Author Topic: Downham Memories  (Read 20172 times)

David Line

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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
Gareth Grove 1946 - 1954
Beechmont Close 1954 - 1966

Pauline

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Re: Downham Memories
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2006, 04:08:31 AM »
Quote from: David Line
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


I knew Vincent Grimmit, and his sister was a friend of my sister.  I don't remember the other two though.  At that time living in Gareth Grove were Eileen Hughes, my cousin Trevor Wynne, and Stephen Haley. I lived just around the corner, and my garden backed onto the Grimmits.
Born 1944 in Geraint Road.  Launcelot and Churchdown Schools.  Moved to Western Australia in 1988.
Two children, 6 grandchildren, 3 dogs, hundreds of snakes, spiders and lizards.

Dickie eagle

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Re: Downham Memories
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2006, 01:37:44 PM »
Quote from: David Line
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.Can I point you to the Photos of the Changeover with a 54 tram at tha gate. as you can see the attendant uesd a short arm to disconnect the Plough from the tram and disengage it from the electric rail under the road. The tram also had a spring loaded arm which could be swung fore and aft of the tram, this was activated by bthe conductor who pull down the cord on the arm to unhook it and guithe end of the arm up on to the overhead wire for the return trip to Grove Park (Where thhe arm was disengaged aswung round to the other end and reconnected,the conductor the ran through the tram to shove the seat backs the other way as well,.) There you are ! simple . What that old guy with a white beard and long bamboo pole was doing gawd knows ! entertaining the wating passengers maybe       dickie..................... Oh No6 Gareth was my chum John Lindzner   D......

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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Tristram Rd.,  M.N, RN. FAA. RFA,s  from 1941 to 1971  retired ex-MOD(Navy) , Moved to Downham in 1927 .! Travelled a bit With long spells ashore in USA, Malta, Southern India, Japan, NZ and OZ also attatched to Aus Navy ( HMAS Sydney)

Pauline

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Downham Memories
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2006, 07:22:04 AM »
2, Gareth Grove was Mr & Mrs Trotman
4, Gareth Grove were the Grimmits
6 Gareth Grove were the Goslings (friends of my Mum and Dad and we would go away on holiday to Kessingland Holiday Camp together). I loved holiday camps, and we would also take my kids when they were younger, they loved it too.
8 Gareth Grove - the Eakins (my aunt and uncle)
10 Gareth Grove - the Hughes (Eileen was my friend and we still communicate).
After that I get hazy, but I do remember a Mrs Hayden (I think) who lived in the maisonettes further along who would shout at us kids for playing and making a noise.
There was a wall around the three 'greens' and I would regularly graze my legs jumping from one to the other.
What 'orrible kids we were!
Born 1944 in Geraint Road.  Launcelot and Churchdown Schools.  Moved to Western Australia in 1988.
Two children, 6 grandchildren, 3 dogs, hundreds of snakes, spiders and lizards.

David Line

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Downham Memories
« Reply #4 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.
Gareth Grove 1946 - 1954
Beechmont Close 1954 - 1966

Dickie eagle

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Re: Downham Memories
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2006, 09:43:52 AM »
Quote from: Pauline
2, Gareth Grove was Mr & Mrs Trotman
4, Gareth Grove were the Grimmits
6 Gareth Grove were the Goslings (friends of my Mum and Dad and we would go away on holiday to Kessingland Holiday Camp together). I loved holiday camps, and we would also take my kids when they were younger, they loved it too.What 'orrible kids we were!
Quote
I can only remember the Parks, oh and the Stuarts who lived at the entrance to Mallory. No.6 though was definitelely the Family Lindzner Frank (RAF) , then John (RN) and the youngest was Claire or Clara  who worked at Boltons shop, who was left the house when the parents died. Clara married a man introduced by a newspaper correspondant . I don't know her married name but they had a daughter who looked remarkably like Clara I went to Johns funeral, but only my sister Rene attended Clara's  who died 4/5 years back.            so more mysteries Pauline     dickie...........
Tristram Rd.,  M.N, RN. FAA. RFA,s  from 1941 to 1971  retired ex-MOD(Navy) , Moved to Downham in 1927 .! Travelled a bit With long spells ashore in USA, Malta, Southern India, Japan, NZ and OZ also attatched to Aus Navy ( HMAS Sydney)

Bel

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Downham Memories
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2006, 07:25:15 PM »
My dad was a tram conductor on the 54 trams and there was an inspector at the Grove \Park end for many years ...a portly man with white hair (dont remember if he had a beard). He lived in a house which backed onto our garden and his name was Mr. Bradshaw( I remember he had two large dogs named |Prince and Princess - a useless bit of information - I have still kept my dad's pass as he was very proud of it. Regards Bel

Dickie eagle

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Downham Memories
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2006, 11:15:47 PM »
Quote from: Bel
My dad was a tram conductor on the 54 trams and there was an inspector at the Grove \Park end for many years ...a portly man with white hair (dont remember if he had a beard). He lived in a house which backed onto our garden and his name was Mr. Bradshaw( I remember he had two large dogs named |Prince and Princess - a useless bit of information - I have still kept my dad's pass as he was very proud of it. Regards Bel
[/quote]        BEL ! Now you tell me . Why didn't you, and Sis,  both join the New Cross Tramways Swimming Club ? We would have met then, plus Sid Adams, oh and another guy named Mick McManus too ! could have been interesting      dickie...........X
Tristram Rd.,  M.N, RN. FAA. RFA,s  from 1941 to 1971  retired ex-MOD(Navy) , Moved to Downham in 1927 .! Travelled a bit With long spells ashore in USA, Malta, Southern India, Japan, NZ and OZ also attatched to Aus Navy ( HMAS Sydney)

