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New Article: Living in Charlton Village in the 1950/60s

Bill Russell looks back on life growing up in Charlton Village in the 1950/60s. Don't fancy that soap much....image

 

Follow me down Memory Lane or should it be Charlton Lane. I'm not sure which it is? I think maybe both. Let me try to paint you a picture of everyday Charlton Life in the 1950s/60s, a different world from that in which we live in today. 

Charlton Village has not changed that much, a few buildings down here and a few slight changes there, but its basic fabric and character remains the same. The Bugle and Swan are still there thankfully, but they are not the throbbing heart of the village community they once were. It's the people that have radically changed. Social habits, values and attitudes are so different now.

Charlton and the surrounding areas were devastated by the Luftwaffe during the war. My mother told me on one particular day after they had bombed along the river all day they came back again at night to wreak more destruction simply being guided by and bombing the flames. She said it was possible to read a newspaper at the top of Plum Lane in Plumstead at midnight with the light given off by the fires from all along both sides of the Thames. It looked like the whole river was ablaze. The London Docks and The Woolwich Arsenal were always popular targets. They used to lay the dead out for identification in Beresford Square.  I don't think The Valley or Charlton House ever got hit, which is most surprising given the devastation that I witnessed as a small boy with bomb sites everywhere.

Thank heavens the war finished before I was born. I was part of the baby boom following the hostilities as the heroes arrived home. The conflict left a legacy of social upheaval and affected everyday life with shortages and hardship, but everyone knuckled down and accepted their lot and got on with living. Very few people had cars, while television and telephones were an extravagance affordable by only a few. There were no supermarkets, with food bought fresh on a daily basis as nobody had fridges or freezers at home. Butter would be as hard as iron in winter and runny in summer, whilst everyone had fresh milk delivered to the door. Most of us had to put up with no running hot water; boil the kettle on the stove or coal fire for this luxury.

Toilets were mostly outside and I promise you that nobody would linger there very long on a cold winter morning. Toilet paper consisted of yesterday's newspaper, which hurt your bum, and a tin bath in front of a coal fire provided the weekly ablutions. Soap was a carbolic evil-smelling stuff, which all little boys hated. Shampoo stung your eyes and towels were as rough as sandpaper. On winter mornings the frost would have formed on the inside as well as the outside of the windows in your bedroom.

Smog was by far the biggest curse and a danger to life in those days. Houses and factories spewed out thick black smoke from thousands of coal fires. No wonder they called London "The Big Smoke". In winter, a thick fog would descend very quickly and hang over the river and its surrounds. Foghorns would bellow on the Thames as large vessels tried to avoid each other. How dense it was can best be illustrated by the famous incident of Sam Bartram not knowing a game had been called off at HT, and he was standing there in goal peering through the fog while everyone else had retired to the dressing room some time before enjoying their second cup of tea.

Housing was at a premium. There were prefabs in Charlton Park along the Ha Ha Road side, and Cherry Orchard and Springfields Estates of multi-storey flats were being built to accommodate those unfortunates who had been bombed out.  image

 

The local economy boomed in the post-war era due it proximity with the docks across the river, the Dockyard and the Arsenal. There was no such thing as unemployment, with plenty of jobs to go round in this No Work, No Eat society. Most people worked locally in the large factories along the Woolwich Road such as Siemens, Johnson & Phillips Cables, Harvey's, British Ropes etc. 

The Woolwich Arsenal, and numerous other enterprises that revolved around it, employed thousands of people. The Royal Docks across the river were busy with ships from all over the world bringing raw materials to build a broken country. Big barges and tugs would be continuously file up and down the river. It was a hive of activity.

Transport was by Bus, Trolleybus or Tram, but for longer journeys (which were not very often) we took the steam train. I can still remember standing with mates on the footbridge next to the level crossing at the bottom of Charlton Lane waiting to get a gush of steam and smoke as the train whistled by underneath. The Woolwich Ferry with its paddle steamers was constantly going back and forth across the river taking people to and from work.

People worked hard and long hours to put a meal on the table. What little money that could be spared for entertainment was spent either in the pub (beer was cheap in those days), going to the pictures or watching football and other sports. Free entertainment being the best value of all. Charlton Park used to host matches on a Sunday morning. Local league pub side stuff, but I can remember the crowds being four or five deep around the touchline to watch a particularly good game.

