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The Road Where I Was Born October 1944,Earliest Memory Approx 1944

A Memory of Barking

Opposite the Odeon cinema, the spotted dog and off licence. I'm certain it was Tommy Keene from Axe St who would be on Wakering Rd with his barrow selling sea food by the half and pint on Sunday. The co-op chemist, then the Insurance shop with a ship in a glass case in the window, Fletchers the butchers, Larkins sweet & tobacconist shop, Savilles seed, spice merchant, Lings artist suppliers, Sucklings greengrocer and a Ladies dress shop. Then 37 Longbridge Rd, Frank Hawken shoe maker and repairer,(my father), you can just make out the cream painted corrugated sign with name on. Next door but one was Boyles the dentist. The trolley buses stopped outside the ladies dress shop and Hawken's shoe shop and the conductor would have to use a long pole to re-place the electric arms on a trolleybus to overhead wires if they came off, before the trolleybus could continue on its route. There was hardly any road traffic then, pedestrians aplenty. Children safely played marbles in the gutters & lost them down the drains! Eating out, literally, was eating the best fish & chips from Pesci Bros on the way home, dining out was supper at the Odeon. The bakers was Fances on Fanshawe Ave, gents outfitters was Dunns, Princes for ladies apparel, embroidery silks etc & when you paid for your purchases the monies were placed in a shuttle & sent overhead to the cashier in her central kiosk, who would return the change & receipt.

A memory shared by Lesley Hawken , on Jun 12th, 2013.

Comments & feedback

Thu Jan 1st 2015, at 6:44 pm

Sheila Chandler commented:

hi, do you remember the name of the chinese restaurant on the corner of cecil ave barking in 1960. thank you.

Fri Jan 2nd 2015, at 10:47 am

Lesley Hawken commented:

Hello Sheila(Chandler).....Myself & family members can remember the Chinese restaurant,but not the name,sorry! Sincerely hope you find the answer........best wishes.....Lesley Hawken

Thu Sep 1st 2016, at 1:10 pm

ronnieibi commented:

Hi Lesley,re Tommy Keene,he was one of my uncles.You are quite right,i checked it out with my cousin Maralyn,one of his daughters.He also had a stall outside The Brewery Tap.My Aunt Tilly used to do most of the work on that stall.They moved from Axe street to Gascoigne Road and had a shop there.It was nice to see your memories.
Kind regards Ronnie Corrigan

Wed Sep 7th 2016, at 3:35 pm

Lesley Hawken commented:

Hi Ronnie...I would go to Tommy's barrow outside the Spotted dog,Wakering road on Sunday and get half a pint each of brown shrimps, prawns,cockles and a pint of winkles.It was my job on sunday to take the shells off the prawns & get the winkles out of their shells ready for sunday tea (and sticking the little round black filmy bit on my face pretending it was a beauty spot)! The sea foods were served with celery,thinly sliced cucumber in vinegar & buttered brown bread...Sunday wouldn't have been Sunday without these for tea! I was telling a young lady recently how we would buy seafoods & that they were measured by the pint or half pint beer mug ...oh dear,she stared at me as though I was making it up!!!!....Tommy Keene & family are part of Barking history! It was lovely to read your comment..best wishes..Lesley Hawken

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