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Street parties live long in the memory

July 17, 2009
Author: Steve Bridger

Ryedale-1945

Joy Cook can’t wait for The Big Lunch on Sunday. Joy and her mother are in this photo, which was taken on VE Day in May 1945. The memories of that street party came flooding back to Joy, when one of her neighbours, the food blogger “The Ginger Gourmand” (aka Naomi), knocked on her door and handed her a leaflet announcing plans for another street party, 2009-style.

Joy produced this fabulous black and white image of that day 64 years ago, when the community gathered together around trestle tables borrowed from the church in Blenheim Grove.

The photo was taken by a photographer working for the South London Press, who at the time also gave a copy to Joy. (I’m going to get in touch with the current editor today, to share this story!)

The blogger in me wanted to find out what this section of Ryedale in East Dulwich looks like today, which you can see (below) I managed to do with the help of some Google Street View magic.

Google Street View

This Sunday’s Big Lunch will actually take place in Cornflower Terrace, which is just around the corner (behind the row of houses in the foreground), and where Joy is celebrating her 50th year as a resident. She recalls that their VE Day street party had to be re-located to the end of the road, on Ryedale, because of three brick street shelters built in the middle of the Terrace.

Roll on Sunday.

Many thanks to ‘The Ginger Gourmand’, with whom I had a great conversation about all this; she has also blogged about The Big Lunch herself. Southwark Council deserve a mention, too; the council has gone out of its way to enable street closures in the borough this weekend.

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One response to Street parties live long in the memory

  1. thegingergourmand says:

    I was told last night that another of our neighbours, Phil Ward, is also in the photo as a young boy. Phil has lived on or very close to the Terrace all of his life and has lots of family in the area. I'll ask him to point himself out on Sunday!

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