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  • edited July 2011

    Part 2

    However, when it came to football Charlton Athletic were the main talking point in all the factories and schools. It provided a relief valve against all the week’s tensions. Most people worked Saturday mornings, so it was common to go with workmates to the afternoon match at The Valley. image

     

    All league games were normally played on a Saturday afternoon, but FA Cup replays which were usually held the following Wednesday afternoon due to no floodlights. Absenteeism from work and school was rife. It was surprising the whole community stricken with stomach bugs and bad backs were miraculously recovered by kick-off.

    The attitude of supporters was different. Of course they wanted their team to win. but it would not stop them applauding a good save or a good goal from the opposition. There were never any problems with rival supporters mixing with one another and as for fighting each other that would have been ridiculous. Most people had enough of fighting for freedom and fighting to survive in life to start trouble. 

    Player's attitudes were also very different as well. If you went down in the fifties you were hurt, really hurt, you certainly didn't dive. There were no substitutes. Injured players carried on with dislocated shoulders (Derek Ufton) and all sorts of other injuries.  It was a game played by gentlemen and played fairly. If a player handled or was the last one to touch it before going out of play he would admit it to the ref.

    They were strong tacklers then but they never resorted to cheating or trying to maim each other in order to win an advantage or a game. They were hard but fair. They played on snow with an orange ball. They played in the thick mud. They played on Christmas Day with the return match against the same opposition on Boxing Day. They played open and attacking football with five forwards and five defenders. Hence some of the scores like 6-4 twice against Plymouth 6-6 draw with Middlesbrough and of course the famous 7-6 victory over Huddersfield, which every Charlton supporter says he attended albeit the gate that day was very low. By the way I was there. Honest, I was !

    Charlton as a club became a local focal point with a good hard core of fans watching heroes like Johnny Summers, Stuart Leary, Long John Hewie, Don Townsend and Willie Duff who replaced Sam, to name but a few.  image

     

    The Valley was the biggest ground in the football league. The massive East Terrace stretched up in the sky, and the South Bank on Charlton Heights was even higher although not so wide. The four apexes of the West Stand, with its CAFC logo, and the barn type structure of the North Stand made up the other sides. This was surrounded by a great deal of land which the club owned.

    There was talk of swinging the pitch around so the East Terrace would be behind one goal. Another terrace would be built the other end of the pitch. There was also talk of turning it into the Wembley Stadium of South London and hold important National and International matches. Investment was going to be poured in to make the Valley top notch. In truth, all that happened for years and years was the little wall running round the pitch was whitewashed each season and the little fence that runs along its top was painted black. I know as my uncle painted it. Everything else slowly went into general ruin and decay.

    I wonder where all that money went from the regular 50,000 plus crowds of the Fifties ? Not in the Valley. Not buying better players. What a wasted opportunity.    

    Football coverage during this period was a closed shop. The FA and Football League were extremely jealous of each other as both wanted to be the only ruling body of football. They disagreed on lots of things but they definitely agreed on one thing. They were both absolutely fearful of this new media interest in their baby and nest egg. Football and television did not mix. The biggest fear in those days was radio and television would reduce the crowds to such an extent that there would be no money to me made.

    All the bread and butter money came through the gates. It was a simple philosophy. Less crowd, less money. I wonder what these forward thinkers of the fifties and sixties would make of the current situation if they were alive today.

    The media had strict rules to adhere to. Radio was only allowed second-half coverage of one match and then they could not announce which game they would cover until after 3 o'clock. On the days Charlton played away, every supporter sat by the radio (which was a big heavy piece of furniture that sat in the best room of the house). They tuned in to BBC Sports Report at 5 o’clock on a Saturday for the football results. and hastily checked their pools coupon at the same time hoping they had come up with the elusive 8 draws that would win them a fortune.

    After that excitement had finished, the next event was waiting for The Evening Standard pink classified edition to come out on the streets via paper sellers about six on a Saturday evening. It had all the results plus a report of the match from most games involving London and Southern teams up to midway in the second half. I still to this day do not know how they managed to get match reports to the printing press, printed, distributed and to the public an hour or so after the game had finished.

    There was no catering facilities, though I seem to remember being able to get a cup of tea behind the North Stand. You could get a bag of peanuts from the sellers that walked through the crowd or you could buy hot chestnuts at the Floyd Road entrance.

