(Last updated on 31 Dec 2012)

Listed here are the 276 emails we received in our twelveth year of operation.

One word of warning: the email addresses here are rather old and may have changed since...

Choose Month...

... or filter by thread:


Hello. I am researching my family tree and my father and grandfather were both born in Walthamstow. I have hit a problem though: my grandfather has on his birth certificate 78 O'Conner Road Walthamstow. I can't find the road on any map. I know they were in Chelmsford Road at one time. Did O'Conner Road have it's name changed or can any one remember it?

Thank you,
Martin DALEY Private Reply Public Reply

My grandfather and grandmother (Robert Pullen and Helen aka Nellie) had a grocers shop in Longfellow Road. It was surrounded by numerous shops of other trades and they created a delightful "small village" atmosphere between them. I remember them well from the late 1940's until the early 1970's, but upon my return some ten or so years later I was shocked to see that the area had been demolished and redeveloped. Anything, either information or photographs, that can be gleaned from your site which be greatly appreciated and reciprocated.


  Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Roy, I lived around the corner from Ackers the bakers in the 1950s and 1960s. We lived in Acacia Road. All the rolls were piled into the baker's shop window and I also remember their cat being in the shop. Their daughter was called Amy and she served also in the shop.

Georgia DRAPER
(née GROGAN)
  Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Marilyn,
Only just found this site.
I lived in Jewel Road and also went to Wm McGuffie from 1951 to 1955 so was a year above you. Cannot remember all of my form teachers but know one year it was Miss Kelsey and for the third and fourth years it was the feared maths teacher Mr Smith. Also before Mr Tomlinson the headmaster was Mr Driscoll who died rather suddenly.
One teacher you seem to have omitted was Joe Thompson who was the boys PT teacher. When I left in 1955 he was "going out" with the girls PT teacher whose name I cannot remember. The reason I remember Joe is after our final day at school some of us went back to the flat he rented off Leytonstone High Road where we had a goodbye drink with him. I was in Maynard and in my final year I was Head of House!!! For some reason I also ended up as a Prefect.

John ANDREWS Private Reply Public Reply

Having lived at 56 Brettenham Road from 1942 until I got married in 1966 I can remember the circus held in Lloyd Park. It was Chipperfields and the star attraction was Roman chariot racing. Hope this helps

  Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel
Please find attached an account of me talking to Phil May of the group The Pretty Things [read it here]
Hope it meets you with interest
Kind regards and hope you're having a good Winter Break

Alan MILES Private Reply Public Reply

Hello, In the fifties, my great aunt and uncle (Frances and Harry North) lived at 1, Mansfield Hill, Chingford. I believe that during the war they had a clothing manufacturing business in Walthamstow. They were pacifists and refused to make uniforms, but made dressing gowns for the wounded soldiers. I would like to hear from anyone who recalls them or their factory.

Many thanks,
Mary Private Reply Public Reply

My Dad, now aged 87, worked for E.N. Bray in Walthamstow for 25 years, having started there in his teens in the late 1930s. He remembers Mr Bray, often telling how he would arrive at the factory in the morning on his bicycle and walk through the factory saying 'good morning' to the employees as he went. Dad says that Mr Bray had encouraged some of his workers to join the Territorial Army, and when they were mobilised, kept their jobs open and sent them regular food parcels. My Dad was one of the few people who knew about this because he had the job of going to buy some of the supplies that were sent in the parcels. Dad started out in the stores at the factory. Although his given name is William (Bill) he says that acquired his working name of Joe, by which he has been known to all his workmates, and even my mother, when he went to work there and was told 'You can't be Bill because we already have a Bill here; you can be Joe'.
My dad's family lived in Waverley Avenue, off Wood Street. Only Dad and his brother, Kenneth, now survive of the 8 children born to my grandparents.

Best regards,
Colin WEEDEN Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Hi Kevin - Good to hear from you!
I knew Eric in the late fifties/early sixties and I agree that unless you were at war with him, he wasn't a bad bloke. I didn't know he had contact with the Krays but it's not surprising - after all, the east end is a village really, isn't it?
I met another REAL villain at a family funeral recently - Charlie Richardson of the torture gang. I see he's since died, but we had quite a conversation, and he seemed a thoroughly nice guy. It as difficult to relate to him as a guy who squashes testicles in a vice, using a blow-lamp on people, or cutting their toes off with bolt croppers, but still, everyone's entitled to a hobby!
These guys were all good to know at a distance, but as Spike Milligan said 'I have the heart of a lion but the feet of a coward!'
Best regards,
Tony LANCASTER Private Reply Public Reply

Some atmosphere pictures of Walthamstow in the snow

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Tony,
just read your e-mail about Eric Horst. I knew Eric and his brother Dennis in the 1970s and, to be honest, I always got on very well with both of them. At that time they were earning their living repairing and replacing shop blinds and I know that Eric was a welder in his younger days. I know he did some bad things during his life but he has become something of a legend in the folklore of Walthamstow. He is mentioned in at least two books which I have come across (by Buller Ward and Reggie Kray). Eric died in Tottenham in November 1998 aged 79 and was cremated at Enfield. I last saw his brother Dennis in 2003 but lost touch with him after that.
Good to read about that long lost era.
Best regards,
Kevin TROTT Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Ed,
The main Hitchman's Dairy depot was in Walthamstow Avenue, that part of the North Circular Road running from the Crooked Billet to Enfield. They moved there in 1939 into what was a much admired art deco building. Though long gone from this site, Hitchman's became part of United Dairies, the building still stands. Hitchman's had many shop outlets in Leyton, Walthamstow and Chingford including their original base at Green Pond Farm in Higham Hill Road. The shop outlet you remember was at 118, Chingford Mount Road on the corner of Ainslie Wood Road which is now occupied by a dental practice. Our family doctor was Dr. Henry Blair who had his surgery at 33, Chingford Mount Road on the corner of Leonard Road. It was part of a parade of shops and its entrance was on the corner. The property is unusual with the use of green tiling in the lower part and it is now occupied by a firm of chartered accountants.
Kind regards,
Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

Dear Bill,
My children went there and it is was in my memory and it was on the way to Larkswood pool. My wife Jean, 53 years marriage, passed away in 2008.
So the website has evoked many memories particularly of the years 1940 to 1945 which was an odd childhood to say the least.
My father was a milkman and started work at the farm close to the Old Dun Cow at Chingford Hatch, delivering milk from churn, then it was purchased by Hitchmans and had a depot on Chingford Mount Rd(?) close to Hampton Road(?).
The local GP was named Blair in that area.
Thank you for the email, I will, over the Christmas break, put my childhood memories to work: it will be good for my grandchildren.
Ed CHATWIN Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel,

My first twenty years were all spent living in Walthamstow which included the six years of the second World War. Our family home was in Marlborough Road, a turning off of the main Chingford Road near to the Walthamstow stadium. At the end of the war our road held a peace party which centred on giving the children something to celebrate. Attached are eleven photographs of the event and if you do spot a young lad looking like a chimney sweep in the fancy dress photo, that will be me.

A merry Christmas to all on Walthamstow Memories and all good wishes for the New Year,
Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Edwin,
Its very nice to learn that there is a group of Walthamstow ex pats in the Australian Dandenong Ranges National Park area. I hope that they all know of the 'Walthamstow Memories' site and it would be good if some of them could contribute their memories.
The Carisbrooke Nursing Home disappeared sometime in the 1960's and became a Mother & Babies Home. Later it was used as a resource centre for Midwives and Nursing staff.
I hope that your wife has googled Larswood Primary, her old school. There is a book called: 'Larkswood: A History of Larkswood School, Formerly South Chingford Primary, New Road, Chingford 1906-2006' that gives a good history of the school.
and she might want to read fellow Australian Eric Shackle's interesting piece on the school: Shackle Article
The school has been re-built and was opened by an old pupil - the actor Leslie Philliops . Guardian article
Below is a picture of the old school that is as your wife would have know it. If your want a picture of the new school - let me know and I'll take one as I go passed.

Picture of Larkswood School

Larkswood School

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel,
Mr & Mrs Xmas wish the seasons greetings to all who enjoy the 'Walthamstow Memories' site.

Waltham Forest school Xmas fete

Waltham Forest school Xmas fete

(The picture is of my wife and I at our tenth annual visit to a Waltham Forest school Xmas fete)

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

I would like to introduce myself from Emerald Victoria Australia and I was a resident of Elphinstone Road E17 during the war years and then later lived in Hurst Ave, Chingford E4 when I lived from 1962 to 1970 until emigrating. My wife Jean taught at Larkswood Primary School during that time. Here in the Dandenongs we have a group called the Walthamstow Wanderers which is centred on St. Georges, Monbulk, we had 28 members - sad some have passed on. They come from Hale End, High St, Chingford Hatch, Lea Bridge Road, Carisbrooke Road (Is there still a nursing home there? I was born there in 1934) Higham park, Hoe Street, Sherhall St. and others.
Merry Christmas
Ed CHATWIN Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel,

I would be grateful if you would bring this issue to the attention of Walthamstow Memories site readers as I am sure many will be saddened to learn of the proposals.

The Official Proposal To Abolish the Walthamstow Parliamentary Constituency.

As most regular readers know, although I make the occasional foray into a current issue, I usually write about Walthamstow history. However, this time I am writing about the future for Walthamstow or rather the lack of a future as there are official proposals that will abolish the Walthamstow Parliamentary constituency.

The Boundary Commission

The Boundary Commission for England is the independent public body that reviews all Parliamentary constituency boundaries in England. It is carrying out a review of all Parliamentary constituency boundaries. The review introduces substantial changes as it:

Reduces the number of constituencies in England from 533 to 502;

Makes sure that each constituency contains a similar number of registered electors.

Walthamstow Constituency To Be Abolished

The Boundary Commission has now made its recommendations and they propose to radically shake-up the borough's MP constituencies by dividing Walthamstow in two merging the area north of Forest Road with Chingford, along with the Wood Street area and Upper Walthamstow.

The southern half will then be joined with Leyton and Leytonstone.

This would mean that Walthamstow would cease to exist as a named constituency, with the borough divided into 'Chingford' and 'Leyton' seats.

The Original Constituency Proposed Revisions.

These proposals are not the original proposals. Originally, it was proposed that Chingford would be joined with part of Edmonton to form a new Chingford seat. Abolishing the Leyton constituency by creating a new seat called Stratford that would incorporate parts of Leyton & Leytonstone and the remaining areas were to be joined with Walthamstow to form a new Walthamstow seat.


As you would suspect, the existing MP's were not at all happy about the proposals. Particularly unhappy was the Iain Duncan Smith (The Chingford MP) who was faced with a situation where his existing 'safe' Conservative Party Parliamentary majority would come under threat with the incorporation Edmonton and its largely Labour Party voting electorate.

Representations were made to the Parliamentary Commissioners and the new proposals were produced. It is perhaps not altogether surprising that the proposed Chingford Parliamentary Constituency is likely to return a Conservative MP.

Waltham Forest

Of course this doesn't mean that Walthamstow will actually cease to exist. In local administrative terms it will still be part of the London Borough of Waltham Forest. However, over the years, the importance of Walthamstow as a distinct geographical area will gradually diminish.

The following website will give you further details including a map showing the proposals.

Boundary Commission Walthamstow

My regards & respects,

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Michael,

Thanks for the recent article on WM, I usually look there a few times a week to see if there is anything new, and when I refreshed the page as instructed by Daniel there was your article. This is just nostalgia on my part I suppose because there is no way that I will ever go there again, my last visit was about 15 years ago in a friend's car and the changes then were enough to make me just want to get back to Cheshunt quickly as that was where we were staying.

I now live in Perth in Western Australia and we moved out of the city a few years ago and those stories about kangaroos hopping down the street are true in this area and they do cause problems at times, so do the emus and the snakes but we love it here, I do stay out of the sea as we have had 5 fatal shark attacks this year alone.

In two weeks' time on December the 14th we are moving to a retirement village and giving up the big garden and house and all the stress that goes with it. Actually we have sold our house to another pommy couple just out from the UK, both retired like us but he wanted a big block so that his toys (3 x MGB cars) can be housed in style. Good luck to them.

Our new house is another brand new one again and comes with a communal pool and other amenities. This is our final resting place we hope (famous last words) we are both 75 now and have moved many times, but this one is the hardest so far as we have had to sell or give away almost everything as it was too big for the new house.

That is not all bad as now we can go out and buy all new stuff for the 'home straight' part of our lives, including two new cars much to the annoyance of our 4 kids and 9 G/kids I suppose, but you can't take the cash with you when you go I have been told so why not spend it.

The thought of a 360 mile trip in one day in the UK would be daunting to me at this stage but distances like that are commonplace over here as you know. Actually I did manage over 250 miles in 12 hours once on my pushbike but that was over 50 years ago and in rural Essex, roads were much quieter in those days.

Anyway it is time for my breakfast and then some more packing I think as I just can't sleep past 5am these days with so much on my mind. This Christmas we will be surrounded by cardboard boxes and 'Boxing Day' will have a different meaning for us.

Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel,

Yesterday I made a journey from my home in Somerset to Chingford Mount, but I did go back home via Hoe Street in Walthamstow. As it has been some considerable time since I traversed Hoe Street I added an article to my own website of my impressions. As usual where anything I write is also pertinent to the Walthamstow Memories site I forward it for your use. [read it here]

Michael GILBEY Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel, I have found another photo which you might like to put on your site.

Walthamstow Labour Party
George Gasgoyne School

It is of a party organised by the Walthamstow Labour Party and was held in the George Gasgoyne School. My wife is in the picture ( ME) and looks to be about 11 which means it is probably around 1954/55. I would be interested to hear if anyone recognises anyone in the photo.
An earlier photo I sent you prompted a reply from a lady in South Australia who lived in W'stow in the 1950/60's who has exchanged photos and memories with us. Great stuff!
Best wishes

Roy BEYLEY Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel and John, I found your site "Walthamstow Memories" searching for Al Bernard guitar teacher who was the manager of the "Altones", later "The Tones", in Walthamstow see attached photo of cards.

The group photo of the TONES shows from left to right - Derek Walker - Singer, Kenney Caldwell - Drums, Ken Wreford -Rhythm Guitar, Brian Burt (Me)- Lead Guitar and Jim Haskins - Base Guitar.
We played in all of the Walthamstow public houses and many other local venues between 1960 to 1966.
Hope above of interest and may be included on your site.
Best regards.

Brian D BURT Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Folks I wonder if anybody can spot themselves from my old school photos.

The first one was taken at my first school St Mary's Infants in Church Lane, think it must be around 1942/44.
The next two photos were taken whilst at Maynard Road, the teacher standing to the left in one of the photos I believe was a Mr Holdsworth; these two photos were taken around 1945/48 not sure of exact years.
The last photo was whilst I was at Joseph Barrett, which was to be my final school until April 1952 as having reached the age of 15, I was now eligible to leave. Mr Maxwell was headmaster at that time

Terry GRAY Private Reply Public Reply

Dear Daniel, I am extremely grateful that you amended your page for me and for Butch.
Actually I do have this to add, if it is of interest: Some of the older Walthamstow residents may remember that during the most part of 1967, the group drove a magnificent Bedford Sun-Coach (attached my drawing*) frequently around and in and out of Walthamstow, with more reasons than to pick up or drop off Butch. For example there was a very good lunch to be had at a café on the corner of Blackhorse Rd. and Forest Road. It was also often parked up at night there, in different streets and I often slept in it as a 'night guard'. The coach eventually 'died' right outside the Walthamstow police station, after an epic, hellish, historic trip, back from the Royal Hotel on the Isle of Wight, through the night of the 29th December during the famous 'Big Freeze' in 1967. I remember that we had to put snow into the radiator, as we had no un-frozen water and hope that it was still hot enough to melt it and allow us to limp back.
We even pissed in the radiator to help. It did!

Riot Squad's Bedford Sun-Coach

Riot Squad's Bedford Sun-Coach
(courtesy of Bob Evans)

Later (post-Riot Squad) I too moved into diggings in Walthamstow. My landlord was our roadie, 'Ralph the Reckless' - I will call him that for the moment - as I can't recall his surname. It was in Cairo Road, (I can't recall the number either, but may be able to get more details later).
He 'pranged' vehicles frequently, but earned his nick-name, precisely because he badly damaged a drum kit carried on the roof rack, by driving under a low arch. For that, he was relegated to 'navigator'. He wasn't much good at that either, but good at humping Hammonds and amps. I remember him with fondness (he died recently, I am informed) as good landlord and as a great guy. When I left to Venezuela (July 1968) the 'Del Squad' also acquired an even more magnificent coach, which surely also made its mark in Walthamstow - Butch still lived there!

Bob EVANS Private Reply Public Reply

As a young American girl , ca 1945-48, via a newspaper-sponsored correspondence club for youngsters, I became acquainted with Pamela Wood who lived with her family at 27 Clarence Road, Walthamstow, London, Eng. We lost touch and I have often wondered what became of her. I know she had an older sister who married about that time, but do not know the names of her parents. We lost touch after several years and I should appreciate any information regarding Pamela in the years following our correspondence.
Thank you.

  Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, I'm trying to trace some family in the Walthamstow area of London. My grandmother Louise Wilson lived in Walthamstow and died around 1995, she was married to John Wilson who died in the early 80's (I was too young to remember the exact date). They had several children of which my dad was Roy Wilson, my Uncle Doug Wilson was married to a lady I beleive was called Pat, they had a daughter Sonia who would be around the 40 mark by now I think. I believe Doug was a mechanic. They had another brother who moved to Canada who I never met. My dad, Roy, had two daughters from his previous marriage: Tracey and Vickie. Tracy died around 1995/1996. Vickie was married and had a daughter called Chelsea. Does anybody know any of this family, I believe some still lived in the Walthamstow area.

Lee WILSON Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, I am looking at the possibility of writing a book on the social history of Walthamstow Stadium. I was born and bred in the borough where I taught for many years. In fact, my family goes back generations in Walthamstow. I have published four books since my retirement from teaching and believe strongly that the history of the Stow should be documented. Can anybody help with images, stories, anecdotes, etc, etc.?
Kindest regards

Phil STEVENS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Gerry, I was at Chapel End from 1942 till 1951. Here's a photo with me in it (third from the left with glasses!) I used to produce a hand-drawn comic, 'The KK' every Tuesday. I have just seen the same photo in your email on Walthamstow memories. I am also in touch with Brian Bosher. Hope to hear from you soon

Chapel End School

Chapel End School

Pete PERRY Private Reply Public Reply

What a fascinating stroll I have just had with Sally Passmore up the High Street from Willow Walk, I really wish that my fading memory was just half as good as hers however one thing stood out and that was the spectacle dwarf stall, perhaps he moved but at the end of the 50's I think he used to be closer to Willow Walk.
What a shame that the 'doll's hospital' has gone as I spent hours with my nose against the window looking the models boats and planes etc. that is. And also there was one called Batemans I think and they sold models too.
Also when I was a lad there was a shop in a road just off the High Street in the Willow Walk area called 'Annies' and it was here around 1947 where my mother and countless other hard up mums would be faced with a huge pile of clothing in the centre of the shop floor. This would be turned over repeatedly until an article of clothing was found that might fit herself or someone else in the family.
No hangers or other niceties, just a heap of clothes. Things were hard in those days and the stall holders were all true east enders unlike today.
The barrows were always somehow taken away at the end of the day's trading and I never did know where they went.

Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel, My mother used to work in the 50`s as an outdoor machinist for a dolls clothes manufacturer on Blackhorse rd. I cannot remember its name, but I remember having to wait outside for her with my baby brother crying in his pram, while she waited for the next batch of dolls clothes to make. It would be great if you could let me know. I love your web site, I left walthamstow when I was 13 in 1957, but I am still a stowie.

née RIDLEY Private Reply Public Reply

Dear Daniel, Is it possible to remove the 'tenor saxophone' credit from David Bowie, as he never ever played saxophone with the Riot Squad. That was compounding one of the many typical MISTAKES made by uninformed Wikipedia contributor and other webs, (without consulting the Riot Squad). *Thus more correctly David Bowie (vocal, guitar, mouth-harp).
As we wanted to get record straight, Butch informs me that you very kindly corrected Jon Lord from your Riot Squad article. As I am sick and tired of seeing David Bowie credited as tenor saxophone with the Riot Squad, I'd be very grateful if you can get the record straight and make very clear that - David Bowie never ever played tenor saxophone on stage or recorded any saxophone with the Riot Squad and that my credits should read: *Bob Evans (tenor saxophone, flute).
Butch Davis, Del Roll and Gus Dudgeon, the Decca/Deram studio engineer, would also confirm this.
Many thanks in advance,
Yours sincerely

Bob EVANS Private Reply Public Reply

From Daniel: Text in the "Riot Squad" page has been amended accordingly.

HI Folks I was born in Vallentin Rd in 1937 went to St Marys infants onto Maynard Rd then to Joseph Barrett then worked for a small electrical company called Advance Components in Back Rd. I wonder if any body can remember my dad and his brothers removals they used to garage them in a yard at the top of Back Rd facing the Lord Brooke pub


Terry GRAY Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Les! I didn't know Horsty was going for Orris's head and got his fingers. What an animal he was! It's funny how normal he seemed when I used to speak to him - talk about schizo! I'm pretty sure he got four years for the attack and it was in late summer of '59 he had just come out and was complaining that he had missed the best summer for years. He seemed to think that this was a great, uncalled for, injustice. I never knew what he did for a living, apart from the protection business, which was pretty small time! All the best.

Tony LANCASTER Private Reply Public Reply

Hey Tony. Funny you mentioned Eric Horst. I was working on the hat stall outside Rossi's the day Eric chopped George Orris over the head.
He saw it coming and placed his hand over his head to protect himself. Hence the loss of two fingers. They were greengrocers. They had the shop next to the alley where Harry Armond used store the stalls and the stall outside. The stall sold the veg and the shop sold the fruit.
I still hear George's wife screaming when the attack happened. Forget her name, but she was always dolled up with platinum blonde hair and an abundance of makeup and perfume that smelt like King Edwards. My boss at the time Joe Simmons, pulled my away from the scene and told me to watch the stall while he run to help George. I never did know if Eric got done for the attack. I do remember the ambulance carting him to the Connaught Hospital with his misses and one of the staff washing the blood off the pavement with a bucket of water and a broom.
On the other side of the alley was Claire's the fish market. Wally Claire was the owner. Others who worked there I remember was tall Alf, who used to smoke the Haddock in the shed down the alley. And fat Albert, who often, on a Saturday evening about 5PM would ask if I wanted a piece of skate for me Dad. He used charge me a shilling.

Les COLE Private Reply Public Reply

What fantastic memories it brings back when I see people writing about the Saturday night dances at the Leyton Baths. I regularly went and jived and twisted the night away between 1961 and 1963 or 64. I met and got autographs from such "stars" as the Hollies, Tony Orlando of Dawn, Joe Brown, Rolling Stones, and many, many more.
I was born Jennifer Bassi in Thorpe Combe Maternity Hospital in 1947 (My daughter was also born there in 1965 and I think she must have been one of the last babies to have been born there!). I lived in St Barnabas Road until 1965 when I moved to Walter Saville Tower in Colchester Road after becoming a very young Mum. I went to Thomas Gamuel Infants and Juniors and then William Morris Technical High. I had a fantastic childhood and wouldn't change a minute of it. Walthamstow was a great place to live and Bakers Arms, Leyton, a great place to shop. I wish I could somehow be transported back just for a day to savour it all again. Happy days!

