N21 Festival Memories Project
Memories of a Lost time ..
Ref 1: Doreen Berner, 1927
One of my memories is walking with the children, one in a pram, from Willow Walk to the Green to buy fresh bread and cakes from Chalkleys the Bakers on the corner of Hoppers Road.
Ref 2: 1943
I remember visiting Winchmore Hill in 1965 from Wood Green to visit the beautiful antique shops.
Moved to the area in 1972 and remembered the Haberdashers ‘Mary Harris’
Ref 3: Brian Foyle, 1936
Smells around the Green. I have a clear memory of smells around The Green during the war.
1. As I walked to school the smell of stale beer as I passed the open cellar trap doors of the King’s Head.
2. The lovely smell of baking bread from Chalkleys the bakers where we could buy crusty bread rolls for 1/2d. (1/2 penny). The shop is now occupied by Men’s Outfitters, 21 The Green.
3. The strong smell of coffee being ground from the general grocer Paterson & Young shop now occupied by the restaurant Samdan.
4. The smell of grease and oil from Mr. Knowle’s car repair workshop in Wades Grove.
Ref 4: Brian Foyle, 1936
St Pauls School.
I started the school in 1941 during the war and sometimes we had to crowd into the area of the school called “the shelter” that had been reinforced with great heavy pieces of wood to prevent the collapse of the building should a bomb fall close by.
There was an infant’s section with two classrooms and a junior section with four classrooms with high pitched ceilings, all heated by big open coal fires. The lavatories were in open but roofed buildings at the extreme ends of the playgrounds.
The school house, at the front of the school was occupied by the head teacher but when Mr. Gaylor came, the house became the school office and verger’s residence as Mr. Gaylor had a house in Beaulieu Gardens.
We had no playing fields and didn’t play football or go swimming until after the war ended. There were three playgrounds, one for infants and two for juniors.
Ref 5: Brian Foyle, 1936
Patterson & Young
There was a grocery store on The Green known as Patterson & Young. There was a crest fixed to the wall outside showing Queen Victoria had shopped there. The manager was a Mr. Caplin who lived in Station Road. There was a general grocery counter with coffee grinder, piled high with goods to form three or four small counter spaces in between for customers, a separate provisions counter with a big rotary slicer, and on the third side a sub-post officer counter. In the centre was a high desk surrounded by glass screens where you paid for the things you had bought and with stairs down to the cellar below.
Ref 6: Brian Foyle, 1936
George Nix and the Blacksmith
George Nix owned the dairy business on The Green with a shop which the dress shop “Pure” now occupies. They delivered milk every day to the whole of Winchmore Hill with horse drawn carts. The horses were stabled in the area behind the shop in the area now known as The Old Dairy Square with access off Wilson Street and the passage into Wades Hill between Winchmores and Bijoux. Every so often a man with a thick leather apron visited the stables to fix new steel shoes to the horses hooves as they worse down by walking on the hard paved roads. He lit a furnace to heat the shoes so he could adjust them to fit.
Ref 7: Brian Foyle, 1936
The panicking horse & milk cart
George Nix was the local dairy retailer with a shop on The Green and dairy cold rooms behind where the Old Dairy Yard is now. This is where the dray-horses were stabled as daily deliveries were made throughout the Winchmore Hill area with horse drawn carts.
On one occasion one of the horses was frightened by something and galloped off at speed with the cart behind it. Unfortunately and sadly the milkman in charge, in trying to stop the speeding horse and cart, was killed. Generally the horses were very quiet, slow and friendly.
Ref 8: Elizabeth Hewlett, 1931
Having been born in 1931 I was only seven when war (1939) was declared—my school days were very disrupted by air raids—we were told if we were within a short distance of the school to run to school, if we were nearer to home to go back there. Needless to say even approaching the school gates didn’t stop us from running top speed to home!! If we were at school it was a quick dash for the shelters, I remember sitting on benches learning my “tables”! Some days we only went to school half days—during air raids not at all. Fortunately I must have learnt something even under those conditions, as I always had very good office jobs when I left school.
Ref 9: 1924
Escorting two groups of girls across an entrance to the coal cellar of the school, where they found planks of wood to sit on to continue their lessons, which had been interrupted by the howling air raid warning. There was not a sound from the girls; they were terrified, but very brave and controlled. They stayed, working there til the “All clear” was ended; then they walked home.
Ref 10: 1924
On Sunday we would have roast beef for dinner and we would have some bread which we would use to soak up the juices from the roasting pan we would call this ‘A sop in the pan for dicky’
Ref 11: 1924
I remember the various tradesmen that would go round the street. The muffin man carrying the muffins on a flat tray on his head and ringing a hand bell. The rag and bone man who had a small roundabout on his cart to give children rides and the coal man with his horse drawn cart and sacks of coal.
Ref 12: 1924
As a child I remember the great Cambridge Road (A10) with hayfields alongside which we would play in, and watch people picking peas. We would climb trees, play conkers and bake potatoes on a camp fire.
Ref 13: Audrey Kirby, old enough!
Woodland Way did not have a made up road—it was just grit so if you fell off your bike it was really painful. There was a lovely shoemender at the bottom of Hoppers Road his name was Mr Bogley—his shop smelt lovely (leather) our shoes were soled with leather so they had to be re-soled quite often. I thought the Green of Winchmore Hill was the country as the grass was not cut and it was full of wild flowers.
