Downham Online Discussion

Forums => General Discussion => Topic started by: JSmith on May 23, 2009, 08:12:22 PM

Title: Downham Bromley?
Post by: JSmith on May 23, 2009, 08:12:22 PM
So roaming through google streetview I noticed the roads in Downham as listed as say churchdown rd Lewisham, now I know we come under Lewisham in the registry, so MIKE do you still use Bromley as your address. I guess we were not good enough for the bunch in Bromley remember valeswood rd wall, so they shoved us over to Lewisham. Lewishams postal address is SE13, then comes Catford SE6 before you get to Downham. So it all seems odd to me, I remember the address as Downham Bromley Kent so we are all people from Kent a luvely county, but I guess we are too common for them.  :)  Smiffy 
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: mike on May 24, 2009, 07:59:53 AM
Ah now, well there's an interesting question. It would be very shallow of me to say "depends who I'm talking to, and whether I am worried about their perception of where I live"!

The Bromley/Lewisham border cuts through the estate, although the majority is in Lewisham. There may not be a wall any more, but there are some interesting differences. For example, the Lewisham part of the estate has a 20 MPH speed limit, and speed bumps, because the roads are narrow, were never designed with parking cars in mind, and full of children. As soon as you get to the Bromley part, drivers are welcome to speed up and the children there have to take their chances.

We live in Kendale Road, which is in Lewisham borough, but our postal address is in Bromley (much of the estate has BR1 as its postcode), so we can variously say we live in Downham/Lewisham/Bromley. Of course we are proud to say Downham (otherwise I wouldn't have built this website!) but for people who have never heard of the place, we'll then say "between Bromley and Lewisham", or "where south-east London meets Kent"

I grew up in Sydenham, but the poorer end, near the Penge border, which is another place that Bromley owned part of, but would love to have disowned and pretend that it was all in Lewisham. Bromley councilors like to imagine that their borough is only leafy lanes and stockbrokers...
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Brenda on May 24, 2009, 08:02:38 AM
That's right Smithy, we might have been only a step or two away from SE6 (Catford) but we could rightly say we lived in Kent, couldn't we?

It's odd, you know, but it is only in the last few years that I've heard stories from people who lived in, say, Bromley, Sydenham etc that their parents didn't want  them mixing with us children from Downham.  Yes, even though they went to the same schools.  I was amazed. Perhaps I was naive.

Bren

Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Brenda on May 24, 2009, 08:06:51 AM
Have just read your post, Mike.  How very peculiar the divisions seem to be.  How did this happen?

I must say, I never felt any discrimination when I told people I lived on Downham.  But then, as I said, maybe I was naive.

Bren
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Vic on May 24, 2009, 06:22:00 PM
Eve'nin All,
Just read the interesting contributions on the topic of the 'Downham Factor'. In the pre-war and immediate post war periods there was a definite stigma about coming from 'Danhum'. I was as guilty as the next in writing my address as 17 Merlin Gardens, Bromley, Kent on forms and applications. This was mainly because in those less enlightened times if you came from a big council estate you were automatically grouped with ne'er do wells. Yet, whilst I lived there as a youth I cannot recall any really nasty goings on, but the fact that the estate was classed as a 'slum clearance area, for Deptford, Greenwich and Bermondsey' automatically made it undesirable to those living around the outskirts. As boys we definitely got up to all sorts of mischief, but nothing which affected other people's property. I recall that Mr Dean, who lived at 22 Merlin Gardens, had a beautifully polished Morris 8 saloon car, the only car for miles around, which he parked on the left hand side of the cul-de-sac. We never touched it and always kept well away when playing 'Buzz' or 'Tin Can Copper Knob' or any of the other rowdy pastimes. He and Mrs Dean looked, and behaved, in what they considered to be a middle class manner - and we respected them for it. They had no children so Mr Dean was often to be seen standing in his porch casting worried looks at his car - especially when a game of cricket, with a hard ball, was in progress on the green!  But he needn't have worried. When I first went to Secondary School in Lewisham there was a definite feeling against Downamites, but I learnt to ignore it.
In the RAF nobody really cared where you came from so the problem went away. In later years, after I had contacted an old childhood friend from Durham Hill and visited Downham, I became very proud of my roots. Mind you, I sometimes find myself thinking the old adage you can take the boy out of Downham, but you can't take Downham out of the boy is very true!
Incidentally Mike, my almost daily forays on Street View around the estate has made me keen to visit Downham again. I intend to make a two or three day visit in July.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: JSmith on May 24, 2009, 10:52:31 PM
Vic   Thanks for the interesting post. I hope you do not mind but I have copied that old adage "The Boy and Downham". As my signature.
I have often thought of it after over 20 years in Canada, I cannot persuade myself other than that they where the good old days. :)
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Brenda on May 24, 2009, 10:56:16 PM
Well, I can only say again that I never noticed such attitudes.  Must have been a bit dozy!   

