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Where has everybody gone

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Have I missed something but where has everybody gone.

regards all Tony Cross

I suspect, like me, people call in fairly regularly to see if anyone has posted and then, finding nothing of interest to say themselves then leave without posting at all!  It takes one of us to do what you've done i.e. say 'Where has everybody gone?" to start something off again.  So, well done for giving us a prod; it would be a shame for the site to fold for lack of participation.

I found a short video on YouTube the other day: it was the bus ride from Bromley to Grove Park and a trip I made often in the past.  What a thrill of anticipation I  experienced but on viewing it, I found almost nothing recognisable except - possibly - Bromley Square and a little bit of Burnt Ash Lane.  Otherwise - nothing at all!  A
very great disappointment indeed.    Silly, of course, to expect things to be the same as they were 40+ years ago but my goodness, all so very different now.  And did I really see a high rise building somewhere along Burnt Ash Road?!


Good to hear from you Brenda.I think that this has been said several times before. Strange things happen well here is another one which I have not shared before. About 10 years ago we shifted into a Queensland Government unit in Buderim Queensland and before long we got to know the neighbours and it transpires that one lady lived in West Wickham around the time that I lived at 29 Links Road before we got bombed out and my brother and I were evacuated to Huddersfield for a couple of years. Getting back to the lady it transpires that not only did we live in the same area but we also honeymooned in the same place ,Dymchurch , but at different times and we married at the same church again at different times.
Changing the subject but when I read stories of the amount of depression and suicides that happen in 2017 I wonder how we all managed to get through things much much worse  than the present day probems. I was born in 1938 and my father joined up for the second world war and I did not see him until 1945. We were seperated from my mother for 2 years so I do not know how she coped. I am happy to say like so many others we got through things o.k.

All the best  and good luck.

Tony Cross

Good to hear from you, Tony.  What extraordinary coincidences you share with your neighbour!  You wouldn't believe it unless you experienced it, would you?  I did meet a couple in a shop in Ararat (Victoria) and said, on hearing their accent, "I bet I know where you come from," meaning London, of course.  It turned out they were from Shortlands and knew Downham well, especially the Downham Baths.  However, they didn't seem at all interested in having more than a desultory conversation.  I also met a man who was from Grove Park but he, too, wasn't interesting in reminiscing with me.

I was born in 1943.  My father, being 30ish, was called up in the second wave (he'd been a regular soldier from many years previously) and I should know what year it was but don't.  I don't know how often he might have come home on leave but according to my mother, he came home from France on leave and just avoided the Dunkirk debacle.  My uncle was captured there and spent the rest of the war as a POW.  So many tales to tell but nobody really spoke much about it and I was too young to have all the questions I now do. 

Did you and your father manage to develop a good relationship eventually despite being virtual strangers to each other?  I had a friend who came home to a new daughter but could never really 'take' to her somehow.  Rather sad and I think it was not an isolated case.

You are correct, in my opinion, about all the suicides and depression that go on now.  But I think the challenges in modern day life are different to those of our generation and certainly of the generation that got through the war and simply had to get going.  I think, also, that many marriages that might have otherwise succeeded, failed because of the war and separations.  If my own parents were happy when they first married, they certainly weren't after the war.


Hello from America:
This Downhamite has a lot of good childhood memories of life in the Downham Estates particularly in the area of Glenbow Road, Rangefield School and the nearby playing fields. Spent many an evening climbing and swinging  from the lamppost in front of our home. Does anyone remember "Gus" the policeman who patrolled our area? My Dad, Charles Ruby, worked in Bromley as a fishmonger at Kennedys Fish Shop. I was born in Wales in late 1944 as a result of my Mother and her 3 children having been evacuated during the V-1 & V-2 bombings. We returned to the only home I ever knew at 132 Glenbow in mid 1945. I grew up there until I was 19 and got married and moved away. Am old enough to remember before electricity was installed, with  gas lamps in the house, a coal bin under the stairway and a kitchen with a larder, which consisted of a marble slab to keep food reasonably fresh. Remember pumping water by hand for the upstairs bathroom. Played in the back yard of our home in the old bomb shelter and helped my parents tend a garden for vegetables and raised chickens and collected the eggs. Life was simple back then and I for one, will never forget those times.


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