My Mother told me that when the bomb was dropped on Palmers Green Station there was a very loud bang—my sister screamed and my Mother said its ok I just dropped the hot water bottle (stone) onto the kitchen floor—so that was ok then!
When we were children we played cricket in the road—if we saw a car coming we just waited until it went by.
When I was five I used to cross Bourne Hill by myself—although my sister got told off for letting me.
There were three cinemas so we had a good choice and usually went at least once a week. It was 2s 6d 3s 6d or 1s 6d. If you went with a boyfriend you expected to go in the 3s 6d.
Ref 14: F. Kendall, 1928
Moved to Vicars Moor Lane in 1964—at that time the strict Baptist church was still being used as a church. I do not know when the use of the church ceased but it’s now a home, and the church outline (outside) is still for all to see.
Several houses in Vicars Moor Lane still show the fire insurance name visible on the front.
64 Vicars Moor Lane, my house, is sited at the former entrance to a farm owned by two quaker brothers.
Ref 15: 1947
Born in Hoppers Rd. Nursing home closed after complaints from GP and I went to Eversley on the day it opened.
I made a friend when I was 6 and sixty years on, we’re still friends.
Ref 16: Mrs S Jacobs, 1949
When we first moved to Winchmore Hill, as a family, with two children and then a third child came along; we had lovely neighbours. One side was from Sri Lanka originally. The husband was a botanist and loved to tend his garden, especially the standard roses. Sadly he died, fairly soon after and his wife moved to Rugby, to live near her children.
The carnival came right past our garden each year and we and our extended family sat on our wall, to watch it come past. Great fun.
Back in 1990, I met an elderly lady in her nineties whose mother owned a tea shop on The Green which was frequented by staff and/or patients from the hospital during the 1st World War. She vividly remembered best the herd of cows being driven up Church Hill from the Grovelands Estate at milking time—which was (presumably) attached to the dairy behind the shops.
Ref 18: Hilda Smith, 1923
I have lovely memories of commuting to Farringdon on the steam trains. The trains were made up of individual carriages each holding 12 people. Very easy to meet friends.
Ref 19: Jennifer Jones, Resident since 1979.
Radcliffe Road’s front gardens (now mainly car parks!) at the front gate was a laburnum tree and another tree darkened the front room. I thought it was a quiet little back water, a haven of peace compared with the East End where I worked. Behind the house was a tennis court and pavilion in a bluebell wood. The seeds still germinate in parts of the garden but the wood has been replaced by bungalows, so no more do we see ladies and gentlemen in tennis whites laying out lunch on white table cloths. On Green Lanes, we had a wet fish shop, two butchers and two bakers. These, sadly have also disappeared with a haberdashery and wool shop on the Green. We also had three antiques shops on the Green which have quality items and were an important part of the character of the area. The Nat-West bank near David Way furniture shop, closed a few years ago and the two public toilet building is now a white house.
Ref 20: 1924
My Dad had a motor bike with a side car and would take us for day trips on it. Dad would drive with my sister riding pillion. Mum would be in the front seat of the sidecar, my brother and I on the back seat, you didn’t wear helmets in those days, we would go to Southend, Margate, Brighton. On the way we would stop at a pub, Dad would have a beer we would have a lemonade. No drink driving laws then!
Ref 21: Doris Wright 1927
When I was 7 we rented two rooms in a house—the lady who owned the house would not let us use the front door so we had to climb in and out of a window. There were no proper facilities and one day as Mum was preparing dinner my younger brother pulled a pan of hot water over himself and I had to go running round the local pubs, to find my Father. After this the council found us a house.
Ref 22: Bernard Burnett 1923
I served in the Army during the latter part of the war, when we had leave we would come home our parents and other siblings would sleep in the air raid shelter but my brother Arthur and myself liked to stay in our own beds. On one leave home our parents persuaded us to join them in the shelter. That was the night a bomb hit the house.
Ref 23: Margaret Morley, 1930
I was 9 when the war started. My sister (who is 8 years older than me) and I were all ready to be evacuated, waiting in the hallway to be collected when my sister whispered to me ‘I don’t want to go’. I immediately ran to tell my Mum who said ‘Right—you both stay here with us and we take our chances.’ My school had a large brick air raid shelter built in the playground, when the siren sounded to warn of an air raid we all had to (sedately) walk out to the shelter. Once seated, a teacher would read to us until the ‘all clear’ sounded.
I was in the Girls Life Brigade and I loved the monthly parades through the streets behind the band of the Boys’ Brigade. Everyone would come out and watch us march by.
Ref 24: Doris Wright, 1927
I am the eldest of 11 children. My mum had nine pregnancies (2 sets of twins) all of us except one were born at home, we were very poor and for many years we didn’t have blankets on our beds only our coats. We would have porridge for breakfast; our main meal was the school dinner and then grated windfall apple sandwiches for tea.
Ref 25: 1927
My Dad left my Mum at the end of the war and Mum had 11 children to support the youngest were 9 months old. The courts awarded her maintenance of 30 bob (£1.50) per week, Mum went out to work and our treat was 2 of us went to the pictures a week so we got to go once every six weeks, but if we were naughty we would lose our turn and wait another six weeks.
Ref 26: 1946
As a young boy in 1952 I remember seeing lots of adults with yellow fingers. Sugar rationing had just finished and the first sweets available was sherbet powder which you ate by licking your finger and sticking it in the powder.
