Stan Gerula lived in London until he died on August 29th 1979. His body was taken home to Poland and he was buried in the Rakowice Cemetery in Krakow.
The following is his story:
Happy new year,
Thanks Barry, now that you mention it, I seem to remember there being a fire late in '66 which started in the cafe and caused one of the observation windows to break, shutting the pool for a while. I've tried looking it up online but with no success - I'll rely on other peoples memories to correct me! I too remember Mr Smith, I also remember having to squeeze across behind the shallow end to get to the male poolside lockers where your clothes got soaked by people jumping in and 'bombing'. The diving boards were platforms on some form of metal framework. I can still taste the Bovril sold in the tiny cafe before going over to the chip shop opposite if Mum had given me enough money!
Happy (seemingly) days
I was so sorry to read the sad news about the recent passing of Richard Dunn. As a former Walthamstow resident (as were my parents), I'd corresponded with him several times, and it was a delight to "talk" to him via e-mail and to share his enormous knowledge of Walthamstow and his enthusiasm for the stories and articles that appeared on his website. If they happen to read this, my deepest condolences to his wife and family. Thank you, Richard, for all your generously shared knowledge. Rest in peace.
Bill & Steve,
Bill, you finished your article with an ‘afterword’ that triggered a memory. The notion that the size of the ‘new’ pool had, somehow, been bungled was very wide-spread at the time.
Such an idea was, as you suspected, apocryphal. The truth is that the pool wasn’t built to Olympic specification in the first place; there was no miscalculation. I was always led to believe that the pool was a ‘short course’ one rather than a ‘long course/competition standard’ one. The pool had only six lanes and needed to have ten for Olympic/National competition. There were also matters to do with the positioning of the necessary ‘turning lines’ and ‘touch pads’ at the end of each lane.(*)
By the mid 60’s, the building of the Crystal Palace pool had rendered the matter moot. It was 50m long and had eight lanes. The fact remains that no international or national events were ever staged at the WF pool and the local/regional ones that were hosted were considered to be ‘unofficial’ for the purposes of recorded winning times.(*)
Like Steve, I am old enough (60) to have swum in the ‘old’ pool in the High Street! I earned my ‘width’ and ‘length’ ribbons there under the tutelage of the terrifying ‘Mr. Smith’ in the early 60’s.
The place was like an ice-box, the floors were slippery and dangerous and the communal changing-room was a large, soulless, tiled room that would have made an abattoir seem welcoming.
In response to Steve’s thoughts on the date of the ‘new’ pool; well, I can state with certainty that I was swimming in it during the summer of ’66.
During that summer my Dad closed his butcher’s shop in Higham Hill Road for ‘half-day’ every Wednesday. He used to take my brother and I to the pool for an afternoon swim. On the afternoon of July 20 there was a change of plan; we weren’t going swimming. Instead, that evening, my Dad and uncle (who lived in Carr Road) took me to Wembley to watch the England versus France World Cup match. It was something that I’ll never forget, of course. (My brother had no interest in football so he lucked-out that day.)
I’m absolutely certain that we had been going to the ‘new’ pool for quite some time prior to that.
(*) This information was gleaned many years ago, from two people who were competitive swimmers in the borough at different times. One was my brother who swam for the Universal Swimming Club during the mid/late 60’s and the other was a young lady who I briefly ‘courted’ during the early seventies. She was a member of the Waltham Forest Swimming Club.
Hi, my name is Brian Cottee and was also born in 1940 at no 50 Carnanton Rd, Walthamstow, and went to the same school. Thanks
Regarding Stan Gerula, I am a Leyton Orient supporter and I remember Stan when he played for the Orient. He was born in Poland in 1924 and came to the Orient from CARPATHIANS in 1948 and he was Orients goalkeeper for 15 games in season 1948/9 and 15 games in 1949/50 before departing to Walthamstow Avenue. His first game for Orient was away to Exeter City on 19th Feb 1949 which we lost 1 – 0, his last game was away to Brighton on 19th Nov 1949 which we drew 2 – 2. Stan being an amateur player he was eligible to move to Walthamstow Avenue and one of his greatest games must have been when he won an Amateur Cup Final medal with the Avenue in 1951/52, when the Avenue beat Leyton, you could not have got a bigger derby game, 2 – 1 at Wembley in front of a 100,000 attendance.
I remember Stan as a fearless goalkeeper who always played with his sleeves rolled up and I was very Sad when he left the Orient to join the Avenue.
I wonder what happened to him.
Reading your piece about the ‘new pool’ brought back many memories to me, but I think you’re mistaken with the year that it opened, as in 1965 I was swimming for the Walthamstow Swimming Club and won 2 trophies in the club championships at the ‘old’ baths in the High Street.
If I remember rightly the new pool opened in ‘67.
Sorry to be such a pedant
Good to hear from you. My interest in Walthamstow is entirely focussed on the Lestor family. They were Charles, Esther, Joan (later Baroness) and Lily. If you have any knowledge of these I would be very greatful.
HI I THOUGHT YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MY NAME IS BRIAN COTTEE SON OF ALBERT COTTEE I BORN IN NO 50 CARNATION RD WALTHAMSTOW IN 1940 I NOW LIVE IN AUST.
I know just how you must feel about finding an old friend after 50 years. You will have a lot to catch up on.
I had a similar experience a few years ago when I tried many times to find a mate named Arthur Brown who used to live in Callis Road. I finally ran him down via an advert in the Guardian and someone saw it and put us together on emails and the telephone.
Arthur had moved to Launceston in Cornwall, and I had not heard a thing about him for over 50 years.
I live in Perth Australia but I was due to visit one of our sons who has chosen to live in the UK. And so we made a special trip to see Arthur and we had a great re-union in a pub in Newquay that was an Australian type pub.
Sadly my friend had a stroke not long after that and he finally passed away, but I shall never regret tracking him down and having that re-union.
I would like to thank you Daniel, as your postbag has just put me in touch with a past friend from 50 year's ago. Just wrote my 1st reply to him, now. Waiting for a reply back. You are doing a great job, once again Thank you. I'd like to wish you a very happy new Year. Chat to you in 2015, to let you know about my reply from my old friend.
I have just found your letter, and remember you by your picture of the class I put on WM back in January. I am the boy holding the 2a board. Some of the lads I remember if you look it up, it's Jan 16. Do you know any of the others? I wonder how many of us are still around! Be good to hear from you. Yours,
I was at William Elliot Whittingham School 1956 to 1958, then the all boys school was closed and ruined by moving to Sydney Chaplin at the top of Folly Lane, the school completely lost it's character because it moved to a new building that was completely boring compared with the old victorian building and the addition of girls finished off the death of what was a very good school, if perhaps a bit tough. I was very happy to leave the place in 1960.
The head master was Mr. Acres, my form teachers were Mr. Beloe, Mr. Spicer and Mr Horner. Beloe and Spicer were very good but hard and Horner was a rat. The other teachers were Harrison (Science), Dobson (Woodwork), Thompson (Metal work): all very good but hard. Mr Green and Mr. Baker were both still teaching at Whittingham, and as already mentioned both very good teachers, but we lost them upon moving to the new school, there was also Mr. New (Art), Mr. Cantes (Geography).
I'm now living in Leicestershire, but whilst at School was living in St Andrews Rd. Walthamstow, the top end.
I would just like to take the time to thank you for all the hard work you put in maintaining this wonderful site.
Also to wish you and your family, plus all the good folk who contribute, or indeed just read what others write, a very Happy Christmas and a harmonious & healthy New Year.
Here is an old reproduction watercolour c1782 of a very rustic & peaceful looking scene showing what St Mary's church looked like at that time:
From Daniel: My sincere thanks for your kind words and for you season greetings. God bless you.
Hi Daniel, thanks for getting back. The photo is "Mr Green 2a":
I was in Mr Bakers class and Mr Watts when I left in 1950.
Love your web site - what a lot of work!
Oh, by the way, have any knowledge of the Valley Ramblers Skiffle group I played tea chest.
I think that it’s highly likely that there will be friends and visitors to this site who will recall the name ‘Walthamstow Rangers’. Rangers was a local football club which ran many teams of various age-groups and competed in leagues and cups far and wide. I was (and still am) hugely proud to have played for two of the teams.
All players would receive a weekly newsletter which featured the previous week’s results and the coming week’s fixtures. The letter was copied onto gold paper using black type; gold and black were the club’s colours. Below is the oldest newsletter that I have. (See note * below.)
My name appears at the bottom right. I was ‘in the squad’ for the match against Leyton. I did play but I can’t remember the score.
The following season I had moved-up to the under fifteen side. I didn’t get as many games at this level because the overall standard was very high indeed. However, in late Oct, 1968, I was required to play in goal! Illness and injury had decimated the team and it was all hands to the pumps. Here’s what happened:
Ten men and me in goal and we won!
There must be some more Rangers memories out there. I'd love to hear 'em.
(*) - The newsletters featured above were loaned to me a few years ago by Eric Allinson, a former senior player at the club. Eric went on to play for Dulwich Hamlet in the Isthmian League. If Eric is reading this, please get in touch and I'll return these precious gems to you. We lost touch and I've had no way of contacting you.
Campus Road rings a bell, as I used to live in Markhouse Road until 1960. From there you go up Ringwood Road and first on the RHS is Callis Road where I had several friends living and the next on the RHS was Campus Road - if my memory serves me right. The photo shows all girls, so it should be easy to trace the school as all the local schools in Walthamstow were Co-ed schools i.e. mixed boys and girls. Good luck with your quest. Be prepared for a shock when you get there in June, as things have changed a bit since I departed in 1960. I live in Perth WA now and will probably never return to the UK despite having a son and family over there.
Thank you for your e-mail. I have posted another (poor quality) picture on here, not sure where it was taken though. I must agree with you, the first thing I noticed when we left the train at Basle (I think) was a very large cigarette machine, that had what seemed to be hundreds of different brands. During the stay I must have tried nearly every type of menthol (well we were in the snow covered mountains, and you know the advert 'cool as a mountain stream') cigarette they sold. Plus some very foul tasting bottles of Chianti!! Great holiday though. Of course I brought back the obligatory cuckoo clock, and a walking stick that you nailed little metal badges on, to prove you had been to all those different Swiss places. One thing I seem to recall is some type of fruit trees that grew along the road side, and we picked the fruit and washed them in icy cold water from a pump , absolutely gorgeous, but for the life of me I cannot remember what the fruit was, any ideas?
I'm not sure we were on the same trip, I have a feeling that I was 14 at the time, so that would have made it 1960. Definitely Mr Macintosh was the main organizer, I think he did all those trips in the late 50s and early 60s. The journey sounds very familiar also, we left Calais at about 6pm and arrived at Basle (I think, or it could have been Berne) at 6.30 am the next morning. Most interesting journey though, the impression those hard wooden seats leave is very long lasting!! Here is another very poor quality photo, probably taken from the hotel:
And this is the camera that was used, of course mine had a nice crack built into the casing (at no extra cost !!)
further to the postings about the Cooks Ferry Inn.
I had a part-time evening job as a barman there from 67 to 72. I worked there for the extra cash but also because I could listen to all of the great up and coming bands for free!
I have loads of wonderful memories of the old Blues Club - held on a Monday night. John Mayall, Ten Years After, Pretty Things, the list of great bands goes on.
Mrs Monk was the landlady, tough as nails but fair to work for.
If anyone has any questions about the Blue Opera Club or the Pub please ask.
Re your picture of the hotel in Interlaken. Our school, Sydney Chaplin also stayed here in 59/60 when we were 12/13. I remember going up the Jungfrau mountain in the cable chair with my friend, we refused the big coats as it was quite warm at the bottom but boy were we sorry by the time we got to the top, freezing. You could buy all different flavoured cigarettes in the local town (without the teachers knowing of course) and my friend and I smoked a chocolate flavoured one on the way down. The hotel looks exactly the same as it did then and your post brings back great memories.
A small mistake John: Tony Smith lived in St. Andrews road - as it was then called - and Jim lived in Carlton road.
My mum and I have been doing a bit of family research and I have come across your website (which is very informative and helpful!).
I am trying to trace my mum and aunty's war evacuation records which require a junior (primary school?) that they were attending at the time of evacuation. My mum's memory is not very good and my Aunty who was sharp as a tack unfortunately has passed away.
In photo 56 of your gallery there stands out a girl who is the spitting image of my mum (although she says she thinks it's her sister). I was wondering if it is possible to trace this photo and perhaps get the name of the school and the year the photograph was taken. The only clue to who holds the photo is 'mums school' on the top left hand corner.
Any information would be great – I am heading to London in July 2015. Although I will only be in London for a short time this time, I would very much like to continue my mums journey and gather as much information as possible before she too passes.
Cheers from Australia, from Nyrie Palmer (nee Simpson) & Sylvia Simpson (nee Cleminson, formerly of 21 Campus Rd Walthamstow)
From Daniel: Unfortunately, I cannot trace the source of the picture, probably sent in before 2009... Can anyone help?
It came as a big shock to me when I realised that the swimming pool in Chingford Road, that I still think of as the ‘new’ pool, as distinct from the ‘old’ pool in the High Street, was actually over 50 years old! This pool has many memories for me, as this is where I went swimming with my children and where they undertook their, various swimming and lifesaving badges and where in recent years my wife exercises swimming in lane in a self determined half hour session.
Now that it has closed, pending Council agreement on its future development, it is the appropriate time for this piece. [read it here]
I have sent you a private reply. I think that they are either members of a Freemason Lodge or of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, who seem to be a working class version of the Masons.
I would like to wish all Walthamstow Memories readers:
I'm running a project called From Poland to Waltham Forest, which explores the history of Polish migration to the area. We've been researching archives and collecting oral histories for some months now, but some how completely missed this amazing website!
I'd like to put an appeal out to anyone else who might have something they'd like to share with us. For example, I discovered on this website the name Stan Gerula, a Polish migrant who played for Walthamstow Avenue. If anyone has any memories of him they'd like to share, get in touch. Also looking for anyone who worked at the Lebus factory. I know it employed lots of Polish migrants - perhaps you worked with some or are related to one. Or maybe you are of Polish heritage and have some great stories you'd like to share about your grand parents or great grandparents, and what they contributed to Waltham Forest.
Finally, we're looking for anyone who might know June or Brenda Buritsky. They were the daughters of Henry Buritsky. Henry has become a key feature of the project, but we've still to find out what happened to his children. I'd loved to know if they were still in the area.
All stories and other materials we collect are being used as part of an exhibition, which will take place during next year's E17 Art Trail (hopefully at Vestry House Museum). They will also be preserved on a website, which will launch next spring and hopefully become a rich educational resource for future generations to learn about this important part of local history.
I joined Hitchman's Dairies as a trainee book-keeper in 1955. I worked at the Hainault Road Depot for most of the time where Mr Crump was a Manager and then Arthur Coleman. I also worked at the Higham Hill Branch, where the Stork Logo was painted on the milk floats. It was such a joy to watch this work done. I only wish I could remember the name of the painter. The photograph shows two people whom I do remember the names. 1st left is Arthur Coleman and 4th left is Mr Crump. I would love to find out who the other men are, the faces I do remember but not the names.
My wages when I started the company were £2.10 shillings a week. £1.10s went to my widowed mother for my keep, and my fares etc came out of the £1. There was a lovely bakers in Hainault Road where I would buy a ham or cheese roll as a special treat.
Work as a book-Keeper in those days needed brain and brawn. The ledgers seemed to weigh a ton and had to lifted on and off the shelves many times during the day. By the late 1950's we changed over to loose leaf ledgers. Much easier but not nearly as satisfying.
Hi, again, Daniel,
Here are two more street views of Nicholson Road. These were both taken between (about) 1964-7, I think.
The first (below) was taken with the camera in the front doorway of our house – number eight – looking out into the road. The lad at the gate is my brother Tony. In the background is the eastern side of the road from number one (on the left) to number five (on the right). Forest road is out-of-shot beyond the left of the frame and the Barking/Gospel Oak railway line is out of shot to the right.
This next picture (below) probably dates from much the same period. It was taken in the small front garden of our house at number eight. The camera is pointed looking southward. The rooftops in the distance belong to the flats named ‘Stoneydown House’. They still exist.
The few house-fronts captured on the extreme right are Nicholson Road numbers ten to fourteen – which is where the road ended. Beyond the brick wall (which is still there) was the railway embankment sloping down to the old Blackhorse Road, British Rail Station. (The station was moved a few hundred yards further west many years ago.)
The two lads in the photo are my brother Tony (on the left) and our friend and neighbour from number 15 (on the right), John O’ Tedder-Ward.
Some back-garden shots and views of the rear & side of the Rael-Brook factory will be offered next for your perusal.
Hi, yesterday I was telling a friend about the day I stood in the garden at 26 St Mary’s Road and watched the doodle bug pass over St Mary’s Church and down between the chimneys till it landed at the top of the High St. Today she has sent me your article and it brought back so many memories. I am just about to celebrate my 84th Birthday. I was in Walthamstow for the whole war, Bombed out of Gaywood Road when the landmine landed just opposite the gates of Lloyds Park. When that happened we moved to St Mary’s Road. One of your contributors spoke of cycling passed on his way to school and another sent photographs of The George Gascoigne School. I went to that school all through the war.
This photo was taken in Nicholson Road at sometime between 1964-6, I would think.
The view is (from the camera to subject) roughly south to north. The road passing left-to-right at the top of the photo is Forest Road. The house in Forest Road with the large lintel and door-frame (top right in photo) is number 103. The Nicholson Road houses on the left are numbers two and four. My house was number eight and it can’t be seen from this angle.
The lads pictured are (standing l-r) me (with the thumb’s-up) and Kevin Taylor. Kevin lived in Forest road in the very corner house that you can see on the left, beyond the long wall and parked cars. The rear bedroom-window was that of his sister Helen. Seated in the soap-box (or ‘jigger’, as we called it) are Billy Fitzgerald at the front holding the rope and my brother, Tony, behind him. Billy lived with his mum and dad at number six – next-door to us. The smaller fella shading his eyes was named Martin. I can’t remember his surname. He lived on the opposite side of the road at number nine or eleven, I think.
Nicholson Road was a cul-de-sac and in the sixties playing in the road in such a place wasn’t at all dangerous.
The road and much of the surrounding housing on Forest Road was demolished in the late sixties. Nicholson Court now stands almost exactly where the road once did.
More to follow..
having enjoyed WM for quite a while now I'd like to subscribe to the newsletter, please.
Also, I have some old photographs of my life and family in Walthamstow. I have some snaps of my family home in Nicholson Road from the mid-sixties. The road was completely demolished in about 1968 and I'd like to upload and share a few photos which show the back gardens - which abutted the Rael-Brook factory - along with a couple of street views. If you'd be interested to see them I'll be delighted to forward them.
About 12 years ago I returned to the site of the old road and took pictures of the wall that remains as the only reminder to my back-garden and the old factory. (Then and now, so to speak.)
I've got school/group photos taken at The Edinburgh Road School in (about) '62 and a couple of slightly later ones taken at Sir William Morris in Gainsford Road.
Hoping to hear from you
Hi I was at William Elliott Whittingham and in the photograph second row down on extreme left: Colin Hares.
I am 79 years old now living in Suffolk. Happy if anyone wants to reply...
I am David Williams’ grandson, Graham. I was born in Walthamstow in 1953 to Sidney and Joyce Williams. Sidney was the “third child that emigrated to America” in 1953 referenced in you post of 6 Dec 2013. His brother was David and his sister was Thelma. My family returned to England in 1961 and purchased a fish shop in Harlow, Essex. I cleaned and peeled potatoes much as you did and also have memories of Billingsgate fish market.
We returned to the States in 1965, moving to California. Thelma’s son Derek Smith came over us with his wife Jill. My father passed away in 2010. Your wife’s father was my fathers brother. In there last years the two of them reunited and enjoyed occasional trips to Cuba together.
I live in San Francisco with my wife of 40 years, Michele. We have three children Evan, Beth and Kate and a granddaughter, Evelyn. I have had a wonderful life in the states and attribute the small success that I have to the work ethic demonstrated by my father, learned from his father and cultivated in Walthamstow. I learned quite a lot about David and Mary from your posting. Thanks so much. Please pass this on to anyone that might be interested.
Yes I remember the 1959 Interlaken trip I was one I of the senior party who had actually left McGuffie in that summer but had been allowed to go because we had good exam results. There was I believe 8 of us seniors and I'am afraid we did not mix that much with the younger ones we were mainly left to our own devices except for trips, on the lake, to the open air swimming pool, and up the Jungfrau mountain. The trip was organised by Mr. Macintosh who was our geography teacher. Have a few photos somewhere not very good taken on a Kodak Brownie will try and find them and post on site. It was a real eye opener as it was first time abroad for most of us a long and tireing journey with a rough ferry crossing and long train journey across France into Switzerland about 24 hours I think didn't seem so long coming home though.
