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Topics - Vic

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General Discussion / Introduction by a Newbie
« on: April 07, 2009, 07:13:08 PM »
Hi Everyone,
Please excuse me, I started straight in answering a post about the bombing of Sandhurst Road School without introducing myself on the website.
I have read the various forums and quotes about Downham with great interest. I grew up in Merlin Gardens having moved in there in 1935 and finally moved away in 1949. As a lot of the posts describe, we played all the childhood games: Aligobs, marbles ( in the kerb whilst going to and from school. high jimmy knacker against the lampost where Durham Hill meets Shroffold Road plus all the usual seasonal games: football on the green opposite St Luke's Church, cricket in the road where the game had to be temporarily halted whilst the 124 bus turned round before returning to Catford. On the green in Merlin Gardens a long brick air raid surface shelter was built for the flat dwellers, those living in the houses had an Anderson Shelter each in their gardens. We used to chalk a wicket or a goal mouth on the side of it and play long, furious games well into the twilight. No worries about children staying out late then. We also tore along the Council Ground on the 'bank' in Shroffold Road armed with imaginary machine guns and hand grenades 'killing' any enemy who got in the way.
I remember playing knocking down ginger along the bank where we tied two knockers together. However, Mr Beldham, heard us whispering in the porch and when we ran away he gave chase and followed us right up Durham Hill, along Moorside Road across to Lancelot Road through to Ivorydown and into Downham Way. We eventually gave him the slip by squeezing through the railings at St Barnabas Church! It was lucky that there were a lot of us about the same age to knock about together. Some names I remember: Jimmy Cole, Jackie Wormley, Gordon and Alan Wilton, Terry Lucy, Ginger Hill, Dickie Waterhouse, the Whybrow brothers, Roy Syrett, Peter Heaney, Bertie Fowles, Peter Crozier Kenny Clark and Johnny Walters. There were girls too! Betty Clark, Iris Eustace and Janet Pease. We all lived in either Merlin Gardens, Shroffold Road or Durham Hill. I also remember Billy Steel in Dagonet Gardens and Ronnie Pearson in Vanoc Gardens. Our rival 'gang' was the Dalton Gang in Roundtable Road.Of course, we were no threat to anyone and the confrontations we had usually amounted to a bit of name calling - we were never rude to adults and we respected policemen - if we ever saw one on Downham!
There, that is enough for openers. I look forward to reading lots of posts about Dah'num!

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