Jump to content


Photo

Scrapyard in Hawthorne Grove, Penge


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 lauriesmb

lauriesmb

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 15 posts

Posted 10 November 2006 - 09:11 AM

:blink: Well someone out there must know SOMETHING about this surely!!
When i was a kid living in Penge, 1954 through to 1964, my grandfather had a scrapyard next to his house in Hawthorne road. It probably vanished around the late 60's to early 70's or whenever the redevelopment of that area was completed.

His name was Willis, does anyone remember the scrapyard or anything to do with it?

And dont forget, theres more to life than being a grump, so try just smiling and not get the "hump"!

Hasta Manana. B)

#2 Chris Doran

Chris Doran

    Member

  • Members 3
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 195 posts

Posted 10 November 2006 - 12:26 PM

I've had another look at the electoral rolls available at Beckenham Library and found your grandparents at 18 Hawthorn Grove having somehow missed them the first time around:-

1948-51: Emily E Willis, James Willis, Harry T Willis
1952-58: No occupants shown at that address. Maybe a lockup shop and they lived elsewhere?
1958-61: ERs are missing from the library
1962-63: No occupants shown at that address
1964-65: Emily E & Harry T
1966: Another family living there

On the 1933 large-scale map, No 18 appears to have a side alley leading to a large area which could have been his yard. There is a big square building at the end of the yard which may or may not have been anything to do with him -- the Groves area had loads of intriguing back alleys and (presumably) workshops/factories at that time. Of course, it may all have changed in WW2 bombing and I don't have a corresponding 1950s map here.

Still no sign of any of the above in 1950s telephone directories, which is surprising if he ran a business. However, I remember I always had a problem finding anyone in telephone directories around that time. My theory was that the Post Office had some kind of hiatus over whether Penge was in London or Kent and consequently we got missed out of both directories.

Can anyone check Kelly's London directories which include Penge from 1953 on? Lewisham Library's Local Studies section have them, but I don't have time to go there in the near future.

Further back in time: In Kelly's directories to 1939, No 12 is occupied by one Charles Adams who is described as a "marine store dealer", which didn't mean he supplied the boats on Crystal Palace lake -- it was a euphemism for junk shop. He too had a side-alley leading to a back yard. But no Willises at No 18 in 1939.

From 1936 to 1939 there was a Reginald Edward Willis, confectioner, at No 48.

I haven't finished looking yet.

Chris

#3 lauriesmb

lauriesmb

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 15 posts

Posted 12 November 2006 - 09:53 PM

:D Hi Chris, thanks for your reply, it seems quite possible that number 18 was my grandfathers place, the eason i say this is because we lived at number 7, and i clearly remember that if i should on our front step and looked across the road to my grandads place, it would have been roughly a 45 degree angle from our house to his, and that kind of fits that number. I have a photo of me playing outside my house with the road and opposite houses in the background, if you let me know how to attach it to a message then i can show you.

I cant say with any accuracy at all about how long my grandfather lived at that place, but he clearly did run his own scrapyard, and it did extend along the side of the house and out into the rear in like an l shaped bit of ground. He had double wooden doors at the front, next to the house and it was covered in like a lean to effect with a side door leading from inside the building to my grandads house. I can clearly see in my minds eye, the scales he used for weighing the copper/brass and light metals, and the piles of scrap up the sides and out the back! There was a large part of the old train that has been mentioned that ran under Crystal Palace, and as i said, my grandfather told me several times that it was all from the train after it was dug up and scrapped.

In 1964 my Cousin lived in Surrey Towers in Woodbine Grove, his name was Robert Willis. I dont know how long they lived there, but we moved into 22 Kent Towers around the same time. I am not sure if when we moved into Kent Towers with my new Step father, that we lived there under his name( Malcolm John Hendrick) or my mother retained her married name of Willis! its all very confusing! in fact my whole life and family history is full of oddities and weird twists and turns, and it seems that my step father also had a mysterious family past which i am really finding hard to uncover! So far i have no family history that i know of and cant seem to trace anyone! The papers and photos i have were sent to me by a residential home in Leicester where my mother was for some time, but as she has dementia i cant ask her anything either!! I have no living relatives to ask that i know of, and being away from the UK most of my life and caught up with other things, i have not been able to do anything, plus, i am not too clued up on how to track these things down! so all the help i can get is gratefully received.