My sister Joan & her husband Tony lived in a house on the corner of West Avenue and Orford Road is that when you lived next door to them? His Mum & Dad had a fish stall at the top end of High Street in front of the Black & White cafe, and Tony worked on it with them. His parents at that time lived in Folkestone Road, and much later Tony and my sister also lived there. I have no recollection of the pigeon loft though, but then I only knew the James's from 1956 onwards, so if we are talking about the same people, it is possible the pigeon loft had long been removed from their very large garden in Folkestone Road.
You say your brother in laws name was James. Well, I knew Tony James very well: he lived next door to me in Orford Road in Walthamstow. I also knew his parents his father had a big pigeon Loft at the end of the garden, I think the Army took for the war.
Thank you for your Email. However, I’m a bit disappointed and puzzled. I’m disappointed because I carried out a lot of research before I wrote the article and I thought that you would like to know who he actually married, further information about his regiment and where he died. I accept that I made a few minor errors, but I had asked for your comments before publication.
I’m a bit puzzled because I sent you a previous Email so that you would have the opportunity to comment on the story before publication but I didn’t receive a reply. I also sent you a ‘courtesy’ Email today advising you that my article had been published.
Following this, you wrote that you hadn’t answered my Email because “it was returned saying that the above address for you does not exist. Please let me have the correct one as there are corrections that you need to make in your story”. However, in this second Email you say “I hadn’t responded to your previous emails because of your misspellings and inaccuracies that were contained in them”.
I accept that I have made a single spelling mistake ie: Hildoveston instead of Hindolveston and wrongly said that Ben Brunton was your great uncle instead of first cousin twice removed and that Kathleen Brabazon’s father was Edward instead of Arthur Durnford and I apologise for these inaccuracies. I must point out that it was in an attempt to obviate this situation that I asked for your comments before publication.
I would also point out that I have corrected your error in stating that Ben Brunton married Mabel Flowerdew and I have identified the woman that he actually married.
I will copy these Emails to Daniel Quinn, the Walthamstow Memories site administrator and ask him to publish the following corrections saying:
Bill Bayliss has been asked by Walthamstow Memories correspondent, Georgianna Birch Thurber to point out that:
You wrote to me:
Hello, Bill. I hadn’t responded to your previous emails because of your misspellings and inaccuracies that were contained in them. Thanks for today’s one. Tried to print but could not find an actual “print” command.
Please correct the following immediately:
Edward Benjamin Durnford Brunton was my first cousin, twice removed. NOT an uncle.
His mother was Kathleen Brabazon Durnford.
She was the daughter of Arthur Gifford Durnford, rector at St. George in Hindolveston. (please note correct spelling of that town.)
From Daniel: May I kindly just point out that Bill Bayliss is not a professional genealogist (although he has always proven to have exceptional skills in the field) and that he provides assistance to our visitors for free, in spite of the many hours he generously spends in carrying out researches. I feel that we should all be deeply grateful for his honest and invaluable cooperation.
I am trying to construct a family tree, but I have come to a halt covering 1870 through to 1890 and I wondered whether you might be able to help me with precise birth dates, eg as follows:
Jupp Family Tree
William Jupp 1843 - 1863 Father
Alice Jupp 1861 Mother
Richard Jupp 1878
Rhoda Jupp 1882 Stratford Essex
Ada Jupp 1885 Walthamstow
Thank you once again
My Appeal On Behalf Of Combat Stress The Veteran's Mental Health Charity of 95 Years
Following on from my previous post on the website about this organisation, I thought I would share with readers the following information.
I received a letter from Combat Stress thanking me for my donation to the charity, and the following was outlined to me.
There is concern mounting in the charity about the amount of referrals that they are now receiving. Combat Stress say last year saw a 57% increase in the number of Afghanistan veterans seeking treatment from us, a record 358 veterans were referred for our help in 2013, up from 208 in 2012.We expect the increase in referrals to continue any donations will help to ensure that once the conflict is over veterans will not be forgotten.
Perhaps readers of Walthamstow Memories would like to donate to this worthwhile cause and organisation for these men and women the war is still continuing: www.combatstress.org.uk
Thank you once again
Hi, sorry I'm a bit disappointed that the Kilkenny youth club hasn't been recognised, but thanks for looking for me. I do remember going there at least 3 times a week. My friends that I use to go with are Maureen Holiday (that's her married name), Tony Smith, Peter Lake, they are the only name's that I can remember at the moment. I really enjoy reading all your different letters, so prehaps someone will recognise my name, (Janet Perry). I use to do the twist and rock & roll with Tony Smith. Please someone recognise me, so I can relive my memories with you.
Yes that steep hill is the reason for the very poor quality photos (as well as my poor photographic skills of course), early in the holiday a few friends and I decided to run down that hill... or in my case fall down it!! Result being my camera struck the ground and cracked the casing, hence every picture taken was ruined by light getting in. I also recall the Blue Lake at Kandersteg, I seem to remember that the boat we went on had a glass bottom, and the water was so clear you could see right down to the bottom of the lake, and all the fish that were swimming around therein./p>
Did you go to Grindlewald? I went on a chairlift there (I still have nightmares!), once again a bad error of judgement on my part... it was a beautiful warm day at the bottom, I was attired accordingly, short sleeved shirt, no jumper, no jacket. We went up three stages, I think it was the Jungfrau we were ascending, by the time we reached the third stage and alighted... it was bloody freezing!! There was an observation platform and a café so we had a milky coffee in a glass, most of which I spilt down me from the shivering and shaking (some of which was due to fear!!). I was never more glad to get my feet back on to terra firma than on that day. Here is another picture of part of the hotel, it seems it had a separate restaurant from the main building. I cannot recall that fact, maybe you do though. Or possibly it is of a different place near the hotel.
I am no expert on the subject but looking at your photograph I notice the person third from the left in the middle row is wearing a set of cuffs over his jacket and one clearly shows a pentagram on it.
The pentagram is a symbol that is often associated with Masonic regalia. Unless someone else is able to positively identify the regalia this might be an avenue for investigation.
I certainly remember this hotel and the steep hill we had to climb from Interlaken to get to it. I think from the picture of the hotel our dorm/bedroom was on the right under the brown roof.
We also used to take walks to the nearby village of Wilderwil. We certainly did a lot on that trip and i remember going to the Blue Lake on a boat trip where if you dipped you hand in the water, fish would rise to see if you had food.
Epping Forest has always been very important to the history of Walthamstow and for many people living in the nearby forest villages, it was part of their livelihood.Indeed, it is largely due to the fight of local villagers to preserve their rights of lopping trees for wood in the forest that Epping Forest is held and administered by the Corporation of London for us to enjoy today. In recent years, (Until the onset of BSE) ‘Commoners’ who owned forest land exercised their the right to turn out and graze their cows in the forest.
This [read it here] is a story about a tragic incident in the forest in Walthamstow that happened 150 years ago.
I just bumped into Allan Tuckwell’s October 29th, 2013, enquiry as to whether anybody remembers Saint Mark’s TT Club and members such as Ken Beamish and Harry Wagstaff and it happens I do remember them along with such amiable sorts as Boy Little, Ernie Kerr, Ron Forrest, Cliff Mortlock, Pam Warnes as well as many faces to which I cannot put names at this moment. Two that I definitely remember are Bobby Stevens and Yvonne Baker both of whom I gather went on to greater things in the world of table tennis and were showing every sign of doing just that when I was summoned by the Royal Air Force on January 25th, 1951, to do my two year stretch of National Service thus leaving them at Saint Marks on the road to glory. My road led me to Canada for flying training and I liked it enough to return in 1953 and have lived there ever since. Yvonne, I later heard, died tragically in a hotel fire. In the days when Bobby, Yvonne and I were bashing table tennis balls around together I somehow was entrusted with the keys to the club under those arches. The three of us-and there was likely a fourth-would go to the club on Sunday mornings early to get in some practice while there was nobody else competing for the tables and that is probably how we all got so good-just ask us! I’m now living in Toronto but at this moment am in Miami until December 9th with my lovely (nearly all the time) wife Susan which tends to be when I go mooching around sites such as this one that take me back to years gone by, something I greatly enjoy doing. I’m now 82 years of age and my old pals from Saint Marks can’t be much younger. Allan, I do remember the nice, motherly lady who ran the little snack bar in the corner-Tingy I think you said was her name-and the blackboard attached to it where we put our names down for our turns at the TT tables. A lot of fiddling went on there!
Thanks for the memories! I will now go into silent mode but first let me tell you for the benefit of such as may give a hoot that I lived from 1932 to 1951 at 22 Lloyd Road just below what we called Billy Bennett's field. In those days about one half of adjoining Cornwallis Road and Courtney Road had been taken out by a land mine and on November 20th,1944, a V2 took out Blackhorse Road between them and sent me to Connaught Hospital. Nothing, of course, to do with table tennis.
I lived in Bridge End for a time in the early sixties. I, with my brother, had come from Ireland and we lodged with the Collins family at number 82 and they were among the finest people I have ever met, but that is a story on its own. Other families included The Hooker family and The Ayres family. My experience of Walthamstow and it's people was, and still is, heartwarming and never to be forgotten!
Yes that definitely used to be the location of the registry office. I think the Grove Road location is far better.
I went to William Morris Central School from 1944 to 1948. I am surprised to find that there is no information provided relating to that period on your site. Being in my 80s there is little time left before these memories are lost.
This [read it here] is another article in my series of Walthamstow’s ‘lost’ trades. I had hoped to be able to provide ‘memories’ from some of the many people who had worked at the factory, which closed in circa 1999, but, unfortunately, I couldn’t find any.
The Hammond & Champness building was one of a number of industrial buildings in Blackhorse Lane area where many thousands of local people once worked. Amongst these factories were: Ever Ready Batteries, Noton Luggage, WB Bawn Metal Fabricators, Hammond & Champness Lifts, Achille Serre Dry Cleaners and Britain’s Toys. My timing for writing this piece is because the building is now being renovated and developed.
Yeah pretty sure you're right, because the lady with the dark coat hat and gloves is definitely my grandmother Eliza Wright née Golledge
Indeed there was a vet in willow walk, and it was a very uninspiring “poo” brown painted establishment, with hard wooden bench seats for the waiting owners. It was on the left hand side as you walked towards the high street. The PDSA, however, was located in Hoe Street quite near Boundary Road. I can only remember horrid stories from friends being told that animals were gassed in the “goodbye” oven. Can't say if it was true, as I only had a gold fish…
I love your page... I was not born in Walthamstow but have great fond memories of it. I lived there while I trained as a nurse in Whipps Cross from 1980 to 1984. Currently I run the Trained at Whipps Cross facebook page. I would welcome any photos from anyone who trained at Whipps Cross, as I presume that some people never moved on. If you could request them I would be ever so grateful. /p>
I would like to thank Walthamstow Memories & Bill Bayliss: he very kindly "found" my late grandmother's roots for me - she was born in Walthamstow in 1886. /p>
Dear Daniel Hope that you are both well....where oh where is the year going? I attach a piece here from Alan [Fox on the Run], I think it is more of a letter than an article, but see what you think anyway.
With best wishes
We are looking for anyone who has information on the Gates family who lived in Canning Road. We know it was quite a large family, Reginald, Stanley and, we think, Mary but I am trying to find the rest of the family names at the moment. Stanley was killed towards the end of WWII and his wife and children went back to live in Scotland. We know Reginald had a daughter called Yvonne, who we managed to trace but she unfortunately passed away a few years ago. We think there were 8 in the family who lived in the Canning Road or around that area. We are trying to trace family members as we lost touch with them during the war. When I can find the names of the other family members I will list them. /p>
I am a former resident of Leyton (Birth 1951 - Marriage 1974) & former resident of Walthamstow (1974 - 1977), & am trying to trace some employees/information of where my Mother worked for all of her adult life...: Hitchman's Daries in Hainault Road, Leytonstone. (1932 - 1984), especially the years from 1950 - 1966.
Firstly I have 'enrolled' in a website I thought was yours. I put into goggle 'Walthamstow Memories' & got info@knowhow come up.
Anyway, am now on your site, but have one big problem: I cannot read any entries on your pages... blue ink on blue background makes it unreadable! Now I'm not majorly computer savvy, can I do something my end to enable me to read it?
Secondly, how do I go about posting an entry?
From Daniel: I occasionally get a visitor reporting the "blue on blue" problem: I suspect this happens with older versions of Internet Explorer (i.e.: Version 6 and below. I shall see if I can do something about it, but in the mean time you might try selecting the text with your mouse, which, highlighting it, should make it readable...
As for posting your entry... just email me!
I enjoy reading all the contributions to W/Memories as my roots go pretty deep in the area. My Grandparents lived in one of the cottages in Eden Grove, off Eden Road. Grandad was a Carman (horses) on the council. My Mother was born in that cottage. Several of my Aunts and Uncles lived in the area round about, all in what is now the ‘highly desirable’ Walthamstow Village. Bug hutches, my Grandad used to call them as the horse hair and plaster rendering on the walls led to infestations of cockroaches and similar . It was not unusual to have to have these houses fumigated. All very different now, and Eden Grove seems like a very nice place to be living. I have a Cousin who now lives in Cambridgeshire, when I told her a property similar to the little house they had years ago in Grosvenor Rise East sold for £650,000 she nearly fainted!
As a child, I remember Walthamstow as a very nice place to live, Sundays were very quiet then, friends and I would walk down Higham Hill from where we then lived, along Winns Avenue and on to the Town Hall pond where we would float our little boats. Never any trouble, just nice. Lloyds Park was a delight, no-one ever got shot or stabbed that I knew of! How many people now remember the Kursaal Flyer, up from Southend, to take part in the annual Carnival?
Hard to believe now that I remember the United States Air Force Band marching along Winns Avenue playing The St.Louis Blues at the same time.
There have certainly been massive changes here since those times, many not to my liking, and lots of people have moved away from the area. When I speak to old friends they have seemed surprised that I still live here, and in fact we were on the point of moving out ourselves last year. I was surprised when the estate agent said that the sort of people we would have showing an interest in our house would be young ’ upwardly mobile’ types I doubted it. He was dead right though, and I began to see that many people did now indeed see the old borough as a desirable place to live once more. Eventually we took our house off the market as we could not find anywhere that ticked all the boxes, so we are staying where we are, for now, anyway. We both like going up town, and the Codgers Pass is very useful! My head is full of memories of Walthamstow over the years, but I don’t want to bore you further.
I wrote this piece after reading a post on the Walthamstow Memories site that said:
“Edward Benjamin Durnford Brunton, known as “Ben”, was the son of Kathleen Brabazon Durnford and Charles Brunton. Kathleen and my great-grandmother, Georgiana Durnford Griffenhoofe, were sisters. Ben was born 1893, and died ca 13 Nov. 1916, 23 years old, apparently at the battle of the Somme. He was a 2nd Lt., married to a Mabel Flowerdew. His photo, from my great-grandmother’s book, looks like it may have been taken from a group photo as someone else’s arm is in the photo.”
I first wanted to know his Walthamstow connection and I also thought that it would be nice if his great niece knew where he had died so I did a little research. I was able to learn a bit about his family and the battle at which he had died. This told me about his regiment and it was at this point that I had a big surprise.This is the story,
This photo was taken in Walthamstow around 1930. Could any of your readers identify the regalia being worn. Even better, can anybody recognise anybody in the photo. I have a family member in the back row, but know nothing about it...
Hello Georgie, you wrote:
“Thanks, Daniel, for responding to my daughter’s request. I had wanted to post his photo before Nov. 11th but had no luck with the war memorial site.
Edward Benjamin Durnford Brunton, known as “Ben”, was the son of Kathleen Brabazon Durnford and Charles Brunton. Kathleen and my great-grandmother, Georgiana Durnford Griffenhoofe, were sisters. Ben was born 1893, and died ca 13 Nov. 1916, 23 years old, apparently at the battle of the Somme. He was a 2nd Lt., married to a Mabel Flowerdew. His photo, from my great-grandmother’s book, looks like it may have been taken from a group photo as someone else’s arm is in the photo.
hatever help you can give to get this message posted onto the memorial site would be great.
Georgianna (Georgie) BIRCH THURBER”
In response, I would advise that I have had a similar experience with both the Walthamstow & Chingford war memorial sites, that I believe, are run by the same person who did a fantastic job in setting them up. Essentially, I did a lot of genealogical work in identifying the family members of a number of people who were listed on their own and gave the information to the site owners. Unfortunately, to date, the information hasn’t been updated.
What we must remember is that these sites, like our own Walthamstow Memories site are not corporate sites, but are created and run by individuals who spend a lot of time (And often money) to keep them up and running. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, they are not able to update them or continue with the work. Nevertheless, the information that they have provided is often very important for us and for future generations.
After reading your piece about your relative, I got curious and did a bit of research on him and his family and I hope to write a piece about him for this site in the near future.
The group was formed in 1961, Roger Crooks (Woodford) Lead guitar, myself Allan Hales (Highams Park) Bass, Brian Ford (Highams Park) Singer, Martin Murry (Woodford) Rhythm guitar and Maurice Worton (Highams Park) Drummer. We played a lot of times in The Bell PH, Walthamstow, also played at The Granada, Hoe street when the first James Bond film was being shown between the showings, in 62. The only number I can remember playing there was Acker Bilk's Stranger on the Shore (instrumental).
We played in various venues in the local area including weddings,parties etc. and we also had a regular booking at a Friday dance night in Bush Fair, Harlow. It was run by a guy called Cyril, cant remember his surname. He introduced us to Joe Meek (Holloway). We did a demo there in 63 and after a short while the group disbanded. I still have one of the demo disc's we reorded.
I have found and managed to get these photos of the Fairlanes downloaded. I afraid they are not the best but in those days it was very basic.
I found this old photo (very poor quality... thankfully!) of myself on the McGuffie school trip to Interlaken around 1959/1960. I have no idea why I am holding the pot plant!!
I decided to check out whether the hotel was still there and... I found this other much more recent picture and realized that not only did the hotel still exist, but this is the very spot where the original photo was taken, including some updated pot plants!!
The hotel is called the Waldhotel Unspunnen. Here is a modern picture of it:
Can any other old McGuffians relate to these pictures?
We are indebted to Alan McPherson and Mike Gilbey for providing the address of the SW Essex Registry Office that, I must confess, I have never known. However, I do know from http://www.ukbmd.org.uk/genuki/reg/districts/essex%20south%20western.html that this was the Registry Office for Walthamstow from October 1935. Previously, it had been the West Ham Registry Office from 1837 until March 1965 when it became a sub division of the Waltham Forest & Redbridge Registry Offices.
As Marilyn Roney says that her sister’s wedding photos doesn’t look like Grove Road, it follows that her sister must have married before April 1965, when it was still the SW Essex RO.
That would have been the subsidiary PDSA in Willow Walk, run by Mr Stone who lived in Bushwood, Leytonstone.
The premises (next to the public conveniences) were really small and they used to raise funds by having a permanent “jumble sale” outside. Sadly they closed up in the mid 1970’s as the site & land were earmarked for re-development.
Hope that helps?
Thank you all so much for your help. I can see from the wedding photos that she was married at the registry office at the corner of Fraser Road and Lea Bridge Road.
Hello, I have just found your web site and found it very interesting. In the early 60s I played bass in the group called the Fairlanes with Brian Ford as front singer.
I have some information about the group as well as photos. If you were interested I could pass this on to you.
With reference to Marilyn Roney's post from the 9th November regarding Walthamstow registry office. Back in the early 1960's, when Walthamstow, Leyton and Chingford were in the county of Essex I'm sure that the local registry office was located at 663 Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, E10 6AP and known then as the South Essex Registry Office. It's now and has been for many, many years the home of The Samaritans of Waltham Forest. Am I right??
Since it is the season of remembrance, Alan has asked me to send you the attached for WM. [read it here]
Hope you are all OK and please say 'Hi' to Pat for me
The Walthamstow Registry Office moved locations several times during the 1960’s. This was to do with the reorganisation of registration districts. The office where part of Walthamstow and Chingford was covered was at 326a Hoe Street E17. The Essex South Western district which also included part of Walthamstow was located at 633 Lea Bridge Road E10.
The move from Lea Bridge Road to Grove Road was around 1973/75. By coincidence I was doing a part time driving job for a removals company at the time and helped them to move.
I know this may be posted a bit late... but better late than never!
I recently found some old army photos of my Dad, taken before and during the war. To begin with, a brief history of his army career. He enlisted in the Royal Scots Fusiliers when he was 18 in 1923, he served as a regular soldier for 5 years. He then had 11 years of civilian life, until the outbreak of WW2, when he re-enlisted back into the army. This time I believe he was in the Gordon Highlanders regiment, but of that I am not sure. I do know that he saw service in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. This picture, was by the look of it, taken in Italy sometime in 1944. My Dad is perhaps taking a well earned break from the horrors and hostilities of war.
