Monday 2 October 2023

Memories all the way from Australia

 G'day from sunny Queensland.

I have just discovered your articles about old Deptford in SE London - fascinating.   I was actually searching for a 'doss house' there called Carrington House - now an unlikely upmarket  apartment building I understand - my interest being piqued by a recent TV programme..  

In the early '60s I was Public Health Inspector with Deptford Borough Council - as was - and was required to make occasional late-night inspections of Carrington House.   It was pretty eerie, walking - accompanied by a staff member, I recall - through dormitories with their serried ranks of beds each occupied by a sleeping male, but the odd thing was that it was pretty quiet and clean, and there were no nasty odours, as one may have expected.  

I also remember some of the nearby places and shops mentioned by other correspondents, such as the Noble's/ Nobels toy shop - bliss for youngsters - and a nearby cinema..

Prior to this time my family had moved into the brand-new Deloraine House council flats in Tanners Hill, and I went to the nearby primary school, Lucas St Primary.   After 12-plus exams I then went on to St Olave's Grammar School in nearby Rotherhithe (strangely, the sadistic Headmaster there was one Dr RC Carrington)..    

In time the family moved to the slightly greener pastures of Eltham, but I returned to Deptford in my early 20s to work as a PHI for the Council.  This job took me all over Deptford and New Cross - on foot of course - so I saw much of the place in those days.   It was very, very much lower working class, still with slums or near-slums commonplace, and not much of Merry England or 'homes fit for heroes' about it.   

Thank you for your very interesting Deptford posts, which I shall explore more closely now that I have found it.

Best regards..

Lawrence Watson  

Brisbane, Australia

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