(formerly BASSI)
  Private Reply Public Reply

Hi all, over the weekend I contacted Bill Bayliss to research my family tree for me. He has done a brilliant job and quick too. Bill went back as far as 1830 and how interesting it was to read. Could you please publish my thanks to Bill, I highly recommend him.

Brian JONES Private Reply Public Reply

Our family all came from Walthamstow. One side of the family was my great grandad Jesse Warren and my nan Milly Warren.
I remember them having a French polishers shop in Markhouse road - I think it was 153....?.
Across the road was a bakers called Ackers. I remember the lady in the shop having to move the cat which slept on the warm bread for sale in the window, and also how she removed the dead wasps from the cream buns. Also nearby was a motorbike shop, and a Wood yard full of mice.
On the other side of the family was my other grandad, Jack Proudfoot who was the local window cleaner and bookies runner. There were a shop called the Dolls Hospital in the high street where I bought my airfix models, and also in the middle of the high street was another toy shop called Bearmans. Also you could have your picture taken with a couple of monkies !!
I went to Green Leaf road school and then Mission grove primary. I remember some school times friends. There were twin girls, Mary and Elaine, Stephen Hedgecock, who had a German mum, and Peter Tomlinson. My dad Brian Keyte worked at Fullers, a large factory.

Roy KEYTE Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, Just discovered site. Was the missing teacher's name Mr Green? I can remember playing in a match away from the school fields but can't quite remember the date. My name is Lee Pullum and I was born in 46. I remember being taught by Mr Jones. What a pleasant surprise to see his face after 56 years. Other contemporaries were Tony Spearman and a Jackson I think. Will continue to read excellent site.
Although born in Lowestoft in 1946 to a Walthamstow father and a Lowestoft mother (the war you know), I was at the young age of 4 months brought back to W. My first school was Hale End Rd as I lived in a prefab on the corner of Hale End Rd and Pentire Rd.
At the age of 6 we moved to Ravenswood Rd, and my school was Maynard Rd. this lasted another 4 years until the family moved back to Lowestoft. My cousin Linda moved with her family into our house in Ravenswood.
I have many memories of that period but one which may be of interest was my grandfather, Alfred "Deffie" Pullum. A local character and winner of The Wood St Walking race in 55 and 56.

I remember well Shales ice cream factory in Shernhall St., my grandmothers large house opposite, and my father's small garage repair business, Shernhall Autos.
That's enough for now. Regards to all

Lee PULLUM Private Reply Public Reply

Hello, I've just spent some time browsing 'Walthamstow Memories' and wanted to congratulate you on a great website - not just to refresh the memories of those who live, or have lived, there but also for us folk that are far away. I have a connection to Walthamstow that goes back to the early eighteen hundreds but suspect there could well be 'cousins' still in the area. My great, great grandfather was Samuel Spicer, of Walthamstow, son of Robert Spicer & Ann Pilgrim married 1813. Thank you for the pleasure your site has given me this morning.
Kind regards,

Christine (Spicer) BRADFORD
  Private Reply Public Reply


Hello Daniel, I'm offering WM readers the opportunity of having me research their Walthamstow family ancestry at no cost to themselves. If, later they want to access copies of birth, death or marriage certificates from the Office of National Statistic (ONS) that they will have to pay for these themselves (About £8 a certificate).
If they want to avail themselves of this service, I will need them to provide me with confidential information about their family so that I can work backwards through the records.
Of course, the information that I will produce will not be as comprehensive as that given in the 'Who Do You Think You Are' programmes, as I will not be able to research countries other than England & Wales and I am limited to (Other than London) Parish information unless its on the internet.
I have no idea of what demand there will be for this service and if it is too big, I may have to re-evaluate the situation.
Respects and regards,

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

From Daniel & John: We both wish to thank Bill for his very generous offer; I'm sure our visitors will be thrilled!

Hi Folks! Although I lived in Walthamstow, I went to Leyton County high School from 1949 till 1954 and I virtually lived in Leyton Baths during that time.
We would go straight from school each day and very often not leave the swimming pool until closing time on most nights of the week. From my mid teens onwards, I would go to dances on Saturday night on the floor which was erected over the pool during the winter. This was very low tech and consisted of basic trestles on the floor of the pool which supported the floor.
During the dance interval we would go across the road to the William the Fourth pub for a brahn ale, and during the swimming season, after each session, we would walk along and gather in the Caff next to the Plaza Cinema.
As to hard men, the most prominent were Eric and Denny Horst, with Eric being the hardest. He used to collect money each week from the traders in Walthamstow High Street among other places. It was usually five bob and he called it his 'Manzi's money'. He was sent to prison in the mid fifties for chopping off the fingers of a High Street butcher called Orris, who had decided he didn't want to pay any more, and while he was doing it, there was a whole host of coppers outside the butchers shop, scared to go in.
I used to know Eric to chat to, and late one Saturday Evening I met him at Jim's Pie Stall outside Hoe Street station, where we all used to congregate. He was a character, and I remember him lamenting 'Just my bleeding luck! The best summer for fifty years and I'm in the bloody pokey!'
I live on the south coast and even now, after all this time, when I mention Walthamstow, I am not infrequently asked if I knew Eric Horst. I preferred to be friendly with Eric because I didn't much fancy the alternative!

Tony LANCASTER Private Reply Public Reply

Cor, being a very old Stowie, I can still remember the Saturday Night dances at the Leyton Baths but, like Len Hall, not the Mods and Rocker clashes, perhaps it was before they came on the scene but I did know a Teddy Boy at that time.
The swimming pool was covered (it felt like board) and when dancing you altomatically bounced up and down to the rhythm of the music mostly Jive, now I am surprised none of the dancers got wet.
I can also remember an orchestra playing there for a classical concert, the conductor was Terence Lovett (I think) and my music teacher played a piano solo, her name just will not come to mind - it was a long while ago.

Jean BROWN Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Alan, Thanks for your article about local history and the 'villains' who frequented Walthamstow in the 50s and 60's.
I really do think that I must have been living in a cave during these troubled times because apart from a few bike chain wielding 'Teddy Boys' I never encountered any of the carnage you mention in your very descriptive article.
My only visits to Leyton Baths in those days was for a swim in the excellent swimming pools that were constructed therein.
And in later years I would go there once a week for a bath, whether I needed it or not (that is a common saying about Poms, by the way).
If I tipped the attendant I would get an extra towel and prompt attention when I yelled out "more hot water in number 10 please" etc.
Just for our information how did the area get converted for a stage show i.e. were the pools covered with a platform or what other system was used and how many people would there have been in the audience.

Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel, Please find [here] a short piece about a character called Buttons and further detail about incidents at The Leyton Baths in 1963, and the founding of the Contemporary Youth Club by Mrs Feinsilver. Hope it's OK for you.
All the best

Alan MILES Private Reply Public Reply

Message: My Father Charles Stone attended Walthamstow Primary School, during the early twenties, he emigrated to Australia in 1927/8. He was active in the boy scouts. His step-father was involved in the Salvation Army during this period. He and two other brothers, one named David, I think, emigrated to Canada, the other to South Africa. Any info would be appreciated, such as school enrolments. Family still in U.K . Thank you very much.

Paul STONE Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, I was born 1952, lived in Eden Road, attended Maynard school, then Monoux. Member of 22nd Walthamstow scout group from age 8 - 16. (whatever became of them? I know the building has long since gone.) Sunday school at Folkestone Road Evengelical. Now living in Edenbridge Kent. No longer know anyone in W'stow, but nostalgic. Would like to keep in touch with the place of my childhood.

Mike SCULTHORP Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel, Inspired by your recent flyer (27/9/12) advertising Julia Spicer's 'Out Of The Box' exhibition at Walthamstow Vestry House museum, I have written a piece about the history of 'Ensign' cameras that, I hope, will give some context to the exhibition. [Read it here]

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel, Please find attached [here]some of my memories of the High st - St James street to Willow Walk.
The rest to follow......
Kindest regards

Sally PASSMORE Public Reply

Regarding the Queen's Road school photographs sent by Michael Wood if you want to see what the old school looked like it is still available on Google Earth because that is the trap that caught me. You see the Google Earth plan view shows the new school under construction but the elevation when you bring down the little man is much older and still shows the old school.

Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Len - I am 74 and also went to Queens Road Infants School so we must have been contemporaries.
My name is Tony Lancaster and, during the war, my grandparents and then my parents owned the greengrocers shop a stone's throw away from the school in Lennox Road, on the corner of Gordon Road.
I had a slightly older brother Fred and a younger sister, Sheila.
I have seen your name appear from time to time, and although it rings a bell, I can't conjure up an image so I guess we were passing strangers. Enjoy the next fifty years!

Tony LANCASTER Private Reply Public Reply

Greetings from sunny Devon. I was born at Thorpe Coombe some 66 years ago, and although I was brought up in Hyde Park, I went to school at the Sir George Monoux in its grammar school days. Lots of memories of Walthamstow, of course, from Laurie Wright's record shop in Orford Road to occasional jazz gigs at the Granada. I recently - via your site - discovered "Gone but not quite forgotten", and guess what? It's gone. The site disappeared last weekend. If whoever was behind it reads this, please get it back up if you can: it was brilliant.

Davis GENT Private Reply Public Reply

From Daniel: I contacted the creator of the "playitagainsam" site, and here's his reply:

Sorry Daniel, the site is now temporarily closed. When time permits it will be redesigned, rebuilt and relaunched, but it's generating too much mail these days and sadly I don't have the time to deal with it all. Mac

The answer to your question is that 'No'. 32, Chestnut Walk has gone. Today it forms part of Lea Bridge Road which is a very long road road forms part of the boundary between Walthamstow & Leyton.
When describing the Borough of Leyton, British History on-line says: ' The parish was about 2 miles long from north to south. Its northern boundary, shared with Walthamstow, ran straight for 3 miles from forest to river, by Forest Rise to Whipps Cross, along Chestnut Walk (now part of Lea Bridge Road), then on the line of the modern Boundary Road to Mark House, and on to the river near Mount Wharf.
You can actually see what this was like at the turn of the 20th Century by looking at a copywrite picture on this link: History in pictures.co.uk I believe that the road that you see on the right of the picture is Shernhall Street. Lea Bridge Road originally ran from Clapton to Jeremy's Ferry at the Rover Lea and gradualIy it took over the names of other parts of the route from Jeremy's Ferry to Epping Forest. In this process the road was renumbered and today the nearest Lea Bridge Road numbers to 32, Chestnut Walk are in the 750's.
You can view this area and take a virtual tour on the Google interactive map. Look for 757, Lea Bridge Road on the map and you will s find a public house named the 'Waltham Oak'. Up until about ten years ago this was called the Chestnut Tree (Which for many years hosted a well known Folk Club called the 'Chestnuts') and was the only remaining link with the 'Chestnuts' name.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Maud, Unfortunately I do not think this house still exists. I had to look your grandfather up in the 1881 census and then read the description of the enumeration district he lived in to try to work out where this location was.
The enumerator describes the route he took as follows. Starting at Chestnut Walk, Elm Road, Weston Road, Forest Rise etc., etc..
Elm Road still exists as does Western Road. I think the enumerator misspelt that.
At 757 Lea Bridge Road there is a public house now called the Waltham Oak but formerly called the Chestnut Tree. From the enumerators description it would appear that a triangle of land formed by surrounding roads where the current Waltham Oak public stands, is where Chestnut Walk would have been.

Michael GILBEY Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Len, I'm afraid that your old school in Queens Road lasted up until a couple of years ago, attached are a few photos of what now stands on its site.

(Click on images to enlarge)

Michael WOOD Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel, Once again that small world syndrome became all too apparent this weekend when I received an email in Perth WA from a man in Queensland Australia.
This man whom I do not know personally was commenting and reminiscing about cycling and in particular about the chapter in my life story about cycling in the 1950's in the United Kingdom.
Now this is the strange part because he had been sent my article by a man in the United Kingdom who once again I do not know but he may well be a reader of Walthamstow Memories.
The correspondent in the United Kingdom is a well-known cyclist who excels in the extremely hard end of the season pass time known as Hill climbing. His name is Tejvan Pettinger and if you Google that name you will see that he is quite famous as a hill climber. If he is reading this I would love to hear from him.
The sort of hills that are in England such as 'Winnats Pass' and 'the cat and fiddle' hills are real challenges for a cyclist and to ride for over 12 minutes on grades of 1 in 3 etc. is a really hard man's sport.
In the Walthamstow area my old club the 'Marsh Racing Club' would hold their hill climb races on climbs like 'Claypitts Hill' and 'Lippits Hill' in the High Beech area and although they are difficult climbs they are only short hills.
Another famous one is the 'Catford Hill Climb' and that is somewhere south of London and when I rode it the surface was always covered in wet leaves and the crowd was enormous. Strange how memories come flooding back when someone sends an email.
Changing the subject and summer has begun in Perth as the temperature was 35 degrees centigrade yesterday and that resulted in over 200 surf rescues as so many people flocked to the beaches to escape the heat.
Beautiful beaches they are, but there is always the ever present danger of rips in the surf and of course we do get the odd shark taking swimmers who wear black rubber suits that make them look rather like a seal.
That is all for down under at the moment.

Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel, Please put this request in the 'lost and found' area of the website when you start it up again.
This is a last ditch attempt to locate any of my old school friends from the 1945 to 1955 period who were at school at Markhouse Road Secondary School or who lived in that area at the time.
I have tried 'friends reunited' for years and that is almost defunct for that era now, so if your parents know me I would be delighted to hear about them by email (see below).
Time is running out and at 75 - I am beginning to think that I may be 'the last man standing' so hurry up please and ask around.

Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

One of the largest families in Walthamstow a few years ago was the ALGAR family and I happened to know two brothers named Arthur and Ray Algar as they were cyclists in a club known as the Shamrock CC. Now Arthur moved to Bundaberg in Queensland, Australia many years ago and we lost touch, but Ray moved to Jersey in the Channel Isles and he made a name for himself as a gymnastics coach and that is what he has been doing for the last 30 years as this attached photograph proves.

Ray Retires From Coaching 16/06/2012

Ray Retires From Coaching - 16/06/2012

Ray Algar was presented with a cake to celebrate his retirement from coaching and to thank him for over 30 years' service to the club. Ray has taught nurtured and motivated hundreds of gymnasts over the years. His dedication and enthusiasm for the sport has been instrumental to the clubs progression. It is long term commitment from coaches such as Ray which provide such strong foundations for the club to move forward and thrive.
It must also be mentioned that Ray will be lovingly remembered and missed for being the clubs fixer and maker of ingenious, but not always useful!! :) gymnastics equipment, putting to good use his brilliant woodwork skills!!
Ray was also presented with a plaque to celebrate his services to the club and with two beautiful whiskey tumblers to enjoy an occasional tipple.
Happy retirement Ray! And thank you for all the amazing work you have done! You will be missed greatly by everyone, make sure you pop into the gym now and again to say hello.

I am sure that his friends in Walthamstow may be pleased to know this.
We Stowies sure do get around don't we.

Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

I was just surfing on the internet with Google Earth so I strolled from my old address at 101 Markhouse Road up Ringwood Road and then Callis Road where I saw that the recreation park has gone and then left into Queen's Road.
Up Queen's Road to the first bend before the cemetery and there was my first ever school that we used to call Queen's Road infants school. It appears to be still there, but the road is called Kirk Road. See the attached photograph:

Queens/Kirk Rd.

My Mum used to take me there on the back of her bike when I was 5 years old I think. I don't remember much about it except that I did learn to tell analogue time there, and to tie up my shoelaces in a way that I still do. And I also remember that my Mum got reprimanded by the head teacher because I had a pee in the gutter outside the school. And that was now 70 years ago. How time flys.
Goodbye for now

Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Shaffrick, Perhaps it will help if you look at this section of Bartholomews Map of London 1908. From this you will see that your assumption was right and there wasn't a dead end road because Longfellow Road ran from Markhouse Road and continued as North Lennox Road and then Rutland Road.

Longfellow Rd.

Longfellow Rd.

As far as I know there never was a public transport vehicle that ran along Longfellow Road but of course from c1900 to date, there have been many public service vehicles that ran through Blackhorse Road. These include, horse drawn trams, trams and buses.
You may well be interested to look at the interactive digital image of this map, so that you can compare Walthamstow of today with Walthamstow of just over a 100 years ago. It is at: http://mapco.net/bart1908/bart1908.htm

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Mark, I'm glad that you liked the 'Walthamstow Memories' site and my article on Achille Serre. The articles that I write are intended to give some factual basis to a subject and hopefully spark other peoples memories.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel, On September 29th Walter Purkis sent me an Email that said:

Hi Bill, With regards to the burial ground at the back of the high street it was situated behind the Congregational Church that faced on to the High Street where 104 now stands. In the late fifties as you walked from Willow Walk the first shop on the corner was Wright's they sold men's work cloths, then came the famous Al's Records were all the local teenagers meet on Saturdays, then came Radio Rentals the television hire shop and next came Mr Stevens' Florist Shop (this was a huge glass house full of flowers, he also owned a garden nursery in Palmerstone Road) then came the Congregational Church with the grave yard at the rear and then came Garnhams the Home wear Shop.

My Reply:
Hello Walter, Thank you very much for the information about where the Marsh (High) Street Congregational Church once stood. I have shared this information with the 'Walthamstow Memories' site as I am sure that many readers will be interested in this information. This church was of course the parent church to the later Congregational church at the top of the High Street that lost its spire as a result of being damaged by a WW2 bomb.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply


Daniel, I must thank Michael Gilbey for the link to the website which has a multitude of photographs of the Walthamstow, Leyton and Chingford areas during the 1950s. That is exactly how I remember these areas in my youth and what memories they brought back to me. The very first image of the High Street shows the Garnhams' glassware shop. One of the Garnham brothers was a neighbour of my family where we lived in Marlborough Road, not far from the Walthamstow Stadium. We lived there before, during and after the second world war. Their daughter Shirley, she also had an older brother, was my age and we were childhood friends; We played together and went to school together at Selwyn Avenue. After the war we celebrated victory with a big street party (I will post something on this later) and had great fun. In the 1950s the Garnham brothers split up the business and our neighbours moved to Mersea Island where the brother we knew set up his own shop selling glassware. Sadly all the family I knew have moved on. Both Shirley and her brother are no longer with us. However, my memories of them are happy ones and the photograph of their shop in the High Street brought them all back.
Kind regards,

Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

Thank you Michael Gilbey for re-introducing me to the 'play it again Sam' website, I have just spent a 'happy hour' strolling down memory lane and I am so pleased that someone had the foresight to take those photographs of yesteryear or we would never know what the place was like as memories do fade away.
I could write something about each and every one of the photographs but that will take up too much time so just enjoy the experience as I did.
And the little items of information with dates and identities are remarkable too. And do not forget all of the other areas of interest on the LHS as you can deviate for another few hours if you have the time.
Such a shame one cannot leave comments on the site, but it is really top class stuff.

Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

Note from Daniel:I also enjoyed the site: it contains a load of wonderful images & facts. However, many of the by-gone Walthamstow pictures featured are taken from booklets issued by the Walthamstow Antiquarian Society and on sale at the Vestry House Museum (and are subject to copyright - that's why they don not appear in our site).

Daniel, Walter Purkis immediately and correctly identified my mystery site as the Rising Sun Pond. Looking on Google Earth now, the pond appears to be an overgrown mass of weed but at the time of that photograph 1951/52 as Walter says, it was a very popular site. There used to be a refreshment kiosk selling sandwiched and pots of tea, deck chairs were available for hire or something more stronger from the Rising Sun pub itself.
At that time, few people owned cars and the country was still coming out of the doldrums following the war. Clearly as private transport rapidly grew, families could venture further afield into the countryside or the seaside. The growth of the private car clearly spelled the demise of the Rising Sun Pond and it now appears as if the sands of time have passed it over.
By chance I also recently came across a website with wonderful memories and old photographs of Walthamstow, Leyton and Chingford at this Link.
Most of the photographs there I have never seen before and many capture the essence of Walthamstow around the 1950's. Although the question about the location Palace Theatre, (which I personally remember well), has been adequately answered, there is a photograph of the High Street with the Palace and its location clearly depicted. One picture taken very close to where I once lived shows the top of the High Street and Hoe Street. Those wonderful now demolished Georgian houses that I have mentioned before can be clearly seen. In the same picture on the very corner of Hoe St is a map of Walthamstow housed in a metal cabinet. The were push buttons on the cabinet which lit up little lights on the map corresponding to and index on the base.

Michael GILBEY Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, Anyone that lived in Walthamstow in the 1950's would know that these photos are of the Rising Sun Pond on the Woodford Road. It was a very popular spot in the school holidays and I can remember riding there on my bicycle from Wood Street. The pond was divided into two section one had the paddle boats and the other had canoes, I think you had to be above a certain age before you could take a canoe out.

Walter PURKIS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel, I recently received through the post from Australia some family photographs which I did not know still existed. I have managed to scan them in and electronically clean them up a bit.
Two of the photographs were taken in Walthamstow about 1951/2. I deliberately have not said where in Walthamstow as I wonder if it the answer might be worthy of a little local knowledge competition. The answer might be possibly more deceptive than many people might realise. In the background of one of the pictures, (Anne0002), a pedalo boat can be seen indicating this was a popular location but once again this could also prove deceptive as to where. Incidentally, I am the small boy, front left when viewed, of the same photograph.


Michael GILBEY Private Reply Public Reply

Daniel, Further to the query raised by Alan Gallant on what side of the High Street was the Palace Theatre and the several replies posted. I attach a photo, which I took during the 2011 gathering, of the Palace Parade, which replaced the Palace Theatre. The Parade is of typical 1960s architecture, plain, simple and uninteresting. Peacocks, mentioned by Alan Wood in pin-pointing where the theatre stood, is clearly seen to the right.

Kind regards,

Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

I came across your splendid website whilst researching on an Achille Serre Enamel Sign. So I would like to congratulate you and thank you for all the fascinating images and informative stories which have helped me give it some context. I have passed the website link on to my other family members who have connections with Walthamstow.

Mark DIXON Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Bill, Thank you very much for the swift reply. I remember the area well, but am not living there now. The pictures were great and of course I will keep them.
My parents and grandparents also lived in Walthamstow and so find this site very interesting.
Thank you again for the pictures. Best wishes.

Joyce REGAN Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Dave, You're quite right: it was The Beechdrifter and not The Beechcomber

Alan MILES Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Alan, You mention The Beechcomber Club in Hoe Street in your letter? Do you mean The Beechdrifter, which was at 318 Hoe Street?

Dave HUGHES Private Reply Public Reply

Hello there, I know I might be asking an impossible question, but this has been bugging me for years now. I grew up and went to school in Walthamstow. I attended Kelmscott school from 1990 to 1995. At the rear of Kelmscott school you have Longfellow rd which leads to a dead end/ Alexandra rd. I noticed that there was some writing on the road saying "bus stop". I can only assume that years ago there was no dead end as the housing estate in Alexandra rd is quite recent (mid 70's). By using google earth the writing on the rd is no longer there. The question I am asking is do you know which bus route used to pass through this area?. I've tried to use various sites but to no avail. Thanks.