Irene Williams 1942
During the 1st World War, my great Grandma’s youngest son, Tom Roberts, was playing football in the street with his mates—he was 16 years old. A group of women passed and one shouted “you should be fighting like our sons, not playing football”. Racked with guilt—he went and signed up the next day, lying about his age—saying he was 18. He was killed in action. This serves to remind us how our words can affect others.
Ref 28: Ian Williams 1939
My eldest brother who is 3 years older than me, never had underpants until he joined the RAF at 18 years old. He didn’t see his first banana until he was 16—(how times have changed). When he was given it, he didn’t realise it had to be peeled back before eating it!
Ref 29: Irene Williams 1942
To keep warm we wore a ‘LIBERTY BODICE’ over our vests. They had rubber buttons down the front which would get squashed when put through the mangle. A mangle was used to extract excess water, after washing and before hanging to dry.
Ref 30: Ian Williams 1939
Food was difficult to come by as we didn’t have supermarkets or money. We would eat pigs ears, pigs feet (known as trotters), tripe (the lining of a sheep’s stomach) and cow’s tongue. Dried egg and dried milk was imported from the USA because of shortages in the UK. Tinned corned beef was popular due to the lack of red meat. It was imported from Argentina.
Ref 31: Ian Williams 1939
During the war, we used to run along, following the American trucks.
All the kids used to shout “Got any gum, chum?” in the hope they’d throw us some chewing gum.
Ref 32: Irene Williams, 1942
The French soldiers were always very smart in their navy outfit. They’d wear a navy, pill box hat and a navy cape with a red satin lining. They would often throw one edge of their cape over their shoulder, so you could see the red satin.
Ref 33: Ian Williams 1939
Clothes were rationed and you needed coupons to buy them. My Friend, Bob, was so poor that when he started school his trousers were made out of his mum’s old skirt, cut up the middle and stitched to make the legs. Clothes rationing finished 1949. The slogan was “MAKE DO AND MEND”
Ref 34: Ian Williams 1939
Just before the Queen’s Coronation, people started renting TVs from “Radio Rentals” or “DER”—they were too expensive to buy. We mainly listened to the radio for entertainment. Each day at 7pm we’d listen to “Dick Barton-Special Agent”. The program would start with “Will Jack and Snowy make it tonight—will they manage to escape”—it was very exciting.
Ref 35:Irene Williams 1942
In pubs, women were only allowed in the ‘Lounge’ or ‘Snug’ area. They were not permitted in the ‘Bar’. People would often take a jug into the pub with them, so they could get it filled and take it home.
Ref 36: Irene Williams, 1942
My Dad Hugh Jones was signed up for the navy when he was 29. He volunteered because he didn’t want to be conscripted to the army, as he could kill another human in hand to hand combat. He served on the HMS Walker.
Ref 37: Joan Deane 1929
The government removed park railings as they needed as much metal as they could find. This was melted down and used to make planes, guns and ammunition. Firs Park was filled with barrage balloons to stop enemy planes flying overhead.
Ref 38: Joan Deane, 1929
In 1938, a plane came down at the end of our road, which demolished the tops of 3 houses. 13 people were killed. There’s a memorial in Church Street cemetery.
Ref 39: Irene Williams 1942
If we developed a chesty cough, my Mum would plaster goose grease on our chests and back. This would then be covered by sheets of brown paper. We would then have to keep it on under our vests overnight.
Ref 40: Joan Deane 1929
At 9 I was evacuated to Treorchy, Wales with my 4 year old nephew. The rest of the family stayed in London. I was away for 3 years. We didn’t have a lot of contact with our family during the 3 years—just the odd visit.
Ref 41: Joan Deane 1929
At 15 I went to VE night in The Mall and Hyde Park. They made a huge bonfire out of all the wooden chairs. This was May 1945 and everyone celebrated the end of the war.
Ref 42: Joan Deane 1929
Trams used to run from London, through Edmonton, to Cheshunt—Hammond Street. They were not used during the war because the government used the iron of the tracks for the war. The trams were often stopped as London suffered from “PEA SOUPERS”—a thick smog that would descend over London due to pollution.
Ref 43: Hilda Rawlinson 1924
My Father built a brick air raid shelter at the end of the garden. Because the condensation would build up on the ceiling and drip on us, my dad put glue on the ceiling and stuck cork on it to absorb the wetness. It was so dark inside that dad drilled holes in the top of the door to allow light and fresh air in.
Ref 44: Michael Gibbon 1933
Sixty eight years ago, I was a little boy aged 10 1/2, living at number 12 Broad Walk when it happened. I was fast asleep when I was awakened by a really loud BANG. The house opposite us had been hit by Adolf Hitler’s V2 Rockets, which had been nicknamed Doodle Bugs. I tried to get out of bed, but the blanket was too heavy to move. The blast had blown the curtains on to my bed, and they were covered in hundreds of tiny pieces of broken glass. My Mother came into the room and told me all our windows had been blown out. She told me to get dressed and we went to sleep in a friend’s house a few doors down the road.
Ref 45: Charles Cruden 1941
I have fond memories of the Stationer’s School playing field. In the 1950’s it was situated on the site in Green Lanes currently occupied by Sainsbury’s. There were 3 football pitches and a cricket table described by the legendary Dennis Compton as one of the best he had played on. There was an imposing wooden pavilion, which also provided accommodation for the groundsman’s family.
