Memories of Frankie Gemmell


My name is Fran Marsh, nee Frankie Gemmell, I lived in Baldwyns Park from early 1943 to 1965 when I got married, but my Parents lived there until losing my Father in 1990. I attended Maypole Primary/Junior school from 1947 to 1952. I remember the Pavilion in Baldwyns Park where a crowd of us used to spend Saturday evenings with a few drinks and dancing. I remember walking across Dartford Heath in front of the school one day when a balloon and basket landed on the heath, who was in the basket and why it landed I do not know. When it snowed there was a hill along from Denton Terrace, on the left - the name of "road" escapes me, which made a good slide. I had piano lessons in a house along this un-made road. The hospital fence ran at the bottom of the houses opposite to where I lived and sometimes the siren would go off warning that a dangerous patient had escaped. Weekends were used walking in Joyens Woods before the Estate was built, deneholes in the area, in fact one Sunday morning a friend of mine woke up to find a denehole outside her back door. I remember St.Barnabas church being built which I attended on a regular basis.
At the end of Baldwyns Park was a parade of shops which stayed under the same ownership for sometime, the fish mongers, hairdressers which also sold materials and wool, Cooperative store & butchers, the papershop, where myself and a couple of friends used to do paper rounds, help in the shop and then across the road was an off licence. Outside the off licence used to be a stall selling fresh vegetables.

I thoroughly enjoyed living in the Baldwyns/Maypole area and remember the names of people who lived in the Maypole, Baldwyns Park, Dartford Road, Tile Kiln Lane and Summerhouse Drive areas as people didn't move around as much then as we do now or as far afield.

I went to the Maypole Reunion held in or around 2000 and what a special day that was meeting up with people I had not seen since either leaving the school or leaving the area and several I am still in contact with since that day.

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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