Bow: Then and Now

The Geezers and Boys from Bow Boys School share their experience of growing up in Bow across the Generations.  Territory.  Music.  Clothes. Entertainment.  Hopes and Dreams.  To discover they have much more in common than they thought.

An Geezers intergenerational project, winner of an iCoCo (Institute of Social Cohesion Award) award.


    1. Hello Young Barry Smith,
      Yes, I am That — Tom Old from the ” Once Great Market that was called — ” The Roman ”
      Yes, Barry, I can STILL remember you as i last saw you many years ago , !!! Barry, all my memories of those fantastic , long ago days when we were young, Only seem Just like Yesterday !!! Sadly, we took it all for granted !!! thinking it would Never Change !!! I had to visit Bow three or four weeks ago, on a Sunday, and as I turned into the ” Roman ” from Parnell Road, the very first person that I saw was —— my very old dear friend — Buster Boulter !!!! walking his Greyhound !!! we had a talk for about half an hour ( with me doing most of the talking ) !!! Barry , these days I’m living in Felixstowe, I shall be 74 in October, my old dad died in 1978 , aged 58, and my dear Mother died last year aged nearly 97 !!! my elder Brother Peter sadly died in 2007 and my younger Brother Billy / Willy died in 2019, !!! I hope all This has cheered you UP !!! —– I dont go to bed each night before at Least 1am !!! because I just lay awake thinking of ALL the people that I Once knew !!! And are No Longer with US !!! and I dont think it will be That long before I meet them All Again !!!! Barry , I thank you for remembering me after ALL these years !!! Best Wishes Always , from the person that was Once , Young Tom Old , xxxxxx

  1. I spent half of my young life in ” The Ritz ” cinema in St Stephens Road, alas, mostly by ” bunking in ”
    I only have happy memories of it, And, Never, did I Ever refer to it as ” The Bug Hole or ” The Flea Pit ” and to do So, is to do its memory a grave , unwarranted injustice, I ABSOLUTELY loved ” The Ritz ” cinema , and it was a Sad day when it closed for Ever , !!!

  2. I went to Fairfield road boys school around 1949.Mr McHarrie was our headmaster….Mr Pickering, Mr King, Mr Pope were some of the teachers there then.I lived in Archibald street, opposite Wellington Way school..Miss Harvey was the headmistress there and Miss Ayres was my teacher in primary.The roof was off due to bombing. Us youngsters used to sleep on rubber mats in the hall, and at times listening to the aircraft and guns going off….

  3. Another great piece of film, I went to Bow Boys between 1958 and 1963, the headmaster was Mr Cormode and my form teacher in the last two years was Mr H Brown (Known as Harry or Crocus because he was a keen gardener) and the class number was 8 Alpha. Paid a return visit to the school in I think about 2008 which was very interesting. My old classroom on the top floor was the music room and there was a young lad in there and could he play the piano. His mother was with him along with the music teacher and I said to them ” if he keeps playing like that one day he’s going to make his mum a rich woman” I do hope he carried on with it because he had a natural talent. I’m a firm believer that everyone has some form of natural talent but you just have to be young and lucky enough to discover it. The Ritz down St Stephens road was either known as The Bug Hole or The Flea Pit” and my parents would never let me go in there, it was ok to go to the Mile End Odeon on a Saturday morning though ( only lived 3 or 4 minutes walk away) Suits of course had to be hand made preferably 7 ply mohair and Italian shoes.
    It is amazing how this site just seems to unlock so many memories.

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