Category Archives: Anthony J Sargeant

The first record player we had at home in the 1950-60s

Dansette record player of the sort we had at home

Dansette record player with multi-changer – the same type as the first record player that Anthony J Sargeant had in the late 1950s- 1960s at his family home in South London. It was fine when changing light Vinyl singles, EPs, and LPs but when playing Shellac 78 rpm records the drop of those hefty discs caused the whole record player shook with the vibration.

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham 1st XV Rugby Team 1963

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This was an extremely successful team. Seated from Left to right are Mr Wilf Hawkins (Master in charge) Anthony J Sargeant, David Hale,David Hodgson, Stephen Lee, Brian Balchin, and Mr Morgan. In the back row are David Powell, Mick Wilton, Rod Cooper, Bob Tweddle, …????…. , Colin Tennant, David Burgess, Graham Currie, and Keith Brown. The school badges on the rugby jerseys denoted those boys who had been awarded full 1st XV Colours.

Aldermaston March of CND Easter 1958 – Anthony J Sargeant marched and took this photograph of his friend Chris Slater holding the banner at the base of Nelson’s column in Trafalgar square

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It is a lifetime ago but in the 1950s there was a genuine fear that nuclear war could happen at any moment. Tony was just 14 at the time but he marched with his friend from school (Haberdashers’ Aske’s) Chris Slater. Chris is standing on the plinth at the base of Nelson’s column in Trafalgar Square holding the CND banner.

The Fellowship Inn, Bellingham, South London

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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.

South London Memories : Bellingham Swimming Pool in the 1920s

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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).

London Bus from the 1950s -This Red Double-Decker RT model was gradually replaced by the Routemaster Bus from 1959 onwards

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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.

Houses of Parliament Photographed by Anthony Sargeant in 1965

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.

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Mangle used to wring out water from laundry on wash-day – which was usually Monday

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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.

Street Market photographed in 1966 by Anthony Sargeant in Yugoslavia (now Croatia)

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In August 1966 Anthony Sargeant and his partner drove across Europe in an Old Austin A35 van (painted Cambridge Blue) to spend weeks in Southern Europe heading for Greece though finally settling in what was then communist Yugoslavia under the control of President Tito. It was a magical summer and  it was before the days of mass tourism. In the street markets people would be selling whatever they had produced from their small-holdings. In the front right is somebody selling a small amount of ‘Paradajz’ (fruits of paradise?) = tomatoes.