Bren
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Pauline on May 25, 2009, 03:10:25 AM
Well, I can only say again that I never noticed such attitudes.  Must have been a bit dozy!   

Bren
My other half (Pete) was born in Greenwich, lived for a while in Deptford,  and they later moved to Blackheath.  I asked him about the Downham thing, and he tells me that you didn't cross anyone who came from Downham.  He said it was considered a 'rough' area.  And when I said "What do you mean 'rough'"?  He said that we seemed close knit, and there would always be someone guarding your back.  Fair enough I said, as long as he didn't mean we were slummy.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Splinter on May 25, 2009, 09:48:16 AM
If you look at an old map, the london and Kent border goes up the centre of Whitefoot Lane then straight on to the Footbridge and then along the railway to Grove Park Stn. I was told by my Nan that a small river ran along the top of Whitefoot between Northover Pub and the shops and overflowed on a regular basis, It`s probably still there but deep underground.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Brenda on May 26, 2009, 03:49:50 AM
That is really interesting, Splinter.  Give me a clue where you found such an old map, please.

Pauline, I am amazed at the 'rough' reputation of Downham in days gone by.  I always thought most of us were rather nice people!  Okay, so there might have been a villain or two around. There was always someone who had something on offer going cheap and of dubious origins, I suppose. But most of us were hard-working honest folk, weren't we?  I don't remember people getting beaten up or that sort of thing.  Mind you, an old schoolfriend and ex-Downhamite (who visited me in January) said his grandfather and a certain Bermondsey rock and roll singer's (better not say the name in case I get sued!) grandfather used to drink together at the Tavern and described them as being: "Two vicious men who would knife you over the price of a drink.'  Not sure that's verbatim but as best as I can remember. 

Bren

Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Splinter on May 26, 2009, 07:03:52 AM
Brenda, I cant find old site but if you go to www.maps-of-london.com/catford.htm that map shows the boundary going up Whitefoot lane on the left/ north side then cuts across into Whitefoot terrace, then back through the crem to the railway. hope you find it. John.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Pauline on May 26, 2009, 07:05:50 AM
That is really interesting, Splinter.  Give me a clue where you found such an old map, please.

Pauline, I am amazed at the 'rough' reputation of Downham in days gone by.  I always thought most of us were rather nice people!  Okay, so there might have been a villain or two around. There was always someone who had something on offer going cheap and of dubious origins, I suppose. But most of us were hard-working honest folk, weren't we?  I don't remember people getting beaten up or that sort of thing.  Mind you, an old schoolfriend and ex-Downhamite (who visited me in January) said his grandfather and a certain Bermondsey rock and roll singer's (better not say the name in case I get sued!) grandfather used to drink together at the Tavern and described them as being: "Two vicious men who would knife you over the price of a drink.'  Not sure that's verbatim but as best as I can remember. 