The papers in my possession are: my parents divorce papers from 1964, my baptism certificate, my original birth certificate, some papers from a london solicitors that dealt with m mums divorce( no longer existant!) i have 1 school report from 1964 when i was at Malcolm primary/junior school, age 10 yrs , class 3B( mrs Shirley) my headmaster was mr Jenner.
I also have a post office savings bank account book opened for me one month after i was born at the Maple Road, Penge branch.it shows a final deposit in 1961 for £1.
Plus i have quite a few photos of my family members and the area where i lived.

I know that both my parents were in the army when they met and were married, my mother was a WRAC driver, and my father was a Royal Engineer and i was told that he was away in Korea in 1950/51. The divorce certificate states that they were married at the Garrison memorial church of the Holy Trinity Donnington, on the 28th November 1953, so that meant that i was already on the way by then!!


So, if you can give me some pointers on where to look or who to ask, or if anyone can help, i would be very grateful!!

best wishes

laurie

#4 Chris Doran

Chris Doran

    Member

  • Members 3
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 195 posts

Posted 13 November 2006 - 02:14 AM

The 1933 map agrees exactly with your recollection of the geometry of the two houses. I'll e-mail you a copy privately.

As I said in my previous private e-mail, your cousin Robert and his parents Gordon and Peggy are shown at 6 Surrey Tower in electoral rolls for 1964-75 with Robert first appearing in 1974. I found a Doreen Willis at 32 Kent Tower from 1964-65, possibly another relative. I will look for Hendricks at 22 next time I'm at the library, where I have also found a load of inter-war Willisses which I'll e-mail to you.

I too have a childhood PO Savings Bank book, from Kent House Post Office (closed in tha latest round of cuts). Somebody once told me the bank was sold to a building society. One day I may find out how to cash it in, probably tricky as my address and signature have changed since the ones in the book. Maybe it's worth more as a collector's item than the cash in the account :)

#5 lauriesmb

lauriesmb

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 15 posts

Posted 14 November 2006 - 08:48 AM

:D Hi Chris, what a great fella you are! I couldnt quite remember my aunties name, butr now you have said it, it was Peggy!! so thats definatly my dads brother and sister in law that lived In surrey towers, my cousin was robert(or bobby as we called him).
My mothers name was Doreen willis, but we did not live at number 32 it was 22 Kent towers, so i think there was a mistake there on the records maybe. Did my parents names show up at 7 Hawthorne Grove? my dad was laurence edwin willis and my mum was doreen kathleen willis. I do remember that the houses in Hawthorne Grove were i think victorian, and quite large! my mum and dad rented rooms to two older people in our house, an old lady rented the attic rooms, and a lady i only remember as "aunty betty" rented the basement rooms.

I have been trying hard to picture our road in my mind, and as i remember it, starting from the top end of Hawthorne Grove, the odd numbers went down to just past my grandfathers house/yard, then there was a big empty space where buildings had been demolished by bombing in WW2, the area was being used around the end of the 50's to early 60's to store the old street lamps that were being replaced, i know this fact only too well because one day i was playing on them and slipped and gashed my head quite bad having had to be rushed to the nearest hospital for stiches! i still have the scar on my forehead to prove!!
opposite this waste land was the building site/demoliton area, most of the houses(odd numbers) on this side of the road were gone, i think they only went down as far as about number 17 because after this the whole area was being made into the housing estate and the two tower blocks of Kent and Surrey towers.

