I can remember walking down to Teddington Lock along a narrow footpath with the gravel pits on one side. Later when I was part of a youth group from Richmond, we all came over to the ‘pits’ and lit a bonfire and had a ‘sausage sizzle’ one evening – that must have been in the 1950s.
They both went to Meadlands and then they both went to Grey Court and when they left school they didn’t want to go to university but on their Saturdays they’d been working at Mr Walsh’s polo stables, helping to look after the horses, and they said that Mr Walsh said that we could work there after we leave school if we want to. So they did.
We used to like riding, so we came to Ham because we used to ride with Billy Walsh who had these wonderful polo stables on the Common which are now part of the estate of, I can’t remember his name even, an Arab prince, right by Ham Gate. This was the stable and we used to drive down from London, we lived right at Marble Arch in a lovely flat in the West End, but we liked the country. So whilst we were here we thought what about moving to a house, our families wanted to buy us a house […]
Those huge houses in that part of Petersham had all been part of the Dysart estate and it was split up, I think at the end of the 1950s. They were all Dysart estate anyway and the Manor House… they were let off I think, because we were the first freehold owners of it. All those houses had been part of the Dysart estate, well finally it was broken up and… they were let out, because there were a lot of elderly ladies living in those houses. There was an old lady living in the Manor House…. I don’t know […]
There used to a lovely ice rink in Richmond and there were dance halls and there was always loads to do, you know, coffee shops. So how did you get around, was it all by..? Bus, yeh. I mean no-one owned a car. The dance hall, was that in Richmond? It was in the same block as the Town Hall. I think there’s a little road and Palm Court used to be down there and it was right on the corner and above. I can’t remember what it was called now but, I mean, it was just so totally […]
Let me again relate this to a Ham story and the part of the era. I grew up so my youth was mid ‘60s into the ‘70s and there were distinctly 2 types of youth cultures then: one was either a Mod and rode round on a motor scooter and they were Lambrettas and Vespa scooters or one was a Rocker or Greaser and they were on motor bikes. Most of my friends – all of my friends – were more on the Mod side and rode round on motor scooters as opposed to motor bikes. Outside the youth club […]
The large building which is now a youth club, I believe, on Ham Close – that started out just called Ham Hall. That was a hall for the use of the community in general. It wasn’t particularly just a youth club. It was quite a nice place when it started. It had a staging area. There was local guy, I guess he would have been in his twenties or so, from Petersham, a person called Geoff Ware, he and his friend used to run dances there on weekend. He used to hire bands. There were some really, really good dances […]
Growing up in Lawrence Rd did you have, you know, friends in the road? Oh yes, lots. I mean, where these children you went to school with as well? Yes, some of them but a lot of them were Catholic and so didn’t go to the same school but there was always playtime in the evening or afternoon and we were lucky we had a grassed area in Lawrence Rd and we all used to collect on there and play. I mean my mother wasn’t very keen on this because she didn’t like children playing outside away from home and […]
There was the Gaumont which I.., it’s all changed now. That was great, and of course, the Richmond Odeon and, of course, you had the Kingston Odeon which turned into the Bingo Hall which is now shut and getting developed into something else, I don’t know what and, of course, you had the ice rink, you know Twickenham Ice Rink or Richmond Ice Rink as it was known, which I went very rarely because I was useless on the ice and and of course the swimming baths, Richmond Swimming Baths and, of course, you’ve got the Teddington Lock Swimming Baths […]
There was a lady on the Tudor Estate that turned her front room into a dancing school and we used to put on shows and, I think it’s still there.