I was born in Barth Road just off Plumstead
High St. in 1946. It was a small terraced house no bath room
as such and an outside toilet. Nearly every house in the road
had children so we would all play together, games such as British
Bull Dog, hopping across the road on one leg trying to knock
some one over. There were few cars to contend with so the road
was our playground.
Road Junior School class photo, 1954 ish. - Photo: Jacqueline
(Click photo for a larger view)
Top Row: ?, Graham Hooper
Middle row: ?, ?, Jacqueline Alcorn
(Do you recognise yourself or a classmate? If so, email
I went to Conway
Road Junior School, so I had to walk up the bottom half
of Lakedale Road through the shopping area four times a day.
I used to go home for lunch every day and would dread it if
it was the beer delivery day at the Volunteer pub in the high
street. Those big Shire horses would try and nip you as you
passed by them!
A friend of mine lived in Tewson Road,
directly opposite the entrance to St.
Nicholas Hospital (now a housing estate). We would
either play on the bomb site in front of the hospital or further
up on the Common. We loved to climb the Monkey Trees there,
as we called them, situated next to the hospital wall, way over
the back of the Common. One of us would have to go to the top
of Lakedale Rd. every now and then to see what the time was,
as the big Co op clock was visible from there.
There was a playground on the Common
with a paddling pool in it, if you
needed a drink that was the place to go, it had a water fountain
with a metal cup
attached to a chain. On the other side of the road was a deep
ravine with lots of steps leading down to it. At the bottom
was a big pond, always had a fence round it. we never played
down there for some reason.
We spent many hours at the swimming
baths, along next to the Library in the High St. Saturday morning
was great. All of us went to the pictures, I think it used to
cost sixpence. We used to go the the Century, there was a new
ABC cinema built around that time, in Wellington St.in Woolwich.
When we acquired roller skates we used
to rollerskate alongside the Arsenal wall all the way to Woolwich.
We would go down to the foot tunnel that took you under the
Thames to North Woolwich, then we would catch the ferry back
again, all for free! We had so much freedom then, as long as
you were back for your meals no one worried about you.
My father used to rent a few acres of
land from the council in Abbey Wood. It is now a huge council
estate called Thamesmeade. At that time it was all fields, my
friend and I would wander down to see him on a Sunday morning,
through the fields and through a gypsy encampment all on our
own, with no thought of being harmed.
I remember going to school at one time
with a torch to cross over Plumstead High St. The smog was so
thick you could not see the traffic coming, we certainly do
not miss those smoggy days.