I lived in Belvedere. My sister and I would walk to Bexleyheath, crossing fields to go to the Regal Cinema. This cinema had a fine organ that came up from nowhere and was played by Reginald Fort during the films interval. Words of the songs were flashed on the screen and everyone sang along.. Popular songs at the time were "When the Poppies Bloom Again" and "Her name was Queen Mary she sailed the seven seas"etc.
Unfortunately, the second world war put an end to the organ. A bomb fell in about 1942 hitting that part of the cinema wall containing the organ pipes and electronics.
The Regal was demolished in the 50's and became a Bowling Alley and then Sainsbury's Super Market. Across the road from the Regal (Again in the 30s') was an older cinema called "The Broadway" This also became a supermarket
My sister died in 1977. The fields we walked through to get to Bexleyheath were used by light private aircraft giving public scenic flights for 25p (five shillings) I would have loved to have gone on one of these flights, but my sixpence a week pocket money would not allow such luxury I moved away from the area 1n 1987 and am now approaching my 80th birthday. When I visit my sons family, who live in nearby Thamesmead, I ask him to take me to Bexleyheath. He knows the place far better than I do now.. Stanley Gray
A memory shared byon Jan 1st, 2008.
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