The odd thing is while he was in Rome he met up with our Uncle Fred quite by chance. Neither knew the other was there (different regiments, different routes), but they literally bumped into each other, hence this picture. My Dad David Rodger is 2nd from the right, and my Uncle Fred Moore is on the extreme right of the photo. Today I know is a day for remembering the Fallen, and quite rightly so, but perhaps we can also spare a thought for all the members of all the armed forces who took part in this or any armed conflict. I know we were lucky my Dad (and Uncle) survived when millions did not. But I salute all and everyone, those that survived and those that did not, for they were all just ordinary people given an extraordinary job to do, and they all did it with great honour, up-most pride, and unbelievable bravery, no matter what part they played big or small.
Although Keith Richard rather over egged the pudding, Walthamstow owes a great deal to his grandparents. I have written about Ernest and Elizabeth in my history of a now demolished high rise estate where one of the block was named Ernest Richard Tower. You can read it on this site [here]
your name is very familiar, did you know my brother Brian Penalver (spiv), who was also at William Elliott at around that time?
Just love this web site, thanks for all the time you spend keeping this going.
Although Keith Richard rather over egged the pudding, Walthamstow owes a great deal to his grandparents. I have written about Ernest and Elizabeth in my history of a now demolished high rise estate where one of the block was named Ernest Richard Tower. You can read it on this site [here]
It’s a glitch. Although the back link works to the list of schools, it seems to have slipped off the list itself. There’s actually a page on WM for the WEW School [here]. (I know It’s there because it took me a bit of time to work out who the school was named for)
Yes, Walthamstow Registry Office was and is at 106, Grove Road and both of my daughters married there. One had her photos in the back garden and for the other we went to Lloyd Park. The bottom picture is a current view from Google Maps.
I’m sorry that I can’t help with the Kilkenny Youth Club but this is an excerpt from the Walthamstow Memories site (Local Bands - Waltham Forest Groups/Singer-Songwriters) that may bring back some memories:
“Mixers - 1960's group who represented Kilkenny Youth Club at the 1965 Waltham Forest Grand Beat Contest (9 'Beat' groups represented) and won. Members were, Barry Rae (guitar), Keith Woodley (bass), Brian Taverner (guitar) and Paul Woodley (drums)”
Kilkenny is a lovely city with some great music pubs.
Thanks, Daniel, for responding to my daughter’s request. I had wanted to post his photo before Nov. 11th but had no luck with the war memorial site.
Edward Benjamin Durnford Brunton, known as “Ben”, was the son of Kathleen Brabazon Durnford and Charles Brunton. Kathleen and my great-grandmother, Georgiana Durnford Griffenhoofe, were sisters. Ben was born 1893, and died ca 13 Nov. 1916, 23 years old, apparently at the battle of the Somme. He was a 2nd Lt., married to a Mabel Flowerdew. His photo, from my great-grandmother’s book, looks like it may have been taken from a group photo as someone else’s arm is in the photo.
Whatever help you can give to get this message posted onto the memorial site would be great.
Really love your web site; wondered if you would know where the Walthamstow registry office was in the 1960's. My sister was married there in the 60's and from the photos it doesn’t look like Grove Road. Many thanks.
I am trying to locate any old school/class photographs of my stepdad from his school days.
Unfortunately, he has no access to any of his school pictures and I know that it is something he is keen to share with his two young granddaughters.
His name is Terence William Parslow and I am confident that he attended your school between 1956 and 1961 (was it originally St Johns [Joseph] Barett School?). I am trying to surprise him with pictures for a blast from his past for Christmas and would be so grateful if you could help, either by letting me know where to look for the pictures or by putting me in touch with others who may be able to help.
When I was an active member of Walthamstow East Labour Party in the early 1960’s, I was one of those who actively supported and promoted the idea of having a purpose built Nature Field Centre at High Beech in order to extend and build on the work carried out by the early educational pioneers. (We also were firm supporters of creating a Lea Valley Regional Park, a venture that was also successful but that is another story)
We were successful with the High Beech proposal and Suntrap was the result. As a Waltham Forest resident, all of my four children and some of my foster children were lucky enough to go to with their primary schools teachers to learn about nature at Suntrap.
It was only when I saw a post on the excellent ‘Old Chingford’ Facebook site that I realised nobody seems to have written a ‘joined-up’ history. I then posted a short item on Walthamstow Times Facebook page and there was a tremendous response from ex Walthamstow pupils who remembered Suntrap- and its staff with fondness.
So, here is my version of its history as a tribute to the work of the Fred Speakman and Ken Hoy
My father served with The Royal Dorsets in the North African Campaign against General Rommel. He was then replaced by the 8th Army led by Montgomery who shelled Rommel's army to pieces with 1,000 guns. My father then crossed the Med which he found easy going once he got to Italy, through Austria and finally into Germany. He finally told me that "we gave then hell", but also serving frontline all the way as a dispatch rider, and seeing all that he had seen and been through, I have no doubt that his mind had been affected.
As a small boy I remember that sometimes, he would put his head between his knees, hold both of his ears and sob, as though he was reliving the bombing and the shelling and the gunfire of the Nazis. It is now I believe, that my father was suffering from combat stress, I think probably many more did also.
Today, there are still many discharged soldiers from middle eastern war that have broken up their families, others sleeping out on the streets and many more who are incapable of living an ordinary life due to combat stress. My wife Andrea and I are planning ways to raise money for the organisation which is patronised by Prince Charles. If anyone would like to donate or help contact the charity Combat Stress; The Veterans Mental Health Charity as they still need a great deal of help http://www.combatstress.org.uk/
We have seen heroes riding about in wheelchairs and brave men so they are, but we see nothing of the psychologically damaged heroes who deserve applause also. As Remembrance Sunday approaches, I would like to thank you for your attention "lest we forget".
Looking back into my teenage year's (am now 70), I can remember a youth club down the High Street, called Kilkenny Youth Club, which was run by an Irish man (we knew him as Paddy) twice a week. The club was near Willow Walk end of the high Street. The year would have been about 1961. My name was Janet Perry ar that time. Has anybody got memories of this? I do hope so, as it would be so nice to be able to reminesce over these year's...
Like most people that lived in Walthamstow, I loved pie & mash. I moved from Walthamsow 48 years ago. But I can still have my pie & mash... as we can have it delivered, my husband found a sight on line, I tried it with Sarson's Vinegar, but it's not the same as Manzes vinegar, so that's what I have now. As I'm writing this my mouth is watering. Can't beat MANZES!! :)
Thank you for taking the time to research that information. It is such a shame that for some reason in the seventies (when I was still a child) my family stopped seeing and communicating with one another.
I’m sorry I can’t help with any personal memories etc. However, I have researched some family information which I hope will be of interest that I have sent via the ‘private’ email facility.
Hi there. I really like your site, I dip in from time to time and recently checked out the list of schools in Walthamstow. I looked for William Elliot Whitingham Secondary Modern school in Higham Hill Road, where I attended until 1957.. My school was not on your list! Is it me or am I going senile.
Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones biography mentions that his Grandfather Ernest was mayor of Walthamstow & that they liked him so much they made his Grandmother, Elizabeth, mayor when Ernest died. A female mayor must have been unusual back in those days. He does not give a date.
When travelling, I slip that into conversations with people who have never heard of Walthamstow, to point out how famous we are .....
From Daniel: If you check on our Mayors of Walthamstow List there is an entry for "1941-1942 Alderman Mrs E.M Richards J.P.". (The fact is also mentioned in "Remembering Eliza Richards" writte by our contributor by Alan Miles.
Not sure that the famous "Uncle Ernie" (Keith's grandfather) was also a Mayor...
I remember a vet in Willow Walk when I was a child in 1950's. I don't think it was the PDSA, although I cannot remember the name. I am sure the PDSA was along Hoe St., towards the Bakers Arms.
Thank you for your Email. Another correspondent has made the same point about the PDSA which, I believe, is the answer to the pet selling. It may be that the original Email was from somebody who knew that the PDSA would also humanely ‘put down’ animals and thought that this meant that there was a nearby pet cemetery.
For people who don’t know about the PDSA, I should explain that the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) is a veterinary charity in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1917 to provide care for sick and injured animals of the poor. It is the UK's leading veterinary charity and carries out more than one million free veterinary consultations a year, and it is the largest private employer of fully qualified veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses in the UK.
Presently, treatment is only available to the pets of those people in receipt of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit. For those who are eligible, treatment for sick and injured animals is free of charge. Recently, the PDSA started providing eligible pet owners with preventative services such as neutering, vaccinations and microchipping. These services are the only treatments that are not free; however, they are offered at cost price.
Although there is no cost for all treatments except for those of a preventative nature, PDSA asks clients to make a donation of whatever they can afford towards the treatment of their animal.
My father in law Stan, who is 80 yrs old, remembers a man (he thinks may have been a vet) with a pet cemetery who also sold cats, this was in the Willow walk area.
There was a PDSA (People's Dispensary for Sick Animals ) clinic in Willow Walk. I know the PDSA would re-home stray animals and gave free treatment when the owners could not afford vet fees and were supported by donations. There was a lady in our road (Walpole Road), who took her dog to the PDSA and donated the same as a vet would have charged because she felt vets were over paid and poor people should have access to pet health care.
Above: Will Toynbee / The Walthamstow Associated Brotherhoods meeting at Walthamstow Baths in 1910
You recently featured an extremely interesting new book by Walthamstow born Joy Travers about her grandparents William (Will) and Lizzie Toynbee that is based on 500 letters that were exchanged during WWI between William and his son (Hugh) Stan Toynbee who was serving as a soldier in the Egyptian campaign.
Amongst many things, this book gives us a fascinating glimpse into the (Methodist) Brotherhood Movement, that was a way of life for very many people and was particularly strong in the Walthamstow area in the first decade of the 20th Century and in particular the power struggle between the ‘old’ and the new’ at Marsh Street Conrgegational church.
The Toynbee family lived at 56, Greenleaf Road. Will’s role in the Brotherhood Movement was to stress the secular side of the organization by building on a strong trade union base. He was an active trade unionist and with Arthur Bottomley, a Walthamstow Councillor, Mayor and MP for Chatham and then Middlesborough, he formed the London Branch of the Typographical Association.
The success that he enjoyed in building the Walthamstow Brotherhood Movement can be seen by the following: In 1910, Will was President of the Walthamstow Association of Brotherhoods and he organized a huge demonstration in Walthamstow. Starting from three different starting point (Two of these are likely to have been the Union chapels in Wood Street and Chapel End) and each headed by a silver band and streaming banners, the demonstrators marched in procession through streets line with spectators to Walthamstow Baths where they held a mass meeting.
He also worked closely with Arthur Henderson who was one of the founders of the Labour Party and who became a Cabinet Minister in the WWI National Coalition government. Nearer home he was a friend and colleague of Reg Sorenson a Unitarian Minister, pacifist and MP for Leyton for 30 years until he was made a Baron and resigned to let Patrick Gordon Walker contest the seat (And that’s another story)
We are deeply indebted to Joy Travers for telling his story.
Here is a little tale about a post card :
Soon after I moved to Cornwall in 1987 I took my family to see the Christmas lights in Mousehole. There was a shop there that sold old postcards, inside there were thousands of postcards sorted into the different regions they were from. I went to the East London box, and there at the very front of the box was this picture of Lloyds Park!! Sent from High Street Walthamstow to an address in Camborne. It seemed to me that it was there to remind me never to forget my roots, thankfully I never have done. The stamp suggests the year is somewhere around 1904/1905, I think. As you can see it cost half a penny to send it! Another oddity was that it was printed in Saxony. So this little post card has had quite journey from a federal state of Germany to (I imagine) a shop in Walthamstow, and finally arriving in a small village outside Camborne in Cornwall!! Then for my modest outlay of £1.25 it made the small hop to Redruth...
Thank you very much for your reply.
You're a star!
I wondered if you might remember an Irish family called Moran who lived at 74 St Barnabas Road in 1953. I am helping a friend who was adopted and is trying to find her birth mother, Margaret Mary Moran, who was living at that address when my friend was born. Margaret worked as a ward maid at Rush Green and possibly Chase Farm hospitals. Thank you.
What a wonderful story and what a fantastic man Stan was!
Thought you might like this picture of the corner of Linden road.
On the opposite corner to Fish Brothers was at one time the children's library , which was housed on the ground floor of the old Marsh Street school building. Maybe the lady in the picture walking down Linden Road is heading for Annie's shop !!
I am looking to find some information on my late Grandfather Robert Mackay (died 1961/2), who we know was involved in the Greyhound Industry (we think as an owner in the Walthamstow area) – but very little information otherwise. Any leads gratefully received...
I wondered if anyone has any memories or photos to share of Ann (Amy Hampton) & Jack Huddle of (I think) North Countess Road, Walthamstow, who ran their own dance studio possibly in 1950's/1960's. Sorry to be so vague, Ann is my Great Aunt and I have vague memories of her when I was a small child and that she was a cat lover. I am trying to fill in my family tree and would love to hear from anyone who knew her, the Hampton or Ellison family, who her sister Agnes Janet (my nan) married into.
This is for all the old Walthamstow Avenue supporters [read it here], and particularly for ‘Walthamstow Memories’ contributors John Andrews and Marilyn Stroud
Up The 'A's,
My nan worked at Manzes about 1953 onward, her name was Rose Looker.
I just read your email and the mention of Annie’s second hand shop. There is another post I notice stating it’s location in a street off the High Street. However I am 77 now and as a small boy my mother would often take me into Annie’s shop where I would stand and wait whilst she and other women would sort through the huge heap of clothing that was in the centre of the room. There were no hanging racks but just this heap of assorted clothes.
In those poverty stricken days second hand clothing was in high demand and there was another shop in Markhouse Road opposite Lowhall Lane that did a roaring trade in the area.
Now of course we have charity shops that sell some sought after designer clothing, and wearing it is nothing to be ashamed of as I used to be all those years ago.
I had a mate named Terry Downes (or Downs) who lived in Ringwood Road when I was a boy living in Markhouse Road, I did find out somehow that he has passed away. He went to George Gascoigne school and was a bit of a boffin I recall.
With reference to Stephen Marden’s posting of the 7th October 2014 regarding Collingwood Road. I doubt if there are many if any photographs existing of Collingwood Road other than one I found recently on ‘Britain From Above’:
Before its demolition, probably in the mid to late sixties, the numbering was 1-37 and all the houses stood on the north side of the road to the west end that adjoined Cambridge Road. On the 26th September 1940 a ‘delayed action’ H.E. bomb destroyed numbers 3 & 5 Collingwood and I’m guessing that number 1 was demolished following the incident as I don’t remember it being there as I passed by on my way to Gamuel Road school in the 1950’s. There are no Martin’s listed as living in Collingwood Road in the Electoral Register of 1936.
The following address will take you to the original image posted on ‘Britain From Above’, and a quick, painless registration will give you a focusing tool (not available unless you’re registered) that will allow you to view the high definition aerial shot in greater detail. Collingwood Road is the light coloured road to the centre of the photo.
On the 14th October 2014 you wrote:
What a great website, we stumbled on by mistake. Although not personally from Walthamstow my husband and father in law are born and bred there. My father in law Stan who is 80 yrs old remembers a man (he thinks may have been a vet) with a pet cemetery who also sold cats, this was in the Willow walk area. Does this ring any bells? My husband John remembers a timber merchants in the same area he thinks might have been called Wilsmer boards?. Stan also remembers the bomb shelters underground where the buses turn round now, are they still there? or did they fill them in? John remembers a second hand cloths shop just off the high street call Annies, but cant remember exactly where. We are going to visit my husband's 87 yr-old uncle later in the week (also Walthamstow born and bred) and I'm sure he has even more memories we can share with you. I look forward to your response."
In reply I would advise that your husband is absolutely right about Willsmer Timber & Wallboards. They were situated in Selborne Road beside what was then called Hoe Street railway station. The company was started by George Willsmer who was originally a builder/property developer and based in Leyton. He opened his timber business in about 1874 in High Road, Leyton and moved to Hoe Street sometime about 1882 and ran a timber yard and saw mill at Selborne Road. It is likely that the move would have been to take advantage of the business opportunities associated with the massive building development of Walthamstow at that time and the location beside the railway station would have made many people aware of the business. I believe that the company closed circa1985.
In the early 1890’s, George Willsmer moved to a house named Ringwood in High Street, Chingford (Now the Ridgeway) and in 1895 stood as a candidate to become a Councillor for the Chingford Urban District Council, at that time he was described as a Timber Merchant. His death was registered in 1901 at the Epping Registry Office.
What is unclear is if there was any Willsmer family involved with the running of Willsmer Timber after his death. Although married since 1862, he appears to be childless. It is possible that the company passed to another branch of the Willlsmer family but the strong likelihood is that the company was sold and the new owners kept the well know trading name.
I am intrigued by your mention of underground air raid shelters that must have been underneath Selborne Park. There is adjacent to this, a huge underground car park and it would be possible that this is where the bomb shelter was situated. I hope that Walthamstow Memories readers will be able to clarify this.
I am also fascinated by mention of a man with a pet cemetery who sold cats. I haven’t come across this before and would love to know more. Any further information that your family members can provide would be very welcome.
In my local historian hat, I would like to address two of the points that you made in your post on this site dated 8th October. The first concerns Clevelands.
Peculiarly, there were indeed two separate grand houses called Clevelands in Walthamstow. One was at 285, Hoe Street and later was called Clarks College. From http://www.clarkscollege.co.uk/pages/other-branches/walthamstow.php we learn:
“It was built as a country house about 1670 and was named Cleveland House after a mistress of Charles ll, Barbara Villiers, Countess Castlemain and later Duchess of Cleveland. Architecture of the building is clearly 17th century and in keeping with the popular style of country houses in those days. On the ground floor is a large marble-paved hall, with a wide curved staircase, six feet wide, leading to the first floor, which consists of three medium sized rooms, formerly used as bedrooms, with another three rooms on the second floor. The southern wing consists of what was formerly a large kitchen and extensive cellars, where the rich City businessman stored his wine at 6d. a bottle.
The garden covered several acres of land at one time, stretching as far as Pembroke Road, where it bordered the famous Grosvenor estate, but during the past two centuries most of this land has been utilized for building.
The house was obviously unsuitable for a family until improvements and additions were made by a well-known Justice of the Peace, Mr. Eliot Howard, son of a famous meteorologist and managing director of a big local company.
Mr. Howard was a well-known figure in Walthamstow during the 1880’s, helping many local people in need and donating large sums of money to St. Mary’s and St. Stephen’s churches, and he was an active member of the Walthamstow Antiquarian Society.
Some years later the house was sold to a member of Essex County Council, Alderman E. Good, who lived there until it became the home of Clark’s College in Walthamstow.
In more recent times, Cleveland House has witnessed the comings and goings of each succeeding generation seeking appointments either in the Commercial World or the Civil Service und the able guidance of the College Authorities. The years between the wars found Cleveland House known only to inhabitants of the towns around as Clark’s College, Walthamstow – so much had the College become a part of their daily lives.
Then came World War ll and under the Headship of Mr. Lovell the students evacuated in 1939 leaving the “House” empty save for its memories. But even then it once more played its part in history for the Ministry of Labour carried on its work within its walls from 1941 and during the war period. Fortunate to escape from enemy action despite its prominent position and size, Cleveland House once more became the seat of modern training when the College returned in 1944 to settle down to the tasks of peace. Of late it has assumed a brighter aspect, having been completely redecorated inside and out, and is undoubtedly well-known to all who dwell or work in the area.
However, after 54 years the Walthamstow finally closed in 1967. Cleveland House was taken over by the local authority and used for some time as a Health Centre. In more recent years it was converted in to flats and returned to residential use.”
The other Cleveland house was in the High Street and we learn from http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42775:
“Many of Walthamstow's oldest and finest buildings were in Marsh (High) Street, where the Old and New meeting-houses and the dwellings of gentry, merchants, physicians, craftsmen, and paupers, shared the street frontage. A group of houses on the north side belonged in 1699 to the merchant, William Coward. They stood on the site of Butler's Place, a large house which existed in 1605. Of those nos. 273 and 275, with carved wood modillioned cornice, were pulled down in 1965, and Clevelands, no. 263, in 1960. Clevelands may have been the house which Sir John Soane altered and enlarged for James Neave in 1781–3. It had a panelled interior and well staircase of c. 1700.“
This is the house from which Cleveland Road was named and for which the new town centre development at the top of the High Street is to be named.
My second point is about your reference to Elm House in the High Street. This did become the Walthamstow Conservative Party headquarters until they sold it for development and moved to their property at 76, Church Lane. It was run as a private club and at the insistence of my grand-father in law who, peculiarly for an ex Welsh miner, was a staunch Conservative and Mason, I went there several times in the early 1960’s to have a drink with him and with his local businessmen drinking cronies. My memory is of a very large shabby room with a bar and a full size snooker table. I would guess that it was demolished circa 1964.
