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Messages - alffox

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1
Newham memories and nostalgia / Re: Bingley Road.
« on: 11 June, 2019, 09:23:04 PM »
The St. Andrews Boys Club meeetings took place at Tollgate School - Seniors Tuesday and Thursday and Juniors on Friday . Mr. Redgrave was the caretaker and the club became very well known for all kinds of sporting activities across East London etc

alffox.

2
Newham memories and nostalgia / Bingley Road.
« on: 11 June, 2019, 09:17:58 PM »
I may have posted this in the distant past - maybe 10 years ago but:-
It might generate some conversations .

To Martin Plimmer and Brian King,
Authors of a book on coincidences being published on May 9th 2019.
They wrote a newspaper article in the 4th May edition of the Daily Mail.
 
Your article on Saturday 4th May 2019 has reminded me of a spooky coincidence – not once but twice and a short summary is necessary before the actual events.  In 1943 St. Andrew’s Boys Club was formed in West Ham, London by a very special man E C Sydney and became a focal point for many local young lads too young to be called up for the Armed Forces.    The club eventually folded around 1973 and the Manager died in 1977 but a former “Old Boy” Frank Shipman decided to try and keep many of its members together and formed “The St. Andrew’s Old Boy’s Association” which met  initially monthly in “The Wheatsheaf” Public House in Romford, Essex and became very popular.  The Association finally closed its doors in 2018 as the membership had declined.      I submitted the coincidences to our local press after the 2004 discovery and have given it no more thought until reading your article.
 
Frank Shipman maintained contact with each and every one of the original Club and Association members whose addresses were known and diligently posted out across the world the “minutes” of each and every single meeting that took place in the “ Wheatsheaf”.     One of those old members was a certain George Phillips who at some stage had emigrated to New Zealand with his wife – for members unable to attend meetings it was common for Frank to receive newsletters in return from those far and wide and it is in one of George’s replies that the spooky part of my story begins.
 
These are George’s own words in a letter to Frank Shipman dated November 13th 2001.
 
In my first year at Bowls I had won a tournament and was having a celebratory drink at our local Returned Services Association Club – and I must point out that the Club is very impressive with a large Restaurant, Lounge, Dance Floor, three large Billiard/Snooker tables and three Pool tables also an Indoor and Outdoor Bowling Green.   At our table sat this chap called Mike McCarthy and it became patently obvious that he was a – cor blimey – (a description of a person from East London, England) – and we struck up a conversation.  It transpired that he came from West Ham and as is usual, we went on to discuss Pubs, to ascertain where we came from and what we knew about the place.
 
We got to the “Greengate”, The “Castle” on the opposite corner and then proceeded down Prince Regents Lane to the “Nottingham Arms”.    He said “That Pub’s on the corner of the road I used to live down – Bingley Road”.  Well, what do you know, said I, So did I.      He then said “Yes, I lived at number 18 from about 1935 until 1939.   George Phillips had moved into the same house in early 1944.   
 
Now that is an incredible coincidence.  Two guys meeting for the first time and 12000 miles away from the same house that they had both lived in – number 18 Bingley Road, Custom House, London. E16.  George Phillips did have photographs and documents as proof.  Mike lived there in 1939 and George in 1944.   But that is not the end of the spooky story of 18 Bingley Road.
 
 
To some of my immediate family I am the “family historian” and at times I get asked to look into some old family history – in this instance it was my cousin Helen Clayton (nee Fox – living in Spain) who asked me to look into her mother’s side of their family.  She knew very little of the maternal side as her mother – my Aunt Nell - had died from a brain tumour in Helen’s early teens.       The limited knowledge that she had, led me to Ellen Maie Cable whose father was Robert John Cable with her mother being Eliza Cable (nee McKanna).
 
The birth certificate that I ordered on the 16th August 2004 showed the birth of Ellen Maie Cable on 12th May 1916 and amazingly the birth took place at Number 18 Bingley Road, Custom House, West Ham, London.
 
Number 18 Bingley Road saw Ellen Maie Cable born there in 1916
Number 18 Bingley Road saw Mike McCarthy living there c 1935 to 1939 (or could it have been Mike McKanna)
Number 18 Bingley Road saw George Phillips living there in 1944
 
To my knowledge the small terraced house is still standing
With the last two named unknowingly meeting up in New Zealand 12000 miles away.
 
