I remember one year (it must have been after the war was over) being brought over to Ham Common one 5th November, and enjoying watching an enormous bonfire, which I believe was an annual event.
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 was an outside loo, there was a coalhole and one has been able to gradually change it. But I remember when I moved in, two of the cottages still had gaslight and they had gaslight until 1972, when natural gas arrived and also, about the second week I’d moved in, I had a knock on the door from a lady who lived further down, and she said,’ can you come and help me, dear?” Of course I went in to a completely unaltered cottage and I was absolutely shocked at the sort of poverty of it, really, and they […]
We had carols on the Common every Christmas for about six years we were doing that and also in the summer. Was this in the 80’s, 90’s? The last one was 2005 and then the year of the centenary of the view from the top of the hill we did a very big one it was sponsored by Jason Debney, yes, anyway and we did a programme it was called Aspects of Richmond, obviously you couldn’t find enough songs and poems about Richmond itself but with some judicious altering of words they became about Richmond (laughter).
Father Christmas used to leave from Hawkers, there used to be a procession into Kingston – do you remember? And that was another big event that you just went out to… there was a procession and the Father Christmas at the end of it and they went through to… I think it was Bentalls! That was the old Bentalls building.