    There was merchandise sale or marketing of Charlton Athletic products. Sam Bartram opened a shop in Floyd Road in the mid sixties, but it closed soon after. As a kid my parents bought me a red football shirt, white shorts and red and white hooped socks from some clothes shop. Mum then sewed on a number 7 on the back of the shirt because I played on the right wing with my mates.

    How things have changed.

    I love going to The Valley and the surrounding area not only for the game but to drink in all that nostalgia, re-live some wonderful memories and hear some long lost but not forgotten voices.

    A Charlton man forever and wherever I roam.

  • Fabulous read!


    I can remember the old Valley clearly from 1964.

    Both photos of The Valley were taken during the 60s ........ the floodlights were first erected about 1961/62.
    And  I can remember the Worthington hoarding above the East terrace around 1966-69.


  • Thanks for that Bill (and AFKA).

    A really enjoyable read which brought back some memories for this old git!

  • I remember that tree on the left hand side by what would have been the greengrocers, I'd like a £ for every car that lost it on the bend coming into the Village and careered into the tree in was a big old lump as well when they finally chopped it down. Probably Bowes the shoe shop is the only one still there from when I was a kid, Mum used to take me to Clarkes in Woolwich to have my feet measured then take me back to Bowes and choose whatever the guy had cheap enough to fit the budget and to the nearest half size. : )

    Had my first beer in the Bugle  (Light & Keg) would have been 14 ish, its hard to believe thats almost 20 years ago now!!

  • Really interesting article.

    Does anyone know when the Evening Standard stopped publishing the Saturday evening "sports pink"? I'm 31 and don't recall it being around in my lifetime. I always wondered why London didn't have a Saturday sports paper, having bought local versions on my way home from away trips to the likes of Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Coventry, Newcastle and so on.

  • Great story ... I lived in Victoria Way when I was younger, and then moved to Cherry Orchard when I was 10 ... used to visit the chippy in Charlton Village every Friday night for our fish and chip takeaway.

     

    Used to queue up at the top of Victoria Way every Saturday night when I was little to get the Evening Standard with all the football results.

  • Good stuff, really enjoyed that.

    Didn't the Valley take a, relatively, minor hit in the bombing?
  • Good stuff, really enjoyed that.

    Didn't the Valley take a, relatively, minor hit in the bombing?

    Not sure ... but I know that Charlton Station did as much of the damage wasn't fully repaired until the 60's.
  • Really interesting article.

    Does anyone know when the Evening Standard stopped publishing the Saturday evening "sports pink"? I'm 31 and don't recall it being around in my lifetime. I always wondered why London didn't have a Saturday sports paper, having bought local versions on my way home from away trips to the likes of Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Coventry, Newcastle and so on.

    When I was a kid, there were 2 Saturday evening papers (in the mid 60s to early70s). There was the Evening Standard and the Evening News, both always published then on Saturdays. I remember in the late 60s during the 2nd half of matches, the paper seller would walk around the terraces shouting out, "Git cher rarf ti-ems" .......the "Late edition" had all the classified half time scores.

    Later around 6.15pm, after having got back from The Valley, I'd be sent by my Dad to buy the "Classifieds" from the local newsagent, which contained all the classified full team scores with reports of all London team matches up to about the 75th minute.

    Well into the 70s the London Evening News was merged with the Evening Sub-standard, but the the Standard classified edition still continued.
    Then during the mid 80s, the Standard dropped it's Saturday editions altogether.

    The Evening News classified edition was printed on pink paper until the early 60s, before white paper was introduced for that edition.
    Many of the classified evening papers all around the country used pink paper (some still do). And I'm sure the Sheffield paper, if my memories still function, was printed on pale green paper.



