Happy Daysin Bexleyheath And Barnehurst

A Memory of Bexleyheath

I remember Barnehurst and Bexleyheath in the 1960s. I loved a girl called Lin who lived in Rudland Road in Barnehurst. We used to spend lots of Saturday afternoons in the Astor Cinema near to Bexleyheath Clock Tower. The Astor never had the latest films but it was cosy. I remember there were always two features and the first would  be an Edgar Wallace thriller in black and white that always started with the Shadows playing ‘Man of Mystery’. I asked her to marry me there whilst watching 'The Glenn Miller Story'.

The winter of 1963 was very harsh with deep snow for months on end but the buses  always seemed to keep running. We all wore overcoats and mitts every time we went out. Lin and I used to go and sit in the bowling alley up by the side of the ABC cinema because it was the only place we could keep ourselves warm for free. Afterwards we would buy 6d-worth of chips from a chippy in the Broadway and then walk back to the bus depot  to say goodbye.

She was a great dancer so we also used to go dancing all over the place such as St Martin's Church Hall at Barnehurst, Montrose Hall in Sidcup  (that's where we heard JFK had been shot), the Black Cat  at Woolwich and the dancehall above Burtons in Eltham. Sometimes we would go to Eltham baths, which would be boarded over and listen to groups like Georgie Fame.

In the summer we would sometimes go to the open-air pool at Danson Park and sit around and swim.  
Sadly we broke up, my fault entirely, and she soon found the guy she really wanted and married him. I still love  and miss her even after all these years and every time I think of Lin and Barnehurst  I can’t help but get a warm feelings and start to smile.

A memory shared by Rich M , on Sep 9th, 2010.

Comments & feedback

Sat Jun 25th 2016, at 8:49 pm

First Name Last Name commented:

Hi Rich
Im not Lin of course but found your message really interesting as I grew up in Barnehurst and my Dad worked for London Transport from Bexleyheath Depot...I too spent so much of my teen years at the bowling alley and saw The Who at Eltham Baths...so many great bands then playing in small venues...Happy days

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