Relatively Recent Events
In 1990’s Lewisham Council had erected a public W.C. at the junction of Downham Way and Bromley Road although the site was previously designated for a War Memorial. Following much opposition by the local residents the memorial was later erected across the road (which is now next to Woolworth on Bromley Road).
On one Saturday night at around 8pm at the beginning of December 1997 the Woolworth Store, which stands at the bottom of Downham Way, suffered arson. The building was completely burnt out and as a result the roof caved in. Reconstruction work commenced on 18th October 1997 and to everyone’s surprise the store was rebuilt, fully refurbished and operational on 19th November 1998.
The Downham Tavern
According to the Guinness Book of Records The Downham Tavern, which stood on Downham Way, was the largest public house in England. The Tavern was built in 1920 and was licensed for 1200 people. Above the public house were 34 bedrooms. There was also a huge hall adjacent to the pub. Lewisham Council owned the building.
Throughout the 1990’s the Tavern suffered lack of investment and was in need of refurbishment. Lewisham Council sold the site to the Courage Brewery and they sold the site to the CO-OP organisation. The CO-OP demolished the Tavern and in its place built a CO-OP supermarket together with a relatively small public house in front of the CO-OP. The new pub is licensed for 280 people.
The new Tavern opened for business on 1st September 1997.