Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Kath Perry 1912-2009

Kath Perry 1922

Kath Perry 1922

Robert Blizard writes (Jul 2009)


My mother, Kath Perry died recently (April 2009).

She was born Enid Kathleen Perry in 1912.  She grew up in 20, Newgate Road in a working class family where the men were  labourers who became soldiers and the women domestic servants.  She lived there until the Second World War. She often talked about early life in Bohemia, how the twittens between the roads were great places for hide-and-seek.

A couple of stories about her grandfather, Henry Perry always amused us: the family had an allotment on the land to the east of what is now Combermere Road. Henry kept chickens and the rooster became a nuisance to the folks who lived in the big house on Tower Road West. Henry was reluctantly forced to kill the bird; after the head was cut off, the body flew up and went straight into the kitchen of the complainants’ house and splattered blood all round the place.  The bird, it seems, had the last laugh!

On another occasion, Henry was ‘Jack-in-the-Green’ at the Bohemia Mayday celebrations of 1919.  It was the first real Mayday since the end of the Great War.  Kath always said how much fun the day was but how she wished that somebody else could have been Jack. Kath was exceptionally shy!

After finishing schooling, she found work at 79, Bohemia Road, [now offices of the ‘Village Voice‘].  I’m not sure when Feaist’s Dairy became Henry, King and Feaist but when Kath worked there (1927-1939), it was, or became, a confectioners and caterers. She said her first job was to polish the brass (it still needs polishing!). During this period, a Timpson’s charabanc would regularly pull up in front of 79, Bohemia Road, and refuse to move away until a shy shop assistant waved back to the the driver! The driver became Kath’s husband,  Sydney Blizard, and they ‘migrated’ to the West Hill.

The Perry Family continued to live in Newgate Road until the 1980s.  The photos show Kath, aged about 10, taken outside the  Newgate Road house and the other on her 90th birthday.

Robert Blizard, Upper Maze Hill.

Kath Blizard 2002

Kath Blizard 2002

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