Particular Memories

St. Helier Estate

By John Maslin

Photo:Inside 90 Waltham Rd c1955

Inside 90 Waltham Rd c1955

John Maslin

I was born at 90 Waltham Road in 1946, in the days when the bath was in the kitchen and it had wooden top that closed down over it to form a worktop. Went to Tweeddale Infants and Junior School and then moved to Muchelney Road where I went to Garth Secondary Modern (which was then a boys' school only). Things that particularly stick out in my memory.....Saturday morning pictures at the Gaumont (I later worked at the Bingo Hall there!), the woods that were bordered by Wrythe Lane, Robertsbridge Road, Tweeddale Road and Middleton Road, before the running track was built, the prefabs in Middleton Road, the woods that ran from Green Wrythe Lane to Peterborough Road and the small ditch that went the length of it, the Vinegar Man with his horse and cart, the Hemmings Baker Man who pulled his cart round the streets, the Corona Man (oh, how I loved the Corona Man!), the annual childrens' outing to Littlehampton and the Coronation Party in the Community Hall in Middleton Road near the junction with St. Helier Avenue.

This page was added by John Maslin on 27/02/2011.
Comments about this page

Hi, I grew up on the estate. Green Lane, Morden, just 60 or 70 yards along from Middleton Road and the shops. Oh those shops!! For a boy born just after the war, they were the tops. I could get chips. I could get current buns and I could even buy four, 'Domino' cigarettes together with a book of matches and then, there was the man from, 'LEO's with the best lollies in the world. I remember, that if I was good, I could have one. If I had been naughty, I had to wait another long week till the man called again. I was born in 1946 and I went to Canterbury Road school thro-out my education. Academia was not for me but I was oblivious to that. I remember that I used to laugh at the kids from Glastonbury Road school when they had to traipse all the way up the hill to the Kitchens at Middleton Road for their school meal. (half of them bought buns or chips on their way and didn't really want to be there at all) I had a fantastic time growing up on the St. Helier estate. There was Morden Park where, once I was bitten by the Park Ranger's Alsation dog because I was scrumping in the disused Abatoire just on the left as you enterred from the main A24 up to the main house. The Ranger, we used to call him, 'Flappers' as he had huge feet (At least to us as boys, they seemed huge enough). There was the Gaumont at Rose Hill and the Odeon at Morden for the Saturday morning films. (Someone let all the, 'erks' in through the Emergency Exit [Not me though] and it was great fun knowing, that once they were all in, no-one could prove who they actually were) As I grew older and left school I got a job near to the, 'Sleepeezee' factory between Morden and South Wimbledon. There, I met my future wife and the rest, as they say, is History. Great times, Great memories, a Great place to grow up in. Thanks, 'ST. HELIER estate'. By Vince Bridle (Not yet approved)

By Vince Bridle
On 30/11/2012

Living in Peterborough Road, as I did from 1942, I enjoyed the green spread of Poulter Park which was literally at the bottom of my garden. Here my friends and I could run around, play Cowboys and Indians, Soldiers and even Mothers and Fathers if goaded enough by the girls. We fished in the Wandle from the Watermeads at one end of the park, in the mill pond of Deeds Mill, on to the waterfall and under the Middleton Road bridge to the tannery mills and beyond. Were all those summer days as sunny as I recall, did we really find the time for so many pastimes and games? Us kids had seasons for hopscotch and grotto making, 'Penny for the Guy' of course and swinging from a lamppost arm on the end of a rope. The girls would skip in the road all year round but when the weather was right would get us lads joining in the street games like 'Walking to London and Back' 'Queenie Queenie, who's got the Ball' 'Blackintopper' and many others. Poulter park had an orchard to scrump in so long as you were not caught by 'Old Grumpy' my next door neighbour, the big house where the cricketers had their after match tea and the old army huts at the other end by the two sets of steps; where the VE Party was held in 1945 and eventually became a council store and changing rooms for footballers. In the years after the war, we could be part of or watch the area school sports day and at least once, I recall The All England Schools Games being held there. Poulter Park eventually got its own 'Rec' with a slide, roundabout, umbrella and sea saw but prior to that, we kids would stop our fishing and games when the 'Drainhole Men' came to empty their sludge down by the river; then dozens of us would pour through the stinking muck looking for marbles, ball bearings and 'Treasures' lost down the drain. Great memories of simple pleasures in the park; I can only hope that this generation enjoys it as much as I and my friends did in our time.

By Ron Harris
On 12/05/2013

I too remember the Parkie, Flappers and his alsation. Also the ex piggery near the entrance to the park from the dual carriageway. I lived in Hatfeild Mead. Do you remember the big hill in Morden Park and the paddling pool by the big house and the window from where they sold sweets and ices?

