I grew up in Rainham & Wigmore in the 1970s and went to school at Fairview Infants and then Juniors where the headteacher at the time was Mr Queen. The walk to school seemed like a couple of miles going up from Edwin Road to Drewery Drive but looking now on maps it says only a mile! It's surprising how many shops and businesses that used to exist even what I consider that recently (although it's now over 40 years ago!) no longer exist. Walking school buses are seen as a new thing and certainly weren't known as such in the 1970s but we did much the same by meeting friends at different points on the route to school picking up more people as we went.

Walking up Edwin Road there was Munden's Newsagent on Durham Road opposite the junction with Edwin which is now a private house. I'd stop there on a Friday to get my weekly comic and spend a few pence on Space Dust or some similar sweet with the remaining money. Later on it was Smash Hits to find out the latest pop news. On the corner of Edwin Road towards East Hoath Woods there was another shop, initially a DIY shop as I recall, then video rental and finally general store before closing in the late 1980s and converting to flats.

Going along Springvale there was the Smallholders Club which still exists although now much bigger and on the opposite corner of Springvale & Woodside (number 55 Woodside) was a butchers shop shown in Kelly's Directory as Fred Beal, Butcher. Again that's now a private house. Going up Bredhurst Road there was a dairy on the right hand side. Originally this was Terry's Dairy but was bought out by Unigate in the 1970s

Memories of teachers at Fairview School include Miss Davison, Mr Roome, Mr Thomas, Mrs Bone, Mrs Terry and Mr Baker who I remember smoking a pipe and the very distinctive smell of pipe smoke afterwards! Every summer the Fairview Schools had a June Fair to raise money for the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) and I remember my parents helping out setting up stalls over several years. My mum was a keen baker and would often be baking trays of cakes or biscuits to sell at the fair. One attraction was the Fancy dress competition and the photo below is of Fairview Junior School fancy dress competition approx 1981.

My grandmother lived on Woodside and after school we would often go to her house for dinner and being near to school it was a convenient place to get collected from later on. If she'd ever run out of any items for cooking dinner she'd send me along to the Co-operative store at the end of Woodside that then became a pet store and is now a takeaway and Raj Rani.

View of Woodside looking towards Hoath Lane  where the Co-op shop was located

As a keen stamp collector as a child the other place I regularly visited to buy new stamps when they were issued was Wigmore Post Office. I can't remember when it happened but it has been extended and the internal layout changed significantly since then.

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