Tuesday, 29 March 2016

One hundred years of one house in Well Hall part 8 ........... shared anniversaries

294 in 2014
This is the continuing story  of one house in Well Hall Road and of the people who lived there including our family.*

Now had we still lived at 294 I am sure we would have enjoyed  the centenary celebrations.

After all it isn’t every year that you get to mark the anniversary of one of the most loved estates in Eltham.

But what makes it a tad more significant is that last year will also mark the centenary of the house I have lived in for 39 years.

It too was built in 1915 and was home to Joe and Mary Ann Scott who occupied it for over half a century.

The two properties could not be more different.

Joe and Mary Ann's home in 1975
Joe and Mary Ann’s house was a solid end terrace, fitted out with electricity and was one of a series of building projects which the family undertook from the opening decades of the 20th century well into the 1940s.

By contrast 294 Well Hall Road was a smaller more modest property which still retained some of the original fittings including the bracket for gas lights and a communal path in the back garden which linked all four houses.

Moreover 294 Well Hall was a part of grand plan by the Government to build in less than a year an estate for the families of men and women who were employed at Woolwich Arsenal that great factory for the manufacture of weapons and shells.

And of course it being 1915 the demand for more labour at the Arsenal was paramount.

Even so the creation of what is still regarded as a fine example of a garden suburb in less than a year was remarkable.

Well Hall Road, 1950
But despite the differences theses two houses have much in common.  Not only were they built during a period when were at war but they were both built at a time when the surrounding area was still pretty much open farmland.

From their back window Joe and Mary Ann had views across fields out past the Brook while on either side of the terrace there were farmhouses which dated back into the 18th century.

Likewise the first residents of 294 could look up at the woods on Shooters Hill and wander off towards the farm land which now makes up the Kdbrook estate.

All of which brings me back to that anniversary.

Now the preparations to mark the centenary of the Well Hall estate have been laid for a long time and there will be many different activities during the course of the year.

But I am not sure about Joe and Mary Ann’s house.  By all accounts they were a quiet couple liked by many who lived a modest life, and as they were here for nearly 60 years I rather think we will respect that fact and let the event pass with little fuss.

After all I have only clocked up 39 years here.

Location;Well Hall, Eltham, London

Picture;  294 Well Hall Road, 2014 courtesy of Chrissie Rose and Joe and Mary Ann’s house, 1975, from the collection of Lois Sparshot and Well Hall Road in 1950, from Well Hall Estate, Eltham:  An Example of Good Housing Built in 1915, S.L.G. Beaufoy** 

*One hundred years of one house on Well Hall Road, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/One%20hundred%20years%20of%20one%20house%20in%20Well%20Hall 

**Well Hall Estate, Eltham:  An Example of Good Housing Built in 1915, S.L.G. Beaufoy, The Town Plan

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