Prospect Place, Wells Road

The History of Sydenham from Cippenham to present day. Links to photos especially welcome!

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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby EllenAllen » 1 Feb 2016 18:06

Thanks for that.
Two more children were born at 19 The Park Mitcham and I suspect that was a maternity home too. tbc!
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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby jacq1961 » 6 Mar 2016 23:05

Hi everyone. I'm new to the Forum but have been doing a bit of research on behalf of my mum, a former resident of Prospect Road. I have really enjoyed reading all of the contributions, particularly relating to Prospect Road. I was thrilled to come across Michael Viner's photo of the 1953 Coronation Party which includes several members of my family. My mum, Kathleen Sarchett, lived at 39 Prospect Road (having moved there from Oaksford Avenue) with her parents George and Kath and her siblings; her sister Eileen, brothers Douglas and George. Apart from Douglas, they are all in the photo: Mum (Kathleen) at 17 is at the back of the photo in the middle, just to the right of the window with the flag bunting. Her sister Eileen is 2 along to the right from Kathleen, next to the lad with the white pointy hat. Kathleen's brother George (sadly now deceased) is to the right of the lad with the white hat. Mum's parents, George and Kath (my lovely grandparents) are directly in front of Kathleen, just peeping through the gap.
At 54(!) I have very fond, strong memories of visiting my grandparents in Prospect Road and many happy afternoons spent holding my grandad's hand in Wells Park where we regularly went to feed the ducks
I wanted to post something, in the hope that someone will remember the Sarchett family. Kathleen is now a Taylor and this year celebrates her 80th birthday and 58th wedding anniversary! I look forward to checking back in to see if anyone has added to this post - thank you.
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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby Julia field » 14 Aug 2016 23:34

Thank you so much for getting back to me about terry field I was funny hearing about my dad fixing his bike in the kitchen i don't know much about the stuff he used to get up to. Sorry it has taken me so long to reply totally forgot that I put a post on here lol . If anyone has any info on my dad and nan and grandad as I do not know to much about him growing up x
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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby Davidwallis » 22 Feb 2017 11:13

The Prospect Place topic is a time warp taking me back to my childhood in the late 1940's and early 1950's. And by remembering what my parents told me it takes me even further back. So many names are mentioned, friends, family, neighbours, folk at the London City Mission, people that I either knew or knew of through my parents. The contributions by Maureen Barrett and Brannan are a rich source of nostalgia.

Maureen records in her post of the 17th November 2011 that her family were great friends with the Smith family who lived opposite. She said that she lived at 33 Bradford Road and that her grandparents the Myerson's lived at number 11. I think that Maureen is referring to Charles Smith, his wife Martha, and their two daughters, Olive (b. 1917) and Mabel (b.1918). I've no idea what number they lived at but no.10 is most likely. (This is before they moved to Taylors Lane). And just as Maureen tells about the Langridge family who later lived at this address, they shared this terraced house living upstairs, with the Brooks family downstairs. This house backed onto no. 8 Prospect Road, home of their relatives Arthur and Mary Tripp with their children Leslie and Muriel. The two families could see one another through their back windows.

Mabel spoke fondly of her friendship with among others, Eva Myerson, Gladys Butler and Betty Rixon. (She was also great friends with Rose Gamble, daughter of the landlord at either the Duke of Edinburgh, or the Talma).

Not only did the Smiths share a house with the Brooks family, but they also shared a single outside lavatory. Mabel always said that it was through the shared use of the single disgusting w.c., that she contracted tuberculosis from Mr Brooks. For a long while she attended Kings College Hospital as an outpatient, receiving sun ray treatment to clear up the disease.

Mabel had a soft spot for Betty Rixon, especially so after Betty lost her son David. Thanks to the clearance of the Wells Park Road area, both Betty and Mabel found themselves living on the Bellingham council estate. They would occasionally bump into one another at the shops in Randlesdown Road, or in the local rent office. But the thread that had united a close knit community had been broken, and things would never be the same for either of them.