Shaffick JHAUREE Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel, On September 9th Helena Pigott sent me an Email that said:

Hello Bill, as my Brother and I walked along Willow Walk and along by the railway tracks to go to school, we came across a small cemetery. For the life of me I cannot picture where it could be now but... one day preferring to mooch about rather than go to school we investigated the names on the graves and one grave had the name of an Egyptian princess which really got us stumped. Why would an Egyptian Princess be in Walthamstow?
Life and other adventures got in the way and we never did pursue the identity of that princess and now I wonder did I dream it all up .Has anyone else any recollection of that grave and how a princess from Egypt got to Walthamstow? I have pondered for a week now hoping for the brain to produce more details but to no avail. I could read at the time so do not doubt her inscription would have told us her origin but why she was in that cemetery I would love to know.

The answer is a true story, from nearly 200 years ago, set in the mid eighteenth century. Its about Madagascar in the Indian Ocean off the south eastern coast of Africa. It involves Missionaries from the London Missionary Society, the evil Madagascan Queen Ranavalona, and culminates in the burial of a young Madagascan noble woman who died at the age of 22 years on Boxing day 1840 in the forest village of Walthamstow in Essex.
I first learnt something about the story in the early 60's when I read a book in Central Library about Walthamstow. Part of the story was briefly told called in a book entitled "Marsh Street congregations : the Congregational churches and burial ground in Marsh Street, Walthamstow" written by SD Hanson, A D Law, and W S G Tonkin. As a result, I went looking for the burial ground at the back of the High St in what is now called Cranbrook Mews & Courtney Place. I never found the entrance to the burial ground from the High Street and to the best of my knowledge it was situated at the back of the Working Man's Club at 82, High Street. I have subsequently learnt that it was closed in the mid 1960's and the burial ground was cleared by Waltham Forest in 1971.
I also include another true story, linked to the first by Christian missionaries, that occurred only a few years earlier. It takes us to desolate Tierra del Fuego in Patagonia at the tip of South America. It involves Charles Darwin and The Beagle, King William IV & Queen Adelaide and St Mary's Parochial National School in Walthamstow.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Daniel, Hi, my manager, Sean Cook and I are going to be reopening the Chequers pub for Antic Ltd in the next couple of weeks, I was wondering if you had access to some old images of the building that we can use for our website/twitter/facebook. If you do or know where i can find some please send them our way.

Peter MASSEY Private Reply Public Reply

Your Friends were correct in their location of the Palace but this link may settle your argument: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/32677

Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

The Palace Theatre was definitely on the right hand side of the High Street going towards St. James Street. The Carlton Cinema was on the left and the Palace was not far away on the opposite side of the street. Regretfully, both these houses of entertainment are no more though the Palace Theatre is probably more mourned than the Carlton Cinema.
Kind regards

Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Alan, As you are by now probably already aware, but just to confirm if not, the Palace Theatre was indeed on the right hand side walking down from the Hoe Street end. If you look on Google maps you will see that although it is now demolished the replacement row of shops are called Palace Parade, these are directly opposite the bottom entrance to The Mall (shopping centre). You probably walked past Peacocks on your walking tour, well that is just about where it once stood.

Michael WOOD Private Reply Public Reply

The Palace Theatre was on the right walking from Hoe St down to St James St. I think the shops there are now known as Palace Parade. I went there many times as a youngster to see the pantomimes.

Keith COOPER Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Joyce, For you, the Dominion, Cherrydown Avenue at Chingford Mount. It was opened in 1935 and was rather swish. As you can see the featured picture was 'Bright Eyes' starring Shirley Temple. It was one of a batch of cinemas that was sold to the Classic Cinema chain in 1967 and renamed the Classic Cinema. It closed in 1972 and what's left of it is now a Poundstretcher shop and offices.


Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello, I would love to hear from anyone who has photos of the Walthamstow carnival from any year between 1935 and 1952. My father was with the Warners float collecting money for Connaught Hospital.

Derek EVERETT Private Reply Public Reply

Hi John, Please find enclosed some information about other famous residents of Waltham Forest:

  • Angela Landsbury (Actress) Bushwood, Leytonstone
  • Paul Hardcastle(Singer, producer and singer of the song 19)
  • Martha Ross (Mum to Jonathan and Paul) once support artist in Eastenders
  • James Alexandrou - played Martin Fowler in Eastenders, lived in Chingford
  • Meera Syal - Actress in The Kumars at No 42, lived in Leytonstone
  • Rene Zagger - Actor, he played PC Nick Klein in The Bill. He lived in Leytonstone.

That's it for now
Best wishes

Alan MILES Private Reply Public Reply

Dear Daniel and John, I found out about this website through my cousin Marilyn Stroud, who I see is a regular contributor to the Postbag Section on this website.
I was looking last night at the Song/Songwriter/Local Bands section of this website and saw that I was listed in the groups section under The Pattons, I am Alan Miles. I have some further information about my other band that I used to sing with, which you may want to include, as well as information about other bands which you may want to include on the website, so here goes.

  • I was with The Motives as singer and harp player, with John Robinson lead guitar, we left to join The Pattons. The Motives also included bass player, Mark Simpson.
  • The 5 Short played at The Bell a lot, packed it out.
  • Vandals Blues who featured harp player and singer Iggy, who I once shared a joint with, a brilliant band.
  • Black Cat Bones, who played regularly at The Beechcomber in Hoe Street.
  • The Peeping Toms with Barry Hart who later formed Slow Bone. The Motives beat them in a rock competition at Walthamstow Granada in 1965.
  • Hutches Classics featuring John Hutchinson, who went on to form Jokers Wilde.
  • Re: The Spectres, they became the Status Quo, I saw The Spectres play at The Brewery Tap in Walthamstow, I was impressed by them. Very fortunately, I met Francis Rossi and the rest of the band in a Fortes Cafe, along the M1. Francis told me , that they had changed their name to Status Quo.
  • Biffo R&B Band who played in the then North East London Polytechnic College bar in the late 60s.

I'll close now but will email again with some more information, if you have any questions please feel free to get in touch.

All the best
Alan MILES Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Guys, I have put this under the general enquiry section although part of it relates to family history as well. Wonder if you can help. I am trying to find information about my maternal grandmother who was known as Violet Mary SMITH. She celebrated her birthday on 24th April and was born in 1900. After my mum died when I was just 18 months old, she raised me with her husband William George Newing. I am unable to find her birth certificate and spent several years chasing a red herring. What I can remember is as a very small child she took me to the Bakers Arms on a bus from Shoreditch and we walked up Hoe Street and down a road somewhere off of it to visit a lady she told me later was her sister - I think there was a park or a Cemetery of something somewhere. The only clue I now have is that I have a copy of her wedding certificate from 1921 which shows her father as George Smith and his occupation looks like ???? Basket Maker/Worker (I cannot read the first word) and the address looks like 48 Boston Road Walthamstow. I am now unable to trace Boston Road so cannot try and trace backwards on the census. Are you able to help with the location of Boston Road please or does anyone remember the Smiths from Boston Road Maybe. Thanks for your help

Ken FOOT Private Reply Public Reply

Earlier this week a gang of 4 did a nostalgic walking tour of Walthamstow recalling our days at William Morris (55-62). However an "argument" broke out when I recalled the old Palace theatre being on the LH side of the High Street walking from Hoe St to St James St, just past the library and swimming pool, and they all said it was on the RH side. Pls settle this question for me.

Alan GALLANT Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Michael, Have just viewed your photos of Lloyds Park. What a mess! I lived in Carr Road for 21 years in a Warners flat and our back room overlooked the tennis courts and on which I played many times. As they say nothing ever stays the same but I think it is a crime what they have done to the park and I can imagine those who remembered it as it was will say the same. It now looks like a concrete jungle!

Marilyn STROUD Private Reply Public Reply

Daniel, what a very interesting web sight. I was born in Walthamstow and lived in Billet road, not far from Folly lane which I remember very well.
My single name was Joyce Ryder, can remember the trolley buses, school days and many friends. I wonder if anyone remembers the Odeon at Chingford mount? What happy days. Thank you for Walthamstow memories.
Best wishes,

Joyce REGAN Private Reply Public Reply

Hello readers, Well although it (The Waltham Forest Guardian on E version) is priced at 55p it is always free to me on line and you simply put the mouse pointer over the top RHS to turn the pages. Unfortunately there are now hundreds of real estate adverts in each edition but I suppose the ads pay for the paper as it is no doubt a free paper now just like the local rags in Australia.
How should we refer to ourselves i.e. Walthamstovians or E17ites? Any suggestions are welcome there must be hundreds of readers out there but not very many participants so let us hear from you just so that we know you are out there.

Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

Dear Daniel, I happened to take a walk down Lloyds Park yesterday (wasn't planning to), and it had just opened after its refurbishment, so I have enclosed a few photos (not great resolution as I only had an old ipod touch on me), but I thought they maybe of interest to some of your faraway members. Anyway feel free to use them if you wish, they are as follows....(Click on images to enlarge - then use 'previous page' button on browser to return here)

1. Refurbished WM Gallery with east side extension.

2. Rear of Gallery showing side extension which includes Cafe and viewing terrace.

3. Original rustic bridge looking onto island.

4. From rustic bridge looking onto newly created open space where the pavillion once stood (now demolished).

5. New bridge (the Winns Ave one still remains the same) leading from the island into the Aveling Park end.

6. New bridge (rather excessive I feel, but handy if ever a tank invasion of the island is needed).

7. New skate board park (built on field which backs Carr Road).

8. New play area built on old tennis courts opposite the bowling green.

Kindest regards

Michael WOOD Private Reply Public Reply

Just in case you are not aware you can stay in touch with the Walthamstow Guardian on line by using this link.

Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

From Daniel: Thanks for the link, Len. I'm not quite sure if your link leads to a free service.
I've added an appropriate entry to the
Links Page

Hello Daniel, This article is about one of the almost 'secret' parts of Walthamstow. Although perhaps not known by the majority of Walthamstow residents, it was an area well known to many who lived in the Higham Hill area.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

AUGUST MAILS [Top of Page]

Hi Daniel/John,I have come across your website 'Wathamstow Memories' on the internet today. There was an article under the section History - Family History BROWN Prue (Prudence) Lewis née Brown. I went to school with Prue from the age of 11 to 16 in Westcliff and lost contact with her aged 21. We are both now 56. She was my best friend and spent many weekends staying with me and my parents. I have been trying to contact her for 40 years and this is the first time I have had an update. She was not on Friend Reunited. Would it be possible for you to tell me what year her article was written and I have send an e-mail to the address in her article but unfortunately it was returned e-mail address unknown. Have you got an address for her that you could give me or pass on a letter if I sent you one. Many thanks for any assistance you can give me as this is very much appreciated as I have spent many years wondering about her.
Kind regards

Gillian LUMIS
from Stanford-le-Hope, Essex
  Private Reply Public Reply

Only having just found the Walthamstow Memories site, I tried replying to a message left by Josie Gregory on your History section dated 2009. It came back to me as undelivered. Is there any other method of contacting Josie please.My brother also had trouble with an address he tried to contact too.
Kind Regards,

Pat WARREN Private Reply Public Reply

Hello, I have attached a photo of the 'Beaverdell', a ship of the Canadian Pacific Line that was adopted by The Wm. Mc Guffie school in the late 1940s. I was one of the lucky few from each class who spent a day aboard her in the London docks. When we left her we were each given a banana, I didn't remember ever having seen one before!

Beaverdell a ship of the Canadian Pacific Line

Beaverdell a ship of the Canadian Pacific Line

Beaverdell a ship of the Canadian Pacific Line


Derek EVERETT Private Reply Public Reply

Msg 1: to Val Pond (née Wenman) (post dated 21.8.10). John Fuelling and his sister Joan, of Brettenham Road, are my Mum's first cousins. John is currently living in Cyprus with his second wife, and Joan is in Worthing.
Msg 2: to Mac (post dated 26.2.10), Bob Rennie was friends with my brother in law, Bob Chanter. (They played in the same group, name not known). Awaiting reply from my sister if Bob R is still around, or if his whereabouts are known.

Janet STONE Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel, I wonder if you would be prepared to add this to Walthamstow Memories for me. Following are a few names that I can remember and a "?" for those I can't!

Winns Avenue Calss ca. 1950

Top row left to right: Diana Henderson, Michael Goldsmith, Maureen Heales, ?, ?, Robert Walker, Keith Proudfoot, Geraldine Ball, and ?
Second row from top left to right: ?, Joan Clements, ?, Judith Bristow, Brian Humphries, Lillian Roberts, Terry Lyons, ME, Brian Hunter and Albert Poole
Third row from top left to right: Sandra ?, Margaret Russell, Kathleen Wood, June Flatman, Margaret Knowles, Maureen Luscombe, ?, ?, Shirley Waterman, Pat Norris, Joan Goddard and ?
Fourth row from top left to right: ?, Kenneth Knight, Michael Reed, Brian Davidson, David Pepper (with board), David Searle, ?, ?, and the late Jeffrey Dunkinson killed in a shooting accident while in the Army Cadets in 1954.

With thanks,

Marilyn STROUD
née KING
  Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel, Although the attached piece is not directly about Walthamstow, Alec Smith's and Len Hall's recent posts about how they attended School Camps after WWll highlights how many children from Waltham Forest were evacuated (All the pupils of Tom Hood school in Leyton were evacuated during the war to one camp in Itchingfield) or sent on holiday after the war. It also brought back a memory of when I (An Islington boy) attended such a camp in 1948. Unlike Alec and Len's camp, the one that I went to wasn't in Sussex but was in Surrey near the Devil's Punch Bowl and was called Marchants Hill Holiday Camp.
The circumstances were that I was the son of an Islington school teacher who supplemented his income by working at Play Centres during the summer holiday. One summer, he accompanied some of his pupils from Pitfield Street School in Hoxton for a two week stay and my brother and I also went.
Until I read Alec's post I had no idea that there were other such schools so I did a little research and the piece attached is the result.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel, Thought I would add a further memory of my school days at William McGuffie.
I think the year was 1954 when I was in my second year at McGuffie. Each lunchtime I would go home for lunch and then return to school which was about a 15 minute walk for me from Carr Road. This particular lunchtime my Mum had asked me previously that morning to go into List's the bakers in Forest Road on my way home and buy a loaf of bread. I was accompanied that lunchtime by a school friend who I think lived in Diana Road. Anyway, after purchasing the bread my friend and I decided to cross Forest Road by List's the bakers and not walk up to the zebra crossing at the bottom of Melville Road which always had a policeman in attendance. We waited patiently for the traffic to thin out before deciding to cross but then not too far from us in the distance we could hear an ambulance bell and into view came this L.C.C. Ambulance tearing along Forest Road towards Palmerston Road. I suggested that we waited for the ambulance to pass before we crossed. The next thing I knew was the ambulance door swinging open on the right hand side from the driver and it knocking both my friend and I to the ground and the one thing I seemed most worried about was the loaf of bread that began rolling down Forest Road. Of course the ambulance stopped and I remember seeing the policeman from the zebra crossing running down to us. My friend's coat had been ripped and she had hurt her arm but I had got off quite lightly save for shock. We were both huddled into the back of the ambulance where a nurse was in attendance with a young boy who we had learned later was suffering with appendicitis and who was constantly being sick. We arrived at Casualty in Connaught Hospital waiting to see a doctor who ordered x-rays for my friend because of her arm. We must have been there for over 2 hours and eventually we got the all clear to go with my friend's arm in a sling and her ripped coat over her other arm. As we left a nurse came running up to us and handed me the loaf of bread which I had bought previous to the accident and back we went to school to explain why we hadn't returned from lunch. Just as we entered the hall the bell rang and classes began to empty. I remember us being surrounded by half the school all asking what had happened. I think we must have repeated our story over and over again. The headmaster at the time suggested we went home and there was my Mum walking towards me calling me every name under the sun as she had been called into the office at work and told that I had been run over in Forest Road! I remember saying to her that they took care of the bread in casualty and she immediately dropped it into the dustbin! My friend was compensated for her coat and her arm healed. Then the following week we made news on the front page of the Walthamstow Guardian "Ambulance In Accident Takes Two To Hospital". Felt quite a celebrity for a few weeks. But from that time on I always crossed on the zebra crossing. I had learnt my lesson.

Marilyn STROUD
née KING
  Private Reply Public Reply

Many, many thanks for the reply to my request for info on the camp at Horsham! It seems a few others remember the place. The old photo in particular reminded me as it must have been so near to where I had my "accident". Now if only I could find the boy that threw the spear!! Regards

Alec SMITH Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel, I wrote to the originator of those Bars Green photographs and the attached information followed, I can recall taking a pot of jam into the dining hall when we had a meal there.

Hi Len, Thank you for your memories of the camp schools here in Barns Green. The schools closed in the 1960's and both sites were developed with up market housing so no trace remains of the schools except the names (Wedges and Coopers). I attach a couple of pictures which I hope will be interesting to you.
Kind regards

Barns Green Camp Barns Green Camp

Barns Green School Camp (by courtesy of www.fourbears.uk.com)

Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

Good old Bill (Bayliss), you have hit the jackpot again with your information about the school camp near Horsham!
I was a student at Markhouse Road Secondary Modern School in the late 1950's and I was permitted to go to the 'school camp' on two or more occasions. I was considered to be an under privileged child I think and my parents were able to let me go to the camp at no cost to them I believe. I remember we had to go to a place in the High Street opposite the public baths and fill out forms etc.
At the camp we slept in dormitories on double bunks and the 'teacher' slept in a small room that would have originally been for a sergeant I suppose when it was a military camp. I have some vivid memories of those camps and our activities both good and bad and I shall recount some here and now because they are still fresh on my memory even though it was about 60 years ago.
The headmasters name at the camp was Mr Golightly at the time and he was a very fair man and he gave me the cane once and I deserved it too. I was an avid collector of bird's eggs at the time and that is what boys did for some reason. Well I was caught by the gardener near the pig sheds and he dobbed me in to the teachers. That cane was about a centimetre in diameter and I never collected another egg after that. In fact I got back to school in Walthamstow and presented my collection to Mr Pearce the science teacher. I had been given most of the eggs anyway.
We never had any real lessons at the camp and we went to the nearby village with a sketch pad on many outings and made sketches of the church etc.
I recall that another pass time was ballroom dancing and I at that time shunned girls and I was forced to waltz with a very large sweaty girl who was nick named 'shagger Smith' but at that time I had absolutely no idea why that was so.
There were woods at the bottom of the playing fields and on one occasion a boy was climbing a tree and somehow he slipped and impaled his scrotum on a branch and had to be rushed to hospital in Horsham.
On another occasion a boy naked Kelsey went missing in the woods with a girl (not shagger smith) and when they were eventually found he was sent home in disgrace probably with a big smile on his face.
Goodness me, Bill, these memories are flooding back fast now!
The standard dress for us boys was those 'baseball boots' with blue jeans that had to be rolled up to reveal the boots and thus we were all dressed similarly. Usually on the 3rd Sunday parents were allowed to visit us in a bus and that was good as they were able to see how we were managing on our own for the first time away from our parents. On the 2nd Sunday all of the children were taken by bus to Brighton for a day at the seaside and that would have been a worry for our teachers I suppose.
One thing I do recall that was not so nice was when I had a birthday at the camp and so it must have been around August the 4th: Some of my dorm mates got to hear about this and they plotted to give me a real treat, this was what they decided to do. They held me down forcibly and covered my private parts with Cherry Blossom black shoe polish. Now this was not very funny for me of course and as we had communal showers later that evening it was even less funny, as when we stripped off our clothes everyone could see that there was a little lad amongst them with jet black genitals. Now had the following event happened these days there would have been a hue and cry about child molestation.
However the form master whose name was Mr Swan saw my plight and he assisted me in scrubbing off the polish with soap and a flannel. Isn't it odd how time changes things, today he would have lost his job and probably been put in prison for what he did to me even though there were 20 other boys naked in the shower.
There are many other things about the school camps that helped to make me who I am today and I personally think they are a good idea. Today one of my sons lives in West Sussex in the village of Hassocks and we have been there to visit him and his family a few times but somehow we have never got around to going to the camp area and Horsham.
Does anyone know if it is all still there in that area? Now I must go and look at the Barns Green photos etc. that Bill put on the site....

Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

Does anybody remember the butchers called Smiths at 34-36 Markhouse road? It was owned by James and Emily and they had 7 sons and a daughter. They were 43 +44 years old in 1911. Violet (Sis) was the only daughter and they had Albert, who was a telegraph messenger for the general post office, Richard (he worked as a printer at the Bank of England), Albert, Walter, Lenard and Laurance. If anyone has any information or any old photos of this shop I know my mum (Lenard's daughter, Betty Smith) would be so happy, as we have been looking everywhere.
Many thanks

Sue Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Nick, Thank you very much for your kind comments in your recent post to the WM site.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Alec, You wrote:
'..........I cannot recall the date, but on return to E17 I was sent with others of my age to a recuperation camp, very close to Horsham precise location I have searched for, but as yet not found. I wonder if any others have memory of this and can enlighten me? We were billeted in huts around a large field with woods, during my stay of - I think - 3 weeks...............'
Is this the place that you went to after the war?. Its about 3 miles from Horsham and seems to fit, it was well used during the war and afterwards seemed to have been a recuperation centre.

Fourbears.uk - Local History

An extract from the above: During WW2 Barns Green saw many changes. Canadian infantry were posted at both of the "big" houses in the village and evacuation camps for London children were built on Bashurst Hill. Wedges Camp and Coopers Camp housed whole schools evacuated from London and after the War they were used by West Sussex and London County Councils as outdoor activity centres where children were sent for between 2 and 4 weeks. If you were an evacuee in Itchingfield or attended the Camp School post war, do get in touch, I have photographs and recollections from many people of happy times spent in the country at the Camp schools

Some web sites that may be of interest:

Wedges Farm Camp, Itchingfield
Wedges Camp Farm


Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

I remember our science teacher I think harrison at william elliott always refered to Priory Court as "the barracks" much to the dismay fo a lot of boys who lived there

Keith COOPER Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Len, your memories of Walthamstow prompted me to add a few memories of my own when I lived in Walthamstow. Although I was born in 1941 I can remember snatches of the war. I can remember the drone of the German bombers as they passed overhead on their bombing run in the East End. We had an Anderson Shelter at the bottom of our garden and even now I can remember the smell of that shelter. Mum told me that I had a Mickey Mouse gas mask and I created something awful when I was put in it. Can remember the smell of that also. Luckily we were not bombed out as many. The only damage we had was all our windows had been blown out. Mum later told me that one time when the doodlebugs were in use she and my Dad sat on the backstairs waiting for it to pass over but the engine of the doodlebug cut out and there was just silence. That was the worst sound if you can call it that. Mum had hysterics and my Dad had to slap her across the face to bring her out of it. Where that doodlebug fell is anyone's guess. Apparently a doodlebug had fallen in Hoe Street just by the Granada and those killed were laid out in Hoe Street. Mum said there wasn't a mark on any of them. The blast from the doodlebug had probably killed them. As I lived in Carr Road then I am sure one of my memories was seeing an Ack-Ack Gun in Winns Avenue not too far from the gates of Lloyd Park. If anyone can verify that for me I would be very grateful as I am sure that I didn't dream it. My Gran lived in Rodney Place then and refused to go down into the shelter. One night the bombing was quite bad and she took refuge under the dining table. As she was quite large the table did not shield the whole of her body but as she said as long as her head was protected she was satisfied with that.

