East Wickham And Welling - A Magical Time - A Magical Life
My family moved into Darenth Road in 1960 - we were the first in our street and watched the rest of the houses being built around us. There was nothing but mud, wheelbarrows and workmen. My dad's family moved into Dryden Road in the late 30's, so our connection with Welliing and East Wickham ended when my Mum died in 2011 and when our Uncle Bon died in 2012. Our connection with Welling and East Wickham lasted 80 years until like a puff of smoke, it was gone. Welling was the most wonderful place in the world for a kid. Woolworths, Ferari's, Eric Spencer, The Court Ballroom, Maynes, Churches, the Wimpy Bar and the magical Granada, not to mention the obligatory portion of chips on the way home. I remember getting lost on one of my Mum's shopping trips with all us kids in tow and being rescued by a cake shop in Bellegrove Road, just up a bit from Woolworths. I was treated to an afternoon of cream cakes... Read more
Unexploded V1 Bomb
My wife was living in Northhumberland Avenue when a V1 doodlebug passed by very low, to land unexploded at the top end of the avenue. She lived at number 208. The house number it landed at was about 220 to 230. It was on a Sunday afternoon. The man living there was in the kitchen having his lunch, and walked along the V1 to turn off his gas and water! My wife remembers quite clearly the V1 coming up the street, getting lower and lower with no noise. She and her friend Hazel ran indoors to get under the table shelters, there was a crashing sound but no big bang, so they were very lucky. The whole of the top end of the road was evacuated for 3 nights. They were told that it was the first V1 that had not exploded.
People in Welling in '55 - '59
Welling was my home town; I was born in Westwood Lane in 1944 and went to Hook Lane and Westwood Schools. I can remember walking to Hook Lane school passing Leons, it was a clothes shop in Bellegrove Rd. Also a little bakery called Fisons, we used to get our hot cross buns there and yes they were "hot" when we bought them! Opposite was Contobs the sweet shop, a chemist and" Bert " used to sell newspapers on the corner by Central Ave. He was a dwarf and used to ride a three wheeler bike. There was a girl called Edna who lived behind the shops in Bellegrove Road, you had to go "up a slope" near the pet shop. Does anyone remember her? Then there was a big white house where the 'Kings' lived; Lydia, Cassie, Levi and the rest of the family but can't remember their names right now. Reg Foster was a friend of my sister and I, a really nice fellow and a great... Read more
I remember Welling Corner so well. My father owned the fish shop on the right and we lived in the flat over the shop. Welling then was a buzzing place and I used to love watching from my bedroom window. I still remember the shops; Caters, Mains, Contobs, Liptons, Dewhursts and Smiths fruit and veg (my uncle's) who were next door to us. The corner was always bustling with people especially at Xmas. There was no supermarkets then, everything had to be ordered and collected Xmas Eve as all the shops closed. I remember the smog where you couldn't see a thing. I also remember the Cafes; the Rainbow that was up the road and another one under the clock on Welling corner. I would have loved to have gone into them but I wasn't allowed! Dad said they were filled with Teddy Boys! When I was old enough I used to go to the Embassy dancehall on a Saturday night and also when they put on the Wrestling bouts... Read more
Odeon Cinema, Bingo Hall
I remember working in the bingo hall which was the Odeon cinema. I started working there when I was19 in 1961. I worked there as receptionist, sorting all the memberships out for people before it opened in the Jan 1962. I left there in March 1963 when I got married. I loved working there, Tues nights was wrestling night and it was Dale Martin's production that used to be on TV Sat afternoons. I got to meet all the wrestlers and get their autographs; there was Billy Two Rivers, Mick Mcmanus, the Royal brothers, and many more. I got chatted up by Leon Fortuna but I was engaged to be married. I remember Mrs Wood the secretary, Mr Amerella was my first boss, then there was Mr Green and Mr Webb. I remember the doormen Bert and Lofty, I remember Dennis - I think he showed people where to go and what to do, and Pete Sanham used to do electrical work. There was Sid the... Read more
My step-father, Dennis Wood, was the Manager of the Odeon Welling until it's closure in 1962. I remember racing around the empty cinema and getting the projectionist, Ken, to put on my Cliff Richard records and going and sitting in an empty cinema and listening to it. Saturday Morning pictures were a treat because I didn't have to pay! Heartbreaking to see the state of the cinema now, indeed the state of Welling High Street.
