Sunday, 10 July 2011

Lea Bridge memories

Following the posting about the Road to Jeremy's Ferry (Jeremy's Ferry) booklet, we received the following email (many thanks to Colin for sharing this with us!).

“That is an interesting old building to the left of the bridge in the cover photograph of "Towards Jeremy's Crossing". A bit further up towards the Princess of Wales, in the seventies, stood an old weather boarded cottage, where an elderly lady named Jenny resided. Her family in earlier times had ran a boat hire business from there. Linda who was a hairdresser, her husband at the time Eddie, and myself accompanied Linda when she cut Jenny's hair.( Eddie and Linda lived at number 4) I remember how atmospheric the cottage was with an uneven wooden floor and an old piano in the corner and being quite dimly lit, not sure if it was gas lighting.

We then went on to have a few pints at the British Oak , our favourite of the three pubs that were all available at the time and also where Eddie had met Linda where she had previously worked as a barmaid.

Frank was the Governor. His mother sat on a stool knitting in the public bar not doing much else. She was quite elderly. Frank ran a darts team as well as a football team, and there was always live music on sat nights and Sunday mornings. The music was provided by a pianist together with a a drummer and banjo player who wore a straw boater hat. The place would be heaving with the chonking rhythmical sound and crowd, familiar
singers getting up to perform -most of them had nick names like "one lung Jim" or "Ginger" who is about today.

I can still hear the old refrains. If you roll a silver dollar on the grou-ow---ound it will ro-ow--ooll cause it's rou--ow----ound and the old favourites " who's sorry now", "My Mother’s Eyes" - sometimes sung in person by Ricky Stevens who had a number one hit with it back in 1963 with Columbia records. 

Alan Clark of Otley Terrace, one of life's characters, used to play with Ricky. Unfortunately, Alan died a couple of years ago and, a week before he died, I remember him singing "House of the Rising Sun" in The Ship Aground. The best version I have ever heard, incidentally I think a neighbour may have recorded it.

Needless to say Hackney council demolished the cottage in the eighties and British Oak court now replaces the pub. With the Ship Aground it is a case of wait and see, watch this space. Let us hope the building survives. 

Happy Days!


Colin Marshlover”

Do email us if you'd also like to share your lea bridge memories!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Lea Valley Authority and LB Waltham Forest / Judicial Review

Group email received from the Lea Valley Federation:-

"  The Lee Valley Regional Park Authority has confirmed the decision at last Thursday's meeting; the Authority is to proceed with a claim for judicial review against LB Waltham Forest to issue the decision granting Planning Permission for the residential development planning application 2010/0934.  Funding for the claim will come from the Authority's general reserve.

Thank you for your work  -  your support and presence has shown the Authority that the local community is determined to protect this part of the Regional Park."

Sunday, 3 July 2011

The road to Jeremy's ferry

We were chatting to a Lea Bridge neighbour recently who'd lived in the area for several decades and knows several  elderly neighbours who'd lived here all of their lives. He had some wonderful stories to tell of his and their experiences living here and how the area had changed over the years. It got us to thinking about whether anyone had tried to capture these oral histories for Clapton and, if they hadn't, wouldn't it be a great project to undertake. A quick search of the internet and we uncovered this really interesting booklet on the oral history of “Leyton Gateway” Lea Bridge Road : The road to Jeremy's Ferry
(look under the book section).  Jeremy's ferry operated in the early 1700s from the present crossing place of the river at Lea Bridge. If you know of any Clapton oral history collections - please do let us know.