My family originated from east London (mainly Dagenham), but our branch 'emigrated to Battersea in 1964. Our first address was 22 Morella Road, right opposite Wandsworth common. I went to Honeywell junior school, in Honeywell Road. The teachers I remember from there were Mr. Gordon Bennett (truly !) Mr. Mallett (the head) and Mrs. Parker. One of the first friends I made at Honeywell was Andy Lipscombe who lived in Winsham Grove. In fact I'm still in contact with Andy now, and will be going to his wedding in Newcastle in may. Other friends I made there were Lee Bradley, Ronnie Symes, Orin Blackman and Edward Allingham. I also remember Anette Dixon who was involved in a tragic domestic situation not many years later.
I then went to Spencer Park secondary school, and we moved to 45 Manchuria Rd. right opposite Clapham common. On my very first day at Spencer Park I had a fight with a 3rd year called Terry Emmitt, as so often happens, we became friends after that.
I was part of a 'gang' - though not so much in the modern sense of the word- that used to hang around on the west side of Clapham common, we used to call ourselves 'The West Side Mafia' ( we thought we were awful hard, but in fact we were a bunch of pussycats !). Some of the other 'gang' members were Lee Bradley, Andy Lipscombe, Bobby Bish, Billy Bendon, Vic Gerla, Cliff Norman, Martin Beale, Martin Caller and Paul Bayliss, Some of the girls who we used to hang around with were Kathy Lawrence, Maxine (can't remember her second name - but she went on to marry Bobby Bish), Jackie and Jill Pilgrim, and Nicola (again can't remember her second name). I was also a member of the 'cellar club'. We used to have full run of the very spacious cellar at 22 Kyle Road, the home of Sam and Robin Smith. We used to get up to some right nonsense in there. I vividly remember one day we decided to have an air gun shoot out, with the lights out. Absolute lunacy ! Billy Bendon actually got an air gun pellett embeded in his lip ! Clearly it could have been much worse. God alone knows what was going through our heads at the time.
In 1970 we became the first tenants of 419 Sir Francis Chichester Way, a brand new block of flats on the Doddington estate down by Battersea park. To us it seemed like luxury. Our own bathroom, a fitted kitchen and all mod cons. But within a couple of years the estate went rapidly down hill and gained a notorious reputation from which I understand it has never recovered.
Some of the other lads I remember from the estate are Gary Baker, Feddie Plumb and Gary and Ian Fleming.
A couple of years after moving there I started playing for Battersea Park Rangers FC. Some of the players I remember are Tony Small, Martin Caller, Howard 'nutsy' Gray, Les Hopkin, Steve Hopkin, Ray Edwards, Marin Beale and Ray Woodley. The club was run by Kenny Abbott, Johny Beale and Mr Flemming Snr. We used to play in the West London league and played most of our fixtures at Wormwood Scrubs and Richmond Park. As it happens we weren't a bad side, although as so often happened in those days a lot of the games used to end in fisticuffs.
I remember going to the opening night of 'The Grove', the estate pub, although I was only 15, and getting absolutely hammered. I went out with the landlords daughter for a while, but I can't even remember her first name !
In 1975 we moved to Southfields and shortly after that I left home and got a flat in Balham, then moved all over south London, Brixton, Clapham, back to Battersea, and Croydon. After that in the early 80's, after some massive disruption in my life I moved to Folkestone in Kent. I moved back to Crodon in 1984 to run an off licence, then in 1986 to Hene Bay and then back again to Folkestone, where I've lived ever since.
I would love to hear from any one I knew from those far off days in Battersea. (I don't do Facebook or twitter as they really don't appeal to me).
A memory shared byon Feb 14th, 2014.
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