Woolwich & Districts
Grant, born 1965
children, the Slade Ravine was known to us as Dragon's Dell.
I was a bit of an urchin and on one occasion crawled along the
inflow pipe with a young boy. He turned back after a bit but
I continued on as far as the pedestrian crossing at Greenslade
School, where the pipe splits and there's a ladder to the drain
cover. My sister and friends tried to pull the cover up to let
me out, while I pushed from the inside. But they dropped it,
nearly severing my sister's finger. I had to crawl all the way
back again on all fours. It was pitch dark, with only glints
from the rats' eyes lighting the way. My sister and I told our
parents that she had slipped on glass.
Fred Strong, born 1929
evening of May 8th 1945, the end of the war, saw merriment and
dancing around the corner of The Ship public house. Complete
strangers hugged each other and danced to accordions. There
was lots of drinking and high spirits, but no brawls. Not far
away, opposite The Star, there were bombed houses but this was
a time for celebration.
children we'd get taken out on Sundays. We walked, as we couldn't
afford buses. We'd come up Lakedale Road, down Swingate Lane,
Eddison Road (then fields) and Wickham Street to Fanny on the
Hill, which in those days was an old wooden shack half way down
the hill. Then we'd go on down the hill to Wickham Lane, then
on to Plumstead High Street till we reached home in Barth Road.
route was up Lakedale Road to the Boating Lake on Winn's Common,
where we'd spend an afternoon with Dad. He'd wear his Sunday
suit, which my mother would have just redeemed from Pritchard's
pawn shop at the top of Kentmere Road. On one occasion a child
fell into the lake, and Dad jumped into the lake to save him,
in his Sunday suit, which caused great distress because my mother
couldn't pawn it on Monday, but had to get it cleaned instead.
stopped and turned round at the Woodman pub, and as children
we would hop on the back of a bus while the driver and conductor
were at the Ravine Café and take the used tickets from
the box and make concertinas from them. We used to have competitions
amongst ourselves to see who could make the longest."