  • Thanks for the info Oggy. I'm up in Barnsley quite frequently as my other half is from there, and can confirm that your memory is indeed still functioning - 'The Green 'Un' is published by the Sheffield Star on Saturdays, and is, as the name would suggest, published on green paper. It's still going strong as well.
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  • Great article.......
    I was one of the 'unfortunates' as the writer describes it and lived in Springfield.
    I had however lived in Elliscombe Mount ( across the road from the Valley pub) at attended Sherrington and prior to that Fossedene school.
    The fog was a big deal in those days, as  it was quite toxic.
    One of the sounds was the mid day sirens from the local factories down by lower Charlton.
    It seemed in those days that most of Charlton as I knew it was council estates, which were quite territorial.
    We used to play each other at football over  Charlton park, or anywhere else there was a bit of grass.
    Charlton was  something that most of my mates went to. I  originally went with my father, then my young mates from Sherrington , then Springfields and went behind the covered end.
    I went my own way, grew my hair and went to art school. Most of my football mates left school worked in local industry, and became skin heads into Ska music, getting pissed, and  I saw less and less of them, as they 
    moved away!. I used to shop at least once a day, when on school holiday's, sometimes twice. My mother was always washing, and preparing meals.
    You extended family was very important and cousins and uncles came up, or you went to them most weekends. 
    I am talking about the late 50s /early 60s. I stopped playing football at 14 and took up tennis, and played at the Rectory fields, till I went to art college, and moved to Blackheath.
    Woolwich and Lewisham were major shopping areas, and I worked in Woolwich, but the council seemed to do it's best to  thwart private enterprise, and the area declined.
    I failed my 11 plus, as preperation was not known about in those day's, and  my experiences of Bloomfield made me vow I would never fail an exam again if I could help it.

    I was lucky, as I had a good short term memory and could retain facts and did well at exams.
    My mother lived on the estate till she died, was an avid trade unionist and labour supporter, as was all the extended family.
  • What a brilliant article. Also, great supporting responses.

    Like many others, I grew up on the Springfield estate, initially in Downe House and then Games House, having moved to Pound Park, prior to my Fathers death. My whole family, were living locally, Cherry Orchard, Valley Grove and Mascals. I attended Fossedene road, until 1962, before moving on to Eltham Green.

    The Village Post office, was where I used to purchase coach tickets, for the Lewis coaches, to take us to away games. The meeting point for which, was outside Charlton house.

    Mention of Football matches in Charlton park: The big games use to be between, Plumstead Maybloom, Valley Celtic, Greenwich Town Social and the local team, from the Rectory field: Greenwich Borough. All playing in the Metropolitian Sunday Premier Division. Maybloom and Celtic, always played in the park, on Sunday afternoons, which drew very large crowds- 1000 plus. As a youngster, I used to watch these games and eventually played in a couple before moving out of the area.

    My other memory, is climbing over the wall of the Rectory field, to Watch Kent play Cricket against Surrey. When Stuart Leary was turning out for us and the County. What a player he was.

    I still drive through the village on my way to home games, bringing back great memories. Charlton, not just the team but also the place, Great!

     

  • great thread ! its an example of what makes us different to the rest  ..was going to say special but that has connotations these days
  • Great read, im gonna see if my nan has any old photo's. Think most of my family left the area in the 60's.
  • What a brilliant article. Also, great supporting responses.

    Like many others, I grew up on the Springfield estate, initially in Downe House and then Games House, having moved to Pound Park, prior to my Fathers death. My whole family, were living locally, Cherry Orchard, Valley Grove and Mascals. I attended Fossedene road, until 1962, before moving on to Eltham Green.

    The Village Post office, was where I used to purchase coach tickets, for the Lewis coaches, to take us to away games. The meeting point for which, was outside Charlton house.

    Mention of Football matches in Charlton park: The big games use to be between, Plumstead Maybloom, Valley Celtic, Greenwich Town Social and the local team, from the Rectory field: Greenwich Borough. All playing in the Metropolitian Sunday Premier Division. Maybloom and Celtic, always played in the park, on Sunday afternoons, which drew very large crowds- 1000 plus. As a youngster, I used to watch these games and eventually played in a couple before moving out of the area.

    My other memory, is climbing over the wall of the Rectory field, to Watch Kent play Cricket against Surrey. When Stuart Leary was turning out for us and the County. What a player he was.

    I still drive through the village on my way to home games, bringing back great memories. Charlton, not just the team but also the place, Great!

     


    Wilson House. Number 10 : )
  • And heading those leather footballs would give you concussion.
  • edited July 2011
    Langhorne House 5 and 6..... My mother formed the tennants association in the  early 70s.

    Used to play football on the 'lower playground' most Sunday mornings,with the older lads...... and probably most days during the summer holidays circa 64-69.
    re the Standard: I used to sell the  Saturday paper for a couple of years to all the flats on Springfield, years later I worked as a  journalist on it!.....
    When it was in Shoe Lane, prior to going to Art college.
    'Fat' Mick McCarthy went to Eltham Green with his younger sister Sonia, and Kerry Heals  lived in Erskine House.
  • edited July 2011
    Good stuff, really enjoyed that.

