Next to Bellingham Railway Station on Randlesdown Road where it bridges over the railway line on the edge of the Bellingham Council Estate in South London where Tony Sargeant grew up. There was a hall attached to the Pub (down the steps which are of shot on the extreme left) in which Tony Sargeant’s parents held their wedding reception in February 1941 – His Paternal grandparents were killed a few months later on the last night of the London Blitz when a German bomb flattened their house in Broadmead Road. Later the hall was to achieve some fame as the training venue of the boxer Henry Cooper. Tony remembers seeing Henry and his brother, who lived on the estate, running around the estate together as part of their training in the 1950s.
Jo Gamgee was a friend in 1964 and we went to see this film at the Streatham Odeon
Judging by the costumes, and knowing the history of the Bellingham Council Estate in South London, Anthony J Sargeant thinks this photograph was probably taken in the 1920-30s. Surprisingly the pool was still much the same as shown here when Tony worked as a lifeguard at the pool in the early 1960’s, but it has long since been closed. In the British climate it was only open from May to September and the upkeep must have been astronomical. In the British Summer there were many days when only one or two people would swim but still the pool was staffed with a minimum of 12 people (two 6 hour shifts of six people 8 am to 2 pm then 2 pm to 8 pm).
Anthony J Sargeant was born and grew up in South London. The 179 Bus Route then ran from Grove Park through Downham and Bellingham to Catford then Brockley to Blackfriars Bridge on the Thames in Central London. Tony took this bus in 1955 from Bellingham to Brockley when he went with his mother to be interviewed aged 11 for entry into Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School.
The Houses of Parliament photographed on a rainy winter’s afternoon from the South Bank of the Thames just below Waterloo Bridge. A bleak and lonely Sunday and this picture perfectly captures the mood on that day all those years ago.
Anthony Sargeant and his partner drove down through Europe in an Austin A35 van and ended up here in Sibenik on the Adriatic coast of what was then Yugoslavia ruled by Tito.
This photograph was taken on a small wooded resort island just of the coast of Sibenik where small ferry boats took holiday makers to enjoy the sun and the sea.
Šibenik is a city on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. It’s known as a gateway to the Kornati Islands. The 15th-century stone Cathedral of St. James is decorated with 71 sculpted faces. Nearby, the Šibenik City Museum, in the 14th-century Prince’s Palace, has exhibits ranging from prehistory to the present. The white stone St. Michael’s Fortress has an open-air theater, with views of Šibenik Bay and neighboring islands.
In 1940-50s South-London there were few washing machines. The mother of Anthony Sargeant did not have one but she did have a cast-iron mangle such as this which was housed in the shed at the bottom of the garden. The shed was in fact a re-purposed corrugated iron from a WW2 Anderson bomb shelter.
All laundry was done in a large heated copper boiler in the kitchen using a thick wooden pole to stir it around (the thick pole rather like a metre long broom handle also had another use – it was sometimes used to whack Tony when his Mother deemed him to have misbehaved).
Heavily soiled pieces of laundry were additionally rubbed on a washing board at the large ceramic sink in the kitchen. After rinsing out the soapy water in the sink the wet laundry was carried up the garden and put through the the wooden rollers of the mangle to squeeze out as much water as possible. The washing was then pegged out along the clothes line which ran the length of the garden. This was not advisable if the wind was coming from the direction of the local gasworks which was less than half a mile away, because at certain stages of the manufacture of Town Gas the coking ovens door would be opened and the wind would carry sooty smuts across the neighbourhood.