Downham Online Discussion

Forums => Notable Downham Residents (past and present!) => Topic started by: David Line on October 10, 2007, 08:34:32 AM

Title: Notable Downhamites
Post by: David Line on October 10, 2007, 08:34:32 AM
Could I suggest a new forum is added to Downham Online. Contained on existing pages is a wealth of historical information about Downham which could be vital to future research on the estate. Sadly it is scattered amongst other postings which means it is virtually impossible to unearth without scrolling through scores of of less relevant material ( I am certainly guilty of adding to it ).

Why not kick off with memories of notable Downham characters with a forum allocated to just this subject? There has already been much mention made of Doctor Nathaniel Hockman who I believe deserves his own thread. There must be many like him such as Teddy Taylor (of the Teddy Taylor quintet) who was born on Downham and ran a successful band during the fifties and sixties and became a regular session musician for such radio programmes as Easy Beat and Saturday Club.

I would like to think we could assemble details about ordinary folk who, in one way or another, impacted on life in Downham. Even people like my uncle, Albert Afford who was a gas meter reader on the estate for nearly forty years. His claim to fame? It is said he frequently got more than a cup of tea when he read a housewife`s gas meter!

David Line
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: christine on October 10, 2007, 09:14:53 AM
What a good idea, David.  Sadly I was only about 13 when I left Downham but do remember Dr Hockman very well - obviously as a child the doctor was always the most important person in your life apart from parents!  I used to be taken to another practice as well (gosh, were we allowed to attend more than one GP practice?) - cannot remember exactly where - run by a Dr Blau?  I believe she might have been Austrian but certainly remember it was she who had me rushed into hospital at the age of 6 with suspected meningitis.  Perhaps I owe her my life - who knows?  Afraid I don't recall any other notable Downham people - think age is against me!  I thought Tommy Steele came from the Downham area but could be wrong.
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: JSmith on October 10, 2007, 08:47:11 PM
Tommy Steel lived on Ravensbourne Pk Rd Catford when He became famous. That is certainly a good idea to start a forum strictly for  Historical names places and pictures. But as you say all this info is scattered over many forums.
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Brenda on October 11, 2007, 02:31:34 AM
We place it in your hands, Mike. After all, you're the boss! 

I remember Dr Blau, Chris.  Never knew before how to spell it.  I have always presumed she was German or Austrian and I guess there would be a good story behind her residence in England in those post-war years.  She was our doctor when we lived in Crutchley Rd.  I was always a little afraid of her (I think I was afraid of almost everyone when I was a child, come to think of it) but never of Dr Hockman.

Tommy Steele was a Bermondsey boy.  I am sure he felt he was going very much up-market when he moved to Ravensbourne Rd.  My friends in Denmark went to his concert in 2006 - said they had a wonderful time.  I was staggered. I had no idea he was still performing.  Do you hear much about him in  England now?

As for Uncle Alf the amorous meter reader: as my mother would have said, "Well I bleedin' never."
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Dickie eagle on October 11, 2007, 09:03:20 AM
Sorry, hate to be a wet blanket,and I know  Downham seems to have had more than its fair share of those who made it to the top like me .and our lady authoress Brenda, David Bowie (Jones), Mr & Mrs Smith's "Five little Boys",Bass players, I mention one of the coutries best Joe Muddle who with  Gillespie & Dankworth (Sir John)promoted "Progressive  jazz" (My inverted commas) and who has worked with the best international stars as a sideline he also composed and wrote the lyrics of some 15 standards which were recorded widely.The Daily Telegraph published Joe's Biography in softback. Tommy Steel I believe bought his Mum a place in Catford but the family (The Hicks) were from Orient St., Bermondsey not Dahnum  Keith told us that Roy Castle lived near Churchdown , 'bye now dickie....................
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Brenda on October 11, 2007, 09:56:27 AM
Sorry, hate to be a wet blanket,

Nah, that's not being a wet blanket, Dickie.  You've made a good start to the list, haven't you?  And who was the boxer someone was talking about not long ago. Oh, he left a message on the site, didn't he? Eric someone.  If I've got your first name correct, Eric, I apologise for forgetting your surname. 