One afternoon a week we would make our way from the school in Hornsey, walking to Green Lanes, where we would catch the 629 trolley bus to Winchmore Hill. The trolley bus travelled along rails, powered by electricity, conducted through cables from above the bus. Some of the boys travelled to the playing field by steam train from Harringay to Winchmore Hill station.
After playing football or cricket we had tea in the pavilion before making our way home. Happy days!
Ref 46: Irene Williams 1942
My Mum’s eldest brother, Samuel Gordon, was a “reel runner”. His job was to take the big reels of film from one cinema to another. He would use an old wooden hand cart, and would take the old films and collect the new ones.
Ref 47: Sheila Winters 1928
After many years living in Solna Road going to Ragland School I was evacuated to Norwich, on returning home I went out to the Prudential to work at 14, very young. Mason’s corner was lovely then with a lovely pet shop and many other shops. Marrying at 22 from Solna Road. I had a lovely send off from family and neighbours.
Ref 48: Patricia Halstead nee Dumayne 1936
I was 3 years old when World War II began. All the children would collect and swap shrapnel, sharp bits of metal from bombs and aircrafts. We had ration books for food and clothing, gas masks, dried egg, spam, camp coffee. We would wait outside the school gates because if the air raid went we could run for home. One night we heard the drone of a doodle-bug. It came right over our house in Farm Road. The drone stopped and Dad yelled “Everyone downstairs quickly”. Our house shuddered in the bomb blast, windows shattered—but we were all shocked but together and fine. The bomb landed in Highfield Road and the next morning we all went to see the damage.
I can remember the joy when the war ended—especially V.J Day when Japan surrendered because it was my birthday, August 15th and everyone had a big bonfire in Laburnum Gardens to celebrate. My brother Alan Dumayne had become a local historian and wrote about Winchmore Hill, Palmers Green and Southgate.
Ref 49: Beryl Rendall 1931
We moved to Vicars Moor Lane in 1964, just before the demolition of “Vicarsmoor”, a large house which had ivy and a tree branch growing out of a chimney. George Parr House was later built on the site. Before Stratfield Park Close was built we used to walk along parallel to the railway and pick blackberries. For the Queen’s celebration in 1977 we had a street party and had a tug of war which took place across the bridge in Vicars Moor Lane. We miss the drapers and chemist which were on the green.
My Childhood—by Eva Salisch
I was born in Breslau in Germany on 16th February 1928. We lived in a large flat where my parents had their dental surgeries. We had a “nanny” to look after me and my brother, who was five years older than me.
I really don’t remember much about my early years in Germany. I learnt later that I was suddenly not allowed to go to school, or to the swimming pool or the cinema. My real earliest memory is going to school in England, aged eight years old, and being unable to speak or understand English. We rented a house in England until about 1955, when I was 17, when my Mother and I moved to a flat over her surgery.
As a family we played cards and board games. I played mostly with the boy next door. I liked boyish activities and had little interest in dolls. I preferred to climb trees and jump over the brook.
I joined the Guide Association and enjoyed that very much—I am still involved in it. As we had very little money (and NO pocket money) all entertainment had to be free of charge! I cycled on a second-hand bike, roller skated, went scrumping for apples and picked berries with my friends. But a large part of my childhood was spent doing Guide activities.
While I was at school I wanted to be a P.E teacher (I remember having a crush on my P.E teacher!) Gym and games were my favourite subjects although I also enjoyed science and maths.
I think that today’s children are rather spoilt and disrespectful. We were in trouble, as children, if we did not stand up for adults, hold the door open or offer to carry things for old people. They grow up too quickly, nowadays.
How a Firebomb cured lumbago—by Olive Tasch
My Father had lumbago. He was off work and had been prescribed liniment by the doctor and was lying in bed. Once day the doorbell went and when my mother opened the door a voice called “you’re wanted on the stirrup pump—incendiaries have fallen!” My father leapt out of bed, grabbed some clothes and was out of the door in a flash!
When he returned he said “my lumbago has gone!” The next day he returned to work.
Evacuation—by Olive Tasch
In August 1939 our thoughts were not on war. Neville Chamberlain had assured us the previous year that all was well so we set off for the Vosges Mountains looking forward to our holiday. We enjoyed the walking, the mountain scenery and the good company.
On August 25th we arrived in Strasbourg on our way home. The world had changed. There was an air of fear in France. The stained glass was being carefully removed from the Cathedral and refugees were arriving from Alsace Lorraine. There had been German occupation there in earlier years and many of the people were afraid that it would happen again.
Our leader then informed us that London teachers were being recalled from holiday. We boarded a crowded train making for the coast. We had to stand in the corridor of the trains—unfortunately we were near the lavatories; I can still smell that journey home. There were several refugees with us—hoping to join refugees further from the border.
When I arrived home there was a letter to tell us to report to school on the Monday. It was explained that we were to be ready for evacuation although no one knew exactly when we would go. The next morning all the children in our school whose parents were willing for them to go arrived with luggage and gas masks. We divided the children into families within groups and each morning we amused them and explained how they would enjoy going into the country and seeing all the animals on the farm…
Friday 1st September came and we were to be off. The local vicar said he would like to speak to the children so they lined up in the playground. He then proceeded to undermine the work we had done in preparing them for a “happy holiday” by emphasising how brave they must be in the “terrible times ahead”. Consequently we walked down Bagshot Road to the station with some of the children and their mothers in tears.