You mentioned Annie's in your post to Walthamstow Memories. I recall that it was situated in Linden Road. Sadly a road which I think no longer exists. She also had a stall in the High street, up opposite where the old Monoux School used to be.
On the 29th September, ‘Walthamstow Memories’ contributor Lisa Rust wrote:
“I really enjoy reading about the East End as it used to be, even though there was a lot of poverty back then. My mother had rickets as a child, and had to have her legs broken and re-set, and she was always at the dentist because her teeth crumbled away gradually. Due to poor living standards of the time, and a lack of vitamin C. A social worker once approached my grandmother who was a single parent, and said that mum could be taken into care, as she looked so underweight and poor. My grandmother went at her and told her where to go, she wasn’t having any of that! Although my grandmother was difficult to get along with over the years, I do admire her for her decision back then. she would have been in her late 20’s then, and had to work very hard as a presser in a clothes factory to keep 2 young children and herself. There were many ‘moon light flits’ during her childhood in the East End when there wasn’t enough money to pay the rent. All their meagre belongings in a cart during the night, then they were gone!”
In confirmation of her comments I add the following that comes from a wonderful book about Walthamstow by Annie Hatley called ‘Across The Years’ t published in 1953. (Its subtitle is ‘Walthamstow Memories’!) Like much of the present day Walthamstow Memories website, it’s a collection of memories about Walthamstow and covers the period circa 1850-1930.
This extract was written by a man born in 1863 in Bethnel Green. His family moved to Walthamstow in 1870 and he attended school until he was 10 years old when he went to work. At that time, although fast developing, Walthamstow was still very much an agricultural community.
He is probably writing about the period 1880-1890’s:
“Farm labourers worked hard and when they reached the age of 65 to 70 were past further service and were usually without means. They were strong men and could carry sacks of corn weighing 2½ cwt with comparative ease……..They started work at 6am and did not have an hour and a half for dinner. Neither did the workman of my time have half hour at 10.30am and again in the afternoon for tea. I have never done it in my life At that time the Reverend Douglas was Chairman of the Board of Guardians and had no compunction in sending necessitous people to the ‘Big House’.”
This is a rhyme that he remembered:
“When young I was praised,
My wages were raised,
No labour I ever did shirk,
My master would point me out to the men,
As the one who best stuck to his work.
Now feeble and week,
They ill of me speak,
Unless it is to grumble or scold,
When asked for relief they add to our grief,
You must come to the House I was told.
Part husband and wife and be paupers for life,
That’s how you get served when you’re old.”
For those who weren’t born or who don’t remember life before decimalization, 2½ cwt is equivalent to 280 lbs or 127 kilogrammes. Although, to an extent, carrying heavy weights is a knack, many labourers of the time were very strong men. I recently found confirmation of this weight in a publication by the Waltham Forest Oral History Society named ‘Cottage Loves & Plain Bricks’. That is a free down-load at: www.inquitaudio.co.uk/wfohw/cottageloaves.pdf where a Mr Ludlow tells us how flour was delivered to his father’s bakery:
The line in the rhyme that says ‘When asked for relief they add to our grief’ refers to a situation when, if a person was without any income, they could apply for ‘Outdoor or indoor relief’ from Parish funds. This was the situation before the development of welfare benefits and social services. ‘Outdoor relief’ meant that the Parish ‘Relieving Officer’ would check the circumstances of the application and could make small payments. ‘Indoor Relief’ was being admitted to the Workhouse where the conditions certainly caused much grief.
The ‘Big House’ is the workhouse and was the West Ham Union Workhouse at Langthorne Road, Leytonstone. If a family or couple were admitted to the Workhouse they were split up and became inmates in different parts of the Workhouse.
Those were ‘the good old days’
I think I remember it being a car repair shop for a while with a load of tyres outside it and there was definitely a launderette in the same row along with an offy.
This is a piece [read it here] about Bill Boaks, who was a former Walthamstow resident and an eccentric if not to say an utter nutter, that some of your readers may remember.
Hello Mrs Hudson, (sorry I do not know your first name),
As you may have gathered from my posts on the WM site, my attendance record at school was at best sporadic, and at worst non existent. I do though remember Malcolm at McGuffie, possibly also from Greenleaf Juniors, but of that I'm not so sure. Am I right in thinking that he went to Australia in the late 50s, and returned to enter the senior school in perhaps the 2nd year? Or have I got the wrong person, as often happens these days!! I think perhaps I should have had the cooking/sewing lessons (had we been allowed to) after the abysmal efforts I made in metalwork and wood work.
I also had Mr Mackintosh as a form teacher in my third year I think, his subject was geography, one of the few lesson I actually enjoyed. Many years ago when Friends Reunited started, David Street and I corresponded for quite awhile. I actually think he was the only person who remembered me from McGuffie, and that was only because he once persuaded me to stub a cigarette out on the back of my hand: he swore it wouldn't hurt, he even showed that he could do it on his own hand... He lied: it did hurt ... a lot, I had a burn on the back of my hand for weeks afterwards!! Gullible or what! It wasn't until we chatted on the Friends site many years later that he revealed the trick to it!! I have class photo somewhere taken in Greenleaf School, I am sure Malcolm is in it, as soon as I get my new scanner I will try and post it on the WM site. Ask Malcolm if he remembers Robert Hurst & Tony Cory, I have an idea they were friends of his.
I think you may be interested in the information on this link [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walthamstow_Hall]. I attended this school in Sevenoaks, Kent, back in the 1970s and we were taught about the school's early history in your Walthamstow and how the school was originally founded for the daughters of missionaries. My son lives near Walthamstow and last weekend we went in search of the original school - we walked to Walthamstow Village and had a very enjoyable time but could find nothing about the school in the Vestry Museum. My son did a bit of research later on and found your website. I do have a History of Walthamstow Hall (probably in the loft) with a drawing of the original school, so I will try and look that out. Hope this is of interest to you. Regards,
P.S.: Male students were sent to The School for the Sons of Missionaries (founded in 1848 by Mr Foulger in Walthamstow, Dr Bells in Stockwell in 1852 and then Eltham College in 1912 set up under similar circumstances.
From Daniel: Many thanks, Sally! Here's an arial view of Walthamstow Hall in Sevenoaks:
I have just found this site and was a pupil at McGuffie from 1958 to 1962. I met my husband there who we believe was in your class, Malcolm Hudson. You also mention on a previous post Dave Street, who we are still in touch with. So many names I recall of the teachers, Mr Smith taught me Maths and I was terrified of him, in one lesson he kept shouting at me until in the end I told him to stop picking on me and I thought that I would surely get the cane but instead he was really nice to me and left me alone after that. It taught me a valuable lesson: stand up to bullies! I had several cooking disasters in the building above the woodwork room and remember walking up the road in the rain to get there. My last form teacher was Mr Mackintosh, who was a very good teacher, but we all knew to tread carefully if he was having one of his migraine attacks.
would you please add my email address to my Family History paragraph, re the Saunders Family, Albert Edward Saunders, wife May, etc. that I have already submitted a couple of years ago.
Someone may remember Nosworthy's in the High Street, nr Buxton Road.
[Email address added] - Daniel
What a great website, we stumbled on by mistake. Although not personally from Walthamstow my husband and father in law are born and bred there. My father in law Stan who is 80 yrs old remembers a man (he thinks may have been a vet) with a pet cemetery who also sold cats, this was in the Willow walk area. Does this ring any bells? My husband John remembers a timber merchants in the same area he thinks might have been called Wilsmer boards?. Stan also remembers the bomb shelters underground where the buses turn round now, are they still there? or did they fill them in? John remembers a second hand cloths shop just off the high street call Annies, but cant remember exactly where. We are going to visit my husband's 87 yr-old uncle later in the week (also Walthamstow born and bred) and I'm sure he has even more memories we can share with you. I look forward to your response.
Many years ago health services in Walthamstow were a lot more personal. They were provided by family GP’s that had doctors who actually knew their patients and small cottage hospitals. These were supplemented by a number of specialist clinics situated in different parts of the Borough so that they would be readily accessible to their patients.
Today, it couldn’t be more different. Many GP surgeries/health centres have a number of different doctors whose only knowledge of their patients is via computer records. Our ‘local’ hospital is part of a group of six mega hospitals operated by the Barts Healthcare Trust that runs an understaffed factory production line of impersonal health care.
The following story illustrates my point.
A couple of years ago I was referred by my GP to Whipps Cross to have two hernias fixed. It took six months for me to see a hospital doctor. As I have COPD (A pulmonary illness that could cause problems during the anaesthetic) the doctor said that he wanted a risk assessment carried out. Another six months passed before I saw a nurse who spent five minutes filling out a risk assessment form. Several months late I had the operation.
When I came too, I was put in a hospital bed in a dingy Victorian ward. My overhead light was broken as was the radio and there wasn’t any television. Because the doctor had finished for the day I couldn’t be discharged until the next day. Later that evening the surgeon who had performed my operation visited. He said “You need to see your doctor about your chest”. I told him that I had COPD and had waited another 6 months to have a risk assessment before my operation and so that the anaesthetist would be aware of any potential problems “Oh” he said.
This is the (rather large) second part [read it here] of my Whipps Cross Hospital article which is part of my mini series on Walthamstow Hospitals, I’ve still got Walthamstow Isolation Hospital to do, together with information about other Walthamstow health services provision.
From Daniel:Many thanks once again, Bill, for the huge contribute you give to the WM site!
Was in Walthamstow yesterday and thought I would look at Chapel End School which gave me my first year's paid employment as a teacher (1960). But I couldn't find the school so searched the internet instead only to discover that the school had been knocked down. Many happy memories but names elude me. Remember marching boys to football games somewhere nearby - but couldn't find that either...
Thank you so taking the time to write us this fantastic list.
This will definitely help with the project a huge amount.
I am sure we will be in contact again soon.
Many many thanks
Yes, I too think the butchers was Wests. I have a booklet from the Walthastow Historical society which has an old photo of the top end of Marsh Street in 1860. There was row of very fine houses. Left to right they were Longsdale House (which stood where the gas showrooms were), Clevelands, Elm House (which later became the Conservative Club and I am sure that was still there in the 50s, for I recall a large white house set back behind railings). Next came Mansfield House, and then Eastfield Lodge. Sadly all of which ended up being replaced by shops or other establishments of course. Oddly enough the building that housed Clarks College in Hoe Street was/is also called Cleveland I believe. So maybe my facts are wrong about there being a Clevelands in High Street as well.
Your mention of careers brought back a memory of my visit to what I think was called the Youth Employment Office, it was situated in Hoe Street opposite Grove Road. Possibly on the site of the of the old Grosvenor House. I left school (this time legally, through the front gate) in late July 1961, and a week later I was seated in front of a Mr Foskett (whose daughter Judith had been a pupil at Greenleaf School). He was a very friendly & kind man. He asked me what I spent my time at school doing, so trying to sound intellectual (not an easy thing for me) I replied “Well, I mostly sat and pondered on the very fabric of life and the universe. So Mr Foskett sent me to E.Garner & co., a garment manufacturer in the High Street!! The owner, Mr Freddy Garner, was a real gentleman who treated his workers well, but when he retired soon after I started, his son, who took over, seemed to want to revert to the working days and ways of the Charles Dickens character 'Scrooge'. Sadly though if any 'Spirits' ever visited him, they never convinced him to change his ways. So after 13 months I moved on to slightly bigger and better times at Unichems ... a whole £1 extra in wages!! It was though a good place to work ... if you ever had a headache.
Hello Emily & Nick,
Please see below my notes:
Andrex – St Andrews Road, Walthamstow - Toilet rolls
AEC – ‘Old Bill’ – Blackhorse Lane. Very topical as this waqs the bus used to transport WWI troops.
Frederick Bremer – Courtenay Place, Walthamstow – The first British car
London Rubber – North Circular Road, Walthamstow, the first latex condom.
Peter Hooker - Blackhorse Lane Walthamstow – Manufactured WWI Gnome aircraft Engines.
F Wrighton – Billet Road, Walthamstow – Manufactured WWII Mosquito wooden airplane parts
Rael Brook – Forest Road, Walthamstow – Shirts you don’t iron!
Edwin Alliott Verdon Roe - constructed his Avro triplane in 1909 on Walthamstow marsh - the first all- British aircraft flown by a British pilot
British Xylonite / Halex – ping balls
Department Stores (I like the ones with the wire transporter systems for cash):
Woolworth – High Street, Walthamstow
Lidstones Drapers – High Street, Walthamstow
I remember in the High Street a draper's shop called Lidstones at the lower end of the street near Coppermill Lane. It was on the corner of Pretoria Avenue. On the other corner was a funny little shop called the Penny Bazaar. In Lidstones there were wires running overhead from each department to the office in the centre. When you purchased something the assistant put your money in a "cup" with the invoice, then pulled a lever which sent it to the office. It was then returned with your change.
Co-op - Hoe Street, Walthamstow. "The Co op in Hoe street when then money used to zip through the air tubes."
Bearmans - (dept. store), Leytonstone. Wire system with central high-up kiosk for the cashier in 1930s-40s. Later became Co-op.
I wonder if anyone can help.
My great grandfather William Martin lived at Collingwood road in the late 19th century. I wonder if anyone has got any pictures of Collingwood road before it was demolished.
Hi Daniel and John,
Thank you for helping us research the cinematic history of Walthamstow for our last project A Night at the Pictures at the Wood Street Indoor Market back in May. It was a complete success and we're now in the stages of planning our next show.
This is going to be set in an old fashioned department store, the kind that were around in the 70's. I am not sure if there were any in Walthamstow, but I'm sure there were in Waltham Forest. If you have any information on these, that would be great.
The other side of the project will be to "sell"/promote Walthamstow firsts and inventions. We know that Andrex started in Walthamstow and there's a lot of information on transport linked to the area. We would love to see what else we can learn/uncover.
We're hoping that you can point us towards some amazing memories for us to base our project on, so are really excited to see what's out there.
Many thanks in advance,
We have now emigrated to Norfolk but still take an interest in Walthamstow.
I went to Greenleaf infants and my wife Ann and me both went to Forest Road/Greenleaf junior (school and William McGuffie.
Ann's years were 1956-60 and 1960-64 respectively and my years were 1953-55, 1955-59 and 1959-63, and no: we did not know each other at school, but met when Ann moved next door to me in Priors Croft.
Back to school the list of teachers we can remember are:- Mr Brown (who threw the blackboard duster at you), Mr Charlton (who threw chalk at you), Mr Ferry (with the berry), Mr Finch always on about F W Woolworths and cowboys and indy bums), Mr Furnace, Mr Hutchinson, Mr Jefferies, Mr Lambert, Mr Macintosh, Mr Norton, Mr Pershky (with his hearing aid), Mr Rollinson (who did all the paper scrolling for Christmas), Mr Smith, Mr Williams, Mr Wright (on his Triumph motor bike), Mrs Berkery, Miss Chapman, Mrs McDowell (with her ginger ringlets), Miss Roberts, Miss Taylor, Miss Tuckwell.
Headed by Mrs Butterworth, who cried when she caned you and Mr Tomlinson, who used to cane you in front of assemble until Alan knocked his wig of one morning.
Houses were Salisbury (yellow), Warwick (green), Maynard (blue) Toni (red)
Not forgetting the caretaker Mr Nicholls.
Names remembered from juniors Mr Bramhall, Miss Dodds, Miss Lodder, Mrs Powter, and headed by Miss Mauler.
Should be able to name the police officers as they were called in quiet frequently.
Halfway through break time smoke could be seen coming from the boys outside toilet, where they went for their cigarettes.
Girls play ground was too small for Netball so the court was drawn in the boys play ground as boys and girls were kept apart at break times.
We can also remember the 3 types chocolate biscuits sold at morning break, mainly because I was a milk monitor and it was part of my duties to sell them until I was demoted for fighting with Mr Williams, the sports master. Also remember having to walk up to the woodwork metalwork cookery and typing rooms at the top end of Greenleaf Rd. For P.E lessons we would either walk to Lloyds park (Girls) - boys would go by coach to Salisbury hall playing field on the North Circular next to the dairy and Phillips records and were left to find our own way home. Sports day was held at George White ground in Billet Rd.
Your with grey matter still working
Thought you might be interested in this picture I came across of Cooks Ferry Inn on the right of Angel Road Bridge.
I think the name of the butchers on one side of Tower Mews was Wests. I am not certain if it had gone by the time of this picture, but Berry’s Pianos used to be directly opposite Tower Mews. Steven’s the Florists used to be there too.
This picture does not appear to have been taken on a full market day and it’s interesting to note that cars could drive and park in the High Street in those days. It’s also possible to see the rooftops of the row of Georgian houses next to the North Thames Gas showrooms and also the shortened tower of the Marsh Street Congregational Church.
Just past the swimming baths is the old school which was a Careers Advice Centre in the early sixties. I was invited to go there just prior to leaving school and told by a man dressed in a suit and sitting behind a desk to “Get myself a job”. That was the extent of careers advice then and had I known that’s all that I would have been told, I never would have gone in the first place. Something of a pointless exercise and which I found somewhat insulting.
I found this location in the 1911 census and it was a greengrocers run by a Caroline Whisker, (a widow) and her four sons all listed as assistant greengrocers. Her 17 year old daughter is listed as a servant.
In reply to John Eldon's letter about the Standard Pub in the 60's, I remember it well: my brother Teddy Pope was the drummer in the Don Harvey trio. I used to go the Standard every Sunday lunch time with my other brother & my dad, & we used to go home to a roast dinner, mum used to get the hump when got home late (which she was entitled to I must say), but it's not like it any more sadly, we all looked forward to the pub on Sunday, and in the afternoon, after we all had a kip, the sea food man used to come round the streets with his barrow ringing his bell, selling jellied eels prawns & winkles he was an Italian man named Squibby. Brilliant days thanks for reminding me. This is a brilliant website.
I don't know if you accept announcements like this, but there are lots of people who knew Alan Golledge, who lived in Exmouth Road, a few doors down from our house, and latterly St.Michael Tower and Carr Road, before moving to Holland on Sea when he retired a few years back. It is with great sadness that I have to say he passed away last Monday, almost a year after his wife, Beryl. He was a truly wonderful bloke and he will be missed by family, friends and neighbours alike. He worked for many years at Notons near the Standard, and Al and Beryl had many friends there. Your web site is great for us E17ers and it is hoped this message might be seen by folk who knew this very popular friend of mine. Alan Golledge rest in peace.
It was 1953 when Walthamstow Avenue drew 1 – 1 with Man United at Old Trafford. Because of the size of the crowd, nearly 50,000, the replay was switched to Highbury home of the Arsenal. Unfortunately Avenue lost 5 – 2. I was at McGuffie at the time and the replay took place on a Wednesday and because of the interest some of us were allowed the day off! In those days some of us from McGuffie use to train with the Avenue players at their ground, so like you I too remember Stan Gerula, also at that time the Groves brothers, one of whom later played for the Arsenal, also played for the A’s.
My name Marion Oswick, born 1941, and my mother and I lived with grandparents at 252 St Johns Rd., Walthamstow.
My father, recently demobbed and looking for work was living with his mother in Barkingside.
I can remember walking on my own to Chapel End School at about age 6yrs and having to stay behind after school, under the large clock in the assembly area because I did not know all my times tables. I moved on to 13 more schools after this.
I later ended up working in the National Provincial Bank, Northampton, before marrying and moving with my young son and Chartered Accountant husband to St Ives, Cornwall, in 1962. We are now living in retirement nearby.
I was so interested to see photo of the old school and recognised it. Thank you for the posting.
P.S. My son achieved a science scholarship from prep school Penzance to Kings College, Taunton, then a scholarship to Cambridge finally achieving a double first. He now is electronics troubleshooter in San Diego, California. So much for his mother not knowing her tables!
Having lived in St Barnabas Road as a lad from 1947 I can't recall any ancient shop being on the corner of Chemsford Road and Boundary (the next turning to mine). As a youngster (1956) I remember buying sweets from the shop on the left hand corner, which was then run by Alan & Ada Foster. I recall it being quite a small shop, very dingy with the air regularly infused with the smell of Ada's dinner cooking! On the right hand corner was Randall's the green grocers. Bare floorboards with potatoes, carrots, onions, etc all covered in thick mud, cabbages full of insects and an enormous pair of brass scales to weigh everything in. Randall's became Snell's the motorcycle shop in the late 1950's whose expertise was Villier bikes, although he carried plenty of other spares, including racks, spotlights and windscreens, for my Lambretta during my Quadrophenia days. Foster's shop closed in the late 50's and was for a while in 1964 a used car lot with an array of old bangers adorning the forecourt. That side of Chelmsford Road was demolished in the late 70's and a few new houses built where the shop once stood. Snell's old shop on the other corner still remains, but of course Snelly has long gone. I'm pretty sure that all the property in that area was built on virgin land at the turn of the century, although Foster's old shop did possibly appear to be a little earlier, so possibly could be the ancient shop.
here is something [read it here] a little different that was the result of serendipity (a fortunate happenstance)...
