Leisure => Retail => Topic started by: kyn on October 25, 2009, 20:21:51

Title: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: kyn on October 25, 2009, 20:21:51
Construction in 1972
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: numanfan on October 25, 2009, 22:19:49
I was allowed to take some photos inside for my website a couple of months ago - with the same shops in most towns, is there really much difference to Maidstone, Bluewater etc.?

http://www.move2medway.co.uk/index.php?main=results&id=150
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: derrydale on October 28, 2009, 17:47:34
Someone on KFHS sent me this today:

(http://i989.photobucket.com/albums/af16/derrydale/X1100tmp.jpg)

How ones 'minds eye' gets distorted with years ......
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: afsrochester on October 28, 2009, 18:14:29
Can anyone tell me the name of the shop (clothes shop) between Bernards Buildings and George Street that used to sell Ben Sherman and Brutus shirts, Crombies, Tonics, clip-on braces, etc? I remember and it would be '70-71.  They used to display the shirts up the wall in the window. A friend of mine asked me the other day if I knew the name. I said I would try and help.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: afsrochester on October 28, 2009, 22:32:08
Thanks Numanfan, you've rung a bell! 

It may well have been E J Whitakers on the extreme right of your photograph which I think was a "Gentlemans Outfitters". If you or someone has a Kellys Directory for the late 60's, perhaps they would be kind enough to confirm if I'm correct please? I worked in the Borough Treasurer's Department in Globe Lane in '71.

Thanks for posting the photograph. I think that Chatham was so much better then.

Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: numanfan on October 30, 2009, 23:49:34
From the 1967 Kelly's Directory
(http://i727.photobucket.com/albums/ww272/numanfan/kellys67.jpg)

The shop you mentioned was certainly there on the corner.

I see up the road at No.14 a little grocers was doing business. I wonder what happened to them? :)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: afsrochester on October 31, 2009, 19:33:17
Hello kenty.
I'm 90% sure that it used to be Burton's Gents Outfitters in the 70's with the Court School of Dancing, (later White's Dance School)  I believe, over the top of the premises.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Medway Buoy on January 13, 2010, 15:30:03
The picture was taken looking in a southerly direction from Chatham Town Hall along the Brook. The large building is the Cakebread & Robey builders, plumbers merchant on the corner of Nelson Road. Fair Row is the next road along the Brook.
The houses in that area were quite old and most of them were well looked after so did not look too bad.

Medway Buoy
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: peterchall on January 13, 2010, 16:00:48
Hello kenty.
I'm 90% sure that it used to be Burton's Gents Outfitters in the 70's with the Court School of Dancing, (later White's Dance School)  I believe, over the top of the premises.

Hi everybody,
Sorry to be a bit late with this, but it's the first time I've looked at this topic (how many Brownie Points will I lose for that :))
Afs, you can be 100% sure - it was more usually known simply as "Burton's Buildings". In the days of National Service the Dancing School premises was used for Medical Examination of potential conscripts.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: karlostg on January 13, 2010, 16:05:03
Re the photo of the Brook, Mr Numanfan, where did you find the photo, and can I get a higher res copy from you please? (its got the Pumping station in it, and we dont have many photos before 75)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: numanfan on January 13, 2010, 19:21:42
Karlostg,

The photo is from a booklet titled "Borough of Chatham  -  Annual Report 1968-9".

I scanned it at 600 dpi (maximum on my scanner). You're welcome to borrow it if you think you can get a better image. pm me.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Lyn L on January 16, 2010, 07:15:00
The place to buy your tonic suits and Ben Sherman shirts was Unifit which can be seen in the Military Road pic. And Tesco's Ltd at 14, Military Rd was a tiny shop that was Victor Value's before Tesco took it over, that was in the days of Green Shield stamps.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Merv on January 16, 2010, 19:10:54
Of course Lyn then there was Silvers in the High Street, now burnt down.
The Christmas Tree recently stood wwhere Silvers used to be......
Talking of Tonic Mohair then there were the Brogue shoes and only two types were acceptable.
Winchester or Cassidy's, and they cost a fortune even by todays standards...
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Lyn L on January 16, 2010, 19:35:35
Thanks Merv, couldn't think of Silvers name, remembered it began with S  , hubby had accounts with Unifit and Silvers when he was in the RN and home on leave, paisley shirts with rounded button down collars  , remember them. Got his Crombie coat from Uni's

Lyn
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Chatham_Girl85 on January 17, 2010, 00:46:49
silvers was where the xmas tree was

is this the same shop that i remember as Paynes'??
was newsagents that also sold TY beanie babies soft toys?
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Medway Buoy on January 17, 2010, 10:17:07
I think it was Maynes.

Medway Buoy
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Merv on January 17, 2010, 17:30:00
silvers was where the xmas tree was

is this the same shop that i remember as Paynes'??
was newsagents that also sold TY beanie babies soft toys?
The Beanie Baby Soft toy shop was in the Middle, Silvers to the right of it.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Chatham_Girl85 on January 17, 2010, 17:31:26
used to be curtis' the shoe shop, then a curtain shop?
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Merv on January 17, 2010, 17:34:28
Think of it has a Block of 3, Curtis, beanie shop, and Silvers. :)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: peterchall on January 18, 2010, 12:39:22
I remember some of the shops in Military Road being located in temporary wooden accomodation in the Paddock. They would have been the even numbered ones in Kelly's Directtory (Reply#12). Waltons was definitely one, and I think Whitakers was another. Would this have been while the Pentagon was being built?
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: afsrochester on January 18, 2010, 17:01:01
I remember some of the shops in Military Road being located in temporary wooden accomodation in the Paddock. They would have been the even numbered ones in Kelly's Directtory (Reply#12). Waltons was definitely one, and I think Whitakers was another. Would this have been while the Pentagon was being built?
Jones of Chatham, Newsagents and Tobbaconists were in the Temporary Shops in Paddock Gardens, after moving out of their premises in Military Road. The Councils Housing Advice Centre was there as well.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: kevin9522 on January 20, 2010, 20:47:39
Just wondering... Does anyone have any photos of the dinosaurs that were used as a kids play area in the pentagon?

I think they were dinosaurs and if I remember they were quite dangerous. I loved them
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: numanfan on January 20, 2010, 22:55:06
I thought there was a snail ????

Not sure about dinosaurs. Was a long time ago though, so you may be right.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: karlostg on January 20, 2010, 23:17:33
There was definately a snail, I got stuck in it once and cried like a wimp  :)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: kevin9522 on January 21, 2010, 08:27:02
Excellent thanks for that, I think there may have been 2 but... Maybe I remembered it wrong,

Karlos I think I did the same, Several times until I was no longer allowed on it
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: kyn on January 21, 2010, 09:16:17
There was two, there was a snake  :)  I was never tried the snail cos i thought i would get stuck!
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: karlostg on January 21, 2010, 09:32:00
ahhh yes I can remember the snake thing, that was an easy one, until you met someone coming the other way.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Chatham_Girl85 on January 21, 2010, 09:35:18
i can only remember pirates cove...only went there once
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: karlostg on January 21, 2010, 09:48:31
i can only remember pirates cove...only went there once

That was much later. In my day we never had fancy pirates coves to keep us busy.....

One of my earliest memories of the Pentagon was going in the main doors, up above the shops were large white panels and theyprojected moving images and changing patterns etc. I used to think it was the coolest place ever.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: MedwayDweller on January 22, 2010, 22:17:50
Does anybody remember a passage that went from the ground floor (Mr Byrites) up to the first floor (a newsagents that faced the bus bays)? It was quite a steepish slope and was an alternative to the lifts. It's closed off now, thinks it's a facilities area now for cleaning staff. I remember it was always rather dingy and attracted dodgy types!
 
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: peterchall on January 22, 2010, 22:23:27
Yes, there was a passage, somewhere in the Early Learning Centre region. Quite agree about it's dinginess.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: numanfan on January 22, 2010, 22:35:44
Certainly do. It was next to Mr Byrites, which is now Blue Inc. You walked up one slope, turned left, & walked up to a third slope. I think there were lifts at the bottom of the slope, but it was actually quicker to walk than queue up.

