Postbag 2006 Last updated: 31 Dec 2006


I have visited your site but for some reason not having a lot of success. I tried loading several items but not successful. Would like to know what I am doing wrong if at all. I was born in Walthamstow in 1935 and lived there until married in 1958. Can you please help.
Ted Yeend email
(I will be reviewing the site from now on and hope to correct any problems - thanks, John)


Hi there! My name is Mick Scott and i lived in the flats in Bisterne Ave from 1970 until 1979. I went to Warwick Boys School until 1974 before going to Monoux Senior High. I used to go to Warwick Youth Club and remember Mr Williams and Dick Hill, who used to run it. The older boys formed a gang calling themselves the "Wood Street Mafia"! This would have been around 1972/3. My mates were Al Caney, Dave Gladding, Tony Hatton who were also in my class at Warwick. We used to hang around Wood Street and at lunchtimes go to Lambs Cafe at Whipps Cross for beans on toast. In the evenings we would all go over the Hollow Ponds on our bikes and get up to all sorts!
In 1979 we moved to Vallentin Rd, off Wood St, and my local was The Flower Pot. There were some real characters who drank in there including my dad Les. They served Bass Bitter, which was the best pint for miles, and you could get cheese, ham or corned beef rolls at lunchtimes. It was run by Stan and Ada Ellis, who were there for years until they were forced to retire by the brewery. A sad day indeed. I live in Essex now and i have been back a couple of times, but its all changed now and I'm glad I got out when i did! Saying that, though, I do have great memories of Wood St with its market stalls and the annual Wood St walk. If I've jogged some peoples memories, it would be great to hear from them!
Mick Scott email


THIS SITE IS WONDERFUL... I MOVED TO WALTHAMSTOW WHEN I WAS 1 IN 1941. I LIVED IN HAROLDSTONE ROAD OFF COPPERMILL LANE - WE HAD A STREET OF CHILDREN WHO PLAYED IN THIS STREET - MYSELF MY SISTER KATHLEEN, DORREEN ELLIOTT, DAVID ELLIOTT, DENISE ELLIOTT, PAT BLANKS, MICHAEL ANNETS, BOBBY BLANKS, PETER BLANKS, GILLIAN WARD, EVELYN WARD, BARBARA WARD, HAZEL SILVER, RITA SILVER THEIR COUSIN GEORGINA. JUNE KILLINGREY AND MARIAN HUME. CHRISTINE READ, BILLY READ, BOBBY WALKER, BILLY WALKER, VICTOR JOHNS, BRIAN JOHNS, JOAN HOOPER, ANNE BOLTON, KEITH BOLTON AND PETER BOLTON, CHRISTINE PURKIS. AROUND THE CORNER IN COPPERMILL LANE WERE VALERIE AND VIVIEN PITMAN, THE THREE LITTLE GREEN SISTERS AND JACQUELINE AND SUSAN DITTMAN. (I HAVE QUITE A GOOD MEMORY!!) AND WE HAD A VERY NICE JEWISH FAMILY MOVED IN AFTER THE WAR WITH A LITTLE GIRLY CALLED HILARY COURTNEY. I REMEMBER THE VICTORY PARTY - EVERYBODY WAS SO HAPPY IN THOSE DAYS OR MAYBE IT WAS THE WAY I CHOOSE TO REMEMBER. DOES ANYONE REMEMBER THE LITTLE MERRY GO ROUND THAT CAME ROUND ABOUT ONCE A YEAR ON THE BACK OF A HORSE AND CART. MY PARENTS TOOK US REGULARLY TO THE PALACE THEATRE AT THE TOP OF THE HIGH STREET WHERE WE SAW MANY STARS INCLUDING MAX MILLER. AND WE ALSO WENT SWIMMING IN THE WALTHAMSTOW SWIMMING BATHS. SOMETIMES ALL THE KIDS IN THE STREET DECIDED TO GO TO THE BATHS TO USE THE BATHS. I REMEMBER THE POOR WOMAN RUNING UP AND DOWN THE BATHS AS WE CALLED OUT MORE HOT IN NO 5 OR MORE HOT IN NO 10. OR CAN WE HAVE SOME COLD IN NUMBER 3 WE ALL THOUGHT IT WAS HILARIOUS. SATURDAY MORNING PICTURES AT THE DOMINION IN BUXTON ROAD, BEFORE THE FILMS STARTED MY FRIENDS AND I WOULD REGULARLY SING AND DANCE ON THE STAGE AND WE HAD GREAT APPLAUSE. FOR THIS WE WERE ALLOWED IN FREE!!! DOES ANYONE REMEMBER MAKING GROTTOS!! WE WOULD DIG UP THE MOSS ON THE PAVEMENT AND USE IT TO DECORATE A PAVING STONE, WE WOULD PINCH FLOWERS FROM PEOPLES FRONT GARDENS TO HELP DECORATE THE STONE. WHEN IT WAS COMPLETED WE WOULD STOP PASSERS BY ASKING FOR A PENNY FOR THE GROTTO - WHAT LITTLE BEGGARDS WE WERE - BUT WHEN WE HAD ENOUGH MONEY WE WOULD SHARE IT OUT AND GO OFF TO BUY SWEETS. WALTHAMSTOW WAS A WONDERFUL PLACE TO LIVE IN THOSE DAYS - I WENT BACK RECENTLY AND I WAS NOT IMPRESSED AT ALL. IT USED TO HAVE LOTS OR TREES ALONG THE PAVEMENTS BUT NOW IT IS JUST ALL CONCRETE.
CAROL MONAGHAN email


