A History of Broadway: Stephen Perry, March 2012

Stephen Perry gave a great lunchtime lecture, or as he called it ‘an illustrated talk with a bit of entertainment thrown in’. He started by asking what the audience knew of Broadway and what they remembered from its past. He showed the estate agents plan of the area from 1876 which showed Broadway. Given the very literal name as it was an incredibly broad road. Not all of the properties on the plan came to fruition, it was more of an illustration of what could be.

Stephen Lectures in St Johns

Stephen Perry gives an illustrated talk with entertainment in St Johns

Stephen showed some illustrations of shops long gone, such as Farrow’s corner. This was where the Board of Guardians for the workhouse met in the Victorian period, as well as being a shop. On Broadway in the early part of the 20th Century was fruit sellers,saddlers and insurance brokers. The Evening Telegraph and Advertiser were both printed on Broadway in the 1960s. Hereward House had its topping out ceremony on 25 June 1964.

See below for some of the images and maps of the area found within the Conservation Area Appraisal.

Park Conservation Area Appraisal Report and Management Plan

It was used for parades and events but known as a place for entertainment. The Broadway cinema opened December 1910 and was re-opened with a new frontage and a new spelling as the Broadway Kinema in Aug 1913. There was also a skating rink for rollerskating on Broadway before the 1960s, following fads for skating in Peterborough in the 1870s, 1910s and 1930s.

The Hippodrome, a purpose built music hall, was built in 1907, and lasted for 43 weeks until it went bust and was sold to a new owner, who went on to run it with more success. It changed its names 3 times, to the Palladium then to the Palace. Next door to the Hippodrome the Embassy was built in 1937 and for 3 weeks they both ran as venues until the Hippodrome was demolished.

The market on Broadway opened in 1865, selling all manor of things from sheep and rabbits, poultry and corn.

The original library on Broadway opened on May 29 1906, opened by Andrew Carnegie, who was made a freeman of the city. The new library which stands on Broadway today was opened in 1990.

The Odeon on Broadway was erected in 1937, opening with a showing of ‘Theodora goes wild’ (!). Now known as the Broadway.

A fascinating rundown of a street, which as Stephen said, has existed for over 130 years and served the city well by providing employment, entertainment, learning and housing, including for at least 4 drapers!



2 thoughts on “A History of Broadway: Stephen Perry, March 2012

  1. Hello, this sounds like an interesting talk, pity I missed it. Do you have more details of the owners of the Hippodrome/Palladium/Palace. In particular during the Palladium phase please?

    Posted by UppertonRoad AreaResidents | May 14, 2012, 3:09 pm

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