Wednesday, 23 March 2016

One hundred years of one house on Well Hall Road, part 2, looking for the first residents

Our house today
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.

And so I have decided to explore its history.

I can’t say I have ever thought of the people who lived their lives in our house but now I think it is time to start.

After all we accounted for just under a third of its existence and so I have begun to look for the people who were there before us.

Now  most of the spade work is being done by my friend Jean who has already been down to the Heritage Centre at Greenwich and trawled the street directories from when the estate was built.

And Jean will be back there looking for connections between the first occupants and the personnel records of the Royal Arsenal during the Great War.

The first of those residents was Basil Nunn who lived in our house until 1919 and was followed by Alfred W Rendle who stayed there until 1928.

I have great hopes that much more will be revealed for of course once you have a name then lots follow.  I have already started looking at the electoral registers for the period, and in time there may be the odd newspaper story, baptismal and marriage record and perhaps even someone who remembers them.

Added to this I will be able to conjure up the family who occupied our house and give a different context to the rooms we took for granted including how those rooms looked originally and how they might have been used.

The Bullet Factory, the Arsenal, circa 1916
And not for the first time during the search I have lapsed into a bit of idle speculation, pondering on which part of the Royal Arsenal Mr Nunn and perhaps Mr Randel worked in and whether they took the tram or cycled to Woolwich.

In turn I have thought about what they did to the garden and whether Mrs Nunn or Mrs Randel complained about the steep staircase which runs up the centre of the house, and how many times in a day they had to use them.

But all of that is a flight of fancy and rather stops me from the serious business of finding out more about the house and the first families who lived there.

So while Jean beavers away I shall go digging for any evidence of what the house might have been like when brand new and Mr Nunn moved in.

Research by Jean Gammons

Location; Well Hall, Eltham, London

Pictures; 294 Well Hall Road in 2014 courtesy of Chrissie Rose and inside the Royal Arsenal from the collection of Mark Flynn, The Bullet Factory, W H Kingsway,

*One hundred years of one house in Well Hall,

No comments:

Post a Comment