Bren



Probably because the place was so big!
I remember being in the Witch Doctor one evening (under the Savoy Catford) and two blokes came in and told us girls and boys to go elsewhere, so we went, and read the next days that someone had been shot in there, something to do with the Richardsons I think.   But in those days they settled the scores amongst themselves, and left us ordinary folk alone.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Vic on May 26, 2009, 05:38:00 PM
I'm sure you are right Brenda, most people living on Downham were hard working and law abiding. I believe that as the original tenants from Deptford etc were superseded by their children and an influx of those who were artisans and public service workers, the whole atmosphere on Downham changed. We had a fair number of bus and tram drivers and conductors, living around us plus lots of building workers and railwaymen. My father was a carpenter and joiner for the LCC; but I have to admit that his forbears were mainly Deptford costermongers and were very clannish. A lot of the original tenants on Downham - from when the estate was first completed - couldn't stand the relatively wide open spaces and scuttled back to their back to back terraced houses.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Brenda on May 26, 2009, 11:49:17 PM
Thank you John, I will follow the link to the maps.

Vic, who were the Richardsons?

One of my classmates from Pendragon was said to have been connected to the Kray family. I didn't know it then, but only knew he was a 'naughty boy' and always in trouble. I did hear he'd got into big trouble after he left school, and I was recently told he met an early end that may have had something to do with crime. But it's hearsay.

Bren
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Vic on May 27, 2009, 05:58:16 PM
I'm sorry Brenda, I don't know - except that I recall that they were an infamous duo around during the immediate post war period. I don't think they were on the Downham scene, but I could be wrong as I left there in 1949.

Vic.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Pauline on May 28, 2009, 02:24:28 AM
Thank you John, I will follow the link to the maps.

Vic, who were the Richardsons?

One of my classmates from Pendragon was said to have been connected to the Kray family. I didn't know it then, but only knew he was a 'naughty boy' and always in trouble. I did hear he'd got into big trouble after he left school, and I was recently told he met an early end that may have had something to do with crime. But it's hearsay.

Bren

All the information you want is here:

http://www.thekrays.co.uk/stories_smiths.htm

A nasty bunch the lot of them!
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Brenda on May 28, 2009, 11:40:14 PM
Very interesting.  Amazing though that I don't remember ever hearing of this incident.  Must've walked around with my eyes and ears closed, methinks.

Splinter, found those maps - really interesting.

Bren
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Pauline on May 29, 2009, 02:26:34 AM
Brenda, I cant find old site but if you go to www.maps-of-london.com/catford.htm that map shows the boundary going up Whitefoot lane on the left/ north side then cuts across into Whitefoot terrace, then back through the crem to the railway. hope you find it. John.

