Author Topic: wray optical works bromley  (Read 3939 times)

lensmith

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wray optical works bromley
« on: February 08, 2015, 04:15:36 PM »
is anyone out there who used to work at Wrays? I was there from 1944 aged 14 working in the brass shop.
 Bill Edwards was the foreman and we thought him rather a terror at the time. He probably had to act in that way to control some of us youngsters. His brother Charles was the works manager and was a gentleman as was  the managing director Mr Arthur Smith. I had many experiences during my 23 years there. I later used to make the lenses for the Wrayflex camera. I married in 1952 and my wife nee Jean Enefer came to work there. One evening during overtime I was called across to the assembly shop, where she worked, and found her dying of a brain hemoraege. We had been married 22 months. I stayed with Wrays  until 1968 when I left to work in the Woolwich Arsenal. The starting pay was marginally more for inspecting optics than I received for making them. I lived on Downham from the early thirties until I moved to Marvels Lane in  1958. Our family  lived over the fish shop near the Downham Tavern. My Father managed it for Mr Bolton who also owned the sweet shop next door. We later moved to 51 Headcorn Road, then to 36 Valeswood Road in 1942 we again moved to 309 Shroffold Road.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 12:55:11 PM by lensmith »

Brenda

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Re: wray optical works bromley
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2015, 01:10:16 AM »
is anyone out there who used to work at Wrays? I was there from 1944 aged 14 working in the brass shop.
 Bill Edwards was the foreman and we thought him rather a terror at the time. He probably had to act in that way to control some of us youngsters. His brother Charles was the works manager and was a gentleman as was  the managing director Mr Arthur Smith. I had many experiences during my 23 years there. I later used to make the lenses for the Wrayflex camera. I married in 1952 and my wife nee Jean Enefer came to work there. One evening during overtime I was called across to the assembly shop, where she worked, and found her dying of a brain hemoraege. We had been married 22 months. I stayed with Wrays  until 1956 when I left to work in the Woolwich Arsenal. The starting pay was marginally more for inspecting optics than I received for making them. I lived on Downham from the early thirties until I moved to Marvels Lane in  1958. Our family  lived over the fish shop near the Downham Tavern. My Father managed it for Mr Bolton who also owned the sweet shop next door. We later moved to 51 Headcorn Road, then to 36 Valeswood Road in 1942 we again moved to 309 Shroffold Road.

Hallo Len,
I hope you find someone to help you find old workmates, I'm afraid I can't help in any way. 

What a dreadful thing to happen to your wife and yourself, a dreadful shock.  I hope the remainder your life eventually worked out well for you. 

I bet I'm not the only one saying 'I probably met Len's father when getting the fish and chips'!  I didn't realise the owner was Mr Bolton of Boltons.  Interesting.

Where do you live now?

Regards,
Brenda

lensmith

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Re: wray optical works bromley
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2015, 03:26:21 PM »
Hi Brenda, I live in a bungalow in Sidcup, having been here for 51 years. I'm on my own my wife having passed away 5 years ago. I regard myself lucky as I have a daughter a mile away who is there should I need her. I'm 85 and can get around without trouble. Enough of me. Boltons also owned a sweet shop at the bottom of Downham Way where incidently my second wife worked when she was 14. I remember some of the shops on Downham.  Coming up from Northover there was a drapers who priced their wares in the window down to a farthing. Further along was Gunners a meat shop, again along there was Boltons, the fish shop, then Knights where we would buy our broken biscuits. In his shop window he would have baby chicks running around and cuddling up to some electric light bulbs set there to keep them warm.  Further along there was Morrell & Dixon the chemist, I was fascinated by his clock face which had no numbers but the letters of their name around the dial. What silly little things we remember. Then there was Clarks the green grocer on  the corner. Over the other side of the road was All Needs run by Tom a very friendly character, then the Coop, then possibly a shoe shop, Gaynes the radio shop then Wittys the barber, Downham stores, and Pearks for bacon and cheese, Gorstons the butcher then near the corner another green grocers which I believe also belonged to Clarks. Thats enough for now before I start on about my time at Launcelot School.   Nice to have heard from you .  Len

 

Brenda

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Re: wray optical works bromley
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2015, 07:38:16 PM »
Hi Brenda, I live in a bungalow in Sidcup, having been here for 51 years. I'm on my own my wife having passed away 5 years ago. I regard myself lucky as I have a daughter a mile away who is there should I need her. I'm 85 and can get around without trouble. Enough of me. Boltons also owned a sweet shop at the bottom of Downham Way where incidently my second wife worked when she was 14. I remember some of the shops on Downham.  Coming up from Northover there was a drapers who priced their wares in the window down to a farthing. Further along was Gunners a meat shop, again along there was Boltons, the fish shop, then Knights where we would buy our broken biscuits. In his shop window he would have baby chicks running around and cuddling up to some electric light bulbs set there to keep them warm.  Further along there was Morrell & Dixon the chemist, I was fascinated by his clock face which had no numbers but the letters of their name around the dial. What silly little things we remember. Then there was Clarks the green grocer on  the corner. Over the other side of the road was All Needs run by Tom a very friendly character, then the Coop, then possibly a shoe shop, Gaynes the radio shop then Wittys the barber, Downham stores, and Pearks for bacon and cheese, Gorstons the butcher then near the corner another green grocers which I believe also belonged to Clarks. Thats enough for now before I start on about my time at Launcelot School.   Nice to have heard from you .  Len

It's always good to read someone's reminiscences and put  sometimes forgotten names to the shops I remember so thank you for that.  I remember White's on the corner where we bought the 'flying saucers' etc. It was also a butchers at one point.  Also remember the chemist where it used to seem to take ages of waiting to get one's prescription filled. Yes, I remember the greengrocer, and in the early days of my being on Downham (we moved there in 1948) was a grocery store where a very old lady served us.  She probably wasn't very old but seemed it.  Her shop was near the post office. What else.  Yes, Allneeds -it was years before I realised the two nice men who worked there weren't actually named Allneed!  On the other side was a workman's cafe near Allneeds (I still remember the 'woody' smell of that shop, the shoe shop, Co-op, bike shop where I bought a bike when I was fifteen, paying it off each week out of my small wage, Anne's the clothing store.  I can still hear her voice after all these years.  The hairdresser and the baker where I used to be in awe of the decorated cakes in the window.  No doubt I've forgotten quite a few though.
 
Pleased to hear your life is going well, Len, and hope you find some old mates and workmates through Downhamonline.

Brenda

Frank (hutchsky)

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Re: wray optical works bromley
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2015, 05:56:46 AM »
I brought my first bike at that shop, colour yellow and paid it off, was about 15 at the time, the shop I use to most visit was wollies, manly because my mother worked there, also the dentist Skinners I think?
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 01:11:42 PM by Frank (hutchsky) »
Born 1942 at Farnbrough Hospital Kent now living in Rockingham WA been in OZ since 1968. Ex Durham Hill School left 1957 lived at 84 Keedonwood Road 1948-1960