Tuesday, 22 March 2016

One hundred years of one house on Well Hall Road, part 1, reflections

Well Hall Road and our house 2014
The story of one house over a century and a bit.

Last year was the birthday of the house we lived in for thirty years.

We moved into 294 Well Hall Road in March 1964 and while us kids slowly moved out over the years it remained my dad’s home till 1994.

So this will be the start of a series of stories about the house which next year will celebrate its centenary.

Now despite spending most days digging deep into the past and uncovering the lives of those who interest me I have to confess that the people who occupied our house for the first forty-nine years are unknown to me.

But their lives will span the two world wars, along with the uncertain years that followed the end of the first war and the growing prosperity that came in the decades after 1945.

In the garden 1964
And more than anything it will be about the house and how it changed from a fairly basic but well built early 20th century property to one which was adapted to the growth in consumer products, central heating and the revolution in leisure.

So when we moved in in 1964, there was still a water heater which had been run off a solid fuel stove, the kitchen possessed just two power points and the windows were the originals that had come with the house in 1915.

The first residents would have gone off to work on the tram, and no doubt welcomed the new Well Hall Odeon which offered up evenings of excitement and was far closer than the first picture house up along the High Street.

And on those fine warm summer evenings there would still have been plenty of open spaces to enjoy.

The real discoveries will also be in just how their lives in the late 1920s and 30s matched and contrasted with those of the people I so often deal with who lived in the north  in the more challenged old industries of textiles, coal mining and ship building.

So it is all there to search out, and on the way I am well aware that George, Jean and Chrissie will be on hand to offer up their memories of their bit of Well Hall and Eltham.

Location; Well Hall, Eltham, London

Pictures; from the collection of Andrew Simpson, 1964  and Chrissie Rose 2015

No comments:

Post a Comment