Thursday, 19 July 2018

Well Hall on a wet day in 1964

Now just what do you do on a Saturday morning in early July when the rain is coming down like stair rods?

I rather think an adventure in the woods is pretty much out of the question and likewise the attractions of the market in Beresford Square or the ferry fall away as the rain just keeps falling.

After all even the upbeat market stall holders found their quick fire banter and optimistic sales pitch a bit harder when everything felt damp, while the sight of the Thames held little appeal when the rain clouds all but touched the water.

There were Saturday morning pictures but at 14 that all seemed a bit below me which just left the Library on the High Street and the bus ride down to Avery Hill.

In 1964 it would be a good two years before I started at Crown Woods and so this end of Eltham was still unexplored territory.

I am guessing I went into the hot house but I may have got that all wrong, although fast forward a few years and  I am convinced it was one of those places I visited on Sundays with new girl friends following the Saturday date at the ABC in the High Street.

There will be plenty who remember the scenario ........ the evening went well, you both wanted to see each other again but wanted a place more casual, and above all cheap.

So Avery Hill fitted the bill giving both of you that added advantage of being able to close down the romance and go your separate ways, allowing the rest of Sunday to be salvaged.

But all that was in the future, back in 1964 my options were more limited and ended up with a walk round the Pleasaunce, a trip up to Wilcox’s opposite the parish church and a trip up to London.

The train journey in itself was an adventure and the noise and bustle of London Bridge or Charing Cross could make up for what had been a dull morning in Well Hall.

At 14, pubs were still off bounds, but there were museums, art galleries and monuments to look at. All were free and most were out of the rain.

And of course by the time you got back the clouds had cleared, the pavements dry and the night held out all sorts of promise.

Location; Eltham

Pictures; Eltham, 2013 from the collection of Jean Gammons

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