Martha Smith was also rehoused on the Bellingham estate, in an upstairs maisonette that she hated. Nor were the local churches any replacement for the London City Mission that she loved, and there was no replacement for all the friends that she met regularly at the Mission. So did the community that meant so much to her and so many other people, really have to be so cruelly shattered and scattered apart?.

Now Olive Smith.... Well Olive is another story, which I will leave for another time.
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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby maureen barrett » 22 Feb 2017 15:41

Hello there Mr Wallis,
Your post struck a cord with me as you will imagine.Although the Smith family that you refer to are familiar names to me because of conversations between my Mum Mollie and her sisters who you mention, the Smith family I was actually referring to lived at the lower end of Bradford Road probably at no.30...as they were opposite no31 where Mrs Fish lived nextdoor to us.Mr and Mrs Smith had a large family including Raymond, Billy, Pamela, Valerie ...there were others but I cant remember their names.......
I remember old Mr Brooks, his daughter Babe and of course Brenda Langridge who I walked to school with often after lunch.I also remember the Tripp family from Prospect.
My aunty Eva Myerson was 98 a few weeks ago and moved out of Wells Park Road a couple of years ago. Aunty Gladys Butler passed away aged 98 nearly two years ago, although I am in close contact with her daughters my cousins Barbara and Margaret.Lovely Aunty Betty Rixon was just the kindest person and her daughter Marian....my cousin has just celebrated her 80th birthday, still glamourous and looking decades younger...
I beleive I may have pictures with Olive Smith in them....Some small photos of outings usually through the church....I will have to look them out to see the names on the back....

I have recently made contact with and met Alan and Tony Dale through this forum.....what a lovely experience...we grew up with them and their sisters....our Mums were friends and married brothers.We also lived nextdoor to their grandmother Mrs Fish, who like us kept chickens to supplement the food rations.They feel the same way about the community we had that was lost when 'planners' decided to demolish the area....A tragedy for all of us that had grown up in Wells Park Road for generations and dispersed at the whim of an official .Every building including the mission was torn down although it was a relatively recent building and old St Phillips School allowed to decay until they pulled it down as unsafe....
Why was no preservation order put on a building that had stood there for so many years..
.I had happy memories of my time there...Miss Nash and bottled milk warmed on the radiator,Malt on a spoon to build us up....I can still recite every one of my times table learned there up to 12 times table .My mother,(who recalled dancing around the Maypole on Empire day) her siblings and I beleive my grandmother who was born in Dallas Road before the turn of the century went there.
I wonder whether the school records have been retained in Lewishams Archives.
It would be nice to find out.
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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby Davidwallis » 22 Feb 2017 16:53

Hi Maureen,
I'm glad to have made contact through the forum, even if I had recalled the 'wrong' Smith's. It's a very common name. Your reply has reminded me that your mum Mollie, and Babe Brooks often featured in Mabel's memories.

You also speak of your contact with the Dales. Your post of the 23 November 2011 recalls that you were a bridesmaid at the wedding of Joyce Dale and Alf Barclay. Over Christmas I was in contact with my cousin Carol who lives on the North Devon coast. She told me that she keeps in contact with Joyce who lives nearby. They have a system where 'Aunty' Joyce phones Carol at set times each day. They let the phone ring three times without answering it. That way Carol knows that Joyce is ok.

After all these years sad news is to be expected. So you will not be surprised to learn that both Olive and Mabel have passed away. Olive died at Christmas 1999 and Mabel passed away a year ago at the age of 97.