After leaving school in 1956 I got a job as a junior clerk in an insurance company in Bishopsgate in the City of London and I had to work two alternate Saturday's in a month. On this particular Saturday while I was waiting for the train into Liverpool Street from Hoe Street workmen were working on the bridge and a generator was running quite loudly. I remember seeing this railway worker cross the line carrying cables over his shoulder and into the path of the train I was waiting for. I wanted to call out and warn him but he wouldn't have heard me above the noise of the generator and the steam engine coming out of the tunnel. I will never forget him going under that engine. I can remember it so vividly even after 56 years. So terrible for something like that to happen. I don't know how I continued on my way to work but I did. Do not want to experience anything like that again.
Will write more later if I may re the Teddy Boys - my Dad's worst nightmare - and Winkle Picker shoes. Who remembers those? My Dad said I looked ridiculous but I thought I was the bees knees in a pencil slim skirt and Winkle Picker shoes!

Marilyn STROUD
née KING
  Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel. I have written elsewhere that with my elder brother, Bob, we were evacuated to St Just near Lands End in Cornwall, in 1939. After our return in '44, I was again sent away on my own to Alderley Edge, Cheshire (now the residency of the Beckhams). I hated every minute of it - tried to run away to London but was caught by police twice.
I cannot recall the date, but on return to E 17 I was sent with others of my age to a recuperation camp, very close to Horsham precise location I have searched for, but as yet not found.
I wonder if any others have memory of this and can enlighten me?
We were billeted in huts around a large field with woods, during my stay of - I think - 3 weeks. I had a wooden spear thrown at me which hit my ankle: it went septic and Mum took me to The Connaught hospital for treatment, where they removed a large splinter and part of my bone. The surgeon said that another 3 days and I would have lost my foot, That would have changed my life story !!
I wonder if any other members went to the same site?
I have had contact with David Van Loen, who was also a ST Just evacuee, but have since lost touch. I lost his email address when my pc decided to take a holiday. Can anyone help ?
Kind regards to all

Alec J SMITH Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Marilyn, Please do not put yourself down as your all too short letter is not at all boring and personally after a month of absolutely no new articles I welcome something new on the site. When you have the time or maybe just the inclination just sit yourself down and write lots more so that we can all enjoy your memories. Remember this is living history and when we are gone who will let the younger people know what went on in the past.
I am 75 now and I have put a few items in the site under history and I still have more up my sleeve.
Actually I did write my life story recently and I tidied up all those loose articles and made it into a legible story and I put it on 4 flash drives with lots of photographs and I gave them to my 4 children so that they could read about their past. I also sent it to Daniel too but so far he has not used it.
Anyway I am in Australia and it is time for my breakfast so good bye for now.

Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, I just wanted to say I have enjoyed reading Bills memories, Priory Court must be so different now than it was when Bill was living there, I wish when I lived in Priory Court there was someone like Bill around.
I lived in Leyton grange estate, cathall estate and then Priory court in the 90's and 00's with my mum and cant say I enjoyed my time in any of them, I'd we had more of a community feel it might have been better however from what I remember you kept yourself to yourself. A shame we didn't have Bill! I now live in Australia and occasionally have a look to see what's going on in Walthamstow.

Nick BEST Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel, I began a post in December last year on the L. Rodi cafe in Blackhorse Lane which still had its original frontage and interior. Other posts followed including some interesting photographs of the frontage and interior. I have learnt today, from a post on Walthamstow Times, that the cafe has now been modernised. I really do not know how the present owners got away with it as it should have remained in its original state for prosperity and would have been of interest for the present generation and beyond. Even if it was not listed it would have probably needed planning permission. What a dreadful shame. Has anyone seen the outcome?

Kind regards
Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Ann, I too was a pupil at William McGuffie from the year 1952 to 1956. Mr Furness was my second year form teacher and was very strict as you say. Often a piece of chalk would come flying past your ear for someone speaking in class. I also remember Miss Thrippleton. We had her for biology. I remember she tried to breed flies in a cupboard and when she opened the cupboard during our lesson masses of flies flew around the classroom and she kept shouting out to us to open all the windows. Remember Miss Roberts very well who took us for history and then there was Mr. Smith who took maths and scared the living daylights out of me. He always seemed to wear a dark brown suit with spectacles that made his eyes look like dark pebbles.
Mr. Heath was my third year form teacher and he married a Miss Williams who took P.E. so maybe this is the marriage between the two teachers you are referring to Ann. Miss Dennis took art and drama. Mrs Kidwell music. This was when I first heard the hymn "Jerusalem" and which has been my favourite ever since. Following are more teacher's names and which some you may remember - Miss Fenn, Mr. Briggs, Miss Kelsey (dance), Mr. Finnis who had the classroom right at the top of the school, Miss Brown (headmistress), Mr. Tomlinson (headmaster), Mr. Macey and Miss Clarke who was Irish and always corrected your exercise book in green ink with a shamrock at the bottom of the page. Could go on but won't bore you further.

Marilyn STROUD
née KING
  Private Reply Public Reply

MAY MAILS [Top of Page]

Hello Alec, You wrote: "Hi Bill,interesting story of Saturday cinema. I used to go to the Granada. But can you remember the secret password we had?"
I shout out very loudly 'ADANARG' (Granada backwards)

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Bill, interesting story of Saturday cinema. I used to go to the Granada. But can you remember the secret password we had?

Alec SMITH Private Reply Public Reply

Graham, I too went to Blackhorse Road School and was also evacuated to Cornwall in 1939 are you sure you went in 1938? My brother Bob and myself went to St Just in Penwith, first stayed with the Stephens butchers in Bank Square, then moved to Boscean on a farm with the Eddy family Those were the best days of my life, so many happy memories.Hope we can exchange some.

Alec SMITH Private Reply Public Reply

Has anyone a photo of the post war street party in Blyth Road which I attended as a child? I lived in Lea Bridge Road and my mother moved to Blyth Road before she died.

Eve WARR Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel, Would you please publish a public apology on my behalf to Richard Dunn (Walthamstow History site) for inadvertently not accrediting authorship of his image of George Gascoigne School in 2007, that I used in my article 'George Gascoigne School - Linking the old with the new.' (I have already made my private apologies to him which he has accepted) I also take this opportunity of advising readers with an interest in George Gascoigne & Thomas Gamuel Schools of a website that they will probably enjoy. This is the "playitagainsam" site.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Trying to locate Newsagent shop of Ada Harwood (late A Agar) around early 1900's possibly in Hoe street. I have photograph, as she was my wife's Grandma

Mervyn TEW Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, there was a record shop on the corner of Lea Bridge Rd and Church Rd called Rolo's records, I think they had a shop in the High St, may be right or wrong, hope it helps.

Paul CATTANO Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Naomi, I was brought up in Rectory Road, which runs adjacent to Seaford Road. As a small boy in the late 70s, two elderly sisters who lived across the road from my parents told us that there used to be tennis courts on the site of the present-day St Mary's C of E primary school. The school is on the Seaford Road end of Rectory Road, which tallies with your mother's memories. Also, our elderly neighbours were brought up in Rectory Road, and would certainly have been there in the 1930s.

Best regards

Francis Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Naomi, Unfortunately, I can't give you a definitive reply but I can advise that, today, what she would have been looking at is the playgrounds and rear of the present day St Mary C of E school. (You can see this yourself by using 'Google Maps' ) The grounds of the Rectory Manor (Which was the seat of the Manor of Walthamstow Toni) were bounded by present day: Aubrey Road, Hoe Street, Forest Road, Hurst Road, The Drive and Church Hill with the Manor House itself standing on the crest of Howard Road & Rectory Road and Walthamstow Girls School was built on what was Rectory Field. My informed guess is that the Tennis club might well have had courts next to the old St Mary Cof E building. My source for this is contained in the History Of The Walthamstow Cricket & Lawn Tennis Club. This details the various moves that the Cricket & Tennis Club made to different grounds and says 'Undismayed by the ballyhoo about the Walthamstow Town Club, the Walthamstow Cricket Club in 1895 moved to its new Church Hill Ground known as "Rectory Field" alias "Vicarage Field" which is now the site of the Girls' County High School' After this time, the Cricket Club moved to its present day ground in Buck Walk and I think that the Tennis Club possibly ended up in Greenaway Avenue.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

I was born in 1947 & brought up in Walthamstow until 1979, when I moved to Hertfordshire. I thought you might like to look at the website of a band that I formed in 1962 called "The Beaucrees" the website has the same name. All the personnel lived in The Stow and we are going to have a reunion of the original band as you will see.

The Beaucrees The Beaucrees Cooks Ferry Inn

The Beaucrees

Kind Regards

Tony TUTTON Private Reply Public Reply

Note from Daniel: There is a page on "The Beaucrees" in the "Personal Stories" Section

I had an Ensign Camera. I thought it a step up from a Brownie. It always worked fine until I dropped it down a mountainside in Switzerland. Funny, it was never quite the same after that. I think I owned it from about 1955 until around 1958.


Richard MASSON Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, My family ran a coach firm in Hamilton Road, off of Higham Hill between 1966 and 1989. Three names were used - Thorpe Coaches, Dryers Coaches and Clyde Coaches. We took over the site and the firm when my father's employers, Evan Evans tours, bought out the company from the then owners, the Doolin family. I am hoping that somebody on here may remember my dad Lew or my brother David, who drove for him. Thanks for your time, and congratulations on a great site.

Steve HALE Private Reply Public Reply

My mother used to live in Seaford Road in 1935 and said her house was opposite the Rectory Manor Tennis Club, where she used to play and there is even a photograph of her in the Mercury Post 1934: "Shorts on the Courts". Could somebody be so kind as to indicate where exactly the courts used to be?


Naomi LAVERGNE Private Reply Public Reply

Hello, I have acquired an old 8"x6" original photo 1940's or '50's Group Photograph - East London taken by Studio Populaire (Richard H Jackson) 350, Forest Road, London E17 (Ink pad stamp on reverse with pencilled numbers, B329/21) ....I can't bring myself to throw it away and I'm in hope of the slim chance of somebody recognising someone in the picture.....I know it's unlikely but it would make my day if that happened. Someone's Gran, Great Gran or Granddad is in this picture. Who knows?.. stranger things have happened... There is also the photographer's telephone number in the stamp on reverse: LAR **** the four numbers being not clear but could be 3923. The dialling code letters LAR stood for "Larkswood" which covered the Highams Park area. I'd guess that this is a group of people who had just attended a wedding as many have a flower in their lapels so the building behind them is probably part of a church. I'm hoping someone recognises somebody..

Unknown Group of the '60s(?)

(Click to enlarge)


Ken HATFIELD Private Reply Public Reply

Note from Daniel: Ken has very kindly offered to send the original copy of this picture to our site. I will post it as soon as I get it. Many thanks Ken!

Hi Keith, I remember the lady lived in the end house in Elmsdale Road at the junction of Erskine Road. Do you remember George White?


Dave HUGHES Private Reply Public Reply

Your message of 27th June re Contemporary Youth Club brought back memories of 60s. We used to visit the club in Mrs Finesilver's house, I think off Palmerston Road. At prayer times we were politely asked to leave being non Jewish. What a great lady, I believe she knew Helen Shapiro.

Keith COOPER Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Alan, your photo brought back memories. Only just found your letter of nov 2011. We lived in same road. Brian Penalver's nickname was Spiv and remember all the guys you named from Roger Ascham.

Keith COOPER Private Reply Public Reply

The Cambridge Road you want was off Boundary road. It was an early built up road in that area (built up by the 1870s), but the houses were demolished (or bombed, I don't know which) and in the 1960s, a tower block was built there, and the name Cambridge road disappeared. The tower block was in turn demolished in the 1980s/90s (?) and now there are small houses there. There is a Saxon Close at about the place Cambridge road used to be.

Jim MOORE Private Reply Public Reply

I have arranged a reunion get together for ex pupils of Sidney Chaplin Secondary Modern School in Folly Lane. The date for the reunion is on Saturday 8th December 2012 and will be held in The Red Room of The Rose and Crown at 55 Hoe Street, Walthamstow. This will be for people who attended the school between 1960 and 1975. If you are interested and want to know more please email me or find us on Facebook. Nearer the time I would like people to let me know if they are coming so I can make sure the buffet is well supplied.

Dave HUGHES Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Gill, The two Walthamstow maternity nursing homes that come to mind in that period are: Thorpe Combe in Forest Road and the Carisbrooke Road Nursing Home - that later became a Mothers & Babies Unit. I believe that this was probably at 19, Carisbrooke Road.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello David, Thanks to Bill Bayliss for providing a map of the prefab location, it is possible to use modern technology to see an aerial picture of this former estate.
If you use Google Earth and center on the area where the prefab estate was, by clicking on the historical image icon, (it looks like a small clock), a time line graduated in years appears. If you set the slider bar back to 1945, a ghostly grey image overlays the existing Google Earth image. You will probably appreciate the picture is of low-res quality but never-the-less, this former prefab estate can be clearly seen. It it possible to zoom into this image on Google Earth within the limitations of a low-res picture.
I have copied a snap shot of the image below.

Michael GILBEY Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, do you have any referances to a nursing home called Mounts Bay in Walthamstow around 1938? If so could you please send me it as a friend is looking for details.
Thank you.

Dave POWELL Private Reply Public Reply

A wonderful photo! As a current Walthamstow resident who passes this shop every day i was intrigued to see how it once looked. I've been comparing this photo with how the shop looks now on google maps. Structure is essentially the same! Fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing.

Helen GREEN Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, could you tell me anything about a maternity nursing home that was in Walthamstow. I am interested in it between 1938 poss up to 1940's?? Anything would be useful.

Gill CLANCY Private Reply Public Reply

Dear Daniel, I wondered if you would like to post this picture of my step dad Ernie Nathan taken on his egg stall in the late sixties. His stall was near the Cock Tavern and I just wondered if anyone remembered it.

Picture of Ernie Nathan - Egg stall in Walthamstow

Ernie Nathan
Egg stall in Walthamstow (late '60s)

Yours faithfully

Janet REILLY Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Barbara, Thank you for your email responding to my mention of Essex Grove on the Walthamstow Memories website. I must first mention that I did not live at the family home at No 6, but I did visit it many times. The large double fronted house was first purchased by my grandfather in about 1901/02, he was not the owner in the 1901 census taken in April of that year. My grandparents had six children, all boys, five of whom were born at 6, Essex Grove. Unfortunately two died in infancy. The property was used as a base for the family coal merchants business which used the Blackhorse Road depot for transporting the coal. After my grandparents retired, in about 1938, their eldest son took up residence with his wife and two daughters. When he retired his youngest brother took up residence with his wife and then two daughters. A third daughter was born at Essex Grove in 1954. My uncle did not run a coal business from the property but a haulage business known as Grays Haulage. He remained there until the compulsory purchase of the Grove in about 1965. I presume the piece you saw about Essex Grove was what I had written in response to learning that the Essex Arms pub, which was opposite No. 6, had been demolished thus removing the last vestige of the old Essex Grove. It comes under the "Memories" heading and with it was a photograph of the front of the house with members of my family outside. The only other photographs I have are of family ones taken at the rear of the house and unfortunately I do not have any of the Grove itself. You may not have known my three cousins all that well as they may be a little older than yourself but I will ask them if they knew of your family. My uncle now lives near Colchester and is in his 96th. Year. If I can be of any more help then please let me know.
Kind regards,

Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel. Recently visited the Walthamstow site and found it very touching and interesting. I lived in the Walthamstow area from 1945 to 1960 (when my parents relocated to Billericay). Our address was Oatland Rise, just off Higham Hill and I attended 2 schools in particular: St Andrews Infants and William Elliot Whitingham Secondary Modern.
So far, I can't recall a mention of either of these schools, but i may have just missed it!
2 Friends I can remember in my road were Roger Giles and Henry Taylor, both of whom I have long since lost touch with.
My sister, Kathy, had lots more friends and also a better memory. Sadly,she died tragically early in 2009.
The prettiest girl in the street was Janet Tyrrell but I moved before i got to know well enough.

David DAWSON Private Reply Public Reply

Hello, I'm trying to get in touch with Mr.Len Finch who printed a photo of the Staff of St.James Street Station in your Memories section 2012. I can't seem to do it can you help? Many thanks. Regards

Ruth ELLINGTON Private Reply Public Reply

Hello again,you helped me with the research on Rosina Florence Hutton, who was in the ATS and died in your area on active service in 19/1/1945. Following on to a similar enquiry can I ask: do you know who covers a similar project as yours in Edmonton London.

Best regards

Max ESPIE Private Reply Public Reply

Hello there. I'm a local artist and having an exhibition in October at the Vestry Museum about Walthamstow's contribution to the history of popular photography.I was wondering if any of your older members have any memories of the Ensign Factory? Alternatively does anyone recall having and using an Ensign camera? I'd love to hear from anyone who has memories to share. Although it's a museum show - the emphasis will be on the images and the enjoyment people got from their cameras even if they weren't competent in their use!
Many thanks

Julia SPICER Private Reply Public Reply

I think the shop you asked about was called Derek's Records.

Barbara ANDREWS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello there, On a whim this morning I thought I would search for any info/memories of Essex Grove and I came across your comments on this site.
I lived at no 13 Essex Grove from the mid 50's until 1964, I think we were one of the first families (Brereton's) to move out after the compulsory purchase of most of the Grove. I remember the Silk's as they were the 'posh folk' at the other end of the road (although it was only a hundred yards or so away haha!)
My Mother had the number of our house changed to no. 12A as she was superstitious.
I would love to see any photo's of the Grove, as sadly I have none.

Barbara ANDREWS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Amanda, To the best of my knowledge 15, Blenheim Road is an ordinary early 20th Century private house. It certainly wouldn't be big enough for a Mum & Baby Home. In order to establish the residents in the property at that time you need to look at a 1936 Electoral Register. Your best bet would be to contact Waltham Forest Museum at Vestry House, Rectory Road, Walthamstow and ask them.

Picture of 15, Blenheim Road

15, Blenheim Road, Walthamstow

(Courtesy of Google Maps)

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

According to 192.com, in 2002/3 there was a Joe McGowan in E17. The other occupants at the address were Jenny McGowan, Jiminez Jasmine & Paul McGowan. Unfortunately, this is a pay site but it might indicate that your man is still in the area.
Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

The Walthamstow Avenue Football club folded up around 1988. What was let of the club amalgamated with Leytonstone/Ilford and became Redbridge Forest and later the present day Dagenham & Redbridge FC.
I would suggest that the best place for any of the football memorabilia would be at Waltham Forest Museum, Vestry House, Rectory Road, Walthamstow Tel: 020 8530 3002 and ask to talk to the Curator.
Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello David, I've never seen a picture of the prefabs, but I hope that the map below is what you are seeking. I haven't formatted it so you can copy and expand it etc.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

JUNE MAILS [Top of Page]

Hello William (Or are you a Bill like me ?) Thank you for your email. It's very nice to find out that there are people out there who read my stuff. I assume that the article that you came across was this one on Walthamstow Memories.
I met James Dixon in the early 60', when I first came to Walthamstow and became involved in the local East & West Walthamstow Labour Parties. James (Jimmy) Dixon was a well loved man and one of the most influential 20th Century educationalists in Walthamstow. You will find several mentions of him on the Walthamstow Memories site. This is what Bob Edy, one of Walthamstow Memories contributors, wrote about him in 2005 ".....Mr James Dixon MA - a wonderful man. In the evening he was in charge of Chapel 38 Club (Boys), later on the Chapel 43 Club was founded under his chairmanship, this was for girls".
As you know he was Headmaster of George Gascoigne School and sometime around 1948 he was Headmaster at Chapel End School. In 1931 he founded the Athan Boys Club in Grove Road (Later called the Cameron Athan Club) and in 1966 he got an OBE for the work that he did with Athan Boys Club. The club closed in 2008.
I'm sure that this site will be of interest as it contains information about Gascoigne school including teachers etc and more importantly about James Dixon (Including a picture)
He was remembered in Walthamstow in the form of a council owned high rise block of flats in Colchester Road that was called James Dixon Tower. However, that has now been demolished and a new low rise estate built on the site. There is some quite interesting stuff about George Gascoigne school on the Friends Reunited site, at this address.

Picture of 1948 Low Hall Lane nursery

The end of George Gascoigne school

Picture kindly provided by David Ives


Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello, I stumbled across your web site and found my old school... Myself and three of my Brothers all went to Gascoigne. However when I went there, after attending Gamuel Road Junior School, which became Thomas Gamuel, in 1958 Gascoigne, I am sure, was called Queens Road School, and I think the name changed, in honour of Sir George Gascoigne, in 1959 or 1960... I left in December 1961 and it was certainly called George Gascoigne then. The Headmaster was James Dixon, or Taffy Dixon, (he was Welsh) and he ran a club for pupils called Athens Boys Club which I think was in Grove Road... I also attended that... I hope this is helpful, best wishes

William TYRRELL Private Reply Public Reply

Meophams Newsagents and Confectioners Shop in Haldan Road. It was no 76 Haldan Road, it was sold in 1968 to my Father, Mr Lee and it became Lee's Newsagents until it closed in 1995 and was later converted into a house as shown in the picture (missing: awating for it. Daniel). The closed up shop next door no 78 Haldan Road was a former fish shop and the Grocers next door to that was in Cavendish Road. Regards

Graham DEXTER Private Reply Public Reply

Lived in Blenheim Road, went to school in Blackhorse Road, from where I was evacuated to Cornwall 1938. Any others of this time, as I am researching the period? Regards

Graham DEXTER Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, another pic for you which I hope you will like. This was taken in the 1960s and is of Samuel George Broomfield, my 1st Cousin once removed ( i.e. my mum's cousin). I actually got this photo from his son Christopher. Samuel is seen here at his Veg stall in Walthamstow market.

Picture of 1948 Low Hall Lane nursery

Samuel George Broomfield
stall in Walthamstow Market

Best Wishes

Nikki BROWN Private Reply Public Reply

I'm trying to locate some photos or information on motorcycle based history for Walthamstow, specifically from the 50's to the 90's I grew up there and all through the 70's & 80's my friends and I rode motorcycles and I'd love to get some pictures of the old places we used to go for example: Jack Paddock Motorcycles in Gosport road, Jack Nice Motorcycles (can't remember the road) The Contemporary Youth Club in a school in Leyton (it used to be run by Rose Finsilver) St Johns YPS (young peoples society) at the far end of Brettenham Road (run by Cliff Wilding now sadly gone). When old enough, we drank in the Crooked Billet & The Rose & Crown in Hoe St (later run by my cousin John Branch) any pics or info would be greatly appreciated. Regards

Jim BROWN Private Reply Public Reply

As promised.. more pictures: Carnival float to celebrate 60 years of the Electric Wire company in Leyton. 3rd from the right is Edwin James (Jim) Willey, the husband of my great aunt.

