I decided that I would go back to my roots where I came from and the nearest prison that was available to me was Latchmere House or Ashford Remand Centre and I was lucky enough to get Latchmere House. I worked in Latchmere House on and off for twenty-two years.
I was totally unqualified for anything actually including the guitar completely unqualified, and they said they wanted somebody to do music with the boys at the Remand Home, 15-19 they were and she said oh yes I’ve got the person, so I worked at the Remand Home for a few years.
My dad’s brothers, two of them were bookmakers and they had a business in Ham which they used to run from the house in 1 Lawrence Road in those days because betting was illegal although there was all sorts of things going on, people were exchanging bets in pubs and sort of things but it was illegal really, but they had a proper licenced office at the top of the […]
Well you see in Latchmere Close we were a very close-knit community, we used to go in the prison club in the evenings, but it was only people that you’d worked with all day and you see them most of the day even when you were off duty you were still altogether in the environment, you just didn’t mix with the outsiders because there was no need to because we […]
My brother didn’t, I suppose, play so much, but I used to play in the road a lot with children down the road. I remember that we had a bike, my sister and I, which we shared and we had a skipping rope which was tied to the lamppost, because there wasn’t any cars then, so those days we played outside a lot. We roamed around Ham! We used to […]
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 […]
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, […]
This woman came out of the end cottage, she said they’re after my chickens, so me and my mate panicked, sheer panic now isn’t it, we run along the top of this wall which is nine inch wide and we ran out into Back Lane and then there was a fence there on the end of it, I don’t know if it’s still there I never look now, and next […]
It was very, very safe and peaceful childhood up to the war of course. We had an Anderson shelter, I can remember my father fitted it out beautifully and we slept there. Normally we went to bed there, we didn’t get up in the night. I can remember him getting us all up to see the fires of London, it’s an abiding memory is that. And watching the German planes […]
Of course where the prison was, Latchmere, that used to be a Prisoner of War camp. Can you remember much about that? No, not really, I mean we were forbidden to go near it and that used to be a Prisoner of War camp.