Author Topic: Goldsmiths Community Centre and North Downham estate  (Read 67306 times)

Brenda

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Re: Goldsmiths Community Centre and North Downham estate
« Reply #30 on: June 21, 2009, 11:17:21 PM »
Ah, Lee Rd. That sounds right.  Thank you.

I've found estate agents good for seeing how the houses and flats on Downham have been renovated.  Couldn't believe my eyes when I saw a kitchen renovation!

I remember the non-functioning pump well!  Ours didn't work for a long time and we bucketed water into a galvanised tin bath which was either in the kitchen or in front of the front room fire in winter.   When the pump did work, it was jolly hard work!

Like you, Vic, I never felt  we were roughing it and even when my horizons widened and I went into what I regarded as posh houses (e.g. Whitefoot Lane), I never compared my Downham home unfavourably to them. 

Bren

Pauline

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Re: Goldsmiths Community Centre and North Downham estate
« Reply #31 on: June 26, 2009, 07:58:57 AM »
Fantastic reminiscences, Vic.  Yes, the council workers came along regularly to trim the privet hedges.  Whenever I smell privet, I am immediately taken back to Downham days. I was delighted to find a privet bush on this property (maybe the single token of a past owner's attempts at a hedge) and it has thrived.  When it flowers, I am in heaven!  

Bren
My memories of privet hedges are falling into them when learning to roller skate.
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.

Splinter

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Re: Goldsmiths Community Centre and North Downham estate
« Reply #32 on: June 26, 2009, 05:21:14 PM »
That reminds me i must go back to Pendragon tomorrow and cut the privet hedge.
Born in Pendragon Road 1954 Family lived in house since 1935 Bought in 1970/1 Still own it.

Vic

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Re: Goldsmiths Community Centre and North Downham estate
« Reply #33 on: June 26, 2009, 07:12:59 PM »
To my shame I must admit to causing gaps in the privet hedges for making short cuts. One example was at the end of the 'bank' where Dickie Waterhouse lived. Rather than follow the path round and down the steps to the gate and Shroffold Road, we made a path and a hole in the hedge straight on to Merlin Gardens just above Shroffold Road. From then on every one took that route. When I visited last year I noticed that the area around Dickie's house had been turned into a car parking area. The gaps didn't happen when the hedges were being cut regularly, but during the war when there were no hedge trimmers. A similar trick was to walk through the council grounds to cut corners. If I was sent on an errand 'up the top' I would sometimes go through the back gardens of the flats, climb the fence into Vanoc Gardens and then come out in Northover. That route had its dangers as Mr Pearson, who lived in the corner house in Vanoc Gardens, would holler at us to 'get back to Merlin Gardens' as we sprinted across the grass and made good our escape.

Splinter

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Re: Goldsmiths Community Centre and North Downham estate
« Reply #34 on: June 26, 2009, 10:44:25 PM »
I thought i would bring this up. Do you remember that at the corners of most roads, there was a small green that was open to all. well most were sold off to the nearest house that wanted them.
Born in Pendragon Road 1954 Family lived in house since 1935 Bought in 1970/1 Still own it.

Vic

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Re: Goldsmiths Community Centre and North Downham estate
« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2009, 02:11:46 PM »
They are the very areas I meant Splinter. On most road corners and in front of the flats there was an area of small trees and shrubs - it wasn't grass then - and they were known as 'council grounds'. They had 3 strand wire fences around them with black channel section posts, but they were no obstacle to a gang of small boys! Of course, the biggest example was the 'Bank' which I see from Street View is still such an area. From time to time, the council workmen came round and pruned the trees and dug the ground over. In the top right hand corner of Merlin Gardens we built a smashing camp, shielded by trees, with the very stout, high garden fences as the back walls. It was handy there as, if the Dalton Gang got a bit too close, we could climb over the fence into mine or Ronniee Hill's back garden!
Vic.

Brenda

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Re: Goldsmiths Community Centre and North Downham estate
« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2009, 01:04:44 AM »

Bren
My memories of privet hedges are falling into them when learning to roller skate.
[/quote]

And they were an essential part of my braking system when roller skating down Durham Hill.  Many is the time a tenant came out to tick me off for landing in their privet hedge but hey, would they rather I had come to a sticky end with a  124 bus?
Bren

Brenda

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Re: Goldsmiths Community Centre and North Downham estate
« Reply #37 on: June 28, 2009, 01:08:25 AM »
I thought i would bring this up. Do you remember that at the corners of most roads, there was a small green that was open to all. well most were sold off to the nearest house that wanted them.

Oh, that makes me quite sad.  I always thought it quite wonderful that nobody was very far from a little bit of green and the shrubs.

Now, I have asked this question before but before our newest members arrived. Does anyone remember 'vinegar leaves'.  We picked them from the bushes on these little greens and they were brownish in colour. I have no idea what the shrubs were called or how we ever learnt we could chew them and not be poisoned. I would love to know what they were.

Bren

Vic

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Re: Goldsmiths Community Centre and North Downham estate
« Reply #38 on: June 28, 2009, 11:06:27 AM »
I thought i would bring this up. Do you remember that at the corners of most roads, there was a small green that was open to all. well most were sold off to the nearest house that wanted them.

Oh, that makes me quite sad.  I always thought it quite wonderful that nobody was very far from a little bit of green and the shrubs.