Hi, just surfing and came across your site, my wifes Dad Tom Ochiltree worked in Manzies pie and mash shop Walthamstow for over 20 years we think in the 50s and 60s, do you know of any photos of the shop for that period that may show him working, we think he used to make the pies?
Mike email


Small world, I like your web-site. Live in Bungay for 30 odd years born in Walthamstow 1936. When a small boy had whooping cough, my grandmother one Sunday said the best thing would be a walk up to Spion Kop (1942) to get fresh air, it was top of Higham Hill and looked out over Tottenham etc. Have never seen mention of name. Any of your contacts Know of it?
Derrick Bettiss (Palmerston Road area) email


Do you or anyone you know remember the name of the moter bike shop at Knotts Green, Leyton in Lea Bridge Road ?? Thanks
Chop email


Hi. I am trying to trace a Miss Brenda Griggs (shop assistant) who lived in South Countess Road in the early to mid sixties. Any info greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Mark Foster email


It is with sadness that I have to report the passing away of Brian Harvey the old Avenue International Footballer on Sunday the 24th of September 2006 after a short illness. In attendance was Jim Lewis, Reggie Groves, Alan Minall, Laurie Wilkinson manager in later years. Regards,
Alex Wilkinson email


I was given your web site by someone from Friends Reunited. I lived in Pretoria Avenue, my house has gone now, it is a road. I remember nearly all the shops that different people have mentioned and it bought back lots of memories. The Strutts, who had the sweet stall, were friends of my Mum and Dad, I wonder if their son Peter would remember me. I used to go to work in London on the James Street steam train and I worked in Woolworths as a ‘Saturday girl’ when I was at school. No one has mentioned Lidstones with the money ‘things’ that went along a wire. Probably a lot of the people are not as old as me! I lived in Walthamstow until I got married in St. Saviours and moved to Cheshunt in Hertfordshire. I now live in Australia. My dad lived in Tenby Road with his brothers and sister. One of his brothers Arthur, had a green grocers shop in Blackhorse Lane. All his family moved to Leigh on Sea or other parts of Essex and I have lost touch with them all. If any of them, especially a cousin Maureen, see this site, I would love to hear from them. My name is Sally nee Taylor, my dad was George (known as Ernie sometimes) and he knew most of the men on the stalls up the high street. It was really great reading about all the shops etc and brings back so many memories. I went to William Morris, my infant school was St. Patricks. I used to go to St.Paul’s church, in Courtney Road (I think that was the name of the road)
Sally Young email


