Saturday, 22 April 2017

In Blackheath in the summer of 1977

Now there is a story here about the history of the postal service.

But that is for another day.  For now I shall ponder on what Tranquil Vale in Blackheath looked like in the summer of 1977.

Just a decade before I had whiled away many happy hours in the bookshop opposite the Crown, and a bit before that as a very junior member of the Charlton Park Rugby Club had spent my fair share of money in that pub on a Saturday after the game.

Not that my sporting career was either very long or distinguished.  It had started when a PE teacher at Samuel Pepys suggested that some of us might like to progress from school rugby to club rugby.

I think I lasted half a season having spent most of the games pummelled by the opposition which was the lot of a 15 year old turning out against men in their 40s.

And all of which is a diversion from our picture, which  is not so different from today.

Of course in the intervening thirty seven year , the House of Tranquillity and Two Steps have gone, but the pub is still there, although I do have to confess that I was a tad disappointed when we visited the Crown a year or so ago.

It had gone the way of so many and become open plan and had lost something of the intimacy I remember when you could wander off into small rooms and hide from the curious.

Nor to my mind does the outside seating do much for me.

But then it is easy to judge a place from the high ground of nostalgia, so I shall shut up and ponder on the story of Blackheath’s postal history which with the help of my friend Jean I shall return to later.

Picture; from the collection of Jean Gammons

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