Woolwich & Districts
It was a lovely sunny day and, as usual,
the Sladedale Road kids were out and about doing what they were
good at, playing!
Reed aged about 8
Before long Charlie was watching Robert,
an older friend, who lived just across the road from him. Bob,
as he was known, was from a large family by the name of Beacham.
Bob was riding his bike up and down the road. He asked Charlie
if he would like a ride and the next thing they were away round
the block. Perched on the cross bar and Bob's strong legs pumping
away, the wind blew into young Charlie's face as they gathered
more speed as they neared Dickin's corner sweet shop.
Once up and around Goldsmid and along
Lakedale Road Bob was now puffing a bit with the effort. But
as the road began to level out and the top end of Sladedale
Road was in sight they picked up more speed. They soon turned
into Sladedale Road and began the very steep decent down the
hill, gathering speed rapidly!
The houses were just a blur now, as
young Charlie hung on even more tightly to the handle bars.
It seemed as if they was doing a good hundred miles an hour
Then it happened!
dreaded hill! Sladedale Road (2005)
I remember finding out about the accident,
and I went straight over to see how young Charlie was. I was
invited into the front room where young Charlie was sat in a
comfortable chair. His heavily bandaged foot was resting, propped
up. I remember thinking, 'That's an impressive amount of bandage
around poor Charlie's foot!' Charlie told me all the grisly
and gruesome details. I was very impressed and with how young
Charlie had taken it all, his mischievous face was smiling away
bravely as he related the terrible details to me. Of how his
foot had gone into the spokes of the speeding bike's wheel!
I have recently heard that Charlie
has had a few broken ankles and his ankle is a real mess. He
has also had to suffer with terrible back pain over the years,
all as a direct result of this horrible childhood accident that
happened on that fateful day, around fifty years ago. A time
when us kids thought we could flipping fly and ........... we
Colin Weightman (2006)