Hi, please can you advise me how to view the many photos that were previously shown on the site, I see the Gallery download but do I have to do that to see the photos now.
I am reluctant to introduce new stuff to my computer if it is not necessary. Goodbye for now from
Len Hall

(Len this work was never completed but will be at some time in the not too distant future - you will not need to have an Apple Mac to access the galleries - they work on the net whatever machine you have see my other websites to view what they do - try www.noelcoward.net - thanks, John)


Hello, My name is Adrienne Yeo, formerly Woodward and I lived in Tenby Road when young and went to Mission Grove school after the War and then to Coppermill Lane school.
I am in touch with Mavis Upfold (now Coomber), who lives in New Zealand.
I would love to hear from anyone that remembers me and anyone else. Mr Presland was out teacher the year I left. I married Ken Yeo who was five years older than me and he had 4 sisters. Ken died of Lung Cancer in 1998 email


I will post other chapter if there is an interest ....contact me. Adrienne Yeo awills@charter.net

Chapter 1

Surviving Puberty

“G-0-D” the vicar's three-syllable word always gets my attention. I am looking up at his stern face high above me in his pulpit. His double chins hide most of his white clerical collar and his well-worn black suit strains against his plumpness.
“G-0-D wants you to refrain from self abuse," he demands, pointing his outstretched finger directly at me. My eyes are glued to his huge mouth filled with big teeth. My mind, however, questions his words.
"Self abuse," I puzzle? Is he talking about wanking? No, self abuse sounds like something that's painful and wanking is….a release, like you’re floating up to ‘eaven.
"G-0-D knows when you abuse yourself!" he bellows. "You will pay for this sin by going to a fiery hell!”
I am standing with thee other scouts as the color guard in front of the congregation in my neatly pressed tan scout uniform with merit badges on both sleeves. I grip the flagpole tightly with both hands, trying to hide behind it. "A boy scout is clean of mind and deed" rings in my ears.
I feel God is flying around everywhere in the massive white stone St. Saviors Church this Sunday morning. The Holy Spirit is looking right through the flagpole into my dirty mind with a thousand piercing eyes.
My mother has eyes that can see though solid brick walls and around corners. Plus she has God on her side, and she says God knows and sees everything. Funny, many times I totally forget about him being around. Ironically, I never think of God while hiding in our outside toilet, even though I’m making one more attempt at floating up to heaven.
The age-old horror stories of "Wankers Doom," of having hair growing from the palm of your hand had not deterred me. But "G-0-D WANTS YOU TO REFRAIN" rattles around in my brain. Mother always says, don’t mess with God.

I close my eyes and zone out to escape the reality of the vicar’s harsh words. My mind flashes back through time and I see myself, a happy little blonde, blue-eyed boy, playing in one of the many World War II bombsites around our house. I am rummaging through the personal effects strewn throughout a blitzed building. I return home, laden with torn faces in broken picture frames, lifeless dolls with severed arms and legs and other previously valued possessions of departed owners.
Holding my flag, I smile now realizing that the “safe place” my mother promised, for the endless supply of treasures I brought her, must have been our dustbin. My head jolts back as I realize the human suffering that those bombsite playgrounds represented. The overpowering stench of decay returns to my nose and throat, and I gag on the memory. My eyes spring open and I cling to the flagpole to regain my composure.