Bel

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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2006, 08:25:30 PM »
:lol: That would have been nice Dickie..oh by the way big sis has had her operation and is now home and receiving lots of TLC and well on the way to being her old self again. Love to all and hope Brenda will be back with us again soon.  I am sure Mike will be able to sort her out.  Belx

Dickie eagle

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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2006, 10:05:31 PM »
Quote from: Bel
:lol: That would have been nice Dickie..oh by the way big sis has had her operation and is now home and receiving lots of TLC and well on the way to being her old self again. Love to all and hope Brenda will be back with us again soon.  I am sure Mike will be able to sort her out.  Belx
Quote
  Happy to hear Sis is back on her feet. Sadlymine did not fare so well,after being rushed into Lewisham on last Thursday, she had another heart attack which proved too much for an already weakened condition . My Brother in Law is coping and they have four very good and supportive children . So Louisa Amelia (aka Rene ) has joined our parents and younger brother Joe at Hither Green, one of the places we used to play when we were kids back in those "Golden Days " sorry folk don't want to be a wet blanket         dickie..................
Tristram Rd.,  M.N, RN. FAA. RFA,s  from 1941 to 1971  retired ex-MOD(Navy) , Moved to Downham in 1927 .! Travelled a bit With long spells ashore in USA, Malta, Southern India, Japan, NZ and OZ also attatched to Aus Navy ( HMAS Sydney)

Bel

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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2006, 10:22:20 AM »
:cry: sorry to hear of your loss Dickie..it still hits hard whatever their age.  BelX

mike

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Condolences
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2006, 03:38:15 PM »
Hi Dickie - so sorry to hear the sad news of your sister. Sue & I are thinking of you and the family, especially her husband and children, at this sad time.
Mike

JSmith

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Downham Memories
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2006, 02:20:34 AM »
Sorry to hear of your Sisters death Dickie. It is always tough on the rest of the Family at this time. We will be thinking of them. Smiffy.
Born 1945 Churchdown road.

     You can take the Boy out of Downham,but you cant take Downham out of the Boy.

Pauline

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Re: Downham Memories
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2006, 08:33:16 AM »
Quote from: Dick Eagle
Quote from: Pauline
2, Gareth Grove was Mr & Mrs Trotman
4, Gareth Grove were the Grimmits
6 Gareth Grove were the Goslings (friends of my Mum and Dad and we would go away on holiday to Kessingland Holiday Camp together). I loved holiday camps, and we would also take my kids when they were younger, they loved it too.What 'orrible kids we were!
Quote
I can only remember the Parks, oh and the Stuarts who lived at the entrance to Mallory. No.6 though was definitelely the Family Lindzner Frank (RAF) , then John (RN) and the youngest was Claire or Clara  who worked at Boltons shop, who was left the house when the parents died. Clara married a man introduced by a newspaper correspondant . I don't know her married name but they had a daughter who looked remarkably like Clara I went to Johns funeral, but only my sister Rene attended Clara's  who died 4/5 years back.            so more mysteries Pauline     dickie...........


This is weird.  When are you thinking the Lindzner family lived at No.6?  The Goslings moved into No.6 about the same time as my parents moved into 16 Geraint Road,  my sister was 3 at the time, so that would have been around 1937-38.  They were still there in the early 1950s.  The Grimmits daughters name was Claire, and she worked with my sister at the Crown Agents on Millbank for a while, I don't remember what happened to her after that. The reason I am sure about the Gosling is because3 our house in Geraint Road was at a 90 deg angle to the Trotmans, Grimmits and Goslings, and my Mum would hand me over the fence and i would be handed over the fences until I got to my firends at No.10, and visa versa.  I have no recollection of the name Lindzner at all.
I have remembered that across the road at No.1, were the Lewis family.  I recall the Rickmans, and a lady who looked after me while my Mum worked but she was way up the road passed the entrance to the field at about No. 75 their name was Packett or Puckett.
Born 1944 in Geraint Road.  Launcelot and Churchdown Schools.  Moved to Western Australia in 1988.
Two children, 6 grandchildren, 3 dogs, hundreds of snakes, spiders and lizards.

Dickie eagle

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Re: Downham Memories
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2006, 09:08:05 AM »
This is weird.  When are you thinking the Lindzner family lived at No.6?  The Goslings moved into No.6 about the same time as my parents moved into 16 Geraint Road,  my sister was 3 at the time, so that would have been around 1937-38.  They were still there in the early 1950s.  The Grimmits daughters name was Claire, and she worked with my sister .   Maybe the Penny has dropped ! Pauline,you mentioned Geraint where you lived. The Lindzners lived at the Ivorydown end on the left as you turned into gareth grove about the fourth house along Was that 66 then ?they faced the Stuarts across the road at the Mallory fields opening,and were adjacent to the "cut" between Ivorydown and Downham Way (Opposite Northover ) Claire was still there I think till she died about five years ago and she was born there .John Lindzner was Herod in launcelots nativity play in1930 ( I got the part of an Angel !!! )      dickie...................[/quote]
Tristram Rd.,  M.N, RN. FAA. RFA,s  from 1941 to 1971  retired ex-MOD(Navy) , Moved to Downham in 1927 .! Travelled a bit With long spells ashore in USA, Malta, Southern India, Japan, NZ and OZ also attatched to Aus Navy ( HMAS Sydney)