Electric Wire Company float, Leyton (Nikki Brown)

Electric Wire Company float, Leyton

Got other photos too (nearly sent you the 60th anniversary celebration float of The Electric Wire company but that is in Leyton - let me know if you would like it)
Best Wishes

Nikki BROWN Private Reply Public Reply

Hello - I loved looking through your web site (loads more to check out yet). I found it while researching family history as my parents grew up in Walthamstow and their parents etc.
I have passed the URL onto my parents who I'm sure will be very interested in it.
I saw a photo of the wolves cycle speedway club which caught my eye. So wondered if you would like this photo (below) - It is a scan of a newspaper cutting - the John Brown winning the cup is my dad.

John Brown winner of cup

John Brown winner of cup

Nikki BROWN Private Reply Public Reply

My uncle William Henry Furness (Harry) was a footballer at your club on the c 1930's.
My cousin (his daughter ) is now in her eighties and is wondering what to with all the foot balling medals he won there. I suggested donating them to the club if it still exists, but she is not on the Internet.. Please could you tell me if you would be interested in the William Furness memorabilia, and if you have any photographs of my uncle, please would you forward them to me as all his newspaper clippings etc were sadly lost some years ago.
Kind Regards

Stella ARMOUR Private Reply Public Reply

Hi. Do any street maps of the layout of the prefab estate that stood very close to Highams Park lake exist? I lived there as a child in 1948, but sadly there seems to be no records what so ever of this estate even existing..Thanks

David GINGELL Private Reply Public Reply

I am looking for any information on my Grandfather Edwin Arthur Cecil Morphett Born in 1873 in Forest Gate. I know that he was not married to my grandmother as he was already married to a Ida Ponsonby Price in 1908, he was a merchant seaman, but due to a spelling mistake on his CR10 card his surname was listed as Morphelt. He had relationships with a number of women over the years and could possibly have married bigamously the woman mentioned in the petition Ivy Lillian Maud (Haywood) several years earlier using the name Edward Moffatt. At this time he is described as a publican's assistant. In 1931 he was living at 65 Camberwell Grove SE5 with Ivy, and a son, when Ida filed for divorce. I am keen to find out more about him especially in the years 1913 - 31.

Leonie BEATTIE Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, I am not able to make a reply to RAY DENNISON IN THE POSTBAG, can I send the message to you to enter on the web site? Regards

Ruth ELLINGTON Private Reply Public Reply

Reply from Daniel: I hope Ray reads this message and lets us have his correct email address...

Thanks for posting this photo, I believe my grandad is pictured, middle row, third left. He was William Hanson and he lived at 7 Garner Road with my grandma May, mum Gillian and her brothers Peter and Derek. Bill and May bought the house when they married in the 1920s and it was owned by my grandma until 1999. Bill was a bandmaster and fought in the Essex regiment with his brother Herbert who was killed at Gaza in WWI. I never met grandad Bill - he died in 1960/61 but by all accounts he was a lovely man and a musician til the end (I still have his piano).

Sharon HICKS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel,
The Story Of Andrex
When I was a little boy during WWII, living with my Nan and Mum in Enfield Lock, the toilet was a small brick built building in the garden. The toilet pan was set into plank of wood that spanned the width of the Toilet. There was a nail on the wall on which were cut up sheets of newspaper threaded with string. These were used to clean your soft private parts after using the toilet. The paper was hard and stiff. As you may imagine, this was not a very comfortable experience.

Later, this was replaced by single ply toilet paper on a roll. This was a much better than the newspaper squares but the paper was still quite hard and stiff. Many of us vividly remember this toilet paper that was the standard issue in the outside toilets in our schools' playgrounds.
I don't think that it was until the 70's that I experienced the luxury of using a tissue from a soft toilet roll. Maybe my wife had been influenced by the new Andrex puppy advertisement but I suspect that it was more likely that we could now afford to buy a little better than the bog standard (Pun intended) toilet roll.

What I didn't know then was that I was participating in a little bit of Walthamstow history. That part of Walthamstow's claim to fame is the Andrex toilet roll was first made in Walthamstow. It is a sobering thought that far more people in the UK know of Andrex than they do of William Morris.
So, I have written the story of Andrex that was first made by the St Andrew Mill and factory in St Andrews Road, Walthamstow.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

From Daniel: Well, Bill, you've stirred up my memory! You've perfectly described the toilet my grandmother Eliza had in the Squires Alshouses. I was 6 or 7, and I distinctly remember the newspaper pieces first, the roll of stiff semi-transparent paper later. The same was used in the toilets at Mayfield, Sussex, a summer school I attended.

Hi Daniel & John, I am wondering if you can be of help I am trying to trace a relative of my Dad (Jim Coyle) his name is Joe McGowan and he lived in 205 Walter Savill Tower, Colchester Road Walthamston. Many Thanks

Marie FERGUSON Private Reply Public Reply

My great grandma's shop at 6, Blackhorse Lane. She is on the right.


Nigel THORP Private Reply Public Reply

I am looking for any photos or information on my Grandfather, who was called Augostino Cerroni, he was born in 1890 in Walthamstow London, He married my Grandmother, called Grace. They had two children, one called John Bernard Cerroni, and the other one called Alf Cerroni. My grandad Augostino had all different jobs in London: he worked down the high street selling ice cream, then he worked as a painter and decorator in the local hospital, before he died in 1943. I hope that anyone who is reading this could help me as I would love to see what my grandad looked like.

Tina HOWARD Private Reply Public Reply

Hi guys! I was born in Thorpe Coombe Hospital nov.1947. Went to Thomas Gamual and Markhouse rd schools. Then I left uk when I was about 13. Just wondering if anyone would remember the following: Sandra Plumb, David Thorne, Lance Richardson, Neil Coxor. Even anyone would remember me Paul Thorpe gen info. I never returned to uk and now live in New Zealand. I also lived in Australia. My address in Walthamstow was: 155 Hibbert rd. Many thanks and kind regards

Paul THORPE Private Reply Public Reply

Dear Sirs, I am helping my friend research her father (John) birth. John's birth certificate of 1936, states place of birth as 15, Blenheim Road, Walthamstow E17. This area is not familiar to him or his family, as other siblings were born in Uxbridge. There is a family 'folklore' that John was born from a relationship between his mother with the 'boss's son'... John's mother's occupation was shown as a House Keeper on the birth certificate. Please could you give guidance as to how we could establish if the address was either a 'mother & baby' home or a private address? Or are there records surviving in the Borough that we could view to establish residents of the property at that time? Hoping you are able to guide us! Many thanks,

Amanda Private Reply Public Reply

MAY MAILS [Top of Page]

Hello Daniel, The attachment is the latest in the series that I have written about bygone Walthamstow factories. This is a bit different in that you will see that I disagree with the official account of the company's origin. I would be grateful if any of our readers could provide any further information.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Dear John, I came across your website as I was trawling the internet looking for information on my own family history and wondered if you or your colleagues may be able to help.
The ancestor I am looking to research is Archibald William Dewhurst (1868-1938). He was born in Chorlton-cum-Hardy near Manchester and was the son of cotton merchants. He moved to London in the early 1900's and I can trace him in 1911 living in Barnes with his wife Edith and daughter Sylvia. I believe that he soon thereafter became estranged from them. His occupation was a cotton merchant and there are several passenger records that show him travelling to the likes of South America and China, presumably plying this trade, up to 1922.
His death certificate, shows that he died in 1938 in The Anchorage Home, Church Crookham (Hampshire), but his occupation is shown as cotton merchant 'of Walthamstow'.
I assume this means that he was working for a company of cotton merchants in Walthamstow. Do you or your colleagues have any idea where or what this might be or where I can uncover information on this?
Many thanks & Kind regards,

Bernard HUDSON Private Reply Public Reply

Good afternoon. I read with great interest the memories of St Mary's Shernhall Street Walthamstow. Two of my Aunts were admitted St Mary's in June 1926 and discharged in April 1935. My Aunt Winifred Finn passed away a few years ago but my Aunt Gladys is alive and celebrated her 90th Birthday in May. I wonder if any readers knew my Aunts as we know little of their early life. They were admitted from the borough of Stepney. Many thanks & Kind regards
Gail SYKES Private Reply Public Reply

Hello there, I have 3 fine drawings by James Chamby of Church End and Cooks Folly in Walthamstow, drawn in 1896, if you would like to have them on your site, please email me so that I can attach them for you,cheers.

I will be putting these drawings on eBay soon for £10, but will wait in case any of your members are interested in them, let me know if they are or simply give them my email if you want to, anyway I hope somebody remembers/enjoys them. Cheers
Gail SYKES Private Reply Public Reply

Dear Sirs, I´m looking some information about Mr. Dick "Lucky" Lindsel. He was an Anglo Argentinian WWII pilot (Hurricane). Best Regards
Jorge (Koko)
GOMEZ VENTRE Private Reply Public Reply

I was born in Walthamstow and moved away in 1957 but have visited regularly in the past. I well remember the "Dominion" from several visits before 1939 when going to the Pictures was a much looked forward to special event. We would have seen many of the big stars in various films such as Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers,Don Ameche. Alice Faye and others. This was of course before TV and these films showed us far away places and somewhat glamorous life styles we hardly knew about.
There was always two films an A and a B plus a "short" a cartoon, Travel or Off screen life with the stars, plus Pathe Gazette a news reel.
Booking was unheard of and you tried to find out the programme timings but often were too late and had to queue up outside especially if it was a really big star appearing in the film. The queue was at the side of the cinema , a wide uncovered passageway which ran the length of the building before turning right along the back exiting next to a timber yard in the High Street diagonally opposite Manzi's Pie Shop.
From the queue you were let in as seats became available sometimes to a standing area at the rear of the last row in the cinema and watched the film from there until a uniformed usherette with a torch show you to a seat. This often meant that you had missed the start of the film and so ,if you wished ,watched it round until it came on again. The foyer was wide ,low ceilinged and welcoming where the ticket was purchased at the box office in the centre. You then moved on presenting this to an attendant who let you through heavy curtains up a short flight of stairs to the rear of the seating.
There was a Saturday morning "tupenny rush" for children which usually showed cowboy films and cartoons. There was a set time for this showing and you had to join the queue in the passageway. The side wall showed several shallow dishes in the soft brickwork where a coin, usually an old penny had been turned. A visit to the Dominion was planned, enjoyed and the film discussed on the walk home.
I hope these memories will be of some use to you. good luck
Kindest Regards
Harry BRIDEN Private Reply Public Reply

Hello John, My name is Jason Davidson. I live in Camden, Sydney, Australia.
I am trying to gather any information relating to my family tree. In particular I would like to obtain any photo's or documents for the Haywards of Walthamstow. A few details I have are as follows:

Charles Richard Hayward (great, great Grandfather)
Alfred Hayward(great,great,great Grandfather)
Ethal Clara Dines (Great, great Grandmother)

I believe there was also siblings - Connie, Alf, and Herb Hayward are three of the names we have. The Haywards owned and operated a green grocers store at 119 Palmerston Rd Walthomstow. I have a photograph of the family in the 1930's-40's outside the shop. I am awaiting copies of these from my uncle and will forward these on to you in the coming weeks.
Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.
Kindest Regards
Jason DAVIDSON Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Soraya. As a child both myself and my wife went to the "Saturday morning pictures" at the Dominion cinema in Buxton Road. This would have been in the early 1950'S. Obviously I did not know my wife at the time. We were so keen to get in the cinema we would queue all around the building and the evidence can be seen on the brick wall. We would twist a penny into the brick until it made a perfect round impresion. There must have been hundreds of these holes. I also remember being taken by the school (Winns Avenue) juniors to the Dominion to see the film "The Dam busters" and an R.A.F band played the "Dam busters" March. I have very fond memories of the old Dominion Cinema and hate to think of such a wonderful buiding going to waste. Regards.
Ray DENNISON Private Reply Public Reply

Thanks so much for the photos and the link... and also the info about Geofrrey Woolley the Curate... It is very exciting learning new things.. KR
Christine JESSEY Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Christine, There is a street view of the church at about the right period on Google Images as below. I've converted the pink image to greyscale. This church was badly damaged by fire in 1977 and became redundant. The Church of England converted the next door Parish Hall into the present church. The records of the old church that include the various Parish registers, plus pictures of the exterior and interior of the church are at the London Metropolitan Archives @ 40, Northampton Road, EC1R OHB
You might be interested to know that the son of the Curate, at the time of your partner's grand-parents parents marriage, was a man called Geoffrey Woolley. He was a Territorial Officer who was awarded the OBE, the MC and the VC for his heroism at the battle of Ypres in WW1. Wikipedia - Geoffrey Harold Woolley

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi...my partner Rod Johnson and I are looking at his family history.....looking at St Matthews Church, Upper Clapton...we visited this on Monday as his grand parents were married there...would you know where we could obtain a photo of the church as it was in 1919? Look forward to hearing from you
Christine JESSEY Private Reply Public Reply

Hi,I am a freelance journalist and I am currently working on a article about the former Dominion cinema, situated on Buxton Road. I was wondering if one of you, perhaps have any memories about the former cinema? Did you or your family ever visited the cinema, have any historical stories about it? At the moment, nothing is being done about its abandonment by its American onwers (Chelsea Corporation), what do you think about this?? Anything small may prove to be very useful,Thanks,
Soraya DOWNIE Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, I also attended William McScruffy in about 1952 -53. I then passed the 13+ and went to William Morris. I remember Mr. Furness with trepidation. Would still call him Mr Furness now! Miss Thrippleton was our swimming and phys ed teacher. We called the poor lady kipper feet as she had large feet with I guess bunions and she did have a strange gait but was very kind in her own way. My form teacher was Miss Roberts who I adored. Strange that I can't remember any other teachers now although there was a lady teacher who married the art master.
Miss Roberts always chose hymn number 81 - or was it 82? - "Hills of the North Rejoice" for assembly and someone else always picked "Onwards Christian Soldiers" with all the verses --groan groan from us all!! My sister Pam Kimmings did "her time" at William McGuffie, before going to Pitmans. Pam was born 1945 so she must have been there from 1956. I think brother William went there for a year about 1960 when they came to Australia in 1963. The name Shirley Dunbar comes to mind, as does Mary Scott and my, at the time, best friend Valerie Barker, who lived in Carnanton Road. One wonders where they all are now!
Well remember Mansies pie and eel shop in the High Street. Would love a serve of jellied eels! Regards
née KIMMINGS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi there. My name is Joan Jones and I used to live in St John's Road Walthamstow. Today I found your website and looked into Reginald Kings Gallery and I remember the Coronation Street Party well. In photo 1.2 there are three men who organised the party, Mr. Ward, Mr. Must and Mr. Reid and in Picture 1/11 and 1/12, there are pictures of my younger sister Barbara. She is wearing a crown on her head and on her dress. She will be thrilled when I tell her about your site. My single name was Virgo and I lived there from 1937 when I was born, until I moved in 1960. Thought you might like to tell Sue Powell (who you did the pictures for) There was a Mr King, who had a grocery shop - I do not know if that is the same man who took the photos or not.
Joan JONES Private Reply Public Reply

Dear David, are you the same person I went to school with at Willow field with Emilios Demitrio?
Steve HILL Private Reply Public Reply

APRIL MAILS [Top of Page]

Hi John, The Staff at St James Street Station c.1914 (Note Staff of 20 )
My Grandfather Harry Markley was the Station Master and Harry Finch (Top Right) later became my Father:

Len FINCH Private Reply Public Reply

Hi John, Maybe of interest:

Picture of Blenheim Street Party - 1945

Picture of Blenheim Street Party - 1945

Len FINCH Private Reply Public Reply

I did try to trace your Mrs Osbourne's brother by looking at possible Osbourne/Osborne marriages in an attempt to discover her maiden name and thereby her brother surname. This has proved unsuccessful. I did wonder if Mrs Osbourne was possibly a Miss with Osbourne being her maiden name.
There are records for a steward on the Titanic for a W. Osborne who lived in Southampton but was born somewhere in London about 1880. Without knowing Mrs Osbourne's full name or her maiden name, (if any), it is difficult to come up with something more concrete other than a tentative link.
Michael GILBEY Private Reply Public Reply

I went to William (Scruffy) McGuffie between 1957-1960. I only did 3.5 years as my birthday fell immediately after Christmas at which time I left. I always thought Mrs Thrippleton was a Miss, that is how we always used to address her. She really was a kindly soul, although I think most pupils found her strange looking. She was quite thin with long hanging arms and walked with a peculiar gait. I believe it was Miss Thrippleton who was playing the upright piano at assembly one morning when the piano kept playing duff notes. She open the top of the piano and extracted three beer bottles that were probably deposited there by the previous evenings night school. Quite unabashed by the howls of laughter from pupils, she simply sat down and continued to play the music of the hymn.
Mr Furness was the complete opposite. A prim and proper man always smartly dressed and very strict. No one but no one ever dared to play the fool in his class as he had a reputation for not being afraid to use the cane. If I recall correctly, he was a maths teacher and taught higher mathematics like algebra. Fortunately it was only A stream pupils that learned algebra and I was always B stream. I think Mr Furness's surname accurately summed up his temperament, understanding if you were trying to learn but like a firework without a touch fuse, he could instantly turn into a ferociously stern person.
I regularly talk on the telephone to my sister Anne who you may know and who has lived most of her life in Australia. Occasionally we reminisce about school days and the teachers that you probably knew too. It always raises a laugh.
Michael GILBEY Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, I attended Scruffy Mc Guffie in 1953, do any of your members remember a teacher there at the time Mrs Thrippleton, or Furness?
Best regards
David GINGELL Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel, You recently published an email from Karen Brown that says.....
'Now to my question: I was wondering if there are any local records relating to anyone from the local area being on board the doomed ship (The Titanic). I have tried "googling" but on the limited information I have I have not been successful. Just thought I would ask...you never know!....'
I was intrigued by this and decided to have a look. Although I didn't find any local records, to my great surprise, I found that there is a Walthamstow link. This with not just with an ordinary passenger, but with one of the Titanic's heroic musicians who sacrificed their own lives as they played music to calm the panicking passengers who were evacuating the vessel as the great ship went down. The attachment [here] tells the story.
Best regards
Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi John, Not sure if anyone would be able to help but found your website when perusing.
Short background...I was born in Walthamstow (Thorpe Coombe) back in 1967 and have been tracing my family tree for a few years now. We lived in Walthamstow until the early 70's, however some of my father's family remained at the home address in Pember Avenue (the Wrens apparently were quite well known in the area during the 30s/40s!!). Many of my maternal and paternal grandparents and their relatives lived in the area for many years. Indeed we lived in King Edward Road; my maternal grandparents had lived in Roma Road; my auntie still lived in Pember Avenue and other relatives nearby. For a while I attended at Blackhorse Road Junior school with my siblings going to McEntee amongst others.
Anyway, my actual query is on a friend of my grandmother; a Mrs Osbourne who I believed lived in Roma Road between the 30s and 60s (I think). My grandmother said that Mrs Osbourne's brother died on the Titanic and I have over the years tried to find out more information but to no avail. Now records have been released on the passengers of Titanic I have found records of a Walter Harris born in Walthamstow who was a second class passenger. I have tried to find if this is indeed the said "brother" but as yet no information.
Now to my question: I was wondering if there are any local records relating to anyone from the local area being on board the doomed ship. I have tried "googling" but on the limited information I have I have not been successful. Just thought I would ask...you never know!
Kind regards

née WREN
  Private Reply Public Reply

I've got an enquiry about a cafe that I was taken to in the 60's, run by a friend of my mothers. I wonder if anyone recalls it- the friend was Lena (I think Smith) and her husband was Jack. I was v young at the time but two street names spring to mind, Selborne Road and Palmerston Rd. Clearly Selborne is the main drag of the market and I can't beleive it was there. Can anyone bring the place to mind, please? It was a sort of "double egg and chips" place
Bill NEOBARD Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Alan, Great pictures. I can fill in some of the names on the first one, the Maynard Road Juniors football team 1953-54.. The teacher top left is 'Ozzie' Holdsworth, he was my form master in my last year. Front row extreme left is Peter Hatfull, the little guy in the middle of the front row is Barry Amos and the next one along is me, Richard Masson. I'm not sure but the lad on the extreme right might be Malcolm Waterlow but I'm not sure of that. Funny to look at those faces after so many years. I remember the teachers well. Ozzie was a very good teacher of the strict but fair nature. Frosty was OK too, although apart from sports I didn't have a lot to do with him. I thought Dai Jones was a sadist who I disliked thoroughly. He coloured my view of the Welsh race for years, not relieved until I got to know my Welsh physics master at Leyton County High many years later. I'm sure you will remember him, he was Phil Woosnam.
From the boys I remember Peter Hatfull as we went on to the same secondary school. He died in a fire when he was about 20. Bill Pitson was a funny bloke. Really good fun until his Dad died, when he changed radically. I remember meeting him again in about 1961 when he and a crowd of hooligans gate-crashed a party I was at. One of his mates, a bloke called Brian Essen was there too and on looking again at the photo, I wonder if he might be the one next to me, second from the right, front row.
All the best,
Richard MASSON Private Reply Public Reply

Hi daniel or john, I was born in Walthamstow in Williams Avenue, opposite Roger Ascham Infants in 1954. I used to play a side drum in the Walthamstow Carnivals around 1964, I was wondering as to whether you have any pictures of these events, Walthamstow Guardian used to take the pics of such events, but say I need to get in touch with Vestry House Museum, but I dont get to london much as i live quite a way from there. Thanks
Paul KIRK Private Reply Public Reply

To all Olde Stowies, can anyone remember Pearly Kings and Queens?
My Grandparents were Pearlies and a bit of background first, they had a stall selling salt in Hoxton Market (or 'oxton as they called it) and were called costermongers, I do not know if this has any bearing on the subject.
Every Easter all the family would go to Hyde Park and watch our Grandparents in the EASTER PARADE, which, as far as I remember, consisted of horse and carts carrying the Pearlies all dressed in glittering sequins. Does this happen today?
(née TRUMAN) Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Roger & Bill, If I remember correctly the Tower Press was in Palmerston Road, just a few shops along from "Belchambers" the cycle shop. It was a small fronted unit that was painted white - the company name was in Blue.
Hope that helps. Kind regards
Sally PASSMORE Public Reply

(email address on her mail to WM site seems not to work)
Hi Ruth. I read your message(25/12.2010) and was taken straight back to 1957/1960. I left school in 1957 and my first job was with J.Sainsbury's in Walthamstow High Street. The staff there were a very friendly bunch and it was almost like a second family. Your Mum (Olive) and your father (Rex) were both there and at that time the romance was in its infancy. I remember your mum as being a very quiet but quite pretty girl, your father was of average height and a bundle of energy with a quick wit and loved to sing. I would love to hear how they are and what they have been doing all these years. I left Sainsbury's in 1960 and after numerous jobs in the area joined the Police in 1971 and retired in 1997. I now live with my wife of 50 yrs(this Sep) in Frinton by the Sea, we have three children and seven G.children.
Ray DENNISON Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel, I came across the article by Ross Wylde referring to the blitz and the records of all the raids in Walthamstow. I can recall several of the incidents having seen many of the places referred to.
One in particular when we were bombed-out in Marlowe Road and the tragic occurrence the took place a few doors from us. That was some 72 years ago when I was at the tender age of 8!
I expect you already are aware of that article. In case not, I have enclosed the relevant URL www.rainbowcircle.f2s.com/Walthamstow
It certainly brought back vivid recollections especially the V1, V2 era, which I recall very well. We were living in Billet Road at that stage of the war having been re-housed from Marlowe Road.
I hope this is of interest?
Best Regards,
Donald PLATT, Private Reply Public Reply
From Daniel: Many thanks, Don. The publication was reprinted by the Vestry House Museum and I believe that copies are still available.

