Esoteric London

No. 456: Alpha Road, SE14

Posted in Catastrophes, Funereal, Lettering by esotericlondon on November 28, 2011

Alpha Road, London, SE14. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

Ironically, the entrance to Alpha Road where this ghost sign for Bryant and May’s Brymay safety matches can be seen is opposite 439 New Cross Road.

In the early hours of January 18th 1981 the house at 439 was the venue for a joint birthday party for Angela Jackson and Yvonne Ruddick. It ended in tragedy when a blaze engulfed the house killing thirteen black teenagers. At the time amid the grief and horror of the event many theories for the fire began to emerge; it was thought possible that the fire had been started deliberately, possibly by racists or by somebody refused entry to the party, or that it was just a terrible accident. Two subsequent inquests into the terrible event have returned an open verdict and for some the case still raises unanswered questions. R.D.

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