I was having a rest from research and reading a Walthamstow history book when I came across a paragraph that explained something about a local but now forgotten name for a corner of Walthamstow. Of itself, this was unremarkable but it contained one line that made all the difference. This one line allowed me to make a link with another bit of Walthamstow history that I want to share with Walthamstow Memories readers.
Hello Wathamstow Memories problem solvers,
The following message was posted recently by Richard Holmes. I can’t help him with it but I’m sure that some of you can. I’ve provided Google snips showing the shop and its location.
My particular reason for commenting on this post, is that this is a graphic illustration of what has been happening for some time to little parades of shops and pubs in Walthamstow (and other parts of London) You will note that only one, of this small parade of four shops,is being used as a retail shop.
Due to a combination of factors that include: greater consumer mobility (cars), supermarkets providing greater choice and cheaper prices, and escalating housing prices; these little shopping parades are disappearing and are being replaced by more profitable multiple occupied housing units.
Dear Mr Quinn,
Can you help please?
On the corner between Boundary Road and Chelmsford Road there are the remains of an ancient shop.
Do you know what this shop was and are there any pictures of it when it was open and thriving?
Thank you very much in advance and kind regards,
Corner Boundary Road & Chelmsford Road (By 126, Chelmsford Road)
I used to live next door to Lenny Brooks in Hove Ave in Walthamstow. I can remember him and the band going on tour with the rolling Stones and Inez and Charlie Fox in fact he got an E P signed by the Stones last I heard he was living in Germany
I have been doing genealogy for a number of years now, and often mess around on ‘Google’, as it’s surprising what pops up. My mother Frances and her brother George went to George Mitchell School as children before the war. I think there is even a school photo from those days. A couple of years before she passed away, she went back to the area with her brother, but I could tell they were disappointed. The whole area had changed so much, and it was totally different to how they remembered it. Good in some ways, not so good in other ways I guess.
I really enjoy reading about the East End as it used to be, even though there was a lot of poverty back then. My mother had rickets as a child, and had to have her legs broken and re-set, and she was always at the dentist because her teeth crumbled away gradually. Due to poor living standards of the time, and a lack of vitamin C. A social worker once approached my grandmother who was a single parent, and said that mum could be taken into care, as she looked so underweight and poor. My grandmother went at her and told her where to go, she wasn’t having any of that! Although my grandmother was difficult to get along with over the years, I do admire her for her decision back then. she would have been in her late 20’s then, and had to work very hard as a presser in a clothes factory to keep 2 young children and herself. There were many ‘moon light flits’ during her childhood in the East End when there wasn’t enough money to pay the rent. All their meagre belongings in a cart during the night, then they were gone!
Well, this is my little contribution.
I have just found that I have a genealogical connection with the famous Manze family - my third cousin Doris Putner married Albert Edward Manze, one of Luigi's sons; and her elder sister Henrietta Putner married Joseph P Manze (I'm not yet sure where he fits with the others). Our family basically hails from Herefordshire and it was through one young lady going into service in London that marriages were made into the Putner and Manze families.
I discovered Bill Bayliss's most interesting article about L Manze of Walthamstow High Street which has provided fantastic background information. I feel very pleased to be linked (however distantly) to the Manzes and just wanted to say thank you for putting this research on line. It's much appreciated.
Next time I venture up to London, I think a trip to Walthamstow will have to be on the menu!
As you will see I recently published part I of my article on the history of Whipps Cross Hospital that is the 3rd of my series about Walthamstow Hospitals.
Although I have included some information on the hospital use in WWI, unfortunately this is limited and I am sure that Walthamstow Memories site will be delighted to publish any article that you write on the subject. I’m not too hopeful about local people having any particular knowledge of the hospital or patients during the period because my understanding is that the war wounded soldier patients were not likely to have been from this area.
As you know, there is a short Pathe film clip showing a fund raising event but that that obviously wasn’t filmed at the hospital. It may be that Walthamstow Memory readers can identify the location and I give the YouTube reference in the hope that this will happen.To me it looks like a local football ground and in the background are arches in a railway viaduct and an industrial chimney. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5Y8OYEm2Wo
My name is Hilary and Marlene Kettle lived two shops along from my home in Tower Mews, where the entrances were for the flats above the shops. I lived over Sydney Cliffords Tailors where my Uncle George Jones was manager. I am still in touch with Marlene who celebrated her 72 birthday very recently. I have passed on this information from your Walthamstow Memories. Her daughter (she has two girls) has just had an op so she is unlikely to do anything just yet. I will leave it to Marlene to tell you her news. The information came through John Andrews, who found your correspondence and thought a friend of his, Carol Frances (as was) had a friend called Marlene Kettle and she in turn is a friend of mine and the rest as they say, is history. Great web site I have been on this for 2 hours!
I’m always pleased when somebody reads my stuff. Funnily enough I am presently taking part in discussion about pie mash and eels on my sister’s Facebook page. It seems lots of people remember the live eel stalls with fascinated horror.
I have just read your article on Manze’s of Walthamstow market: what a great piece! I remember it well although we were a Tottenham family Mum used to take me to the market regularly. In the winter we would have warm sasaperilla from one of the stalls to keep out the cold then into Manze’s for something to eat and to take home Dads Eel’s mash and Liquor or jellied eel’s. The one thing I don’t see mentioned was the guy who had the stall outside Manze’s. He had live eel’s in a huge galvanised tray that he used to sell. I can remember my Mum buying some for my Dad and the guy would chop the head and the tail off the eel’s and they would still be wriggling around until he caught them again and prepared them for us to take home. It was quite a gory thing to watch for a young boy, but it didn’t put me off my jellied eel’s.
The other thing worth mentioning. When I married in 1968 my wife and I lived for a while in a flat in Somers Road, behind the market. One day I went into a bookmakers almost under the bridge in St James Street and who should be standing there behind the counter but Bud Flanagan. He seemed quite at home behind the counter and appeared to be enjoying his other career. He must have made a lot of money that day.
Alan Miles pointed me in the direction of your Cooks Ferry Inn article a venue which I have fond memories of. On the WM site you have a picture of me with my group The Beat Syndicate but in another life before that I was a vocalist for a group called Group 004 + 1 and we were booked a couple of times to play there. This venue was about ten minutes walk from where I lived at the time in Dysons Road Edmonton N18. The first time we headlined as the only group which was great for any group at the time. The second time we supported a group called The Steam Package which comprised of Brian Auger Trinity, Julie Driscoll, Long John Baldry and a very young Rod Stewart. A great gig with a fantastic atmosphere.
I hope this is of interest to you. Kindest Regards
It’s nice to hear from you. You weren’t dreaming. Here is a picture of the gun in front of William Morris Mansion (The present day Water House) in 1943. I’m sure one of our readers will be able to identify the gun type:
I too remember the scrabble for the silk from the parachute mines. The women used them to make undies and wedding dresses. Clothing was particularly hard to obtain especially if you were a young woman. The landmine parachute or any parachute for that matter was greatly sought after as they were made of pure silk, even the guide ropes were platted silk twine, very soft. Ladies being ladies, if they could get their hands on a parachute it very quickly got turned into a variety of ladies' under garments, silk slips, silk knickers were the most popular. As for the parachute chord, this was unpicked and the individual strands of twine rolled into balls. Then the girls would re-knit the twine into dish cloths, nothing was wasted. Its very hard to imagine today, people having to perform such tasks
I am like a dog with a bone re this enquiry as I believe what I saw was factual and not just in my head at the time. I refer to WW2 and wonder if you can help me re possible Ack-Ack Gun Emplacements in Walthamstow during that time. We lived at the bottom end of Carr Road, which upon turning left faced the gates of Lloyds Park in Winns Avenue. This particular night I remember leaving the flat with my Mum and Dad and as we crossed the road into Winns Avenue heading towards Higham Hill I saw an Ack-Ack Gun facing the gates of Lloyds Park with men in uniform attending it. Tried as I might (to no avail I may add) to get some positive information regarding this I then remembered you, my last hope, other than the Vestry House Museum. Hope you will be able to help so as I can put this to bed as it were. I know German Bombers did cross over Lloyds Park on occasion as my Mum told me one such night a landmine was dropped via parachute and the next morning women raced cross the fields of the park to grab what was left of the parachute silk.
Yours in hope,
Dear Mr Quinn,
Can you help please?
On the corner between Boundary Road and Chelmsford Road there are the
remains of an ancient shop.
Do you know what this shop was and are there any pictures of it when it was open and thriving?
Thank you very much in advance and kind regards,
Hi, Yes, I remember Mr Furness, he taught French and he was quite a formidable character as I remember!!
I was at McGuffie from 1958 to 1962. I also remember Miss Thrippleton or 'Thripp' as she was nick-named. I only knew her after she retired from school teaching, but she did teach swimming at the Walthamstow Baths and was also involved with the town twinning idea, indeed she was quite fanatical about the subject.
The other teachers I remember are:- Mr Smith, maths. Mr Morris geography, Miss Sue Arnold cookery, Miss James music, Miss Halls, english I think. Mr Charles Lambert succeeded Miss James in Music. Miss Berkery, Mr Tomlinson Head. Mrs Farrow deputy head. Miss Cronin, Mr Bash, Miss Brumby. Mr Finch, history. I also remember Miss Ettie Lovell who did a lot of piano accompanying for the school choir, she was very good.
At least when we left school in those days mostly at around the age of 15 or 16 we could read and write!!
I moved from W'stow & Chingford in 1971 to Sussex.
Anyone know the whereabouts of Margaret Burnand who was at McGuffie more or less the same time as me?? Thanks.
I hope you are well. John Knowles suggested that I email you.
I understand that you are involved with the Walthamstow Memories project.
We (Oxford Film and Television) are currently working on a documentary about Winston Churchill for BBC 2 to air next year. We are looking for people who might have a memory of the following event in 1945:
On 3rd July a vast crowd of 30,000 turned out to see Churchill speak in the dog-racing stadium in Walthamstow. Many of the crowd were undoubtedly East-Enders and had felt the full brunt of the Lutwaffe. They were not in the mood to be soft-soaped. A Movietone camera was present to catch Churchill’s utter confusion as the jeering started. Few people ever saw Churchill disintegrate on the public platform. But it happened that day.
I wondered if you had any suggestions about how we might proceed, or if any contributors to your website might have this kind of memory? Do please feel free to call anytime on the numbers below, or to reply by email.
Thanks so much for your help.
I also used to go to the standard about 1967-1968 I remember Don Harvey on the organ also Mike Reid as compère before he got on TV. Other comedians that appeared there was Charlie Smithers and Peter Demo who Mike Reid nicked a lot of his act off. Had a mate called Johnny Cox and went out with his sister Jenny for a while. Good times!
Thank you for this (I‘ve Been Everywhere’ song). I’m one of those sad old people who remember it from the early 60’s sung by the incomparable Hank Snow (Although my favourite version was by Johnny Cash). I didn’t know that, originally, it was an Australian song popularised by Lucky Starr.
There are a few other songs that mention Walthamstow. Of these, perhaps the best is the Baron Knights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKfqm2-ugic doing a parody of a song by the Brotherhood of Man called Angelo at 1m 44sec . It starts with the immortal words: ‘Long ago outside a chip shop in Walthamstow’
Yet again a wonderfully factual & entertaining article. Thank you so much.
However, as an aside, I wonder just how long the main corridor in Whipps Cross was?
As a child who visited regularly due to my father’s not so good health – that darn corridor seemed as long as the High St. And the “whiff” on passing the operating theatres meant that I became very good at holding my breath !
In addition in the 60’s & 70’s I remember the predominance of the Irish nurses. In fact I remember the addition of the A&E which was perceived by most as outstanding.
Thanks again for a truly wonderful article.
Hello Daniel & Bill,
When Bill posted the Womble bashers song it reminded me that I had heard another song that mentioned E.17. It was by an Australian named singer or band named Lucky Star. You have to listen very carefully, but somewhere in the second list of places the good old 'Stow' gets a name call.
It is on Youtube, look for it here: "I've Been Everywhere - Lucky Starr (UK Version)".
There were also version made that mentioned Australian, American & New Zealand place names.
Hi Kev and Gloria,
You brought memories for me re Stan Gerula, who I believe was Polish born and who played as goalkeeper for Walthamstow Avenue Football Club based in Green Pond Road, Walthamstow. If I remember correctly the game against Man U at The Avenue was the first round of the F.A Cup and which we drew against the great Man U. We drew lots of support from various professional football clubs one being Glasgow Rangers who apparently sent down a basket of fruit to the A’s as a congratulatory gesture.
I hope you are well. I am writing regarding a heritage project I am running for Eastside Community Heritage, based in Ilford.
We have obtained a small grant with the Heritage Lottery Fund, to run a project investigating Whipps Cross War Hospital during the First World War. As you may well be aware, the hospital was implemented as a war hospital for the wounded, and there a few interesting stories, one recurrent one including the visit of His Majesty in 1917. We are collecting photographs, memorabilia and hopefully interviewing any descendants of the hospitals staff or patients from this time. We will be holding reminiscence sessions at some stage, we hope, with both Waltham Forest Libraries, and within the hospital itself.
I was wondering, first of all if the Walthamstow Memories website may have any stories relating to the hospital from near this period? ( The hospital in the 1920s and early 20th century are also relevant to our research)
Secondly, I wonder if the Walthamstow Memories has any mailing lists, where I might put a call out for anyone with some social history of the place?
Thirdly, if I were to write a short article on our findings so far, would the website be able to publish it?
Here is a photo of the top of the High Street, possibly early to mid 60s:
(source: The Guardian)
I am sure many people will recall either passing or indeed buying from these stalls, and the array of shops that surround them.
Next to Mothercare was I believe Macfisheries, across Tower Mews was a butchers (forgotten name). To the left of what was the Black & White cafe was Foxes (chemist) were my sister worked. Also Sansoms (not sure of this name though) Menswear.
Further down is the magnificent library, and next is the swimming/public baths. If anyone can name other places, or correct any mistakes I have made, I would be much obliged.
Although Whipps Cross isn’t really in Walthamstow, many generations of Walthamstow residents have regarded it as their hospital. So, this is the story of the Whipps Cross hospital [read it here] and is part of my mini series on Walthamstow hospitals. Unlike most of the stuff that I write, this subject had a large accessible factual base and, as a result, space does not allow me to give individual voices.
For over half a century, like very many other Waltham Forest residents, Whipps Cross Hospital has been an integral part of my family history and I have a large store of personal anecdotes about the place. My wife was there giving birth to my second son. Myself, my birth, adopted and foster children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have been there either as out-patients as a result of an emergency or in the children’s and later adult wards.
When I first knew the hospital it seemed to be staffed by predominantly Irish nurses and over the years I have seen the staff become of an increasing multi-racial heritage. It was also physically a much different place being much more open and less developed. In the 60’s, at the rear of the hospital, there was a large field on which were held fetes etc. Since then, the hospital has grown continually and the site is a sprawling mass of buildings and car parks.
There have been many times when, waiting to be seen by medical staff, I have cursed because of the delays caused by very long waiting times or had appointments mucked up by poor administration. (Tip - don’t suffer in silence or be too stoical because that may delay your treatment behind those that suffer noisily!) There have been times when I have been nearly overcome with relief and gratitude because skilled and caring medical staff have successfully treated the problem.
Like a huge number of local people, in recent years, I have played a small part in the campaign to save the hospital being downgraded and having much of its facilities and status transferred elsewhere. Very recently, I have been hurt and disgusted by the appalling treatment of a handful of staff to some elderly and vulnerable people and angered by the poor performance of the hospital in some important aspects of medical treatment.
There aren’t many songs that mention Walthamstow so I was amused when I came across this one. Its called ‘The Womble Bashers Of Walthamstow’ and is by a group that was named ‘GRIMMS’. They were an English pop rock, skit and poetry group, that was formed as a merger of The Scaffold, the Bonzo Dog Band, and the Liverpool Scene for two concerts in 1971 at the suggestion of John Gorman. The band name was an acronym formed by the initial letters of each member's surname:
They were obviously as fed up as the rest of us by the Mike Batt ‘Womble’ songs and wrote and recorded ‘The Womble Bashers of Walthamstow’, on an album named ‘Sleepers’ and you can listen to the track on You Tube at:
I was just looking on Google maps at the house in which I born and raised, it was in Campbell Road. I followed the road down to where it meets Somers Road, and came across this picture..
The entrance between the two houses used to lead to a factory, or factories. From speaking with my family I learnt that during - and possibly before WW2 - there was a timber yard based there. It was destroyed by incendiary bombs, dropped perhaps by planes that had been following the railway lines that ran into Hoe Street Station. It was not probably the intended target, just an accidental hit.
My recollection of who used the premises in the 50s and perhaps up until the 80s, was a company called Parkers. I believe they made metal cabinets or containers, certainly I think some form of metal workings took place there. Do you have any information on a company of that name?
I also recall being told that the house on the left of the picture was once a shop, possibly a small general store of sorts, and it served people out of the front window. Although it was never that during the years I lived in Walthamstow, but I wonder if anyone knows more about any of this.
I worked at Davis's clothes shop about 1963, but it was in the High st next to Percival's pram and toy shop. There was a cafe in Eldon rd just off Erskine rd where most of us got our 3p jug of tea.
Dont know if any help!
Hello Daniel & Sally,
First, thank you Sally for your message relating to the earlier post of mine asking about the name of a men's clothes shop opposite the bottom of Erskine Road. The name Phillips had already sort of drifted into my aging memory cell (yes, singular!), so perhaps with what Sally added it might just be the right name. Anyway, it does give me the chance to bore everyone with the tale as to why it was of importance to me in the first place...
In 1957 I started my on/off attendance affair with McGuffie School. At that time, although the school did not have a compulsory uniform, it was rumoured that if they did have, the colour would have been green. So my lovely Mum took me off to a shop called Northamptons, that was in Forest Road, and was situated on the corner of either Mersey or Diana Road. They sold sensible but not particularly fashionable clothes, shoes, and general haberdashery.
Most importantly though, they took Provident Cheques!! I am fairly sure we left the shop with various items of school wear, but in truth the only two items I can honestly recall were two pairs of very baggy and extremely heavy duty bottle green corduroy trousers, with 2 inch turn ups. When I say heavy duty I mean heavy duty ... in later years I do believe that the same material was used as a heat shield on the Apollo 11 moon mission!! If they were lined I'm sure it was with titanium!!.
Being a football fanatic (albeit, a very poor player, but at least a fanatically poor one) I did my level best to wear a hole in those breeches. I would dive to the playground floor for no good reason at all (in fact I may have invented what they now call 'simulation' in the pro game) just to try and ruin those damn trousers. For two years it went on, eventually after excessive trouser abuse and the use of an acid bath and a flame thrower I wore both pairs out. Now at that time the mens clothing shop that we will call Phillips, were displaying in their window a wonderful pair of beige slim fit cavalry twill trousers: I begged, I crawled, I said I would actually go to school on a more regular basis... if only my Mum would buy me a pair.
Bless her heart she finally relented and bought them for me. Oh, wasn't I the bees knees, as I went off to school the next day, smart wasn't the word for it. Dinner time came and out we went for the obligatory game of football (I think you know where I'm going with this) ... five minutes into the game I hit the playground floor, and this time it wasn't 'simulation': there was broken skin, there was blood ... and there was a ruddy great tear across both knees of my wonderfully fashionable cavalry twill trousers!
I'm sure you guess the end of this sad story... yes, it was all down to another visit to Northamptons for me ... and another pair of those almost indestructable bottle green corduroy baggies!!
Although this advert dates from 1965, it does give some idea of those wonderful trousers (although these are much smarter than mine were), and it still sends shudders through me just thinking about them!!
My story begins @ OLD TRAFFORD 1953. As a true born MANC. It was the day I met a real live sporting HERO: STAN GERULA. Could have & should have lost the game. What a game.
Later in 60s moved to Essex & met my wife GLORIA, who is a real E17 gal, along with her sibs (DAVID /DOREEN SMITH) They lived in COURTENAY RD & Attended COPPERMILL school 40s/50s.
Her dad was at the micanite for 30 odd years (JACK SMITH}. BILL SMITH ran the coffee stall out side the STOWdogs for years (grandad).
It really is a pleasure to visit your site & reading all the real stories although i am half a e17er with all the tales i hear day day out. It never ceases to amaze me how despite getting such a wacking during the BLITZ that all the time they speak of such happy memories in e17. Our DAVE tells me tales of his youth the ORIENT & STOW and all things growing up. I cant put it into words the HAPPINESS when we are all together talking about them years in WALTHAMSTOW!!!
YOURS KEV&GLORIA(SMITH)GREENWOOD. Not Half!!!!
With regards to the men’s shops near to Erskine Road, I can recall a men’s shop called Phillips in that area.
However, not being a frequenter of such fine establishments I’m afraid that I am a bit stumped.