And does anyone remember the carpets in C & A - now Wilkinsons? For some reason they generated so much static that you nearly lost your fingers if you touched any metal clothes hangers :)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: peterchall on January 22, 2010, 22:44:33
You've only just reminded me of C & A, let alone the carpets. My wife called it "Coats and 'ats".
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: numanfan on January 22, 2010, 22:55:22
Can anyone confirm that the record shop at the top of the slope was K2? I spent half my life (& money :)) in there.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Stewie on January 22, 2010, 23:04:58
I think you are right, it was on the lefte hand side of the passgae way as you faced it but was a long thin shop and a bit dingy! I never used it much preffering Boots cos my mum got a discount there. Whilst we are at it, do you remember 'Scamps' night club where the bowling alley is now? And the Blue Grotto where the dry cleaners is?
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: karlostg on January 23, 2010, 08:35:13
Isnt the memory weird, I had completely forgotten about the ramp bit, but as soon as it was mentioned it brought back a whole flood of childhood memories about shopping with the family.  :)
We used to use the newsagents up the top, my mum would drag us up the ramp, 3 boys and a baby girl in the pram. I couldnt shop with 4 kids, I cant cope with the 1 I have now!
At the top of the ramp (at some point in time) was an electrical type shop that sold lightbulbs, radios, blank tapes, hoover bags etc etc. All of it cheap rubbish, the sort of pound shop of its day.

I also remember the escalators were over by the side of Sainsburys, infront of the Blue Grotto, where the coffee shop is now. I got told off by a security guard with my brother for allegedly spitting down the top onto people coming up (untrue of course) - 25 years ago and I can still hear his Yorkshire accent scalding us, lol

As for the Blue Grotto , as kids we were under the illusion (from school gossip) that it was a gay bar and that if we walked past it we would get dragged in. I never went near it and was too scared to go to the public toilets nearby. I remember the bar being called Cheers later on in its life, with the same logo as the US comedy.

Mentioning C&A that is now Wilkinsons, the lifts in Wilkos used to be lifts to the Top level car park and the bus station - In the bus station you can still see the ramp and bricked up doorway where the entrance was - I think they must have just turned the lifts around and made a new doorway in Wilkos.


Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: numanfan on January 23, 2010, 08:58:49
Saturdays in the Pentagon was like a giant youth club. I think most teenagers headed down there, just to meet up. That was the time you were allowed to stand in groups on the upper level, looking down towards the lower level. It was so packed by the handrail  you had to wait to find a space.

And yet there was no trouble or people being intimidated, maybe kids were more respectful then?? (apart from a couple of brothers spitting on people going up the escalators - about 25 years ago :) - allegedly!)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: MedKev86 on January 23, 2010, 09:03:09
I remember 'hanging about' in the pentagon and doing much the same, congregating by the handrails with friends as the folks shopped about in C&A and the Co-Op and that was only 10 years ago, I used to love going in Tandys, (I think it was called, next to Sainsbury) when that was about and having a look at the gadgets. Oh how things have changed.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: karlostg on January 23, 2010, 09:19:53
Yes Tandays (the UK branch of Radio Shack), it used to be in the High Street between Iceland and the TV shop but moved into the Pentagon. I used to love that shop , I used to fix electrical gadgets like radios by replacing burnt out resistors etc that you could buy off the shelf in there. Now we just throw things away and buy a new one
Thats making me sound old now but I was only born in the 70's.

Numanfan, why were you hanging around with the teenagers in the upper level, surely you too old for that by then???  :) :)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: flower411 on January 23, 2010, 09:28:54
Hmmm this is bringing back vague memories.

Wasn`t the bus level opened before the shops? If you had to catch a bus in the evening you had to come in to the centre at the Military Road entrance and walk through the unfinished centre and up the ramps to catch a bus.

Seem to remember it all being a bit scary, but thinking back we were probably the scariest things in there !!!!
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: numanfan on January 23, 2010, 09:53:23
Sadly, I was a teenager in the mid 70's when the Pentagon opened.

Me & my mate used to go down there every evening after school & explored every nook & cranny of the place. I'm pretty sure they opened it once a few of the 'big' stores (Boots, W H Smith, C & A etc.) had set up in there, so it wasn't that busy.

On our look around the car parks (I told you we explored everywhere :)), we found that the bridge from Rope Walk across The Brook had a pedestrian walkway underneath. Absolutely pointless bit of information, but at the time we figured that knowing something that most people didn't was fantastic :)



The walkway is still there but is now gated & chained at the car park end.

Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: karlostg on January 23, 2010, 10:18:00
no the walkway isnt there, it got taken down about 6 months ago, they shut the road to do it.  Just the road bridge left now.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: kevin9522 on January 23, 2010, 10:53:10
Did they ever have the walkway open I remember trying to get into it once and it was always locked.

I used to go out with a girl who worked in the restaraunt downstairs on the way out to the old brook pumping station and when she got out of work all the doors were locked up so we had to try and fine either an open door or a way to get to the car park. definately not a nice place  to walk around in the dark
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: numanfan on January 23, 2010, 11:10:41
Walkway was definitely open mid to late '70's.

Sorry, I didn't realize it had gone now, when you step out of the Wilkinsons lift in the underground car park, the gates are to the right-hand side. I presumed they still led to it.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: karlostg on January 23, 2010, 16:11:18
The holes are there blocked up but no walkway - post updated with picture (taken today on mobile, theres dedication for you!)
The U shaped bit is where the walkway spanned across
(http://i824.photobucket.com/albums/zz164/karlosthegiraffe/General/nobridge.jpg)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Merv on January 23, 2010, 16:25:57
Weird is't it, must be a generation thing.
I find the Penatgon souless to be honest, just a place to park and get out of as soon has possible.
I believe the problems they have of keeping stores reflects that has being a general opinion.
Chatham prior to that was buzzing, lots of small shops and charaters.
A few weeks back we were in Chatham and we were watching a "Native American Band"(not real ones 2 are from San Antonio Texas :)), they said if anyone wanted to buy there C.D to be quick because the Police were going to confiscate there equipment because they didn't have a licence or the correct paperwork.
>Low and behold a police car buzzed them several times while we were there.
Yet ignored to Dossers begging for money with cans of Tennants export.
The Band play at festivals all over Europe.
Chatham overall these days is cold and souless to what it once was.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Lyn L on February 03, 2010, 11:11:59
It was exactly the same in 1964 as the last pic. We had our wedding reception in the restaurant in the Paddock, the first they'd had there, guess who tripped up on the hem of her wedding dress trying to get out of the car on a busy saturday afternoon with people queuing for their buses  :) my face matched the floor inside RED 'CARDINAL' polish didn't do much for the dress either.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: numanfan on February 03, 2010, 11:54:25
Here's the Kellys Directory entry for Military Road in 1973. Shows the businesses running on the Paddock. Then compare the East side with the Kellys entry of 1967

(http://i727.photobucket.com/albums/ww272/numanfan/kellys73paddock.jpg)                         (http://i727.photobucket.com/albums/ww272/numanfan/kellys67.jpg)


Definitely lost a lot of businesses in the 70's, the only one that I can remember actually going into the Pentagon was Boots the Chemist.

Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: numanfan on February 03, 2010, 12:51:40
Talking Of Boots, as a child I was absolutely amazed that you would walk in the entrance in Military Road but come out of a door in the High Street.
I can't remember the exact location of the shop entrances, but presumably the 'layout' is still there - H samuels on the corner is still quite a narrow shop in depth.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Lyn L on February 03, 2010, 13:54:24
I seem to think that one entrance into Boots was across the corner of Military Rd and High St but may well be wrong, Samuels was smaller and when Boots moved into the Pentagon that corner was changed and Samuels got bigger. The other door was probably where what was Adams childrens shop or very close.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Merv on February 03, 2010, 16:57:52
Re Boots,
It was quite a place and a hub for Record buyers back in the late sixties they even had booths where you could hear the song before you bought it.
You asked them to play it and then went to listen.
It was so busy back then you could hardly hear it anyway
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: peterchall on February 05, 2010, 09:13:45
Yes, that was the Gun Wharf wall. There was a small personnel gate that was always locked, just past the last tree. See Reply#30in this link.
http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=2119.30



Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: peterchall on February 05, 2010, 12:19:02
I can't decide whether the old lamp post was where the new one is, or whether it was where the iron cover is.
I wonder if the Gun Wharf trees are the same ones.
You've got some loveley old photos :)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Merv on February 05, 2010, 14:01:40
I remember them parades and may have been there for that one, i dont recall cars on it.
but I did attened the single story  concrete buildings there for a few do's
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: peterchall on February 05, 2010, 18:03:44
Re Reply#85: The building at the end of the line of trees was a public toilet, but there appears to be two storeys and I wonder why. Then there was a passageway through to Globe Lane, with access to the toilets.

