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Memories of Hilly Fields

This email was sent via the Lewisham council website by David Pearce, on 08 December 2008, at 19:21:12:

I was surprised to see a site for Hilly Fields. I enjoyed my visits before and during the war (WWII). My mother took me there when I was young but later I went on my own or with friends. There was not much to do, nothing provided, we made our own amusement. We climbed the trees (watch out for the ‘parkies’, they wore brown uniforms!).

I remember a Cafe where they served a drink of Ginger beer and Eldorado Ice cream. We played ‘roly polys’ down the hill great fun. A drinking fountain, mum told me not to use the cup and I took my own.

When the war started we went to the far end and saw the 2 Ack Ack guns, they were moved later. The area down to Adelaide avenue was given over to allotments, Dig for Victory. The railings around the park were taken away for munitions. A Barrage Balloon was set up close to Hilly Fields Cresent, we chatted to the Airmen, it was moved south when the doodle bugs came.

I remember only one bomb crater to the area to the west of the park, it filled with water. My friend Douglas won a scolarship to Brockley County School I see it is the Prendergast school now. My girl friend, who later  became my wife (has since died) we both enjoyed the park! I lived from 1928 until 1952 at 10 Brockley Gardens so it was only a short walk to the park. I now live in Seaford, E Sussex, wonder if I would recognise the old place now?

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