Saturday, 10 December 2016

A little bit of the Woolwich I remember

Now I am back with another of those excellent photographs of Woolwich from the collection of Stephen Bardrick.

I don’t have a date but it can be no earlier than 1935 when the Woolwich opened its grand new headquarters just here.

The cars will be the clue to fixing the time the picture was taken and for me it is far more familiar a scene than the present one.

But that I suppose is the fate of the ex pat.  You leave somewhere you grew up thinking that the buildings and even the street patterns are parked and will just be where you left them and then you come back and it is all different.

For me it started with the entrance old railway station which looks nothing like the wooden building I remember moves on to the row of shops on either side and ends opposite with that open space in front of the 1935 building.

At which point I am in danger of sounding like one of those grumpy old uncles who comes for Sunday tea and can’t quite come to terms with seeded granary sandwiches, the absence of carnation milk to pour on the equally absent bowl of tinned fruit and yearns for fish paste  and sliced ham.

Still I bet he would have been able to date the picture and may just have been old enough to remember when the Woolwich had its headquarters at 113 Powis Street and may like many of us disapproved when it ceased being an organization owned by its members and became a bank in 1997.

I can’t remember what I did with my account but liked the old TV ad “I’m with the Woolwich” and was pleased that for almost a decade they sponsored Charlton but less pleased that they were bought up Barclay’s ending what had been a proud independent history which stretched back to 1847.

Picture; Woolwich Equitable Building Society Offices, date unknown, courtesy of Steve Bardrick

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