By John Wilkin
On 16/08/2013

I remember going to the Saturday morning pictures at the Gaumont, Rose Hill. My best friends lived in Green Lane (the Tallboy twins) and I kept in touch with them until the early 90s. Lost them now as Brenda ,married a David Brown and moved to the USA. Vera died unfortunately when she was still quite young. I used to go to St.Peters Church, was confirmed there too.Moved to Green Wrythe Gardens when I was about 6 I think. Loved the kids in the area, had a great time - no bullying in those days. We just looked out for each other. LEOs lollies -yum - dont make them like that any more! I loved the one with the three or four colours and the creamy bit in the middle....

By Maureen Hurt
On 10/09/2013

Leo's lollies were indeed the best Maureen and like you I liked the creamy bit. Saturday Morning flicks were something I looked forward too; my favourite serial being a Gene Autry called The Thuder Riders that had robots and death rays as well as an evil queen and cowboys. All the baddies got melted in the end: No films like that anymore.

By Ron Harris
On 27/09/2013

Who remembers the Ashby family from Green Lane. I recall as a child in the 50's, I used to see the Dad walking so fast with a bloodhound on a leash past our house going to the shops at the top of Middleton Road opposite St. Helier station. He used to terrify me, but for no reason. I was so young and he walked soooooo fast with that dog. !!!!!!!

By Vince Bridle
On 29/01/2014

Can anybody with a good memory shed some light on the waterfall that was situated on the River Wandle near the Bishopsford Road entrance by Wandle Bridge there was a gate which needed a key as this was a Watermeads pathway.I was about six at the time so your talking about 1959.I can just remember a group of us kids with fish paste sandwiches and a bottle of Tizer exploring the wonders of the banks of the River Wandle.We came across this wonderful waterfall and to the right of it a giant cross say twelve foot in height, each end of the arm of the cross had a wooden ball attached to it.The cross was very old as the wood had aged.I am now sixty but this wondrous site has stayed locked in my childhood memory's for all these years, like the watercress beds and the waterwheels along this river.I have tried the internet in vain to find out information on this waterfall. At that time no one from our background had camera's so much of our childhood relies on memory which fades with time.I would say that a person in there middle seventies would be able to give a clear account of the location of the waterfall, and that cross.Checking your website there has only been one mention of this waterfall but no location or other history regarding it, as to the builder, the date it was erected.I am wondering if it was it part of the Poulter Estate? I hope that someone out there can answer my above questions.

By Terry Broad
On 09/03/2014

My Grandmother Alice Knight formally Millington lived in Bodmin Grove where she raised her family with my Grandfather Percy Millington, they had 4 daughters and 2 sons my aunts and uncles. By the late 50s all had left home the last to go was my Aunt Kathy who went to work in the U.S.A. around 1957 she is sill there. My mother Patricia Millington and my Dad Joe Tate were living in Crouch Hill where I was born. Most weekends in the late 1950s and early 60s we would make the journey on the underground from Finsbury Park to Morden.

I can remember the journey and the arrival at Morden it was like a different world. The walk up to Bodmin Grove the wide open roads and all the green trees and grass. My Gran's garden seemed like a park in itself with the old air raid shelter at the bottom, Compared to our 3 rooms above a shop in North London with the still undeveloped Bomb sites and prefabs still there in 1960.

St. Helier was paradise then to me.

My Mum has many memories of the people and the estate.

By Barry Tate
On 04/11/2014

I was born in 1941 in Waltham road at no 111 with with my 2 brothers Jim and Stan and 2 sisters Peg and Barbara before moving to Garendon road no 105.  

By Gordon Gale
On 14/05/2017

Thank you for these lovely memory pages.  can anybody help me with information of the Holmes family who lived a few doors from the Rose pub in Bishopsford Rd. my nan and granddad Jack and Sally as people knew them frequented it almost every night and sat next to the bar and they had a dog called ruff who drank guinness with them his whiskers were always brown.  If anyone has any snippet of information I would love to hear from them.

By Pat Collings nee Holmes
On 14/05/2017

Hello Gordon Gale, you probably will not remember me but I remember you when I believe you married a Maureen Padget who lived in Love Lane. Her younger sister Carol was a bridesmaid at my sister Christine's wedding back in 1969.

We lived at 119 Love Lane just by the railway bridge.

Other lads you may remember are:- Brian Burrows, Ted Harford, George Reader, Keith Bristow, Colin Lill, Denis Cox, Roy Clemence, Roy Barnaby, Gordon Johnson, Ted Atkinson.

Ray Vail

By Ray Vail
On 08/08/2017

Someone asked about the Ashby family. They are still there on Green Lane. I agree, my dad was pretty scary.

By Peter Ashby
On 01/04/2020

Hi, I know Roy Barnaby, he now lives in the USA

By Raymond Glen
On 21/04/2020

Hi all just seen my dads name mentioned in one of the comments, unfortunately he (Gordon Johnson ) passed away yesterday 20.09.21 in Southampton at the young age of 79.I know my Dad loved growing up and living on the estate for most of his life. I know his long time best mate Roy Clemance is still with us and lots of friends are still around on the estate. 

By Kevin Lee Johnson
On 21/09/2021

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