Greenwich as it used to be....

Modernising touches are made to the home

The house in Halstow Road was a typical outer London terrace house with bay windows. It had a sitting room, dining room and a large kitchen and scullery at the back, with three double bedrooms and bathroom upstairs. There was a small garden which backed on to a private cemetery, which belonged to Greenwich Hospital, where the pensioners had been buried, and was now used for the burial of the staff and pupils of the Royal Hospital School. There was a high wall separating our garden from it. It was always well maintained, and not open to the public as it is now. There were plenty of trees there and the only noise we heard was bird song.

Halstow Road was quite well situated, as it has a school where we were all sent as infants. Also it is close to Westcombe Park Railway Station, where there was a Post Office and some nice shops, including Barker's, a high class grocer's and wine merchants, and it is only about a ten minute walk to Blackheath and Greenwich Park.

Jack and May were wonderful parents, they led good lives, and set us a fine example, they drank and smoked very little. Every penny my father earned, went into the home, which he was always improving, he was the original DIY man. He had a great friend, whom he had known since childhood, Steve Fletcher--a builder who owned a lot of property in Greenwich.

They set about modernising the house, by bringing it up to 1920 standards! They built a conservatory at the back, which housed the big old mangle, coal bunker, place to hang washing, playroom, and above all; it meant we did not have to go outside to the lavatory, which was a great blessing.

He also removed the copper from the scullery, and replaced it with a gas cooker, so that the old scullery, now became the kitchen and the old kitchen became the living room. They also put a geyser in the bathroom, and knocked down the wall separating the dining and sitting room, which made a nice big room for the many parties we had

© Albert W. Gearing

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