There's an author from our parts too. I heard him on radio over here and he was talking about the posh boys from Bromley College. Don't know that he was from Downham but obviously not too far from there.  Oh, what was his name?  Alex somebody.  Maybe I will think of it later. 
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Dickie eagle on October 11, 2007, 09:19:20 PM
Hi !,and Thanks. You were thinking of "young" Eric McQuade, I do remember him as my kid sister had a crush in that direction in those carefree days . Er um ! that story about the meter man, mmm mmm could be, but then I didn't have to read the meter. When he counted the pennies he paid back about 10 % so the wives were doubtless grateful on occasions       dickie.................
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: David Line on October 12, 2007, 03:37:45 PM
All fascinating stuff, but it was not just "the famous" I was thinking about. More important were the ordinary folk who contributed to or impacted on the community in one way or another. It could be someone who gave time to help others, notable teachers at any of the Downham schools, tradesmen or vendors (remember the onion Johnnies in the 50s), those who acted bravely without thought for themselves during the blitz, or simply "characters". The possible list is endless. Don`t forget it is real people who make up a community and contribute to its history.

Best wishes

David
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Brenda on October 13, 2007, 07:20:44 AM
All fascinating stuff, but it was not just "the famous" I was thinking about. More important were the ordinary folk who contributed to or impacted on the community in one way or another. It could be someone who gave time to help others, notable teachers at any of the Downham schools, tradesmen or vendors (remember the onion Johnnies in the 50s), those who acted bravely without thought for themselves during the blitz, or simply "characters". The possible list is endless. Don`t forget it is real people who make up a community and contribute to its history.

Best wishes

David
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Brenda on October 13, 2007, 07:26:55 AM
Yes, you're quite right, David.  And Dr Hockman comes top of the list as far as I am concerned.  Hard-working, caring, patient, understand - a doctor of the old school.

Sadly, I have always felt I had teachers who were uninspired and who did not inspire me to greater things.  Perhaps it is a case of a bad workman blaming his tools; perhaps others had a different experience.

 
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Pauline on October 15, 2007, 05:50:34 AM
Why not kick off with memories of notable Downham characters with a forum allocated to just this subject? There has already been much mention made of Doctor Nathaniel Hockman who I believe deserves his own thread. There must be many like him such as Teddy Taylor (of the Teddy Taylor quintet) who was born on Downham and ran a successful band during the fifties and sixties and became a regular session musician for such radio programmes as Easy Beat and Saturday Club.


David Line

Alas I never knew any notable people at all.  Can't even claim loose acquaintance with anyone of any notoriety (although I did know a lady who got into the last 6 at Crufts with her bulldog - does that count?).
However, my Dr Kelman was a gem.  The cobbler up there next to Fords (Grove Park) worked miracles when my stiletto heels fell off.  Talking of Fords, what a wonderful store that was, my Mum would send me there to get our parafin for our heater (wonder we all survived). Theladies in the wool shop (and Anne's along Downham Way there) would help decipher a pattern, - were have all the wool shops gone?
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Dickie eagle on October 15, 2007, 08:08:19 PM
I assume that contribution was our young friend Brenda from Durham Hill ( Dahn Undah ). Yep !The late Dr. Mark Kelman was a wonderful person.South African, who trained here.married a gorgeous Staff nurse and opted for the mushrooming new estate of Downham. His original Surgery was by the Rent Office adjacent to the top of Northover in Downham Way. Later moving to Burnt Ash Lane opposite Launcelot. That was after his stint as an Army Medical Officer in the far East. I did bump into him once out there. He was my Mentor .
Incidentally Bren the people at Hither Green would like a rough idea of the date of your Grans demise,they are quite helpful        Dickie.....................
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Brenda on October 15, 2007, 11:06:52 PM
I assume that contribution was our young friend Brenda from Durham Hill
 
No Dickie, that was from Pauline.

Another notable - but definitely not famous - Downham person was Mrs Hobbs.  She was one of the 'playground ladies', those marvellous women who patrolled the school playgrounds and sorted out bingles and soothed grazed knees etc during the breaks.  She also made wonderful birthday cakes to order.  Mrs Hobbs was the sweetest and kindest of ladies and very non-scary. That was important to me, being such a scaredy-cat.  When a friend and I tied a girl up in the lavatory with a skipping rope (I think that was the only time I did anything really naughty - must've been my friend's influence!), it was Mrs Hobbs who found her after the bell had gone to go back to classes.  Not only did I feel bad for doing the naughty deed, but was mortified to be thought ill of by Mrs Hobbs.

Will check Gran's death-date and let you know, Dickie.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Pauline on October 16, 2007, 04:40:34 AM


Sadly, I have always felt I had teachers who were uninspired and who did not inspire me to greater things.  Perhaps it is a case of a bad workman blaming his tools; perhaps others had a different experience.