Next is a pub, 'Imperial Forces' in Reply#68, then Medway Street.

The 3-storey building was the Labour Exchange (today's 'Job Centre') where we went to register for National Service on designated 'Registration Days'. I knew it as 'The Chat' - I wonder if that was just a local name, or were all Labour Exchanges called that? The 1967 Kelly's says it was Co-op Insurance Offices, and in the 1965 picture there is what looks like a sale board on it. Was that when it changed hands?

Numanfan, please keep the info coming. :)

I've just noticed your latest photo while posting this - more memories!; I'll come back later :) :)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Merv on February 05, 2010, 20:09:39
The Toilets has I recall were a tall building, there was also a M&D Inspectors office there in a Green wooden type building

And knowing it has the Chat then is still a well spoken Term.
The Chat.....? probably meant going down to Chatham rather than going down to sign on.
Probably more of a stigma attached them days.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: peterchall on February 05, 2010, 20:21:12
I'd love to see a picture looking over the wall further to the left!
Yes, that was the Gun Wharf wall. There was a small personnel gate that was always locked, just past the last tree.
The Gun Wharf entrance is by the group of people ahead of the bus, and the bungalow that I lived in was down in the extreme left corner of the Gun Wharf, so you can see that it would have shortened our journey into town if the personnel gate was open.

So for the main features of the picture:
Only one private car, but 3 army lorries. The cyclists could be dockyard workers coming off shift, as could most of the walkers who seem to be coming from that direction. The sailors are wearing white gaiters so are evidently on duty, possibly Naval Police.

It's happened again, a new pic before I've commented on the previous one :) Never mind, keep 'em coming. Above applies to Reply#97.

Thanks,
Peter.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: peterchall on February 05, 2010, 21:07:24
Re Reply#100.
I'm guessing that it was a post-war victory parade.

Note the bombed buildings on the left along The Brook. 'Kent Art Printers' were on the Brook and were bombed, but I thought they were on the other side; could have been more than one bomb of course. The picture shows a bombed building, then an intact one, and then it looks like another bombed one. Even today I think there's a new building next to the ex-Army & Navy pub, then an existing one, then the ex-Police Station.

Note the bus stop sign hanging from the striped post, similar in design to the London Underground logo. I wish I could remember the lettering. There were two kinds of stop; one where buses always stopped unless the conductor gave a 'keep going' bell, and 'Request' where the bus didn't stop unless someone was waiting, or the driver was given one bell for somebody to get off.

The sign probably says 'Public Shelter', hooded because it would be lit in the blackout. So it looks as if there was a shelter in the Paddock.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Merv on February 05, 2010, 22:33:51
The Swan pub was along the Brook also Pete, wasn't it.
About where the car park ramp over is.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: numanfan on February 05, 2010, 22:37:29
Sorry, it's not a victory parade, it's War Weapons Week in 1941.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Merv on February 05, 2010, 23:10:53
The other in 65, what event was it, it was early because the Conkers were in Blossom
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: seafordpete on February 06, 2010, 09:49:02


The Chat.....? probably meant going down to Chatham rather than going down to sign on.
Probably more of a stigma attached them days.

Chat is discussed on the Kent words posting. It is not exclusive to Chatham. When I worked at Kemsley Mill & lived in Sittingbourne it meant anything for nothing, such as on the chat -dole or sick pay, doing a bit of chat -overtime, got some chat- scrap or "toot" that could sold
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: numanfan on February 06, 2010, 10:05:12
Merv,

the newspaper cutting just mentions a scene often seen in Chatham - no particular event.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: peterchall on February 06, 2010, 10:47:28
The Swan pub was along the Brook also Pete, wasn't it.
About where the car park ramp over is.
In 1907 there were 7 pubs along the Brook, so it's quite likely.

Sorry, it's not a victory parade, it's War Weapons Week in 1941.
Re Reply#100: I can see now that it's a wartime photo. There's some sort of official at bottom right with steel helmet and gas mask (Warden Hodges of Dad's Army :)), and it looks like there's a protective wall round the Town Hall.

I've done some delving and think War Weapons Week was in March 1941, when the blitz was still on and the public thought there was still a danger of invasion (Russia was not yet in the war). It says something that a crowd like that would still gather in those circumstances.

I've remembered the bus stop wording. It was 'Omnibuses' over the top and 'Stop here' underneath. The centre strip was blank unless it was 'Request stop'.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: seafordpete on February 08, 2010, 13:43:43
AG maps use freelance operators to do the cover and back notes for their maps. In the case of Newhaven I supplied several photos that were of interest rather than of date accuracy. The text was built up from an assortment of sources. Well worthwile as the guy had worked at MOD cartography at Feltham and managed to get me a 1:1 colour copy of the 1938 OS for the area , reprinted by the Germans in 1941 with all the known defences overlaid and a 1959 Russian edition of the same area with all the names in phoenetically written in Cyrillic
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: merc on February 08, 2010, 13:54:33
The picture also shows the Casemate that used to be up on Belvedere Battery (Top right), at Fort Amherst. Only the outline of the foundations remain today.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: seafordpete on February 08, 2010, 16:41:24
Was the top floor later "The Medway Indian Social Club" or something similar?
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: peterchall on February 08, 2010, 17:37:18
Not sure when it became the Labour Exchange.
All I can say for sure is that I went there to register for national service, probably 1946; depends on how old you had to be, which I can't remember.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: jaj on February 09, 2010, 00:42:23
A girlfriend of mine had her 21st birthday party there on the upper floor back in the late 70's and then we used to know it as the Maidstone and District Social Club? (As in the Maidstone & District Bus Company)

Caveat: assuming I've got the right building, that is the building that used to have the Chinese Restaurant on the bottom floor, was it the Twin Dragon or something?  Help someone please, I'm going nuts trying to remember!!



Was the top floor later "The Medway Indian Social Club" or someth
ing similar?
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Merv on February 09, 2010, 00:49:53
I know the M&D had a social club on the pentagon. and yes the old labour exchange did become a Chinese
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: flower411 on February 09, 2010, 08:56:02
Was the top floor later "The Medway Indian Social Club" or something similar?


Used to have bands there. Seem to remember seeing Dumpy`s Rusty Nuts some time in the early 80`s and didn`t Stuart Goddard (Adam and the Ants) play there in the late 70`s ?
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: afsrochester on February 09, 2010, 19:00:40
Re; M&D Social Club in the building opposite the Military Road entrance to the Pentagon, as it is now.
Did one of what would have been my first gigs there sometime in  '71. I remember it clearly because of having to lug my drum kit up the stairs to the club!
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: seafordpete on February 10, 2010, 09:43:12
Re; M&D Social Club in the building opposite the Military Road entrance to the Pentagon, as it is now.
Did one of what would have been my first gigs there sometime in  '71. I remember it clearly because of having to lug my drum kit up the stairs to the club!