I am not aware if George Phillips is still alive in Orewa, New Zealand although I do have his address from 2001.  Frank Shipman is to my knowledge still alive but not in good health - his son Mark who travelled with Frank to almost all Association meetings lives in Kent.       Copies of this message has been sent to Mark Shipman and Helen Clayton just for information and interest.

alffox

3
About the Forums / Re: D Day memories
« on: 07 June, 2019, 07:51:48 PM »
Ken, I would imagine the Italian POW's were interned there towards the end of the war - probably shipped in from the battle in the Middle East but strong memories of them sitting outside their tents just inside the wire fence on the track leading to the allotments.  My old grandfather Frank Edmead grew vegetables on his plot and used to take us kids with him past the back gate. Also remember the Barrage Balloon site behind your house - Vernons.
alffox

4
About the Forums / Re: D Day memories
« on: 07 June, 2019, 10:48:08 AM »
DDay - Troops marching down Prince Regents Lane to the Royal Docks - presumably joining the vessels waiting to take them across o France and my abiding memories are of the soldiers emptying their pockets of all ther final cash and coins - tossing them in the road for us kids to scramble after them.    And later the Italian Prisoners of War held in some safety inside the rear gates of West Ham Stadium just by the entrance in Baxter Road.  Sitting there with not a care in the world and apparently not in fear of their lives.  So easy for them to escape but not sure many of them bothered.   Memories of a 10/11 year old and despite being evacuated firstly to Bath (phoney war) then via a Metropolitan Police exchange up to Cambois Near Blyth Northumberland and lastly Leicester - I can still remember living through the worst of the bombing - dashing across the road nightly to the shelter having been dragged out of bed when the siren went off - diving in and out of the Anderson shelter just across the road in Alnwick Road - watching doodlebugs in the sky and the devastation in the houses with windows blown out and curtains hanging by a thread.  Would not wish it on anybody.  Have been across to many of the war memorials - Omaha Beach - Arromanche - and stood in many of the German pillboxes.  And whaat about the nightly trips to Stratford Station to sleep in the tunnels with other families.  Could go on and on.

alffox

5
Newham memories and nostalgia / Re: Dockland
« on: 27 May, 2019, 02:15:48 PM »
Hello Ed,  Thanks for your reply - however Mick G gave me details of the Docklands History Society and I have made contact with them - they do not have any storage but like you and me would not like to see them tossed into the skip.   In total there are almost 150 items relating to the Docks - mostly The Port Newspapers/Port off London News/Polanews/PLA Staff Magazines etc.  The plastic box they are in is full to the brim and quite heavy.   Would certainly take a good number of years to sit and read them through and through and my "management" quotes - What are you keeping all that old junk for.   Will keep in touch with you on the progress or lack of.
alffox

6
Newham memories and nostalgia / Re: Dockland
« on: 22 May, 2019, 07:37:52 PM »
Mick - thanks for your reply but Museum of London definately not interested in receiving any material - they emailed me to say that they are totally full and would not be accepting anything other than special items.

Will bin them soon
 alffox

7
Newham memories and nostalgia / Re: Dockland
« on: 22 May, 2019, 05:10:26 PM »
Living in Custom House it seemed only natural that the Docks would be where I found my first work age 16 in 1947 and life began with the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company in King George Vth Dock.  A break for RAF National Service then a succession of jobs with Blue Star Line, Royal Mail Line and the Port Line before joining the Port of London Authority in the West India and Millwall Docks.   In those early PLA days there was a regular staff magazine and supplement printed and handed out and in later years there became other printed material namely "THE PORT" newspaper, POLANEWS and later THE PORT OF LONDON.   Now - I am what one might call a hoarder and after each word in an issue had been thoroughly digested the edition would be placed in a plastic box which eventually found its way into my loft space.   These newspapers and magazines just kept coming even though I retired in 1980 - the PLA would post monthly issues out to retired members.      Having "squirrelled" these away for many years (probably 50 to 80) - they begin in the 1960's for PLA magazines and 1970's to late 1990's for others I am reluctant to just confine them to the "skip" so can anyone suggest a suitable resting place for my bundles of dockland history - decasulisation, union disputes, sale of Tilbury Dock, the closure of others and a whole wealth of history.   The Museum of Docklands are not willing to take any material when offered as they really do not have sufficient staff to ponder over each article and nor to save some for posterity.   Not in any consecutive order but just a bundle of newspapers that I am willing to pass on to any interested parties.   Contact me through this message board if anyone has any ideas on their disposal.  They are currently sited in Billericay.

alffox.

