Woolwich & Districts
Colin Beckford Remembers
was born in 1943 and attended Conway
Road from 1948-1954. From there I went to Wickham
Lane (Wack'em college).
lived at 29 Glenside Road, Plumstead, until I married in 1963.
My wife's name is Lillian Osborne, known affectionately as Josie,
who lived round the corner at No.4 Marmadon Road. Josie was
the only girl in her family. She had five brothers,John, Derek,
David, Ronald and Raymond. Her parents were Lillian and Jack.
They worked in the Matchless motor cycle factory.
started courting Josie when she was aged 13, although we must
have played together as children! We were married in 1963, and
are still very happy together.
other names of children who lived in Glenside Road I can remember
were, The Bartholomew's (Barts), Mickey Daws, Roger Dowset,
Arthur Chapel (A.K.A. 'Arfa-apple) Jill, Joan and Jimmy Salter
and Pearl Denahay.
earliest recollections of Conway Road School were in 1948, when
I was five years old. The thing I remember most was the enforced
rest time in the afternoons. The assembly hall was turned into
a giant nursery filled with folding camp-beds, and we were made
to lie still, even if we weren’t the least bit tired.
Then there was the teaspoon of malt, which I thought was the
tastiest thing in the world, and of course the small bottle
of milk and straw. I tried some malt recently, and it was revolting!
I was six I suffered from tonsillitis and was admitted to Saint
Nicholas Hospital for an operation.
I returned to school I remember my teacher asking the class
a question. She asked,“Hands up all those who don’t
receive any pocket money.”
I put my hand up, simply because I wasn’t sure what ‘pocket
She glared at me, at the same time asking, in a very loud voice,
“What is your hand doing in the air, Colin?”
“I don’t know, Miss”
“Don’t you receive any pocket money at all?”
She raised her voice a bit higher. “Do you remember me
visiting you in hospital?”
“Did I give you a three-penny bit to buy some sweets?”
“You put that three-penny bit in your pocket, didn’t
“That, Colin Beckford, was pocket money. Now go and stand
outside until you are ready to tell the class that you are a
liar, and a tiresome boy.”
was the first of many punishments I received at school. They
ranged from writing lines, getting whacked with the plimsole
from the P.T. teacher, to getting the cane on the backside,
or on the hands, all were probably well deserved.
aged 9 (Conway school)
more pleasant memories, from that time were, playing marbles,
or fag-cards, in the playground, playing on Plumstead Common,
at the top of Lakedale Road, rolling dried leaves in any old
paper and smoking them, (or trying to,) collecting dog-ends
from the gutter and smoking them, (with better results than
the dry leaves.)
Day was when we dressed in our Cubs uniform, complete with sheath
knife and proudly paraded round the school playground.
remember buying fireworks and having friendly fights with by
best mate, Mickey Daws. The idea was to stand facing each other,
on opposite sides of the road, and aim Roman candles at each
other. It amazes me that we were never hurt. Another 'game'
was standing on a penny banger as it exploded, it didn't half
make my foot numb!
thankful political correctness wasn't even thought of then,
it would have spoilt all the fun.
final memory, how many red-blooded, under elevens, remember
the adorable, Miss Weeks. Wow!!!