My first Job was for British Railways – by GS

Yes, I left Grey Court at 15 and my first jo bwas with British Railways, you had to go for a medical up in London to make sure you were OK for the job. I started work in 1957 round about late January early February 1957.  I started on the railways at St Margaret’s in East Twickenham and I did platform duty for a bit and went up in the […]

Building a home in Ham – by VG

Then my husband had a friend who was the architect for the London County Council and he said why don’t you look for some land and have it built.  It won’t cost anymore and it would be appropriate and so my husband wrote to every London borough.  The only two replies he got were from Wandsworth where there was a bomb site, one small space in a terrace of houses […]

Fierce headmistress at the Russell School – by VG

So back to the 1950’s, well Paul went to Petersham Russell in 1957 the other two went a year later because of when their birthdays came, they were 21 months younger and I had these other two who were four years younger so they went, they all went through those schools. Well it was a lovely little school but, all the mothers would say the same, the headmistress Miss Anderson […]

Compass Borstal Club – by TH

My father founded the first Borstal Club in Great Britain in Feltham Young Offenders after the War and got Margaret Rutherford, Dame Margaret Rutherford, to be the Patron and she was very fond of my father and in her autobiography,  she had my father as her adopted son as such so she was a great family member, she was at my mother and father’s wedding,  Because he started the Borstal […]

Nov 5th bonfire, Ham Common – by HS

I always remember one, one of the things that I regret doesn’t happen now, as kids, there used to be an enormous bonfire on the Common for Guy Fawkes night and people used to contribute stuff for that over the rest of the year and it was quite an occasion.  Unfortunately had to be stopped because vandals were setting it off, setting it alight long before November the 5th and […]

Nov 5th bonfire, Ham Common – by PP

Bonfire night on Ham Common was wonderful. The locals used to start building the bonfire at the beginning of November or even before and people used to take down an enormous pile. They would take their fireworks down and everybody got together. Everybody from the village went down there on Bonfire Night and had great fun and then people started to come in from outside. “Let’s go down to Ham; […]

Ham Lands, plant life and threats to its existance – by GH

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 […]

Filling in Ham Lands – by MW

You used to get the Ham River Grit Company, they must have been filling it up then.  They used to come past 24 hours a day down our road and I can also remember my sister and I, when the lakes were there, we used to go tadpoling over there.   Well, I suppose, when you’re small, it seems much bigger, doesn’t it?  It covered a good area, like it still […]