The Esso Blue man
I lived at 3 Henfield Way in the 1960s; I was the youngest of seven children. The winters were certainly very cold, so I loved it when the Esso Blue man used to deliver the pink or blue paraffin. I remember the fish man, and the rag and bone man ringing his bell, and at Easter the sea cadets used to parade around the streets playing their instruments. Sundays on the green was always great fun with the men and boys playing football, before the mums called everyone in for lunch.
Lollies for free
‘Sally Stores’ was a brilliant sweet shop, they sold more penny sweets (old money of course) than anywhere else. I and my best friend Vicky Thaxter who lived across the road in Clark Avenue, used to buy crisps off the grocer’s van, and I would always favour Nelson’s ice cream because if you said “Do you have any broken lollies?”, he’d break a “smash lolly” and give it to you for free.
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‘Dial a disc’
Summers were long, and playing in the fields was always great fun. Did you ever do book and skate down the hill. “Parkie” was always scary, he could bring about some discipline to the youth of today. There used to be a hairdressers by the garage and a Ladybird shop called ‘Lorraines’. We had one telephone box for the area, it was on the corner by the road which led to Poynings Drive. On a Sunday kids would queue to phone up ‘dial-a-disc’ to see and hear who was top of the charts. If you did not have any money, you would get three seconds of music for free.
The walk to The Grenadier was endless, having to carry home so many pounds of potatoes, covered in mud and wrapped in newspaper; Geoff was the greengrocer I remember. There used to be a kind of hardware store leading down to the library, it had a smell all of its own. Then there was Dr Yauner on the corner of Poynings Drive, he’d peer at you from over his glasses, as he sat behind his large wooden desk. Most treasured were all the kids on the estate, and if you didn’t have any sugar, “Mrs up the road ” would always give you some. I lived their until I was thirteen, I was sad to leave, I now live in Kent.