8
Newham memories and nostalgia / Re: East Ham High Street
« on: 09 October, 2018, 09:26:42 AM »
The menntion of Radio Rentals in the High Street brings to mind my purchase in 1974 of an ULTRA Radiogram from Premier Discount at 447/9 Barking Road for £79.50 (lot of money in those days) - just past Arthur Atkinson's motor cycle shop going towards Barking. Arthur was the former West Ham Speedway Ace and like Eric Chitty went into the selling business when they packed up the sport.  My Radiogram is still going strong and naturally it is a curiosity to all of my grandchildren - thanks to the Internet Forums I have just completed a refurbishment of my ULTRA and love hearing all of my old long playing and 78's records.    Must try and put a picture of the radiogram on the forum here someday soon.   My post is a somewhat distraction from Lew Rose but for suits I recall - Denny Mincer at the Greengate - H.Soll Cambridge Heath Road, Hackney, Max Cohen at Aldgate and another tailor whose name escapes me for the moment in Whitechapel not far from the infamous Blind Beggar.
alffox.

9
This post and subject is for the many young girls and boys who were fortunate to have youth clubs on their doorstep in and around the 1945 era.  My own youth club was St. Andrews Boys Club which met every Tuesday and Thursday for Seniors and on Friday for Juniors at the Tollgate School just off Prince Regents Lane.   The club originated before the second world war at a school at Frederick Road north of Barking Road.  It later moved to Tollgate School and I reckon that I joined the club at the age of 14 in 1947.    The Senior Club was run by a lovely man E.C.Sydney - Mr.Syd to all the boys and helped by a committee of members.  The Juniors managed normally by one or two Senior members - Norman Geeves and Ron Negus spring to mind.    The club was a magnet for the local young and older lads with sport of every single name being played in teams from there.  Football - I remember bus rides to Chingford Hatch, Table Tennis also by bus to Eton Manor and elsewhere.   House rivalry was intense in tennis, billiards, darts, table tennis and anything else you could think of.  My membership started around 1947 and I was still part of the club when it closed in the late 1960's.  Closed at Tollgate but not for long as one of the Senior members Frank Shipman decided to organise AN OLD ST.ANDREWS ASSOCIATION and a worthy group of members began meeting regularly at The Wheatsheaf in Brentwood Road.   Frank Shipman and his son Mark kept the OSAA alive for 420 meetings from those late days in the 1960's - travelling regularly from Dartford in all weathers with rarely a cancellation and producing a newsletter after each and every meeting.

Sadly - today I have received news that Frank Shipman who is now 90 can no longer continue in his role as GUVNOR and along with son Mark, they have decided to discontinue the regular meetings - meeting numbers had dwindled down to six or seven.   Such was the competition in those days there were clubs all over the district, Gartan, Custom House, Bancroft, St. Lukes, St. Martins, Barclays, Fairbairn House, Docklands - mention has been made of many of the various club members who attended these clubs and became famous - Terry Spinks (Boxing), brothers Bill and Andy Nelson (Football), Chester Barnes (Table Tennis).   Wonderful days and in some ways weeks, as each year a group of boys would travel to Broxbourne to camp for a jam packed holiday of fun - meeting up with the locals for matches of cricket and so on.

If there are any old former members of St. Andrews who wish to make contact feel free to do so.  My last meeting was in April so for my part I send my best wishes to Frank Shipman and his son Mark for the efforts that they made to keep the old name of St. Andrews alive.  Perhaps somewhere the old red and green quartered football shirts will rise again.

Alf Fox.