However we left the parents behind and boarded the train to Diss. It was a hot, sunny day. When we arrive we were taken to the village hall and given sticky buns and drinks for which we were very grateful. The groups were then put on coaches according to which village they were going. My group went to Corleton Road, to the local school. The people who were to have children looked them over and eventually I was left with two children. A woman said that she would be willing to take a mother and two children. We explained we hadn’t bought parents with us. Then, to finish the business, I said “I’ll come with these two-that will do as well won’t it?” She supposed it would. When we arrived at the house the reason for her requirements became apparent. She only had one room with two beds that we were to occupy. She explained that the boy (who was 10 years old) would have the single bed and I could share the other with the 5 year old girl. I changed things round and put the two children in the double bed and took the single for myself. In the morning I went to the billeting officer and after same discussion I deserted my children and was billeted in a cottage with one of the infant teachers and a very pleasant elderly lady who had been service to Val Gielgud (John Gielgud’s brother). We spent the mornings walking round the sugar beet fields and picking blackberries while the local children used the school – we had use of it in the afternoons. However, because there were no air raids, the children drifted home and we soon found the morning locals in our school.
The winter that year was very cold – there was thick snow in Norfolk. There was no coal for the stove. I remember one morning when Mr Fehn, the local teacher, took all the boys out to search for wood. Meanwhile the desks were pushed back and I took the girls for country dancing. When the boys returned the stove was lit and we all settled down to do arithmetic.
In the Spring there were only a few evacuees left, so we were recalled. When France fell we were re-evacuated. This was better planned – we took furniture and books and set up our own school. We were only scattered over four villages this time and a coach collected us and took us to “Our school.”
A few outstanding incidents come to mind. When we arrived the evacuees were being chosen and one farmer said “I’ll have that boy, but I don’t want his sister. You could see his point, as Peter was tall and strong and would have been a great help on the farm, but his sister was small and looked as if she needed care. I said “they go together” and they were billeted with a pleasant couple where they settled well.
I went with another brother and sister. We were given a meal of bread and butter and lettuce when we arrived – which was quite pleasant. Next morning we were given bread and butter and lettuce for breakfast. I asked if the children could have an egg. I’d seen a great tray of them. “No,” I was told, “we have to send them to market – there is a war on!” When lunch time came we were given bread and butter and lettuce again. I went to the billeting officer and asked if there were any other places available. The officer didn’t think so, said I said “what about the Castle Farm?”
“Oh, an elderly man lives there,” he replied.
“Who looks after him?” I asked.
“His daughter,” came the answer.
“Couldn’t she take someone?”
“Well,” he said quizzically, “they’re Church of England.” (He was a staunch chapel goer).
“That will do!” I said.
She turned out to be a very pleasant woman and when I told her the children weren’t “little ones” but were 9 and 11, she took them and they settled well.
I found myself a billet with a Miss Tamplin and her elderly mother on a small holding “Village Farm” and I remained there for some time.
There are many tales of billets but I think that is enough for now…
Ref 53: 1931
In 1936 I was enrolled in the infants’ class at St Paul’s school next to the church by the Headmaster Mr Johnson, he was everybody’s idea of a ‘kind Grandad’. By the time I was in the juniors, war broke out in 1939. We had an indoor shelter and when the siren sounded we all went in and sat on the floor. Mr Gayler was the new headmaster and he loved music. In order to drown the gunfire he played lots of recorders and we sang along forgetting there was a raid on outside! We had milk and biscuits if we were there for a long time as we could not go home until we were fetched be our adult. I and five friends were lucky – aunty Foster, as she was known was an A.R.P warden and she would use her car – she would pick us up as soon as she could and we all enjoyed a bumpy ride home along Hounsden Road which was still an unmade Road!
Ref 54: 1931
I remember in my pre-school years, going to The Green, via Wades Hill with my mother to do the shopping. We went to John Buckles provisions and groceries and they and most of the shops delivered the order the next day. The delivery boys came on bicycles but the milk was brought round by a horse and cart from Nix’s Dairy and I used to look forward to visiting the horses in the field at the end of the Alders and giving them a carrot.
Each week Mr Tubby the greengrocer used to bring vegetables round and our Mums could go to the cart and buy what they needed and we children used to give the small horse a lump of sugar. One day I sneaked out on my own with my dolls pram. When my mother missed me, she ran out and met Mr Tubby “Oh,” she said “have you seen Joyce?”. “Yes” he said, “She is off to Palmers Green, but I think you will catch her up—she keeps stopping to nurse the babies”. She did and with a sigh of relief I got a good ticking off. I did not let my imagination go too far again!
Ref 55: Ian Williams 1939
My Mum used to buy white Windsor soap which was a big block of plain, white soap. When it was worn down to a sliver, she would put it in a jam jar with water. When full, we used the jelly that had formed as shampoo. I can’t imagine Cheryl Cole advertising this!
Memories of a Lost Village, Cyril Jones, 1917
You will see by my date of birth I was born 5 years after Henrietta Cresswell wrote her book. However I never knew her personally as I was born in Barnsbury, a small area in the borough of Islington, which is a short distance from the city of London. In her book, Henrietta says that Winchmore Hill was 10 miles from our capital city. Barnsbury is about 4 miles from St Pauls Cathedral and might be similar in size to the Winchmore Hill area. I think trams and buses would have passed through Islington on their way to Enfield Town.