Dear Sir, Whilst researching Wrighton bedroom furniture, I came across this article on your site:
Wrighton, by Bill Bayliss
My Grandmother passed away in 2006 and I was given her bedroom furniture. In the drawer of the dressing table, I discovered a photograph of HRH Princess Margaret standing next to Wrighton furnitureat the Earls Court Furniture exhibition on February 25th, 1953. I thought you may like a copy of this photo for your site? The bedroom furniture I inherited is identical to the one she is standing next to.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
Madeleine BELL Private Reply Public Reply

I've looked at Tony's on-line shop and I think that I had a physical look at some of his stuff at the re-vamped Wood Street arcade, which I visited shortly before the official re-launch. (Its still tatty!) I will certainly tell the people that I know, who have an interest in 78's, about the site.
It's a sobering thought that I first listened to a shellac 78 record on my grandmother's HMV 'wind-up' record player in about 1947. The record player was located in the front room of her ground floor Dulwich flat and it was in a cabinet with two doors that you opened to listen to the speakers. The room was only ever used for for 'best' and 'high days and holidays' (Birthdays, Xmas, Anniversaries, Weddings and Funerals) The first record that I listened to at her house was called 'Riding On A Camel In The Desert'. I can still remember the tune and the chorus that went 'I will never, ever go all the way to Jericho, riding on a camel in the desert'. I actually have a very similar working record player in my garage that I have been intending to renovate for the last 30 plus years. In the late 1940's, the way to get the latest music was to buy sheet music.
In the mid 1950's my mother acquired an electric record player and in addition to the 78's we had EP's (Extended play records) that were played at 45 revs per minute and LP's (Long Playing records) that played at 33 revs per minute. I know that there were also records that played at 16 revs per minute but I never saw one.
In the late 1960's I worked for a building shopfitting company and we built and fitted out several Disco's. By then the records were made from vynil (Walthamstow had a huge record manufacturing company with Phillips Records Ltd on the North Circular Road) The included a Disc Jockey purpose made console into which we fitted twin decks, an amplifier and a console. We fitted speakers and lights (Controlled by a light to sound unit) all around the ceiling to provide all round sound. Later, when involved in the Priory Court Tenants Association, my friend and I built our own disco and lighting system. Although, by then, music was available on audio tapes we never figured out a satisfactory way of operating the disco from the tapes and still worked from vynil records.
When my wife and I ran our Youth Club in Priory Court we melted old vynil records to make table decorations for set piece disco's and used Ultra violet lights in the hall to pick up the fluorescents in white clothing. We also had a revolving projector that projected slides filled with oil and water that made a continually shifting pattern on the ceiling and two light to sound traffic light boxes. As a piece de resistance I projected Disney cartoons onto the wall behind where I operated the disco.
By the mid 1980's, CD's had started to outsell vynil records and it often was difficult to buy a newly released song on vynil. Many people stated to rebuild and replicate their vynil record collections with CD's. But it was only a decade later, in the 1990's, that CD's were themselves replaced with DVD's. This was at the same time as your Video tape collection became outdated by DVD's.
The new millennium saw the growth of digital music being available on the internet for payment and with it the growth of P2P (Person to Person) sites that allowed you to download music from other people without payment. Although the reproduction quality of much of the music often leaves much to be desired, this has allowed ordinary people to build large collections of music that, previously, they would not have been able afford.
And of course there is now YouTube. I am staggered by the enormous amount and variety of music that there is on Youtube. Just to prove it I've just found a 1929 Jack Payne version of 'Riding On A Camel In The Desert' ! It's not as good as the version that I heard but the nostalgia is enormous.
Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

MARCH MAILS [Top of Page]

31 Mar 2012 - Walthamstow at War:

Hello Daniel/John.
I chanced upon your Newsletter and was most interested as I was born in Walthamstow in 1932. I thought you might be interested in the attached Picture.

12F Squadron - Walthamstow - 1948/49

12F Squadron - Walthamstow - 1948/49

It was taken around 1948/9 whilst we were ata camp in Cambridgeshire. (I am 2nd from Right in middle row). If you would like further details re:- Wartime experiences in Wood Street, schools, evacuation etc. please let me know and I will try to rummage through my memory!

Yours sincerely,

Donald PLATT Private Reply Public Reply

31 Mar 2012 - Public Reply to Ted Breeze:

Hello, I was born in Thorpe Coombe in April 1942 and lived at 101 Kitchener Road until I got married in 1967.

I also went to Chapel End. I have attached a couple of class photos, but as you are a couple of years older than me you are unlikely to be in them.

Chapel End School

I remember the circus in Lloyds Park. We used to go to the park all the time in the 1950's as it was a great place to play and cause mischief! Being chased by the Parkies for cycling on the footpaths was great fun.
Opposite our house in Kitchener Road used to be the London Transport Sports Ground. in the late 1940's they used to have an annual fairground held there essentially for LT staff but us kids always went. I remember there were lines of buses parked in road - red ones, green ones, single and double deckers - which brought the people to the fair.
The site is now built on with houses. Best wishes

Roy BEILEY, Private Reply Public Reply

31 Mar 2012 - Public Reply to Bill Bayliss:
Hello, I am a 'Stow born person, as is my wife, although we now live in deepest Norfolk. Some difference! Our neighbours were also born and bred in W'stow.
I have been logging on to your site for several years and have been fascinated by the wealth of info available. Seems that people born and bred in Walthamstow must have had an extra Gene in their makeup which keeps calling them back to re-visit their youth.
My wife's mother died recently aged 96 (also a Walthamstow gal) and we found a cache of photos in her belongings. One of these is of a VE Day party in Gosport Road outside no 114, which was her father's house. He was Alfred Lawrence. There are several members of his family in the photo who my wife recognises, but many who she does not as she was only 2 at the time!
I have attached a copy of the photo in the hope that visitors to your site my be able to put names to some of these faces..

Keep up the good work of allowing us to share our collective memories. Best wishes

formerly of 101 Kitchener Road 1942-1965   Private Reply Public Reply

20 Mar 2012 - Public Reply to Roger BRIGHTEN:
Hello Roger,
With regard to your query concerning the jig saw puzzle maker, would this have been Tower Press? I understand that they made jig saw puzzles in West London up to 1960 when production moved to somewhere in Walthamstow. This company was subsequently taken over by Waddington.
Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

20 Mar 2012 - Local History:
I was born in Walthamstow in 1940 at 334 Brettenham Rd and attended Chapel End School. Can anyone remember the circus/fair that was held in Lloyds Park in the 1950's? Regards.
Edward (Ted)
BREEZE Private Reply Public Reply

20 Mar 2012 - Local History:
Hello, We are working on a social history documentary which will explore the changing face of Britain by recreating a Queen's Coronation street party from 1953, during her Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June this year. The aim of the programme is to bring to life the spirit of Britain in the early 50's. With the help of local residents we'll dig deep into the past to discover and experience what home, family and community life were really like at that moment in history. Along with the modern residents we are hoping to find people who attended the original street party to add their memories of everyday life in the 50's. With this in mind we are searching for a street which held a party in 1953, and for which there is good archive material of the event. In an ideal world we would also like to find a street where someone who attended the original street party, still lives today. Their firsthand account, along with local historians and experts, will be crucial to authentically recreating the period. I would love the chance to discuss the project with you in more detail. Thank you in advance for any help you might be able to offer and I hope to hear from you soon. Regards
Alex SCOTT Private Reply Public Reply

18 Mar 2012 - Personal Memories:
Hi Daniel, As you will see I have been in contact with Dave Hughes, I would like you to include my article [read it here] on your Web site for others to read, the Web site is a wonderful thing and gives me so much pleasure to read about things that I can relate to. The photographs you come across are really nice and its nice to know that although Walthamstow is nothing like it used to be!! It is still in peoples memories!
Keep up the GOOD work. Regards
Neil WATLING Private Reply Public Reply

18 Mar 2012 - Local History:
Does anyone remember the company which was located off of Palmerstone road later to be bought out by Waddington's - it used to make wooden jigsaw puzzles from scratch. I worked there in the late 60's, I used to cut the plywood on the circular saw and also help set up the presses. I attended Chapel End School from infants to senior leaving in 1964. I lived in Sturge Ave no 138 until 1966. Anyone who remembers me please contact me. I have a lot of memories of Walthamstow from going to the Saturday morning pictures and the High Street and Wood Street areas and the assembly hall dances. Thanks
Roger BRIGHTEN Private Reply Public Reply

18 Mar 2012 - Public Reply to Jean BROWN:
Hello Jean,
Regarding your post about Achille Serre and your mother making curtains for Lonnie Donegan, I think that this must have been in the late 1950's after he had an enormous hit with 'Rock Island Line' that was released in 1956. Up until then he was one of a number of jazz musicians who struggled to make a living . An 'amusing' sidelight to the 'Rock Island Line' recording, was that Lonnie claimed the British copywrite for the song. In fact it was written by the great American blues singer Huddie Ledbetter, who is better known as 'Leadbelly'. That meant that after 1956, all the royalties from any British version of the song went to Lonnie Donegan.
His first marriage was to Maureen Tyler in 1955 in Stepney when he was with Chris Barber's band who were starting to become popular and were working regularly. I think that shortly after he married, they moved to East Ham. After his success with 'Rock Island Line' the money started to roll in and they moved to Chigwell.
The reason that I know this kind of stuff is because during my misspent youth, I was a fanatical traditional jazz and folk music fan and a would be musician. From 1954 (When I was 16 years old), I spent every weekend in Soho at either Ken Colyer's '51' club at Great Newport Street or at Cy Laurie's club in Great Windmill Street and later the Blues & Barrelhouse club in Wardour Street.
Afterwards we would go to the 'Cat's Whisker' in Kingly Street, the '2 i's' in Old Compton Street that had the 'Vipers' skiffle group, 'Le Macabre', Wardour Street which had coffin shaped tables and small skulls with candles as table decorations, the 'Cellar' in Greek Street, that had Chas McDevitt's skiffle group, the 'Breadbasket' in Cleveland Street, 'Gyre & Gimble' in John Adam Street where somebody told Tommy Steel to "shut that racket" and when he didn't, jumped on him.
Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

16 Mar 2012 - Local history: Achille Serre:
After reading Bill Bayliss' story on Achille Serre, reminded me that my Mum worked there making handmade curtains - It may have been the 40's or 50's - and she handmade curtains for Lonnie Donegan when he moved into a house at, I think, Chingford.
(née TRUMAN) Private Reply Public Reply

15 Mar 2012 - Family History: FRENCH:
I am hoping that someone may be able to help me find some information on my great great aunt, Emma Eliza FRENCH, who used to live in Hoe Street probably around the 1950s? My mother and uncle can remember visiting her only once when they were much younger. Does anyone know anything about her children - Alf (b 1898), Albert (b 1905), Cecilia (b 1907) and Edith (b 1915). I do know that Alf was in the Army up to about 1932, and may have had a son Peter. Any help would be gratefully appreciated. Thank you,
Susan BRATTON Private Reply Public Reply

12 Mar 2012 - Public Reply to Philippa Gallacher:
Hello Philippa, I have sent you a private email that gives your family genealogy which, I hope, answers some of your questions.. I particularly liked your ancestor who was a Professor of Dance in 1851 and his wife who was the Secretary of the Chichester Dorcas charity.
You might be interested to know that the James Dixon, who taught your Uncle George at George Gascoigne school was a very much loved and respected teacher who was the founder and voluntary leader of the Athan Boys Club in 1931 in Grove Road, Walthamstow. (Later renamed as the Cameron Athan Club and closed in 2008) He became headmaster at Chapel End and this is what Bob Edy, one of Walthamstow Memories contributors, wrote about him in 2005 ".....Mr James Dixon MA - a wonderful man. In the evening he was in charge of Chapel 38 Club (Boys), later on the Chapel 43 Club was founded under his chairmanship, this was for girls. We knew him as 'sir' at school, but Jim outside. Ah memories.... " In 1966 he was given an OBE for his work.
Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

11 Mar 2012 - Local Bands: The Riot Squad:
Hi Daniel Interesting reading in the Local Bands section.
As a member of The Riot Squad from late 1965 to Jan 1969 I wish to add a few facts.
The Larry Page Riot Squad disbanded in 1964. Original member Bob Evans (sax) joined forces with local band The Chevrons. 'Nero' Gladman vocals, Roger Crisp bass, Terry Clifford guitar, Butch Davis keyboards, all from Waltham Forest and Del Roll drums from Tottenham. They became the second RIOT SQUAD in Oct 1965. Bandleader Bob Evans secured a recording contract with wayward record producer Joe Meek and in 1966 had 4 records released on the PYE label. Your article states Jon Lord played on the Meek sessions, this is untrue, it was my good self Butch Davis on keyboards. After Joe Meeks untimely death in Feb 1967 the group split and continued with founder member Bob Evans along with local boys Butch Davis and Del Roll, joined by David Bowie, for 20 gigs and new musicians from Kent and Bucks. The band disbanded in early 1969.

I'm attaching a photo:

The Riot Squad band

The Riot Squad band

Butch DAVIS Private Reply Public Reply

9 Mar 2012 - Local History: The Associated Equipment Company (AEC):
Hello Daniel, The attachment is another in my series about bygone Walthamstow factories. Today, few people know that Walthamstow was once a major industrial producer of buses and industrial vehicles. In its day, the Associated Equipment Company (AEC) was one of the largest companies in Walthamstow and employed nearly 600 people building buses and other commercial vehicles.
The AEC factory site was huge. It covered the area between Ferry Lane and Hooker Road between Blackhorse Lane and High Maynard reservoir. It even had its own railway sidings!. After it closed in 1927, many other industrial companies located themselves on the site. Amongst these were; Ever Ready (Battery manufacturers, S Noton (Crown Luggage), Hammond & Champness (Lift Manufacturers) etc.
Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

9 Mar 2012 - Family History: Kerridge/White Family:
Hi Daniel, I found your web site and I am hoping that I might be able to find out some more about my family. I am looking for any information about my father's family. Particularly, his mother's side. My Grandmother was called Margaret Esther White and she was born in Oct 1894, she married my grandfather Philip Joseph Kerridge who was born in 1893 In Islington. They got married in Aug 1919 in Walthamstow I think it was St Barnabas Church in Walthamstow. They lived in Cambridge Road and also in Boundary Road. They had 5 children: Charles, George, Phyllis, Rose & Philip.
My Uncle George went to George Gascoigne Central School (Boys) and I have two school reports for him, Jan 1936 & July 1935, I think the Head teacher was David Norris or Morris, his form teachers were I think W Smith & James Dixon. I also have a school report for my dad Philip, he was at the William Morris Central School in January 1941. I was hoping that maybe someone would have school pictures from around that time.
Margaret Esther White's father was called Robert Martin Godwin White he was originally from Sussex, but moved to London. He was married twice, Margret's mother was called Eliza, I don't know her maiden name and she came from West Wickham she was born 1862 and died in 1929. They lived in 31 Benn Street Hackney in 1881 and had two other children George White & Roberta Amy White. Robert then went on to marry Rose A or Rosa I do not have surname either but they had two sons Frank E White (b c1876) & William H White (b c1879). I have not been able to find anything about them at all, I would love to know if they married and had children as these would be cousins I think as Frank and William would be my great uncles.
Robert White was a Decorator and lived at 51 Lennox Road Walthamstow in 1919.
Other members of my family are:

Frederick William Kerridge lived at 2 Myrtle Road Walthamstow he was a printers Despatch Foreman, he died 1945
Charles Kerridge of 47 Grange Road Walthamstow he was a textile packer he died 10 October 1942 he died at the Central Home in Leytonstone
Thomas Butler who married Roberta White
Jane Charlotte Richardson who married Charles Kerridge
James Charles Kerridge (c1885)
Nellie Esther Brown and Lydia Farthing both married to Frederick William Kerridge

If anyone has any information no matter how small I would be so grateful. Thanks
Philippa GALLACHER Private Reply Public Reply

6 Mar 2012 - Local History: E.N. Bray Ltd.:
Hi Daniel, If anyone has read my memoirs you will know that my first real job in Walthamstow was with a company known as E. N. Bray Ltd. And the firm was located at Whipps Cross in Wood Street in the same building where Alfred Hitchcock started to make moving pictures.
Now my question to anyone who knows the answer is who was Mr E. N. Bray? I would like to know if his relatives still exist and anything at all about the man himself. The company was well established in 1952 when I started to work there and Mr. Bray had invented lots of Marine type electrical switchgear for the Admiralty. The company then branched out into general electric motor control panels for industry all over the world.
The legend I heard was that he lived on a boat and invented or developed the switchgear there.
I have no idea when the company started up so I would like to know, so if any like Bill Bayliss (Hint) can help I would be very much obliged. Please make it a public reply as I am aware that there are other old employees still living out there.
Now the company did move to Waltham Cross with me included in the late 1950's and it was then taken over by other companies.
The company name still exists in the north of England as ENBRAY Pty. Ltd. and when I wrote to them with my questions my letters were just ignored, so you can forget that as a source of historical information.
Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

3 Mar 2012 - Local History::
Past members of my family lived in Walthamstow between 1870-1935 at various addresses; from Collard Road initially, to Church Hill Road. I have several items relating to their time there. I still hang my shirts on a coat hanger with the wording "The clothier - A.H. Pannell, 30 & 32 High Street" on it! I wondered if you had this business on your list?


David J. BONSALL Private Reply Public Reply


24 Feb 2012 - Local History: Achille Serre:
I remember working there in the late 1960's. Machine 'minders' could only work on them for (I think) 6 months at a time, before they had to work elsewhere for a while. This was because of the bleach/whatever that was used.
As a child, previous to this, a couple of my friends and me went out with our friend Rosemary's father in his van to travel around Essex in the evening, collecting the very large laundry bags from the shops. It was great fun rolling about in the back of the big lorries which collected these bags!
Dave HUGHES Private Reply Public Reply

24 Feb 2012 - Local History: Reginald King's Pictures:
Dear Daniel, Gosh, when you said you were going to put them on the website I didn't imagine anything so lovely - what an amazing job you have done with Reg's photos. The music is just perfect, he would have loved it.
I'm going to send the link out to the family, they will be so proud.
Thank you so much - Have shed a few tears!
Sue POWELL Private Reply Public Reply

22 Feb 2012 - General:
My name is Dave and about six years ago I started telling my grandson Ben, then 4 years old, stories that I basically made up as i went along. Over the years I wrote these done into short stories, featuring my grandson and his friends along with some characters I made up, who live under the ground. There are 10 short stories in total in what I call 'Series one'. My purpose in including this post is to ask if there is anyone out there who could re-write these in a more storylike way and maybe we could get them published as a joint venture? Any and all suggestions welcome. Regards
Dave HUGHES Private Reply Public Reply

22 Feb 2012 - Walthamstow at War - public reply to Rodney SILK:
Hi, I have just been searching online for anything relating to the play area in Stoneydown Park, when I stumbled across your post. We moved to 12 Essex Grove - on the corner next to Garages, adjacent to the railway and backing onto the Burton factory - in 1959 when I was 3. As a small boy I used to sneak into the lorry yard to play, which I guess was your uncle's. With my friends who lived across the road from the lorry yard, Richard and George, we used to go around on a hand-made 'jigger', on one occasion hitting the sign for the Essex Arms so hard (I was steering) that it knocked a lump off. The evidence was still there the last time I looked.
Stephen MORLEY Private Reply Public Reply

21 Feb 2012 - Walthamstow at War - public reply to Bill BAYLISS:
Hello Bill, I cannot add anything more to the report from "Walthamstow at War" on the V1 flying bomb incident at the top of the High Street apart from the nearest quote to a date of the incident is August 1944. For six years just after the war I would pass this spot on a bus on my way to school. It took many years before the damaged area was eventually cleared and a new development built on the site. I clearly remember seeing the badly damaged Burton tailors building on the corner of the High Street with the snooker tables still in place on the upper floor which was all open to the elements. It was interesting to discover, at the Walthamstow Memories gathering last June, that the new development had been demolished and the area from the High Street, and between Hoe Street and Cleveland Park Avenue and up to the old Granada restaurant, now the Victoria Pub, was completely open. Kind regards,
Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

21 Feb 2012 - Walthamstow at War - public reply to John PRIDIGE:
Thank you very much, John, that answered a lot of questions.
Have just found out that whatever fell, a piece of shrapnel went through a rear window, through the house and out through the frontdoor. Passing on it's journey through both uprights of a wooden door frame in the passageway and finally out through the side frame of the front door. The holes were about the diameter of a pencil and were still there in 1965, when my Dad shew them to my Husband.
The above and those in our cat are the only pieces we know of.
née TRUMAN Private Reply Public Reply

20 Feb 2012 - Local Bands:
Hi Daniel. I've just discovered the "Walthamstow" site and went straight to the bands section, which I found fascinating. Thought you might like to add Denis Payton, sax player with Dave Clark Five, who lived in Brettenham Road, E17. His Dad's name was Archibald and he was always pleased to chat to us teenage girls, when we knocked, uninvited, on their door. Sadly, Denis died of cancer, aged 63, in 2006.
Must get back to the site and have a trip down memory lane. Regards
Susan van MAANEN Private Reply Public Reply

20 Feb 2012 - Public Reply to Stuart George ELY (18-02-12):
Hello Stuart,
I have sent you a private reply that gives your paternal ancestry back to the 18th century. As you refer to the V1 flying bomb attack in WW2 at the top of the High Street, I thought that you might be interested in the following (This information comes from Ross Wilde's invaluable book 'War Over Walthamstow'):

The Hoe Street Fly Bomb
Hoe Street's real trouble came later with the bomb which fell in daylight outside Hitchman's distributing Centre in Hoe Street near Church Hill. The approach of the bomb was heard and people shopping in the vicinity took such shelter as was available; some dived into shops and doorways, others into an archway between two shops which led to a motor coach garage at the rear. By the worst of bad luck the bomb burst practically opposite to this archway collapsing the two floors above and burying people in the debris. The Incident was complicated by the fact that the bomb dropped just before 10 a.m. when shopping was in full swing, and it was not until after midnight that we were able to say just how many people were reported to be missing. The Rescue Service worked throughout the day and night and by 7 o'clock the next morning the last body had been recovered from the archway, the wall of one side of which was threatening all the time to collapse and bury the rescuers. On the other side of this same wall a lad of 15 was trapped by debris to the waist, and at the risk of their lives the Rescue men, a doctor and the Casualty Staff Officer worked for some four hours before the lad was rescued at about 2.45 p.m. uninjured, but suffering from shock. The last body (that of an office cleaner) was recovered from the iron staircase buried under the debris at the back of some office buildings at the bottom of Church. The casualty list at this Incident was our worst for Fly Bombs, there being 19 dead bodies recovered in addition to three other deaths which occurred in hospital subsequent to rescue. The total of casualties recorded for this one Fly was 144.