I spent a few days in London for the Queens Diamond Jubilee last year. I decided to pay a visit to where I use to live in Welling. After reading some of the stories it certainly brought back memories. Like going to the Embassy on Friday nights dancing to Bill Collins and his Orchestra and over to the Nags Head at the interval. Also seeing Ted Heath and many 'Big Bands' when they came. The only thing I see of the Embassy is a picture in Morrison’s. Saturday morning's trolley bus to Bexleyheath to listen to records at a local shop and then on to the Silver Lounge for a frothy coffee. Then we went to the pictures at the Granada and occasionally at the interval a wurlitzer organ used to pop up from the depths and play popular music. I went to Westwood School from 1941 to 1950; I remembered some of the teachers on one of the photos. After school in the summer went to Danson Park swimming... Read more
Welling Corner The Embassy And Elsa Road School.
I lived on welling corner, above the shops, flat 15b. I went to the embassy on Saturday nights where I met my wife in 1959 and still going strong. My watering hole was the Nags Head. I went to Saint Michaels Pimary and Elsa Road Schools. I also lived at 73 Lyme Road. I moved to Australia in 1966 but I still think of Kent and Welling especially. My name is Michael Hibberd. If anyone remembers I would love to hear from you. my e.mail is email@example.com.
On the left of this picture was the record shop. Certain I bought my first single in this shop - "Bits and Pieces" by the Dave Clark Five. The dentists (Barry Stern, Australian) was on the corner upstairs on the right, and around the corner was the fishmongers, Winkworths. We lived down Upper Wickham Lane, past Foster's primary school, opposite Cyril Monk's the barbers (think he played for Welling United at one time). There was a large hall next to the barbers which burnt down (I'd guess) in 1966-68.
Bicycle Shops Welling?
Does anyone have any memories, information or better still any photos of the cycle shops in 1950's Welling? Two of them were Holmes of Welling on Wickham Lane/Welling Corner and A.F.Mills in the High St. There was another, I believe, in Station Rd called Harlows. Do any of these names prompt memories?
Yes, I used to go to Wrotham Road for rock & roll, they were the early days from 1960 to 1963 and it was the meeting place for the lads. I remember taking a break from dancing and going into the Lord Kitchener pub Friday night when the news broke that Kennedy had been shot. The Embassy ballroom... My mate Andy And I were listening to the band when we decided to go across the road to the greengrocer on the Saturday afternoon and buy a couple of lemons. We went back into the dance hall and ate them in front of the trumpet player, he spluttered when he saw us and it mucked up his playing, great fun!!
Ice Cream Parlour.
I remember the Ice Cream Parlour opening near the corner, Tony's I think it was called. Being only 13-14 at the time, we could never afford to buy one but it was fun to watch, all chrome and glass, just like an American movie.
The inferno was the old British Legion hall in Station Approach by the labour exchange. Yes, the Court school of dancing was upstairs next to the Granada, many a happy saturday night was spent there, also day times at Danson lido.
Great Times at The Emabssy Welling
You mention the Embassy Ballroom in Welling. I first started going there in 1953 (when I was 14 but looked older as you needed to be 16 to get in!) and carried on going until I went into the Army (National Service) in 1958. My abiding memory of the Emabssy was seeing both the Johnny (not John in those days) Dankworth Seven and the Ted Heath Band on the same bill. Later it was Ronnie Scott and his group alongside Ted Heath.
Besides the music entertainment the on floor entertainment wasn't too bad either i.e. the 'chicks' (remember that term?). And I was only 14-17 at the time! What a great way to grow up. Those were the days indeed.
Welling, Danson Lane
I was born in 1948 at number 3 Williams Cottages, Danson Lane. These were near the junction of the High Street,. My first memmories are of John Newton Court being built, has anyone any photos of Williams Cottages?
Yes, I remember it very well ... we saw Grant Tracy and the Sunsets there, Erky Grant, and many more. Jack Eastwood on the door, all run by Paul Meyer ... and I remember the night it burnt down, a Saturday. I used to help Bob serve the hubbly bubbly. I enjoyed it so much that in later years I opened my own nightclub.
