Baldwyns Park Pavillion

First - an early view of Baldwyns Park
courtesy of Brian PORTER
Baldwyns Park Pavillion - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

A compilation of memories from contributors . . . . .
First by Tony Helyar . . . . .


Memories of Tim Greenwood - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Above - Baldwyns Park Pavillion c 1950 - courtesy Tony Helyar


Below - as it looks now - courtesy of the Baldwyns Freeholders Association

Baldwyns Park Pavillion - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Reading Frankie Gemmell’s memories and her mention of going to Baldwyn’s Park pavilion for a few drinks on a Saturday evening remind me of our activities there in the 1940’s and early 1950’s, there was no bar there then. The pavilion was nevertheless the centre of many community activities. There was the very successful Girl Guide group excellently run by Miss Hamilton and Miss Ashbury, I remember the Guides going round the local roads with a wheelbarrow on Saturdays collecting household salvage for the war effort (it wasn’t known as recycling in those days). There was the table tennis club ably managed by Ken Kinniple and Ken Simmons (we played with moderate success in the North West Kent league); a youth club run by Mr. & Mrs. York; the annual horticultural show, stacked with produce from gardens and the nearby allotments, all of which was auctioned after the show by a local professional auctioneer, I believe his name was Gale.

There were regular dances, old time and modern, but probably the most successful venture was the Dramatic Society.


The first public performance by the Baldwyns Dramatic Society at the pavilion was a set of one-act plays given in November 1946. This was followed by a three-act production in April 1947. These shows were so successful that the group went on to produce three or four plays a year right through to 1951. The audiences, drawn entirely from local residents, were always most supportive, on one occasion even having to bring their own chairs. The difficulties posed by the tiny stage, it was no more than twelve-foot square, and an equally tiny single dressing room were overcome by incredible ingenuity and tremendous enthusiasm and with the co-operation of other users of the building. Bob Gemmell (Frankie’s father) and my father built the stage at one end of the pavilion in such a way that it could be taken down after the three day run to provide the space necessary for other activities. The stage footlights doubled as the overhead lighting for the table tennis tables. When funds permitted a small marquee was erected adjacent to the pavilion on show nights to serve as an extra dressing room.
There had at one time been a tennis club based at the pavilion, there was a hard and a grass court there complete with the nets but all sadly neglected. A group of us cleared the hard court, repaired it and the net as best we could and played on it for a couple of seasons. Wimbledon it wasn’t but we had a lot of enjoyment from it and I still have the scar on my knee where I failed in my attempt to jump over the net.


Memories of Tim Greenwood - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath


Programme for three one-act plays. Baldwyns Dramatic Society’s first production, November 1946

The names of those who were involved in the Baldwyns Dramatic Society:-
Colin
Allen
Katherine
Ashbury
Alice
Beagley
Diana
Beagley
Gilbert
Beagley
Audrey
Bickley
Michael
Bickley
Myrtle
Brown
Moira
Darby
Joan
French
Doreen
Gemmell
Robert
Gemmell
Hazel
Green
Constance
Hamilton
Joan
Harris
Leonard
Harris
Ivy
Hartwell
Margaret
Hartwell
Kathleen
Helyar
Thomas
Helyar
Tony
Helyar
Alice
Howard
Phylis
Huntley
Charles
Keith
Yvonne
Lawrence
John
Measures
John
Mellor
Beryl
Moody
Gerald
Pelham
Monica
Richardson
Leslie
Roberts
Mignon
Roberts
Alan
Rowe
Roy
Scott
Audrey
Shackell
Mary
Smith
Audrey
Snelson
David
Wibberley
Thelma
Wibberley
Phyllis
Williams
Ronald
Williams
Eve
York
Harold
York


Extract from Frankie Gemmell . . . .

I remember the Pavilion in Baldwyns Park where a crowd of us used to spend Saturday evenings with a few drinks and dancing.

People I remember from Baldwyn's Park area are, Mary & Richard Wight, Patricia & Terence Palmer, Carole & David Fox, 2 Williams girls who moved to Brazil, Gatehouse family, McManus family, Sheila Miles, cannot remember names of several others. Other people from the Tile Kiln Lane and Summerhouse Drive and then new Joydens Wood Estate, I remember are, Pat Vass, Doreen Hurren, Sue Nye, Sheila Peckham, Russel Pettifer, John Griggs who had a twin brother, Cliff Young (deceased) and family, David Bainbridge, John Parker, Ken Webb, Trevor Moseley, Tony Turner, Terry Seagust, Terry Deegan (had a Monkey Puzzle tree in front garden - lovely), Anthony Gillies, Carole Slade, John Houghton, Roger Fisher, also Carole from Baldwyns Road & Sheila (now Lusher) I am in contact with, both lived on the Maypole but I cannot remember surnames, there were others but I cannot remember the names - if and when they come to me I will e-mail them to you. There was also a round house with a thatched roof, top of Baldwyn's Park just over on the left in Tile Kiln Lane, cannot remember names of people who lived there or the house next door, dont know if round house still there?? After starting work met up with two or three people from the Footscray/Sidcup area who also used to come to the Pavilion in Baldwyns Park on a Saturday evening, Roger Smith, Roger Hogg and "Taffy" but not really connected with the Maypole and area.

A couple more names for you Rob Merriman, Keebles, Nigel Wilson, Tony Barton, Rob Jevons (friend of Owen's). I understand Peter Walker moved into Terry Deegans's house which had the Monkey Puzzle tree in the garden.



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