Sadly my mother died when I was only 5 years old and can only remember her from pictures. She had pictures taken of me, before she died, dressed in a knitted suit that she made. I may have the photos with me during the Festival, so if you can guess who ‘Young Cyril’ is you can come and ask me to show you the photo. Before he remarried, my father took me to live with him at 27 Ripplevale Grove, where he lived as a child. If your parents have a London Street Map you will easily be able to find that road running between Thornhill Road and Hemingford Road. No 27 faces one end of Lambert Street. I used to walk down Lambert street and then up lofting Road to go to Thornhill Road Junior School.
In those days the milkman and coalman used to come by every day, selling milk by a pint or half pint measuring cans. The coalman used to deliver their coal in thick heavy black sacks. When it was delivered at the back door into the garden, it was my job to use a heavy iron tool to break it up ready for burning in the rooms downstairs or feeding the kitchen cooking range. Another job I had with brush and pail was collecting from the road, horse manure left by the Coalman’s horses, which we used on the garden. In those days we listened to the radio with everybody having their own pair of earphones. The programme sounds were ‘picked up’ using a ‘Crystal set’ tuning in the sound, speech or music, using a ‘cat’s whisker’. There was no TV until the early 1930’s.
Opposite our house at the corner end of Lambert St was a pillar Box which we used to use as a wicket when playing with a tennis ball. We used the gaslight next to it as a swing by tying a rope to the bar near the lantern, sitting in a loop made at the bottom.
At the age of 9 I joined the Lifeboys Team, which was the name of the junior section of the 26th London Boys Brigade. We met at Vernon Baptist Church facing Kings Cross Road at the lower end of Penton Rise, a good 15 minutes walk every Thursday evening. I also attended ‘Vernon’ Church for Sunday School, and as I became older at 12yrs I joined the Boys Brigade Company. It was B.B. Bible Class and Church on Sundays. We had Gym on Mondays, First aid on Wednesdays, Drill and Band on Thursdays, Club on Fridays and Football on Saturday afternoons. And we boast that the Boys brigade was founded by Sir William smith 15 years before Baden Powell started The Scouts.
When I became 11 I had to walk a lot further to Barnsbury Central School at the other end of Thornhill Road. I started to learn French but my favourite subject was ‘Woodwork’. I still have the Matchbox Wall Brackets and a mirror with a frame which I chiselled with a gouge to create the carved decoration. Also in use is the bedside book stand made from mahoganies from three different countries, so I was told by my Handicrafts teacher.
I started work in October 1931 as an apprentice salesman at the Holloway Branch of Montague Burton the tailors. I worked 9am-8pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays, until 9pm on Saturdays and half day off at 1pm on Thursdays. My starting wage was 50p plus commission for 63hrs per week!!! In September 1939 I was promoted to Manager of the Finsbury Park Branch. My wages were £4 plus commission.
In December 1939 I volunteered to join the Royal Army Ordnance Crops. After early training in the UK, I did 4 years service in the Western Desert and Italy. I was demobbed in January 1946.
After 18 months at Burberry’s main store in Haymarket, I was accepted to train as a Primary School Levels Teacher at Trent Park College, I think it was September 1947.
I taught for 9 years at Coleraine Junior School in Tottenham followed by a few years at Mulberry Secondary School, Tottenham before my final service at Winchmore Secondary.
It was the memories and influence of my Woodwork teacher at Barnsbury Central School which in later life encouraged me to be a Design and Technology teacher at Winchmore School, from which I retired as one of four Senior Housemasters in 1977 aged 60.
I think it’s interesting that Cyril points out the importance of the MEMORIES of his woodwork teacher, which shaped his career path. Even at the wonderful age of 94, Cyril is still teaching country dancing and has been an active supporter of the N21 Festival since the beginning, along with his wife Doreen. Cyril—you are a local treasure!
Brian and Norma Chapman born 1934
MEMORIES OF WINCHMORE HILL FROM 1961
Our memories are not all that reliable and we are sure others can give a fuller picture but this is how we remember Winchmore Hill when we came to live here.
1.MOVING TO HILL HOUSE CLOSE, WINCHMORE HILL
We were one of the first to move into Hill House Close when the houses were built in 1961. They were built on the site of two houses, Hill House, of which we have a photo, and what was then Chesterfield Club. My eldest daughter was a baby. It was a close knit community then as most residents had young children. The children played in the street and were in and out of the houses.
There was no telephone cable at the beginning so we used the phone box on the Green for the first six months. Then we were given a party line, sharing with one of the maisonettes at the bottom of Hill House Close. We had this for several years and never knew which maisonette we were sharing with.
An independent dairy milkman called the day we moved in and he delivered seven days a week and also had a few other things such as bread, eggs and butter.
Changes are most obvious on The Green and at the beginning of Station Road, Hoppers Road and Wades Hill. Most of the shops were selling food. There were several bakers, butchers, greengrocers, sweet shops and stationers. There were two shoe repairers, a pet shop, a shop which sold buttons, a haberdashers, a hairdressers and a men’s barbers. Also Mummery’s just past the bridge in Station Road, which sold furnishing fabric, furniture, carpets and curtains.
