Events In 1952 … or thereabouts

Events In 1952 … or thereabouts

Beckenham was the most populous town in Kent.

Victor Thornton laid plans to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 by getting the Council to close Beckenham High St. to hold a street party.  The Queen’s  Mother was 52.

Electricity was generated, and exported locally, by a recycling plant at the Churchfields waste depot.

Nobel prizes were awarded to Wellcome scientists based in Park Langley. Other internationally important firms were Muirhead and Twinlocks.

Huge crowds came to see how overseas stars coped with grass courts in the pre-Wimbledon tennis tournament at Beckenham Cricket Club in Foxgrove Road.

The 227 bus took passengers to Chislehurst and the occasional 54 to Croydon.  The 726 Greenline went from Gravesend to Slough .

In winter, the Art Deco swimming baths were boarded over as an indoor venue. Wrestling and 5 a side soccer vied with theatre and concert nights.  Bob Monkhouse starred. More cultural needs were met by national orchestras performing in the Regal which was a multi media people’s palace, not just a cinema.  Carey Blyton competed with his Beckenham Salon concerts.

The parks were used for tennis, bowls, cricket and soccer.  Ablution facilities were limited to a galvanised tank of cold water wheeled in by the park keeper.

 Saturday London evening newspapers had the classified football results  in the shops by 5 pm. Two local newspaper, the Journal and the Advertiser competed.

A full summer programme of events in Croydon Road Rec. included the Flower Show, parades by local scouts and guides and the Hospital Fete.

Beckenham Hospital offered A & E, an operating theatre and ……  Beds.

Flooding was to be expected at Clock House or at Thornton’s Corner. But there were policemen on hand in the Church Hill police station and round the corner in Bromley Road was the Fire Station.

Supermarkets were unheard of. The High Street and neighbouring shopping centres were full of local shops.  Some like Ardec, Furley & Baker,  and Deens Garage are still in business 60 years on.