Now, I have asked this question before but before our newest members arrived. Does anyone remember 'vinegar leaves'.  We picked them from the bushes on these little greens and they were brownish in colour. I have no idea what the shrubs were called or how we ever learnt we could chew them and not be poisoned. I would love to know what they were.

Bren
I'm sorry, I can't help you there Brenda. I recall bushes which I now know as Budlea, Laurel and Red Robin. Also, some very prickly bushes with powdery blue berries. But the favourite was the lilac because the stems made good arrows and the branches good swords. It's odd, but small memories occur when I read the postings. eg As a very small boy in the playground at Ballamore a friend,Terry Holmes, told me that if I scratched the name of my girl friend on to the pale back of a (laurel) leaf and then put it inside my shirt top and the letters went brown - she loved me! I don't recall any girl friend at the time, but there were lots of laurel bushes where the entrance to the Merlin School is now and we left a trail of discarded leaves as we tried different names. Of course, they always turned brown! 

Vic

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Re: Goldsmiths Community Centre and North Downham estate
« Reply #39 on: June 28, 2009, 11:20:54 AM »
Brenda,
Having just logged off, I asked 'Her indoors - the fount of all knowledge' about possible names for the leaves you asked about and she suggested the name Sorrel or Wood Sorrel. They are light brown to yellowish leaves with a slightly acid taste grown for hedgerows and for use in making sauces, so they are edible. The plant came originally from North America. I hope that helps.
Vic.

Brenda

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Re: Goldsmiths Community Centre and North Downham estate
« Reply #40 on: June 28, 2009, 10:43:54 PM »
Brenda,
Having just logged off, I asked 'Her indoors - the fount of all knowledge' about possible names for the leaves you asked about and she suggested the name Sorrel or Wood Sorrel. They are light brown to yellowish leaves with a slightly acid taste grown for hedgerows and for use in making sauces, so they are edible. The plant came originally from North America. I hope that helps.
Vic.

Oh wow!  I shall see if I can find a picture.  The description fits i.e. light brown.  I will let you know.
Bren

Vic

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Re: Goldsmiths Community Centre and North Downham estate
« Reply #41 on: June 29, 2009, 12:19:43 PM »
Brenda,
Having just logged off, I asked 'Her indoors - the fount of all knowledge' about possible names for the leaves you asked about and she suggested the name Sorrel or Wood Sorrel. They are light brown to yellowish leaves with a slightly acid taste grown for hedgerows and for use in making sauces, so they are edible. The plant came originally from North America. I hope that helps.
Vic.

Oh wow!  I shall see if I can find a picture.  The description fits i.e. light brown.  I will let you know.
Bren
There's quite a lot of information about the Bush Sorrel on Wilkepedia. If you follow the links there's a picture of some Sorrel Soup!
It seems to stress the acidity of the leaf when chewed and it appears to be used in a lot of medicines.
For a picture we need to run down a copy of 'The Observer's Book of Plants,.
We seem to have them on a few  subjects, but not plants!
Vic.

Pauline

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Re: Goldsmiths Community Centre and North Downham estate
« Reply #42 on: June 30, 2009, 05:54:46 AM »
Brenda,
Having just logged off, I asked 'Her indoors - the fount of all knowledge' about possible names for the leaves you asked about and she suggested the name Sorrel or Wood Sorrel. They are light brown to yellowish leaves with a slightly acid taste grown for hedgerows and for use in making sauces, so they are edible. The plant came originally from North America. I hope that helps.
Vic.

Oh wow!  I shall see if I can find a picture.  The description fits i.e. light brown.  I will let you know.
Bren
There's quite a lot of information about the Bush Sorrel on Wilkepedia. If you follow the links there's a picture of some Sorrel Soup!
It seems to stress the acidity of the leaf when chewed and it appears to be used in a lot of medicines.
For a picture we need to run down a copy of 'The Observer's Book of Plants,.
We seem to have them on a few  subjects, but not plants!
Vic.


There is a picture of bush sorrell at:
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Bush%20Sorrel.html

But it doesn't look like Brenda's description at all.

There is also a page at:
http://www.aluka.org/action/showMetadata?doi=10.5555/AL.AP.UPWTA.4_64&pgs=

Which suggests it's of the Hibiscus family.

I do recall in the playground at Churchdown there was a 'lemon' tree, well at least the leaves smelt of lemons when you rubbed them, it certainly wasn't a citrus.


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.

Brenda

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Re: Goldsmiths Community Centre and North Downham estate
« Reply #43 on: July 01, 2009, 07:14:13 AM »
Thanks for looking those up Pauline.  I've had a peek but no, my leaves aren't the same.

It's so many years ago that if I attempt a description, I'm likely to be wrong. Memory does alter things, doesn't it?  I am confident they were light brown in colour and not large leaves. Definitely on a bush as opposed to ground cover or climbers.  But that's about it really.

There were a few along the bottom end of Shroffold Rd and some along Capstone Rd outside the flats. 

I don't remember the lemony leaves at Churchdown, Pauline, but I do remember the bush with white berries that we used to pop.  It wasn't until I came out here that I learnt it was part of the solanum family. 

Dickie eagle

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Re: Goldsmiths Community Centre and North Downham estate
« Reply #44 on: July 05, 2009, 11:43:16 PM »
yes Jane, I could not find the reply source so I sent you a personal mail shot , hopp you got it 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)