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Messages - lensmith

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General Discussion / Re: wray optical works bromley
« on: February 13, 2015, 03:26:21 PM »
Hi Brenda, I live in a bungalow in Sidcup, having been here for 51 years. I'm on my own my wife having passed away 5 years ago. I regard myself lucky as I have a daughter a mile away who is there should I need her. I'm 85 and can get around without trouble. Enough of me. Boltons also owned a sweet shop at the bottom of Downham Way where incidently my second wife worked when she was 14. I remember some of the shops on Downham.  Coming up from Northover there was a drapers who priced their wares in the window down to a farthing. Further along was Gunners a meat shop, again along there was Boltons, the fish shop, then Knights where we would buy our broken biscuits. In his shop window he would have baby chicks running around and cuddling up to some electric light bulbs set there to keep them warm.  Further along there was Morrell & Dixon the chemist, I was fascinated by his clock face which had no numbers but the letters of their name around the dial. What silly little things we remember. Then there was Clarks the green grocer on  the corner. Over the other side of the road was All Needs run by Tom a very friendly character, then the Coop, then possibly a shoe shop, Gaynes the radio shop then Wittys the barber, Downham stores, and Pearks for bacon and cheese, Gorstons the butcher then near the corner another green grocers which I believe also belonged to Clarks. Thats enough for now before I start on about my time at Launcelot School.   Nice to have heard from you .  Len


General Discussion / wray optical works bromley
« on: February 08, 2015, 04:15:36 PM »
is anyone out there who used to work at Wrays? I was there from 1944 aged 14 working in the brass shop.
 Bill Edwards was the foreman and we thought him rather a terror at the time. He probably had to act in that way to control some of us youngsters. His brother Charles was the works manager and was a gentleman as was  the managing director Mr Arthur Smith. I had many experiences during my 23 years there. I later used to make the lenses for the Wrayflex camera. I married in 1952 and my wife nee Jean Enefer came to work there. One evening during overtime I was called across to the assembly shop, where she worked, and found her dying of a brain hemoraege. We had been married 22 months. I stayed with Wrays  until 1968 when I left to work in the Woolwich Arsenal. The starting pay was marginally more for inspecting optics than I received for making them. I lived on Downham from the early thirties until I moved to Marvels Lane in  1958. Our family  lived over the fish shop near the Downham Tavern. My Father managed it for Mr Bolton who also owned the sweet shop next door. We later moved to 51 Headcorn Road, then to 36 Valeswood Road in 1942 we again moved to 309 Shroffold Road.

Where are they now? / Re: Do you know any of these people
« on: February 08, 2015, 03:35:55 PM »
HelloEric Mcquade,I remember you very well.Also many of your fights,I also remember a few names from the "Downham Community Boxing Club'at rear of the the " "Downham Tavern'.How about the Reardon twins ,Freddy boxed for "England" at the Olympics,Also Ronnie Savage,of course the Cooper twins of Bellingham.Also working at "Smithfield Market I worked with "Terry Allen a world champion and:Ronny Barton,also "Tommy Mcgovern,all well known of that  period.The estate produced some very good sportsmen at that time.I now live in" South Australia",but have many memories of that time.I wonder if you knew a mate of mine"Ronnie Thacker?.Good to hear you are still active Eric,and old Downham boy.Derek Durrant,ex "Goudhurst Rd.

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