Oh and chickens. As a child in the time of food rationing, I thought that everybody kept rabbits and chickens!.
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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby maureen barrett » 22 Feb 2017 19:51

Hi David, it seems they were quite a group, all living to such a grand age.My lovely mum Mollie died aged 89 in 2011, she was bright, cheerful and positive all her life, and often spoke of her friends from her childhood.Eva still has a great recall of people and events....she has been the family historian over the years, although she gets a little foggy sometimes now.
Ruth, who lived in Coombe Road lived to be 89,Olive in her 80's and Jeannie the baby of the family died suddenly last year aged 87.
I am so lucky to have had the childhood I had with my Mums wonderful Myerson family.We were extreemely poor in terms of money, but rich with a wealth of loving family, neighbours and friends close by.
Its nice to hear that Joyce Barclay is still keeping well....I know a couple of years ago she went to the wedding in Italy of Sharon , my cousin Barbaras daughter....Joyce is her Aunty too via Clara Dale and Rose Butler who were sisters.
Also Joyce was good enough to get me copies of her mother Clara's wedding cert to Sydney Dale Snr for my family research file.
I will see if I have those pics that I mentioned in my earlier tome....it would be nice to see the old friends together.
regards Maureen
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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby Davidwallis » 23 Feb 2017 16:54

Hi Maureen, like you I have photos that I would love to share. My problem is that I don't know how. I've been caring for both parents and it was only last year that I found I had the time to delve into the modern digital world. I bought my first smartphone in August and then a laptop three weeks ago. It's a frustrating learning curve with so much to take in. Yesterday I sent a longish email to Brannan only for it to get stuck in the outbox. Could I retrieve it and send it again!!?. One of Mabel's regular sayings was, " I'm not going to let it beat me".
I've more to share, David.
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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby maureen barrett » 23 Feb 2017 21:51

Yes I know what you mean.....I struggle with most things...seems repitition is my way forward , and hope it sinks in.
I looked at some of the old photos, but although an Olive is pictured the surname was Tarrant,not Smith.I will keep looking through the other photos I have, mostly they are very small and although I can pick out my family members I dont know who the others are.In some a few names are listed, but mostly I have to rely on a note on the back to list those featured.
I will keep digging to see what I can find...
Sadly I cant help with posting photos on the forum, as I dont know how to do it myself.
Regards
Maureen
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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby Davidwallis » 24 Feb 2017 16:49

Hi Maureen,
I'm full of good intentions and want to include something of Olive Smith. But before that, a little more of Mabel and other folk who made up our local community.

Mabel had a friend named Doris Bradford. Doris married George Field, probably during the second world war. It was during this time that Mabel married the chap she had been courting for eight years; Harry Wallis. Harry came from a large family at Bell Green. Both ladies became pregnant around the same time and being expectant mums was a shared experience, attending clinics together. And both gave birth to a son around the same time. Now in an earlier post you said that you were slightly senior in years to Terry Field, and that means that you are similarly slightly senior to me.

As a result of the wholesale clearance of the Wells Road area the Fields moved to Brockley. Their choice of home being governed by the need for it to have space attached to accommodate George's ladders. George Field was a local self employed jobbing builder. So not only did the LCC deprive them of their home in Bradford Road but it also jeopardised George's livelihood as well.

We ended up living on the Bellingham Estate. It was a case of making a new start and making new friendships. Doris and Mabel however remained best mates, yet seldom saw one another. Their friendship was conducted by means of a weekly phone call. That endured to the very end.

As well as Terry Field there was another mate of mine who lived in Bradford Road. His name was Raymond Page. He lived with his grandmother who's name I believe was Mrs Turner. Mabel was acquainted with Raymond's mum, and referred to her by her maiden name, Audrey Turner.

Well that's another piece of the jigsaw that goes to build up a picture of a community that still occupies a place in our affections.
Regards David.
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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby maureen barrett » 25 Feb 2017 00:37

Hi David, I beleive Terry Field daughter contacted the forum a while back looking for information on his childhood, as you maybe saw...I had no knowledge of his family after they moved away.I hope they lived happily in Brockley.
In Bradford road they lived opposite my Nan and Grandad...Kate and Horace Myerson at no.11.