How I Remember The Good Times
I also remember Wrotham Road Centre and used to go dancing there, also the Embassy at Welling, my heart throb attended Townley Road for Girls (Sally Tollhurst), all this was around 1959 to 1962. Does anyone remember the Inferno hut in the early rock & roll days, near Welling railway station? My grandfather owned the (Heads) Fruit & Veg shop on the same side as Barclays Bank. Was the Court School for Dancing next to the Granada, upstairs? Gee Wiz the good old days, don't know about you but I miss them.
Danson Park & Bellegrove Road
Growing up in the 1950s I remember spending a lot of time going to Danson Park; it was always an all day thing as I had to catch two buses to get there. I lived in Upper Belvedere (off Parsonage Manorway) and caught the 401 or 486 to Bexleyheath and then I think a 99 from Bexleyheath clocktower to Danson Road/Park. I would have been about 10 when I first went there alone, mainly to go swimming in the open air swimming pool - I remember that fountain - or to visit the fair. I also remember the boats on the lake and was thrilled when I first went on the big boats instead of the kiddies' ones that were in a roped-off section of the lake. On Saturday afternoons my dad always went shopping in Welling, he did it for years, and sometimes I would go with him. It would be about 1962/3 when I bought my first LP, 'Honey Hit Parade' from a shop in the middle of Welling,... Read more
I also remember Welling corner and those trolley buses. I lived in Welling from 1956 to 1965 and used to travel on the buses to Bexleyheath clocktower to go to Bexley Tech for girls in Townley Road. I also knew Woolworths quite well as I worked there on the sweet counter on Saturdays. I worked with two Maureens so if they see this please get in touch. I also remember Danson Park which is not far away and the Court School of Dancing. Does anyone else remember a youthclub called Wrotham Top Ten I think which was held in community centre in wrotham Road. Any other club members out there. Happy times.
Broken Biscuits !
I was brought up in Welling in the 1950s and 60s and Welling Corner played an important part in my life! I can see Woolworths on the right of this postcard. This was where everyone went to buy ... well anything! It was the broken biscuits which were my favourite. They used to sell them really cheaply by the half pound. You never knew what you would get . Maybe you would get a few Bourbons or a Custard Cream, occasionally a Figgy Biscuit, but sometimes there were just some old boring tea biscuits! We used to take them into school for breaktime.
I don't think anyone mentioned healthy eating to us ..!!
Trolley Buses !
I can see the Trolley Bus lines overhead in this postcard. It must have been quite soon afterwards that these disappeared. The Trolley Buses used to sway their way to Woolwich and to the department stores.
I lived in Welling and remember them well when I was a very young child.
Why did we get rid of them? With all the talk of ecology they should certainly think about bringing them back to Welling!
Duchess of Edinburgh Pub
I was born in Bexley in 1948 and lived in Queens Road, Welling until we moved to Crawley New Town in 1962. The Duchess of Edinburgh pub was on the corner of our street where they used to sell whelks, cockles and jellied eels from a cart outside. I went to East Wickham Primary then Erith Tech (later BETHS). The Orange Library at Welling Corner was my favourite shop where I was always buying file cards to record in meticulous detail my football programme collection. We used to go to the Embassy Ballroom to watch the wrestling, Billy Two Rivers, Jackie Pallo and Mick McManus etc and Saturday afternoons to The Valley to watch Charlton, and Bexleyheath & Welling near the Crook Log - Park View? Spent many hours playing football in Danson Park and tennis in summer. Two of my friends then were Peter Maynard from Erith and David Holmes, who now lives in Meopham. Also, from my Junior School days my best friend was Benjamin "Benny" Adams.... Read more
Twisted Wheel Coffee Bar
Was the Wimpey Bar in Bellegrove Road to the Bexleyheath, or Shooters Hill side of the Twisted Wheel Coffee Bar which was at number 43?
Finding A Old Mate.
Does anyone remenber a smart young man called Colin - had a lovely car - would have been about 19-20 in 1970 and lived in Welling - can you help, thanks Marc Chapman.
Living in Welling
We moved to Welling in 1957 and lived in Lynmere Road. Went to Fosters & Westwood schools. Remember playing over the Fanny on the Hill and going to the Welling Granada for Saturaday morning pictures. Had a great childhood living in Welling back then.