    Didn't the Valley take a, relatively, minor hit in the bombing?

    Not sure ... but I know that Charlton Station did as much of the damage wasn't fully repaired until the 60's.

    And here is a photo of the remnants of Charlton Station following the V-1 hit in July 1944. A very good article but I'd rather the author had asked my permission to use the two photos from my collection though!

    Charlton Station V1 damage view from Church Lane.jpg
    3252 x 2021 - 2M
  • Many apologies TH, that was me not the author. I just searched and these come up. Didn't realise they were a private collection. Hope you feel they belong well with the article, but happyy to remove if you wish.
  • No, I should have added that I don't mind at all - happy to share them with our own fans. I've posted some of them on Flickr including the two you've used, so it's not a problem. The Charlton Station one isn't posted anywhere except here, so hopefully this will be a new one to many readers.
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  • I was born in 3 Erskine House before we moved over to 10 Downe.
    Totally remember Mick McCarthy cos the bugger sat on me when I woz knee high
    to a grasshopper. Anyone know if he's still around?

    Played footy on the lower playground and we [all the gang] used to hang out around the bottom end
    of Springfield. We did'nt get on too well with the Cherry Orchard pansies or the mob down Victoria Way.

    First school was Charlton Manor and believe it or not my first teachers name was Mrs Charlton !!

    Lots and lots of memories of Springfield Grove, Charlton House/Park especially the free concerts and
    garden fetes , plus going to school at Bloomfield which closed and we all transferred to Eaglesfield...

    Yes.........that name ALWAYS made me angry.............how dare they...........

    Moved eventually into the flats, 64 Coutts House down Church Lane before getting married and living
    in sunny plumstead-sur-mer [Rippleson Rd ?? not sure of spelling...]

    I seem to remember a very old, large house the used to be at the top of Church Lane almost near
    the church which looked VERY spooky .... anyone remember that ?


  • "The opening game of the 1940-41 season at The Valley took place during the Battle of Britain..."  [Charlton leading Millwall 4-2] "Then the air raid siren sounded and it certainly was no false warning.  The raid was a heavy one and shrapnel fell on the stadium..."  
    Richard Redden, The History of Charlton Athletic.
  •  The big picture brought back memories of standing on the front fence in the late sixties. Pictured is one of the confectionary sellers that used to circle the running track with a tray of items. The fare was usually; Wagon Wheels, Wrigleys Chewing Gum, Chipmunk Crisps, Plastic Cartons of Orange or Blackcurrant, Mars Bars.

    Addick2Pike - The Sunday Met League was a very good standard, full of non-league players who were allowed to play social football, as the teams they played for were still deemed as Amateur and they were not under contract (despite receiving "Boot Money"). Eltham Hill were my local team in Sutcliffe Park at Greenwich Borough's old ground. They had players from Dulwich Hamlet & Bromley playing for them and regularly drew up to 500 spectators. I can recall a cup final at Charlton Park with a big crowd and being taken to Cray Wanderers old ground in St Mary Cray for a London Cup Final, which must have been at the end of 1965/66 season.

     

  • Does anyone else remember the blokes who used to sell "rosettes" or I think also called coloured favours. They used to stand in Floyd Rd with a board with a supply of Charlton and whoever we were playing plus a smattering of odds and sods, mainly Arsenal I remember. My uncle Fred used to buy me one each week on the way in and I had a huge collection on my bedroom wall. Very much enjoyed reading this piece.
  • I was born in 3 Erskine House before we moved over to 10 Downe.
    Totally remember Mick McCarthy cos the bugger sat on me when I woz knee high
    to a grasshopper. Anyone know if he's still around?

    Played footy on the lower playground and we [all the gang] used to hang out around the bottom end
    of Springfield. We did'nt get on too well with the Cherry Orchard pansies or the mob down Victoria Way.

    First school was Charlton Manor and believe it or not my first teachers name was Mrs Charlton !!

    Lots and lots of memories of Springfield Grove, Charlton House/Park especially the free concerts and
    garden fetes , plus going to school at Bloomfield which closed and we all transferred to Eaglesfield...

    Yes.........that name ALWAYS made me angry.............how dare they...........

    Moved eventually into the flats, 64 Coutts House down Church Lane before getting married and living
    in sunny plumstead-sur-mer [Rippleson Rd ?? not sure of spelling...]

