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Thursday 22 February 2007 4.42pm
My real name is Maria and in 1961 I moved from Ealing to a very dilapidated tenement house at 27 Danson Road SE17 aged three. After I contracted pneumonia due to damp conditions, we were moved to 30 Sturgeon Road - just round the corner. We had an inside toilet (luxury) but no hot water or bath and shared the house with 2 other families. In all there were 9 children living at number 30! Sturgeon Road still exists (end of Penrose St) but there are no longer any houses on it. Danson Road is gone.

In 1973, we were tremendously excited to move into a four bedroomed maisonette with a bath, hot running water and TWO toilets on the brand new Heygate Estate. We felt SO posh!!! Over time, my three brothers and I flew the nest. When Mum died in 2000, I returned to look after my Father (Irish parents you see - it always falls to the daughter). Dad died in 2004 but I'm still there. Now the Heygate is being demolished too so both of my significant childhood homes will be history. Aah!

Anyway - that's me! Bit of an interloper I know 'cos my address is still SE17 but I went to school at Notre Dame in SE1!
Friday 23 February 2007 10.07am
RiaMia Hi,

i know how you must have felt moving into the Heygate with all it's mod cons inside...like a lavatory! Our accomodation was two rooms at the top of a graceful georgian house, it had suffered some bomb damage at the back which had been ' made good'.. the toilet was at the end of the garden complete with string and newspaper torn into squares, no wonder i learnt to read at a very young age. We had loads of pets and animals not just the chickens ...mice and various beetles serenaded us at night, thinking back a bit like a skiffle group, running along the steel bath in front of the fire!

Moving from Coldharbour Lane into a large three bedroomed ground floor flat in Strood House was paradise, we had a old copper for hot water AND a big white bath! and a kitchen..and a bedroom for us girls,one for the boys...heaven!

Strange really old Strood house is still standing strong, yet fairly new developments like the Heygate/Aylesbury/Woodene Estates are due for the demolition...and Maria look on the good side you may end up in SE1!
Friday 23 February 2007 11.42am
Welcome to the forum, Maria!
Tuesday 27 February 2007 3.25pm
It does seem strange as the Heygate is structurally sound and, until the decision was made to demolish it, relatively social and safe. I guess they've just run out of land for development north of the river so "the likes of us" must make way for progression. Where is Strood House Jan? It sounds as though you travelled a road very similar to mine whilst growing up in South London.

mogoot, thanks for the welcome!

No matter how I struggle and strive, I'll never get out of this world alive. - Little Willys
Tuesday 27 February 2007 6.49pm
Actually it appears that the Heygate and the Aylesbury need a huge amount of modernisation which was going to be uneconomical. Also, to be honest, the flats are incredibly generously sized - and the replacement homes wont be nearly so big - so more people will go into the same amount of space. It's always a question of what the replacement is going to be like. I heard a very depressing comment on the new houses in Wansey street - no room to swing a cat apparently, no room for 3 piece suites, no room for kitchen tables (comment from the young architect showing the group around "People dont live like that any more"!!! Cheeky little whippersnapper).
Tuesday 27 February 2007 6.54pm
Hi Maria,

My name is Thomas and I only moved to the Elephant three months ago.
I am curious to hear from people who have lived in the area for a long time to hear how it was back then when all the then new stuff was built:
Perronet House, Alexander Fleming House (now MCH), Perronet House, Draper Estate, The Heygate Estate and of course the Shopping Centre with its subways and the Michael Faraday Memorial.
All of the above developments must have been rather impressive (Landmarks) back then? How did people feel about or regard them? What was life like at the Elephant in general and by when did things start to become somewhat rundown?
I am not sure if you are actually too young, but though it's well worth a try.
Any stories from anyone would be highly appreciated.

Tuesday 27 February 2007 7.31pm
RiaMia, Strood House is just off Long Lane, Staple Street/manciple Street, not far from Tabard Park. Nice big rooms as I recall. We played in the square without worry because there was only one car in the entire estate!

As I tend to repeat myself I won't waffle on too long about the joys of Tabard park, the parkies etc., or the fact a perfectly good church called St Stephens was demolished right near the park....before they demolished it, they deconsecrated it and allowed the Dave Clark Five make a film...can't for the life of me remember what it was called...:-)
Sunday 29 April 2007 11.37pm
Hi Jan,

The film that you are talking about which was made in St. Stephens Church by The Dave Clark Five was called Catch us if you can or the american name was called Having a Wild Weekend.

l know because my grandfather was the Rev Henry Kirkham who was vicar of St Stephens for nearly fourty years, till he retired and the Church was pulled down.

l was born in the Vicarage off of Manciple Street and spent my early childhood there.

Would you know where any photographs of the Church could be located at all.

Thank you anyway, Ann
Monday 30 April 2007 7.41am
Hi Ann, that's funny i have just posted on your other item!..:-)

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