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Thursday 30 July 2009 8.02pm
Friday 31 July 2009 9.18am
But I never made it dirty in the first place.
Friday 31 July 2009 12.59pm
I'm beginning to sound like 'Uncle Albert' with his "During the war..." stories, but.....back in the early 1950's my parents used to take me to Tower Hill regularly during the summer. There was always plenty going on and one particular bloke had a regular act there as an escapologist. He would climb in to a big sack and get members of the audience to wrap chains around him and then push real swords through the chains and padlocks. He would then thrash around like a wild thing and, of course, eventually get out of the sack. While he was doing his thrashing around the swords would fly off in all directions. Sometimes at head height. Scary! Wouldn't be allowed today.
We spent many a summer Sunday down on the 'beach' at Tower Hill which was known as 'The poor man's Southend.'
In fact the sand on the beach at Tower Hill was better than the mud at Southend, but the travel costs were cheaper.
Friday 31 July 2009 1.12pm
Lovely story uncle Albert, I really enjoyed it.
Saturday 1 August 2009 6.11pm
chalkey, I remember him as well...his arms were always marked with big red weals after. you must get a copy of 'The London that no-one knows' I think narrated by james mason, because they also had the man who used to dance with the tri-corn hat and buckle shoes at tower hill, and east lane...


and did you ever go swimming near the Custom House jetty? we used to!
Sunday 2 August 2009 9.25am
I certainly had a dip in the Thames at Tower Hill. I can remember one Sunday when my parents took me down on to the sand and my Mum got some tar on her new white sandals. She was not amused! We used to pass a few bomb sites on our way back to the bus stop and I always picked a few 'flowers' to take home. They were weeds of course, but they had yellow heads and that was good enough for me.
I could get very profound here and say how, to me as a child, they represented rebirth, growing as they did amongst the rubble......But I'm not that clever!
Sunday 2 August 2009 2.12pm
how about Rosebay willow herb chalkey, that always grew where there used to be buildings, in london at that time there was a beautiful fields of it...not quite sure if another name was fireweed?
Sunday 2 August 2009 3.00pm
I see lots of willowherb when I go fishing and I've always associated it with the riverbank or lake side. Can't say I remember much of it on the bomb sites. The stuff I used to pick was about a foot tall with a yellow, daisy-like head. No idea what it was called though. There was, of course, always lots of dandylions,(wet-the-beds, as we used to call them.)
Anyone know how they got that nickname? I can only geuss that perhaps they secreted a diuretic when you picked them. Or is that too obvuious?
Sunday 2 August 2009 5.54pm
You're right, Jan. Just googled it and Fireweed is another name for Willowherb.
Sunday 2 August 2009 9.01pm
chalkey wrote:
There was, of course, always lots of dandylions,(wet-the-beds, as we used to call them.)
Anyone know how they got that nickname? I can only geuss that perhaps they secreted a diuretic when you picked them. Or is that too obvuious?

The leaves are a diuretic. Used a lot in herbal medicine.
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