Hmm... not showing properly on my computer (at work) there appears to be an error in the file. 
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Vic on May 30, 2009, 08:19:42 PM
I suppose I'm really on the wrong forum, but this evening was the first time I've studied all the posts on all the different forums and I have been moved to write to say how good it is to see so many fond - and not so fond  - memories written down. I was particularly pleased to see a post from Eric McQuade in 2007. As I've said on an earlier post of mine, I knew his brother Brian very well. If you read this post Eric, God bless you, I hope you are well. You were, what is nowadays called an icon, to a lot of boys - me included - on the estate in the 1940s-50s. I can remember you coming home to Ballamore Road in your milkman's uniform. Another boxer whom I would call a gentleman was Ronnie Williams. He lived in Ivorydown and was an apprentice with me on a Galbraith Brothers building site at Honor Oak. A tiger in the ring and invariably successful at his weight, like Eric, out of the ring he was gentle, thoughtful chap. He emigrated to Canada in 1948. Turning to doctors on Dahnum. I remember Dr Aldridge. His surgery was in an imposing house on the right hand side of Downham Way coming from Grove Park Station right opposite the tram terminus. Another medical memory is the 'clinic' at the bottom of the path that cut through Durham Hill Park. If, after a visit of the doctor at school you got a yellow card it was for the dentist there - gas only for extractions; a pink card meant you had to see the doctor - a referral. But the thing I remember most about the clinic was their equivalent of A & E. If you cut yourself or fell in the playground and was badly bruised or grazed, you were despatched to the clinic. There were two delightful nurses there who attended to ones wounds. Harking back to Eric's post again, Terry Holmes, who lived next door to the Mc Quades, and I were regular patients at the clinic dreaming up fantastic wounds which ensured the teacher's release from class. It must have been my first 'crush'. (I was about 11 at the time!). Not good for educational continuity!
I hope I haven't transgressed any rules mixing up the forums like this, but I did enjoy reading all the different posts.
Vic.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: derrick Durrantgoudhurst1 on May 31, 2009, 04:55:36 AM
Vic,was interested regarding your comments on various doctors. I recall a Dr Bee who practiced on Downham Way next to the YWCA,at top of Valeswood Rd.I recall when the flying bomb dropped at the back of Almscott Rd and Rangefield Rd, on a Saturday morning.I lived with my family in Goudhurst rd at the time,He was  amongst the first on the scene in his large Wolseley saloon,a good man and one of many unsung hero,s of that time. Derek Durrant South Australia.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Splinter on May 31, 2009, 09:38:55 AM
Dr Aldridge brought me into this world (home birth, front bedroom at 27) Thanks Vic i have been trying to remember his name for months.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Brenda on May 31, 2009, 10:49:54 AM
It's a name (Aldridge) I've been trying to remember for a long time too.  I am sure Mum took me to his practice when we first moved to Downham. However, he sat me on his knee and gave me a cuddle and I didn't like it!  Of course, there was no malice or other intent in it, he was just being kind but it frightened me.   Mum took me to Dr Hockman after that.  Blimey, was I a wimp or what.

The dentist at the clinic was not my favourite person. I had a hole in a tooth and the gum had grown down into it.  He heated up an instrument and burnt the gum out.  Yep, it hurt alright.

As for mixing up the subjects on forums, Vic, one thought leads to another which leads to another etc and before we can say Dahnum, we've all gone off on a tangent.  I don't suppose Mike is sitting there with his whip waiting for us to transgress.  Or perhaps he is.  Hee hee.

Bren



Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Vic on May 31, 2009, 05:29:35 PM
Vic,was interested regarding your comments on various doctors. I recall a Dr Bee who practiced on Downham Way next to the YWCA,at top of Valeswood Rd.I recall when the flying bomb dropped at the back of Almscott Rd and Rangefield Rd, on a Saturday morning.I lived with my family in Goudhurst rd at the time,He was  amongst the first on the scene in his large Wolseley saloon,a good man and one of many unsung hero,s of that time. Derek Durrant South Australia.

Derek,
I remember that Doodlebug landing in the Rangefield Road area. It was one of the nearest to where I lived in Merlin Gardens. The flats there had a large brick built surface shelter on the green just in front of the building. It wasn't used during the Blitz and Mini-Blitz, but we started using it when the Doodlebugs came over about every 20 minutes or so. I remember standing in the doorway watching the Co-Op milkman in Shroffold Road. We heard the bomb coming and when it was still behind the flats, the engine cut out. The milkman looked up, dropped his crate of milk and dived over the privet hedge. Luckily for us, it was one that glided for a short distance and this one came to earth and exploded in Springbank Road, Hither Green. That was the day that I discovered that adrenilin was brown! The milkman had already tethered his horse to the back of his float to prevent bolting I suppose, and he took some time to get organised and continue his round. A few of us boys went down and helped him. It was shortly after this incident that I was evacuated to West Yorkshire.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Vic on May 31, 2009, 06:04:21 PM
It's a name (Aldridge) I've been trying to remember for a long time too.  I am sure Mum took me to his practice when we first moved to Downham. However, he sat me on his knee and gave me a cuddle and I didn't like it!  Of course, there was no malice or other intent in it, he was just being kind but it frightened me.   Mum took me to Dr Hockman after that.  Blimey, was I a wimp or what.