The vicar's monotone voice reminds me of the drone of the doodlebugs that flew over London during the war. The big difference being, once the vicar stops talking we can all head back to the scout room for biscuits and lemonade. When I heard the engine stop on the German rockets, I was paralyzed with fear, knowing it could drop on our house. Mommy always held me in her arms. I always closed my eyes tight and held my breath. She prayed to God that we would be spared. When I heard the explosion I was glad that once again we were safe. But mommy would cry, saying the doodlebug delivered its lethal payload of explosives and fire nearby and Londoners had perished. She asked God to save their souls
I hold the flagpole tight. Will I ever be free of memories of the war?

I look around the church at all the neighborhood people dressed in their Sunday best. There are many more women than men, whose husband or son didn’t return from the war. The younger women wear blue eye shadow and tight sweaters that accentuate their pointy breasts. I watch as some of them flick their hair back, or cough to gain the attention of the few single men in the congregation. I look with sorrow at the little old ladies with rounded shoulders and hunched backs, who still dress in black and never smile. Every Sunday the vicar says a prayer for their dearly departed husbands and sons.


It seems like hours that I have been standing here holding the flagpole and I shift from foot to foot. I feel the weight of the war memories pushing down my shoulders and my eyelids are heavy. I open my eyes real wide and try to empty my mind of war. Like a riffled deck of cards my mind stops on the school exam that I took just two days ago. Have you ever noticed the questions they ask on school exams pertain to information that you would swear had never been covered in class? This was definitely the case with my "Eleven Plus" which determines the type of senior school that you attend.
Looking at the exam paper in utter disbelief, I was petrified for most of the first hour. Then it hit me. The school board has obviously devised questions guaranteed to eliminate the likes of me. What would my hero, Field Marshal Montgomery, do? The newspapers say Monty distrusts the obvious, and out-thinks his enemy. I think hard and my eyes become slits. I feel a smug smile spread across my face, as I know what I must do. Ignore the questions and check the answers in the systematic order. A cunning teacher would start easy, with three yes answers to sucker you in. Then slip in a no, then three more yeses, one more no and so on. Monty would be proud of me, deciphering this sneaky plan.

I quickly apply my theory marking the first three questions with a yes, then one no, then the next three yeses and another no. It feels very good being this confident. I quickly finish the exam and I am one of the first to leave the room. I wait outside in the drab green hall, with the school crest Circa 1902, until a couple of classmates, who are “A” students, walk out of the exam. On checking my three yes to one no theory with their answers, it becomes obvious that I could be busted all the way back to kindergarten. Looking down at my shoes for inspiration of how to break this news to my mother, I hear a familiar voice. I look up and see Danny.
Today as always, Danny’s clothes look as though he has slept in them. One sock is up the other sock down around his ankle. His shoes are a combination of scuffs and mud. His dull mousy brown hair sticks up in all directions and looks as though it has never seen a comb. Danny’s face is a bombsite of acne and pock marks, which he continually scratches with his filthy fingernails.
“ ’ow d’ya do then, Alan?”
“Not so good Danny,” I admit.
"Sitting in the bloody back of the class, that was our downfall me old mate."
" 'ow's that, Danny?"
"Well, information travels on sound waves, don't it?"
Knowing that Danny once built a crystal radio set, I feel safe in agreeing with him.
"Sure does."
"So then it makes sense that some information 'as long-waves and some 'as short-waves."
"Ya, that sounds right to me, Danny."
"I'm sure Alan, like me, ya noticed that the exam was filled with bloody short-wave length questions. So, as the information never reached us at the back of the bloody class. ‘ow could we be expected to know the bloody answers?"
It made perfectly good sense to me. However, on my return home, my mother is less receptive than me to Danny's theory. She keeps asking embarrassing questions, like, “which questions didn’t you understand?” Then she says all the typical mother things, “I just want to help you, Alan! God helps those that help themselves, you know? It’s all up to you!”
How are you going to help me? I think, as she’s talking. You can’t even understand Danny’s theory of long and short waves.
“See mummy, because only long waves reach the back of the room, where me and Danny sit, and the exam was filled with short …
“That’s enough, Alan! Go to your room without dinner. Wait up there until your father gets home and see if he buys your story of Danny’s waves? Myself, I reckon you are in for a good hiding!”