On the information you sent me about the occupation of my grandfathers place, some of it doesnt make sense, in the fact that i know for sure that my nan and grandad lived there permenently, it was their only home. There was a side door from the house leading directly into the scrapyard, it entered just before the scullery, my grandad used to sit there and peel spuds on a sunday! so i dont quite know what to make of that. I dont suppose records were that great in those days so i guess it could be that my grandparents didnt fill in the forms or whatever to show that they still lived there.
Does my dads name show up anywhere in my grandfathers place?

Well, i must say again, you are so very helpful, i didnt have a clue how or where to look, you can imagine how good my book is going to be!! I need to trace my dads military history, but other than knowing he was in the army and obviously based in Donnington at some point(where he married my mother), i know nothing!

My step fathers family history was traced by his twin brother many years ago and his ancestors were the first govenor of Australia, and in fact Adelaide has a huge statue of him and a lots of roads, suburbs and lakes are named after him!. i understand that he commanded a ship alongside Nelson at Trafalgar, so there is plenty of good history there but its not MY blood, so to me it doesnt really count.

My wife has ancestry traced to the pilgrim fathers and was among the first settlers in the USA, so here am i surrounded by all this and dont know a thing about myself or my family to pass on to my sons!

I know i had an uncle that was in the Canadian army during WW2, he was with the Royal regiment of Canada, and was one of the survivors of the disasterous Dieppe raid "operation Jubilee". He actually survived the war and was in many campaigns including the D Day invasion on Juno beach and was involved in the silencing of the big channel guns at calais. Unfortunately he died in 1974 from an illness, so apart from my memories of his telling me about his wartime experiences and the few bits of war memorabilia that he left me, thats as far as i got, and all i know is that he lived in Dorset before moving to Canada with his family.

Well Chris, thanks again and i look forward to all the info you can find/send me! i wil scan the photos i have of the area( unfortunately i am in most as a kid!) and email to you so you can get an idea of the landscape around that time!

best wishes

laurie

ps. The post office book is like you say, probably worth more as a social history object! I have £1 left in mine from the late 60's! do you think its worth millions now due to inflation? or do you think Mr Brown would take most of it!!!
regards

laurie :D

Edited by lauriesmb, 14 November 2006 - 08:55 AM.


#6 lauriesmb

lauriesmb

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 15 posts

Posted 14 November 2006 - 09:00 AM

:D Chris, just to quickly say, i havent received some of the private emails you sent me, dont know if they got lost in internet space or what, but if you kept a copy can you resend. many thanks

regards

laurie

#7 Sandi

Sandi

    Member

  • Members 2
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 50 posts

Posted 14 November 2006 - 11:16 AM

Laurie--re your search for family history: Have you tried genesreunited.co.uk? My mum went on there and found someone else researching our family history--some sort of cousin, I think. Anyway, she learned that one of our relatives was a lion tamer! My husband has had people contact him regarding his family, too. It's definitely worth a go. More and more people are interested in their roots, so you very well may find some long-lost relatives.

Friendsreunited.co.uk is a great site, too, for finding old schoolmates. I just visited the site to see if they had many people who left in 1965 (which is when I figured you'd have left if you were 10 in 1964) and there are quite a few. Did you know you went to school with Tony Bradman, the author?

Edited by Sandi, 14 November 2006 - 11:24 AM.


#8 lauriesmb

lauriesmb

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 15 posts

Posted 14 November 2006 - 12:54 PM

B) Hi Sandi, thanks for your message! I have'nt tried either of those sites you mentioned. One problem i would have with old school friends is the fact that i wasnt at my schools for very long because of my family situation. I was a "normal" stable kid from birth until my mum and dad split up( i was just 7 years old then), and went to Malcolm primary/junior school until i was just over 10 yrs old. After that my stepfather came into my life( and the beatings etc started) and moved us from penge to Brockley rise where he bought a shop, i went to Stillness School until my 11 plus and passed with the highest mark enabling me to go to any school onwards. My stepfather was a real bad person and hated me, he didnt like the fact that i was smart and that i was a miniture image of my real dad! He sent me to william penn comprehensive Grammar school in Dulwich, but again, i was only there a year as the headmaster thought i should be addmitted to Dulwich College. I was accepted butthen after being there only 3 months, my step father moved our family down to Ramsgate in Kent! I think from memory i must have attended about 8 different schools until i finally left, so school friends are probably not going to remember me! I didnt really have any real friends as far as i can remember through those days, only when i lived in Penge and then again after school.