 

You are quire right Brenda - unless we were geniuses we fell by the wayside.  You definitely had to have the right colour eyes - I didn't.  I don't think I recall anyone from Churchdown going off to University.  A young lad in the next street (Gareth Grove) went to Uni, we were so proud of him - he became a lawyer or an accountant or something like that and did very well.  I work in a Uni now, and when I see some of the gormless lumps coming though I wonder where I went wrong.

I remember our headmistress Mrs Gatehouse - she terrified me.  Unfortunately I was a tad too noisy. If we did something wrong and were sent out of the class - heaven help us if she came by.  She reminded me so much of Maggie Thatcher. I always say I'm 18 'til I die - but my daughter reckons I didn't even reach 18!!!!!!
There seemed to be a closer community - everyone did something for someone didn't they?  I remember my Mum rushing next door when our neighbour went into labour and helped deliver the baby because the doctor or midwife was out helping someone else.
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Brenda on October 17, 2007, 07:09:11 AM
I could have made more of my education, I am sure.  I actually got a place in Prendergast but my mother, rightly or otherwise, thought a grammar school would prove too expensive and so I went to Churchdown instead.  I was top of the class in English and French and bottom of the class in maths.  Perhaps, as I said before, it was the uninspired and soporific teaching which caused my early promise to be stunted. Or perhaps I was just too lazy. 

Mrs Gatehouse was certainly memorable and, like you, I was terrified of her.

You are also correct about the community feeling on the Downham of our youth.  There was always a neighbour who would have me in when my mother had to go out to work and considered me too young to be left alone in the house.   I particularly remember how the neighbours would be as quiet as possible when I was on night-duty.  I am sure half the street crept around just so I wouldn't be disturbed.  Can you imagine that happening these days?  So, for notable Downhamites, I nominate all those kind neighbours of yesteryear - truly the salt of the earth.
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Dickie eagle on October 17, 2007, 11:25:27 AM
[quote author=David Line
All fascinating stuff, but it was not just "the famous" I was thinking about.

does being the "Grooms" bakers boy count ?. I had to get my pocket money somewhere, We covered about three quarters of the estate( including Churchdown Smiffy ),and I can still remember most of our customers . lots of "tick" too ! then the next week they didn't answer the door although you could see the curtains twitching         Dickie.....................

Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Brenda on October 19, 2007, 08:56:53 AM
Of course Groom's baker boy should be up there with the best of them.  Love the story about the twitching curtains.

Now then, Dickie, how about telling everyone what you knew about Joe of Capstone Road.  He was certainly a 'character', wasn't he?
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Dickie eagle on October 19, 2007, 11:03:14 PM
Brenda lover, Joe was an old friend,and we did get around quite a lot together , we had fun and I seemed to have spent a lot of time in Capstone Rd., too, all I can say is that he had a lovely family  with five lovely sisters to match. Tell you what, I'll send you a copy of his Autobiography for Christmas, okay !  Dickie.............
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Pauline on October 20, 2007, 03:56:58 AM
Quote from: David Line
All fascinating stuff, but it was not just "the famous" I was thinking about.


[/quote

Can anyone through any light on the Provident people?  I seem to recall my Mum got Provident cheques and certain shops would accept them for clothing.  But I have no idea how they worked. I am assuming Mum would either pay for them before or after she got them.  Anyone else do this ?

We had Grooms bread - they had a depot in Sundridge Park.

An what about the rag and bone man - my Mum would never let me get anything off of him.

Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Brenda on October 20, 2007, 08:25:46 AM
Brenda lover, Joe was an old friend,and we did get around quite a lot together , we had fun and I seemed to have spent a lot of time in Capstone Rd., too, all I can say is that he had a lovely family  with five lovely sisters to match. Tell you what, I'll send you a copy of his Autobiography for Christmas, okay !  Dickie.............

Are we thinking of the same Joe, Dickie?  Joe who had his stall outside his house until the council in its wisdom said it was illegal and so he took all his jars etc inside and had them on the stairs?  If Mrs Joe answered the door to our knocks, she always seemed so scared.  Perhaps, the new system was illegal too and she was scared of ... who? 
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Brenda on October 20, 2007, 08:32:25 AM
The Provident cheques ring a bell although I don't recall my mother using them.  Don't know anything about them though, Pauline.

As for the rag and bone man, well, I always worried about the horse having to drag the cart along.  I also hated it when my mother sent me out with a bundle of old clothes (and they must have been very old because anything that could be altered or cut down or mended would have been) because I could guarantee whatever I got for them did not suit my mother at all and then, naturally, I would feel bad about it.

