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There was a camera shop in South End, right near the Blue Anchor pub, that had a record section at the back of the shop. I can’t remember what it was called, but I discovered it after spotting a carousel rack of records outside whilst passing by on the top deck of a bus. I got off at the next stop and bought the first Electric Light Orchestra album plus The Band’s ‘Cahoots’ so that dates it to 1971 or later. Oh, and ‘Accolade 2’ with Don Partridge, also 1971. The guy who ran the shop was very helpful and ordered a lot of obscure British jazz albums on Deram for me. He had a nice selection of reduced price classical LPs which pretty much kick-started my classical collection. I think he sold some hi-fi stuff as well – Quad electrostatic speakers that looked like radiators! Dave Harwood

These comments are from different threads on recent Bygone Croydon Facebook pages about record shops in Croydon:

12 May 2013 at 03:06
Gary Cooper: “I always bought mine from a shop in South Croydon opposite Whitgift Galleries by the Blue Anchor next to that old antique shop. It was a photography shop with records out the back and the guy who ran it smoked a pipe and was very laid back and into classical music - couldn`t understand why I listened to all this King Crimson, Led Zep, David Bowie etc. So much so that he gave me Vaughan Williams ‘London Symphony’ which got me into classical music too.”

28 January 2013 at 04:12
Jonathan Law: “There was a good little shop on South End where Bagatti's restaurant is now.”

‘Although I mainly remember the shop for selling records (mostly classical) in the early 1970’s, I did buy some photographic accessories there in 1983 (for my newly acquired cine camera outfit). I made the cheque out to ‘Croydon Cine’ which ties in with the nature of my purchase.’

Croydon Cine Exchange appears at 48 South End, Croydon in the following phone books:
1950 London
1955 Outer London: Kent/Surrey
1960 Outer London: Kent/Surrey

And as Croydon Cine Exchange Ltd in:
1971 Outer London: North East Surrey
1980 Bromley/Orpington
1984 Caterham/Reigate
Dave Harwood

Name Philip Gamble Comment: Croydon Cine Exchange was a business started by my grandfather (Wilfred Penrose Gamble) who was son of the founder partner of Hunter Penrose, a printing supply firm which still exists to this day. The photographic and printing industries were intermingled in those days and Croydon Cine Exchange was ultimately taken over by my father Peter Gamble who is the chap with the pipe referred to by Gary Cooper. Oddly, I still use a pair of the speakers made by Quad which look like radiators sold to Dave Harwood. I have many pictures of the shop, the staff and surrounding areas if there is an interest.

I found a photo of South End, Croydon in 1969, looking north, which shows the Blue Anchor pub (on the left) and the Whitgift Galleries (on the right). Although it doesn’t actually show the shop, which was just a few shops beyond the Blue Anchor on the left-hand side of the road by the parked car. Dave Harwood


Dave Harwood
19 Jun 2023 at 04:04
There is a photo of Croydon Cine Exchange at 48 South End, Croydon on the 'Shops in South End' webpage of the London Picture Archive website. It is dated 1964 and clearly shows the shop name on the awning.



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