So sorry, but sending with Kindest Regards
My nan worked at Manzes Walthamstow in the 50's her name was Rose Looker does anyone remember her?
In trying to develop and record my own Personal History I was looking on the internet for an image of Winns Avenue Primary School when I came across this site. I thought the two attached photos might be of interest to you.
The first one I am not too certain about but I think it was Mrs. Allengame’s class 1954. I can still remember the names of many of the class – but not all!
The second is definitely 1955 in Miss Slade’s class.
I have included a few memories from my time at Winns:
As my fifth birthday approached I was very excited to prepare myself for school. I was to attend the Winns Avenue Infant School, in Fleeming Road, Walthamstow, London, E.17. My mother took time off work to walk me the ½ mile, from where we lived in Brettenham Road, to the school gate on the very first morning. Sadly, as we drew near to the school gate and I beheld the tall dark railings in the wall surrounding the perimeter, my courage failed me. “I don’t want to go to school today,” I cried to my mother. She could not afford for me to become too emotional about this event because, for financial reasons, she really could not afford to be too late into work. She gently descended to my level, hugged me close and whispered in my ear “Mummy really can’t wait around here arguing with you about going to school. The choice is simple. You either go in sensibly with all the other children or, if you make a fuss, I’ll have to take your trousers down and smack your bottom!” Well, faced with the indignity of being exposed to all around me, my courage suddenly returned and I walked, fairly happily, into school. When I was taken to my first teacher, Mrs. Brown, I found, possibly with a sense of humour, that she had seated me, Roy CAIN, beside another little boy called Alan ABEL!
My family faced difficult times a few years later but the school were very kind and compassionate towards us.
I was in my third year at Winns Avenue Junior School when my father had his first major heart operation. I believe it was the first open-heart surgery performed in this country. Mr. John Payne, my teacher that year, was very kind to me and my family at this difficult time. In fact, on the day of the operation he took Joan and me to his home after school where we had a meal and waited for Mum to come and collect us when she returned from the hospital.
It would seem from my behaviour towards the end of my education at Winns that I had not taken in as much as I should. However, upon reflection, I think things turned out alright in the end!
In my last year at Winns Juniors I was appointed Head Boy. What an honour! I wore my badge with great pride but they do say that pride comes before a fall! I used to enjoy my short journey to school from where I lived at 74, Bemsted Road, and would regularly walk along kicking my hard rubber ball against the walls in front of the houses. When I arrived in school the ball would be stowed away in my coat, hanging on my peg, until I made the return journey in the evening. I never played with this particular ball on the school premises because being so hard and heavy, it was banned in case it caused damage or injury. However, not far into the Autumn Term, in September, we had finished our lunch and naturally we wanted to channel our energy into a game. I believe it was a little too warm for football so the lads decided that it would be more appropriate to have a game of cricket. Sadly no one had brought a suitable ball to play with. I was asked to get my ball from the cloak-room but I declined saying that it was not allowed. Such a brave decision! However, after a few minutes had passed and several derogatory comments had been aimed at me I began to weaken a little. The ultimate temptation occurred when it was suggested that if we played with my ball then I could bat first. I succumbed I went to collect my hard and heavy ball from my coat pocket.
I should explain at this point that the design of the school was such that there was a central hall with classrooms leading off from it. This meant that there were windows on the hall side of each room opposite the windows on the outside of the room. The wall, upon which were chalked the cricket stumps, was parallel to and facing the outside of Mrs. Slade’s room, at one end of the hall. The first ball was bowled towards me and I gave a mighty swing. What a hit! Any professional would have been proud of it and probably scored a six! Not me! The ball smashed through the outside of the classroom window and had such momentum that it also maintained its trajectory and continued crashing through the hall side window. Fortunately nobody was it the hall or there might have been even more serious consequences. As it stood, Mr. Smith, my class teacher and the Deputy Head, came rushing into the playground to ‘sort things out’. Having previously served as a police officer he was very capable of ‘sorting things out’! I was sent to stand alone in the hall for the remainder of the lunch break. I do admit that I felt somewhat uncomfortable standing there, especially when everybody started to come in at the start of afternoon school. How was I supposed to answer them when they asked me why I was standing there? Once again, my pride got the better of me because my answer came out declaring that, since I was Head Boy, I was standing there to ensure that everyone entered school sensibly and quietly.
As a result of my behaviour that day, the Headmistress, Mrs. Hurry, determined that ALL ball games would be banned for the next month. I was devastated to realise the consequences of my actions would have such a far reaching effect. That night I slept little and suffered a very troubled mind. The next morning, I went to school earlier than usual and knocked on Mrs. Hurry’s door. She invited me in and asked why I was there so early for school. I explained how I had been feeling overnight and said that I thought it better for her to give me the cane but not to punish everyone else for my disobedience. I held my hand out, closed my eyes and waited for the cane to strike. She very gently took my hand and explained that she had no intention of caning me but since I had shown such courage in facing my mistakes she would impose the ban for just one week. Justice had been satisfied and mercy was granted!
I hope these photos and memories will be of use to you and others as they reflect upon their early years.
thank you for your reply. There is a clip of Dave Sampson signing on the Cliff Richard show on Youtube. Here is the page Dave Sampson & The Hunters on the Cliff Richard Show - Saturday Spectacular 1960. He is singing the song he wrote and had a minor hit with 'Sweet Dreams'. Plus various other clips dating from the last few years.
Here is Dave (forth from the left) appearing at the 2I's British Rock n Roll Heritage show at the Halstead Empire in March 2012.
I have just read you article about the LeRoys and Dave Sampson.
Dave in fact at one time lived in Highams Park. This was before he took up singing and I got to know him very well. We both use to travel up to Liverpool Street on the train together, as both of us worked in Lloyds Avenue (which is just off Fenchurch Street in the city).
It was Cliff Richard who gave Dave his first break into showtime and I believe that the Hunters were Cliff’s original group from the days he used to play at The Royal Forest Hotel.
I understand that Dave was living in Clacton at the time of his death and was still performing up to the end.
A very belated reply I'm afraid! I think I remember you from when I was younger. My grandad was Alfred TUVEY, and I think his sister was your grandmother? I don't know what you want to know, but I will help in any way I can.
Several years ago, I bought a photo album in Norfolk, and through one photo, have traced the family of William Thomas HUDSON, born in Norwich 1857/8, but who was living at 2 Grenton Terrace, Walthamstow, in 1891, a mercantile clerk. The photo giving the clue was of his cousin, James HUDSON, aged 15 at the time, described as his apprentice. I've not been able to identify James, but have details of William and his family from his birth to their move to London and later history. Would be happy to pass on details and photos to a relative of the family.
Sadly I have learnt of the death of the classical music conductor Frank Shipway at the age of 79 years, following a car accident. I remember him from conducting concerts at the Walthamstow Assembly Hall and his obituary in today’s Daily Telegraph details his time in charge of the Forest Philharmonic Society. His standards were set high and he was not the easiest of conductors to work with. He was an international conductor who worked with Herbert von Karajan, Sir Colin Davis and Lorin Maazel. He made recordings of the symphonies of Mahler and Shostakovich and conducted the Mahler 8th. Symphony with 1,000 musicians at the Albert Hall. I am sure that older music lovers from Walthamstow would remember him.
Hello Saleem Sheikh,
I would think that your best bet would be to post a message on the school site at the Friends Reunited website: http://www.friendsreunited.co.uk/warwick-school-for-boys/People/523272f2-5128-43b7-9234-826681840a84
Good afternoon from across the pond in Canada.
In a nutshell, I’m trying to locate my Father’s (Stanley Watts) younger brother, David Watts, whom I’ve not seen since 1967 when we as a family moved to Canada.
My Grandmother (Edie Watts) is my Father’s Step Mother and lived at 55 Carr Road. My father’s older brother, Robert, lived across the street and married Doris.
Any information would be sincerely appreciated.
I am writing to invite you and your members / contacts to the annual lecture of the Woodford Memorial Hall, to be held on Monday October 6.
Full details are attached as a PDF [read it here] if you are able to distribute the notice to your membership.
With our good wishes and thanks.
Thank you for that information. I had found some of it already on the web, and oddly enough also put that same picture in a post to the WM site. Although I only lived a few minutes away from the Contemporary Club, I never actually visited it. As I said, though, many a night I heard the sounds of laughter, music, and conversation coming from the very large back garden of the equally large and beautiful building that housed the club. I do though recall that on a couple of occasions I went out with a young lady who was in some way related to Rose Finesilver, but sadly never got an invite into, what was to me at least, their stately mansion.
Walthamstow Memories correspondent, Keith Rodger wrote:
’... he was backed by a group called the Le-Roys, once again not necessarily a Walthamstow group, but I do believe that its members were from the Highams Park/Chingford area, perhaps someone will be able to verify these facts’...
We learn from John Dunn on his brother’s site http://www.walthamstowhistory.com/ym2009.htm :
“The "LEROYS". This was a 4 pce group, all attending Markhouse Road school when it was formed. There was Roy Prentice, Lenny Brooks ( Where their name came from LE ROY) and the then young Micky Sturgess. I'm afraid the fourth member’s name escapes me.
You can see the group in a film called ‘Every Days a Holiday’ along with Freddie and the Dreamers, Mike Sarne, the Baker Twins etc etc…”
Then, we learn from Tony Cooke (Who was the other member of the group) on http://www.45cat.com/record/sh1024 :
Hello, I was the bass player with The LeRoys from 1958 to 1967 when we folded,we toured Germany, France, Sweden, and the UK, and recorded in those countries,we were an English band from Walthamstow in London, we were a recording and backing band mainly, but recorded our own sometimes maybe 7 or 8 singles, also vocal backing on many session recordings when we were with Robert Stigwood, sadly Lenny Brooks was not the lead singer, there were no lead singers, as we all sang, hope this clears up some confusion.
Yours Tony Cooke, first on the left of the picture.’
They toured as part of the ‘All Stars’ in 1964 with Mike Berry, Billy Boyle, Don Spencer, Billie Davis and Mike Sarne:
The above is for sale on Ebay today 30th August 2014
I hope to write something about Rose Finesilver’s Contemporary Youth Club shortly. I would appreciate any reader’s memories of the club.
Thank you for your reply. I did have an idea that somehow the name Le-Roys had a connection to a couple of the groups names. Did you ever see them at the Lorne Arms? It is good to know that they were Walthamstow lads. I wonder if they are still performing? I have just found a little more information, I think Lenny's last name was Brooks, and also one of the group was called Tony Cooke. There is some confusion about just what they recorded, but there was a release by John Leyton, and the backing group was named the Le Roys. Also I believe they backed Simon Scott on a song called 'My baby's Got Soul' in 1965. Strangely enough, there was a record released in Belgium, called 'That's too bad' credited to the Le Roys, but there is some dispute as to whether they are the Walthamstow band of the same name, although the picture on the sleeve is certainly of the same group. As you see.
although I don't remember Dave Samson, I do remember the Leroys, can't remember their surnames at the moment, Roy is the one in the glasses the lead guitarist & Lenny is on his left, can't remember the other two (my memory is fading a bit - I'm sure I will remember later), but they were Walthamstow boys, Lenny & Roy became the LeRoys.
All the best
I used to be at Warwick School in the 1970s.
Any idea how I can get in touch with some of my old teachers?
As you know, I would like to publish some articles about Chingford. This is because there isn’t a similar site to Walthamstow Memories in Chingford and I’ve written some stuff that I would like people to have the opportunity to read.
If there can be such a thing, this is ‘new’ history. Although the subjects are comparatively well documented, these documents are not known today and are hard to access. This is the first time that the story has been told to a local audience.
The attached [read it here], is a shortened version of the first of my pieces. It is actually intended to go with a future companion piece about a Walthamstow boys institution (The St John’s Roman Catholic Industrial School in Shernhall Street): together, they will show aspects of the private religious ‘care’ of children and young people in the area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Although not a native of Walthamstow (he was born in Uttoxeter), singer Dave Sampson has quite a few connections to the borough. Way back in the early 60s he released a few singles, backed by a group called the Hunters, who were from Cheshunt. I know he visited the Contempary club, which was held in very large house on the corner of Erskine & Elmsdale roads. It was run by Rose Finesilver, and there always seemed to be some sort of garden party going on during the summer months, music & laughter was constantly emanating from their very long and spacious back garden. Perhaps David also gave performances there. He did the usual rounds of the 60s pop stars, including a time spent in Hamburg. On return to England he was manager of Al's Records in the High Street , and many a time I was served by him when purchasing some obscure record that only myself and perhaps Dave Sampson had ever heard of !!
In later years he appeared in many local venues, one in particular was the Lorne Arms in Queens Road. On many occasions he was backed by a group called the Le-Roys, once again not necessarily a Walthamstow group, but I do believe that its members were from the Highams Park/Chingford area, perhaps someone will be able to verify these facts. I saw them often at the Lorne Arms in the late 60s early 70s, and they were very professional outfit, playing all types of the current pops songs, mixed with many a fine 'oldie'. Their professionalism stood them in good stead, when on Christmas Eve in 1969 the pub suffered some type of power failure, so for a couple of hours it was all candles for lighting and acoustic music from Dave Sampson and the Le-Roys. And very Christmasy it was too, for snow had fallen while we all enjoying the festive cheer! Sadly David died earlier this year, but I feel sure many 'Stowies' will remember him with fondness, and miss him as a very good entertainer and very knowledgeable record store manager.
The Le-Roys themselves recorded a number of singles, and were used to back visiting American artists on their tours.
As Dave Sampson and The Hunters:
"Sweet Dreams" / "It's Lonesome" - Columbia DB 4449 May 1960
"See You Around" / "If You Need Me" - Columbia DB 4502 Sep 1960
"Why The Chicken?" / "1999" (Dave Sampson) - Columbia DB 4597 Mar 1961
"Easy To Dream / "That's All" - Columbia DB 4625 Apr 1961
"Dave EP" - "Sweet Dreams" / "It's Lonesome" / "If You Need Me" / "See You Around" - Columbia SEG 8095 1961
Below are three photos. First is of the site where the Contemporary Club was held. The building is much changed from its appearance when I knew it in the 60s & 70s though. Second is of the Leroys, their names though are unknown to me, can anyone help with naming them ?
Lastly is the man himself, taken from the cover of an EP (remember them?) released in 1961.
The Le Roys
On 12th August I used ‘Walthamstow Memories’ site to try to find a cousin of mine (Linda Walker), who was born and raised in Walthamstow, but with whom I had lost touch.
I am pleased to report that with the help of Mr Bill Bayliss (reply dated 20th August) I picked up his details on 26th August and managed to speak to my cousin the same day – after some 40 years!
She had moved out of Walthamstow some 20 + years ago ! I tried to post a reply thanking Mr Bayliss for help but unfortunately my computer wouldn’t allow me, so I’m hoping you might be able to thank him for me via your pages.
An absolutely brilliant site, very professionally run. Thank you. I do hope you can let him know of my success.
I have been looking at your old Markhouse Road photographs and I think these may have been taken at the Acacia Road junction.
I think this is a great site and you are doing a grand job. Does anyone who visits your site have any school photos of years 1954 class 1a 1955 2a 1956 3a 1957 4a?
I hope somebody can help, as I am trying to write some notes and my family didn't keep any photos. Email has changed so if anybody has been in touch could they please resend thanks in advance.
I have attached copies of the pictures I sent to Bill Bayliss, in case they are of interest to you or the site:
Views of Markhouse road 1940's?. Walthamstow physical culture club 1940's group/displays and a group photo of National Fire Service NO37 Fire area 1943 on a training course I think the group was based in Walthamstow but not sure if the course was.
Views from Markhouse Rd.(?) - early 1900s (Click to enlarge)
Walthamstow Physical Culture Club - 1940s - (Click to enlarge)
Walthamstow Physical Culture Club - 1940s (4) / National Fire Service (NO37 Area) - 1943 - Fitness training
(Click to enlarge)
This is another of my pieces about Walthamstow’s ‘lost’ industries [Read it here]. Although the heirs to the company still exist, when it was lost in 1994 it was in Walthamstow, but when it began in 1939 it was in Chingford.
I suppose that, by now, I shouldn’t be too surprised about the lack of information available about the early days of the company or the lack of chronicled social history. In fact, this was the second time that I had appealed unsuccessfully to Walthamstow Times Facebook users for information about an ex Walthamstow company (There was only two responses one was on the lines of ‘My mother worked there in..’ and the other was sexist!)
A part of my article is based on the work of Len Davis, a member of the Chingford Historical Society written in 1998. Thanks to information provided by him about the company founder, I was able to work out the family genealogy which is critical to explaining the company origins. He also provided valuable statistical information about the company in the 1969-71 period.
Thanks for your very prompt email! Unfortunately, I already have her marriage certificate - she is recorded as aged 19, spinster and no details are given of her father, hence my quandary! I have looked for a birth around 1918 (give or take, assuming she may have given a false age) and allowed for the fact that Barker may have been her mother's name. However, no luck to date, which I why I was trying to pick up some information from the Walthamstow trail.
I know that Athole didn't stay around as he was in fact my grandfather, and my aunt was born in 1938 - this family-history stuff digs up some real hidden intrigue! I just wanted to find out what happened to Margaret. My suspicion was that there might have been a child involved, but I can't find any evidence of a live birth registered to her. As I said in my original email, I guess the war may have covered a lot of trails.
I've learnt that Kent's brushes may have had a factory in the area, and wondered if this is where she might have worked, but don't know if any records would exist anywhere?
Linda R Walker's birth - her mother’s maiden name Dodds, was registered in the 1st quarter of 1959 at the Essex S.W. Registry Office.
A Linda R Walker marriage to John Pitman was registered in the 3rd quarter of 1984 at the Waltham Forest Registry Office. According to 192.com, a Linda R Pitman and a John Pitman were on the Electoral Roll in 2002 at Chipping Ongar. They have an address for the couple but this is a pay per view site...
I hope that this information will help you find your friend.
As, I am sure you know, (Because you have a family tree on the Ancestry site) Athole Breadalbane Gregor Menzies was married twice. First to Elsie Harper in Yorkshire in 1924 and then to Margaret Barker at Essex S.W. in the 1st quarter of 1937 (4a696).
Margaret Barker is a relatively common name and there isn’t enough information to be able to be able to identify which of the various Margaret Barker’s she was. Also, I would guess that there was a very good chance that, like Athole Menzies, she had previously have been married so, Barker could be a birth name or a married name.
In this situation, I would suggest that you obtain a copy of her marriage certificate from the GRO at https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/Login.asp (Online £9.25) that should give you the name of her father and therefore her birth name.
I am investigating my family history and am trying to find out more about a Margaret Barker who married my relative Athole Menzies in 1937. On their marriage certificate they are both recorded as living at 14 Rensburg Road, and she is shown as being a 'toothbrush stamper' by occupation. Unfortunately, I can't find out anything else about Margaret - where and when she was born (c. 1918?), who her parents were etc. I also don't know what happened to her later - there's no obvious record of a death for her, and there is no one left in my family who might know. I guess WW2 might have stirred things up a bit! If anyone could shed any light on the story, I'd be very grateful!
Thank you for your reply. Someone else has suggested the men's clothes shop might have been called Phillips. Which I must admit that name had come to my mind, but in truth I really do not know. So perhaps it was as you say Davis's. As to that cafe, my nephew used to work on a pet stall just a little way up from the cafe and he used to collect tea for some of the stall holders. He frequently told me that it was always full of shady & scary characters. Plus of course it was rumoured that the Krays either met there on occasions or perhaps had a 'business' arrangement with the management!! But then rumours about the Krays were very prolific, and some establishments may even have started the rumours, to encourage business by adding an air of criminal mystique and intrigue about their premises. My dad used to drink in the Chequers, and he would tell tales of the Krays being in there on occasions. Also the Cock Tavern had a similar reputation for such visitations. I used the Rose & Crown (Hoe Street) from an early age, and thankfully no such tales were ever told in there. Although we did get the... Salvation Army in every Friday night, selling the War Cry & the Young Soldier.
I am involved in putting together a book on the history of the Klapper family and have discovered that some of them lived in Walthamstow and the surrounding areas. My great great aunt was living in Belle Vue House at the time of her death in 1919. I am curious to know how she came to be living in such a grand house. Was it a care home perhaps? I wondered if you had any information on the house in its later years, before it was demolished to make way for housing. If you can direct me to any source of information I would be very grateful
Hoping to hear from you,
Just spotted your post regarding Erskine Road, I lived at 8 Erskine Road, I remember the clothing shop but cannot remember the name for sure, but something is telling me it may have been Davis’s Mans Shop and the café’s name was Lieberman’s. Think it was a hangout for a few local “Villans”?
