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Tommy Steele "Bermondsey Boy"

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Tuesday 29 May 2007 9.30am
I've just started reading Tommy Steele's autobiography; has anyone else read it?

I'm not very far through it, yet, but am finding it fascinating so far. His description of how he spent his Saturdays made me think of Jan the old one (I love your stories, Jan)- queuing at Bermondsey Baths for his mum at 6 am so she could get the 9 am slot to do her laundry, having a bath at Bermondsey Baths, then off down Tower Bridge Road to Joyce's Pie Shop, Edwards Bakery and the Trocette cinema.
Tuesday 29 May 2007 7.31pm
Hi The Lady Miss Jo,
I too have started to read Tommy Steele's Book 'Boermondsey'. I'm very facinated with the local cinemas of Bermondsey and the Elephant. He mentions the Trocette cinema (Tower Bridge Road)attending Saturaday morning pictures and the Wurlitzer organ, and I believe that many years ago there was a TV film about him growing up in the area. I wonder if any reader has any further information about the film and where it may be obtained?
Thanks, Ritzy
Tuesday 29 May 2007 8.18pm
This may be of interest:

And this link is fascinating:

I wish there was still a cinema on Grange Road!
Wednesday 30 May 2007 11.56am
T.L.M.J.J you are so nice..:-)

I must buy that book, I think there was another posting here about the Old Trocette, it always struck me as weird that it was re-decorated then closed a little while later, or so it seemed to my youthful mind!
Ritzy I remember that film, I loved the part where he was in the cinema just before it was demolished and walking between the seats and I was there again, listening to the ghostly voices of children singing, while on the screen the words came up and a bouncing ball followed the words...

' we cum along on a saterday morning, greeting everybody with a smile....'
Hopefully there may be a cinema just behind where the old trocette was Carmenes..

the doughnuts in Edwards, boiling hot oil or fat inches away from the front of counter..taken out with wire strainer, rolled straight away in lovely white sugar..
joyces pie pies ever...
Wednesday 30 May 2007 5.18pm
Jan the old one wrote:

Hopefully there may be a cinema just behind where the old trocette was Carmenes..

That sounds fab. Is the proposal you are talking about part of the proposed art house cinema at Bermondsey Square or is this separate?

Wednesday 30 May 2007 5.56pm
Oh blimey Carmenes, i did not know it was an art cinema, no doubt many wonderful films are produced for viewing in such places..the very first film i saw that was described as 'arty' was The Sheep Has Five Legs lol.. I think I bunked in the Trocette! about 1954 or 1955
Wednesday 30 May 2007 8.33pm
I have read Tommy's book and was really fascinted by the language. I come from Bermondsey (went to Ilderton Road Primary School) but some of the expressions were a mystery to me. One in particular: cabbage. It would appear to mean a party, but why? If anybody out there can throw some light on this I would be grateful.
Wednesday 30 May 2007 10.56pm
I wondered about cabbage, too. The only reference to it I can find is this:

Cabbage was a term used in the rag trade meaning all the bits of material you could save by cutting very carefully. This was called cabbage and any money made from this was for enjoying yourself at your bosses expense.

Edited to say - now I can't find where I found that. But it was a response to the question why does cabbage mean party?
Wednesday 30 May 2007 11.36pm
I recognise "cabbage" as an old rag trade term - it was used by an old school friend who was the son of a tailor. But he used it to mean the "waste" at the end of a roll of cloth, which you would have already charged to bespoke customers by overestimating the yardage required for their suits.

(Not that I got any favours from that connection - I ended up getting my first and last bespoke suit made for me by Austin Reed in those dim and distant days when such a thing was just affordable without a mortgage!)
Wednesday 30 May 2007 11.47pm
After that meander into personal reminiscence, was the film including the Trocette the 1974 edition of Omnibus - "My Life My Song" with an interview by Melvyn Bragg interposed with the songs from the album of that name???

I wonder if the BFI could be persudaded to dig it out of their video archives?
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