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Memories Of A Young Plumstead Girl.

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.

Conway Road Junior School class photo, 1954 ish. - Photo: Jacqueline Wilmot
(Click photo for a larger view)
Top Row: ?, Graham Hooper
Middle row: ?, ?, Jacqueline Alcorn (now Willmott)
(Do you recognise yourself or a classmate? If so, email me)

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.

Jacqueline Willmott.

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