We used to have to hump beer coolers up ther, I'm sure it or the top floor became the Indian Social. I remember going there to repair a cooler only to be told that they needed a new one as there had been a fight and someone had thrown it out the
window onto a car below- at least 3 if not 4 stories
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: MedwayDweller on March 14, 2010, 22:35:57
Does anyone remember the Scamps van Damne bar? I was way too young to have ever gone in there but does anyone else recall a huge photo of a scantily dressed go-go dancer dolly-bird outside it somewhere? I'm guessing it would have been visible somewhere from inside the bus deck of the Pentagon as I seem to remember as a young child of the seventies waiting for a bus with his mum and being part-fascinated and part-embarrassed by this image. I seem to remember it being in a kind of dark-brown monochrome. What happened to the club anyway? Would it now be where the ten-pin bowling is?
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Rex on March 15, 2010, 00:10:10
yet another great thread to add something to,

the M & D club, was up around 72 stairs to the top, i used to do mobile discos up there, ( and like the member who used to haul his drums up as well)when i was d.jaying at buskers around the corner, (opp sun pier),
i cant remember if the pentagon was there then, although i did go to visit the pub opposite on military rd, but cant remember the name of it.. every sat lunchtime, i was underage, but looked old enough to get in...

Scamps niteclub and the Van Damme bar, (sundays was the day for that!!) The VD bar as we called it back then had Crazy Chris as DJ (probably better kn
own from local radio as Chris Ryder) who got banned, -- another story --
he lived next door to me By preistfield stadium,along with the dj from scamps, cant remember his name! great venue at the time, but dont think it lasted too long after that... the record shop in the pentagon (as mentioned in an earlier thread) was a regular haunt of mine as well, always used to got there to pick up imports, i remember Dave who worked there, he worked for EMI records during the week, cant remember the name at the mo, but it will come back to me if its not mentioned anywhere else..

dont remember the slope, but do remember the flower shop as you came in the door, as kids were always pinching them and throwing of the top floor into the fountain.-- not me honest!!
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: jaj on March 15, 2010, 10:51:35
Does anyone remember the Scamps van Damne bar? 

Remember them very well. I used to go there in the 70's and my brother and some friends were the doormen there in the late 70's and early 80's. It's fair to say that it was a hell of a rough place.  Every night there were fights or more accurately battles that spilled out on to the steps, and when the patrons had stopped fighting the doorstaff they then carried on amongst themselves in the multi-storey car park.  I often recall dancing on the floor, (thems were the
days  :) ),  and people would be fighting around and under my feet.  It was mad.

Anyway, at the time access to the club and bar was from the multi-storey car park which was open 24hrs a day (there weren't any barriers, cctv, or security etc).

In truth, thank goodness they shut it.

jaj

Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: afsrochester on March 15, 2010, 19:57:20
I remember the Van Damne bar as they started to have bands in the evening, around the late 70's. You avoided Scamps like the plague unless you fancied a trip to A&E!!! (see jaj's post today!!!!!!) :)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: MedwayDweller on March 16, 2010, 22:26:55
So what part of the Pentagon did Scamps/Van damne bar actually occupy and does anybody recall what its final year was? And what replaced it and what is there today, like I said before I'm guessing it might be the bowling alley.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: jaj on March 16, 2010, 22:44:01
So what part of the Pentagon did Scamps/Van damne bar actually occupy and does anybody recall what its final year was? And what replaced it and what is there today, like I said before I'm guessing it might be the bowling alley.

If you go through the Pentagon entrance on the High Street and walk in a straight line so that WH Smiths is on your right and Boots is on your left.  Just next to Boots there is/was a flight of steps and at the top of which was both Scamps and the Van Damme Bar.  Once at that level you would face the entrances
 to the Bar and club with the latter being to the left.  And if you remain in that position you would look over right shoulder and see down back  towards the Pentagon entrance at the High Street. Then again without moving you would look over your left shoulder and see the entrance to the multi-storey car park which I believe was at level 2 (I don't know where the bowling alley is).

As for it's final year, that was possibly 1985 but at that I'm really just guessing.

Hope that is of some assistance.

jaj
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: MedwayDweller on March 16, 2010, 22:55:14
That's great Jaj, you seemed to have cleared that up nicely. Does appear then to be where the ten pin bowling is these days, would fit in nicely bearing in mind the shape and size of the venue.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: numanfan on March 16, 2010, 23:19:34
The entrance / stairs to the bowling alley mentioned by jaj

http://www.move2medway.co.uk/index.php?main=results&id=150  - image 16

And here's the doorway which used to lead up to Scamps/Van Damme

(http://i727.photobucket.com/albums/ww272/numanfan/100_6403.jpg)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: oldsunset on March 29, 2010, 06:49:56
Does anyone remember the Scamps van Damne bar? I was way too young to have ever gone in there but does anyone else recall a huge photo of a scantily dressed go-go dancer dolly-bird outside it somewhere?  

I remember that. You could see it from inside the centre from the ground floor; it was high up on a wall at the end of a spur from the central area.
I was there in the late 70's, we used to watch drag shows in the van damm bar & get far too drunk in scamps, they had brown leather chesterfield sofas in the van bar to sit on, thought it was quite swish...us fort pitt girls knew how to whoop it up...you had to chat up the fat bouncers to get in scamps for free....fun times

Anyone else at the central hotel (top road past the star) disco hall like a shed out the back, DJ always played moody blues "better go now " and put up the lights at 12 on the dot,
or the old ashtree chatham hill in the mid 70's ?..

you could always  rely on a millwall punch up after a gills match...i legged it ofcourse..herds of us linking arms along the top road
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Starboyx23 on May 05, 2010, 18:58:54
Wow - fantatstic memories reading this thread.
I'm 30, so my fond memories of The Pentagon are from the 80's..... as an adult I now see the place as abit of mess and a shame that so much was swept aside for it to be built, but...... I do have some great memories of the place......
My schoolfriends and I would always refer to the office block as a 'skyscraper' - we'd never seen a building taller and more imposing than that before. Stupid know I know.
So here's a rundown of my memories.... (as a kid)
 - I loved the bus station! I thought it was so cool, it was futuristic and dark and was kinda like
a spaceship.
 - The Wimpy just rocked. My parents were friendly with the guy who owned it, so we always got a bit of extra special treatment. One thing I always found fascinating was the long route you had to take to go to the toilet.... it seemed to go on forever, past spare rooms and giant generator type things, up a few stairs and into this tiny toilet - I think it had greenish/crem tiles. Funny the things you remember. I also liked looking out into the darkness of the bus station from out table. Of course as I became a teenager, Wimpy wasnt as cool McDonalds and Benders in Buns were just too funny to order.
 - Beejams used to be oposite the Wimpy as you entered from the bus station. For some reason I liked that shop, even though my mum hardly ever went in there. It became an arcade of mini shops in the 90's before making way for the Wilkinsons.
 - The ORIGINAL D&A Toys - - this was upstairs, along from Wimpy. There was a petshop that was there for years (no animals though - boo!
), maybe another shop, then the original D&A - (before it moved) - I simply LOVED this shop. Before Medway had Toys R Us, we had loads of places to buy great toys. (John Menzies in the high street had a great selection, as did Tescos, and anyone remember ZODAK Toys? (where Rymans is now, next to Debenhams) - but D&A was the best - - they used to have this automated puppet thing that was kinda like a punch&judy, up high by the cash desk. I must have spent hours looking at that. I can still remember me and my sisters buying our He-Man & She-Ra figures there. My sister was into Sindy and we bought her the Fergie&Andrew Sindy set from there. D&A lost its magic when it moved. That whole section is no more - it is where the new Sports shop is.
 - C&A - My parents liked this shop. I also remember the static carpet. And I also remember there were ashtrays in there for the smoking customers!
 - I would really love to see some pics of the centre before the modernisation that took
place - in my head the fountain and pond (where the lifts and escalators are now) were awesome. Am I right in remembering that the pond was in a pentagon shape, and you can clearly see its outline today? (in the centre by the escalators, there is a large pentagon shape, slightly raised up and in different flooring that the rest of the centre) I seem to remember that the fountain was so high it could almost reach the roof - (im sure that was not the case - but to a 7 year old it seemed to be). The only escalator was that really small narrow one by Sainsbury's. We never used that, we used the stairs outside C&A or the 'helter-skelter' as we called it (the ramps by Mr Byrite that went upstairs). Yes it was dark, and I always liked the flooring in there - it had brown bubbly flooring - I guess this was to stop people slipping. We used to fire down that like cannonballs :o) .... Sad when it was sealed up.
 - Also upstairs they used to have new cars on display sometimes (before the Mall Caf
e thing) and little hut things selling badges and stuff
 - Downstairs I have a memory of a cafe that was in the centre (not in a shop) and it had yellow panels all round it - I think it was behind the fountain, going towards the Military Road exit. 
 - There used to be a big 2-floored furnature shop at the Military Road exit (i think Its part BSM now and part Women's Gym)
 - Also at that exit was the really cool revolving doors! These were fab to me as a kid, but you always always got blasted my the cold wind outside, no matter how nice and sunny it was!
 - The wooden and metal play animals were really fun! The long snake was outside WH Smith (I banged my head in that loads of times, especially on the Snake's teeth as you came out of its head) - There was the snail by C&A (great to see the pic earlier) and I think the 3rd one was a whale or something? Whatever happened to those. They were so much fun.
 - WH Smith's upstairs deptartment was always fun to look r
ound. I was in there recently and its closed the upstairs now.
 - Boots record department. Although I always bought my 7inches from Woolworths.
 - In response to an earlier post, I used the footbridge under the roadbridge in the early 90's, so it was definetly still open for use then.
 - I have a huge fondness for that huge sepia front to the nightclub - It was Cheers as I remember it, and can remember my parents being pleased when it closed down (must have been in the '86 kinda time)  - that huge print of that 1970's style Farah Fawcett woman on the front - I used to stare at that for ages.... (when we came out of the upstairs exit of WH Smith) Was sad when that dissapeared to make way for the bowling alley.
 - What was that weird nightclub/lounge downstairs all about then? My dad banned me from using the toilets by it (now I know why :o) ) - so that whole area held a mystique for me.....I remember once going up to the entrance and seeing a fish tank bubbling away a
nd it looked very intriguing..... Did anyone ever go in there??
 - CO-OP 3rd floor - bouncing on the beds. That place always reminded me of 'Are You Being Served?'
 - The HUGE green pillars holding up the roof by the fountain
 - There were a couple of Seeboard/British Gas showrooms in there too.
 