Does anyone remember the old lady in Capstone Rd to whom we'd go for wreaths?  She lived near the cut-through to the Catholic Church and had a garden full of hollyhocks.  She also had what I now know to be lymphodoema in one leg.  Anyway, she was really part of the 'village' system, wasn't she?  No Interflora then, just round to her to order the wreath or posy.  I never did know her name. 

Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: christine on October 20, 2007, 07:58:59 PM
Have to say that all these comments have started the memories rushing back.  Another one I remember is the Coop milkman whose name, I think, was Bill.  I remember his milk float coming to grief one day in Woodbank Road (I lived on the corner of Woodbank and Shaw Road) - did it go out of control or had he had one too many Christmas sherries - that bit I cannot remember but remember it was around Christmas time.  And yes, I think I remember the Provident cheques if that is the scheme whereby clothes were bought and paid for over a number of weeks.  If that was the case then that's where my awful dresses came from - got bought at about age 7 when they came almost to the ankles and then by the age of 11 actually fitted!  Could not imagine my daughter when she was small putting up with that in a million years - hers had to come from Laura Ashley!  I also remember being told that the man who stood on the corner of, I think, Lentmead was someone called a 'bookies runner' - anyone remember or enlighten?
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Brenda on October 21, 2007, 08:33:14 AM
There was also a bookies' runner who used to stand on the corner of Capstone and Lamerock Rds.  Perhaps one and the same.  My (honorary) Aunt Nell who lived in Capstone Rd used to keep a lookout for the strong arm of the law for him.  Not that I recall the police were ever on the estate regularly.  In fact, it seemed quite a novelty for a constable to pass by - on foot, of course. 

Our milkman (I presume the Co-op man) was Ginger, so called for obvious reasons, and was unfailingly cheerful.  How did these blokes manage to be so nice in such dead-end jobs (as we would call them now) for years and years and years?   So, I definitely nominate the milkmen and all the other tradesmen - including the baker's boys, naturally.

Can't help laughing about the dresses, Chris.  But you're right of course.  Our mothers used to buy everything too big so we'd get plenty of wear from our clothes.  And if it didn't have a large hem to let down in the future, it simply wasn't bought.
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Pauline on October 22, 2007, 02:59:18 AM

Does anyone remember the old lady in Capstone Rd to whom we'd go for wreaths?  She lived near the cut-through to the Catholic Church and had a garden full of hollyhocks.  She also had what I now know to be lymphodoema in one leg.  Anyway, she was really part of the 'village' system, wasn't she?  No Interflora then, just round to her to order the wreath or posy.  I never did know her name. 



I remember my dad used to belong to a garden club in Moorside.

My Mum would buy my dresses from Peakroys(?) in Catford on layby.  But mostly she would make them.  Did anyone else have the toes of their shoes cut out when they got too small?  My kids and grandthings would be mortified.
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Dickie eagle on October 23, 2007, 09:53:51 AM
Sorry about the "Joe" thing Bren, two different Joe's eh?  old Joe Gorin and his sweet stall yep! quite a character, but his son was quite good looking.(i.e he didn't have Joe's nose) That Bookie actually lived in the house on the Capstone end of Lamerock. I put my refractory  half-crown into a sheet of paper and wrote "Sheila's Cottage" and signed it "Eagle", it was a tip by the "Tout" on the back of the "News of the World" and came home at 40 to 1. which made the win 5.2s6d at a time when the average wage on Downham was 2 a week, I got 30/- which paid for my scouts camp. Incidentally the most Grown out of dress I encountered was a well developed Guide who still struggled into her Brownie Dress (She looked gorgeous) and was very friendly , I have to be careful what I write she may still be around          dickie...;.......
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Brenda on October 24, 2007, 07:15:32 AM
I thought sweet-stall Joe would have been a bit old for a young Dickie to be sowing his wild oats with.  As for the Girl Guide, well Dickie, I suspect there are a few ladies of your youth who have some blush-making memories.

I wonder when Joe and Mrs Joe left Downham and where they went. I am sure he was still selling his sweets when rationing ended but maybe I've got that wrong.

Pauline, I think the shop was Pecrys (or was it Pecries or ...?) and it was the one at the top of Catford Broadway, wasn't it? 

I am pleased to say I never had the toes cut out of my shoes (although I remember the many children who did) but my mother, like yours, made most of our clothes.  She knitted socks and gloves and hats and jumpers and our winter coats were made by cutting down those from older cousins.  So yes, another nomination for notable Downhamites is our hard-working, make-do-and-mend but don't moan mums.

Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Dickie eagle on October 29, 2007, 07:50:20 PM
Thanks Bren, can you include a Bakers boy in your next printed works ? oh yes and the girl guide who you can name June (Well she was busting out all over !)   dickie...........
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Dickie eagle on October 31, 2007, 09:10:53 AM
We got no rain,only Drizzle,which is miserable, but my daughter drove me to Bexley for the  "Joe Mudele Trio" with the guest artist John Dankwoth, so the Kings Head was packed to the gunwhales but very friendly and enjoyable, sadly unlike the old days there was no singalong , in the old Tavern at weekend if the band played a popular number everyone joined in,a regular "Sod's Opera". I guess the war also contributed to the atmosphere and Bon Homie.              dickie....................
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: christine on November 01, 2007, 03:01:47 PM
My brother, Don, was, I believe, the first Queen's Scout in the area back in 1953 and sold programmes at the Queen's Coronation so does that make him a notable Downhamite?  If any of you slightly older Downhamites attended the scout troop at St Luke's Church you may remember him, Don Bourne, (and his best friend and subsequent best man, Peter, who also got the scouting award at the same time)?
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Dickie eagle on November 01, 2007, 10:01:50 PM
Was your brother at the summer camp just south of Yeovil the incumbent was there and an old friend of mine  , one Sid Adams (and wife plus two sons) must have been around 1964 . St Lukes had a green scarf with a gold border (not forgetting the woggle ! )     dickie................
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Brenda on November 01, 2007, 11:36:48 PM
My brother, Don, was, I believe, the first Queen's Scout in the area back in 1953 and sold programmes at the Queen's Coronation so does that make him a notable Downhamite? 

Absolutely does - in my opinion at least. 
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: christine on November 02, 2007, 06:29:22 PM
Was your brother at the summer camp just south of Yeovil the incumbent was there and an old friend of mine  , one Sid Adams (and wife plus two sons) must have been around 1964 . St Lukes had a green scarf with a gold border (not forgetting the woggle ! )     dickie................
No Dickie, don't think so.  Once he got his Queens Badge he was out of scouting and then went onto do national service in the RAF and got married at 22 - all before 1959.  Think you might be right about the scarf although the picture in the local paper was in black and white so relying on memory here - not good at the best of times!
Chris
Title: Re: The Medical Mission
Post by: maureen on December 18, 2007, 11:39:44 AM
Reading all the messages about doctors on Downham, I remember Dr Powys at The Medical Mission and I remember if you went there when the surgery opened they used to have a little prayer reading, could not imagine that ever happening now. Dr Powys gave me the biggest shock of my life when she told me I was pregnant!!

We used to buy our Marmite from there as well and I think that delicious orange juice in the little glass bottles. I'm talking about the early 50's.
Title: Re: The Medical Mission
Post by: Brenda on December 19, 2007, 05:28:08 AM


We used to buy our Marmite from there as well and I think that delicious orange juice in the little glass bottles. I'm talking about the early 50's.
[/quote]

Joy of joys, Marmite is now on our supermarket shelves - although it is called My Mate (because of trademark issues). Previously, we had to rely on people visiting the UK to bring some back for us.  Nothing else compares. As for that delicious orange juice that used to be given out at the clinics, oh my, it was delicious and I've never found another orange juice like it. Other edible delights missed out here are: Bramley cooking apples; Jersey tomatoes; Jaffa oranges; Kent cobnuts; acid drops; pear drops; aniseed twists; locusts (but have now got a tree and am waiting for it to fruit); tigernuts, and lots more that I can't think of at the moment.  Oh yes, faggots. Have tried making them but they are never the same.
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: maureen on December 19, 2007, 02:04:10 PM
How about our very own Henry Cooper he came from Farmstead Road, Catford.

Souxie & The Banshees she came from Bromley.

Manfred Mann, although thinking back that might have been Beckenham, my friend and I used to hang around outside his house praying for a glimpse of Paul Jones.
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: mike on December 22, 2007, 11:11:13 AM
Is it time to namedrop and say that I know Paul Jones from Manfred Mann. Well, to be fair, he's a friend of a friend, and we've had a meal at his home in Wimbledon a couple of times, and met Paul and his lovely wife Fiona Hendley (remember "Widows" - the 80's drama series anyone?)
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Brenda on December 31, 2007, 06:34:00 AM
Is it time to namedrop and say that I know Paul Jones from Manfred Mann. Well, to be fair, he's a friend of a friend, and we've had a meal at his home in Wimbledon a couple of times, and met Paul and his lovely wife Fiona Hendley (remember "Widows" - the 80's drama series anyone?)

Now, now Maureen, control yourself!

