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of Globe Cinema, 1940 and also of M. McCarthy


'Bird's Nest Gully, Plumstead Common Road,1930. On the left you can see the old Globe Theatre.'
(courtesy Greenwich Heritage Centre)

I remember going to the Globe Cinema to see 'The Wizard of Oz' and the manager coming on in front of the screen saying the sirens had gone off and would anyone like to leave. Nobody did. That was the 15th August 1940 and Croydon Airport was bombed; and when my sister Grace and I got home there was a very worried mother waiting for us. We did not realise that bombs had been dropped.

Wednesday the 5th June, again with my sister Grace: we went to the Odeon, Woolwich, to see'The Road to Singapore.' The cinema had quite a lot of soldiers in it but it was not unusual in those days. When it came towards the end of the film a message went up on the screen for all members of the army to return to barracks immediately. It was just before Dunkirk and the battle of France was on. About three-quarters of the audience got up and started to leave. Obviously they had been told to go to the local cinemas and to be ready to leave - they would be on their way to France. The film had continued running and by the time they left the cinema the end of the film came up so we did not see how it finished.

Phyllis Townshend
Plumstead Common Road

Martha McCarthy, born in 1904, remembers that at the side of the Globe Cinema were two or three seats where she and her friend Gertie, aged 15 or 16, spent time courting with their 'soldier boys.' Gertie married hers, but Martha did not. On being asked if the boys took them to the pictures as well, Martha said they didn't have much money; times were hard.

Thanks to the
Plumstead Common Environment Group for their kind donation of this story.


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