Thursday, 8 September 2016

Living without Mod Cons part 6

By the late 1940’s the Chambers were no longer living above the shop. They moved first to a house on Begbie Road and then to 83 The Woodfields in Sanderstead, Surrey. It was a time when houses had names and the name of the house in Sanderstead was Shangri-La.

No doubt my gran was pleased to be in her proper milieu, a mock Tudor house in Croydon which was becoming increasingly middle class. I remember it as a decorous house with a separate dining room with a serving hutch through from the kitchen. The kitchen must have had a regular stove as that doesn’t stand out in my memory but the refrigerator was small, half the size of the one in our kitchen at home in Montreal. 

Did it have central heating? I don’t remember, but it did have a fireplace in the living room in which the coke seemed to be lit frequently. I remember the coal shed at the side of the house which intrigued me almost as much as the cupboard under the stairs where, disappointingly, only brooms and the vacuum and things like that were kept. I was also interested in the heated towel rail in the one and only bathroom but at least there was a separate WC.

My favourite room was the living room with its fireplace and French windows framed with velvet draperies. The windows led onto the back garden which was so long that the first part of it was good for playing games while the back part had a sizeable vegetable garden. It would have taken a lot of work to keep the house and garden going and, knowing my gran, I am sure she kept a gardener and char woman busy. 

Shangri-La, 83 the Woodfields, Sanderstead



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