The dentist at the clinic was not my favourite person. I had a hole in a tooth and the gum had grown down into it.  He heated up an instrument and burnt the gum out.  Yep, it hurt alright.

As for mixing up the subjects on forums, Vic, one thought leads to another which leads to another etc and before we can say Dahnum, we've all gone off on a tangent.  I don't suppose Mike is sitting there with his whip waiting for us to transgress.  Or perhaps he is.  Hee hee.

Bren

I've just had a look at Google Street View and Dr Aldridge's Surgey/House is still there. However, it appears to be an undertakers now called Constable and Toop. There's one of those stretch limos parked on the hardstanding where the garden used to be. I must say that travelling up and down the roads in Dahnum, it seems to be very pleasant there with lots of roadside trees and hanging baskets on the lamp standards; a sylvan scene indeed! The only things spoiling the view are myriad cars and wheelie bins. I notice in Shroffold Road,at the bottom of Merlin Gardens, the sewer vent pipe is still there. Workmen came on a yearly basis to paint the tube green and the ornate base silver. To everyone living near it, it was known as a stench pipe!
Bren, was Mr Skinner the dentist, practising with a surgery on the corner of Bromley Road and Downham Way when you lived on Downham. He was the original fang snatcher, but a lot better than the LCC dentist at the clinic.
I've decided to re-visit Dahnum in July staying at a B & B in Chatsworth Avenue - where i delivered newspapers with a round from W H Smith's at Grove Park Station. I'll walk as many roads as I can and report back. But I'll be on post before I go.
Vic.




Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Brenda on June 01, 2009, 12:24:30 AM
Lovely, Vic, to read about your good impressions of modern Downham.    I can't tell you how many times I've walked the streets in my dreams.

Roadside trees?  Do you mean bits of the pavement have been dug up and trees planted there?  That would be nice indeed.

Yes, Skinner was the name of the dentist 'down the bottom' and a very nice man he was too, and - as you say - a great deal better than the school dentist at the clinic.

Love the war anecdote.  Keep 'em coming.

Bren

Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: JSmith on June 01, 2009, 01:39:42 AM
Quote:I've decided to re-visit Dahnum in July staying at a B & B in Chatsworth Avenue.   Hi Vic tell us how you get on at the B & B, where abouts is it, will need a place to stay if I have to come over. Thanks Smiffy. 
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: derrick Durrantgoudhurst1 on June 01, 2009, 04:28:13 AM
Vic,your comments on evacuation stirred a few memories,I was sent to Rolvenden in Kent during the early part of the war.Whenever I see on Tv children in raincoats looking forlorn and with a label tied to their collars,I think how many Downham children amongst that lot.Several years ago on a visit to the UK,my wife and I hired a car and visited the farm in Kent where we were billeted.I wanted to say thankyou for their hospitality at that time,the original owners of course were not there,it was their children.Unfortunately they were not very interested and we were soon on our way. I recall being very homesick and my father cycling down to see me,but it showed me my first impression of how the other half lived,an education in itself.I like to think I am a bit more worldly these days.That of course was during the phoney war period,many children had returned to London when the real bombing started.DEREK D.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Vic on June 01, 2009, 12:50:46 PM
Derrick,
I agree with your comments on evacuees. Like you, I was evacuated on 1 Sep 1939 to Burwash in Sussex, only to return before the Battle of Britain started! Then I went to Somerset; back in time for the Blitz; then Northampton, back for the Doodlebugs! When I visited Downham last year the children in Merlin (Ballamore Rd) school were interested in my various odysses - the teachers asked me to write it down for them - which I did and sent it to them, but I received no reply.
It's a long time since I was in S Australia when I stayed at Elizabeth for a time. I recall seeing some grafitti in a bus shelter which read ' We've skulled five flagons of Coopers and we're all apples!' . Perhaps you could interpret that for me? Obviously it's something to do with boozing.
Bren. Yes the trees are planted in the roadside pavements on Dahnum. I remember the part of Downham Way near Grove Park was very bleak up and past St Barnabas Church - now it appears to be quite well laid out with trees and shrubs. The other thing I can't get used to on Downham are all the road markings - and to see a bus stop in Rangefield Road, well!
Incidentally, my B & B will be in Luffman Road - very posh, off Baring Road/ Le May Avenue. Funnily enough, it's near where I was caught scrumping!
Vic.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Brenda on June 02, 2009, 06:59:12 AM
Vic, not nice that you didn't get a response from Ballamore regarding your war stories.  Seems that manners are not a priority with the staff, eh?  What a great story about your multiple evacuations only to be returned to danger!

