please empty your brain below

I always thought the Horseshoe in Glasgow was the longest bar in Britain - but a quick Google shows that both it and the Falcon try to claim that title.
Anyone got a Guinness Book of Records handy? (Alternatively, I could pop down with a tape measure and do some research...)

Ah, DG, it's a pity that Northcote Road isn't part of your manor or, rather, wasn't at the time when the Lighthouse Bakery was there. I must declare an interest: the owners are my mates. But the incontrovertible truth is that the bread queues used to snake out into the street, and the customers were heartbroken when the bakers sold the lease so as to set up a wholesale business and a Bakery School in Sussex.

A significant part of the story is that the bakers declined humungous offers for their lease from various chain-shop magnates, because they wanted to resist the dilution of independents, even 'in absentia'. There was/is extreme pressure on rents in that street, with the danger that only the chains can afford to pay.

It's a situation that reminds me of a beautiful food-shop called Joy that used to be at the Hampstead end of the Finchley Road. The first time I went in, I spontaneously burst into tears: it was so attractive visually, but it also felt like *home*. A woman behind a counter was calmly preparing food. There was abundance of thoughtfully-selected, health-giving things, ll laid out on wood and marble. Sigh. Then the landlord suggested an immense rent increase. The shop closed. And the premises was empty for years . . .

Thank you very much for the Rivers: really enriching.

You've been exploring in my neck of the woods! (I live just a couple of streets up from Montholme Rd.) It's really interesting to read about one of the lost rivers running through this area; I never really thought about it before, but the dip between the two Commons would obviously have made an ideal route for a watercourse.

Is this one of those 'lost rivers' that now runs in a sizeable sewer pipe, or does the water just seep through the ground these days?

If you go along Mayford Road in Balham where the two arms of the Falconbrook join, I am convinced you can hear the river through the gratings in the road. And then there is a green Thames Water weir control box near the junction with Calbourne Road, with some large metal plates in the road. Oh that Thames Water would open up this underground weir to public view. Could you reenact the final chase scene of the Third Man under Balham?(Oh and be very careful of labelling the photos "Clapham Junction". Some Battersea rsidents are very touchy about this and want the station renamed Battersea Junction...)

The longest bar is the Falcon - coz I say so, ha ha.
btw how do you say Falcon.
It is not pronounced like the bird - Fall-con.
It is prounounced Fowl-can.
And you shouldda popped in for one of the best pints you'll ever be served.
Watch out fer mini beer fests in the near future. Yummy.

And Katheryn you are sooo right abaht the old Nawf'cut (not North Coat).
I queued there at yer Lighthouse Bakery or rather me Mum and her sister did. And at Georgie May's fer yer fruit'n'veg.

Pop back soon DG, it's a part of the world every bit as good a yer Bow - coz me Nan came from Bromley by Bow.
Thanks fer anuvva great article.

You can take the boy outta Battersea, but yer cannot take battersea outta the boy.

Following on from wandsworthboy's comment about hearing the potentially river under the road, I've found the same to be true of the junction of Kelmscott and Northcote roads. It's more likely to be unspeakable liquids flowing down from the surrounding streets, but the drain covers seen in the following Street View link nearly always emit the sound of rushing water.,+United+Kingdom&ll=51.45612,-0.165101&spn=0,359.997589&t=k&z=19&layer=c&cbll=51.456088,-0.165228&panoid=DLP4lmCjGyJhb9QnkAObOw&cbp=12,124.25,,0,29.39

Welcome to "Sarth " London. Nortcote Road, affluent? Yes, but only recently!
Great series on the Falcon DG. Before reading your posts ,if someone had asked me where I thought an underground river might run through Balham, I would have immediately thought of Chesnut Grove which runs, steep and narrow, from the tube station to Nightingale Square, where I used to live years before the 4x4s arrived there. The square itself is on a slight incline up towards the ridge of Nightingale Lane so a river coming in on the flat now seems much more likely.
Thanks for these posts, DG - have not been Up the Junction for ages but will head there this week-end.
Re.Arding and Hobbs - not the great store it once was but at least there is a Dept store there and you can still see its name carved on the frontage unlike Gammages in Holborn which was also a landmark in its time.

I tried tracing the route using . It seems to show the course clearly above Falcon Road, before Northcote Road was built, and has a number of waterfalls marked.

So this must be why there's a 'Falcon Junction' in amongst all the routes around Clapham Junction station. It's where the tracks to the West London Line diverge from the slow lines at the west end of platforms 14-17, then after disappearing under the main lines they pass a 'Falcon Park' - is this latter park relevant at all?

Fantastic! Not one I've gotten around to looking into very much, having only jumped in at one particularly interesting spot along the route.

Indeed yes, there is a Falcon Brook Sewer. Your map is very accurate in tracing the course of the sewer and so it's plain that the brook was simply culverted, even the two heads are echoed in the sewer's course to some degree. There's also an associated storm relief sewer, Falcon Brook Relief Sewer (unsurprisingly).

The sewer which follows the brook's course doesn't have a Thames outfall, as you rightly point out. It halts at a pumping station in York Gardens from where it's content is drawn up to join the southern low level no.1 intercepting sewer. The Falcon Brook relief sewer continues on from the pumping station, along the brook's course, but its Thames outfall is sumped and submerged out in the middle of the river.

Great stuff - and thanks for the link!

In St Mary's Church just off Battersea Square (at the back of the upper level, more or less above the entrance), there's a large and old parish map that predates all the Victorian development of the area. It's very detailed and worth a look - one of its best features is that the Falconbrook is drawn out in full - including all manner of interesting features. The curious kink in Falcon Road is where the old farm track crossed the river. Two farmworkers' cottages are set along the riverside (roughly opposite where TK Maxx is now) - and almost unbelievably, if you go to today's high street the cottages are still there (now with front extensions and looking a bit run down - one hosts a jewellry shop). The old manor farm overlooked the river crossing, and turns out to also still be there (it's now converted to a house at an odd angle, sandwiched into a terrace of newer houses behind the Revolution bar).

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