Geez, sorry if this post has rambled on a bit - this is my 1st post here.... memories have been flooding out!
So I have a few questions...... what original stores are left? I'm thinking the Co-op bank outside, Sainsbury's, WH Smith, Boots and the Grill by Superdrug? The floor is vintage as well :o)
What was where Burtons is now?
Does anyone know why Boots had that special display window upstairs - in the old days between C&A and Beejams? It lasted ages (in fact it might even still be there now) - I always though it was odd, because they wern't on the upper level.

Okay i'm going now..... sorry to all you Pentagon haters, but this c
hild of the 80's had some fun times in there! :o)
x


Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: jamie_st200 on May 05, 2010, 23:23:17
brilliant post, its weird what memories get stuck in your head! im five years behind you but also have some great memories of the place. My favourite being the british gas showroom you talked about. I used to love looking at the amber glow coming off of the glass rocks in the replica fires..i remember c&a where wilkinson is now and tandy near sainsburys. i also remember the arcade of shops you talk about as my best mate working in a video games store down there.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: The Rook on May 08, 2010, 02:46:09
Sorry if this has been mentioned before but about where there's the big Martins (?) newsagent used to be (just next to the fountain) a small Our Price. The very first time I was bought a record voucher was spent in there on the cassette soundtrack to 'Gremlins'.

Also I remember the Seaboard shop (?) that one day had a crowd of people outside it looking at the window display; and what were they all looking at ... the new Sinclair C5!
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: numanfan on May 08, 2010, 18:49:32
The Our Price shop was nearer the Military Road exit, next to the large furniture store (Perrings?). It closed down & moved to bigger premises in the High Street, opposite the Central Theatre. It was then taken over by Virgin, then became the V shop & consequently went out of business early in 2009.
I think the original shop in the Pentagon is now a hairdressers.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Starboyx23 on May 08, 2010, 18:57:06
numanfan, you are very knowledgeable - would you happen to know when the Pentagon Modernisation took place? (i think it was at some point in the early 90's) The removal of the water feature, instillation of the lifts & escalators etc
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: numanfan on May 08, 2010, 20:11:59
I think you're right about it being the early 90's. I wasn't a regular visitor to the Pentagon by then, & it was quite strange to walk through it with no stairs there.
Talking about Our Price, does anyone remember the record shop that was just along from Sainsbury's, possibly next to Tandy's? They  seemed to be able to undercut Our Price & I always bought my albums in there. It was only there for a couple of years, towards the end of the eighties - probably weren't making any profit & had to shut down :)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: numanfan on May 08, 2010, 21:53:45
As an avid record buyer in the late 70's & into the 80's, I would head down to Chatham on a Friday afternoon ( pay day) & spend ages walking around the many outlets that sold records back then. At various times, in the Pentagon, you had K2 upstairs, Our Price, the shop by Tandy's, W H Smiths & Boots. Outside in the High Street, there was John Menzies, Woolworths, Longplayer (which was near Church Street), & a couple of suprising shops - the little Post Office next to the Chequered Flag pub sold a selection of current LP's & I bought an Undertones album in British Home Stores.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Starboyx23 on May 09, 2010, 15:09:21
a couple of pics taken inside the Pentagon yesterday -

As mentioned previously, you can clearly see the outline of the old fountain and pond, where the flooring is a completely different colour.

(http://i922.photobucket.com/albums/ad64/starboy_29/chatham/pent1.jpg)

I took this one just to get a reference of where to centre used to have one of its exits to the bus station (The Wimpy exit) - Now redeveloped as a JJB sports store, with a downstairs entrance next to Boots via an escalator. Also note that the green pillars are now yellow (urgh!) and the original staircase was at the end of Wilkinsons (then C&am
p;A)

(http://i922.photobucket.com/albums/ad64/starboy_29/chatham/pent2.jpg)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: BarLyn on May 11, 2010, 19:44:36
I too remember the snake, snail and one other climbing device, not sure what though.

Does anyone else remember the lights projected onto the wall at the high street end of the mall, probably up until the mid eighties? I can't remember much more, I was only knee-high to a grasshopper!
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Terram on October 02, 2010, 11:03:23
I used the Prince Alfred in Fair Row so was sorry when it was pulled down to make way for the Pentagon in the late 60's.

When the Pentagon opened it was great to wander round in the Winter and go from shop to shop warm and dry but bigger and better opened and it seems to have been left behind. Plus with the "new" 2 way system, it is a right pain getting to and from it.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: smiffy on May 08, 2011, 16:16:11
My guess at the date of the picture would be sometime during the mid 60's. When was that style of bus shelter introduced?

Nice to see a colour image of Military Road as I remember it. Does anyone remember what Coopers sold? (shop on right).
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: man-of-kent on May 09, 2011, 08:26:03
Does anyone remember seeing the Paul Savage Stage Band performing in the Pentagon? The band was mainly pupils of Howard School, with a few proffesional musicians added. I saw them twice in the Pentagon, then again in the town hall theatre, and in the central hall. At the later two venues, the MC was John Thurston from the then, BBC Radio Medway.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: davidt on June 18, 2011, 00:13:16
I wanted to share some postcard views with you all. I think these date back to the 1980s. They may bring back some memories.

(http://i974.photobucket.com/albums/ae226/davidt131/IMG_0002.jpg)

(http://i974.photobucket.com/albums/ae226/davidt131/IMG_0003.jpg)

(http://i974.photobucket.com/albums/ae226/davidt131/IMG_0001.jpg)

I thought I had one showing the wooden animals previously referred to in the main topic. I've just had a hunt around but can't find it. I'll post it on here if it comes to light again.

Someone said that they thought the refurb was in the early 90s. I think it may have been the late 80s as I started work in Mountbatten House in September 1991 and I'm sure the refurb had already happened before that.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Spekes Bottom on June 18, 2011, 00:38:44

So it's been refurbished now? It's been a long time since I was there, I prefer to remember it in it's brown and orange glory!

Fantastic photos!  :)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: darrenh on June 18, 2011, 01:29:28
goosebumps, that was me on those toddler reins on several occasions!

the decor is bonkers, its so 70s its almost like a caricature.

great pictures !
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: davidt on June 18, 2011, 08:26:02
I found the other picture!

