I was born in St.
Nicholas Hospital, in 1954, which is now a housing
I lived in Plumstead, in Marmadon Road, backing on to the railway
line and the truck marshalling yard. One of my favourite memories
was listening to the men as they played cricket during the hot
summer months whilst they waited for the next load of trucks
to come in. Waving to the train drivers was another favourite
occupation (steam trains of course) and I remember getting quite
excited about the advent of diesel locomotives and then, later
on, electric trains. Steam trains remain my favourite to this
The milk was delivered by Ted and his
horse 'Wayfarer', until Ted got a pull cart and Wayfarer was
put out to grass. The beer was delivered to the pub on the High
Street by beautiful dray horses.
Sunday School at the Salvation Army
Headquarters was another fond memory. Brownies was great too,
but mainly because they had an indoor toilet which didn't have
spiders that we had at home!
We bathed in the old tin bath that always hung on the wall in
the garden (which fell on the cat once!).
mum lived in Plumstead all her life and once lived next to a
chip shop, which I believe was on the corner of the High Street
and Barth Road. My dad was a Charlton man.
We went to school, my sister Kim and me, at Bannockburn
Nursery School. (I'm the little sad faced girl in the back
row, second child in, on photos left, taken around 1959 ish.)
My uncle, Arthur Smith, lived on the Common with his family
and I thought them quite posh. My auntie Ruth lived in Purrott
Road, by the Police Station.
I remember the 'Rest Centre' where several
of my mates lived. I remember the pet shop in the High Street
that sold exotic animals like monkeys (unheard of nowadays).
Woolwich market and the Ferry.
boats all had names, but they escape me now. I seem to remember
John Ben was one of them. Crossing the river and looking at
the magnificent engines operating was a particular treat. When
we were old enough we would walk to Woolwich to save the bus
fare. Then we'd cross the river on the ferry and walk or roller
skate back through the tunnel.
On Saturday mornings was the pictures,
There was a shop in the market that sold eels, wriggling in
tanks in the window.
I remember queuing to see 'Summer Holiday'
at the ABC cinema.
The swimming baths and the museum were
other places that we spent countless hours playing and exploring.
Our playground consisted of Plumstead marshes, including the
sewer banks. Plumstead Gardens and Bostall Woods.
Catching butterflies, running through the autumn leaves, generally
with not a care in the world. All the summers were hot and sunny
(weren't they?). Most of all though, I always felt safe!
After Bannockburn, I went to Abbey Wood
Comprehensive for a year before we moved to Kent, when I was
12 and my sister was 10. in 1966.
I have lived in Kent ever since and
although I won't say I don't enjoy my life here, it certainly
doesn't hold the fond memories that I have of my old home back
Lynda French. (nee Stevens)