Childhood reminiscences, late 1940s
I lived at number 35 Bennett Road. I remember Sussex Crumpets, where a carrier bag of damaged crumpets could be had for a tanner in the late afternoon. I also remember the bombsite where we played for hours and hours. I remember Phillip Mansfield and his brother and his parents and grandparents. The Mansfields lived next to Ian (Sid) Bradstock by the telephone pole. Mr. Mansfield was a prison warder as was my uncle Arty, who served in Wandsworth and Pentonville and Canterbury prisons.
The local shop
The shop at number 2 Bennett Road was first an ice cream factory in the late 40s. When we kids stood outside long enough one of the girls would bring us out a block of ice-cream to share among us. After that if I remember rightly, it was a bike shop run by Bert and his wife. And after that it was a sort of DIY store selling all sorts of bits and bobs. It was owned by a Mr. Thompson and his wife, they both later moved to a shop in Whitehawk Road. I think it became a pet shop after that. I never remembered a fish and chip shop in Bennett Road, there was a fish and chip shop on the corner of Rugby place, the next street down.
Big pools winners
The Bostons winning the pools was a big story when we were kids, they bought a Rover 75 with a cyclops headlight, and they also bought their house and the one next door at number 29 where the Macklins lived.
Fun in Sheepcote Valley
The military stuff that we played on was over in the dump at Sheepcote Valley, another big fun playground of the time. We were quite good at building our own pedal bikes, and Sheepcote Valley was a splendid source of bike bits. We usually came home covered in dirt from raking around the tip.
Mrs Smith and her parrot
The sweet shop at number 1 was where we spent our pocket money usually on the lucky dip. I remember Mrs. Smith and her parrot. I can see the cage now with it’s black knob on the top. She would put the cage outside in the summer. Later came Mr. Mrs. Bridges, and indeed he was a good electrician. I can remember loads of times from Bennett Road, but what I did last week I would have to look in my diary. I wonder if there are any more folk with memories from that time in our lives.