Addiscombe And Croydon Characters

A Memory of Addiscombe.

There seemed to be a lot of eccentric characters around in those days. Old blokes with strange shaped polished bald heads (these were the days when it was the older generation that were bald, just the opposite to today). In the congregation at St James Church, and also upstairs in Lyons tea house (next door to Kennards?) where they would sit all day playing chess. I used to think that when I grew up I would like to become an elderly eccentric like that. I was recently teaching some kid to drive and she said, "I think you"ve achieved your ambition!" Then there was Miss Daniel a large spinster, and music teacher in Addiscombe - half a crown, a lesson. Not a great teacher but what a fantastic pianist. She could sight read anything and also used to play in pubs etc... she would come to your house for the piano lesson then stay all evening while my mum cooked a meal. Does anyone remember the Barber in Lower Addiscombe Road? He played in a local string quartet and was more interested in music than haircutting. One of the barber chairs was permanently occupied by violins and violin cases. When you entered his shop he would just keep on playing and then after a time would say, "what do you want,...haircut?" "Yes" I would say. "Can you read music?" ...'Uh yes", I replied.........."Ok follow this page and point to where I stop". One day a fellow musician arrived and they played a duet. The barber said to him "Are you coming to the concert on Sunday? " The reply..."well, it all depends....what are you playing?" "Oh no, first you tell me if you"re coming then I"ll tell you what we're playing." Where would you get anything like that today? Not just a haircut but also a recital thrown in!

Added 17 April 2013


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