10
Newham memories and nostalgia / Re: A Dead Horse
« on: 26 July, 2018, 04:13:07 PM »
To add a short note re Gibraltar - the barracks my grandfather was billeted in was called Buena Vista Barracks and had I mentioned it to the driver of our small coach - he sais he would have taken the time to stop and show me a few more details.  I was eight years old when he died so did not have any time with him at all - he lived in Dagenham and our home was in Custom House.  Could not afford cars in those days.
As for my National Service - well with my posting to Hendon Aerodrome I enjoyed a life of somewhat luxury - the airfield had to be open from dawn to dusk and we in the Air Movement Section were expected to man the section for all of that time - no shift work in those days - some days I guess it was 16 hours on but the benfit came in that for one week you were on duty for two days only and the next week for five days so that gave plenty of time for recreation.  I lived in camp but had a "Living Out Pass" which allowed me to be at home for days at a time (still got one or two telegrams calling me back for duty).  During that service time I spent time on Canvey Island during the floods of 1953 - being billeted at Hornchurch Aerodrome and being carried by lorry to the main Pub later called the King Canute.    Back at Hendon we saw all kinds of aircraft and politicians flying in and around the country to view the damage.   The earthquake on Corfu almost took me away from Hendon as some of us lads at Hendon volunteered to go to Lyneham and assist in the loading of the aircraft taking out clothing and other goods - problem was that Lyneham wanted to keep us at their base.        On another occasion there had been a large sporting event in London involving military teams from nearby European Countries - two Dakota aircraft fully loaded with the Dutch team sat on the apron in front of the control tower awaiting for orders to take off.  Before they could go I was given the task of climbing on board both and searching for John Christie of Rillington Place - the serial murderer.   Never a dull moment - should have signed on for another three years in 1954 but life at Hendon had been too good to me and I knew I would be posted abroad somewhere.  Chose to leave.
alffox

11
Newham memories and nostalgia / Re: A Dead Horse
« on: 23 July, 2018, 08:30:56 AM »
And one thing leads to another - your mention Ken of Gibraltar has a very vivid memory for me - my grandfather Joseph Fox (orphaned at the age of 7) joined the West Yorkshire Regiment on his 18th birthday in 1881 and then transferred to the Essex Regiment when a army was being raised to rescue General Gordon.  Grandads first trip was on the "MALABAR" to Gibraltar and without looking up his records which I have obtained many years ago he stayed there for about 2 years eventually going part of the way up the Nile with the ESSEX.  We all know the result in Khartoum and Joseph made his way back via Cyprus etc.    On a holiday a few years back to Benalmadina I caught a coach to Gibraltar and went all the way up to the top where all the monkeys are.  I had followed in grandads footsteps.    Cutting a long story short I followed up the history of the Essex and on my website www.foxtree.talktalk.net you can see the summary of the travels with various pictures - the trafalgar Anchor - the Water Tanks - the Hospital where Grandad spent some time recovering from his antics with the ladies in Gibraltar.  Plus a summary of the trip up the Nile.  Along with one of my sons I located his complete Army records at Kew Records Office and gave a copy to the Essex Regiment Museum in Chelmsford.     To see any of the records Grandad was the father of Alfred Fox who married Minnie Edmead and if you scroll to the appropriate entry you can look at some of the memories I posted.   Still searching the family history even today.       And still looking for Reggie Shaw's obituary.
alffox     

12
Newham memories and nostalgia / Re: A Dead Horse
« on: 20 July, 2018, 09:31:55 PM »
Harry,
Just thought I would add a little something to your mention of National Service. I was required to attend a medical at the recruiting place at the "George" Wanstead and was passed fit - I probably could have got out on medical grounds as I suffered from a condition in the knees called Osgoods Schlatters Disease.  Chose to keep quiet and was posted into the RAF and on January 4th 1952 caught a train up to Padgate in Lancashire and went into all the various huts for the required uniform etc.  Two weeks there and then "bullied" into the back of a lorry with a few other "erks" and on a train to Gloucester for square bashing at RAF Innsworth.  Was halfway through the 6 weeks when King George died and boy did those NCO's lay it on.  We were required to march on the occasion of the funeral into Gloucester just outside the cathedral and as far as I know all went well.   Always remember the Sergeant in charge of our group - a pig of a man Sergeant Bertrand.    Managed to scrape through and still have a couple of photographs.  Then got a dream of a posting to RAF Hendon - could even manage to cycle there from Custom House.  Wonderful days - air displays, trips on Anson aircraft all over the country, local to London - and then even tried to arrange a posting to the Isle of Dogs.  That never came off but what a great time .  Should have signed on but left at the end of my time to wander in and out of the various factory jobs that were always available along Silvertown Way.    Could carry on and on and in the terrible situation that we are in with crime etc why not some form of National Service for the criminals of today - it has been said before.  Must stop now - message probably in the wrong topic but at least something to follow up on.
alffox. 

