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Messages - David Line

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General Discussion / ME109
« on: March 25, 2006, 11:37:32 AM »
Putting together my family history there is one event for which I would be grateful for more information. My sister, now deceased, was at Lancelot Rd School when, coming home one afternoon to 63 Gareth Grove via (I think) Ivorydown Road in (again not sure) 1942 was subjected to a machine gun attack from an ME109. The family story is that this particular aircraft had shot-up a school in Catford after escorting a bomber raid and killed a number of youngsters. Presumably, after a Happy Hun day and on his way home for schnapps and sauerkraut, the pilot decided to take a few more pot shots at his enemy, none aged more than about 10. My sister dived for cover under a hedge and survived with no more than a few scratches and bruises. The question is, were there any casualties from this attack?

David Line

General Discussion / Downham Memories
« on: March 10, 2006, 09:09:24 AM »
Dickie - thanks for the information on tram operations. As I was only seven years old when the last tram ran down Downham Way, perhaps I can be forgiven for being vague about operating procedures but the old man in the white beard remains vividly etched in my memory. As the tram coasted around the sharp turn into Bromley Road, he would haul down the overhead pole from the Downham Way catenary, walk alongside the tram as it took the curve and then let the pole up onto the Bromley Road. For a 7 y.o. it was a fascinating exercise especially as there always lots of sparks flying.

Pauline - we lived at 63 Gareth Grove which backed onto the open field. I understand a land mine went off not far away which meant none of the doors or windows in the house would shut properly. It was always freezing cold in the winter. I too bear the scars of those low walls around the greens. I remember Mr Grimmit was a haulier of some sort - he had an ex-WD Fordson lorry which was often parked close to his house. I seem to remember it was grey in colour - maybe ex-RAF.

General Discussion / Downham Memories
« on: March 08, 2006, 04:01:56 PM »
I thought I might pass on a few memories before the passing years erode the grey cells.

Changeover - In the early fifties I can remember a white bearded gentleman at the "bottom of Downham Way" who, armed with an incredibly long bamboo pole, would haul down the pick-up of the tram as it made the sharp turn into (I think) Bromley Road en route to Catford and then re-connected the pick-up to the overhead wires. In the early 1990s I caught a bus at Grove Park and absentmindedly asked for a single to the Changeover. The conductress thought I was quite mad.

Can anyone remember Dr Nathaniel Hockman who had a surgery off Downham Way. He was a superb GP who treated all my childhood illnesses - mumps, measles, chickenpox, etc - with great sympathy?

There was a large field at the back of Gareth Grove (now occupied by a school). In the early fifties the remains of a barrage balloon winch stood rusting in the centre of the field.

Childhood friends at the time included Theresa Perrot, Vincent Grimmit and Ann Hamilton (her father was a coal merchant with horse and cart serving the state and lived in Gareth Grove). Does anyone know them?

David Line

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