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Author Topic: The Strand - Gillingham  (Read 44000 times)

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Shell

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Re: The Strand - Gillingham
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2012, 16:17:11 »
I loved the Strand as a child, to me it seemed it was my very own personal playground! From the start of summer at the age of five, until the end of summer when I was eleven, my mum was in charge of the boating pool at the Strand, and also kept an eye on the paddling pool next door. She'd stand around in her waders in the water for most of the day, helping people in and out of the boats, charging 20p for half an hour.

 Almost every School day from about the age of eight, I was helped on to the 145 bus to the Strand, which actually went into the Strand then, unlike now.  Got off the bus, and went over to the boating pool, let Mum know I was there, and headed for the swimming pool. 

Every year Mum got me a season ticket for the pool, and as children do, rain or shine I'd be in the pool, even if I was sitting on the bar in the shallow end, because the water was too cold to swim in! It was there that I was taught to swim by 'Auntie' Rita, the head lifeguard, and was kept an unofficial eye on by the sun-tan ladies.  And if I wasn't there, I was running around the play equipment, outside.
 
Sad, I know, but I remember it all.  The blue ship like the one in Gillingham Park, but with a slide, the blue and red fireman's watch-tower, the yellow and orange helter skelter, where several children fell off of it, the green slide with cabin, the joy wheel roundabout, the 14', 12', 10' sets of swings, and the baby set of swings, two see-saws, and the concrete tent thing! The bandstand, the cafe, the first aid hut, the train, the pitch and putt, and the crazy golf. 

During the summer holidays, nearly everyday except Sunday's, I was down there, running around.  When it wasn't busy, I had free goes on the paddle boats, we caught stickleback fish in the boating pool, and for the most part had a good time.  But I also remember long boring days, with no one to play with, being stuck in  Mum's hut with her, with nothing to do because it was chucking it down, wishing we could go home, but couldn't leave until 6pm, when she finished work. 

I had boundaries of where I could and couldn't go.  I was to stay away from the road, not leave the Strand, not to go past the golf cabin, not to talk to strangers, and not to go onto the beach, without an adult, because it was dangerous.  And the one time I did sneak onto the beach to see my first jellyfish, my dad, who worked for the council, happened to be down the Strand that day and saw me!  Then I really was stuck in Mum's cabin with nothing to do!

I remember watching the magic shows and the groups playing at the bandstand on a Saturday afternoon, and always wanting to get a packet of chipmunk crisps from the cafe, but Mum refusing to pay out 10p, for those crisps, when the crisps in the shop, on the way home, were only 7p!

Looking through some of the Strand photos posted, and the one of the murals on the wall,  I remember that my mum was still working down there that summer, just after the wall was painted, so they've been there nearly thirty years!

There were a lot of fun times there, but it's all changed now.  But every now and then, I still get, "Did your mum work at the Strand" or  a "I remember you, your 'Auntie' Pam's daughter, from the boating pool!"  As most of the regular locals new my mum as either 'Auntie' Pam or Mrs Boating Pool Lady!

darrenh

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Re: The Strand - Gillingham
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2011, 11:47:07 »
I remember the paddling pool and the larger kids boating lake in my lifetime, and that would've been the EARLY 1980's.  Nan and grandad used to take us there.  From what I remember the paddles were on hand cranks ?  rather than pedalo style.

I remember the outside pool being a bit grim back in the 80's, a bit victorian concrete chic'.

Rochester-bred

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Re: The Strand - Gillingham
« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2011, 09:20:21 »
WildWeasil you bought back memories of when I was a child mum would pack cold toast and sugar sarnies, a bottle of diluted squash and we would walk from the top of Darnley Road to the Strand, Mum and us four children, to spend the day there. I loved the swinging boats and only once went in the big pool, spending most of the time in the baby's paddling pool as I couldn`t swim, lovely memories.

bcoffey

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Re: The Strand - Gillingham
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2010, 22:08:53 »
Does anyone remember the pedal cars for hire in the Strand.I remember being left quite happily to my own devices pedalling around a wooden structure that I think I caught a glimpse of in a photograph on this site.


