Woolwich & Districts
Mum's family lived in and around Robert
Street and Ann Street, very close to the
railway line, near the Plumstead station. I think the railway
was a central
part of the children's play activity and mum used to tell me
stories of them all sitting on walls beside the track, watching
the steam trains go by and waving to the passengers. as they
photo shows my mum's parents William Joseph and Louisa Emma
Barnes, with Mum's sister Joyce and cousin Godfrey.
from Joyce's likely age in the photo that it was taken c.1935/1936,
probably in their back garden at Robert Street.
William Joseph worked at Woolwich
Arsenal at the time, in common with so many of the workforce
in the area.
Her grandfather, Joseph James Barnes,
was a grave digger for Woolwich Borough
Council in his later life, around the 1920's through to the
Mum used to tell a story about how she,
as a seven year old would have to walk on non school days and
on weekends, all the way from Ann Street to Plumstead Cemetery
to take Joseph his lunch ........... a hot pudding or something
similar, still in its oven dish, and then the return walk all
the way back home again.
As she was the second child and oldest
daughter of a family of eight, Violet often said that she was
regularly kept away from school to help her mother with household
chores and looking after her younger brothers and sisters as