I first got involved in local politics at the 1970 general election just over 3 years after we had moved here. Ham had no Liberal Association, it was one of the derelict wards, to use the standard term, and I was asked would I go round and collect a few memberships, which was a gentle way of getting involved, collecting five shillings off this person and five shillings off somebody else, and nine months after I got involved were the local elections. As far as Ham is concerned what was good about Ham as a local Councillor particularly an active […]
The one big drama we had at the end of the 70s was the Petersham Hole. The sewer collapsed right in the middle of Petersham where there is no alternative route between Richmond and Kingston apart from Richmond Park and it was patched up in the Spring of 1978 and almost immediately collapsed again and the Council engineers and the transport people decided they had to replace both foul water and rainwater sewers, I found out a lot more about sewers than I had ever realised I wanted to know because of all this. For instance there is a brick […]
When my job was moved to Gunnersbury, the office block over Gunnersbury Station, we decided it was time to try and buy a house and we finished up almost accidentally in Ham, we wanted a modern house, we didn’t have a lot of money and we didn’t like the 1930s or the older stuff. Both us had grown up in 1930s houses and almost by accident we moved to the Wates Estate in Ham. This was a relatively new development, we must have been one of the first second owners, the house we bought was only 18 months old and […]
Well, St Richards School we had understood was getting ready for opening in the near future so we put their names down for that school but it wasn’t ready so Ian, our older boy, actually went first of all to St Andrews school which is now St Thomas Aquinas the catholic church. That had been the old village school. And when Andrew became ready to go to school that was full so he started school at Meadlands while we were waiting for St Richards school on the estate to open.
Meadlands School physically was a smaller place then but while I was there they did extend it and it has been extended still. In terms of the number of classrooms it was smaller. I think I went there for 3 years; a couple of years prior to that I was in the Oakfield Nursery School. I was there up until 1965 at Meadlands – physically a smaller place. It did need new classrooms. They built them just onto the edge of the playground and the edge of the field. They built two temporary wooden classrooms – supposedly temporary – but […]
I think it’s purely something that you have to accept for yourself, the people that lived in Ham, the majority of them that I knew that lived in the vicinity of the prison were quite happy about it. I think that as it went on I don’t think the people in Ham had any problems with the prison being there, in fact I think they thought it was quite secure living around there. For instance, when we went out we never ever locked our doors because we knew that the environment all around there people just wouldn’t break into houses […]
There was the cashier in the bank, Barclays, on Ham Parade. There is a memorial seat to her outside the bank – Angela Woolliscroft, it was 1976 I think. There was bank robber who went into Barclays bank and demanded money. She gave it to him, as they were told to do, but he used a shot gun and killed her at point blank range. She was about 20 years old at the time. That was a rather violent event.
There was a Police box in Ham, do you remember it? Yes, that was in the garden of 1 Lock Road on the junction with Ham Street and Lock Road so it was in that top corner and it was blue like a Tardis and it had just a little window where you could open it and call the police. We never had any police in Ham, it was very rare that you saw a policeman, in fact the only one you did see was the Common keeper, Mr Wooldridge, who you were terrified of because he was always telling […]
Tell me about how Ham Fair has chamged. Great memories and great change; A bit like Ham Pond really. It is very different compared with how it used to be – very, very up-market and civilised now. It was a much more local thing, the Ham Fairs and Ham events when I was growing up. We are probably talking maybe early 70’s. Certainly the Ham Fairs were much more local and smaller events. One could really go the fair and walk round and say hello to almost everyone there. It was nice in that way. Today it is a huge […]
Well, it was a builder’s rubbish dump in those days and the local population used to refer to it as the Wastelands. It was a thoroughly unpleasant, untidy heap of old plaster, bricks, baths and general debris and only slowly did it start to get cleared. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the then newly appointed Liberal council, for the European Year of the Environment, cleared it completely and skimmed it with topsoil, which absolutely transformed it from an eyesore into an area of considerable interest and significance for botanists, dog walkers and the population generally. Tell me more about […]