Pre War Woolwich And Shooter's Hill - a Memory of Woolwich.

As a very young lad I lived on Ankerdine Crescent on Shooter's Hill, but Mum frequently took me down to Woolwich for shopping on the market. I can clearly remember a butcher's stall close to Powis Street where the cry related to 'Lamb's tickers' (lamb's hearts), something I sorely miss these days, living here in Sweden. What the Swedes do with the lamb's tickers I'll never know.
We also took trips across the river on the old paddle-wheel steam ferries. Our next-door neighbour but one was one of the engineers on the ferry, and we often looked in at the control room where he stood at the controls of one of the paddle wheels. It was fascinating seeing the shiny piston rods at work, and all the polished brasswork. You got into trouble if you simply went to and fro on the ferry, so we used to go ashore on the north side, wait for that ferry boat to return, and then came back to our south shore again. And yes - at low tide those paddle wheels certain churned up a mighty unpleasant smell. Definitely NOT roses.
In the early days of the Second World War my Dad worked in Woolwich Arsenal, and was also a member of the Auxiliary Fire Service, I can remember him hanging up his helmet in the hall. Mum and I were evacuated on my 8th birthday in September 1940, never to return to London having 'landed' in Alconbury, Huntingdonshire, close to where my paternal grandmother was born. Thanks to the Internet and Google Earth I have been able to show my daughter the exact house we lived in on Ankerdine Crescent - without her having been there.
The ferry pictures here are of the 'new' boats. The old steam ferries had tall smoke stacks that belled out at the top, and the huge paddle wheels were centrally placed on each side.

A memory shared by Barry W J Chandler on Oct 17th, 2011. Send Barry W J Chandler a message

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