Bought Widows on DVD a few months ago - one of our favourite shows.  And thank goodness I was able to because I accidentally recorded over our old video tape of it.  Boy, was I in the doghouse.  Did Fiona Hendley give up acting after Widows?  I've never seen her in anything else.
Title: Re: The Medical Mission
Post by: Pauline on January 03, 2008, 02:03:38 AM


We used to buy our Marmite from there as well and I think that delicious orange juice in the little glass bottles. I'm talking about the early 50's.

Joy of joys, Marmite is now on our supermarket shelves - although it is called My Mate (because of trademark issues). Previously, we had to rely on people visiting the UK to bring some back for us.  Nothing else compares. As for that delicious orange juice that used to be given out at the clinics, oh my, it was delicious and I've never found another orange juice like it. Other edible delights missed out here are: Bramley cooking apples; Jersey tomatoes; Jaffa oranges; Kent cobnuts; acid drops; pear drops; aniseed twists; locusts (but have now got a tree and am waiting for it to fruit); tigernuts, and lots more that I can't think of at the moment.  Oh yes, faggots. Have tried making them but they are never the same.
[/quote]

New Potatoes (although I am now growing my own), jaffa cakes, pickled oinions without sugar in them, malt loaf, scampi, skate and chips, proper chocolate, greengages and dates in boxes.  There must be more.
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Dickie eagle on January 03, 2008, 10:46:51 PM
Next to the "Green Man" pub. at Southend Village was (is ?) a small school facing Peter Pan's Pool, one of its pupils was H. G. Wells who lived in the London Road area of Bromley   dickie.......................
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: maureen on January 24, 2008, 11:26:22 AM
Is it time to namedrop and say that I know Paul Jones from Manfred Mann. Well, to be fair, he's a friend of a friend, and we've had a meal at his home in Wimbledon a couple of times, and met Paul and his lovely wife Fiona Hendley (remember "Widows" - the 80's drama series anyone?)
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: maureen on March 10, 2008, 04:04:58 PM
Yeah Pecrys that's where Mum used to buy all our stuff too, on tick. Pirelli slippers, pyjamas, school stuff, they had everything in that shop.

Just past the Catford cinema was a big habberdashers shop where the money used to be put into those overhead things that flew across the ceiling and upstairs to the cashier and then you waited for that vacuum noise and your change would be sent down to you. Just round the corner from the cinema was an old secondhand shop where I used to take my old records and exchange them. Wish I'd had the sense to hang on to some of them, especially the covers!!

What about the wet fish shop on the left hand side of the road as you were going into Catford, can't remember what it was called but my Uncle Sonny worked on the front there for years, poor chap could never get the smell of fish off him.

Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Pauline on January 11, 2009, 06:41:35 AM


Why not kick off with memories of notable Downham characters with a forum allocated to just this subject?

There were 2 'alleyways' that ran from Ivorydown to Downham Way.  Think of the one that came out near Gareth Grove.  Down the end on Downham Way and to the left as you went down, there was a man who fixed things in his shed.  I remember my Mum would send me there with shoes I think (although Dad mended all our shoes, so I may be wrong)  Does anyone remember this man and what he did?
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Dickie eagle on January 13, 2009, 09:38:33 AM
I remember that "Alleyway" opposite Northover,it had a Tram stop at the bottom in Downham. My Chum John Linzner lived in 66  Gareth just across from the top end in Ivorydown. his sister Claire worked in Bolton's. during the dark evenings it doubled as "Lovers Lane" as I happily recall        dickie....................
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Pauline on January 14, 2009, 12:06:13 AM
. during the dark evenings it doubled as "Lovers Lane" as I happily recall        dickie....................

Is this 'too much information' dickie?
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Dickie eagle on January 14, 2009, 12:57:33 AM
too much info ? well I hope I haven't offended the vicar, but in 1940 it helped us forget a few of the nasty bits and forged a few unions among my crowd            dickie.............
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Brenda on January 22, 2009, 07:50:26 AM




.  Down the end on Downham Way and to the left as you went down, there was a man who fixed things in his shed.  I remember my Mum would send me there with shoes I think (although Dad mended all our shoes, so I may be wrong)  Does anyone remember this man and what he did?

Well, I'm a tad late responding to this one but never mind.  I remember such a man but the one to whom we took our shoes for repair was in Moorside Rd. I hated -absolutely hated - going round to him because if no-one answered the door, I wasn't sure if I should go to the shed or not.  He was a bit of a grump too.  I don't remember his name but can 'see' his face quite clearly.  And the shed. I was always worried (when wasn't I?) that the shoes would get lost.
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Pauline on January 23, 2009, 12:13:15 AM




.  Down the end on Downham Way and to the left as you went down, there was a man who fixed things in his shed.  I remember my Mum would send me there with shoes I think (although Dad mended all our shoes, so I may be wrong)  Does anyone remember this man and what he did?

