As someone with a small hand in the publicity for a new pamphlet 'Catch Us If You Can: A Walk Round The Tabard Estate', I'm hoping it's okay to let people here know that it exists and is jolly good!
Published by Past Tense Publications, long term residents of the area and a†real money loser (i.e they are a non-profit outfit), hoping a few people here might be interested in it and want to read it. Not expensive at £2.50 and comes with 8 colour photos inside!
The blurb on the back says:
'There is a photograph taken in 1913 of the down-at-heel íslumsí that were later demolished to make way for the social idyll of the Tabard Estate. The inhabitants stand in their doorways, moody and suspicious at this act of municipal surveying which records the slums in decay first and the inhabitants second.
Catch Us If You Can, almost one hundred years later, is the reverse of this act. It covers the same local territory but our surveying aims to reimagine living histories from the bricks, passageways, stairwells and bannisters of Tabard.
Pressure and forces exist all around that want to snatch this all away, to take it back and banish us. Present from the material details and the joy we found in the landscape is the determination that what we already have here is what we want to keep. That means all of us. Catch Us If You Can!'
Thank you for this, Merlin Rouge. I live very close to Tabard Estate and have, over the years, developed great fondness for it. Architecturally beautiful: I love the contrast of the palatial back of the blocks on Tabard Gardens and the cozy, community friendly front on Manciple Street.
My dogs love the big garden too.
We moved from Gordon Grove in Loughborough junction, a beautiful Georgian house, we had two rooms at the top of the house, one room you could see the sky due to bomb damage ,dad put up corrugated iron to cover it. When we moved with our pitiful belongings on hand cart to number1 Strood house, we thought we were in heaven! No stairs to go down to go down to the garden to the lavatory right away from the house! The lav was inside! We had a bathroom off the kitchen that dad installed a gas copper, you had to lay on the floor take your chance in getting your eye brows singed..vast improvement on a tin bath hauled upstairs and umpteen kettles boiled. We moved into Strood in 1949 and I left to get married in 1963. Mum moved from there 1972.
Years later I found my gran had lived there! Then as her family increased was moved to another part of the Tabard, can't think offhand where. Then looking at some death certificates found one reason why my grandmother was a bit of a Tartar, her husband and young baby had both died within 24 hours of each other from the scourge of TB.
Thinking of Strood now all the ghostly faces of the past are coming up before me...behind bricks and mortar there are so many stories.