Hi John My new email address is lcole@acitecnologies.ca
I have almost completed (about six months) a comprehensive recall of my childhood in Walthamstow and when completed, I will offer it for your consideration.
If you would be kind enough to update my email address. I have been missing the contact from other 'Stows" who have been a great help in recalling places and personalities that I have overlooked. Keep up the 'labour of love.' It's very much appreciated by many, Kind Regards
Les Coleemail


On your home page it states that Walthamstow was a county borough. As far as I know, Walthamstow never became a county borough (i.e. a self-governing unit completely independent of the county in which it was located). I think you will find that the only county boroughs in Essex were East Ham, West Ham and Southend-on-Sea.

That's not to say that Walthamstow didn't want county borough status -- there was quite a clamour for it back in the 1950s, but I'm almost certain Walthamstow remained just an ordinary borough until it was merged to form the London Borough of Waltham Forest. Regards
Grant Edwards (formerly of HighamsPark) email


I am trying to find any one who may have any photos of my grandmother Alice Florance Dixie née Pitts. She died in Whipps Cross Hospital in 1941 leaving a husband and 3 daughters behind. She lived in Sturge Ave until her death if you can help it would be great.

I am the grandaugther of Alice Florance Dixie nee Pitts she died when my mum was 2 years old and we are trying to find out if any one has any details about her. Please email me cg125_7@hotmail.com


I am the great grand daughter of George Engledew, who lived in Haroldstone Road off Coppermill Lane. He was married to Rosina and had 4 children, one being Clement - he was my grandfather. He died when my dad was only 3 1/2 months old and I would be intrested to hear from any one who knew the family. My other great grandfather was Joseph Taylor he lived in Hawarden Road in 1901 he was a blacksmith and had 4 daughters and 2 sons one of the daughters was called Ada - she was my grandma and married my grandad 1921/2. My other great grandfather I am trying to trace was Alfred Pitts, he lived in Netley Road and had a number of children, one of them being Alice Florance she was my grandmother any information on any of these family member would be of great help
Claire Ellington email


I am trying to track down a circa 1940s photo of Whipps Cross Hospital to go with an article in a Learned Society's members' magazine (Microbiology Today) - are you aware of any of these in your archives? Yours truly
Faye Stokes email


This is a long shot -- some cousins and I are trying to trace an ancestor about whom almost all we know is that he had a building business sometime in the early 1900s (and / or manufactured drain covers, in Walthamstow, and his name was probably something like Hartley. (This name appeared on the drain covers, as remembered by an elderly relative.) Ring any bells, however faint (such as memories of builders in the area?), or can anyone suggest further resources for our search? Thanks for any ideas you can give us.
Anne Treadwell, Nova Scotia email


I've just come across your site for Walthamstow and thought I'd try an e-mail to see if I can trace an old school friend (no luck with Friends Reunited!).
I went to McEntee from approx 1960 to 1964 and my best friend was Linda Wilson. She lived in South Woodford and later married, I believe, a fireman and then an accountant and had at least one daughter. We lost touch some years ago but I often wonder what happened to her - maybe someone out there knows?
Anyone with information do contact me. Many thanks.
Christine Titchen email


Do you have any information / pictures on the "Arcadia Film Studio" that my late mother use to some times talk about, it was aparantly located somewhere in the upper half of Wood Street Walthamstow, that is the section from the station to Whipscross. Hope someone can help with this. Regards
Mr S.J.Horwite email


I spent many a warm sunday boating on the rising sun boat pond. You had rowing boats and canoes. On the opposite side of Lea Bridge road was a tea stall. I can remember getting wagon wheels from there. Can any body remember the trolley buses that turned around at the Napier Arms pub. What about the horse drinking fountain at Woodford Green ( now a roundabout) those were the days when i was a school boy with no cares in the world. Also remember playing in the air raid shelters at Hawkey Hall, Woodford.
Jog any memorys???????
and the army field in Chingford Lane before the flats were built??????. The old oak tree or lightining tree on the green near the school.