Derek, how odd the family of those farmers weren't interested in your visit. I would have been thrilled to bits if I'd been in their shoes.

For those who knew Dr Bee, I am sure it is on Downhamoriginals that there is a photo of him.  Those of you who haven't visited the site, please do.  The group has put a lot of work into it and found some interesting old photo.  None of Dr Hockman yet, as far as I know.

Bren
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: derrick Durrantgoudhurst1 on June 02, 2009, 07:46:52 AM
Vic,sculling a flagon of Fosters,means belting down a well known Aussie brand of beer [fosters}.I believe is now popular in the UK.As to your visit to Elizabeth,this of course is a satellite town north of Adelaide, built in the 50s to accomodate migrants for the many Engineering plants ,mainly car related, that were established there.Just think of Downham in the sun.Unfortunately due to a combination of downturns in the economy and social problems, it is not the proud district it used to be. Many migrants to South Australia started life there on the old $10 pound scheme.the famous BGs started  there, also many good local sportsman .In saying that of course Adelaide itself is a lovely city and a great place to live.Brenda I was very disappointed at our reception during our visit to the place I was evacuated to,but also remember the kindness and generosity displayed by the parents to us snotty nosed South London kids.My wife is staggered at my memory,I could not remember my daughter in laws name the other day.Derek.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Vic on June 02, 2009, 02:58:05 PM
Thank you Derrick. I'm presuming that Coopers is a regional beer for the Adelaide area? Whilst there I visited the Barossa wine valley - great wines - and also Adelaide which I found very attractive. The hotel I stayed in at Elizabeth was staffed mainly by fairly recent Scottish immigrant arrivals. I must say I was spoilt by them and spent many evenings on 'cook outs' with them.
Smiffy,
 I'll let you know about B & Bs in the Downham area. However, if you go to the Welcome Hotels website and link to Grove Park you'll find what you want to know. Also, if you Google '71 Verdant Lane' you'll get more info on 'The Feathers', The Fig Tree (Hither Green) and, a B & B in St Mildred's Road near Lee Station. It seems that the one I was after in Chatsworth Avenue is not available in the summer months so I'm booking at Luffman Avenue - that's the road opposite the entrance to 'the Chinnie' (Chinbrook Park) where I spent many happy childhood days!

Bren,
I felt quite sad when I read that you often dream of walking around Downham. I'm sure you're very happy in Oz, but I know how one can miss familiar and much loved scenes even though you may be in Shangri-la! I did a lot of world wide travelling when I worked, but I was always glad to get home to England despite all it's imperfections and it's unpredictable weather.
Regards to you all,
Vic.
 
