Early life in Bermondsey

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Thursday 10 December 2009 2.08am
Gday to one and all, I have just discovered this forum and would love to here about the where I was born and brought up till the age of 32yrs.At that age I emigrated to Australia, I am nearly 81yrs young and am married with three boys all adults now of course.I was born in St Olaves hospital Rotherhithe and at that time (1929) my parents were living at Bevington St jusr off Jamacia Rd. We later moved to 42 Spa Rd Bermondsey and lived there till 1943 when we were evacuated to Northamton till 1945. I have been back to London a few times and noticed how much it has changed, I well remember the night the old Town Hall being bombed Pretty scary stuff for a 10 or 11 yr old boy and at the same time pretty exciting. Australia has been my home for close on 50yrs now but my roots are still in England..Thank you...
Thursday 10 December 2009 8.31am
Hello Ron, Welcome to this forum.Do you mean the bombing of the Bermondsey Town Hall? I remember reading about it and how brave all the firewardens were, and of course the incredible bravery of mayor henley who having broken a limb still went on to try and help.

In the good old days I convalesced in st.olaves after surgery..and no hospital infections m.r.s.a. then! No disposable bedpans, only cold steel or if they had just come out of the sterilizer red hot..

Rubber gloves that had to be boiled..
You will find so much on this forum that is familiar to you and there are so many links and kind people to help you..:-)
Thursday 10 December 2009 9.25am
Hi Jan what great buzz to get a reply so early, I wondered if there were anyone there who would remember those days and who knew how to use a computer, wonderful.. Yes, I did mean the old Bermondsey Town Hall in Spa Rd we lived almost opposite there and if I remember I believe one of my Schoolmates was killed in the Town Hall. Tell me a bit about yourself Jan if you will, do you still live in Se1 and do you remember much of the War years?

We had quite a bit to do with ST Olaves as my Sister was born there as well. I remember going to see my Mum there after the birth of my Sister but we were not allowed in the Hospital, so we used to go to the playground in Southwark Park and she would come out on the back stairs so that we could see her and the baby..Would like to hear from anyone who knew about the early Bermondsey who has a story to tell.. I first went to Farcombe St School off Bevington St and then to St James st school then to Bacon School during the War...
Thursday 10 December 2009 9.28am
Hello Ron - lovely to hear from an old Bermondsey boy living in Australia. You mention Spa Road. They say it was at one time a very busy and important street in the area. Today it is undegoing some regeneration after quite a long time of neglect. You will no doubt have used the library as a child. The building is still there but no longer a functioning library. Another major building you might recall has gone -the Salvation Army Hostel.

Can I ask you Ron - do you have any memories of Southwark Park?
Thursday 10 December 2009 10.01am
Gday Pat nice to hear from you, yes Spa Rd was a very busy place we had the Tannerys on one side of the Library, a Custard factory further down the street may have been Birds, memory playing up nowdays,the Jam factory forget their name for the moment but remember the wonderful smells coming out of these places. A very busy street with horse and carts and old trucks rumbling up and down all day, but I loved it..Our house used to be where the little park is now, and yes the library was a favourite playground for us boys a lot of time was spent getting into the Area and then running like crazy up to the wall at the end and trying to grab pipe to get out, so many memories.. Yes I remember us boys walking to Southwark park to play games, have a play in the Lido,pick the itchy balls from the trees and putting it down some poor girls neck or even aour mates neck.. Great times.. Yes the Salvation Army building was a place of interest to us because at one time the paper caught fire and made a great spectical for us , then during it was used a POW camp for Italian Servicemen...
Thursday 10 December 2009 10.09am
Sorry Pat that should read " then during the Warit was etc. Getting a bit tired now,, Cheers
Thursday 10 December 2009 10.59am
Hartleys Jam Factory off Tower Bridge Road, Alice Street...

Monk and Glass custard powder factory near snowsfields school.

The lovely smell of vinegar from Sarson Vinegar in Tower Bridge Road...

Peek & Freans smell of vanilla from their biscuits...

the coal man with his leather cap with a flap hanging down his back..lovely smell of coal..

Jumping the barrels of skins soaking in leathermarket, they stunk to high heaven if you broke the wooden barrels..
Thursday 10 December 2009 12.16pm
'Monk & Glass,' Jan! That takes me back. I can see the picture on the packet now. The jolly old, fat, red faced monk, sitting in his habit and holding up a glass of custard!
A little bit of trivia, (or 'useless information,' as my wife describes it.) The late Bob Monkhouse was related to the 'Monk' side of 'Monk & Glass.' 'Monk' being the abreviation of the surname.
Thursday 10 December 2009 12.36pm
No information is useless trivia Chalkey..:-)someone some where has a need to know that some else remembers bits of their childhood as well! and your right Bob was the nephew..
Thursday 10 December 2009 8.54pm
+Lots of memories flooding back now. Remember the smell of Tarry Blocks on the roads.. The viniger factory in Tower Bridge Rd just by the Oxford and Bermondsey Boys Club was always giving off the lovely smell..
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