13
About the Forums / Re: is it terminal
« on: 13 June, 2018, 09:15:48 PM »
Hello Ken, the post concerning Martin Peters can be seen on Sporting Newham - posted yesterday as my second post of the day following my initial one above.
alffox

14
Sporting Newham / Re: West Ham stadium main gates
« on: 12 June, 2018, 04:23:06 PM »
So my second post of the day - from very little to two in a day concerns Martin Peters - he of West Ham fame, a cousin of my wife's family George Brett who along with his son Terry went missing and were never found and my wife's sister on a visit from Shropshire.       One very pleasant Easter perhaps five years ago or more my wife and I along with her sister Josie were taking refreshments at Ingatestone Garden Centre (now sadly closed) and on the bookshelves was a copy of an edition called "Essex Villians" and in that book were chapters of these and other notorius people - "The Rettendon Three", "The diappearance of George Brett and Son" and others.    On telling my sister-in-law about the book and that her cousin George was featured in a chapter she immediately went and purchased the book and sat and read the article completely.          A person prominently named in the article was Lennie Thompson.                                         
Whilst sitting at our table I spotted Martin Peters, his wife, son and fiancee in the queue for food and drinks and they then occupied the table under a sunshade next to ours.     Josephine then asked me if I had any objection to her asking Martin Peters for his autograph and I said go ahead.     She then moved over to the table and excused herself for being bold and said to Martin  - "Are you Lennie Peters" - to which he replied no but my dad was named Lennie.  Josephine had confused Lennie Thompson from the book with possibly popular singer of the time Lennie Peters or even Lennie Thompson.      We all fell about laughing and Martin's wife complimented us on sending Josephine over.     Martin then left his table and along with my wife and I we have a photograph taken of the three of us.  Martin was a perfect gent - he was sad about Upton Park being sold and we talked about other football related issues and now even more sadly I do believe that he is suffering from one of the age related illnesses and is quite poorly.      So Mick I hope that some of the details I have mentioned will generate a few more replies of interest.    Even saddens me to hear that the "BOLEYN" has closed (is this true).
Regards  Alf

15
About the Forums / Re: is it terminal
« on: 12 June, 2018, 03:54:48 PM »
From an old poster who as Mick says - looks in but rarely contributes.  Almost got involved again a while ago when Ken was mentioning Reggie Shaw.  I recently attended a reunion of the St. Andrews Boys Club that operated in Tollgate School  - not many left standing now - turned out just a bout six.  St. Andrews was formed in 1938 and were named Fredericks Road Youth Club run by a lovely man E C Sydney. Syd to us boys.    Reg was a smashing lad and i spent quite a lot of time with him both on holidays and at football and any other sport that we could do.  I have a recollection that when Reg died I wrote an obituary for the St. Andrews Old Boys Club and if my memory serves me right I probably passed it on to the Forum.  I have searched my house high and low for my copy (I keep everything) but at the moment I cannot find it.  I have asked St. Andrews Old Boys president if he has a copy of it as I also wrote obits for Terry Crangle and Ron (Kipper) Kent both St. Andrews members - have a few pictures from the late 1940's and early 1950's plus some holiday one with the lads.   Old St. Andrews members still alive and kicking are John Bavins (in Colwyn Bay), Horry Wright in Colchester and Ken Bartrup in Laindon.  The reunions occur in the Wheatsheaf in Brentwood Road Romford twice yearly but with age creeping up fast I cannot see it continuing much longer.   Perhaps age is why some of the old posters have disappeared - as Mick might remember I am deeply involved in family history and have spent a lot of time searching for the details of a relative who was a Prisoner of War in Germany in WW2.  Been to Chelmsford Essex Regiment Museum - to The Archives at Bancroft and followed up a whole host of avenues so my time get consumed in that way.   Fortunately I am still fairly active (85 soon to be) and will be playing table tennis tonight and a full round of golf tomorrow.   I would be sad to see the Newham Story disappear as I do like to read what others are doing and thinking.       I have another story which I will post on another page shortly concerning Martin Peters and George Brett and his son Terry.
Regards  Alf Fox 

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