This account below is from Richard Dunn's excellent website (Walthamstow History):

From George.......Hertfordshire.........6th July 2002
I remember the Doodle bug (Buzzbomb)) that landed at the junction of the High St - Hoe St and Church Hill. It was on a Saturday morning and destroyed Hitchman's Dairy, Stoffers fish shop, Burtons tailors and the snooker hall. Sorry don't remember the date. Hope this is of some use. I also offer the following anecdote that also concerns a Fish shop (Actually a Fish & Chip shop) that is at the top of the High Street and was roughly opposite Walthamstow Baths. In 1944, during the WW2, David Williams and his wife were working for the owner of the Fish and Chip shop that he rented at the top of the High Street. This was a very profitable business because fish was not rationed and there were always a long queue of people outside of the shop. On the day of the V1 attack, the shop owner left the shop to do some shopping in Hoe Street. While he was out, the V1 flying bomb exploded. He never came back to the shop and it was assumed that he was one of the unidentified people who had died. David and his wife continued to operate the business. After several months when there still hadn't been any word from him, David Williams applied to the owner to rent the shop. After the war the profits enabled them to buy a car hire business for their son when he was demobbed from the RAF. Later they were able to finance their daughter and her husband to set up a fish and chip shop in Leyton and to do this for his brother-in-law who opened a fish and chip shop opposite Lloyds Park.


Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

19 Feb 2012 - General:
Hi Daniel, Many thanks for your email and the inclusion to Walthamstow Memories.
Having read your home page and much of the postbag, I may be able to help some of the people seeking information.
Ken KING Private Reply Public Reply

18 Feb 2012 - General:
I was born and spent all of my life at 33 Milton Road up to the time I did my National Service in the Royal Signals. I spent all of the war in Walthamstow, although early on we had a coach to stay in a barn near Chingfod Plains to sleep at nights to get away from the raids. My father owned Stoffers fish shop in Hoe street and we were all there when the V1 fell onit in june 44. I went to George Gascoigne school and then the SW Technical college. I am 80 next week and live in Poole. I should love to hear from anyone. I had two children but regret my son was killed in an aircraft accident whilst we were on holiday in America in 1979. He is buried at St Johns Church Buckhurst Hill. I have a daughter and two grown up grandchildren I would love to hear from someone.
Stuart George ELY Private Reply Public Reply

17 Feb 2012 - General:
Came across your site whilst researching family history. I lived in W/stow from 1940-1998, lived in St Johns road, went to school at Chapel End and worked for E N BRAY & the AFA group. I would like to hear from any one who new me. WILL SUBSCRIBE TO YOUR NEWSLETTER.
Ken KING Private Reply Public Reply

17 Feb 2012 - Walthamstow at War - public reply to Jean BROWN:
Hello Jean, I have done a little research, and can tell you that an ordinary High Explosive (HE) bomb landed in the gardens between Verulam Avenue and Tudor Court on 19th October 1940.
It is not possible at this stage to determine exactly what size of bomb it was. The most common was the SC-250 or the larger SC-500. However, the smaller SC-50 was also capable of making a fair sized hole in the ground! There is a small possibility that it was the SC-1000 (commonly known as a 'Hermann') but I would have expected this to cause severe damage to the structure of surrounding houses.
Of course, a little later in the war the Luftwaffe occasionally treated Londoners to the SC-1800 ('Satan') and the SC-2500 ('Max').
I hope this helps. Best Regards,
John PRIDIGE, V-Weapon Researcher, Walthamstow Private Reply Public Reply

16 Feb 2012 - Walthamstow at War - public reply to John PRIDIGE:
John, would you happen to know what fell in the back gardens between Verulam Avenue and Tudor Court during the war. Although I was evacuated during the war, I lived in Verulam Avenue and can remember coming home on one occasion to find a huge crater where our back garden should have been also, our cat Peter had shrapnel lodged in his neck from the blast which was never removed. Thank you,
(née TRUMAN), Private Reply Public Reply

15 Feb 2012 - Local History:
Hello Daniel, I'm sending you this piece - which is actually about Chingford - because it is about a place that will have many happy memories for ex and present Walthamstow residents. I've also written a piece about Lloyd Park that I will have to send in several emails as it is too big (A number of pictures) for my email provider.
Respects and best wishes,
Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

From Daniel: The article on "Larkswood open air pool" in the Personal Stories section [click here to read it].

15 Feb 2012 - Local History:
Hello Daniel, hope it's a bit warmer in Florence now! At least it's prettier than here.....
I will post the CD with the pictures on tomorrow, I have only done some, as you were right about scanning, it takes a long time. I have put the pictures in folders, the ones in the St John's Road folder were definitely taken there. I would be grateful if anyone can identify the others as to location - the ones in the folder 'Near a shop' would be easy to locate if anyone remembered the shop, that will help me sort out the rest of the suitcase.
The photos were all taken by my Uncle. His name was Reginal King, and together with my Aunt Violet (King), they kept a shop at 93 St John's Road, from the '40's until they closed it, though they continued to live there. Reg had a side line as a photographer, & he photographed people, then put the pictures in the window so people could order copies if they liked them, which he then developed. Thus the ones in the St John's Road folder are people photographed in that street. The parade ones are from the 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth.
I seem to remember that there were 3 shops in St John's Road, and the furniture removal business. Reg's shop was the one which didn't give credit - my Mum says that the shopkeeper from one of the other shops used to complain to Reg when people shopped with him after they had run out of credit, because they were spending money in Reg's which they owed! He always seemed very popular, people used to drop in to chat even if they weren't buying, and he would 'open up' at night if someone knocked on the door because they had run out of some essential.
It would be lovely if any of these photos were recognised by someone, it seems a waste to have them sitting in a suitcase. There are lots of others, weddings, poses etc, but I can't be sure if they are from Walthamstow, and then there is a whole collection taken in the East End, which I love.
Have attached 3 photos for you to look at now:

With best wishes, thank you for your time,
Sue POWELL Private Reply Public Reply

13 Feb 2012 - Local Bands::
Hello John and Daniel. I noticed in your postbag section on the 10th of February that a guy was looking for any members of the "Riot Squad" group. Both John Knowles and I were members, but I think that the band he is looking for is not us, as I do not recall making at that time any recordings. As it says in the article, David Bowie was the singer and I can't recall ever being in his backing band. Hope this helps. Regards.
Tony PARNELL Private Reply Public Reply

12 Feb 2012 - Personal Stories:
Hello Daniel, Please find attached some of my earliest memories of Walthamstow [read them here].
As I mentioned earlier my neighbours come from the Brunner Road and latterly the Drive area of Walthamstow. Bill was the manager of the Gas Board Showrooms at the corner of Cleveland Park road. You can imagine our delight when our history was compacted across the garden fence !!!!!
I still have numerous books on the area and the Lea Valley which I delve into occasionally. Needless to say, I still miss the area - having moved away in 1991. But it has changed somewhat. Thankfully the "shadows" of my youth can still be seen - I suppose, if you know where to look.
Thank you for allowing me to contribute to the site...... I have had many a few great hours reliving my home.
I hope that you will allow me to keep contributing?
Kindest regards
Sally PASSMORE Public Reply

12 Feb 2012 - Walthamstow at War:
Hello Rodney, Yes, I have been corresponding privately with Len Hall, and have come to the same conclusion. We also discussed the possibility that Pam was dragged back towards the explosion by the resulting vacuum. This would occur if the rocket penetrated deeper than usual into the ground before exploding, thereby more of the blast would be directed upwards, creating a vacuum. The official report into this incident describes the ground where the crater occurred as "sand and loam" which would support this theory. I have also discovered that the rocket was launched by Batterie 1./485 from the Den Haag area of the Netherlands. The rocket serial number was 21 247.
Best Regards,
John PRIDIGE, V-Weapon Researcher, Walthamstow Private Reply Public Reply

12 Feb 2012 - Walthamstow at War:
I agree with John Pridige's comment that the incident that Pam Hall experienced in Cheshunt was a V2 rocket. Because of the failure of Operation Market Garden in September 1944 to remove the Germans from the Netherlands the area around The Hague was used to launch V2s until the end of March 1945. If Pam was that close to the incident then she was most likely within the "Zone of Silence". In other words she would not have heard the explosion, as at ground level air is dragged towards the explosion to fill the vacuum created. I am afraid I have had experience of this phenomenon. I think I can pin-point the incident experienced by Pam: of the five rocket attacks recorded in Cheshunt I believe the one that Pam experienced was number 530 on the 14th January 1945 at 15.29 hours. This was a Sunday and the rocket fell in Bury Green Road, which is adjacent to the cemetery that Pam mentions. There were five civilian deaths recorded which included one couple a Mr. & Mrs. Lindsell. They were married in 1919 and, of their four children, the youngest was born in 1935. He was male and would have been 9 years of age at the time of the incident. The other four rocket incidents in Cheshunt appear to have no recorded fatalities. The number 530 is one of 1115 rocket attacks recorded which were known as Big Ben incidents. Kind regards
Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

12 Feb 2012 - General:
I am a Walthamstow girl now living in Suffok, who would like to contribute to the memories pages. Could you please advise how I can become a member? Funnily enough my present next door neighbours in Suffolk hail from Walthamstow, Brunner Road and latterly the Drive. Now that's what I call a considence. Many thanks for a brilliant website. I've spent great times reading the pages. Kindest regards
Sally PASSMORE Public Reply

11 Feb 2012 - General:
Hi! My name is Vic Lee - I am working with Waltham Forest Council on a regeneration project on Wood Street. Basically I am illustrating a piece of work that will go on hoarding outside the old loos, beside the library and the Woodside primary school. I am illustrating a piece that will be 18m x 2.5m high that shows Wood Street stories, some made up, some true - the odder the better.
I have been talking to a lot of the residents and picking up some great bites. Things like the cows that roamed round Wood Street, and the waterways putting in cattle grids to stop them getting on the North Circula. Old ma Flo who lived at 114 Wood St and her gang of horsethieves. How she would buy cheap eggs and stamp them with the Lion stamp and sell them as British. Chris at Electro Signs on Valentin Rd - his son played the baby in the first Superman film Dell boy from Wood streets market - his lad beat Joe Calzaghe in a boxing match when they were 13.
I am looking for funny, odd stories that only the locals know of. If you see my site (www.viclee.co.uk)and look at the East London Stories - it will be on this style.
Do you have or do you know of any great stories you could share?
Much obliged. And love reading peoples memories!
Vic LEE Private Reply Public Reply

10 Feb 2012 - Local Bands:
Hi Guys, Great website, I see you have a page dedicated to the Riot Squad. Do you have any contact with any members of the band??? I work for a record label www.acidjazz.co.uk based in East London and we'd like to get in touch with them about reissuing some of their recordings. Hope you can help. Best Wishes
Damian JONES Private Reply Public Reply

08 Feb 2012 - Walthamstow at War:
Hello Len, I found your 'Wartime Memories' article very interesting, in particular the references to V-Weapons. In this respect I hope you will find my comments useful.
First of all, I am convinced that Pam's reported 'close encounter' in 1945 was not with a V-1, but with a V-2. I have a number of reasons for this. Firstly, contrary to a widely-held belief, the V-1 was not a rocket but a pilotless aircraft powered by an Argus pulsejet engine which could be heard several miles away. Pam would therefore have certainly heard the approach of a V-1, whereas a V-2 arrived without warning. Secondly, I can find no record of a V-1 impacting in the Cheshunt area after 21st October 1944.
Several V-2's impacted in the Cheshunt area during the first three months of 1945 (rocket attacks on England ceased on 27th March). If either yourself or Pam could provide a more accurate date I may be able to provide more details. Incidentally, I would be interested to know if the crater from this incident was in a roadway or a field. The reason I ask this is because a V-2 would sometimes penetrate soft ground a little deeper before exploding, resulting in more of the blast being directed upwards than would normally be the case. If this happened at the incident in Cheshunt, then Pam is lucky to be alive. A V-2 strike on a concrete roadway would most likely kill anyone within a 75-yard radius.
By the way, all V-2's directed at England were launched from The Netherlands, not Germany. Most were launched from the areas of Den Haag and Hoek van Holland. A small number were launched from Rijsterbos aimed at East Anglia, while six were launched from the island of Walcheren.
Best Regards,
John PRIDIGE, V-Weapon Researcher, Walthamstow Private Reply Public Reply

07 Feb 2012 - Local History:
Hi, Interesting to see Rodney Silk's pics of Wingfield House, Hale End Road, E17 in July 2011 postbag. I have never seen a picture of the house before. As he described it was demolished in 1969. However not all of it was lost, the ornate curved window to the left hand side addition was bought by me for a fiver from the contractor and I promptly installed it in a property in Forest Rd E17, where it still lives today and looking as good as ever. (see pic). Hope this is of interest.

Windows from Wingfield House

John STRUTT Private Reply Public Reply

05 Feb 2012 - Local History:
Hello there, I have just found your website whilst looking for some information. It is wonderful. I have a collection of photographs taken by my uncle, Reginal King, who had a shop in Scales Road and then one in St John's Road - they probably date from the 40's to the 60's. He was a photographer, and also developed people's photos. I am unsure of the location of the photos, but they are all of people, and I think they are great. Several have a 'piano movers' premises in the background. If I scan them, would you be interested in having them on a CD or memory stick, in case they are useful for your site? Please let me know, because otherwise I guess I'll just put them back in the suitcase, I don't know who would be interested, as none of them have names or dates on the back. I'm trying to separate them into ones I think are from walthamstow, but it's hard for me to be certain. Many thanks for reading this.
Sue POWELL Private Reply Public Reply


My Grandmother Florence Rhoda Shepherd was born in Wood Street Walthamstow. My Dad was told that she was born in a caravan near Leyton Station, so I wondered about the connection, but I have just found reference to an address given as Caravan in fields, Wood Street in relation to another family tree so there may be some validity in what my Dad was told. Also, I was told my Grandmother came from Traveller/circus people. I would be interested to hear from anyone who may know something about the history of the family.

Lorraine MATTHEWS Private Reply Public Reply

27 Jan 2012 - Lost & Found:
Does anyone have memories of or information on the Rev. Henry John Stone, who was vicar of St Michael and All Angels church, Walthamstow, until his death in 1962? His American great-niece is visiting Walthamstow in Summer 2012 and she would like to know more about him and his church work in our area. Many thanks,
Mark CARROLL Private Reply Public Reply

25 Jan 2012 - Local History:
Hello Daniel. In reply to Len Hall and Bill Bayliss' memories of the old Saturday Morning Cinema days, I well remember going to the Dominion with several other local boys to see the westerns and perhaps something like Flash Gordon. I think the westerns were sometimes pretty old even then (mid '50s) as Tom Mix often starred in them, and we would have preferred Roy Rogers or Hopalong Cassidy! Like Len, I also remember the side doors occasionally opening and flooding the darkened cinema with light, thus giving away the attempts to let in would-be freeloaders. At the end of the morning's show, and when we had watched the 7th Cavalry drive off the marauding Indians once again, we would leave the Cinema and make our way to the nearby bakers to get some rolls, either yesterday's at a halfpenny each, or some nice warm new ones at one penny. (No butter or anything, of course). We would then go around the corner into St. James Street and wait for the trolleybus to come along from Markhouse Rd. on it's way to the Billet.
If we were lucky, the next entertainment would be if the bus, when negotiating the tight s-bend at the bottom of the High St., would have it's overhead power arms come off the wires and so come to a halt. This was not an unusual occurence at this busy spot, and would mean the conductor would have to go round to the back of the bus, withdraw the long pole housed underneath and, to cheeky cries of encouragement from the passengers (us) attempt to replace the trolleybuses' power arm/arms onto the live wires above. I quite liked the old six-wheeler trolleys, they could take off with a surprising burst of acceleration, for such a large vehicle. Having mentioned the High Street, does anyone remember the Rossi's cafe at the bottom end of the market having a sign over the counter stating 'Only the best margarine is used in our buttered buns' It's true!! Happy Days.
Jim PALING Private Reply Public Reply

24 Jan 2012 - 'Local History': 59 Melville Road
First of all, I would like to publicly thank Bill Bayliss for his valuable help in my research.
Following my fist email, some interesting details have emerged from official records about the previous occupants of my house. However, the information available is limited. Probably the best way to go now is to find the descendants of people who lived at the property. I am particularly interested in contacting any relatives of Eric Stanley Morris (at this address from 1906 to circa 1919) and Mabel L. Bunting (from 1932 to 1957). If any of them see this message, please get in touch.
Many thanks
GONZALEZ-TORRES Private Reply Public Reply

23 Jan 2012 - 'Schooling' - Warwick Secondary:
Hi Daniel, have just come across your website, really fantastic. I grew up at 145 Barclay Road, and went to Warwick Secondary School for girls, being born in 1951 and was known then as Susan Doerffer... would dearly love to be in touch with girls that went to that school when I was there... in particular would like to hear from my friend Rosemarie Titterton. Hope you will be able to add this message to all the others......Thank you so much...people can get in touch with me with my email address.
Susan DUNNE Private Reply Public Reply

23 Jan 2012 - Public Reply to Len AARONS (10 Jan 2012):
Hello Len, This was the 'Be Bop A Lula' tour as below: Gene Vincent tour 10th January 1960 at the Granada Walthamstow

Be Bop A Lula tour

I met Wee Willie Harris in the late 1950's when he was resident at the 2i'S Coffee Bar. He was a great self publicist and seemed to turn up in all the skiffle and jazz clubs in the West End. At the beginning of the tour Lance Fortune was an aspiring pop star who had been 'discovered' by Larry Parnes in the 2is. (There's a common theme starting to emerge here). Later that year he had a pop hit with 'Be Mine' and released a number of other records that didn't sell so well.
Al Saxon was one of the resident singers in the TV pub variety show 'Stars & Garters', hosted by Ray Martine. (Other resident singers were: Vince Hill, Kathy Kirby, Tommy Bruce, Clinton Ford & Julie Rayne) He had chart success with 'The Days That The Rains Came' and 'There I've Said It Again'. I think that he went on to have his own band.
Keith Kelly (Who looked a bit like Buddy Holly) is another singer who was spotted (By George Martin) at the 2i's. He had a song 'Tease Me' that reached the lower end of the music charts.
Bachelors. I've no idea who these were. The famous Irish singers Con & Dec Clusky (Who formed the famous Bachelors group in 1962) were touring Ireland in 1960.

Tony Crombie & The Rockets. Tony Crombie was a jazz musician . He formed a rock and roll band called 'The Rockets' in 1956 which was modelled on Bill Haley & The Comets. In 1956 he had a big chart success with 'Teach You To Rock'. Later he toured with famous artists that included Lena Horne & Tony Bennett.
I couldn't possibly finish without saying that it was only a few months later that Gene Vincent was injured in a car crash. With him was one of the greatest rock and roll artists of all time - Eddy Cochrane - who received brain injuries from which he died.
Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

22 Jan 2012 - 'Family History' - Dowling/Barnaby:
Hi, I am trying to trace my mothers parents. My mother was adopted at an early age and all she has is a birth certificate and she was told her father was dying of TB when she was born. On her birth certificate, her father is Richard Henry Dowling, Motor Driver of 86 Pretoria Road, Leyton. The year is 1935. Her mother is Dorothy Dowling formerly Barnaby. The couple also had a son, Peter, in 1933. My mum's name is Marjorie. I cannot find their marriage or his death. I wondered if anyone remembers a motor driver of Pretoria Road in the 1930's. Thanks
Jenny SIMON Private Reply Public Reply

22 Jan 2012 - 'Personal Memories - Flossie Morriss':
Hi Daniel, Thank you for replying!
This is my nan's story, I spent many weeks with her when I was young, and heard many stories of the London bombings, air-raids and billeted soldiers. Somewhere within my family there exists a painting entitled "Ye Olde Corner Shoppe in Walthamstow". I remember my grandparents as kind. In particular, I remember my grandmother telling me that I never, ever had anything to fear, unless I had done something wrong. To this day I consider this the most wise piece of advice and intend to follow it to the grave.
What she never mentioned in her autobiography, which of course she could not because her death preceded the event, was the obliteration by bushfire in 2009 of the beautiful hand-crafted log cabin built by herself and Richard (Dick) Morriss when I was a child in Narbethong, Victoria, Australia. I was there, at age three, the day they laid the concrete slate, forty odd years ago.
I would love to hear from anybody who recognises someone in "Florrie's Story". In particular, I am trying to work out where 'Morriss' - with the double 'ss' diverts from or relates to any other Morris - people. I am looking for lost family.
I married into the name 'Magnifico'. My understanding is that it originates from "Magnafico" which probably means "Eat Figs", and may have been erroneously or humourously translated to the former by someone with poor translational skills or a good sense of humour.
Kind regards and looking forwward to a genuine reply,
Claire MAGNIFICO Private Reply Public Reply
From Daniel: You can read 'Florrie's Story' in the 'Personal Stories' section or clicking [here]

22 Jan 2012 - 'Personal Memories - Flossie Morriss':
Hello Daniel and John, My name is Claire Magnifico (née Morriss) and I live in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. I am a granddaughter of Dick Morriss (brother of Marjorie) and Florence Marter. My grandmother, Florrie Marter, moved into 18 Parkstone Road, Walthamstow in 1910 when she was one year old with her parents William and Ellen (née Cobb) and two older sisters Nell (5) and Nancy (3).I recently came into possession of a copy of my grandmother's journal which she wrote in about 1989 detailing her life as a child in Parkstone Road, Walthamstow. It is quite detailed and talks about a lady, Ethel, who would come and collect things to take to the pawn shop, the organ-man, the coal-man and his draught horse, and a knife grinder man. William Marter was injured in France in 1915 and my grandmother wrote that she remembered visiting him in Middlesex Hospital in London and handing out packets of Woodbine cigarettes to the wounded in other beds and receiving kisses! She mentions Hollow Pond, Wood Street Baptist Chapel, a neighbour Mrs Tilling, seeing the first German Zeppelin in flames and Epping forest. Also an Uncle Jim a soldier who would come to stay when on leave from Burma or India. I thought after finding your site I would contact you in case any of your members recognise any of these names and are interested in having the full copy of the journal, which I would be happy to forward. Kind regards,
Claire MAGNIFICO Private Reply Public Reply

21 Jan 2012 - Public Reply to Fernan GONZALEZ-TORRES (18 Jan 2012):
As you know, I have sent you information about the occupancy of the 59, Meville Road in 1911 and 1901. I would also advise you that according to AD Law's 'The Streets of Waltham Forest'- Melville Road was first occupied in 1884 and the road was made up in 1894. It is named after Viscount Melville. Respects,
Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

20 Jan 2012 - Public reply to Bill Bayliss: Saturday Morning Pictures:
I enjoyed Bill's latest article in the memories section about the Saturday Morning cinemas.
I was a regular at the Dominion in Buxton road and there were two things that Bill did not mention in his excellent (as always) article.
One was the huge theatre organs that would precede the cinema productions at the Grenada and the Dominion. They were splendid looking instruments that would rise up out of the bowels of the stage somehow and then the music would commence.
Another feature that I shall always remember was the thousands of concaved depressions in the outer wall of the Dominion, where over many years we had queued up waiting for the doors to open. What we would do is to get a coin, the bigger the better, and place it against the wall and rotate it backwards and forwards. The harder one pressed the more the brick dust fell down and so the depression was started and no doubt continued by the next person who stood and waited.
Another thing that occurred to me and that is... what our parents got up to whilst they had a few spare hours on a Saturday morning. Such joy to get rid of the kids for a few hours and all it cost was sixpence each!
Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

