Friday, 14 October 2016

Back in Well Hall in the 1940s

Now I have James Garner to thank for these three photographs of which the ones of his grandmother and Mrs Powell are my favourites.

James Garner's grandmother
They come from that excellent site about the Progress Estate and got me thinking just how many photographs will exist of Well Hall and Eltham.

Some were made by commercial photographers and were reproduced on picture postcards plenty of which are still in circulation.

Many more will be the family snap, often taken in a hurry and sometimes a tad out of focus but as important as those professional images.

If you are lucky there will be a name and with a name you can begin to track the history of the person staring back at you.

And if you are very lucky some of that story will be supplied by the family, so James was able to add that his great grandparents moved to The Progress Estate, moving from Oxford shortly after it was built.

"Digging though my grandmother's photos, I have found a number of photos from their house at 80 Whinyates Road, and of their neighbour Mrs Bartholomew.

Mrs Rose
I'm not too sure of the years, but I'm guessing 1940s.”

But even if the identity of the individuals is unknown they can still offer up a wonderful treasure of detail about how we lived.

I remember my mother and grandmother both wore similar wrap around aprons to the one worn by Powell.

They were cheap, effective and are as much a part of history now as the telegram or the wireless.

Today an apron might be worn just for the duration of preparing and cooking a meal and perhaps not even then.

Back when I was growing up the wrap around apron went on at the beginning of the day and pretty much stayed on all day, taken off perhaps only to go to the shops.

St Barnabas circa 1957
And for most of us there are also the detail of the houses in the background which fasten the location to the estate and look so little different from today.

All of which just leaves that last picture of St Barnabas sometime around 1957 just as it was re-emerging form its years of bomb damage.

So that just leaves me to thank James again point you to the link below and make an appeal for similar images.

Pictures; courtesy of James Garner

* Progress Estate, London, SE9,, Whinyates Road,

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