Well, I'm a tad late responding to this one but never mind.  I remember such a man but the one to whom we took our shoes for repair was in Moorside Rd. I hated -absolutely hated - going round to him because if no-one answered the door, I wasn't sure if I should go to the shed or not.  He was a bit of a grump too.  I don't remember his name but can 'see' his face quite clearly.  And the shed. I was always worried (when wasn't I?) that the shoes would get lost.

Dad went to a gardeners club in Moorside.
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Frank (hutchsky) on February 02, 2009, 05:46:15 AM
Not been on here for a while, retired over a year ago, and since completed a trip around Australia with 4x4 and caravan 28000kms over 9 months, now its real hard to settle. Good to hear the old names Doctors etc, the Hicks are part of my family and I am pretty sure T.S. lived on the estate at some time in his early life. I am from Keedonwood Road Ex Durham Hill, 1948 to 1960 my parents would have been on the estate till the early 80s before moving to Sittingbourne. I use to kick around on a 1948 Triumph 3T at 16 years with John Nunn who also lived in Keedonwood road. David Bowie went to Burnt Ash Primary school he was in a few classes younger, than me, One of the Copper brothers was going to rip my head, off due to my noisy motor cycle, I told my mate he had to come to my place in future, I was very wise I think. little things seem to wake up the brain keep it up.
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Brenda on February 02, 2009, 05:55:16 AM
Good to hear from you again, Hutchsky.  Yes, all it takes is a little trigger and we're all finding more memories pop up.

Glad you enjoyed your mammoth trip around Oz.  That's a lot of driving!

Bren
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Dickie eagle on February 03, 2009, 09:39:31 PM
Hi Husksy' nice long "Walkabout (or Driveabout) that would have cost the price of a Rolls in Petrol in UK and you are related to Tommy S ? I can only vaguely remember the family (and young Colin) when they lived in Orient Street. You aren't from Rotherhithe too are you ? Right now I can get back to my Snowman before it all melts         dickie...........
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Frank (hutchsky) on February 04, 2009, 04:10:57 AM
Yes,
       Dicky it was a great trip cost, me around A$7000 for diesel ,that's at $2.00 a litre at the time, now its drop down to about $1.18c. I get about 17 mpg out of my Nissan 3L Patrol towing a 1800kg Caravan. Watched the news, with all the snow in London, now that brings back my younger days driving Trucks (lorries) around London, had some intresting times. Its around 30 deg here at the moment so life's going fine for us. TS was on my fathers side of the family dad lived at 225 Downham Way and mum from Verdant Lane, my parents born and grew up in Downham regards Frank H.
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Splinter on April 07, 2009, 10:36:53 PM
Just been going over old subject sites. and as we have new Newbies i think this subject could come back to the front. Also what we could do is each nominate a notable Downhamite. So i would like to nominate the person who started this site up and got us all talking together.
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Frank (hutchsky) on April 10, 2009, 09:19:47 AM
Just been going over old subject sites. and as we have new Newbies i think this subject could come back to the front. Also what we could do is each nominate a notable Downhamite. So i would like to nominate the person who started this site up and got us all talking together.
I would nominate Brownie the green grocer his lorry went all over the estate and he use to look after all his customers and employed me at 13 years old, I did a lot of growing up, the stories of some of the customers were quite intresting at times, old Brownie who always walk out in front shouting his coming was a great character and use to hind me in the back of the lorry, so mum would not catch me. (should had been at school)
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Tavernlegend on December 31, 2013, 09:51:39 PM
Does anyone remember the tally man Elvira?
He used to come to our house on a Friday night for payment with the only exception being FA cup final day when he would turn up to watch the final & drink beer.
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: grindlestonker on January 07, 2014, 06:49:40 PM
In some ways I hanker for the simplicity of general practices like that of Dr Hockman. No phoning for an appointment, you just turned up to the waiting room full of bentwood chairs and ask loudly, 'who am I after' The last in would answer 'me' and you'd sit and wait your turn till the next person turned up and that would be the opportunity to say 'me' when the big question was asked.

