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Messages - billbaker

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31
General Discussion / Strange 'goings on'.
« on: October 03, 2013, 11:24:51 AM »
when they were building the Bromley Road library, next to the Catford bus garage in the early 60s I was working shifts at The Car Mart Ltd. the 24hour petrol station that was across the road at that time with Billy Eagle who lived in Capstone Rd. and three other men. The workmen digging the foundations must have gone down 15 feet or more, many lorry loads of concrete were being poured into it every day and eventually the library was built above it, we were curious to know why such a deep hole had been necessary, to add to the mystery, late one Saturday night I was working a night shift when workmen arrived in lorries, they closed off half of Bromley Road and began digging a trench,  they laid a huge cable from the Telephone Exchange next to us under the road, filled that half of the road in then closed the other half of the road, the cable went under the library, by early Sunday morning the road was back to normal. Some time later I asked a Lewisham Councillor, who was a regular customer of ours, what they had built under the library, he tapped the side of his nose and said "no one is supposed to know about that". The library was pulled down in the early 90s...roughly about the same time as the cold war ended. ???

32
General Discussion / Re: Newcomer!!!
« on: July 25, 2013, 04:39:40 PM »
Hello again Pam & Brenda, I remember the Co-op, they also had the Co-op tailors there too, I bought my first made to measure suit there in 1951, cost me 6, they gave you little tin discs which you collected and exchanged for your divi, the butchers shop on the end was also part of the Co-op (that had sawdust on the floor) my friend Ray Hayward worked in that butchers shop, I remember remarking how clean his hands used to be, he would say it was because he'd been mixing up the sausage meat by hand, ::), he later opened his own butchers shop in Chislehurst High St. I remember The Splendid cinema, (the bug-hutch), just after the war it was possible to see daylight through small holes in the roof, another odd thing we kids noticed was that whenever a war film was showing, if an air raid siren sounded in the film you could hear the clatter as some of the seats went up as some of the older people who had lived through the blitz instinctively stood up as if to leave, then sat down again. Some films you had to be accompanied by an adult, kids would stand around outside waiting for an adult and asking them "can you take us in please mister?" they would usually say "ok, give us your money".

Bill.

33
General Discussion / Re: Newcomer!!!
« on: July 18, 2013, 10:18:28 AM »
Hello sixtieschick, the changeover you mentioned was at the bottom of Downham Way, when the air raid shelters were there an old chap used to sit in the doorway of the bottom shelter on the left hand side all night with a coke brazier on the pavement, (always good to stop for a warm up), the clippie would attache the arm from the roof of the tram to the overhead cable and the old chap would pull the 'shoe' away which came out from under the tram, I can't remember when the air raid shelters were removed, they were still there in 1951, I have a photo of me walking past them that year with a tram in the background, I can remember seeing a tram on it's side in the middle of Bromley road when it came off the rails going round the bend too fast. Do you remember when the trams arrived at Grove Park how all the backs of the wooden seats had to be changed over?

Bill.

34
General Discussion / Re: Sandhurst Road School Memorial.
« on: July 16, 2013, 11:32:19 AM »
Hi Brenda, if there is he's not doing his job properly, also many of the memorial plaques around the crematorium have been stolen including one to my mother-in-law and father-in-law, they wrote me to say it was due for renewal, when I said OK they said "sorry but it's been stolen."

Bill.

35
General Discussion / Re: Newest Newbie.
« on: July 16, 2013, 10:01:50 AM »
Hi Frank, before those flats were built it was waste ground, a circus used to over-winter there, there was a boxing ring with the circus, a friend and I used to box there and we were introduced as 'local talent', we both belonged to The British Legion boxing club which was just down the road from where the flats now are, we were only thirteen years old at that time and the winner was paid 5/- so we took it in turns to win, we always split the money 50-50, that meant we could both go to The Splendid for 1/- and buy fish and chips on the way home, 1/- cod and 3 pence for a bag of chips, a good night out. My brother keeps me up to date on the weather in OZ on Skype most weeks. 30 degrees here in Kent for the last couple of days.

Bill.

36
General Discussion / Sandhurst Road School Memorial.
« on: July 15, 2013, 12:39:09 PM »
In May this year (2013) my brother came over to the UK from Brisbane with a woman friend, we visited my sister's grave at Hither Green Cemetery, not an easy task locating it as the grass in the whole cemetery is over 12 inches high and appears to have not seen a lawnmower for years, as usual we walked over to the Sandhurst School Memorial which is close by, you may be pleased to know that  the Memorial is now in a pristine condition which is some different to when I last visited it some years ago when most of the paving slabs were broken and sunk down and overgrown with weeds. The woman with my brother was visibly moved when she saw the ages of the children.

37
General Discussion / Newest Newbie.
« on: July 12, 2013, 07:26:54 PM »
Hi everyone, still finding my way around the forum, my family moved to 47 Goudhurst Rd. in 1935, I went to Rangefield infant's school at the junction of Rangefield Rd and Glenbow Rd and from there was evacuated first to Rolvenden in Kent in what later became known as the 'Phoney war', in June 1940 I was again evacuated to a village in North Devon where I stayed till 1945, then returned again to Downham, finished my education at Downham Secondary school leaving at 14 years of age, then in 1948 returned to Devon for three more years until joining the 17/21 Lancers for two years National Service. On leaving the army I returned to 47 Goudhurst Rd and some years later moved to 45 Glenbow Rd and stayed till 1999.
I now live in Tonbridge.
My main hobby is photograph restoring.

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