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Messages - billbaker

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General Discussion / Re: Storms Over Downham
« on: April 06, 2016, 11:31:26 AM »
Many years ago I called the council to say we had some tiles missing and the lock on the front door was broken, a man came to fix the tiles and said he would have to go back to the yard for a ladder which I thought as the tiles were on the roof it would have been fairly obvious, later another man came to fit a new door lock, after he'd finished fitting it I noticed that it was flopping about loose, he said not to worry after a bit of dirt gets behind it it would tighten up.  :-\

General Discussion / May bring back some old memories.
« on: October 03, 2015, 12:28:49 PM »
 There is a board on Facebook with many old photographs and messages from people, many from Downham, it's called: Catford and Lewisham way back when... and at:
Just spent hours looking (I can't spell 'reminiscing') at this site, you can put your own photos on too.

General Discussion / Re: Robertson's Jam Factory
« on: July 30, 2015, 02:25:52 PM »
Hi Joanie, I was working on the forecourt of the petrol station (The Car Mart Ltd) across the Bromley Road from Robertsons in the years you mention, my wife worked for a while at the Glennifer Laundry which was next to Robertsons.

General Discussion / Re: The Splendid Theater
« on: July 30, 2015, 02:16:33 PM »
I remember in the late 40s when some of us kids on Saturday mornings would turn up with air pistols to fire at the cowboy baddies, the screen must have been full of holes, it became so bad that the frustrated manager told us if we handed in our air pistols with our name on a label we could collect them on the way out, the following Saturday lots more boys than usual brought air pistols in just to be seen handing them in.  ::)

General Discussion / Re: Goldsmiths community center
« on: July 19, 2015, 12:20:34 PM »
Hi Alf, I too was evacuated to Rolvenden in 1939 aged six, I never could understand why we were sent nearer the Kent coast where the Germans would have landed, do you think the government might have thought that when the Germans saw us scruffy Downham kids they would give up and go back home again?  :o


I remember H. Stevens ('Aichee' we used to call him) when a friend and I were doing our National Service back in the 50s we never had much money, (our Army pay was 18 shillings a week back then), when we managed to get home some weekends, we would seek out 'Aichee' because he would walk straight past the  queue at the Prince of Wales Cinema, wave to the girl on the till, she'd wave back and because we were in uniform we'd all go straight in for nothing.

I joined The British Legion boxing club in Old Bromley Road around 1946 but left when I moved to live and work in North Devon for 3 years.


General Discussion / Re: Leona Chapman
« on: January 21, 2015, 06:52:09 PM »
Hi Joanie, Have emailed you with Leona's telephone number.

Regards, Bill.

P.S. I'm pleased to hear that after 50 years you are now back in touch with Leona, how ever did we 'Silver Surfers' manage without the internet?


General Discussion / Re: Leona Chapman
« on: December 21, 2014, 12:51:03 PM »
If you click on your name in the top left hand corner and then on your public profile it should have your email address there.


General Discussion / Re: Leona Chapman
« on: December 20, 2014, 10:06:56 AM »
Hi Joanie, I've emailed Len Chapman to let him know you are trying to contact Leona, Adele married and emigrated to New Zealand, I think Leona still lives at Biggin Hill, I am in touch with her older brother Len most weeks by email so I'm sure he will pass your message on, I hope you can soon get back in touch with your friend Leona.

Regards, Bill.

General Discussion / Re: Leona Chapman
« on: December 19, 2014, 11:43:07 PM »
Do you mean Leona Chapman that lived in Glenbow road with a brother Lenny? Len Chapman is my brother-in-law.

Sadly one unfortunate Dolton evacuee, Barbara Woodland, who had to return home earlier in the war on reaching fourteen years of age, was later killed along with her mother when a German V2 rocket landed on New Cross Woolworths killing 168 people and injuring many more, Barbara was only seventeen years old at that time, a tragic end for a lovely girl. Barbara had been a school friend of mine and although four years older than me would sometimes grab hold of me in the playground and make me kiss her before letting me go; I still can see her face and hear her laughter in the playground.
Barbaraís name is remembered here along with her mother on the list of those killed at New Cross.
 BARBARA WOODLAND, (1927 - 1944) aged 17 Daughter of Charles William Woodland, of 39 Shroffold Road, Downham, and of Violet Kathleen Woodland. Died at New Cross Road. And Mother Violet Kathleen also died in this incident

     VIOLET KATHLEEN WOODLAND, (1904 - 1944) aged 40, Wife of Charles William Woodland, of 39 Shroffold Road, Downham, Kent. Died at New Cross Road. And daughter Barbara also died in this incident.

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.   :(

General Discussion / Re: As the board is quiet.
« on: June 22, 2014, 10:51:00 PM »
There was also a drinking fountain on the corner by the pond with heavy pewter mugs on chains, you had to press a button and water came out, anyone wanting a drink would all use the same mug, how did we kids manage to survive? we must have been tough, I can't recall any of my friends going down with salmonella or any other transferable disease, (apart of course from the occasional bout of measles, mumps, chicken-pox, german measles, scabies, ringworm or headlice).  ::)

Bill.  ;)
             Them was 'appy days them was, all gawn nah!  :'(

General Discussion / Re: As the board is quiet.
« on: June 19, 2014, 02:48:19 PM »
I remember that path down the hill, when it snowed we used to sledge down there on milk crates until the council put railings across the path, I also remember walking through the woodland walks although I only used the part that ran behind Oakridge road that ended by the gas showroom.

General Discussion / Re: As the board is quiet.
« on: June 18, 2014, 01:04:44 PM »
How Kenny intended to smuggle this extra third brightly coloured three foot high passenger out past the man in charge without him noticing was not part of Kenny's cunning plan.
There was also a roller skating rink where Homebase is now at one time, my older brother learned to skate there but I was too young.  :(

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