Its My Lifes Ambition To Return Home

A Memory of Belvedere

My memories of my childhood in Belvedere are so precious. I was born in 1968, and my parents bought a house together with my paternal grandparents in Nuxley Road, number 86. The house is a big Victorian derached house between Narnfield Road and the car park. The house has sooo many fond memories for me, I have tears in my eyes as I write. We had the downstairs of the house and Nan and Grandad had upstairs, almost like two flats. My sister and I shared the front room with the bay window, and we used to talk all night. The garden was huge, or seemed it at the time, and I remember watching my dad and grandad build a shed when I was 3 years old, this shed still stands in the garden, exactly as in 1971. We used to go to Lessness Heath Primary School on Erith Road. I re-live the walk often in my mind and only wish I could remember a bit more detail of the shops. I remember Derrets and the Wallis supermarket, then I think it was Nuxley toys, a dry cleaners and a bakers, then the gap, the Co-op then a china shop next to the Baptist Church where we went to Sunday School. I fondly remember the vicar, Mr Ross, and his daughters, Catherine and Judith. On the other side, I know there was a solicitors, an estate agents, a Ladybird children's shop, a bakers, a charity shop, and George's sweet shop. Then there was Mitchels Carpets (their daughter Rose was a school friend), then another shop?Then Lloyds Bank, the Gwendalines women's clothes, Allens sweet shop, the jewellers then Challanges, a fancy furniture shop. Can anyone hep fill in the gaps, and carry on up the road? I will come back one day for good, I have been saving hard for years. My parents moved us to Ramsgate in 1979, and life took a nose dive ever since. Belvedere is aother word for paradise to me. I visit often,and still feel the same every time.
Wish me luck, kindest regards and happy returns to you all,
Donna

A memory shared by Donna Goudie , on Feb 23rd, 2011.

Comments & feedback

Tue Jun 14th 2016, at 8:03 pm

devondirect commented:

I have only just come across this site and read the 4 fascinating memories of people who lived in Belvedere when young. I was born in 1948 at Crayford Cottage Hospital in the middle of an Apple orchard. My mother was born in Albert Road opposite to the 'Pom Pom' at the bottom of the hill just before the Vickers factory.
I lived as a child in a prefab in Court Avenue a cul-de-sac off Bedonwell Road.
I went to Lessness Heath Primary School from 1953 to 59, whereupon I was one of first pupils to attend the new-fangled secondary education schools, Picardy Secondary Modern Boys School. In 1959 the local Grammar and Techical schools were closed and all pupils were 'streamed' into Picardy Boys and Girls Schools, (in Lower Belvedere) depending upon your Eleven Plus exam results.
I left School in 1965 after 6th form and immediately started work in the advertising industry in London and attended the London College of Printing at Elephant Castle. I used to complete all the school's exam certificates along with my Art teacher, Mr Burt in calligraphy handwriting.
In 1964 my parents and I were moved to Rutland Gate when the council finally decided to demolish the prefabs to build an old people's home in the cul-de-sac.
I was a 'Mod' from 1964 to 1968 and rode Lambretta to schools and then to work and College, whereupon I got my first car, a Mini van! I had to then drive to Blackheath in order to reduce my train fares to London.
From 1960 my father got me a paper round job with Dorman's newsagent in the old village and the first 'drop' was to the Doctor's Surgery in Erith Road opposite the Church on the opposite corner. Ironically used to deliver to what become our home in Rutland Gate.
After the big snow on Boxing Day in 1962 (which stayed until March 1963), I was delivering newspapers in 3-6ft drifts. Don't ask me how the papers even got delivered to the newsagents, or milk. But they got through. An age when life didn't come to a standstill because of a 'little bit' of snow!
Davies, the electrical/cycle/record shop was where I spent nearly all my money on records in the late 50s/early 60sx after giving my mother a bit gir housekeeping.
In the 50s even as a 6/7year old I was frequently sent to the village to buy milk, cheese, 2oz sliced ham or corned beef from the Dairy next to the Police Stn at the Eardley Arms cross roads. I used to buy sweets from a shop in a converted house down the road alongside the Eardley Arms, opposite the rec paddling pool which was eventually drained due to a Polio outbreak. I believe it was turned into a sandpit later.

Tue Jun 14th 2016, at 8:16 pm

devondirect commented:

It cut me off before finishing my reminiscences! A friend I was matched up with on the first day at Primary School in 1953 was Mike Dormer, who became my best friend until our early 20s, going every where together on our scooters during the 60s.
I eventually left home in 1970, moving to a flat in London, but my parents remained in Rutland Gate until my father died in 1978 and I moved my mother down to Devon to be near me and my family after living in Belvedere from her birth in 1916 until 1998, her 83rd year. I haven't been back since. But I suspect as I approach my 70s, I will get the nostalgic 'pull' to visit my childhood stomping ground as Belvedere holds many happy memories for me as in my era it was still Kent rather than Greater London and was still a 'village' in those days. Happy days!

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