Thank you for your reply. Miss Roberts was, as I said, a very good and competent teacher. I on the other hand had neither of those attributes as a pupil. I seem to recall she was all twin sets & pearls, but then that was not unusual for the times, I guess. I do know that my sister was once invited to tea with her... sadly no such offer was ever extended to me!! If you were at McGuffie in 1955, then it is very likely that you were there at least some of the same times as my sister, for she would have started in 1953. I too have my old school report, it does not make for very happy reading, it is something I have kept hidden from my three children, for it hardly sets a good example to follow. Mr Smith: yes I do remember him! Like you, I could never come to terms with mathematics, and I always tried to sit near the back of the class, when in his lessons. I cannot remember if it was him, but I do recall that one of the teachers would occasionally throw their stick of chalk at any pupil they thought was being inattentive. Had I collected all the bits that came my way, I could have had a small business selling them back to the Greenleaf Infants, for use on those little slate boards that we learnt to write on.
Mr Finch was another good & kindly teacher, sometimes I thought he was a little to soft for his own good though. In one of his history exams David Street and myself decided we would 'help' each other. Now David being the (much) more learned of us, scored 96%, and came first, whilst I came in a fairly close second with 92%, our answers were obviously almost identical, but the extremely trusting Mr Finch never questioned our high scores or the similarity of each answer. Or the fact that a dunce came second in his exams!! What totally amazes me now is that, up until the last year when the fourth year classes split into two separate levels, one for GSE exams the other for College of Preceptors, I had always been in the 'A' stream ... unless of course the 'A' in question in my case stood for 'Absent'.
Did you ever live in Campbell Road? Only I noticed that your name used to be King, and there was a family with that name that lived at the right hand top end on the corner with Cottenham Road, the only name I remember was a David King, but I know that he had a sister or sisters?
Re William McGuffie and in particular Miss Roberts an English teacher. I remember her so well. A small dark haired woman somewhere in her late 30’s or early 40’s. In 1955 I was corresponding with a German pen-pal and she wrote and asked me would it be possible for her sister to come and stay with us for a week or so. All was arranged and on one school day we asked Miss Roberts if this girl could “sit-in” on an English lesson. All went well until after the lesson when Miss Roberts came up to us and asked the German girl: “...and what do you think of Hitler?”
All went quiet and, to give this girl her due, she promptly replied that he was a “bad man”. Am not sure if her reply satisfied Miss Roberts, but a look said it all and if you remember, Keith, a look from Miss Roberts spoke volumes!
But she was a good teacher nevertheless. I still have my William McGuffie yearly record report book and I must say she always gave me a fair report. I was lucky enough to do fairly well in English - unlike Mathematics. My teacher in that subject one year was Mr Smith, who with one look could freeze me to the spot. He absolutely terrified me and I am afraid it showed in my work as one year I got a very, very poor mark in an exam paper and which I was totally ashamed of. I won’t say what the mark was out of a possible 200, but to say it was less than 10 you can draw your own conclusions. But Mr Smith’s comments against the mark was “poor, but tries” so I felt a little better! Still hopeless at figure work to this day and believe it or not I still count on my fingers!
Omid Djalili is a well known British comedian was born in Chelsea, London to Iranian Bahaí parents and is a Bahai himself. He attended Holland Park School and then the University of Ulster in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, studying English and Theatre studies. He is married and has three children and is a Chelsea fan.
He came to prominence in 1995 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as a stand-up comedian. He has performed in many countries, including Australia, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, Canada and the United States, where he had his own HBO Special and did 22 episodes of the NBC sitcom Whoopi with Whoopi Goldberg. He has also appeared in many films. These include: Gladiator, The Mummy, Mean Machine, The World Is Not Enough, Alien Autopsy, Spy Game, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Grow Your Own, Notting Hill, Mr Nice, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Sex and the City 2 and provides his voice in Over the Hedge and is often cast as a stereotypical Middle Eastern background character.
He has appeared in the west end theatre as Fagin in Oliver and played a part in the BBC Learning Project’s production of Romeo & Juliet. In his stand-up comedy act he often pokes gentle fun at racism and racists.
The Infidel film was written by David Baddiel who is a well known Jewish stand-up comedian and essentially it is a witty and mildly amusing comedic exploration of racial and cultural stereotypes. Essentially, the various characters depicted and their life styles are cartoons.
In the 1960’s, most of Walthamstow was occupied by white working class families who worked locally and rented flatted houses. Today much of these have become much sought properties that have multi racial and multi cultural owner occupiers who commute to central London.
Present day Waltham Forest has a hugely varied and diverse population that embraces many different cultures. We have people who have come from most of Britain’s former colonies and Empire - the Caribbean, Africa, the Indian sub-continent, Cyprus etc. We have refugees from various African and Asian civil wars – Ethiopia, Somalia, Iran, Irak etc. We have economic migrants from various East European countries – Poland, Romania, Albania etc.
These peoples have all contributed their skills and the best of their cultures to British life and Walthamstow has become the ‘in’ place for many middle class Londoners, who are moving here because they like the facilities and cultural life and want to bring their children up in this atmosphere.
I have just come across your brilliant site and wondered if you might be able to help.
I am hoping to find my cousin Linda Walker, who was brought up in Walthamstow. Born in approx 1958/59?, she lived at 3 St Stephens Close Walthamstow with her mum and dad Cyril and Irene (Rene formerly Dodds). I think my aunt worked somewhere that made brushes? And my uncle was in the shoe trade (possibly making shoes for Dolcis?). My uncle came originally from Finedon in Northamptonshire, but married in Walthamstow area in the late 1940s. As children my brothers and I visited Walthamstow, it was a world apart from our small town Finedon, but we loved it. My aunt and cousin would take us down the High street on a Saturday, my uncle would take my dad to the dog track, mum and aunt Rene would go the bingo, and on the Sunday morning, before we came home, we would do the London landmarks. Happy days!
Sadly over the years contact had been lost, but I would to try and contact Linda. I know she lost her dad in the 1980s, but I'm not sure about her mum? I think Linda had a cousin in the area, called Paul (possibly Dodds?) I remember also there was a friend or family member who was sadly injured by fireworks in the 1960s - which at the time made headline news - someone out there might recall this and be able to make the connection with Linda - I do hope so! My name is Lorraine and I was about 4 years older than Linda. Thank you, I will keep my fingers crossed!
Just something that I feel like sharing,
For someone like me who has not lived in Walthamstow since 1960, it was quite an experience to watch a 2010 film last night entitled ‘The (reluctant) Infidel’, starring Omid Djalili and many other well-known actors.
The way the movie presents mixed race religions in London at the present time was quite an eye opener for me, I can tell you. Briefly the plot was mildly funny and it concerns a ‘relaxed’ Muslim man who finds out by accident that he is actually an adopted Jew who is now faced with a monumental mid-life crisis.
If you have not already seen it then you should try and borrow it on DVD especially if like me you now live in another country.
If you have already watched the movie maybe you could comment as to its authenticity.
I have been reading the posts about local bands and one especially caught my eye: The Riot Squad. Maybe someone else has already mentioned one particular member of that group, who lived in Cleveland Park Road. His name was George Butcher, known always to his friends simply as 'Butch' . He was a very gifted musician, classically trained - I believe. I do recall on a couple of occasions being in his house and listening to him play pieces of classical music, at the time I would not have known what they were, of course: the extent of my classical music knowledge being the pieces that had 'rocked' up by various English/American groups of the 60s, such as: 'Saturday Night at the duck pond ' by the Cougars, as you can probably tell it was a very distant relative of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake". Not only was George a very good musician, he was also a very good footballer: many hours of never ending matches were played in the Selborne Rec. during school/work holidys, after school/work finished (and sometimes... during school/work hours!!) As long as the Rec was open, we would be there, playing matches that ranged from five or six aside to sometimes 13 or 14 aside. He was like myself a Spurs fan, and we watched quite a few of their games together. George also had a favourite saying: "Anything that was good was 'Classic'". Perhaps in reference to his musical training!!
He recorded a few singles with the Riot Squad, under the guidance of Joe Meek, I think, but of that I'm not totally sure. Below is one of the groups line ups that appeared in THE RIOT SQUAD #4 (OCT ??, 1965 - MAR 11, 1967):
Also a well known local venue at which they played: December 26, 1965: Granada Cinema, Walthamstow, London, UK.
In the picture below of one of their singles, the one on the far left wearing sun glasses and looking as George would say totally 'classic' is he. But of that I'm not really sure either. Perhaps if George reads this he can either confirm of deny my guess.
This website really is going from strength to strength, and we have had so many new contributions from readers in the past year that I think that word must be getting around about Walthamstow Memories. And with stalwarts such as Bill Bayliss to keep the ball rolling how can the website ever fail, more strength to your elbow Bill and keep up the good work!
Having read Keith Rodger's last two letters I just had to add a few things about the handy-crafts lessons at Markhouse road secondary school, where I recall making pokers in metal work classes. But Mr Parrot had another design that did not involve a furnace, we would use a metal turning lathe and insert plastic pieces in the handle for a decorative effect, and we made Copper fruit bowls by the dozen and all planished with a tiny hammer and also Serviette rings from copper. And these were for houses like mine where we never even used a table cloth.
In wood work with Mr Fairfoull (or Fairclough?) we made egg racks and book ends and stuff like that, nothing as useful as a stool like Keith’s. I took the top off a finger once with a Jack plane and that ruined that lesson, although the class did learn how to be more careful as chisels and wood planes can be dangerous as I found out.
And as for Librarian work I was impressed by our local librarians last week as we now have an eBook section and I was having a problem setting up the programmes for borrowing eBooks on our tablets. I arranged an appointment with the librarians to help me and it took two of them an hour to get me settled into the system.
I remarked to the librarians that just being able to collate books and cover them was a much more difficult job now that they have to be computer whizz kids too. That is progress for you I suppose.
From Daniel: Many thanks for your words of appreciation for the WM site and for Bill, who is indeed providing us all with most enjoyable 'history jewels'!
A thought struck me recently: maybe some teachers had an insight as to what was going to come in useful for a particular pupil at a much later date, but to the pupil at the time seemed totally irrelevant.
We had an English teacher at McGuffie, a lovely lady called Miss Roberts. She did her very best to get me to show some interest in the subject, but there was a problem of comparisons that made life quite difficult for me. A few years earlier, my sister Edna was also a pupil at McGuffie, and she - bless her heart! - excelled at English. She was one of Miss Roberts star pupils. So of course I was at a distinct disadvantage from day one. Added to my total lack of inclination to learn, was the pressure of expectations, placed innocently upon me by my sister. So it was that on some occasions even the seemingly endless patience of Miss Roberts become exhausted, and she would say: "Rodger, why can't you be more like your sister?" (which in fact I was already quite like her, for I was often dressed in her old cast offs!!). She would then add: "Perhaps it would be best if you went to the store room and cover some books for me". Now the store room was a fairly small attic, situated in one of the turrets that adorned Fortress McGuffie.
The attic was situated in the turret on the extreme left of this picture.
In it were an assortment of old cupboards, that contained the debris of some 48 years of school life: sports equipment, old text books, blackboard chalks & dusters, ink powder... anything and everything was crammed in that small space. Also there was an old desk, at which I would sit and cover the relevant books with various oddments of paper. Now the beauty of this 'punishment' was that not only had I escaped from a dreary lesson, but the attic window provided a wonderful panoramic view of much Walthamstow, so I could sit and gaze out upon for this vista and imagine myself far away from the confines of school.
At this time little did I know how beneficial this task would be to me in later life (the covering of the books, not the gazing out the window). Many, many years later, after I had left Walthamstow and moved to Cornwall, I was extremely fortunate to find employment at the Camborne School of Mines. I was sent there to do training by one of those government schemes that supposedly got people off the unemployment register and gave them an extra £10 a week benefits money. It was meant to be only a years training, with no chance of actually leading to employment at the school. The good fortune came when after 10 weeks a member of the library staff moved into another department and, by some incredible fluke, I was offered the job as a library assistant. There was I in a job that I knew absolutely nothing about... except one thing... covering books!!
So thank you Miss Roberts for your brilliant foresight! It stood me in good stead for 15 years of being a pseudo academic book coverer in a department of Exeter University.
This is the third in my mini series about Walthamstow Hospitals [read it here]. Some readers may be puzzled about Hale End being in Walthamstow, but until Waltham Forest was created in 1965, it was very much part of Walthamstow.
My prowess at either metalwork or woodwork was minimal. Much like all the other subjects really, well apart from truancy. I got the Mcguffie student of the year award for that four years running!!
I didn't make three pokers though, one took me long enough.
In metal work my complete output was one poker, with a very nifty twist in the middle, so thin though it would have served better as a skewer for a kebab. But wouldn't you know by the time I had finished it, coal fires were banned (unless you could afford the smokeless type) and there are not too many gas fires that need a good poke. The other wonderment that I managed to finish was one of those things that you fitted to a line post, and wound your washing line around it. I do believe my Mum made some use of that, but as what I'm not sure.
Wood work, I can honestly say the only item I actually finishes was a stool. A stool that started out as a standard sit at the table type stool with legs about three foot long... but after three years of refinements (a much more pleasanter word than mistakes, I think) it ended up as a very effective foot/milking stool. Or a stool to sit at a very tiny table!!
I remember this building when I was at William McGuffie although the door now at the front was just an archway leading to the entrance doors at the rear of the building. Of the two teachers that took the classes over the years I could only remember the older woodwork teacher name as being either Ferry or Ferris, and like you the metalwork teacher’s name I have completely forgotten.
I can however clearly remember what he looked like with some sort of ginger red hair and a short fuse temper if anyone made a mistake. I always thought that was one of his failings in that rather than explain where someone was going wrong, he would shout at them for everyone else to hear. It was a case of being like the difference between chalk and cheese with the woodwork teacher who I never saw loose his temper with anyone. He had enduring patience to take a pupil through a particular skill they did not understand until they eventually grasped the essentials of it.
I think we only got about two hours a week in this building but the rudimentary skills we learned there have lasted me all my life.
These buildings were probably the best equipped of all the McGuffie classes. I recall the metalwork class had a forge, large mechanical saw and drill and even a lathe which we were rarely allowed to touch. The woodwork classroom had benches and vices all equipped with the necessary tools. As much as I enjoyed these classes more than any other, under the education system of the time, they were still designed to train pupils for factory life more than anything else. I am just thankful the last time I walked out the school gates I metaphorically gave the traditional reverse Churchill sign to what was a poor educational system and went my own way in life, not the one I had been trained for.
if your uncle was born in 1935, he will be 80 next year, and possibly at WEW the same time as me. I don't recall him. Do look at the photo I sent on Jan 16, 2014. Perhaps he might know some of the class if you show him.
Have you tried Forest Gate hospital archives? I hope your search goes well!
The attachment is a poem written by Henry Blyth King Allpass who was a son of Henry Alfred Allpass, headmaster of George Monoux School. He died on the Somme battlefield leading his troops in an attack on German trenches.
It is to remember all those, of every nationality, whose lives were affected by WWI.
Yes Strakers: that sounds more like it! Thank you for that. It had a wonderful collection of books, especially Christmas annuals, and the most delightful selection of fountain pens (none that I could afford though). Now what about the electrical shop?
Hi Keith - I think the shop you asked about was STRAKERS.
thank you for your reply. I had an idea that the shop was on the opposite corner of the road, but if Eames was still trading in or around 1981, then you could well be right. I know there was McLarens, but that was on the left hand side of Hoe Street, on the corner of Albert Road I believe. I know for sure I did not buy the bike there. Mind you, I do recall when I may have been around eight years old choosing a set of American Civil war soldiers, which consisted of a selection of Union & Confederate troops and a couple of cannons for each side. Also a lovely pair of cap firing Navy Colt pistols, with which I often refought the Battle of the Little Big Horn, on one of the many bomb sites that were littered around Walthamstow. Especially the one at the top of Greanleaf Road on the left hand side coming down from Hoe Street. That was also the scene of our 'den' which was a nearly intact Andersen shelter, in which we roasted scrumped apples from a nearby garden... they tasted blooming horrible and resulted in many an upset stomach, accompanied by a bad case of the 'runs'!!
I believe this to be the site on which old McGuffians learnt their skills (or not as the case may be) in woodwork & metal work for the boys & domestic science (known maybe as cooking and sewing back then) for the girls. In those days we were not allowed to choose. Two building with two stories each were built there, built on what may have been an old bomb site, for out the back of the buildings was just waste land. Mr Ferry was the very kind hearted woodwork teacher, the name of the metal work teacher is lost in the forge of time unfortunately. Perhaps someone else will remember.
They were situated at the top end of Greenleaf Road, on the left hand side coming up from McGuffie.
thank you for your reply. I had an idea that the shop was on the opposite corner of the road, but if Eames was still trading in or around 1981, then you could well be right. I know there was McLarens, but that was on the left hand side of Hoe Street, on the corner of Albert Road I believe. I know for sure I did not buy the bike there. Mind you, I do recall when I may have been around eight years old choosing a set of American Civil war soldiers, which consisted of a selection of Union & Confederate troops and a couple of cannons for each side. Also a lovely pair of cap firing Navy Colt pistols, with which I often refought the Battle of the Little Big Horn, on one of the many bomb sites that were littered around Walthamstow. Especially the one at the top of Greanleaf Road on the left hand side coming down from Hoe Street. That was also the scene of our 'den' which was a nearly intact Andersen shelter, in which we roasted scrumped apples from a nearby garden... they tasted blooming horrible and resulted in many an upset stomach, accompanied by a bad case of the 'runs'!!
Although these are not cap firing toys, they are very similar to the ones I had bought for me. I'm not sure if it was Brittains that made them, perhaps Bill Bayliss will know if they made replica guns.
Thank you for your email. The PDF article was written by me and I do authorise you to publish it on Walthamtow Memories [read it here: V1 Bomb on Hoe St. 1944].
I have also attached a couple of photos that you may publish as well: The first one being my Dad doing his milk round when he had to do 3 rounds a day and take the milk straight from the churns into people's milk jugs (as there were no fridges in those days) hence the need for 3 rounds. Really hard work!
The second one is of my Mother, Auntie and my Granny is those dreadful hats that were worn then. It is a good job they went out of fashion as I wouldn't have been seen dead in one of them!
In response to a posting by Keith Rodger on the 29th July regarding the shop he bought his Raleigh from, I'm pretty sure it could have been Eames's toy shop at 377/379 Hoe Street. Obviously long gone now, but it was a double fronted shop that during the 50's and 60's was situated on the corner with Livingstone Road. They also had a similar shop on the corner of Avondale Road and Lea Bridge Road, E17. They sold prams, pushchairs, lots of baby toys and accessories and of course both Dinky and Corgi toys, lots of Triang stuff and bikes. Their Hoe Street shop was opposite what was then the Plaza cinema, later to become the Tatler and then a bingo hall. The Grade II listed building has recently been nicely restored and is currently used as a christian church. Attached is a photo of the shop as it is today.
Hello Rodney, Thanks for your reply.
I had been thinking it was possibly Ditchfields, but I am fairly certain that the shop in question was in Hoe Street. Possibly on the corner of either Clarendon or Livingston Road or thereabouts. Any ideas of any other shops in that area that sold bikes? A couple of other questions for you. Do you recall the names of these two shops:
The shop where your purchased your Raleigh bicycle was most likely Ditchfield’s, which closed after 80 years of trading in 2012 due to new parking restrictions. The shop fits the detailed description you gave but it was in Leyton High Road and not in Hoe Street.
There has been quite a lot of speculation about what is happening on the old Walthamstow Stadium car park site that, since the Stadium closure, has been illegally occupied by travellers on several occasions.
In fact the answer is simply that archeologists have seized the opportunity to excavate the site where the Manor House of Salisbury Hall stood for many centuries.
Hi, my uncle Harry Smith went to William Elliott, he was born in 1935 and lived 75 Lawrence Avenue and I guess would have been there during the war years and after. He lives in Colchester now and is celebrating his 80th birthday this year.
Hello Mick (and everybody on the WM site),
Thank you for your most interesting reply. I cannot recall Mr Bannister ever being into ladies stockings ... but what he did in privacy of his own home is anybody's guess!!
Now Hatherly Mews. My brother-in-law's family name was James and they were fishmongers, and had a stall near the top of High Street (as I have mentioned before). Their stall was kept in a lock up in the mews, and I would sometimes go with Tony James and his wife (my sister Joan) to help scrub the stall down, which had to be done every night when trading had finished. My overiding memory is the strangely pleasant aroma that was a mixture of Holdstocks bakery, which was situated on the opposite side of the mews, and the produce that was constantly being cleared out of the stables where Holdstoks horses were housed. Here in Cornwall we have a theme park called Flambards, which has a mock up of a Victorian village, complete with shops, houses... and stables, from which the appropriate aromas are emitted, and strangely enough the bakery and the stables are next to each other, so that each time I have been there, I am instantly transported back to Hatherly Mews!!
There was also in the mews a factory that produced tennis rackets, the name was something like Denhams or Dennons, I think. As a child the mews was an interesting cut through to get to and from the Granada cinema for the Saturday morning shows. Armed with a 3d (or was it 6d?) Palm Toffee bar, another 6d to get in, and a rich imagination a couple of hours of sheer delight were passed.