(http://i974.photobucket.com/albums/ae226/davidt131/IMG-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: davidt on June 18, 2011, 12:39:30
Someone mentioned that the wooden animals were a snail (as shown in the picture), a snake and one other. I think the third one might have been a crocodile - at least that's what it looked like to me when I was about 7!
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Sentinel S4 on June 18, 2011, 12:43:19
That looks like a Nautilus. A sea creature if immense heritage dating back beyond the Dinosaurs.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Rochester-bred on June 18, 2011, 14:06:25
Upstairs in front of what is now the Wilkinson store once C & A's was a carousel of small counter shops
I worked in the costume jewellery one for a while and also had my ears pierced there.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: twistedpretender on June 18, 2011, 14:47:00
Oh my word that takes me back. I remember going into the Pentagon when it first opened in 1975. As I recall there were lots of empty units then - a bit like now in fact! It's rather sad to see how the Pentagon and Chatham town centre has declined over the years.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: farthingcornerservices on June 18, 2011, 22:13:50
The animals consisted of a snake, In front of WHSmiths, where BBs is now, a whale and a snail.

Its interesting how large the main bit is with the fountain.  Adding escalators and glass lifts added nothing really.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: farthingcornerservices on June 18, 2011, 22:19:15
Red lifts near the Pentagon Grill
Blue Lifts that came out into the bus station, now Wilkinson's (turned around the doors in the lift so you exited out into the shop!)  Although they did this when they had a small range of kiosk type shops, including a hairdressers called L'image.
Brown or Yellow lifts - next to Jones of Chatham (possibly a card shop)
Green lifts near Sainsbury's.

I think I have the colours correct.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: davidt on June 18, 2011, 22:58:47
I thought it was Purple Stairs that came out next to Jones of Chatham, newsagents on the ground floor. That was where we always parked. Jones also had a smaller shop as well, upstairs by the bus station.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: farthingcornerservices on June 19, 2011, 20:20:34
Its possible!  Purple stairs.  So many hidden areas in the old layout of the centre.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: man-of-kent on June 19, 2011, 22:31:32
The Blue Lifts were double ended and were located close to the pushchair/wheelchair ramp and served all floors. Green lifts were near to Sainsburys, and as you said, Red Lifts were near the Grill. The Green lifts had the 1st floor blocked off to customers although I understand the doors are still there hidden in the middle of a shop and they can be unlocked in an emergency. I don't know the colour of the Wilkinsons lift. The Blue Lifts are now blocked off although the shafts are still there.
Am I the only person who thinks the new Pentagon sound system does not sound as nice as the old one did? Those long white speakers in Pentagon Square aren't too bad but those plastic box ones above the false ceiling in the malls sound awfull.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: DaveTheTrain on June 19, 2011, 22:40:17
Not too many years after the opening of the Pentagon, my school (Woodlands Secondary) organised a visit, that would have been IIRC about 1977/78.  Of particular interest was the security control room which we were allowed to visit.  I seem to recall it was accessed from lifts via the entrance to the taxi-rank.  It was several floors up, and seemed very large (at the time), with a large number of CCTV monitors covering all of the inside and outside of the Pentagon.  I wonder if that still exists.

Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: man-of-kent on June 20, 2011, 06:51:05
Not too many years after the opening of the Pentagon, my school (Woodlands Secondary) organised a visit, that would have been IIRC about 1977/78.  Of particular interest was the security control room which we were allowed to visit.  I seem to recall it was accessed from lifts via the entrance to the taxi-rank.  It was several floors up, and seemed very large (at the time), with a large number of CCTV monitors covering all of the inside and outside of the Pentagon.  I wonder if that still exists.

The control room is in the management suite on the 3rd Floor. There are loads of offices and a conference room all branching off a large reception area. The green lifts go there but the scenic lifts need a security key.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: karlostg on June 20, 2011, 12:22:18
Thank you so much for sharing the pictures  :)
The escalator pic reminds me of the time that my brother and I got thrown out for 'allegedly' spitting down on peoples heads from the top.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: mr-bins on August 03, 2011, 11:43:12
Back to the kids areas, the first memories I have are of the play area outside Boots and WH Smith where the coffee shop is now.  There was lots of ride on machines which cost 10p each and were all animal themed.  The snake that you could climb through was also in this area.  The "park" was fenced off with wooden walls painted to look like jungle.  This must have been late 1980's or perhaps very early 90's.  They shut it when they opened the pirates cove upstairs, but that was never as good and the rides were more expensive.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Rochester-bred on August 03, 2011, 11:51:51
I was on my way into work in the pentagon one day back in 1980 when a drunk women was splashing about in the pool with fountain in the middle of the pentagon near Saindsburys .
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: gatsovandel on August 27, 2011, 01:41:10
i thought the other, wooden animal in the pentagon shopping centre was whale? i also know that the old escalators near sainsbury's, were total knackered to the fact the company that made them went bust and trying to find spare parts was near impossible and to costly
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: NCR on August 27, 2011, 09:15:02
It was a certainly a whale.

It's tail made a handy seat for bored kids waiting for parents.

You could swing your feet which usually meant kicking some poor mite in the head.

Had a slidey polished wood ramp inside that kids pulled themselves through from mouth to other end.

Not very hygenic by today's silly standards - can't see cleaners doing a good job on it!
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: davidt on August 27, 2011, 13:29:49
I think you're right NCR. I don't remember it being a whale, but I definitely remember the slidey bit going from one end to the other. Perhaps I just didn't recognise it as a whale at the time!
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: gatsovandel on August 27, 2011, 14:30:40
funny, that's what reminded me the tail bit, u could sit on that. i also remember when  catching coaches to Victoria London and when the pentagon was closed   come from the taxi rank use the old escalators,and were a chain link fence would separate the closed of part of the shops. think it was national express?and were the bowling ally is now, was an old night club the was derelict for many years! know my mum and dad went there once.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: NCR on August 27, 2011, 15:21:34
Did anyone else find the blue lifts sinister?. I mean they seemed decrepid from the minute Pentagon opened. The kind of places you expect to find a serial killer at work. They stalled mid way then started again, creaked like hell, and were terribly claustrophobic compared to the others. Terrified me on a late night shopping trip to Bejams with Dad...

They also opened up into what appeared an "older" seedier part of the multistory. In actual fact what I mean was it was badly lit, dirty and stunk of urine - and that was in 1976!.

Now my memory is failing here. I know a large part of the Car Park went up before the Pentagon foundations were complete - was it opened prior?. Were Blue lifts thus not part of the final phase Pentagon spec per se?. Did they run to serve the car park, then when Pentagon was built on to the Car Park perhaps new entrances shopping centre side built?. Or did they just buy duff reconditioned ones, and spent a little more money on the "proper" shopping centre lifts...

There's a photo here that illustrates exactly what I mean. http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=4414.0. Not sure about '72 as a date though. At that point wasn't there a temporary car park near Fair Row?.  The multi wasn't that far developed was it?.

We used to use the temp car park behind a building site at one point (when Military road had temp shops) and I'm sure Dad started parking in the far end of the Multi before the Pentagon Centre opened.



Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: gatsovandel on August 27, 2011, 15:43:28
i not quite sure what lifts were what. but i defendant remember the lifts and ramp that went to bejams an  yes that lift was terrifying and as a kid i would cause mayhem as i refused to go in them lol and that strange ramp so dark and de creped and did stink of bleep! but then, it was either them long steps going up! or the doggy escalator that sounded like it was going to fall to bits! when it was working! then again look at the lighting back then? that was mental looked like you were in a space ship of some sort! i  wander when the fountain was done away with how much money was found? i remember as a kid trying to grab some and been told off! but i remember nothing about the car parks saying that mum and dad did not drive back then we walked every were.

Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: NCR on August 27, 2011, 16:55:36
I think you're right NCR. I don't remember it being a whale, but I definitely remember the slidey bit going from one end to the other. Perhaps I just didn't recognise it as a whale at the time!

The snail also had a slidey ramp - from mouth to it's rear anyway - there the ladder like "roof" curved up to become a climbing frame - so you climbed a ladder to the top of the snail shell?.

