Catapault Elastic And More

A Memory of Bexleyheath

I lived in Midhurst Hill, off Townley Road, a couple of years after this photo was taken, quite scarey to see how old fashioned it looks now. I used to buy my catapault elastic in Jennings. I went to Upton Road Primary and remember Ms Brager telling us of the Aberfan Disaster and all going into the playground to see an eclipse of the sun, armed with dark glass bottles to protect our eyes! I spent most of my first week's wages at the age of 15 on a pair of Prince of Wales check trousers in the men's wear shop opposite Jennings and not quite in this photo. I got told off for wearing them to work the next day as a butcher boy at the Co-op at Pickford Lane by my manager, a lovely man called Ernie Hunt. I remember taking buses to Woolwich indoor market, seeing Cliff in 'Summer Holiday' at the Astor by the clocktower, walking to Martyns Grove swimming pool, Crayford Market on a Sunday where I bought a big radio off a spiv salesman that when I got it home was all casing and a tiny radio that wasn't any real use, Hallplace gardens and stories of ghosts that lived there, the first piece of graffiti I ever saw, on a wall in the park next to Hallplace "not just folk also blues", I could go on. My mother was on her own with 5 kids between 4 and 15 years old, worked as a cleaner for a lady in Broomfield Road called Mrs Francis who treated my mum well., Also my mum worked for a while at The Black Prince but got the sack for slicing tomatoes the wrong way. I remember going to see live music in the Black Prince, I think Slade played there once but I missed it, I went to see a band called Arrival - and aptly they didnt show up! I saw Tommy Vance there as a DJ once. I used to go to Saturday morning pictures at the bigger cinema in the Broadway, was it the Odeon? If it was your birthday you went up on stage with your cards and got some sweets. Innocent days. I went to BETHS from 11 to 15 and remember thinking at the time that a couple of the teachers were really good and most of the others not so good and others even less so, and looking back now I realise that even at that young age I was correct. We went on a hostalling trip to Boxhill and on the way back one of the kids in the back of the landrover with me and 6 others, dropped a conker out the back of the car and it bounced on the teacher's car behind that was following. The teacher overtook and told the boy, Andy Fraser, that he would have to walk home. I got out as well and asked who else was coming, so four or five 14 year old boys were left standed on a Sunday afternoon near Boxhill, a good 2 hours' drive from home. We hitchhiked together, got a free ride on a bus, and had the sense to go to a house and get them to phone the police. One of the parents collected us from Bromley police station once we were taken there in police cars. I don't know what happened to the teachers involved but can you imagine if that happened now... We would have been on national news. Richard Blowers...I was knicknamed Bill due to a teacher calling me Billy Bunter...

A memory shared by Richard Blowers , on Mar 7th, 2010.

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