Glad to see this great site up and running again. My is Pat Nolan and we grew up in Bermondsey in the 60's and lived in Abbey Buildings (Irish railway workers housing), Abbey Street. I have so many happy memories of my childhood there but too many to mention. I went to St Josephs Primary School then onto St Michaels School just across the road from St Josephs. My main memories of growing up in Bermondsey was when as kids we were always having fun and getting up to mischief, mainly 'knock round ginger'! I had a paper round from the corner paper shop on the junction of Abbey Street and Tower Bridge Roadand was run by a nice elderly couple, its a block of flats now. One Sunday morning I was doing my paper round when suddenly I saw two low flying Messerschmitt BF109 fly over! I was so startled that I dropped my paper bag and ran home crying to my dad thinking that WW3 had started! He explained to me that it was the making of The Battle Of Britain film which was being filmed extensively in and around Bermondsey during 1969. My dad had to go back to where I dropped my paper bag and finish off my round as I was too scared to go out to finish off my round!
We had great fun going to and from school as we were always up to something. I remember the toilets under the railway arch at the end of Abbey Street as they were only cleaned out about once every fortnight and my god did they stink! Don't think anyone used them only if you were really desperate?
I recently took a trip to Bermondsey and took a few pics and also visited my old school, St Josephs which was run mainly by the nuns from The Convent of Mercy at Dockhead when I was there. To my amazement some of the school staff remembered one of the old sisters from my time there, the dreaded Sister Vianni!!! Even now when I hear her name it strikes fear into me as I'm sure it will do to any ex pupils from St Josephs? Weekends were spent at the local swimming pool at the Grange. Our mums made sure we went so we could have a good shower when we finished. There was always loads of old derelict sites for us to explore in particular the John Feaver factory which was situated right behind our flats. It was an old tin factory and when it was closed down it became our Disney Park adventure playground! We had a whale of a time there and also some scarey times too? On one occasion one of our friends Steve Wright had fallen through a glass roof in the factory and hit the ground from about 15ft above, he was quite concussed but we managed to get him to his feet and struggle home with him. Of course he lived right at the top of Abbey Buildings but when we got outside his front door we just rang the bell and legged it! His dad went ballistic on us and we were all grounded for a week for that one! Another time my brother, Dave, found an empty can of hairspray and we thought it would be fun to chuck into a bonfire that we had just started. After about 10 minutes it exploded in my brothers face and he had to be rushed to hospital with severe facial burns! Another week grounded!
I now live in Strood,Kent. Recently my neighbours of nearly 9 years and I were having a chat over the fence as you do and I started talking about Manze's pie and mash shop on Tower Bridge Road and how in all the years that I lived there I never once visited Manze's. He suddenly said that when he was a kid he lived in Bermondsey too and went to the same school! Can't believe that we've known each other all these years and never once mentioned Bermondsey! What a small world?
Hope you've enjoyed my trip down memory lane.
A little bit about yourself growing up in Bermondsey
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