Does that sound right with anyone else? - need a good picture of the snail!
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Lyn L on August 27, 2011, 17:19:21
Look at replies 29 and 129 on this thread and that should be the snail , or as someone else put..... 'Nautilus' and I'm sure I remember the whale too.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: gatsovandel on August 27, 2011, 17:39:58
be interesting to find out were these play things are now? can't see them just being scrapped some one must have these? would not Surprise me if they were still on the pentagon premises  some were as there are big storage tunnels under ground! or that's what a  pentagon/Mountbatten house engineer told me once like to speak to him again!
Title: Badge Shop Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Th3doctor on September 01, 2011, 18:39:30
Hi all, just joined to ask if I'm right in thinking that the badge shop that appeared (to 7 year old) to be built into the wall opposite where the lottery shop now stands. Was called "Look laugh + +"? I vividly remember spending pocket money on loads of different badges from there.

You had to stand outside and look through the glass to choose a badge:) I bought one that was green about the size of a 10p piece, that had black writing on stating to anyone who read it to "GO SUCK A FART!" absolutely hilarious to a 7 year old boy:)

All was well with my new badge, until I made the mistake of waring it into Mr Mctaggarts class room at walderslade CP school dargets road. He didn't react at all for about 15-20 seconds (think mr Bronsen) then shook me by the shoulders asking me if I knew what the badge said and exactly how offensive it was? I stupidly replied that of course I did. Lunch time spent up on the wall for me and a letter home including the badge, that was subsequently destroyed by my embarrassed mother.:(

Still have all the badges from LOOK LAUGH PLUS PLUS up in the attic:) Good times:) unless you were Mr Mctaggart that is:(
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: NCR on September 02, 2011, 15:29:46
Some people may be a bit confused by what I obsessively bang on about here particularly in relation to Pentagon as a "mixed use" facility (which it's lost sight of since it's inception) and it's current (in my view flawed) relationship with the rest of the town centre. Others may also have missed this document. Some of which RuM council has chosen to disregard or scale back on.

http://www.medway.gov.uk/PDF/pentagon_development_brief.pdf

http://www.medway.gov.uk/PDF/chatham_centre_and_waterfront_dev_brief.pdf

Still an interesting read and takes it's cues heavily from the regeneration of Manchester; another major centre dominated by a retail/leisure facility/transport hub and the infamous Bullring in Birmingham.

http://www.medway.gov.uk/pdf/Chatham%20High%20St%20Best%20St%20masterplan%20report.pdf

Readers who find the early sections a little dry may wish to skim through the hogwash and get to section 4.0 but please make the effort to go back to the theory later.. :)

If half of what is explored in this document ever gets realised defining Pentagon is going to become even harder. There were nods to mixed use in it's infancy - of a crude nature. The local area lost a few pubs so they stick a couple of bars in. At least one nightclub was lost that I can recall - ditto.

It takes more than that however to wipe away a large area, and disturb the make up and balance of the surrounding, surviving streets and call it job done. Pentagon pulled big stores and customer footfall way from the Rochester end of Chatham High Street in the same way Manchester Arndale shifted attention from, and killed off the old shopping area of Ancoats. Arndale also replaced a high density area of pubs, businesses, residential (slum perhaps but salvageable) now lost forever.

Was this overall a good thing - who can say. An interesting observation made from Manchester's experience is that Councillors of the time stated if they had knew how large it was going to be - they'd have had second thoughts. Also with hindsight we can rue the development opportunities of the sites Arndale replaced. Just ten years after Arndale was built they'd have been looking to keep the character of the area and it's diversity intact and investigating other options. The era of the out of town shopping centre had begun..

The above document subtlely nods to these and other issues when exploring the form a 21st century Chatham may take. Pentagon wasn't just viewed on it's inception as a shopping centre. It was intended, in part, to fill a requirement as a part of the town centre all under one roof. Keeping Fair Row as a the name for a main artery in the centre was not simply a nod to the past - it was a statement of intent.

We're now looking to break down the barriers between exterior and interior to create a more homogenous, pleasant, vibrant and succefful area for leisure, retail and commerce to flourish. For sheer intention I think the design brief, if a little unimaginative and relying on "cherrypicking" should have been applauded as a welcome step. Do we have enough groundswell of support in the Medway Towns of interested people to ensure the Council delivers the best possible vision though?.

Would be a shame if the result is a half hearted rejig that removed some old issues and created new ones. The lessons of the past are never more relevant than when discussing Chatham's future.



Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Rochester-bred on March 21, 2012, 12:24:33
Numanfan, fab picture, it must of been taken around the time I was working in the Pentagon, it looks so busy such a shame it all went downhill eventually.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Starboyx23 on April 09, 2012, 22:57:40
That photo of the Fountain has made my day..... what a flashback..... and I agree.... it looks way smaller than I remember it.....
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: silkenrobe on April 10, 2012, 10:19:36
I found the other picture!


OMG, I remember these now!
Reading about the 'snail and snake' I couldn't place them at all in my memory, but with pics I can. 
Don't remember going inside at all though.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: drunkenbaker on April 13, 2012, 18:55:23
Upstairs in front of what is now the Wilkinson store once C & A's was a carousel of small counter shops
I worked in the costume jewellery one for a while and also had my ears pierced there.

I can remember one of them being a badge shop. It was always a right scrum trying to get to the front so I could look at all the Madness and 2Tone bands' badges. That shop specialised in shaped plastic badges, some of which I still have. I'm fairly sure they sold patches too. I would have spent far too much pocket money on that stall between 1980 and 1982.

Would I be right in thinking there were 5 stalls in total? I hope so as nearly everything in there was themed around 5 sides.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Spekes Bottom on April 24, 2012, 14:41:06
Does anyone remember the old logo for the centre? Wasn't it an orange Pentagon or did I dream it, and has anyone got a picture?
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: davidt on April 25, 2012, 13:45:19
You are right about the logo Spekes Bottom. It was a bright orange pentagon. Don't think I've got a picture anywhere and if I have it cerainly wouldn't be in colour.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: adam1330 on April 25, 2012, 19:27:21
You are right about the logo Spekes Bottom. It was a bright orange pentagon. Don't think I've got a picture anywhere and if I have it cerainly wouldn't be in colour.

Yes you have (sort of):

(http://i974.photobucket.com/albums/ae226/davidt131/IMG_0001.jpg)

You can see it above the stairs.

This is bringing back loads of memories for me!
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: silkenrobe on April 26, 2012, 06:51:24
You are right about the logo Spekes Bottom. It was a bright orange pentagon. Don't think I've got a picture anywhere and if I have it cerainly wouldn't be in colour.
This is bringing back loads of memories for me!

I remember the bright orange Pentagon as well.
And am more familiar with the flower garden in the centre as above than the fishes.
The flower beds with the pea like shingle in them were a pest.  They used to get onto the floor and it would become quite dangerous at times.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: davidt on April 26, 2012, 16:46:15
Wow - well spotted adam1330. I'd never noticed that before!
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: drunkenbaker on May 07, 2012, 13:27:04
Wow - well spotted adam1330. I'd never noticed that before!

I've not been out there in ages, but is there a chance that any of the old logos are still in place in the bus station? I was thinking near the toilets or the old lift. Simply left there forgotten.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: kentmedd on May 18, 2012, 09:20:06
What a wonderful thread.  My first real memories in life were of the Pentagon centre in 1980.  This thread has really taken me back.  In particular it is nice to see the photos from before the refit as it reminded me of the wooden animals which I loved, and the really cool red, blue and white boxed lights that protruded in various places from the ceiling, awesome.  Would love to see a photo of the front of the centre as I remember it being really tall with the old cool brown and orange pentagon logo.  I remember always waving at the cameras in the entrance part outside WHSmith.

It's a shame that the integrated bus station and is now closed wasn't maintain as I thought that it was wonderful.

Thanks to all for reigniting a wonderful set of memories
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: silkenrobe on May 19, 2012, 15:19:26
Wow - well spotted adam1330. I'd never noticed that before!

I've not been out there in ages, but is there a chance that any of the old logos are still in place in the bus station? I was thinking near the toilets or the old lift. Simply left there forgotten.