p.s. Some names to jog memories:-
Colin Knowles. Ian Enstien. Gerald Frier, Colin Young, Christin Sheppard, Martin Ely, Brian Palmer, Raymond Raymond, Roger Raymond, Pamela who lived oppisite me. Sandra Woodcock, Brian Palmer, Rosy, Angela Coe, my first girfriend Maureen Feeney (Chingford Lane). And many people i used to know at the (town) Woodford Football Club disco.
if you remember please reply
John Lewis email


I live in Sturge Avenue, Walthamstow and have listened to my neighbours who moved here some years ago talk about what Sturge Avenue used to look like.

Does anyone have any photographic evidence of this as I am sure it would delight them and my young daughter to see this. Thanks
Anna Kershaw-Bar email


Just found Walthamstow Memories whilst surfing, and what great memories it has bought back to me. We, the Powell's used to live at 115 Mersey Road, in the forties and fifties. Younger brother David was born there. Our father was in the Royal Navy. Brother Roy went to William McGuffie school and had a job helping Reg the milkman. After leaving school he went to farming college in Braintree, and after a few years working on farms in Kent and Hampshire, he left the land for the sea, joining the Merchant Navy; then after a few years he joined the Royal Navy (we as a family had moved to Hampshire). Roy married a girl from Penzance where he now lives, on retiring from the Navy he lived and worked on St Micheals Mount becoming Head gardener there. I know he would love to hear from Roger Ward (Mersey Road) and Reggie Whale (a fishing friend).
I, Peter, went to Winns avenue infants, Forest Road Juniors and a short time at William Mc Guffie before moving to Hampshire. I joined the Royal Navy (Fleet air arm) in 1960 then changed branches to Clearance Diver. Whilst on the Portsmouth and Medway Bomb & Mine disposal team, I had the pleasure of returning to Walthamstow to help defuse a German GC mine which became exposed when the King George V reservoir was drained, seemed funny because as kids we used to play on the bomb sites when coming home from Saturday morning pictures at the Granada, never thought I'd end up playing with a real bomb in Walthamstow. I left the Navy in 1975 and head up to the North Sea, diving, where I still work. I now live in Cornwall on a small farm with my family. I would love to get in contact with John Pullem, Roderick and Martin Firmstone and David Rippon all of Mersey Road. We had happy times playing in the street, "paddling" in the town hall pond and watching the man outside Manzies pie and eel shop cutting up the eels.
I will always remember Johns Dad (Sid) dressing up as a guy and sitting on the stairs until his neighbor passed him, then he grabbed her ankle, think half the road heard her screams!!!!
Thank you for Walthamstow Memories, it certainly bought a lot back to me. Best Regards
Peter Powell email


My name is Alan Wills and I was born at Thorpe Coombe Hospital 23 Oct 1940
I went to Markhouse Road Secondary Modern School (Head-Boy)
I was a TV Engineering apprentice at Stanwood Radio. (Worked at 714-668-Loughton)
I lived at 32 Albany Road, Walthamstow E17 till 16 then 37 Selwyn Ave Highams Park.
Frequented the White Swan on Wood Street
I am currently writing an autobiographic novel "Cockney's Ain't So Tough" the story is set in Walthamstow and Canvey Island in the 50's and 60's.
It tells of a young man coming of age and includes Walthamstow Market, Petticoat Lane, Teddy Boys and Rock and Roll.
The story is very humorous and mostly true, with some poetic license to keep the reader's interest. The book will be published shortly and is expected to sell in hard-back for about twenty-four dollars...would there be an interest in London for such a story??? Please e-mail me your opinion.
Yours Sincerely,
Alan Wills email


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