Article 3 - Orpington in 1958
In the style of Sir John Betjeman - if he had come to Orpington in 1958, might he have written a poem like this? A little bit of
nostalgia and fun.
"Gigi" at The Commodore: Kodakchrome in 'fifty-eight;
The Civic Hall on Station Hill, with portico ornate;
Petts Wood: shrine of Bakelite; kitchens scrubbed with Zal;
Locksbottom: bathed in sodium lamps, beside The Hospital.
Shod at Aylings; Omo-white: a hundred workers wait
For bus to Morphy-Richards; or home: Davis Estate.
Jennifer, in Toni-perm, is brushing with S.R.,
Applying Miners make-up, for the Carlton Cinema.
Peter reads The Eagle: thinks his Dinky Toys are 'triff;
Father reads The Herald: likes Patricia Hornby-Smith;
Mother shops at Nicholsons: asks if she can afford
The latest Ercol G-plan; wall-to-wall by Cyril Lord.
Stapley's: ironmongers: sawdust-floor and paraffin;
Kleen-e-ze or Cedars Laundry take the washing in;
Jellied veal from David Greig, delivered by Ford van;
Castrol, Esso Extra: Burton or Dunstonian.
St Peter Paul: de Say and Mammot: Dame of Cudham Hill
With Alys Waleys brass, and lepers' window still:
The cycling club at Green Street Green: lucozade at Mrs Moon's;
Sam Costa on the Light Programme; "Sing Something Simple" tunes.
O semis in the chalet style: built by William Brise;
O Noel Rees: the Tudorbean splendour of Knoll Rise;
O Maxwell Arms: Dry Fly for me, and Charringtons for you:
O Orpington! Suburbia! The "Golden Arrow" thunders through.
If any one remembers these memories and wants to share them or has any images - please get in touch by emailing us