Childhood in Wells Road

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

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Davidwallis
Posts: 18
Joined: 24 Oct 2016 13:30
Location: Herne Bay

Childhood in Wells Road

Post by Davidwallis » 27 Oct 2016 15:16

Hi, my name is David and I'm new to the forum, and I've still to delve in and see what memories it holds. I was born in one of the Wells Cottages close to the Taylors Lane entrance to the park. I was one of that band of feral urchins that used to play in road and up in the monastery woods. Other members of the loose gang were:- Raymond Page who lived with his gran in Bradford Road; Terry Field also of Bradford Road - son of George and Doris Field; the Waterman twins Georgie and Peter of Springfield Rise; Barry Tomlinson of Dallas Road (later moved to Farnsfield Grove); and Joan Perrott (Pettitt? ) who lived in Prospect Road. My constant companion at this time was my little black and tan mongrel dog named Bobby. His mission in life was to populate Upper Sydenham with his offspring. Also around at the time was Billy James and.Barry Norman. Both where about 18 months our senior and thus being big boys were to big to associate with us.
Now after all these years I think its safe for me to own up. It was me who with my catapult put a stone through Mr Bradley the butchers shop window. Oh and do you remember the empty house in Edney Street that caught fire?. Need I say more?.
To assist identification I've looked out a photo of myself and the other pupils of St Philips primary school standing on the school steps. But as well as being new to the forum I'm also new to modern digital technology. So I'm afraid that will have to wait till I become a bit more proficient. If by some miracle I do manage to send it, I'm the little cherub in the second row, second from the right. My guess is that the photo was.taken somewhere around 1948.

Davidwallis
Posts: 18
Joined: 24 Oct 2016 13:30
Location: Herne Bay

Re: Childhood in Wells Road

Post by Davidwallis » 27 Nov 2016 14:47

Hi decchips, I'm sorry it has taken me so long to respond to you.
Home for the first eight years of my life was one of the smallest of the Wells Cottages. Open the front door and you were in the bedroom. A connecting door led to sitting room. Attached to that was the scullery. Outside was a small paved area and privie. That's everything.
There was no bathroom. No washbasin. No electricity; so none of the appliances that today we take for granted. And no hot running water.
There was a gas supply to the cooker and for gas lighting. And we had an open coal fire in the sitting room and in the bedroom as well; subject of course to coal rationing, availability and enough cash. So the fire in the bedroom was only lit if someone was ill or the weather exceptionally cold.
Nowhere was there any room for an Anderson shelter, so in the event of an air raid it was a quick dash round to my grandparents next door. They had a shelter dug into the ground at the bottom of their garden.
I was only a baby during the war. Mum used to fold a blanket over my cot so that the ends hung down over the sides. I was then placed on top of the blanket so that when the air raid sirens sounded, mum could grab the ends of the blanket and lift me straight up out of the cot. Then it was a dash to the safety of the shelter.

Davidwallis
Posts: 18
Joined: 24 Oct 2016 13:30
Location: Herne Bay

Re: Childhood in Wells Road

Post by Davidwallis » 8 Jan 2017 16:38

Mum was working in the scullery when she heard the sound of an aircraft. The air raid sirens had not sounded so she had no idea if the aircraft was one of ours or not. She was not taking any chances; scooped me up out of the cot and made a dash for the shelter. Once outside she could see a German aircraft flying at rooftop height. She described it as a stringbag; an old fashioned bi-plane, like those used in the First World War. It had an open cockpit and she could clearly see the pilot. And he had seen her. Mum was so scared that she stood rooted to the spot unable to move, while clutching her baby to her. At the same time he trained his machine gun on us, grinning at my mother as he strafed us.

We survived but many others did not that day. He then attacked and killed people in the street, on his way to bomb Sandhurst Road school.

**************************************************

That's a record of a true war time incident as told to me by my mother. Her memory of it was vivid. Yet of course over the years our memories become distorted and unreliable, so I'm unable to vouch for the details such as her description of the enemy aircraft. Nor if this was Hauptmann Heinz Schumann, who on the 20th January 1943, flying a Focke-Wolfe 190, released a 500kg bomb on Sandhurst Road school, killing 38 children and 6 staff.

Davidwallis
Posts: 18
Joined: 24 Oct 2016 13:30
Location: Herne Bay

Re: Childhood in Wells Road

Post by Davidwallis » 23 Apr 2017 15:17

I posted my first contribution to the forum on the 27th October 2016. I was a total novice [still am], having then just bought my first smartphone. My attempt to include a photo was of course a failure. So let me now attempt to send a link to the photograph of my classmates and I, standing on the steps of St Philips primary school, around 1948 or 1949. All of us children were born during the height of the Second World War. That's me, big ears, second row; second from the right.

[As perryman rightly points out; I have still not got the hang of posting images.]
Last edited by Davidwallis on 5 May 2017 14:19, edited 1 time in total.

perryman
Posts: 96
Joined: 4 Mar 2007 01:45
Location: perry vale

Re: Childhood in Wells Road

Post by perryman » 5 May 2017 09:26

It might be just me, but I can't view your picture.
But thank you for sharing your memories.

Davidwallis
Posts: 18
Joined: 24 Oct 2016 13:30
Location: Herne Bay

Re: Childhood in Wells Road

Post by Davidwallis » 5 May 2017 14:39

Thanks perryman. No it's not you, It's me. Clearly I have not got the hang of posting images. But I will do it!
It may take just a little while yet. David.

Davidwallis
Posts: 18
Joined: 24 Oct 2016 13:30
Location: Herne Bay

Re: Childhood in Wells Road

Post by Davidwallis » 7 May 2017 14:17

Will it be third time lucky? Hopefully this will provide a link to a photo of the children of St Philips primary school taken in either 1948 or 1949. I have no memory of the names of these youngsters, however I do remember the girl in the middle of the front row. Her dress was made of a deep red, velvet like material.
https://1drv.ms/i/s!Aqi7tiAg8Igthh2dym9WKyZH3OGm

ALIB
Posts: 1541
Joined: 12 Oct 2006 21:34
Location: East Sussex

Re: Childhood in Wells Road

Post by ALIB » 7 May 2017 21:09

Great photo. Thanks for sharing.

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