Evan Cook Close, SE15

Place Name

Evan Cook (1865 – September 24, 1947) was born into a working class family in Greenwich but by the time died he founded one of the country’s and Europe’s most trusted international transportation firms. He started work as a pawnbroker’s warehouse boy. From there he learned about furniture removing. In 1893 he branched out setting up a second-hand furniture shop at 72 Queen’s Road, Peckham. For the first few years his wife managed the new business while he continued his job as a pawnbroker’s salesman in the City by day. He would deliver the day’s sales by handcart in the evening. As time went on he built up a removals trade bearing his name at the same time. The handcart he used, known as Number One Barrow, was preserved in the firm’s depository at Fulham. As the business flourished he replaced the handcart with a horse and cart, By the time mechanized transport arrived, he has a stable of 30 horses. But in 1908 every penny of the family’s resources was invested in a steam wagon. His reputation as a safe pair of hands won him lucrative contracts. In the 1920s he was employed to move the historic Gog and Magog statues from Cheapside to America after they had been purchased by Henry Ford. He had also become mover of choice to the gentry and in 1930 Evan Cook’s was chosen to transport a valuable consignment of Italian Art Treasures to Burlington House. Aside from his business activities, he devoted a lot of time to public affairs. In 1898 he was elected to the Board of Guardians and in 1912 he became a Camberwell Borough Councillor becoming Mayor of Camberwell is years later. He was also appointed as a JP. This street was laid out on the site of his Queen’s Road depository.


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