Danson: A private development of the 1930s
Vast sums of money were spent in providing essential services to the new residents. Bexley Council was responsible for supplying electricity in the district. In January 1923 the council agreed to extend the mains to cover 90 houses in Danson Road at a cost of £500. In February 1926 Sandford Road and Rowan Road were connected for £260. Other streets followed. In September that year £150 was spent to provide street lighting for 138 houses on the Little Danson Estate. Added together, such developments represented a substantial investment by the council, which borrowed the money on favourable terms from the Public Works Loans Board.
The gas supply was the responsibility of the privately owned South Suburban Gas Company. It, too, spent a good deal servicing the new estate, laying the first mains down Danson Road in 1927.
The Metropolitan Water Board ran the local waterworks and in April 1927 work began on new mains at Little Danson to cater for the estate. The council was nevertheless responsible for sanitation. As early as 1922 the council was spending £1900 to lay sewers in Danson Road and Bean Road. A further £3819 was spent in 1923. The builders were sometimes asked to contribute to these costs. JW Ellingham gave £1234 towards laying sewers and roadmaking in the Grove.
Adequate sanitation was an important planning consideration for the council. Ellingham’s plans for eight houses in Alers Road were rejected in 1923 because the number of sewage outlets was insufficient. TH Jones’ original plans for the Little Danson Estate were not approved in 1924 because the proposed sewers were thought to be inadequate. Even the new Church of St John’s, Welling, did not escape this regime and the Building Committee was asked to note the need for sanitary conveniences. In 1927 there was a protracted argument between the council and Wade, Archer and Company Limited regarding responsibility for cleaning the septic tanks attached to 36 houses to be built in Blackfen Road.
The General Post Office was installing telephone lines along Alers Road as early as 1925. Park View Road was connected to the system in 1927. Kiosks were erected in Danson Road and Bean Road in 1930, and further lines were laid in both streets the following year. Then over the next three years the network was extended to Danson Mead, Rowan Road, Selwyn Crescent, Danson Lane, Park Approach and Westwood Lane.