My Welling Family
Both of my parents lived in Welling. Mum was born there and dad's family moved there later. Sadly all my mum's family have passed on with the exception of my Uncle John who is now 88 years old. He would love to hear from anyone who remembers the Maslen family who lived at 13 Camborne Road - just by the Shoulder of Mutton green. My Nan was Dorothy Maslen and her husband was Sydney Maslen. The children were Joan, John, Eileen, Peter and Bryan. John has written a little booklet, he's amazing and has remembered so much of his childhood. It's too long to put on here but if anyone is interested I can put it in a word document and forward it to you. I hope there's somebody out there who remembers the family.
Good Old Days
I grew up in Welling from 1942 until I left to join the RAF in 1962. I remember Danson Park and the pool with its fountain. I also loved the lake and the boats. I remember too, riding on the miniature train up along the side of the lake and back. There was also a speedboat that did trips on the lake. Remember the boat house before it burnt down? I had bought a racing bike from Holmes in Welling and had it stolen after leaving it against the boat house whilst we chatted to some girls. I used to go to the Embassy or "Bassy" as we called it. I think across the road was a cafe called the Rainbow Cafe. The trolley buses were brilliant and were then replaced by "ordinary" buses. I used to get one to Welling Station to travel to Newcross to school. My primary school was Fosters. Anyone go there? I lived for a long time in Park View just along from the main... Read more
I was 9 in 1965 and lived in Milton Road on the Poets Corner Estate in Welling. We used to play out in the street all the time or over the field in Keats Road which had a large bomb crater and this would be a meeting point for us kids. We obviously drove the neighbours mad at the bottom of Milton Road and Dryden Road, as we played football down there too. There must have been about 20 or more of local kids and we all got on well. I can still remember all their names. We used to go scrumping in the doctor's house on the corner of Chaucer Road and Edison Road. The conference pears were lovely. We also used to go over to the local pub, the Glenmore Arms to nick the bottle tops, and used to wear them with the old halfpenny pushed behind them to keep them in place. Sometimes some of the kids would steal the empty lemonade bottles and later take them... Read more
I well remember the Orange Library..they were always the first to have fireworks..my pocket money was two and six with which I bought thirty penny bangers..happy days!
A World so Far From 2012 it Hurts to Think About It!
I grew up in Welling form 1948 to 1963. Leaving it was the saddest moment of my life - one I have never really recovered from. So vivid were the memories, I wrote a book of my life's experiences - "Cool Among The Flames." You can find it at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Anyone who remembers that time and place will shed a tear reading it. I still do! If a more wonderful childhood was ever to be had - I'd like to hear about it. Ferrara's ice-cream - was ever there a better taste? The Orange Library - who remembers that?
Memories of Kent
1960`s Bexleyheath Days
I recall Hides Department Store and a box of soft toy rabbits for sale. Jacksons Stores (the supermarket) and poking a bag of rice causing the whole stack to collapse to the floor accidentally as a child. The pub 'The Rose' perhaps is /was its name which had a wooden barrel outside which my father reminded me to kick each time we passed, as I had done first. Going to the cinema with my auntie Sesie, who visited from London where she taught. Going for tea under the parasol with auntie Sesie, mum, dad and my sister outside the then teahouse in Danson Mansion and the feel and sound of a wooden floor. The lovely pond in the Olde English Garden-Danson Park, the pond was very well kept with water lilly pads afloat. Going for rides also in Danson Park on a moving train by the lake and fishing with nets or putting our toy yachts out. I used to see people playing tennis in their whites... Read more
I moved to Pickford Close (the turning halfway up in this photo) in January 1953 as a 5 yr old. I remember the sweet shop and gracious me the bus stop is still in the same place. It is strange to see just one small car compared to nowadays when it is a nightmare trying to park at all. I had a paper round with Mac's which was a papershop on the opposite corder to Lewis's.
The Good Old Days
In the mid 1950's I used to work as a young school boy on a Saturday morning for the butcher ( I think his surname was Finch) just out of shot on the extreme left of the picture. I used to ride a delivery bicycle, small wheel at the front with a large wicker basket. The photographer had his back to the Co-op and once/twice a year you went to the room above the shop to exchange your tin "divi" coins. Also a school chum lived in Pickford Close by the surname of Rawlings and I remember making a miniture seesaw for his pet mouse. He still owes me for it! I also remember cycling from Brampton Road (the cul-de-sac opposite the goods yard which I believe is no longer there) to the Co-op on my brand new bicycle on an errand for my mother then walked back home only to relise where I had left my bicycle. It was still there, no lock or chain. I now live in... Read more
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