PETER LITTLER – SOUTHFIELDS OLD BOY
It is with regret that we announce that former Southfields ‘Old Boy Peter Littler has died.
After his wife Eve passed away Peter learnt to jive and is seen in the image below with Kathy Shiels who lives in Brookwood Road with her Mum. Jiving became his passion and he travelled far and wide to indulge in his love of dancing and music.
On Friday 10th January, Peter collapsed on the dance floor in Cheam and died later in hospital. Many of his family, friends and fellow dancers who packed the Guildford Crematorium said, ‘that’s the way he would have wanted to go, enjoying himself on the dance floor’.
Peter Littler was born at 55 Brookwood Road and spent the whole of the war years in
Southfields. His early primary education was at a school at 61 Elborough Street
untill 1947. Peter’s father had purchased 55 Brookwood Road in 1930 for £800.00 where his Mother remained until 1994. She died in 2007 at a retirement flat in Wimbledon at the age of 101.
When things got back to almost normal after the war he attended Southfields Primary
School at the bottom of Brookwood Road behind what was then The Elliott Secondary School. He then went onto Southfields Secondary School on the corner of Replingham and Merton Roads, in 1951 on obtaining a Trade Scholarship Peter attended Brixton School of Building until starting work in 1956. As a lad, at weekends he worked in the Greengrocers in Replingham Road, one shop up from the corner of Clonmore Street. Very low pay but it saw him through College.
The Plaza cinema during his young days was the great place of local entertainment and even the Manager used to dress in an evening suit and bow tie at most performances. Unfortunately during the war years it became a little run down and was often referred to as the “Local Flea Pit”. For many years his wife and her family and friends played Bingo there often winning which, helped the family budget in their married years.
Peter met Eve Norman who lived at 13 Clonmore Street. Although they knew each other previously for quite a long time, they didn’t go out together until late 1959 as most of his youth was misspent in Soho Jazz Clubs and during his teens playing or
listening to Jazz.
On 15 September 1962, Peter married Eve Norman at St. Barnabas Church and the
service was conducted by the Reverend Clark. It was on a very sunny day, most of those present were family members and shown in the photo taken in the church grounds. Peter and Eve are seen leaving the church in Lavenham Road to go on their honeymoon in Cornwall,
Sadly Eve passed away in April 2006 a very short period after being diagnosed with cancer.
After renting the property for four years, in 1966 Peter purchased 59 Elborough St, for £3500.00 as two separate flats and remained there until he moved to Surrey. He sold the property in 1977 for £19450.00 as a single occupation house with the first parking area in the front garden. His move was to obtain a better education for his children and he has remained in the county since then.
When Peter left Southfields most of the shops in Brookwood Road were in operation and included 2 Newsagents, a Bakers, 3 Greengrocers, several sweet shops, hairdressers, a fish and chip shop and a wet fishmongers shop, an Off
Licence and a hardware shop. There was also a Driving Test Centre where ‘Learners’
went to take their driving test around the Grid Streets.
Prior to leaving Southfields, Peter was involved with the early formation of the
Southfields Grid Residents Association with Tina Thompson and early SGRA
meetings were held at 59 Elborough Street
If you are one of the people at St Banabas Church that day in September 1962 or recognise anyone in the photo, please let us know. Perhaps you have a story you wish to share about living on the Southfields Grid.