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Life in 1950s Surbiton

15 years ago...

The two cinemas were The Odeon and The Roxy up St. Marks Hill, later called The Ritz. This was a lot smaller than The Odeon where all the kids of Surbiton would gather for Saturday morning pictures. Sixpence downstairs and ninepence upstairs.

We began with popular songs of the day like "Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts"and " One Of The Roving Kind". Later the din of boos for the baddies and cheers for the goodies would follow as we watched Superman or the Cisco Kid or other exciting films. Not many people had television then.

At around mid day it would finish so we would find something else to do like go swimming at the Coronation baths in Kingston or maybe leave that until Sunday morning. There was always Oakhill woods, the Balaclava recreation ground, the ferry over to Home Park, or Whitewoods model shop where one could buy maggots and go fishing for roach off the Queen's promenade.

Not many had bicycles so we took twopenny bus rides all over the place. There was this derelict ack ack tower near the railway bridge in the Upper Brighton Road where some of the more daring of us would play until we would scarper at the sight of an official looking railway man approaching.One could look down at steam trains shunting and the footplatemen seemed happy to leave us alone.

If one walked to the end of Lovelace Road and to Ditton Hill and then to Woodstock Lane there was a lane called Love Lane where one could play in a field with cows grazing. It boardered the Hinchley wood section of the A3 as it was. We had a tall tree there with a rope tied to it which we swung on for quite some distance. Tarzan had nothing compared to us.

Different more pleasant and happier times long before yob culture arrived, when we all had far less and got along together and never got bored.

I am enjoying telling you this. Hope you enjoy reading it
and that it may bring back memories.

More later. Pete.