Wamba Avenue and Shafton Road – Memories 70’s and 80’s

Wamba Avenue - Shafton Road - Recollections from 78 - 89

When you look at Wamba Avenue and Shafton Road it's a little bit different than it was years ago.

Shafton Road especially where the new builds are, well they have been there now for several years.  Gone are the shops and flats above them, replaced with modern homes with their own driveways etc.

This page is just to put on the web what the area used to be like.

Wamba Avenue - What did that look like in the past

Wamba Avenue is a block of flats with 2 closes. Each close has 6 flats with 2 on each floor. Ground floor, 1st floor and 2nd floor.

The flats inside comprised of living room, kitchen, bathroom, master bedroom behind the veranda.  Smaller bedroom at the back next to the bathroom and final bedroom which was at the rear and to the right as  you walked in the door.  The houses also featured a small cupboard before the living room more so for hanging coats etc.  As soon as you walked in the hall / lobby there was a long walkin storage area. Used to be called the press. It housed the electric metre which at that time you had to put money in. 50p's were needed.   There was also a cupboard in the landing for each flat.  This was used primarily as a coal shed.  There were 1 or 2 flats who used it as such in the late 70's early 80's.

One of the good features of the flats was the veranda, and on a sunny day many residents sat in their verandas doing sun worshiping.  A blanket was usually put over the bars for privacy.

The flats did have a lot of space.  The master bedroom did have a double door cupboard.  The kitchen had 2 cupboards, one in the middle opposite the sink had a heater in it for clothes drying.  There used to be a double sink I seem to remember.  There was also clothes pulleys on the ceiling of the bathroom and I seem to recall the kitchen too.   As I write this I realise how good flats they were for their time.

There was a loft entrance at the top floor flats.

There was bin sheds and drying greens at the top end of 10 Wamba Avenue.  These bin sheds were  about 6 ft or so tall.  You could climb onto the top of them using the wooden white fences which surrounded the drying green.  These fences and bin sheds have been replaced with smaller bin areas and metal fences, which serve the time.

Outside the ground floor flats each had a small garden, some had hedges with small wooden fences.

In the middle was a large green lawn space which the kids would play in.   At the top end there was a rose bed area.  At the bottom     this was more where there was bulbs planted.   There was 2 small trees which had the little orange berries.  There was also a very large tree which was in the middle far side of Wamba Avenue.  It must have restricted the light for the houses in Wilverton but it was a lovely big tree, sad to see how this grass area has changed.  Another part of the grass area that's disappeared is that it was on a raised bed, so there was like a shallow end at the top near the bin area, and at the bottom end the wall was about three feet high.  Sad to see that this has gone.

In the summer the grass area a lot of kids would make big tents from blankets from the house. Long before quilts 🙂   Using the trees, some rope or washing line and pegs.   We all had the idea we would stay out all night but this never happened, by 1030pm the tents were brought down for the day.   These were the summers of 78 and 79 etc when school holidays lasted a long time and summers actually were roasting for a fortnight.


Shafton Road - Flats and Shops

Before the new builds of Shafton Road, there was flats and shops in that area.

The shops were busy for the area concerned and consisted of a butchers, then newsagents, Brodies which was a grocers and then I think the last outlet was the laundrette.

I don't really know much about the Butchers or the Laundrette, never had a need to go in there.

The newsagents had a man who ran it who as I type this did n't seem to take any cheek but actually seemed ok.  I think he was tall with brownish hair. There was a few women who worked in the shop too.  The shop as you walked in had a display on the wall on right handside.  The left had side had a really long counter the first part had a the newspapers etc the second part had a glass display and had things like ACDO soap powder for sale.   The back section at the top was the great bit, the sweet counter.  Texan Bars, Spangels, Nutty bars sweets which have now gone.  Proper sized Mars Bars and Marathons.   The bit that I loved was the peanut machine, which was a glass fronted machine and it had a heater in it, so the peanuts were lovely and warm and you would get a 10p bag of peanuts in paper bag.   Was my fav part of that shop.   As I type the sweet section also had sweets in jars such as sweet peanuts, bon bons, etc etc.   The shop had a large glass window with some toys in it etc.   Airfix kits and some plastic bike kits you could assemble they costs 10p I think.

Brodie and Son's Grocers.   This was an old school grocers like Alf Roberts would own from Coronation Street.   I did n't go in here a lot, but sold groceries before the age of freezers.  Brodies also had a shop up at the shops at Knightswood Cross where you could go in at lunch time and get a really great roll and gammon.   The older man Brodie was a nice old chap who I spoke to a few times when I got taken in there.    The son was in his 40's with grey hair and black glasses.  I always remember they drove really nice Volvo Estates.

The front of the shops were quite dark as there was a canopy over the top.

The flats above were entered further down by eventually an intercom up a close.  Not sure what the flats were like inside.  Behind the flats and shops was a large perimeter wall which ran as far down to where the power generator is still.  Inside the walled area was a very large almost secret garden with roses, bushes and a few trees. Some lawned areas and drying greens.