Tooting Bec photos
Displaying the first of 14 old photos of Tooting Bec. View all Tooting Bec photos
Tooting Bec maps
Historic maps of Tooting Bec and the local area, hand-drawn by Ordnance Survey and Samuel Lewis. View all Tooting Bec maps
Tooting Bec area books
Displaying 1 of 16 books about Tooting Bec and the local area. View all books for this area
Memories of Tooting Bec
Days of Fishing on The Pond
Born in Tooting in 1949, I lived only a walk to the top of my road to the common. Me and my friends used to play cowboys and hide up the trees to ambush my friend's sister who was always with us, all good harmless fun. As I got older I got interested in fishing and spent many a day with my bamboo rod catching tiddlers, there were some good-size fish in the pond but I only caught the small ones. I used to meet some of my mates from school and we spent all day there and then would go home covered in fish slime. Did anybody else fish the pond? Now you have to pay to fish there, even an old pond is not free, happy days.
The Pond And The Common,And The Lido
Although we lived in Balham, many hours were spent on the common and the pond en-route to the open air swimming pool. I can remember with fondness, especially during the summer holiday, as money was in short supply we would either walk or get our bikes out and mess around the pond area for hours on end and by the afternoon we would go to the lido and as you quite rightly say,we all smelt like perch or roach but that soon improved once we had our "bath". Interesting to note in them days the sun shone all day, and every day, and all summer, unlike nowaday's "who knows".
This could be my mother and me! I was 5 in 1951 and remember visiting the pond to 'feed the ducks'. The common became a wonderful playground durig my childhood, everything from 'the wild west' to 'army battlefields'. It was safe, we would spend all day playing without fears or worries. The important thing was to avoid the 'Parkie' (Park Keeper), what a memorable age.
Running on The Common 1980s
During the '80s I lived in Streathbourne Road, just a couple of houses in from the Common. Weather permitting I would run in the evenings. One dark evening in the late autumn I ventured onto the Common. Running in the grass near the Lido, I tripped over a couple who were lying there shagging beneath a tree. I am afraid I gave the chap an awful kick in the ribs,and I took a frightful spill. When I got to my feet, the poor chap staggered to his, rubbing his side and looking fit to be tied. Needless to say we were both put out by this unfortunate turn of events, but before either of us had a chance to utter a word, I heard his girlfriend say, "Well, I never! Your mum. Dogs. Rain. Bit of an east wind. It's always something with you, isn't it?"
Greater London memories
This shows Powis Street in Woolwich. The large building in the middle of the photo is the RACS Co-op building, it is also the site in the distance of the first McDonalds shop in England. I was born in Balham in the late 1930s. I was working in Woolwich in 1956-1957 and have seen the decline in the area from a once thriving town.
Drill Hall, Atkins Road.
My dad was still in the Army in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He was stationed at the Drill Hall in Atkins Road. He was also a Motorcycle Display rider. Has anyone any memories of this or any photos? Dad's name was George (Nobby) Clarke, and he was a sergeant in the Royal Signals. We also had great Christmas parties there with a huge tree and a present for everyone.