Offline ann

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Re: The Strand - Gillingham
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2010, 19:29:19 »
Picked up on this thread and traced it right back to its origins. Fascinating to read, and wonderful photos.  It was a favourite place during my childhood.  Mum would settle herself down for the day, and I would spend hours and hours in the paddling pool.  If we went on a Sunday, dad would come too and he would take me on the paddle boats.  I also remember the swing boats with the ropes. From what I recall, I was usually sick on the way home after going on them.  There was the little railway and I also remember a cafe.

We caught a bus there and the destination stop mum asked for was the Jezereels.  I used to be
intrigued by this lofty tower (long gone)  Have a postcard somewhere of it, but wonder if there is an existing thread for this topic.

LocalLad

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Re: The Strand - Gillingham
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2010, 21:58:22 »
1950. From the book 'Images of England - Medway Towns'
Yes, I was going to say early 50's, due to where the bus is in the picture.
At that time there were two routes into the Strand, the one as now, but on a slightly different alignment coming out to the west of the present roundabout (a nice sweeping curve lined with trees), the other was the bus route, they went across the top of the paddling pool (see position of the bus) then through whats now the gas works turning left making an L shape and coming out on Pier Rd somewhere near where the access to Gillingham Marina is, and if I recall correctly there was terraced housing lining one side.
And the pool, me & my mates would spent a lot of time in there during the late 50's, you could stay in there as long as you liked, there was none of this half day sessions lark.

Offline prefabkid

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Re: The Strand - Gillingham
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2010, 18:42:17 »
From my own collection.

Offline prefabkid

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Re: The Strand - Gillingham
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2010, 18:40:38 »
From my own collection.
Postcard dated 1947.

Uncle

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Re: The Strand - Gillingham
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2010, 19:41:22 »
I used to walk to, or ride my little bike down to the strand from Twydall in the early '60s....I think that the swingboats & paddle boats were 2d or 3d for a session - maybe the same for the pedal cars ( the police car was my favourite) Every now & again I remember seeing a Punch & Judy show near the bandstand. Eventually I managed to get my mum to cough up 10/- for a season ticket to the swimming pool - that must have been in '66 or '67. Writing my name in the slime at the deep end after jumping from the top board will stick in my mind forever. Oh the memories & the fun...pop music was reaching the psycadelic stage & was just magical to me.

aitch

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Re: The Strand - Gillingham
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2010, 20:44:10 »
As a teenager in the 60's the 4th Rainham scouts owned a yard by the strand where we kept canoes on a weekend we were taken down there by mini - bus or car to canoe on the Medway and if the tide was OK we were allowed to go out to an island that had a fort on it for a picknick and a look around the fort - great fun thing to do - wouldn't be allowed now due to health and safety I suspect. If a large tanker was going into the isle of grain we used to "ride" the bow wave in our canoes - we had to be careful not to capsize or we would have been in trouble.

Offline karlostg

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Re: The Strand - Gillingham
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2009, 13:35:49 »
There are lots of images of the Boating lake on this site ,
http://medway.fotopic.net/c1488256.html
and other pictures of the Strand (and a lot more!)
(doesnt allow direct image linking)

splashdown

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Re: The Strand - Gillingham
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2009, 20:04:13 »




Happy memories of the strand it felt like a grand day out my littler sister running along side the train bigger sister in front with me behind.  I believe summer 1968




merc

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Re: The Strand - Gillingham
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2009, 19:43:03 »
So was this for guys only????
As far as i know the swimming pool was for men "and" women, in the early years...

Unless anyone knows different ???

Offline PaulG

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Re: The Strand - Gillingham
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2009, 19:01:41 »
Hi all

So was this for guys only????

merc

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Re: The Strand - Gillingham
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2009, 16:34:41 »
On the 27th June 1896, Mr Cuckow opened an open-air swimming pool at Gillingham Hard, where swimmers could swim in safety. The pool became very popular.



In 1920 converted railway cariages were added for use as changing rooms. Also chlorination, aeration and filtration units were added about this time which had long been needed to keep the water clean.



During the inter-war years the paddling pool, boating pool, putting green, bandstand and cafe were added.  The Gillingham Town Guide promoted the Strand as a Riverside Lido. By 1938 it was possible that as many as 12,000 visitors could arive in one day.



The miniature railway was opened after the war in 1948, and swings and roundabouts a year later. From the 1950's the attendances at the Strand started to drop due to alternative forms of leisure becoming available.

 

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