Memories of Doris Daniels of living at Brayards Estate

I am 88 years old and I have lived in Ryegates from the time they were built. I came here with my husband and son Robert in April 1960. So I have been here 53 years and have seen a number of changes. I know I am the only one who has been here since it was built as Walkynscroft wasn't even finished being built.

When I first come here of course everything was new. We was not allowed to put any nails in the walls, so obviously we could not hang a mirror up, so it had to stand balanced. Also we could not put any paint or wall paper on the walls for 6 months to make sure they were dried out properly. We were not allowed to walk on the grass as that had to grow properly also.

At that time we had a caretaker who lived on the ground floor of Ryegates and he was very strict that the rules were kept. No one was allowed to play on the grass even babies. My younger son Richard was the second child to be born in Ryegates and no way could he play on the landing or the grass at all.

We had a laundry which is now the office in Walkynscroft and we was allowed one and a half hours a week to do our laundry, the same time every week and could not change our time with any other person. There was 2 big sinks and hot water geysers and 2 big washing machines and 1 big dryers, so that 2 people did their at the same time. There was never any arguments about this and everyone kept strictly to their own time. It all worked very well. There was 4 cupboards for drying the washing and these could be used for one and a half hours while the following persons used the machines.This was closed down many years ago so now there is nothing for the people in the blocks to use and things have to be dried indoors.

Another thing we had were sheds round by the the blocks and we had to share a shed with another flat. These were for prams and bikes only. Also we were lucky to be allocated a garage at reasonable rent but no electricity. These were in Firbank Road which are now houses. So once again something was lost.

Since I came here there has been 3 associations started up. I have been treasurer 3 times and at the moment I am vice treasurer and co-signing cheques. There has been a lot done on the Estate with our present association mainly bu our chair Lorraine Beck with the committee lending support.

Lorraine Beck has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award and in April 2013 the committee was awarded a collective award for it's support. I collected this award on the behalf of the committee from the mayor of Southwark in St Georges Cathedral and felt very proud to do so.

There has been a number of things achieved such as:

The ball court
The allotment garden
The 78 bus
The trees and hedges
The seat and greenhouse in the garden
also several times there has been an open day come fete and these have been very successful. Of course there has been some bad times such as drugs, drink, graffiti, spoiling of the lifts etc. But we have coped with this and hope we have seen the last of it.

All in all I think this is one of the friendliest Estates and hopefully one of the cleanest and I hope this continues.

So I will close and I hope you found this bit of history interesting.

Doris Daniels - mostly know as "Dot"




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