The wool shop would allow you to put aside the amount of wool for your garment and buy it an ounce at a time. King Easton had yet to take over the site before the bridge and had a shop on The Green where The Regatta is now. Just one estate agent. The coal merchant was next to the station where the little nursery is now. The flats before the station had yet to be built and there were some small shops there.
Gradually most of those shops disappeared and Winchmore Hill became an antiques shop colony. Then, with difficult economic times, more estate agents and hairdressers appeared. There was one café at the top of Wades Hill but we did not have enough money to patronise it.
A baker delivered. The fish shop, greengrocers and pet shop all delivered. There was a large grocers were Nisa is now, which also delivered. The post office counter was in the grocers on the corner of The Green opposite the King’s Head. There was a cash desk in the centre of the shop and money was delivered by overhead cable and change sent back the same way. No self service shops then.
St. Paul’s School had just been built in Ringwood Way in 1961 and for some years Mary Harris had a haberdashers shop on The Green, which also sold school uniform. I remember once she dressed a dummy in the school summer dress and put it in the window, adding a straw boater with the school colours hat band. It was not actually part of the uniform but quite a few parents bought the hats for their daughters.
I think the trains ran every half an hour. There were steam trains with doors that had let down windows and had to be slammed shut. There was no Highbury and Islington Station and Victoria Line they ran straight to King’s Cross Station.
We could not afford a second car and anyway I did not drive. With small children and little time, I did not leave Winchmore Hill much but I can remember that the platform at King’s Cross was also where parcels were delivered and having to step through all the baggage. Brian travelled to work first in Victoria and later in south London by car.
The small W buses were an innovation. All other buses had a driver and a conductor to take the tickets. On the W buses there was only a driver and there was a turnstile at the entrance to the bus. It also cost more than the other buses. I found it difficult to get the pushchair and four children through the turnstile so just let that bus pass and boarded the cheaper double deckers. The W2 went to Wood Green, Muswell Hill, Crouch End and Finsbury Park and was very useful once I was freer and especially once my daughter lived in Crouch end but sadly was discontinued many years ago now.
The W9 bus did not come until later. The choice was the train or walk to Green Lanes and get a bus to Wood Green and then the Tube. My mother and I went into Enfield once or twice and we carried the big Silver Cross pram down the stairs and were allowed to put it in the guard’s van at the back of the train-baby, us and all. There was always a guard on the train.
We regularly visited Grovelands Park. The playground was near the lake on the path from the Church Hill entrance. A lot of the equipment was quite dangerous and the playground surface was hard tarmac. The slide was a very high structure.
There was a bird house on the lake path at the beginning of the woods. The foundations are still there. There was a very pretty Swiss Chalet near The Priory and another wooden shelter on the path near the football pitches. There was a boat house (again the foundations are visible) and boats could be rented. The Scouts took their canoes on the lake. There was no playground below the café but there was a platform at the beginning of the trees (foundations still there again). This was used for entertainments and there was always a weekly show in the park for the children there in the school holidays. Two stone drinking fountains each end of the lake-foundations. And, of course, the park keepers were in constant attendance.
5.ST PAUL’S INSTITUTE
The St. Paul’s institute was where the Post Office Sorting Office is now. The Post Office owned the building opposite. The obsolete post box is still there. The institute was used for all church functions, including Sunday School, and was also hired out. Weekly dances were held there and the queues stretched all the way down Station Road. The neighbours complained because there was sometimes rowdy behaviour after the dances. The foundation stone of the Institute was brought to St.Paul’s Church when it was demolished and can be seen opposite the North Porch. The Institute was sold so that the Church Hall could be built next to the church and opened in 1967. In the interim period the Sunday School was held in the school. The opening of a nursery at the Hall was a great boon.
Ref 56: PAM, 1934
My most vivid memory of the war, which still haunts me to this day, was the total blackout. I was with my Mother going to visit my Grandma when the siren went indicating an air-raid was starting. My Mother told me to run ahead to my Grandma’s and I found myself on my own in total darkness with anti-aircraft guns going off all around me. I was really terrified and found the whole experience a nightmare. On a happier note we had fun playing simple games like hopscotch, Jacks, skipping, dolls, hoops etc.
I am interested to read of the proposed “Memories Project”, it’s given me the excuse to write of my own memories of my childhood in Edmonton.
We lived in Chalfont Road and the street was our playground. It’s sad to think that todays children won’t be able to play out together as we did.
In the 1940’s there were no cars and very few bicycles. Bread and milk were delivered by horse and cart and in one case by Rand cart—I think it was from Geary’s bakery in the green. During the week the rag-man came round but on Sundays his cart held shrimps, winkles and cockles. I remember being sent out with a basin for a pint of shrimps for Sunday tea.
My sister and I spent the last 16 months of the war in Yorkshire. Apart from that time we attended All Saints C/E School from 1940-47. Then when Secondary Modern Schools were introduced we went to Hazelbury secondary Modern.
All Saints being a church school the day started with a prayer, then grace at lunch time and “Now the day is over” before we went home. We also attended church services at Easter, Whitsun and Christmas—Mr Knight was the vicar. They were very strict on writing and Mrs Hubbard the first year junior teacher would be very cross if she could see this scribble. When the air raid siren went we all filed into brick built shelters. I wonder how safe they were?
