Woolwich & Districts
Brewery, Lakedale Road. I’ve seen it called other things
but to us it was Beasley’s. I still cannot abide the smell
of yeast. Brewery smells floated over Plumstead incessantly.
We were told it was good for our complexions! The drayman lived
close by and he brought the dray to Kentmere Road while he had
his ‘dinner’. The magnificent, brass bedecked dray
horses munched from their nosebags, untethered, ignoring everyone
and everything going on around them.
Dust Destructor in Whitehart Lane, always belching out malevolent
fumes but everything has its upside, and the DD was a wonderful
source of ‘stuff’ or ‘ill-considered trifles’
to make bikes, prams (a box on wheels), go-carts. A boys’
piggery, where all ‘edible’ waste was taken –
there was normally a pig bin in the road but, as I recall, very
little waste – food was not abundant. Of course pigs,
hundreds of pigs, do smell, as did the waste food when it was
being processed. Again, it had an upside and many of us visited
the piggery, banged on the corrugated fence – the pigs
came running to us to have their backs scratched – somebody
would be eating them tomorrow. I do not, however, recall having
a nice piece of roast pork or a pork chop!
noise – plenty of that. Burning off cordite in the Arsenal
created huge explosions (controlled!). I remember a ‘cordite
worker’ coming home each day for his dinner and his skin
was bright yellow. So much for Health and Safety!
railway wagons shunting in the goods yard adjacent to the Arsenal
on the marshes. The crashing and banging of wagons was incessant,
particularly at night for safer movement. Probably unknown to
our mothers, the wagon yard was yet another of our playgrounds,
crawling in and out of the wagons playing ‘hide’n
seek’ or just for devilment!
of all – the street cries. ‘Rag a Bone’, ‘Shrimps
and Winkles’, ‘Lights Out’ or ‘Put that
...... light out’, ‘You all right in their missus’,
‘All Clear’ and the most joyful of all, ‘He’s
Lee (nee Jordan)