Wade
High Hill Press, 75p

More Streets of Hampstead, compiled by Camden History Society's Street History Group, ed. Christopher Wade
High Hill Press, £1

Five books, the first two new, the others new editions of earlier books, were published by the London Transport Executive in 1973:

Two publications by the London Borough of Lambeth set an example which other London Boroughs might care to emulate:

Both obtainable from the Director of Amenity Services, 14 Knights Hill, SE27 0HY

© GLIAS, 1974