I was born in a house in Catford, my parents house not unsurprisingly, and spent a huge part of my life growing up, going to school (a very ordinary one which is now a Texaco garage!), and going to work. I bought my first place there, not because it was going to be huge investment (it wasn't), but because it was near my Mum's for Sunday lunch, close to my mates and easy to get into work.
I have a strange sentiment to it now. I have no reason to go there anymore. My parents have moved to Eastbourne, my mates have scattered and quite frankly there is not much to encourage me back, although I do have a kind of an odd yearning to put my head around the door of The Ram
pub, in which I spent a lot of my misspent youth.
I have great memories of it as a kid, the parks, the tiny shopping centre (before the stupid cat appeared), the wide tree-lined roads with double fronted Victorian houses, the library, the ABC cinema, the pantomines at the Broadway Theatre, the dog track, the bus garage, the Torbay fish and chip shop down the road, the nice old man who ran the newsagent's where I did my paper round, the butchers and the smell of the bread in the bakery on Sangley Parade as it was called then.
As I got older I used to detest it. Someone had taken all my childhood memories away. No one seemed to care about it or have any pride in the area anymore. It became dingy, run-down, dirty and perhaps to some who had not grown up there dangerous. The families that had made it a nice place to live had moved away and the people who took their place didn't give a toss.
It upset me and it still does. Whilst it was never in the same bracket as Bromley, Beckenham, Blackheath, Greenwich and Dulwich, it just sat and watched as near neighbours such as Forest Hill, Grove Park, New Cross, Sydenham and Brockley grew up and left it's snotty nosed kid brother behind.
The yuppies didn't care for it, the tube system didn't care for it and more importantly the council
didn't care for it.
But blogging is a wonderful thing and I have found someone who seems to care about Catford. Thanks to Casino Avenue
I have come across The Man From Catford
and I have linked to him over there on the left.