Raymond Page lived nextdoor but one to us at no.29 Bradford.......I think he was a year or two older than me.His father was called Roland and French Canadian I seem to recall.......I remember Mrs Turner too.
Do you think Olive , Martha, or Mabel were in the VE day photograph of Bradford Road.......or had they married and moved by then.Likewise the 1953 Coronation pic........a visual reminder of the people we knew.I am in both...held aloft by my Mum as I was a few moths old in the VE day picture, and peeping through in the Coronation party photo.
Photos are a wonderful reminder of people and times past.
Regards
Maureen
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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby Davidwallis » 25 Feb 2017 16:01

Hi Maureen,
Yes I noticed that Julia Field had contributed a post and I fully intend to reply to that.

My mum's family moved to 4 Taylors Lane some time before the outbreak of the second world war. VE Day must have been a time of great rejoicing and I would expect that folk were busy dashing around from one street to another celebrating with people that they knew. I've not seen the photo taken that day in Bradford Road but it's possible it included one or other of the Smiths getting in on things.

We certainly do appear in photo's taken by a neighbour; Mr Poole. He gathered together ourselves and our neighbours living in Wells Road between Taylors Lane and the Parks dept. yard. I have two of the photo's that he took that day. One pictures us all standing in front of the houses in Wells Road. The buildings have been war damaged and have wooden scaffolding up for repairs. My theory is that these houses caught some of the blast from the V rocket that devastated Oaksford Avenue and Mr Colings historic cottage. The other shows us all sitting on the grass that covered a communal Anderson shelter. All these houses backed onto Wells Park and their back gardens/yards were so constricted that few had room for their own air raid shelter. So a double or triple length shelter was erected in the allotments opposite. Imagine having to dash for shelter on the allotments in the event of a raid, and during the night nobody was permitted to show a light!.

I was less than three years old at the time but I can still identify Mrs Poole and her parents Mr and Mrs Flint. I know that other folk by the name of Ing also appear in the photo but I can't identify them with any certainty. (It's likely I have spelt their surname wrong. It rhymes with 'ring'.) And there are other folk I can't put a name to.

T T F N David.
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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby Davidwallis » 27 Feb 2017 17:04

I'm posting this in response to Julia Field's request for memories of her father, Terry Field, who lived in Bradford Road. Julia, the fact that you are asking suggests to me that your father is no longer with us. He and I were childhood mates and I do hope that I'm wrong.

There was a group of us all around the same age growing up together, namely; Terry, Raymond Page, Barry Thomlinson, the Waterman twins Georgie and Peter, Joan Perrott and myself. My memories are mainly of the things that we got up to together rather than of our individual interests. None of us were little angels. But Terry was not as mischievous as some.

Following the aftermath of the second world war, the shattered half demolished remains of bomb damaged buildings were commonplace. These ruins were our adventure play grounds. Shattered glass and broken roof tiles littered the ground around the remains of peoples homes, shops, places of worship etc.. They crunched underfoot at almost every step. Few buildings had been secured and those that had been boarded up, posed little obstruction to us. Staircases were often none existent, but again that was no problem for us little monkeys. Upper floors may have been stripped of their floor boards. No problem, we walked across on the floor joists. And if an outside wall was missing, it was great fun to stand at the edge of the floor and loose a stream of urine into void. A variation of that was to piddle through the joists onto any mates on the floor below. All told we simply added to the destruction caused by Mr Hitler, with no thought as to the fate of the people who's homes these had been.

There was very little traffic using our streets, and some tradesmen, like the rag and bone man, still employed a horse and cart. The horse feed that was spilt was a magnet for flocks of house sparrows and the streets would be filled with the sound of their noisy chatter. Then when something disturbed them they would all suddenly take flight together. This was the environment into which we had been born and it was usual for us to play in the middle of the road. We played tag or kicked a tennis ball around. What we lacked in rules, we made up for in exuberance. It was not uncommon for us to sport grazed knees and hands. Less energetic were the games we played on the pavements with cigarette cards and with marbles. The girls meanwhile played less rough games than the lads. They chalked the pavements with rectangles and played hopscotch. And the use of skipping ropes was common, either individually of with a couple of girls swinging the rope for another. Another activity for the young ladies was to tuck their skirts into their bloomers, and perform handstands against a wall.

