Shrewsbury Park Residents' Association
Pictures from the past
The Shrewsbury Park Residents' Association is very grateful to Richard Buchanan for the above photograph and the following memories of 79 and 81 Ashridge Crescent thought to be around 1937 as the hedge was just beginning to grow. Richard pointed out the original concrete posts in the verges and the wooden ones in the front gardens. The chains were taken for the war effort and the posts have long since rotted or crumbled away. One concrete post still survives in Ashridge Crescent just beyond the first cul-de-sac.
He remembers that the double gates were really suitable for nothing bigger than an Austin 10. (click here for more on the Austin 10) Although later, at No 81 the gate posts were rotated 90 degrees so as to gain a few extra inches with the hinges facing across the opening instead of being hidden behind.
The current front and garage doors at number 79 are original, although the crittall windows as is the case on most of the estate rusted away on the weather beaten sides of the houses. Richard explains that galvanising went through a bad patch in the 1930's and the first repaint of the windows was missed due to the second world war.
His mother had the house painted cream which darkened over time and the guttering and downpipes were brown. Number 81was a dark green. He describes the atmosphere at the time as sulphurous and soot laden due to coal fires and the coal fired cement works in North Kent. Paint was very different from the technologically advanced formulations in use today and few colours were stable in the atmospheric conditions, dark green, dark blue and brown worked. Red faded and white didn't exist (worth remembering next time you see a period drama with immaculately painted brilliantly white doors, walls and ceilings!)
Thanks to John Field for the pictures below of Ashridge Crescent