I have sent emails to both Malcolm school in Penge and to William penn, Stillness and Dulwich college to see if there are any records they have about me, old school reports etc to give me some background to finding out who i am, but none of these establishments have bothered to reply.

My childhood stopped when my step father took control, and it was like my life was suspended until i was in my mid teens, i dont feel i had a "normal" childhood because of the mental/physical etc abuse i suffered at his hands.

The basis of my book is about childhood abuse, because one thing i clearly do remember about my life as a kid growing up in 50's 60's England, is the terrible pain and suffering i had to put up with and its been bottled up all these years, needing to be written down.

Sorry! turned a bit miserable there!

On a lighter note, i did have quite a few now famous classmates in my school life! some famous actors and musicians, and heres a little fact that no one probably knows, but when my stepfather had a shop in Brockley, we rented an upstairs room for 6 months to a brilliant black guitarist called Jimmi Hendrix. My step father always stated that in those early days he(Jimmi) was just starting out and according to my Step father, he used his surname but changed the ck to the x, because it sounded cool. I do remember the music and the wild guitar playing, but other than that i couldnt say with any honesty that i remember him personally.

Anything you turn up in your searches would be gratefully received!

thanks again Sandi.
:D

#9 Chris Doran

Chris Doran

    Member

  • Members 3
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 195 posts

Posted 19 November 2006 - 06:18 PM

I've double-checked and the mistake was mine, your mum is indeed at twenty-two Kent Tower, but only for the ER of 1964-5. For other years the names at 22 are quite different, and no sign of your stepfather at any time up to 1969 when I stopped looking.

She is also shown, as Katherine Willis, at 7 Hawthorn Grove in 1962-3, along with one Arthur Scarlett, presumably in one of the rented rooms, but no sign of aunty Betty. I've still to look for the 1959-61 ERs that Beckenham Library don't have.

I can only conclude that the omission of your grandparents was just that they didn't return the forms.

I'm afraid it's very hard to get replies from schools. Among other excuses, they say they're too busy with government paperwork to handle enquiries from the public.

Before I send any more info, did you get the map I e-mailed?

#10 Sandi

Sandi

    Member

  • Members 2
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 50 posts

Posted 19 November 2006 - 08:23 PM

I'm afraid it's very hard to get replies from schools. Among other excuses, they say they're too busy with government paperwork to handle enquiries from the public.


Chris, I replied to Laurie privately re: getting info from schools, but for general information: I was a school secretary at Royston for seven years, and we always passed on all student info to the pupil's new school. To the best of my knowledge, the only records that we kept were old "behaviour" books (in which bad behaviour was recorded) (which, incidentally, the head that I worked for changed to the "good book", in which children's personal bests were recorded and read out at assembly--a much better idea, but I digress) and one simply couldn't trawl through those looking for an individual pupil. Schools just don't keep ex-pupils on file.

I rate Friends Reunited quite highly. Through that site, my husband has contacted several old school friends and teachers, and it was through that site that I contacted the gentleman who helped me so much with information about Beckenham and Penge Grammar School for The Secret Shelter.

#11 bebofpenge

bebofpenge

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 12 posts

Posted 13 August 2009 - 07:31 AM

I can remember in the 50s taking scrap metal and rags up to the scrap yard to supplement my pocket money. My main source of income in those days was by selling chopped firewood at a penny halfpenny a bundle. My brother and I did that for years up Maple Road and around the Groves. We usually sold old by Laurel Grove,