A Slippery Situation at the Sewage Farm

Mick recalls a daring foray to the forbidden sewage farm with his friend Hutchins, while John recalls the area before it became South Norwood Country Park.

In this audio you can hear Richard, Mick and John.

This audio is 2 minutes and 49 seconds long.

Transcript

Mick: Well, it was a sewage farm, and we weren’t really supposed to get down there and go in there because, you know, with all the bits and pieces what were going on down there, and it was quite a large area. But kids being kids, we used to go through the fence and get in there and they used to have tanks. So not massive tanks, but just tanks. You could literally walk through them. And we used to jump over. And myself and a boy called Hutchins who owned the greengrocers in Portland Road at that time, the family did. They also had stables between Oakley Road and Sandown Road at the back of the shops. We used to go down there and play and one time we both slipped in and went down and went headfirst into it, came out and managed to get home, as you do. We got home and knocked the door. My mum was like, what the hell had we done? Well, I’d done, so she pulled me in, stripped me off, took me outside to the kitchen, scrubbed me down, then whacked me, then took me and went to the bus stop to wait for the bus. Along come Hutchins and his mum and them two were like moaning at both of us. And we ended up down at Croydon General Hospital getting jabbed.

John: The South Norwood Country Park. We used to cycle around as children and run and play around which was just down the road, which is actually almost connected to Love Lane Green. It’s a continuation almost of the park on the other side. The South Norwood Country Park used to be a sewage farm, before I was born and it was converted. But as children, we used to try and find the old sewage pipes that existed underneath. But they’re now all mostly used for rainwater, it is still a massive overflow area for rainwater and we did used to find ourselves go venturing into the pipes and going on tours underneath South Norwood. Sometimes we’d find ourselves like a mile away from the park somewhere near the high street. But with our wellies and torches, I was amazed how we even found our way back sometimes, but that, that was just one of the odd obscure things I thought of recently that I remembered. Yeah.

South Norwood High Street Stories is funded by Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme delivered by Croydon Council. For more information visit www.croydon.gov.uk/southnorwood

Image Credit: Croydon Council

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