Carefree times swimming in river
My memories of Frogs Island, by Jean Groat, 84, (nee Rennie).
BORN at 23 Canterbury Road in 1922, I had two brothers and two sisters. As well as swimming in the river, we had a rope we used to swing on to get to the other side, but we often fell in. I remember Dicky Twidpler, Nobby Clarke, the Jupps, Nixons, and the Barnes boys, as well as my friends Kath Burgess, Iris Collins, Una Timmins and Peggy Downs. On the way home from Newtown School, we used to play on the green. I remember one day one of the boys called me by my nickname, Jenny Ren, and I only allowed my father to call me that. I started fighting him when all the kids began to run away. A master was coming and I fled. I never knew the boy’s name, but he turned out to be Hilary Crust, a pilot, who was unfortunately killed in the war. The Tin Hut Adult School was a good place for a ‘hop’, mostly run by the committee. My mother being a member, with Martha Swain and Mrs Brookland. My parents moved to Banks Road, Beaver Lane, when I was 13, but we still went to the shops in Cudworth Road. They were Brebner the chemist, Bellamy the baker, Beattie and Armstrongs, clothes and shoes. I moved back to Cudworth Road when my husband returned after 22 years in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Now I live at Kingsnorth, but still go to Frogs Island with the Kent Association for Disabled People, as I am disabled. We have club nights at the SWAN Centre, and also a luncheon club there.
Jean Groat with pictures of her family