Recent Posts

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General Discussion / Christmas
« Last post by Brenda on December 19, 2017, 08:43:21 PM »
Wherever in the world you are, I wish you all a wonderful Xmas and a safe, happy and healthy 2018.

General Discussion / Re: It has been a while...
« Last post by Brenda on November 28, 2017, 08:48:55 PM »
It's good to see the boss's name come up, Mike!  Obviously everything is still going okay for you in New York - pleased to hear it.
Very different from life on Downham, I'm sure.

Look forward to seeing something from the new members soon.

General Discussion / It has been a while...
« Last post by mike on November 26, 2017, 11:00:42 PM »
Sorry for the radio silence recently! Sue and I have been living in New York for the past couple of years and life is busy, but that is no excuse for not keeping up with the forum recently.

We've received a few new registration requests over the past couple of months, so I will process those, and I hope there will be some interesting discussion threads resulting from some new members.

I hope everyone is doing well. I'll be back in Downham briefly in early December, and am always interested to see what has changed - and what hasn't...

General Discussion / Re: Where has everybody gone
« Last post by Brenda on November 25, 2017, 09:41:14 AM »
Well, I'm still here - but very surprised to see my last post was in August.  And I agree, we must have something to contribute to keep Downhamonline and old Downhamites going.l  So, greetings from our little place in rural Australia which, at present, is far too warm for my liking and I get emails from a friend in Crofton Park describing the cold of November there - and it sounds lovely to me!

I suppose most of you are preparing for Xmas - not me, I ignore it as much as possible!  But can you believe it's that time of year again?  Never did a year go so fast!

General Discussion / Re: Where has everybody gone
« Last post by adcross on November 23, 2017, 11:00:05 PM »
Come on you lot out there, use it before you lose it.

There must be something interesting that you have to say to save this group.

Regards to all,
Tony Cross
General Discussion / Re: Where has everybody gone
« Last post by Brenda on August 28, 2017, 12:07:45 PM »
Very interesting indeed, Joanie.   My mother worked in Robertson's Jam Factory for a while.  I think - but may be wrong - it was in the early to mid-60s.  How absolutely wonderful that so many people were generous enough to let you into the old places.  I imagine that revisiting your past places were very emotional occasions.   My husband, two kids and I came out to Australia in 1974 and have never returned.  I think it is too late now as so much has changed.   The house in Durham Hill (opposite the school where my mother was a cleaner for many years when I was a child) where I was brought up was demolished several years ago due to its condition.  When I found that out, I was very, very sad and it was and always will 'home'.  Having said that, I love my life here in rural Victoria where we have a smallholding of 36acres, a few sheep and cows and far too many venomous snakes!  I find it interesting that all the old Downhamites, most of whose families struggled to make ends meet, nevertheless retain such a very real affection for the estate.
So glad your son came through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I don't doubt that would have been an ordeal for you too! 

General Discussion / Re: Where has everybody gone
« Last post by joanie on August 27, 2017, 11:14:11 PM »
Hello Bren:

Went to Rangefield Primary School, then on to Athelny Secondary School and eventually to Sedgehill School where I was put out at fourteen years of age. My Dad got me my early jobs, first  in a dress shop and a clothes cleaners, both in Bromley. Eventually I was later able to secure employment at Robertsons Jam Factory where I stayed until after I married in 1965. Moved to Gravesend, then on to Rochester where I worked at the Scotts Paper Plant and for Burroughs Welcome. Immigrated to the U.S. in 1975 and have settled in Florida for the duration and retirement with my husband.

Visited the old place on Glenbow Road a couple of times and we caught the attention of the owner on my last visit. She was gracious enough to invite me in to the house and allow me to film the visit with a vcr camera. Brought back an awful lot of heartfelt memories and I still look at it quite often. Also, My current husband (who is a yank) and I were filming the kids at Rangefield over the fence when a teacher saw us and inquired about what we were doing. When she found out that I attended there as a child she invited us in and introduced us to the headmaster. We were given the royal treatment with a complete guided tour inside and out. I still have that tape also. Also on our last visit, I visited Sedgehill. Went to the office and introduced myself. One of the administrators looked up my old school file from 1958 and gave it to me together with a blazer patch and tie, both of which I still have and treasure today.

My son from my first marriage was born in Dartford, emigrated with me and became a U.S. citizen as a minor when I applied for and was sworn in as a Naturalized Citizen over here in 1983. Upon graduation from high School he joined the U.S. Airforce. As luck would have it, his first out of country duty station was Lakenheath in the U.K. Very proud of him as he served 20 years all over the world including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

General Discussion / Re: Where has everybody gone
« Last post by Brenda on August 25, 2017, 11:59:38 PM »

It was certainly a quieter and simpler world for us, wasn't it? As say, no cars and we all played safely in the street: marbles, rounds, hop-scotch, hide and seek etc. What fun we had!

What schools did you go to Joanie?  I went to Pendragon Infants and Junior Schools and then to Churchdown.

And whereabouts in America do you live.  There are a couple of my old classmates from Churchdown who live in the USA.


Hi Bren:
Yes, the memories continue. When I was young I spent a lot of evenings sitting on the back steps at our place to see the mother hedgehog and her babies come up the path to feed on the saucer of milk I put out for them. Such lovely little critters. When not in school I spent a lot of days roaming around Beckingham Place Park sometimes climbing the large trees while the park keepers weren't looking. When my folks had the money we went to the pictures at the old Splendid. Remember horse carts delivering coal for the fireplace too. No one in my neighborhood had an automobile. Dad rode a bike back and forth to work. No telephones back in that day. We did get a radio (battery operated) for entertainment. Those were simpler and good times!
General Discussion / Re: Where has everybody gone
« Last post by Brenda on August 25, 2017, 11:56:29 PM »
You've had an interesting life, Tony.   Interestingly, my father was a postman for many years and then sat exams to join the Civil Service.  He got a clerical job in the War Office after that.  He died in 1963 after a massive stroke suffered as he got ready for work, he was 53yrs old.  Yes, many regrets about not getting to know more about him but he was a kind man and had a good brain but, being brought up in the Bermondsey slums at the beginning of the 20th century, he never had the chance to reach his potential.    He joined the Army aged 17 and stayed in for 11 years before going back to Civvy Street.
General Discussion / Re: Where has everybody gone
« Last post by adcross on August 17, 2017, 05:11:08 AM »
Hello again Brenda and others. Brenda you asked if I struck up a bonding with my father on his return to civvy life. well not really Dad joined the GPO as a Postman and he used to work all the hours he could it would be nothing for him to do his morning shift then come home sometime in the afternoon have dinner then go for a lay down and then back to work for the nightshift commencing at Midnight then carry onto the morning shift as well. Hence I still did not see much of him. I started my National Service in 1957 with the RAOC to start with but when they told me that I was going to be a clerk for two years I said no thanks, they then told me I was the right build and height for the RMP I couldn't get there quickly enough. After 16 weeks training I was posted to London District in Church Lane Kensington ( great ) then after that I was posted to Fontainbleau France again a perk posting, did about 10 months there and was posted back to London District until demob. in 1959. Because I had some experience with telephone exchanges I scored the job as an exchange operator in London District, another perk. We got married in 1960 and migrated to N.Z. in 1961. We went back for a trip in 1963 but that was spoilt by the news that Dad had terminal lung cancer in early 1964 Dad died and I went back for the funeral.  Well Brenda the biggest regret of my life was not getting to really know my Father better but what I did know about him was that he was a truly great man in my opinion. In 1999 we moved to Buderim on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland what a great place to settle down.
Keep in touch, all the best Tony Cross.
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