For us boys there were other opportunities for play close by. We had Wells Park where we run wild, playing cow boys and Indians. We chased one another, pointing our fingers like a gun, shouting "bang, bang, your dead!". Whereupon the victim would throw himself down, dying in the most dramatic fashion, only to be on his feet again within seconds. The monastery woods provided other opportunities, including lighting fires and attempting to roast potatoes. At the end of the day when we finally decided to go home, our mothers always knew what we had been doing by the stench that proceeded us. At other times we could be almost civilised. There were regular trips to the public swimming baths in Dartmouth Road, and every Saturday morning a film matinee at the Capitol cinema in Forest Hill. Did I say 'civilised', the noise there was deafening with hundreds of youngsters shouting at the screen.

So what of Terry?. I remember him making model aircraft from kits. This involved cutting out balsa wood to form the various shapes needed for the framing members. These then had to be assembled and glued together, and the whole thing covered in thin paper to form the body of the aircraft, which was then painted. Unlike Terry, I never had the patience for that. What did interest me was the length of rubber fitted in the model. This was wound up to provided the means of powering the propeller. For me that rubber was perfect for making the catapults our mothers had forbidden.

I've seen mention of Terry with a bicycle but I can only remember him with one on a single occasion. I think it must have been a birthday present, and he was riding it on the grass in Wells Park. I don't remember anybody else in our gang had one, so cycling was not one of our group activities. But I would have thought it likely that a bicycle became more important to him, as one by one his mates were plucked out of the community to begin lives elsewhere.

So Julia I'm sorry that I've not been able to provide more personal information about Terry. But I have tried to paint a picture of what life was like almost 70 years ago, and the 'world' in which he grew up in. I do know that we were so lucky to enjoy such wonderful, carefree childhoods together.
With warm regards, David.
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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby expatJames » 6 Apr 2017 21:28

Hi David,
I remember Barry Tomlinson of Fransfield Grove. I was a school friend of his younger brother Tony.
I remember Barry well because he taught me how to tune a guitar by ear in 1960
I saw Barry again in 1980 in Bletchley Bucks. I had started working for a company based in Bletchley and Barry worked at the company next door. I think it was a "spark erosion" engineering company he worked at.
I lived above my dad's shop in Kirkdale and then we later moved to Kelvin Grove.
Hope this is of use to you - James.
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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby Davidwallis » 7 Apr 2017 09:50

Hi expat James,

Thanks for that, Barry was a particular mate of mine, but I never knew that he had a younger brother. I do remember that his dad worked in Wells Park.

We both attended Kelvin Grove junior school and both went on holiday together when our class had a weeks holiday in Swanage. It was the first time that either of us had been away from home without our parents. For that week Mr Kents our teacher became a substitute dad. One evening Mr Keats decided to give us all a bath, two children together at a time. It must have taken him all evening. He was probably very relieved when he had us all tucked up in bed. Barry and I were in bed together and before going to sleep Barry told me to feel under the sheets. But all I could find was what I thought was his finger!!!

Thanks for bringing back childhood memories, David.
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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby Davidwallis » 19 Apr 2017 11:15

I concluded my first post to this site by saying; 'Now Olive Smith....well Olive is another story...'.

What follows is part of her recollections of life in Wells Road and Bradford Road, c.1925. Just as the photos posted by Falkor and Steve Grindlay picture the built environment, so I hope that Olive's memories provide a glimpse of what life was like in these streets so long ago.