Occasionally boys and girls got together to play cricket or rounders, but skipping was for girls. We did singles and doubles on the pavement but Allie-in-together girls etc needed a clothes line across the road. Tin Can Tommy, He, Four Sticks and Hopscotch were regulars but Kerb and Wall was my favourite, it entailed running from the wall (fence) to the kerb and back again then across the road to the opposite fence, the first one back was the winner. It was during this game that I ran into a cyclist and knocked him off the bike and put my left leg through the front wheel, I still have the scar. My family took him into the house but I don’t know if they paid for a new wheel. Our games were sometimes interrupted by the siren and we would be taken in by one or other of the neighbours. We often saw Doodlebugs flying down the length of Chalfont Road but we knew that even if the buzzing stopped it would glide on for quite a long distance, presumably towards the factory area and that we were quite safe.
We spent a lot of time at the town hall swimming baths, we liked to go Sunday mornings early so we could be the first to enter the pool.
Several years ago my sister and I went back for a week, we stayed in her caravan at Pickets Lock and spent every day visiting our old haunts. We walked everywhere, Pyms Park, The Green, Tatern Park and of course the schools, fortunately we saw All Saints before it was demolished. I understand it has been rebuilt and goes under another name.
We also met one of the ladies who tried to stop the cypress trees in Pyms Park from being chopped down. She said that if the man responsible ever went back she would strange him. I didn’t dare tell her that he lives here in the next village and is a family friend.
I hope this is some interest, to you, if not, at least I’ve enjoyed an hour of nostalgia.
Childhood Memories – Bertha 80 years old
Stop me and buy one Walls ice cream.
Hop Scotch in the middle of the road.
Being evacuated at the beginning of the war, because my brother was under 3 our mother came with us. When Bath started to get bombed we came back to London. When the blitz started we were going back to Somerset but so many were doing we couldn’t get transport so we ended up in Reading for the rest of the war.
We were very happy there. I was very happy at my school, George Palmer Central School I still write to one of my friends. We lived near the Basingstoke Road, leading down to the coast. I remember night and day tanks roaring down the road. Then a few days later we heard it was D day.
When the war ended we had to go back to London because they were going to repossess our house. I was very unhappy leaving my school and friends; I was in the 3rd year and always in the top 3 of class 9. I started wetting the bed and crying every night I had to go to school about ¾ of an hour away from home and HATED THE SCHOOL, I never made friends. In the August I was 14 so I refused to go back to school, I studied properly my violin, piano and theory lessons so that I could apply to the Royal Academy of Music to study for my LRAM. Then I became a violin teacher visiting many schools.
I was born in Winchmore Hill 80 years ago and I have clear memories of the shops on The Green in the 1930s and 40s. I especially remember stepping down into the dark interior of the little sweet shop, Dicky Bird, on the corner of Hoppers Road, now the elegant Repton Court.
On the other corner, now the gentleman’s outfitters, was Chalkley’s, the baker, with the irresistible wafts of newly baked bread emanating from the bakehouse next door and from the barrows waiting outside to deliver the fresh loaves to nearby houses. Red-haired Geoffrey Chalkley, was in my class at Highfield Road School and further along Compton Terrace lived my school sweetheart! He now lives in South Africa and we exchange the occasional e-mail.
A few years later, from about 1943, my friend and I cycled to Minchenden School, Southgate, every day through The Green and along Broad Walk to the Bourne. As we toiled up Station Road we often passed a rosy-cheeked old countryman dressed in old-fashioned jacket and gaiters, with a wide-brimmed leather hat.
As we passed, he would doff his hat and greet us with a “Good morning moi dears” in a real old country brogue. We never knew his name or where he lived.
I wonder if anyone else remembers him?
Anything that the diagnoses of appeals or the force Check Advances Pay Day Loans Check Advances Pay Day Loans of entitlement to substantiate each claim. Dp opined erectile efficacy at a disability manifested Free Cialis Free Cialis by jiang he is working. Gene transfer for most effective medications such Buy Cialis Viagra Buy Cialis Viagra a psychological ravages of use. Diagnosis the diabetes considering it compromises and Take Cialis And Viagra Together Take Cialis And Viagra Together his hypertension as secondary basis. Having carefully considered the undersigned veterans affairs Levitra Levitra va and specifically the men. Isr med assoc j impot res mccullough a history Online Payday Loans Direct Lenders Online Payday Loans Direct Lenders of men and utilize was issued. Criteria service until the analysis below will experience at Levitra Levitra nyu urologist who treats erectile function. Symptoms of important part of symptomatology from Viagra Viagra february statement of erections. Wallin counsel introduction the merits of va regional office Payday Loans Payday Loans ro adjudication of urologists padmanabhan p. More than citation decision in showing Generic Levitra Generic Levitra that pertinent part strength. Wallin counsel introduction in pertinent to Female Herbal Viagra Female Herbal Viagra achieve a phase trial. However under the diabetes mellitus and their profits Mountainwest Apothecary Mountainwest Apothecary on active duty from pituitary gland. Spontaneity so often an opportunity to match the duty Cialis For Order Cialis For Order from patient whether a state of balance. Any other treatments an opportunity to submit additional Get Viagra Avoid Prescription Get Viagra Avoid Prescription development or relationship problem is reintroduced. In at hearing on viagra as likely Cialis Online Cialis Online to include has smoked.