Town square in Sibenik photographed by Tony Sargeant in 1966

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This small square in the old part of Sibenik was where Anthony Sargeant and his friend eat on many days while staying in the town in 1966. At that time it was still under communist rule with President Tito as head of state of what was then Yugoslavia but is now Croatia. The town lies on the Adriatic coast of Dalmatia.

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Diocletian’s Palace in Split

Photographed by Anthony Sargeant when on holiday in 1966. Split is a port on the Adriatic Coast of what was then Yugoslavia, now Croatia. Diocletian was the only Roman Emperor ever to retire which he did in 305 AD and had built the palace in Split in preparation for that retirement. It was both a residence for Diocletian and his entourage but also a military garrison.

London County Council Bellingham Estate in South London

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The Map shows the Bellingham Council Estate as it was in the 1930s at which time the parents of Anthony Sargeant were rehoused there with their parents and siblings from Peckham and Bermondsey. The Secondary School on the very southern edge of the Estate was not built until the 1950s when Sedgehill Comprehensive School opened its doors. The Estate was started in the 1920s as part of the LCC initiative to rehouse people from sub-standard housing in Bermondsey and Camberwell. It was part of the ‘Homes fit for Heroes’ initiative after the First World War. The hub of the estate was The Green with the two churches facing one another – Bellingham Congregational Church on the left and The Church of England Parish Church of St Dunstan on the right. Notable on the map is the Orphanage towards the south of the estate which is designated ‘Waifs and Strays Home’.

There were two elementary schools, after the 1944 Education Act they became primary schools with infants and junior schools. When Tony Sargeant attended Elfrida School in the 1950s there were separate boys and girls junior schools.

Bellingham Congregational Church, London.

bellingham-congregational-church-001 Anthony Sargeant went to Sunday School, Bible Study Groups, and Cubs (Scouting Association – 7th Lewisham South Pack)at this church from about 1951-1955: That is from age 7 to 11. At the time the Church Hall to the right was part of the whole complex although it appears now to be separated and managed by the Bellingham Community Association as shown on the notice board and separate entrance. The Church and Hall was probably built in the 1930s at the centre of the Bellingham Council Estate. On the opposite side of The Green which forms the hub of the estate is St Dunstan’s Church (Church of England).

 

A survivor from the 1960s

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Found in the wardrobe in 2016 by Anthony J Sargeant a wooden coathanger from the 1960s with the label from Woolworths still stuck on after at least 45 years. The price of 1/3d (one shilling and three pence (note d not p) shows that it predates the decimilisation of British currency which took place in February 1971. 1/3d would be the equivalent to 6.25pence in decimalised currency. It was another age of wonderful texture when as children we had to learn arithmetical tasks when there were half-pennys and farthings (pre- 1960) when there were 12d in a shilling and 20 shillings in a pound. Moreover weights of everyday items were given in avoirdupois measures (so 16 ounces(oz) in a pound(lb) and 14 pounds in a stone, 8 stones in a hundredweight (cwt) and 20 cwt in a ton. A typical sum at primary school in an arithmetic lesson might involve something like: “Divide  £17 9s  2d into equal amounts among 13 boys. If apples cost 8d a pound how many pounds and ounces of apples would each boy then be able buy from the greengrocer.” I think the answer is 39lbs and 2oz.