1,345 more photos of Norfolk & Cumbria in June 2017 Release

An Ashtead Childhood

A Memory of Ashtead

This photograph brings back memories of my very happy childhood in Ashtead between 1944 and 1964 when I went off to join the met Police and live in London.
In particular, the shop on the extreme right was Baldwins an old style personal service grocers that my Father Frank Simmons used to manage.
He let me work there as a young teenager and I learned the basics of working for a living and being part of a team. He and his colleagues taught me how to skin and cut cheeses, bone a side of bacon and use the manual bacon slicing machine.
Imagine what the Health and Safety police would have to say to day if a 14 year old were to be given a big knife and taught how to cut up and bone half a pig.
I did cut myself one day by trying to stop a falling knife (not badly I'm pleased to say)
Dad's only comment as he bandaged my finger was "Won't do that again will you son?"
I cant bear today's risk averse world where our kids are not allowed to take even the slightest risk and learn by mistakes.
I lived all those years in Bramley Way and also worked for Marsden Nursery in Pleasure Pit Road. Love to hear from anyone who shares these memories.

A memory shared by Brian Simmons , on Dec 9th, 2013.

Comments & feedback

Tue Jun 6th 2017, at 9:39 pm

Susan Felton commented:

Hi Brian
Just looking at the dates on your post above re Baldwins. Were you working there up to 1964? Dad had the shop Norman's then and as a family we moved up from Craddocks Ave in 1960 to live above it before leaving Ashtead in 1963 when I was 12.
Best Susan

Wed Jun 7th 2017, at 10:28 pm

Susan Felton commented:

Hi Brian
Thanks for your reply. My brother John who is now 82 years old would probably remember Baldwins in the 50s more than I. When Dad retired from Norman Stores in 1963 we moved to Paignton Devon. My parents are now long gone but are buried in St Giles Ashtead. My brother and I do visit Ashtead from time to time and have a drink in the Woodman pub. I live in Guildford, he Middlesex so not so far away! John was a 1934 baby and during the 30s and 40s he remembers as a child the cottages at 108 The Street up the top end where our grandmother Emily Baker lived. He spent many happy hours there. All gone now, pulled down years ago - but of all the photos of Ashtead that exist one never sees any pics of that part of the Street. Bit of a shame but there you go. My grandfather Joseph Felton used to be part of the Social Club in the Street. I've lived in London, Italy, Switzerland and have ended up only 11 miles away! Anyway I won't ramble on too much today. I will try to find your book!
Best wishes
Susan

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