Early Mobile Days In Welling

A Memory of Welling.

Light-years before the introduction of the mobile phone, Welling in the 1950's had mobile networks of its own. These were weekly delivery services to households in and around local streets. As a young child I was always excited by the Saturday arrival of the R. White soft drinks lorry and our usual order of lemonade, cream soda and Tizer. I remember well the familiar clinking of glass bottles in wooden crates as deliveries were made. Then during the week, a mobile grocery arrived, the vehicle large enough for customers to step inside to shop for a good range of produce including basic fruit and veg. There was both a grocery and greengrocers in the Parade, Wrotham Road, but the mobile shop was easier and cheaper. Of course there was also mobile milk deliveries to virtually every household, and these from the iconic electric 'floats.' I had my first ever paid job as an assistant to the Express Dairy milkman, delivering fresh bottles of milk to doorsteps and picking up the empties. Most memorable, though, was the mobile library that parked each Saturday outside the Lord Kitchener in Wrotham Road. At the age of 10 It was the highlight of my week where a love of reading began. Those first books made a big impression - Swallows and Amazons tales, The Famous Five, Adventures of the Famous Four, Doctor Doolittle, the School days of Jennings, and hilarious Billy Bunter.
As with people today, mobiles played an important part of Welling life.

Added 05 August 2022


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