I recall the waiting room had brown paintwork and lino in a parquet style. with loads of posters imploring people to get immunised for Diptheria, Polio and whooping cough. When it was your turn to see the doc, he'd give you your diagnosis without the need to send you elsewhere for tests or refer you to some far flung hospitals. He's write out a prescription script and ask you to wait in the entrance hallway. After a few minutes he'd open a small hatch and dispense his own prescription.
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Brenda on January 09, 2014, 02:40:52 AM
In some ways I hanker for the simplicity of general practices like that of Dr Hockman. No phoning for an appointment, you just turned up to the waiting room full of bentwood chairs and ask loudly, 'who am I after' The last in would answer 'me' and you'd sit and wait your turn till the next person turned up and that would be the opportunity to say 'me' when the big question was asked.

I recall the waiting room had brown paintwork and lino in a parquet style. with loads of posters imploring people to get immunised for Diptheria, Polio and whooping cough. When it was your turn to see the doc, he'd give you your diagnosis without the need to send you elsewhere for tests or refer you to some far flung hospitals. He's write out a prescription script and ask you to wait in the entrance hallway. After a few minutes he'd open a small hatch and dispense his own prescription.

You've nailed Dr Hockman's practice and waiting room perfectly, Griddlestonker.   He was, in my opinion, what 'doctoring' is (or should be)  about: kind and understanding; prepared to listen, and knew his all patients by name.

Where oh where did you get 'Griddlestonker' from?  Wonderful pseudonym!
Bren
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: grindlestonker on January 10, 2014, 06:02:57 PM
The grindlestonker is the son of the Krebbiezebornitz Bren
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: sspaull on January 14, 2014, 10:50:41 AM
Since there's been some recent activity on this thread, I thought I'd ask here whether anyone remembers Gary Boyle. I posted elsewhere about this...

http://www.downhamonline.org.uk/connect/index.php?topic=549.0

Basically, I'm researching his biography and am wondering if anyone on here remembers him from the '50s to early '60s. Further info in the above link.

Many thanks.
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Brenda on January 15, 2014, 04:07:21 AM
The grindlestonker is the son of the Krebbiezebornitz Bren

Now then, you've got to be teasing me.  Haven't you?

Bren
Title: Re: Notable establishments
Post by: ammotech on July 17, 2014, 02:03:14 PM
 :) How about remembering the places we spent our youth on Dahnam Estate.
 Mallory School. Wesley Hall Boys club for Gymnastics. 24 Battery RA army cadet force Grove Park. 26 Regiment Berkshire and Westminster Dragoons Cadets Bromley road Catford These were also TA units.
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Frank (hutchsky) on July 17, 2014, 04:02:02 PM
That's funny I did not realise that, The 24 Battery RA cadets, Grove Park, I was a member of the band and had a job which I had forgot about, helping the SGT? a big over weight person, on a Saturday morning setting up the bar and general cleaning for the TA unit. My first 303 rifle experience also with a very sore arm for weeks. That would have have been around 1957-58. The bit that I did not make a connection was my 4 years in Germany spent with the 24 Regt RA (2 Bty)
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: billbaker on July 18, 2014, 11:06:48 AM
I was a member of the gymnastics club at Wesley Hall in 1946/7; a Mr Birkhead who was a Lewisham councillor ran it and the gymnast was a Scotsman we just called Jock, I received a split lip playing handball there one evening and was taken to Doctor Bee whose surgery was next to the lower entrance to Durham Hill playing fields, he put two stitches in my lip. We also went on a weeks camping holiday to Dovercourt with the club, we camped in a field next to the vicarage, the vicar was an uncle of Michael Redgrave, I remember we were each given a list of items to bring to help out with food rationing which was still on at that time, one of the items on the list was a tin of condensed milk, we all handed them in except my friend Kenny, (yes the same Kenny again,) he hung on to his tin, he punched a hole in the lid and as we shared the same tent, at night we could hear him sucking the condensed milk out through the hole, it was only when the tin was almost empty that we pointed out to him that it was full of dead earwigs, they had managed to crawl in through the hole but were unable to get out again.   :(
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: Brenda on July 21, 2014, 10:29:38 AM
 condensed milk, we all handed them in except my friend Kenny, (yes the same Kenny again,) he hung on to his tin, he punched a hole in the lid and as we shared the same tent, at night we could hear him sucking the condensed milk out through the hole, it was only when the tin was almost empty that we pointed out to him that it was full of dead earwigs, they had managed to crawl in through the hole but were unable to get out again.   :(
[/quote]

I can see a book in the making here i.e. The (Mis)adventures of Kenny.

Bren
Title: Re: Notable Downhamites
Post by: sixtieschick on July 24, 2014, 04:32:30 PM
sounds good to me David!!!   ;D