19 Jan 2012 - Public reply to Bill Bayliss: Saturday Morning Pictures:
Many thanks for cinema memories! My best memory is the Granada password which we shouted ADANARG !!
Alec SMITH Private Reply Public Reply

19 Jan 2012 - 'Walthamstow: Past & Present':
I would like to say thank you to Jean Robinson for the information that she recently sent me on the shops that existed in Wood Street in the late 1950's/early 1960's. I have now added them to my latest project, 'Walthamstow: Past & Present'. Copies of this project are free in January 2012 to anyone who requests a copy. From the 1st February there will be a small charge of £3.00 to cover costs and postage. For more information about this project please email me.
Dave HUGHES Private Reply Public Reply

19 Jan 2012 - Public Reply to Margaret SMITH (3 Jan 2012):
Dear Daniel & John, I am representing the new e-magazine created by 4 pasionate journalists "Milling Around". We are a part of the new charity called "The Mill" located at Coppermill Lane (former Walthamstow library). We decided to collect all possible archives, memories, stories regarding Walthamstow and publish them online. I'm in touch with the Vestry House Museum and a few other organisations as well as a few bloggers. I have just found your fantastic website and I decided to get in touch with you. I was wondering whether I could get your permission to use some of your website colcentrale, of course, crediting every piece to you and linking your website to ours? It would also be interesting to meet you for an interview and talk to you about your project. Please let me know what do you think. Best regards
Filip CUPRYCH Private Reply Public Reply

19 Jan 2012 - Public Reply to Margaret SMITH (3 Jan 2012):
I have sent you a private reply with my rub-out of your Wager paternal family tree. I'm pretty sure that that Alexandra Street was in fact Alexandra Road and was one of the roads off Boundary Road near St Saviour's Church in Markhouse Road.. My logic for this is that on the 1901 Census your Wager family are listed as being in Alexandra Road and the entry above shows an address in Sylvester Road.
If you use Google maps you will see that there is now an Alexandra Avenue with a Sylvester Road at right angles to it on an estate that was built in the 80's.
Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

19 Jan 2012 - General:
Just a very quick message to say how delighted I am to have come across your site. I was born in Thorpe Coombe Hospital in 1963 and spent the first few years of my life living on the corner of Markhouse Road and Camden Road in flats that are still there (Now it's Ashford Close). I've not been anywhere near London for many years but your site is a joy to look through and gives me some good sense of my Walthamstow roots from up in north Lancashire. I'm looking forward to some long hours of browsing your pages.
Colin BARNES Private Reply Public Reply

19 Jan 2012 - Family History:
Hi, I am tracing my family tree I was wondering if anybody new anything about my great nan Doris May Newman and grandad John English, they were the first couple to have triplets in Waltham Forest on 17.11.1932. The triplets are called Beryl, Maureen, Royston, they also had Victor and Gordan. I believe they lived on Barcley Rd and Newbank road and Wood st way, if you have any info please email me many thanks
Emma MAHON Private Reply Public Reply

18 Jan 2012 - Local History:
Hi Daniel, I am trying to research the history of the house at 59 Melville Road, where I live at the moment. Any information and pictures will be greatly appreciated. Kind regards
GONZALEZ-TORRES Private Reply Public Reply

14 Jan 2012 - Topography:
Hello Daniel, I am trying to locate where my great grandparent lived: I think the address was 14 Alexandra Street Walthamstow. Does it still exist ? The family name is Wager. Thank you
Margaret SMITH Private Reply Public Reply

14 Jan 2012 - Local History: Saturday Morning Pictures:
While the campaign to re-open the EMD Cinema in Hoe Street (That I remember as the Granada) drags on, little attention is paid to the fact that Walthamstow once had many cinemas and that a big part of people's memories of Walthamstow cinemas are about their attendance at Saturday morning pictures. So.. I have written a short piece that I hope will jog the memories of those who remember the Walthamstow of their youth. [read it here]
Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

14 Jan 2012 - Lost & Found :
Many thanks! I have in the last week received a reply from somebody who knows Derek and he put us in touch. It has been wonderful to talk about our youth in the 1960's and we will be meeting up as soon as we can. A million thanks for the site and the help it afforded me in finding my old work mate.

John SERGEANT Private Reply Public Reply

From Daniel: Thanks to who answered your 'cri de coeur'! I'm ever so happy that you were able to catch up with your friend!

10 Jan 2012 - Public reply to Bernard PRICE (06 Jul 2011):
Hello Daniel,
I just found Wathamstow Memories website..It's great! Anyway, I'm a Walthamstow born lad, Thorpe Coombe - 1945 and remember going to the Granada cinema in the 1950's.
The one live act I saw there around 1958 or 1959, if memory serves me well, was Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps (I thought it was Blue Jeans until I just Googled him). My pals and I were big fans of his then and our parents finally bought the tickets for us to see him, after much badgering I must say.
The place was filled to capacity and the atmosphere was electric as we waited for the show to start. I don't remember if there were other acts beforehand but when Gene was about to come on, there was an announcement over the speakers to say that Gene Vincent was unable to perform due to illness. The whole place erupted in groans and general disappointment noises, when all of a sudden we heard "Be-Pop-A-Lula" being sung slowly with no one on stage. Gene was singing off-stage and the crowd went nuts as he limped on stage singing his trademark song. It was fantastic! He actually brought the place down, what a great show.
That was my first ever live concert and I have never forgotten it, what a thrill! So thanks for jogging my memory about the Granada Walthamstow.
Len AARONS Private Reply Public Reply

10 Jan 2012 - 1st time writer :
I would like this to be added to you interesting website.
I was born at Thorpe Coombe hospital 22 April 1950. Both my parents, grandparent and great grandparents are from Walthamstow on both sides of my family.
During and after the war my dad's parents and my parents lived on Diana Rd numbers (14 and 39) and then 9 months later we moved to Mansel Grove. My older sister and I attended Chapel End and, according to my grandmother, she was one of the first students to attend the opening. My great grandmother lived on Nettle Rd. Both my parents when to George Monoux school and my dad Fredrick Thompson was a schoolboy champion swimmer. My mother's maiden name was Wilson and she was one of 14 (not a typo!) kids who lived in Walthamstow.
At age 8 we moved to Chingford but my grandparents, Mary and Fred Thompson continued to live on Diana Rd until she died age 82. I would stay with here often and usually would buy her beer from the off license on the corner of Diana and Forest Rd or sweets from across the road at the sweet shop on Forest Rd. Which leads me to and interesting story.
I was in my 20's when as usual I stopped at the sweet shop on my way to visited Nan (grandmother) on Sunday afternoon when I noticed that it had hardly any sweets or newspapers for sale and instead it had handmade pottery on the shelves. The proprietor, Miss Elizabeth Elton and I got to chatting as I was also interested in pottery having gone to Loughton College in the 60's to learn to be a graphic designer. She seemed very old at the time with lots of gray hair's, probably in her 50's. After a while she invited me to her living area above the shop and we literally talked all night. She wanted to live her dream to become a pottery and if that meant living on cabbage and potatoes so be it. She was friends with other quite famous potters and several articles were written about her during that time. Alas I have not more information about her. I would love to know more about her as she was an inspiring women.
I moved to California in 1978 where I live today.
I have so many stories. Many war time ones from my 100 year old aunt who is still as sharp as a tack. Emails are welcome.
  Private Reply Public Reply

08 Jan 2012 - War over Walthamstow :
Hi Daniel and WM friends,
As you are aware my wife and I live in Perth in Western Australia. This week I had a call from one of my grandsons named James Hall aged 10 who lives in Hassocks which is in West Sussex. He told me that he has a school assignment this week and the task is to ask your grandparents for their wartime experiences. I wonder how many of our members have been asked for something like that. And so I have written down here what my wife and I sent to him yesterday.
I must say that I have heard my wife's story many times but it was only when I put it into writing that I realized just how close our 'Hall dynasty' came to being non existent.
[ Read Len's article here, on the 'Personal Stories' section]
Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

08 Jan 2012 - Lost & Found :
I am looking for any information on my relatives 'Hilliar' who lived in Brookdale road. Can anyone help please?
Jane HALLIDAY Private Reply Public Reply

08 Jan 2012 - Public Reply to Gerry Creasey (03 Jan 2012):
I am in two of these photographs, one in primary and the other in secondary. My name is Pete Perry, and I used to draw a comic called 'Komic Kapers Weekly' (known by everyone as 'The KK') every Tuesday since I was 11 years old.
There are copies of it on our website: http://www.widgeripoo.net
Go into the link and then on to 'Archives' or go to straight to: http://www.widgeripoo.net/home/archive_part_one
Pete PERRY Private Reply Public Reply

05 Jan 2012 - Public Reply to Grant Edwards (03 Jan 2012):
Hello Daniel,
I can only concur with my old school colleague Grant Edwards regarding the borough status of Walthamstow. I was born in Walthamstow just before the war and as thus I am an Essex man. To be born today you will be a Londoner. From 1894 until 1926 Walthamstow was an Urban District, when it became a Municipal Borough. This is how Wikipendia describes Walthamstow though, as we all know, the Royal Charter was not received by Sir Courteney Warner until the 10th October 1929. The London Borough of Waltham Forest came into being in 1965 with the demise of the old London County Council and the formation of the 32 London boroughs which in the east took in parts of Essex.
The expansion and formation of London and its various boroughs, Urban, Municipal and Metropolitan, is rather complex, but can be followed by using search engines on the subject.
Apart from the error of calling Walthamstow a County Borough there is sometimes confusion as to the boundaries of Walthamstow. Some people believe that Walthamstow consists only of the E.17 post code. Not so! The Post Office had its own agenda, when deciding on its post code boundaries...
Though most of Walthamstow is in the post code of E.17 there is a part of Leyton that has this post code and, on the east side, there is part of the E.4 district that is in Walthamstow. The boundary with Leyton is indeed Boundary Road continuing along that line and only includes the part of Lea Bridge Road from Grove Road to Wood Street. My family's old home, near to the Walthamstow Stadium, had a South Chingford E.4 post code but was in fact within the boundary of Walthamstow. The E.4. district boundary with E.17 was along Wadham Road and Walthamstow Avenue, which became the North Circular Road. So from that boundary and up to Highams Station Avenue was part of Walthamstow as is Highams Park and Hale End both with the E.4. post code. A good reference map of Walthamstow can be found in the book War Over Walthamstow by Ross Wyld and I believe the same map was used by Brian Evans in his book Bygone Walthamstow.
Kind regards,
Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

05 Jan 2012 - General:
Tote Bag received today, many thanks, and for the enclosures. Just for the record, I have always had a special interest in the Borough, I was born in Gosport Road at the junction of Ringwood Road in Dec., 1932. Spent most of my growing up years in Brettenham Road. Was educated at Chapel End School, commencing at 4years old and leaving when 14 years old. Was married in the Methodist Church (sadly no longer there) in Penrhyn Crescent. Left the Borough round about 1959 for the Southend area and moved to the East Midlands with the Company I worked for in 1973. Have so many happy memories of Walthamstow. I wish you all well.
Ted EMERY Private Reply Public Reply

05 Jan 2012 - Walthamstow at War:
I have just been reading Bill's account of airships during the war, and what a stirring story it was, however it also has a very sad side that was not mentioned: we always think about wars from a very one sided viewpoint, but there are two sides to every story.
I was born in 1937 and I grew up with a father who hated Germans, and he also considered Winston Churchill to be a war monger what ever that meant. And so I have to admit that I reached maturity almost wearing 'blinkers' and hearing my dear old dad's strong beliefs forced upon me.
However, the other side of the story I hinted at was the families of those guys who were burnt to death in the airship: were their sons there voluntarily or just forced to fight because they were able to do so. My eyes were opened up recently when I read a book called 'The Book Thief' written by Markus Zuzak, who resides in Sydney. The book is a New York best seller and well worth reading. The story is narrated by 'Death' himself which makes the story very interesting.
If you are aware of 'the Anne Frank Diaries', then you will have some idea about what 'the book thief' is about. Yes it is a story about Germans who lived in Nazi Germany and saved Jewish people and, in this case, by hiding one such Jew for years in their cellar. The girl who is actually the book thief grows up stealing a few books and that is where the title comes from. Please try and get a copy of this book, which is available on Amazon (or in my case in the library) and read about the other side to the story. And remember that there is never anything glorious about a war, just lots of death and suffering for both sides.
Also, I have come across an article about rationing during the last war. Rationing commenced in Britain in 1940, not long after the onset of world war two, with petrol being the first item rationed. However, no one was allowed to buy petrol anyway without a special permit and that petrol was coloured to make it difficult to purchase on the black market. Nearly everything became rationed, most foodstuffs, clothing etc. Bread was not rationed until after the end of the war, but people used to get what was called 'austerity bread', which used the entire ear of wheat and was almost black and was quite indigestible. Even after the war, rationing continued in Britain. It was not until July 1948 that flour came off rationing. Then each year after that, rationing was stopped on various commodities, such as soap (never worried the poms LOL) clothes, sweets, and sugar, and then tea, with the last of the food rationing ending in July 1954.
Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

04 Jan 2012 - Local History:
Hello Daniel,
My thanks to Rodney Silk for at last solving the riddle of where, locally, was the Lamb's car showroom mentioned in previous postings. My interest in this is that the company seems to have had some very expensive cars on offer just pre-war. The Cord has already been seen. The attached photo, taken at the same date, shows that Lamb's also had at least two Rolls Royce cars on offer at this time. The Rolls Royce Enthusiasts Club have identified the cars as both being 1937-ish Phantom IIIs, making them the most expensive model then produced (one of them survives to this day in Switzerland, the other is 'fate unknown'). I believe the third car visible is a Packard. These are the sort of cars one might expect to find in a top London dealership or showroom, but not, perhaps, so close to home.

Woodford Rolls Royce picture

Lamb's car showroom - Rolls Royces

Thanks also to Rodney for the nice picture of his Uncle's Buick, which would be an 8 cylinder car as Buick stopped making 6s in about 1931/32, producing only eight cylinder cars for the following 30 years. The car is almost certainly a 'McLaughlin' Buick, meaning that it was produced at the company's plant in Canada, and in right-hand drive form. As a Canadian product, these cars were able to avoid the import duty levied on similar vehicles made at General Motor's Flint, Michigan, Buick factory, when brought into the U.K.
Two fine examples of this make have been in our immediate area for a very long time. A 1939 convertible lives in Chingford, and is still regularly used by it's long term owner, who restored it many years ago from a very poor condition, and a 1937 sedan lived in the Higham Hill area of Walthamstow for about 40 years until 4 years ago, when the couple who have owned it all that time, moved to Australia, and took the old car with them. It seems Buick cars inspire long-term ownership!
Jim PALING Private Reply Public Reply

04 Jan 2012 - History Project:
Hello, my name is David Hughes and I have recently undertaken a project about Walthamstow called, 'Walthamstow: Past & Present'. This project will be in Word and Excel formats and will be in several files, listing businesses that have ever existed in Walthamstow, names of roads and streets from the past to the present day and bands/performers that have ever appeared at a Walthamstow venue. So far i have 46 live music venues listed, along with a listing of who played there and when, 1,954 businesses, 696 roads and 4,837 performers who have performed live in the borough. Obviously this project is well in its infancy and lots of work will need to be done. All and any help would be very welcome.
During January 2012, if anyone living in the UK would like a free copy of the project to date, please email me your address and I will forward you a copy. From the 1st February there will be a small fee, including p&p. Thank you, Regards
Dave HUGHES Private Reply Public Reply

03 Jan 2012 - Public reply to Derek Polligton (10 May 2011):
Hi Derek, I too was a student at Mission Grove School in the fifties. I was born in 1947 in Thorpe Combe hospital in ForestRd. I remember my first day at school quite clearly. Miss Franklin was the teacher, and I remember a David King who had the job of looking after me, the new girl. I was head girl for one term, although I don't think Miss Witherwick approved! I also had Miss Pope, I think she was in the infants, although I'm not sure. Miss Ralph was my favourite, she later married and became Mrs. Pettit. We lived in Selborne Rd opposite the railway line. We used to ride on the train between Hoe St. and St. James St. and wave out of the window to our friends. Saturday morning was spent at the Granada, and then down the High St. for a bag of chips and a sarsprilla, cold in the summer, hot in winter. We moved away when I was 12 but those childhood memories stick. Susan WHITE
née NEWITT Private Reply Public Reply

03 Jan 2012 - General:
Hi Daniel
Just a note to thank you and your editorial staff for this splendid publication. You do a grand job, bringing back so many memories for us "oldies" who have begun to forget just what it was to grow up in Walthamstow (Highams Park in my case) during and shortly after the war.
Only those even older than I am will remember the trams running through the borough (until as late as 1940 on one route, I believe), but one of my Christmas presents this year was a copy of "Walthamstow and Leyton Tramways" by Robert Harley from the Middleton Press (ISBN 1 873793 65 0), which I can thoroughly recommend to readers. It was published back in 1995 and is full of fascinating photos, in which not only the trams but also the street scenes make interesting viewing, especially under a magnifying glass, as they show so much detail. Whether new copies of the book are still available, I don't know, but I dare say Amazon will help to locate good second-hand ones if not.
Do you mind if I mention one inaccuracy on the home page? At a risk of nit-picking I think I ought to point out that Walthamstow was never a county borough, even though after the second world war I remember there was talk of it applying to become one. There were only ever three county boroughs in Essex. West Ham was created one in 1889, Southend-on-Sea in 1914, and East Ham in 1915 (against the wishes of Essex County Council). This can be verified by looking at the Wikipedia entry for Essex or googling "Essex county boroughs".
I think it was in 1974 that the title of county borough was discontinued when the local government reorganization took place.
Incidentally, I was interested to find the christening of one of my former classmates from Selwyn Avenue Junior School on the list of marriages, baptisms and funerals taken from the St Gabriel's parish magazine. I assume his family must have moved out to Highams Park by the mid-1940s.
All the best. Keep up the good work! Sincerely,
Grant EDWARDS Private Reply Public Reply

From Daniel: Your thanks should go to all our visitors, some very keen and helpful, who provide me with their stories and pictures: without them, I would be without anything to show!
I'm glad you spotted the "borough" subject: sure it will raise some feedback by our 'historian' visitors: so I will let a few days go by, to see reactions...

03 Jan 2012 - Lost & Found:
Hi, My name is Gerald (Gerry) Creasey - these photos are from 1946 to 1951 in no particular order. They are all from Chapel End Secondary Modern except for the one from 1946 which was from Chapel End Primary. I have been in contact with a few of the faces, but if anyone recognise themselves would like to hear from them. These photo's cover the A_B_C & D stream of my year. I was in the B stream and I still remember the names of at least 80% of the class mates.

(I'm the 2nd on top row from left)

(I'm the 4th on top row from right)

Gerry CREASEY Private Reply Public Reply

03 Jan 2012 - Lost & Found:
Thank you for producing this great site, so interesting for ex-E17ers. I am trying to locate a long lost childhood friend Barry(ie) Reader. We lived next door to each other from 1937-1940-ish. He lived at 80 Beulah Rd. I at 78 Beulah Rd. We attended Maynard Rd Primary School together. From there he went to Joseph Barrett from about 1948-1953. This is when we lost touch. I'd love to hear from anyone who knew or knows any thing about Barry.
Malcom BECK Private Reply Public Reply

02 Jan 2012 - Public reply to Jim PALING:
Hello Daniel,
It was interesting to see the photos of the large American built limousines parked outside the Monoux Almshouses near to St. Mary's Church posted by Jim Paling. My uncle owned such a limousine in the 1950s which was purchased by him privately and used as a family car. This was a Buick 6 cylinder and looks to be a 1939 Special. The photo attached shows the car with two of my uncle's daughters and friends enjoying a day out in it.

Buick 6 cylinder - a 1939 Special?

Buick 6 cylinder - a 1939 Special(?)

Buick 6 cylinder - a 1939 Special?

Invoice from Lambs Ltd

I asked my uncle is he knew of a local car hire firm that used American limousines, perhaps just after the war, but unfortunately he did not. He indicated that the cars were relatively cheap to buy but were expensive to run due to their large engines so they were out of reach for most people. I remember a car hire firm situated at the top of Orford Road, just after the bend near Summit Road. I cannot remember its name but I never saw any American limousines parked there. The registration DYE 1 does not give much clue to ownership as a cousin of mine, a vintage car restorer, says that old registration records were destroyed. However, his book on registrations suggest that that number was issued in Hastings. Jim may be interested to know that my uncle owned two other American cars. A Hudson Terraplane drophead coupe and a 1938 22HP Ford V8-62. This last car was passed onto my father and it was a very comfortable and smooth runner. This American made model was taken up by Fords at Dagenham and, using the same body shell, produced the successful V8 Pilot.

With regard to the Lamb's garage question, the following is an extract from the 1938 London telephone directory.
Lamb's Ltd., Motor Agents
Opp. Hoe Street Station, E17 WALthamstow 2525
245, High Road, Ilford ILFord 0038
Standard House, Southend Road, Woodford Green WANstead 0123
In 1948 The Hoe Street address was dropped and there was an entry for 37, Station Road, Chingford E4 SILverthorn 1042

The Larkswood telephone exchange building was on the corner of Brookscroft Road and Roberts Road. It was opened in January 1934 and later took in the Walthamstow and Silverthorn numbers. The Woodford Green Wanstead exchange remained just after the war but was later absorbed into the Crescent exchange which took in Barkingside and Redbridge. I purchased the first of my Triumph cars from the Lamb's showroom at Woodford Green in 1968 and I attach a copy of part of the invoice which bears the Crescent telephone number. You may think this car, a Triumph 2000 Mk 1 looks cheap, but I had to dig deep to afford it at that time. Though Triumphs no longer exist, as sadly so do all other British makes of cars, I still run a 1973 Triumph Stag with the original engine.
Kind regards,
Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

02 Jan 2012 - Family History:
I was born in Walthamstow.... Thorpe Coombe maternity hospital, in 1946. I lived in Gosport Road until I was almost 11 with my parents Tom and Marion Stow, and had two brothers Brian and Philip.
My photo was in the Guardian newspaper in 1953, as I was the smallest brownie in Walthamstow, having a form of dwarfism. I would dearly love to get a copy of that cutting, my original one got lost with moves etc., I understand you have to go to the archive office yourself to look. However, as I live near Colchester now that is not possible. If there is a chance that anyone has a copy of that newspaper, which I know is a "shot in the dark" I would really love a copy, paying expenses of course. Many thanks
Valerie SIMS
née STOW Private Reply Public Reply

Hello there!

I know I might be asking an impossible question, but this has been bugging me for years now. I grew up and went to school in Walthamstow. I attended Kelmscott school from 1990 to 1995. At the rear of Kelmscott school you have Longfellow rd which leads to a dead end/ Alexandra rd. I noticed that there was some writing on the road saying "bus stop". I can only assume that years ago there was no dead end as the housing estate in Alexandra rd is quite recent (mid 70's). By using google earth the writing on the road is no longer there. The question I am asking is: "Do you know which bus route used to pass through this area?". I've tried to use variuos sites but to no avail.


Shaffick JHAUREE Private Reply Public Reply
Just to wish you a special New Year mate and hope all is well.
WMTS reunions still going strong. Regards

John NEWELL Private Reply Public Reply