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Splinter on June 02, 2009, 06:17:45 PM
Vic let me know the exact dates of your visit to the old place, if you want and i am in the area we could meet up over a pint. Best wishes John.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Splinter on June 02, 2009, 06:20:29 PM
I have just noticed its about 80oF outside and the sites clock is still on GMT.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Vic on June 02, 2009, 06:59:17 PM
Splinter,
I'll let you know - I'm waiting for confirmation from Luffman Road.
Regards,
Vic.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Vic on June 02, 2009, 09:03:24 PM
As I was cutting the grass in the unaccustomed heat of the afternoon, I thought of a couple of experiences I had in Australia some years ago. This time I was up in Newcastle, in a bar during the 'six o clock swill'. The light was on and I was standing just on the white line having left the bar to go over to my group; ie not actually buying beer. A huge Aussie stopped me and said ' Shall I fill you in one at a time, or all of you together? There were about half a dozen of us obviously Brits. Probably enboldened by drink, I turned to him and said 'Aw, p*** off! He gave me a painful slap on the back and said 'Good on yer mate, let me shout you and yer mates a beer!'. I believe that the swill no longer takes place.
The second event was when our party caught the train to Sydney to see the sights of Manley and Bondi. We took the precaution of booking our seats for the return journey. When we got on the train to go back to Newcastle we found a tramp, dead drunk, lying full length on one of the bench seats we had booked. I went off and found the conductor/guard and he came back with me to the compartment. The big window was open right to the bottom. Without a word, the conductor took the situation in, picked up the tramp by the scruff of the neck and the seat of his pants and threw him straight out the window. It was a long way to the ground with the low Aussie platform! The drunk got up, brushed himself off, looked up at us looking out of the window and limped off muttering. We were all full of admiration for this display of no nonsense retribution.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Pauline on June 03, 2009, 01:55:50 AM
Vic,sculling a flagon of Fosters,means belting down a well known Aussie brand of beer [fosters}.I believe is now popular in the UK.

Well known in the UK - yes, but I don't know about you but I don't know any self respecting Aussie who would drink Fosters
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Frank (hutchsky) on June 03, 2009, 08:46:00 AM
You are right, Pauline its an export we did not want ? have not seen a Fosters sign or Add for some time.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Brenda on June 03, 2009, 10:11:08 AM


Bren,
I felt quite sad when I read that you often dream of walking around Downham. I'm sure you're very happy in Oz, but I know how one can miss familiar and much loved scenes even though you may be in Shangri-la! I did a lot of world wide travelling when I worked, but I was always glad to get home to England despite all it's imperfections and it's unpredictable weather.
Regards to you all,
Vic.
 
Yes Vic, I am extremely happy in Oz and consider myself very lucky to be here. But I am still very attached to 'home'.  Haven't ever been back to England though - and perhaps I never will.  Might have left it too long now (34years) because so much has changed. Even the old house in Durham Hill has gone and I had always thought I would one day see it again.  Ah well, life rolls on, I suppose.

Bren
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Vic on June 03, 2009, 09:09:41 PM
Bren,
I shall be going to Downham in late July for two days. I thought it only right that I should arrive at Grove Park station rather than go by car. I shall walk the roads for you and if there are any special photos you would like I would be pleased to take them and get them to you - somehow.
That goes for all the expats of course.
A thought that crossed my mind when I saw some children busy on their mobile phones the other day was, how the world has changed. We certainly had no telephone at home. The nearest call box was at Woodbank with a double box up the 'Top' outside the Post Office. If someone was using it you had to wait. If it was necessary to call a doctor it was Shank's Pony. I remember when my mother fell ill- a very rare event with that tough generation - I was sent running to Dr Aldridge's surgery to summon him. Calling an ambulance could only be done from a call box. I remember that, when small, the sight of one of those white LCC ambulances with black windows and a bell clanging away sent a morbid fear through us. We used to stand on the pavement and chant ' Touch yer collar, never swaller, never get the fever. Not for me not fer you, not fer all the famlee'.
Another thing that seemed to happen to most of us was to have our tonsils yanked out. I can just remember being taken to a hospital in Peckham for the op. That was after getting a pink card from the school doctor, a visit to the clinic and then a swift parting from my tonsils. It was just after Crystal Palace caught fire in 1936 - I think it was - so I was about 5 years old.
The hot weather of the last few days has broken and we are back to cloud and showers. I prefer frequent change. In the UK its only got to be hot and dry for a week or so and all the media are shouting 'drought' and showing pictures of emptying reservoirs!
Splinter.
At present it looks like I'll be in Dahnum on 21 -22 July. I'll keep you posted.
Regards,
Vic.

Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Pauline on June 04, 2009, 02:38:35 AM


 
Yes Vic, I am extremely happy in Oz and consider myself very lucky to be here. But I am still very attached to 'home'.  Haven't ever been back to England though - and perhaps I never will.  Might have left it too long now (34years) because so much has changed. Even the old house in Durham Hill has gone and I had always thought I would one day see it again.  Ah well, life rolls on, I suppose.

Bren

Brenda
Don't go back you will be heartbroken.
 I went back for a month in June 2006 with my daughter, we were horrified. Everything had changed, and not for the better.  The streets were filthy, dog poo everywhere, no proper rubbish bins, so the bags get torn about by dogs, lots of them roaming the streets.
The people looked unhappy, and always in a rush, no 'please' and 'thank you'.  I suppose as we were in Hammersmith we saw the worst of it.

Everything was so expensive.  We looked in the windows of employment agencies at the jobs on offer, and the wages were terrible.  The house prices were up.
I once worked on Oxford Street, opposite Selfriges (when I was 18) and would wander up and down Oxford Street and Regent Street window shopping.  Even those two streets had changed. All the old familiar shops had gone, replaced by tat shops.  Except for Hamleys!

I get Christmas cards from the lady who lived next door to us in Geraint Road, she is in her late 80s now, and she is full of moans.  Her daughter can be seen entering her house on Google Streetview.

On reflection Perth is so bright and clean and spacious, London probably was always as described above, but we were different on Downham.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Brenda on June 07, 2009, 10:31:30 AM
That's right, Vic, my sister had to dash up to that telephone box the morning my father collapsed with a stroke when he was getting ready to go to work.  Then, not much later, she had to go up again to telephone Edgeware Hospital (where I was working) to get a message to me to say he had died. 

I was always worried when walking past the phone box in case it rang!  Out here, I soon discovered it was impossible to take a call in a public phone box. I thought that very strange.

We didn't have a telephone until we moved up here to the farm in 1987 and that was because, being so isolated, we deemed it necessary.  I still don't use it as a social tool though and can't stand long conversations on it. 

Vic, may I email you about the offer to take photos?    Bless you - and I mean that very sincerely.

Pauline, it breaks my heart to think of the way things are now.  I wonder if I will ever go back.  Another of my dreams is that I'm walking around places I knew e.g. London and suddenly I'm saying, "I used to live here, but I belong in Australia" and  then I'm aching to get back. 

Bren
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Vic on June 07, 2009, 04:16:47 PM
Go ahead Brenda. I'll send whatever you want as attachments to an e-mail. (Obviously!).
Vic.
Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: chosenman on July 29, 2009, 01:16:31 PM
I think the reason for the confusion is that the Downham was part of Kent until the establishment of the London County Council in about 1887! And then, when the estate was built, by the LCC (later GLC) it spanned the boundary of lewisham and Bromley. The post office, being emminently sensible, applied the local Bromley post code - BR1 - to the whole estate, but the GLC handed management of it back to Lewisham Borough.

This created no end of issues - Lewisham Council, ILEA Schools, Bromley addresses. Some people lived closer to a Bromley School but had to go in ILEA...

Title: Re: Downham Bromley?
Post by: Pauline on July 30, 2009, 02:52:36 AM
I think the reason for the confusion is that the Downham was part of Kent until the establishment of the London County Council in about 1887! And then, when the estate was built, by the LCC (later GLC) it spanned the boundary of lewisham and Bromley. The post office, being emminently sensible, applied the local Bromley post code - BR1 - to the whole estate, but the GLC handed management of it back to Lewisham Borough.

This created no end of issues - Lewisham Council, ILEA Schools, Bromley addresses. Some people lived closer to a Bromley School but had to go in ILEA...



Hello and welcome. Please tell us about yourself.  Where did/do you live. Are you still living on Downham?  We are hungry for information.