    I seem to remember a very old, large house the used to be at the top of Church Lane almost near
    the church which looked VERY spooky .... anyone remember that ?


    You will know my younger brother Graham as he went to Eaglsfield,who was/is good friends with 'Tom Hovi' on here.
    The old house you refer to was  demolished by the 'kids' of Springfield over a three day period , which I must admit was a ridiculous act of vandalism, in pursuit of some firewood for  November the 5th.
    It took me and four of the bigger lads( teenagers) two days to get that staircase demolished. In the end the council chased us off with the police. I think every kid on the estate was indulging in 'urban redevelopment'.
    Mind you when I see what the council did it the name of 'improvement' , all things are relative!.......... The difference being that those bastards did not have to live there!...... and live in those shitholes!.

  • I take it that was around mid-60s, Ken.

    Anyone got a pic of the old house referred to?


  • edited July 2011
    I think it was an edwardian detached residence....... The thought of thing that would sell for a fortune, and that I spent most of my later life photographing/designing for magazines like Country Homes and Interiors, and Period Living/Traditional Homes. I think it is next door to the vicarage , and has a bus stop outside it called Warren Walk, across the road was a small garage/lock up and someone used to have a drum kit, 

    I think it was about about 1966/67 Oggy........ I do remember taking over my father's felling axe, and my friend brought over his brothers demolition tools, sledge hammer and crowbars etc.
    They came over on the second night , and assisted us remove the wonderful shutters, that drapped the windows. I can picture now a little army of 'snot nosed herberts'  walking across  the road  Church Lane, into the side entrance of Springfields, and throwing it down the large hill to the lower playground ( prior to it being the lower playground). Frankly we should have been horse whipped. We had some very enterprising 'arsonists'  on the estate at the time, often setting the bins alight, and the garages!...... I blame the enviroment myself, that and a lack of self discipline, and self regard!. Mick Jackaman, Tony Swain, and Mick McCarthy. tut, tut, tut!
  • Tutt-Tutt: You were correct regarding the 'Permit' players. Plumstead Maybloom and Valley Celtic, had several such players in their sides, 1960-64. Peter Kinsey-brother of our very own Brian- played for Greenwich Borough, at the Rectory field-home of Blackheath Rugby Club.

    I remember one Firework night, when we convinced a number of the younger lads, that Mr Maguire- the caretaker, who lived in Downe House - had said it was ok to cut a tree down, adjacent to the stream, below the top playground. He went loopy, as he saw it landing just infront of his flat. What a bonfire, it made though!

    We used to play in several of the damaged properties, towards the top of Victoria way, during the mid-fifties. On our way home from fossedene. I assume they had been damaged during the war and had been left deralict. Never once, was we chased off. Great days!

  • Sent shivers down my body and I wasn't even alive in those times! The ground looked magnificent.. so packed
  • I was born in 3 Erskine House before we moved over to 10 Downe.
    Totally remember Mick McCarthy cos the bugger sat on me when I woz knee high
    to a grasshopper. Anyone know if he's still around?

    Played footy on the lower playground and we [all the gang] used to hang out around the bottom end
    of Springfield. We did'nt get on too well with the Cherry Orchard pansies or the mob down Victoria Way.

    First school was Charlton Manor and believe it or not my first teachers name was Mrs Charlton !!

    Lots and lots of memories of Springfield Grove, Charlton House/Park especially the free concerts and
    garden fetes , plus going to school at Bloomfield which closed and we all transferred to Eaglesfield...

    Yes.........that name ALWAYS made me angry.............how dare they...........

    Moved eventually into the flats, 64 Coutts House down Church Lane before getting married and living
    in sunny plumstead-sur-mer [Rippleson Rd ?? not sure of spelling...]

    I seem to remember a very old, large house the used to be at the top of Church Lane almost near
    the church which looked VERY spooky .... anyone remember that ?


    Mrs/Miss Charlton was one of my teachers at Charlton Manor too. Left there in 1970 - Miss Stimpson was my last teacher there. There were, some legendary teachers there then - inlcuding Mr Stead, who was once said to have smashed a table in half with his bare hands! One of those urban myths that used to go around schools in those days I guess.

    I remember the house at the top of Church Lane, Ken - haven't got a photograph of it sadly. It's where the sheltered accommodation next to St Lukes is now located.
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