''Down 'our road' lived a man who, every Saturday, staggered home, drunk, weaving processionaly from side to side of the pavement. If he was 'turned out' of the T-- [Talma], before we children were due at the Mission it was the highlight of our afternoon to watch him, in the hope that he would fall over, now I remember mainly the sad face of his poor wife!. He was such a nice, kindly man when sober, but each week we kids would wait to see Mr B-- staggering home and the 'ladies' dancing outside the 'T' and the 'D' [Duke of Edinburgh], dancing which more often than not turned into a fight, much more interesting, and exciting to watch their threatening and trying to pull each others hair out!. Free entertainment, indeed, could one wish for more?. I couldn't!, but it was years before my mum knew I passed my time away so unprofitably, as she said, but to me as a child, and to my little friends it was lovely to see a fight!. Only rich people had a crystal set, (as the radio was then called) to entertain them and NOBODY had a car. The only mode of transport, under our own steam as it were, was a 'scooter' made of two pieces of wood, nailed together, with two old pram wheels and a bar of wood for a handle knocked up.''
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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby maureen barrett » 20 Apr 2017 10:25

Hi David...Although my mother knew Olive, she was a toddler in 1925 and has never made reference to the incidents recalled.
My grandfather Horace Myerson was strict teetotal after his experience with his father and the way it spoilt his life and I know that my mother had signed'The Pledge' vowing to be abstain from alcohol....I assume there were regular visitors at the mission to urge this upon youngsters.
At Christmas my grandfather would visit the markets and buy ingredients to make ginger 'wine'(non alcoholic ginger cordial as it is now called)...my mum and her siblings loved it as it was sweet and warming and something special reserved for Christmas.The recipe dissappeared when grandad died and despite a number of attempts we were never able to re-create it.
My grandparents Horace and Kate Myerson were wonderful people, and raised 8 children in addition to looking after elderly relatives .....old aunty Annie was Kates sister in law...she lived with them for more than 10yrs after her husband and sister died.She was a small lady dressed in dark victorian-like clothes...she used to iron with a flat iron heated on the stove.I remenber her sitting in her chair making rag rugs.Strips of old cloth.....from worn out clothes and scraps of new fabric woven into hessian that she had punctured in rows.They were thick and lovely......no bright colours , lots of navy and grey I recall ....because the strips were mostly salvaged from old coats etc. that were not brightly coloured.......but they never wore out.....and were the only carpet in the house, just in front of the fire.
In those days nothing was ever thrown away .......even Into the 1950's recycling was a way of earning a few pennies with the odd jar or bottle...the Rag and Bone man was a regular with his horse and cart, causing a flurry of activity in the road.......along with The Shrimp and Winkle Man on a Sunday for tea........We used to rush out to collect the horse manure for the garden too.....Happy Memories !
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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby Davidwallis » 20 Apr 2017 10:49

Hi Maureen,
Yes it certainly was a different era, one of 'waste not, want not'. And I know that as a youngster Mabel signed 'The Pledge' to abstain from all intoxicating liquor. Her mother Martha was strictly religious, as was all that side of the family and was a stalwart of the London City Mission. In those days the Mission was in Coombe Road and the preacher was 'Daddy Burton'.
Olive [what a dear sweet little girl she must have been!], has another tale to tell about the effects of the demon drink. Watch this space, David.
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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby Brannan » 26 Apr 2017 14:05

As David already knows (he is my second or third cousin), I sadly have to report the death of my mother Muriel Brannan née Tripp last Sunday. She was born in Coombe Road in 1926 and moved at the age of 7 to Prospect Road, where she lived until she got married in 1950. Her father Arthur Tripp was a local coal merchant who was knocked over and killed by his horse in November 1943. We have been able to find a plot for my Mum in Elmer's End Cemetery, where her father was buried in an unmarked grave all those years ago. Over the years I have posted a few of my Mum's photos on this forum and she was interested to see some of the threads that I printed out for her.
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Re: Prospect Place, Wells Road

Postby maureen barrett » 26 Apr 2017 17:30

I am saddened to hear of the death of Muriel Brannan.I remember her from Priospect Road and the London City Mission at the top of Bradford Road a very sweet lady...part of a lovely family.
Elmers End Cemetary is a beautiful place,she will rest at peace there.My mother Mollie Dale is there along with her nephew baby John Butler.
The memories stay with us of wonderful people and lives well lived.
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