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!

1 comment :

  1. The Jenny mentioned by Colin Marshlover was a distant cousin of mine. She was Jenny Wyatt nee Isaacs and was related to the Radley family who had a boat hire business on the site in the ealrly 20th century and who owned her cottage until the 1960s. The business was called V Radley and sons and operated from the 1850s until 1969. After world war 2 it was run by Sid Radley and operated at spring hill opposite Lea rowing club . The site is now the marina. Clive Radley


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