The amount of times I must have walked around that bus station I'm certain there are no old Pentagon signs left
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: kentmedd on May 21, 2012, 09:05:23
Re old pentagon logo/signs.  I did once see one ( although it was around 7-8 years ago) in the doors linking car park to the centre.  Not sure which ones though.  Possibly no longer there.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Stevo on September 22, 2013, 09:46:19
I remember D & A Toys on the first floor in the Pentagon Shopping Centre. They had a wide range of toys. C & A was great, and Mister Byrite was an interesting shop. When there was first floor access in W. H. Smith, it was brilliant to browse through the book selection they had there. Chatham has changed so much, that the cultural essence that made it what it was has gone. The Pentagon Shopping Centre became a cultural icon for the Medway Towns. Alongside the Canon ABC Cinema that once existed on Chatham High Street and Upbury Way, near to Luton Arches and shops like the newsagent near to the cinema with the Toby Mugs in it, John Menzies, Woolworths and BHS, Chatham once had more of an individual and unique identity.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: darrenrolf on September 28, 2013, 09:40:08
Hi all, new member here. I've been reading this thread with great interest and the photos are great and bring back many memories.
My family have a bit of a connection with the Pentagon. I worked in the (very bad) Silver Scissors hairdressers upstairs for a year (93/94), next to the bag shop, and the bakery. I know it shut down years ago, not sure what's there now as I live in Yorkshire now!

My mum maybe the longest serving worker in the whole of the Pentagon now. She works in Boots as a Dispensing chemist. She went to  work, straight from school, at the old Boots store in Military Road, before the Pentagon was built and was transferred there once it was built. A couple of years ago she was awarded something (can`t remember what) from the Boots company for long service. She's due to retire in a year or so and I must say, she's looking forward to it!!
My sister also got a job with Boots in the warehouse.
On another note, I remember those animal sculptures dotted around the place. The snake one in particular as I have a vague memory of being told that my uncle was late for something and was running through the centre and decided to jump over snake, which he failed to do and tripped causing him to break his wrist! (that'll teach him for threw the place!)
Another couple of memories that's jumped into my head was when one of the Stars Wars films was released, Darth Vader came to visit D & A toys!!! Anyone remember that? I used to get all my Star Wars figures from D & A's.
And the other one was the old Ourprice near the High Street entry/exit. I think it was when it was closing and they were selling loads of stuff off. I got loads of (minus their cases) Heavy Metal cassettes, (it was what I was into at the time, lol)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: darrenrolf on September 30, 2013, 00:09:00
Hi all, new member here. I've been reading this thread with great interest and the photos are great and bring back many memories.
My family have a bit of a connection with the Pentagon. I worked in the (very bad) Silver Scissors hairdressers upstairs for a year (93/94), next to the bag shop, and the bakery. I know it shut down years ago, not sure what's there now as I live in Yorkshire now!

My mum maybe the longest serving worker in the whole of the Pentagon now. She works in Boots as a Dispensing chemist. She went to  work, straight from school, at the old Boots store in Military Road, before the Pentagon was built and was transferred there once it was built. A couple of years ago she was awarded something (can`t remember what) from the Boots company for long service. She's due to retire in a year or so and I must say, she's looking forward to it!!
My sister also got a job with Boots in the warehouse.
On another note, I remember those animal sculptures dotted around the place. The snake one in particular as I have a vague memory of being told that my uncle was late for something and was running through the centre and decided to jump over snake, which he failed to do and tripped causing him to break his wrist! (that'll teach him for threw the place!)
Another couple of memories that's jumped into my head was when one of the Stars Wars films was released, Darth Vader came to visit D & A toys!!! Anyone remember that? I used to get all my Star Wars figures from D & A's.
And the other one was the old Ourprice near the High Street entry/exit. I think it was when it was closing and they were selling loads of stuff off. I got loads of (minus their cases) Heavy Metal cassettes, (it was what I was into at the time, lol)


Just to add something else, from a vague memory. Does anyone remember the travel agents upstairs in W H Smiths? I seem to remember there was some doors there that, from what I remember, on the opposite wall was a massive picture of a seventies looking girl, complete with 70's hair do. Was this something to do with a roller disco up there or something?????
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: King Chav on September 30, 2013, 00:51:10
Oh, the Pentagon... remember it well! The last time I was in there, I noticed the fountain had gone!
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: King Chav on September 30, 2013, 10:15:22
There was a fountain and people would throw coins into the water - unless I imagined it!? My friend Paul and I used to pretend to be The Persuaders and run around the place, shooting imaginary baddies! People probably thought we were most odd...
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: MedwayDweller on September 30, 2013, 20:59:34
Darrenwolf-

That huge pic of seventies gogo dancer was due to the bar and club called Scamps and Van Damne bar. It occupied what is now the ten pin bowling alley.  Had a terrible reputation and if you search it out is loads on here about it.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: selkent on November 11, 2013, 19:01:36
Hi there, I have been interested to a worrying degree about this shopping centre since boyhood. My mum used to take us there at the weekend, although she preferred Maidstone and its higher quality retail emporia. Although I am now in my thirties I am still interested in the Pentagon and whenever I walk around the place I'm always hoping that a cleaner or security officer leaves some door open so I can take a peek down a hidden service corridor or somesuch.
 There is a wealth of information available at the Civic Centre in Strood. I was surprised to learn that the Pentagon was supposed to be larger than present, and there were also plans to build 120 flats on top of the Brook car park, presumably the intention being that people would live in the flats, shop in the Pentagon and work in Mountbatten House(incidentally it took eleven years to fill that block).
 A previous poster mentioned old signage. In the Brook car park on Level 2 there is an original orange logo sign that was there when I last visited a fortnight ago.
Apologies for the lengthy post but as I say, I do love the place, even though I shouldn't.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Lutonman on November 12, 2013, 19:50:07
I looked after the gas installation there at the time of construction and "back stage" was just boring concrete steps and doors.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: peterchall on November 12, 2013, 21:11:51
Wasn't there once a ramp from the ground floor to the first floor, about halfway along the main 'corridor'?
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Stewie on November 12, 2013, 21:29:22
Yes Peterchall, think it came out by a record shop I used to frequent upstairs.

 :)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: kyn on March 04, 2014, 12:41:18
The old orange logo still in place on level 2
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Rochester-bred on March 04, 2014, 17:43:26
Back in the late 70s/80s I worked in Scamps and the Vann Dam bar and the Pentagon was like my second home. I miss the old atmosphere that used to be in it, as now it`s not the same but back then you had all the regulars who shopped there or even hung around the shops etc. I remember walking in the day it opened as a school kid, I was amazed at a real life shopping centre having only seen them on TV in America. I remembered the ramps, the fountain, having a drink in the Blue Grotto and having my lunch in the Golden Grill, those where the days. :)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Rochester-bred on March 04, 2014, 17:46:17
I actually have a picture of myself back in the day in the black uniform with a red rose that we had to wear on the door or behind the bar there, will see if I can dig it out .
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: kyn on March 04, 2014, 17:50:53
Pentagon mirrors in the closed café on the ground floor.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: kyn on April 20, 2014, 21:55:04
The holes are there blocked up but no walkway - post updated with picture (taken today on mobile, theres dedication for you!)
The U shaped bit is where the walkway spanned across

Only the section over the road was removed, the walk way still exists at either end.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: YoungNan on April 22, 2014, 18:49:43



Just to add something else, from a vague memory. Does anyone remember the travel agents upstairs in W H Smiths? I seem to remember there was some doors there that, from what I remember, on the opposite wall was a massive picture of a seventies looking girl, complete with 70's hair do. Was this something to do with a roller disco up there or something?????
[/quote]


Yes Darren
There was a W H Smith Travel Agents upstairs. I used to work there  :)
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: Rochester-bred on April 23, 2014, 08:08:31
YoungNan, it wasnt a roller disco it was just Scamps the nightclub.
Title: Re: Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham
Post by: YoungNan on May 01, 2014, 18:59:47
It was Darren who asked if it was a roller disco  :) 
Sorry, my fault for copying his post (not very well!)  I was just replying to the W H Smiths travel bit.  :)