Back to milk. In Greenleaf Juniors, probably in an effort to actually keep me at school, they made me a milk monitor, complete with a small glazed metal badge. Robert Mallett and myself were to deliver the crates to the class rooms, from a central collection point in the hall. All went well for the first few days, and then disaster struck: somehow we contrived to drop one of the crates... which landed on my leg at the bottom of my shin! Being, as the crate was, metal and my leg was not, my limb came off a very poor second best. Thus ended another promising career. To this day there is still a small indent where crate & leg made contact.
Hi. I recognise some of the names, but not my class although probably the same time.
The teacher?......Could that be the famous Mr.Lovelock ???
I remember St. Andrews road church very well, I lived in St. Andrews road number 85 the old hardware shop and oil shop opposite the Prince pub. My parents married in the St Andrews church in 1949 and I used to go Sunday school there. I remember the prefabs opposite the church I used to play there as a child is this where you lived.
Hi, what a brilliant website!
I used to live at 85 St Andrews Road Walthamstow in 1950. It was a hardware shop and we lived above the shop. We moved to Billet Road in 1961. I would like to know the history of the shop and the previous tenants: it was being run as a Bookies when I last visited. Bob and Lil next door used to have the bootmenders and next to them the haberdashery shop and then the sweet shop run by a family named Carey. My Mum also had really good friends Edith and John; they lived in Gloucester road, Edith lost her first fiance in a tragic fairground accident. They moved to Barnet in the early 60's and we lost touch I have no way of finding them as I do not know their surname. My aunt had a cafe at the bottom of St Andrews Road in the 30s or 40s I dont have much family history to go on. I also went to St Andrews road school but they pulled that down. As kids we played on the old bomb sites there was a church opposite with a huge crater inside. I would love to find the history on the street.
After finding your site, my wife and I sat down and went through our history of Walthamstow. We started with Berries the piano shop with its curved window at the top of the High Street, and worked our way down past the church where a school friend lived past the swimming pool that was used by the schools during lesson time, to the market stall that we brought penny kites and flew them in Selbourne park until they got stuck in the trees then brought another one, carried on to Westbury Road where I lived in the prefab, such luxuries then, fridge, bath, cooker indoor toilet. Past the Carlton and Palace cinema to Tony's off license out side which I worked on Jack Atkins grocery stall opposite Sam and Elsie's fruit and salad stall, carrying on down to Palmerston Road where there was a little NHS(?) shed to collect my little sisters dried milk and orange. Even down the bottom of the Market when at Christmas there used to be a man selling hot chestnuts from a converted oil drum,cutting them all with a little pen knife. Seems like you do not have to walk to be a rambler!
From Daniel: Thanks for your 'memory stroll',Reg! If you havn't read them yet, you might be interested in Sally Passmore's "High st memories" (in Personal Stories) or in the few extracts on the Literature section.
I remember Hardcastle pipes in Forest Road. A brother of mine worked there for a few months and came home one day in the late 1960’s excitedly telling us he was going to appear on television that night. Apparently a television news crew had been there to do a short story on the business. I did see my bother on the television, or at least I saw his back as he sat at a long bench with other workers doing whatever it was they did.
Your comments about milk floats certainly stirred memories. Before I moved to Walthamstow, as a child our milkman used horse drawn float with rubber tyres. After my family moved, our milk was delivered by Hitchman’s Dairies using a electric milk float that the milkman walked ahead of and steered by a long metal arm in front. I think the arm had a button on the end to make the float move. As you say with the passage of time these floats were replaced by the three wheeled variety with a cab. Hitchman’s dairies had a depot close to me in St Mary’s Road between Hoe Street and Stainforth Road. It appears to be a gated car park now for local businesses. This depot was quite a noisy place when the floats were being loaded with the rattling of countless milk bottles in metal crates.
Initially the milkman only delivered milk, but small bottles of orange juice started to appear along with a whole range of products including ladies stockings. Bread was delivered daily to the house in a similar fashion by a horse and cart from Holdstock’s Bakeries. They had a shop in Hoe Street which backed onto Hatherley Mews where they had stables for their horses.
This happy little state of affairs went on for years until cracks in the form of competition started to appear in the business. Refrigerated street milk dispensers suddenly appeared where it was possible to buy milk in horrible little wax cartons. Supermarkets had also made an appearance by this time. Initially supermarkets were no more than large shops. They did sell milk still in pint glass bottles and though they were a little cheaper than the milkman, the price difference was not much. A mixture of loyalty to one's milkman and having to carry milk home from the supermarket which could be quite heavy meant the initial competition to the traditional milk industry remained relatively low. This was still a time when one did not use a car to go to the supermarket, but walked and carried everything, so purchases were also limited to a degree by weight that could be carried.
I don’t understand the economics of the milk industry but over time our milkman’s prices continued to escalate while supermarket prices remained relatively low. Supermarkets were also evolving into superstores with car parking and milk was now being sold even more cheaply than before and in bulk rather than the traditional pint bottle. Loyalty to one's milkman only goes so far particularly when there are quite significant price difference to the same product to be easily obtained elsewhere. Thus the doorstep milkman was forced almost into extinction. Although the milk industry is far from redundant its method of delivery was forced to change. I know where I now live doorstep deliveries can still be obtained via vans, I don’t know if this is still possible in urban areas like Walthamstow.
Like many things, daily doorstep deliveries of item like mild, bread and even fish have all but become a thing of the past, something of another memory to pass onto our children.
I’ve touched on this subject previously but I have returned to it because a correspondent wanted to know what happened to Livermore Brothers who ran a Hoe Street Drapers business. It was only when I researched their address and checked it out on Google Maps that I realised what had happened and thought that I should tell the story. [read it here]
Respects and best wishes,
I know that you have written articles about some of Walthamstow's lost industries, and wondered if you had heard of, or had any information on, Hardcastle Pipes. It was situated in Forest Road, just to the right hand side (if you are looking accross from the fire station) of the alley than runs from Coleridge Road down to Forest Road, if my memory is correct (which often these days it isn't). There was a cafe directly next to the alley also on the right hand side. I remember that well, for on Saturday mornings I helped on a milk round with our local Co-Op milkman, he was called Mr Bannister, and delivered to our house for what must have been 20 years. I recall he had one of those hand pulled battery assisted carts for many years, and then a much more luxurious milk float that he could sit inside, still I believe one that was battery charged though. We would do half of our round, and then visit that cafe for a cup of tea and a cake. That perk, plus two shillings was consider by me as very good payment, for sitting in that little cab, and popping out now and then to drop off bottles of milk or orange juice. I must admit ther were a few occasions when they were literally dropped off... especially during the winter when the bottles had what seemed like a thin layer of ice on the outside !! As I haven't done that milk round in about 55 years I guess that qualifies as a lost industry too!!
Thank you for your reply. I am not sure where my brother bought his bike Phillips from, he passed it on to me in 1961. I later bought a Raleigh, the model was a Carlton Corsair. It was purchased from a shop in Hoe St, cannot recall the shop's name. It was situated on the left hand side, almost opposite the cinema near the Bakers arms. It was not just a bike shop though: it sold prams & toys as well. The bike cost £219, so I doubt it would have been considered top of the range at that time. It was designed as a lightweight racer, which is not what I used it for. At that time I was working (using the term 'working' very loosely) for Hackney Council's building division, and would cycle to work on the it. My route took down Coppermill Lane to the marina, then I would pick up the old tow path, which brought me out at the bottom of Lea Bridge Road, from there I would cycle on to whatever site I was currently skiving at!! Unfortunately the tow path, being originally designed for horse transport, was not ideal for a bike with exceedingly thin tyres, consequently three or fours times a week I was having to get out the Dunlop puncture repair kit. It was though a lovely bike.
I have managed to find a picture of that model, in exactly the same colours as the one I had (perhaps though it only came in those colours).
It is selling for £185, so it seems to have held its value over the years. If Cornwall was not so hilly I might just be tempted!!
I remember that Phillips brand and if I am correct Vox Populi is Latin for ‘Voice of the people’ not that I am a scholar but I think that is correct.
Other popular brands at the time were BSA which was ‘British Small Arms’ but often corrupted to ‘Bloody Sore Ass’. Also Raleigh and of course the slogan was ‘Reg Rides a Raleigh’ because Reg Harris was the popular pro track rider at the time. As a matter of fact we have a Raleigh Tandem here in Perth and we ride it quite often; photo:
Len & Pam Hall with their Raleigh Tandem
And also I recall ‘Dawes’ bikes and the slogan was ‘get your fun out of Dawes’ another that comes to mind was Hercules, but I cannot recall a slogan.
I would always get a frame built by one of the shops in the Walthamstow area such as Lipscombes or Stokes or Brayshers or Rivetts and many others, who catered for cyclists who preferred bespoke bicycles.
I’ve done the reply as a PDF so as to retain the images in position.
I have only come across Walthamstow Memories this afternoon and have spent the last 2 hours or more reminiscing. I have replied privately to a man who wanted to know about the V1 bomb that dropped in Hoe Street in 1944. My Dad, being a policeman, was on duty when that happened and was located in that area and the reason I remember it so well, is because that was the only time he ever went off of his food, as he had to find his friend who owned a sweet shop just yards away from where it dropped. I too knew this man, but cannot remember his name. He was a Jewish man and so lovely, but then he always gave me a sweet when I went in the shop. I was only a young child then, and to be given a sweet when they were rationed, was sheer heaven!
I have also put a couple of photos on Walthamstow Times. One of my Dad when he was a milkman (I don't think he was married when that was taken) and one of my Mum. Auntie and granny in those dreadful pot hats that they used to wear. Both pictures have gone down a storm especially the one of Dad when he was a milkman and doing 3 rounds a day!! Health and safety would have a files day now!!
Thank you for your time and such an interesting page. I moved away from Walthamstow to Dorset in 1991 it is so beautiful here and I love it.
Just found your site and seen a Brian Lodge looking for ex employees of Asea/Fullers or Hawkwer Sidderley, as its name kept changing whilst I served my apprenticeship from 1963 to 1969.
Finishing my time as a machine tool fitter in the maintenance department which allowed me into every part of the buildings from the directors office to the bomb shelters which the maintenance used as a store rooms, signs of the copper mill phone exchange were still on the wall.
I left after my time was complete to work in other companies and returned in the last year when the firm was winding down. We were told the close down was not lack of work as another big transformer was required for the Arab States but because of the twin towers disaster the backers who dealt with American baggage handling needed cash flow so Hawker was sold and shut and all work went to Brush electric. After the shut down I was called back to do an electrical repair and the factory looked very sad and of course very empty...
Thank you so much for adding the advert for the Philips Vox Populi to my post. I was amazed to see it once again. Wherever did you find it?
I eventually sold it to a work mate from Achille Serre, in 1965 (minus the mud, of course). It had covered many a mile by then, to such exotic places as Waltham Abbey, Royston, White Hart Lane, West Ham Speedway, St. Alabans, Southend, and nearly every pub in Walthamstow (especially though to the Rising Sun, and the Prince of Wales in Lea Bridge Road, for the latter sold an excellent pint of Youngs Special Bitter), Leyton & Chingford.
I used to live near Folly Lane when I was a child and there was definitely no POW camp there. We used to use Folly Lane as a short cut to get to the North Circular Road to get to Highams Park. Had there have been a POW camp there, we wouldn't have been allowed down Folly Lane at all.
Hope that is of some help
Thank you very much for the insert. There was no need to apologise, I fully understand the amount of effort that goes into your site and everyone should be commended.
I also know what it is like with granddaughters as I have two myself.
As a matter of interest, the two on the left of the picture came from Walthamstow: Tony the drummer with glasses lived in Forest Road and Jim the rhythm guitarist, next to him, came from round the back of Black Horse Road, (unfortunately I can’t remember their surnames) but could be considered a local band under the circumstances.
I am cowriter of Freddie Davies' autobiography Funny Bones: My Life in Comedy, published by Scratching Shed on July 31st.
The reason I'm contacting you is that I have just learnt that the pub in which Freddie made his debut as a comedian at the age of ten was not the Crooked Billet in Slough, as he thought, but the Crooked Billet in Walthamstow! He has just been informed of this by a family member after the book's publication. It's because Freddie, although born in Brixton, was brought up in Salford and only down in London for a month in 1947 to stay with his grandparents. Freddie thinks they must have passed the pub in Slough and it got mixed up in his memories. So it was great to come across your website and see Bill Bayliss' post and a photo of the actual pub. Sorry to learn that it's no longer here even if the name lives on. No scope for a blue plaque, then.
His autobiography describes how Freddie was hoisted onto a chair in the back room of the pub and he went through his grandad's act - he was a comedian by the name of Jack Herbert, quite a big name in his day though forgotten now. Sid Field, an inspiration for Tony Hancock, was his straight man in several revues.
I attach a copy of the book cover if you wish to use it on your site:
Hello Mick & all,
A little more info on that photo. Gerry Cambitsis had a Welsh mother and a Greek father, they lived in Greenleaf Road, a little way up from McGuffie going towards Hoe Street. His parents ran a cafe in Wood Street, and we would often pop in there for a free Pepsi cola and a cheese roll. Alan Thrift lived in Luton Road, not far from the the Walthamstow Avenue FC entrance in Winns Avenue, and many a Saturday afternoon was spent watching the A's who were then one of the best amateur football teams in England. Johnny Johnson, not sure were he lived, but I do recall he was extremely lucky to have survived being knocked from his bike and run over by a large lorry, he was maybe 13 or 14 at the time. Fred Keruise either was born or lived in South Africa in his early years, before arriving at McGuffie I believe.
The trip to Interlaken was an incredible experience. The journey from Calais to Basel started at about 6.30 pm, and we did not arrive in Basel until somewhere around about 6am the following morning. A somewhat uncomfortable journey, because of the wooden seats, but still non the less so very exciting for a 14 year old Walthamstow boy, whose only other journey outside England had been to Scotland when I was 7 years old. I recall stopping at Nancy in northern France, and people coming up to the open train windows and selling us coffee and pastries. My one overriding memory of Basel was the large number of... cigarette machines, and how cheap the cigarettes were. For an under age smoker, it was like an Aladin's cave of illegal treasure!
Your mention of Brian Roome bought back a very frightening memory. He lived in Cleveland Park Road, and was sort of a friend. He had what was called a 'track bike', one that had those handle bars that went upwards like a pair of bulls horns. I had no bike, and would continually pester him to let me ride the 'bull' (I actually had probably never ridden a bike, but I thought it looked easy). One day he relented (possibly helped with bribe of a Turf cigarette), so I mounted the bike and tried to pedal away: I was wobbling all over the place, and then suddenly a removal lorry turned out of Hatherly Road into Cleveland Park. What little nerve I had left just disappeared as the lorry came along side of me. I lost my balance and just fell against the side of the lorry, and was carried along by it until it reached the High Street end of the road. Then I just fell sideways (thankfully away from the lorry) and sat there shivering, shaking and - although I'm sure I tried hard not to, because Brian was tough lad and I didn't want him to see me - crying!!
Needless to say I never asked to ride the 'Bull' again. It was quite a few years before I had a bike of my own - it was a hand me down from my brother - a lovely drop handle barred racer, it was called a Phillips Vox Populi.
Two tone blue... and very muddy... after I ditched into the Hollow Pond on a warm summer night in 1962, but that is another story.
I e-mailed the memories in 2013 regarding the group that I sang with in the early to mid sixties called The Beat Syndicate. I have found a picture of the group taken in 1965 which I have attached in case anyone remembers us.
I am at the back, Tony the drummer 1st left, Jim the Rhythm Guitarist, John the Bass player and Mick George Lead Guitarist.
We played with many bands all over the country as well as Walthamstow and Leyton.
The Acts at the Walthamstow Assembly Hall were Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders, Neil Christian & the Crusaders, Tony Rivers & the Castaways to name a few. Other venues played in the area were Leyton Baths, The Red Lion, Coronation Gardens, The Bakers Arms, The Wake Arms and The Two Puddings.
I noticed on a piece in 2012 regarding The Tones group. They listed a competition which we were also in back in those days, which was of great interest to me.
If there is anyone out there who has copies of flyers or posters concerning The Beat Syndicate or any other material, I would be extremely grateful to receive copies as I am struggling to get any flyer/poster history.
I hope this is worthy of inserting in your memories.
Many thanks for contacting me regarding a photo of The Elms in Coppermill Lane Walthamstow. I have now emailed Brian accordingly.
A couple of years ago when I was in London my husband took me down Coppermill Lane and Sandy Lane. I was so shocked to see how things had altered. The railwayman's house next to the old Coppermill bridge had been demolished completely and as children we walked down a deserted Sandy Lane to the river it is now unrecognizable with the industrial buildings and offices which have sprung up. How devastating to see such a change to an open space!
Laura Forrester in her memories has asked for a picture of The Elm's in Coppermill Lane. I have a photo taken in 1958. Please ask Laura to contact me. Thank you.
Thanks Mick, really appreciate you looking into that for me.
I can check with my father on the war damage, he probably knows for sure.
That is very kind of you to research and get back to me on this so promptly. The email you sent with the census information is particularly interesting.
I had seen that post by Kathleen Ward and emailed her but it bounced back. Looks like it was posted some years ago and her email no longer works.
Thank you very much!!!!
According to the 1911 Census, Arthur Livermore was a Master Draper who lived above his shop at 141, Hoe Street Walthamstow.
The shop also shows in Kelly’s Directory for 1914, vis:
This was situated opposite the entrance to the High Street, beside Church Hill (modern picture):
Your best bet for a picture would be Waltham Forest Museum at Rectory Road. http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/pages/services/vhm.aspx but you will need to contact them first for an appointment.
You may be interested to know that there was an earlier similar enquiry to Walthamstow Memories as follows: [here].
I’ll send the extracted information for the 1911 Census via the site Private email.
I have no advertising information on Livermore Brothers, but I did check the London Telephone Directory either side of WW2. Pre-war their address was 141 Hoe Street and post-war it was 231 Hoe Street.
141 Hoe Street no longer exists but it appears to be located where Central Parade Hoe Street is now situated. This raises the possibility of war damage causing relocation.
Their pre-war telephone was KEYstone 4103 and they had the same telephone number post-war in their new premises. This changed to COPpermill 1438 in 1954.
I am related to the Livemore family, who used to own a well known drapery shop "Livermore Brothers" on Hoe Street, I believe before and after WWII. I was wondering if you have any adverts or other related information from publications at that time, that might reference their shop.
I noticed in your special projects you have this: "St. Gabriel's Church, Walthamstow: The Parish Monthly Magazine". I'm wondering if this or other sources might reference their shop? Looking for photos or any information.
Would appreciate any help you can provide.
I have sent this picture of my grandmother Annie Conyard and her siblings, date is 1911.
The address of this tiny cottage is 2 Poplar cottage, Chingford Road, Walthamstow. The location I was told is close to the Dog and Duck pub.
A little snippet of Edwardian life
This is the story of Henry Taylor, the Walthamstow school clothiers business. It was a shop that was known to generations of Walthamstow residents and their children. For many of the children, getting their school uniform from the shop was one of the important rites of passage from childhood to adolescence.
Now, the shop has gone and the business, which is still run by a family member, operates ‘on-line ‘as an internet trader. During my research I was delighted to find that, although not in my schooldays, Henry Taylor is the official school uniform supplier for my old secondary school.
My sincere thanks go to Melanie Powell, Henry Taylor’s grand-daughter, for her invaluable help.
Yes I was in the same class as yourself although I cannot remember you face but as you say, you were there that often. I never did go to the Happy Hour club although I knew where it was.
Dave Chappell’s father used to run a radio engineering club at the Marsh Street club and showed us how to build a crystal radio. Apart from badminton at which I became quite good and which was the main attraction, there was little other outlets apart from a chess club, facilities being quite limited. Pop music was a definite no-no. During the 1950’s young people were not well catered for in Walthamstow and most of the time it was a case of self-made entertainment.
I also went on the school trip to Interlaken and recognise Gerry Cambitsis who was also in our class. He was of Welsh origin if I recall correctly. I am sorry to hear of Fred Keruise demise. When I walked out of William McGuffie school for the last time, it was also the last time I saw or had contact with my classmates. I did manage to make email contact with another classmate Brian Roome last year via Facebook. Certainly I had an enjoyable life and career after I left McGuffie and although school days leave indelible memories on everyone’s minds, I would never want to go through them again.
I did write an article about my William McGuffie days including the trip to Interlaken on my website (at http://micksmuses.com/2011/02/01/school-days/ with the following small extract:
“My last year at school also saw a school holiday to Interlaken in Switzerland. I think the cost was £30 which was a considerable amount of money at the time. How my mother managed to save that money I shall never know but she clearly scrimped and saved on her low wages in her determination to see me go. The school issued some weeks in advance of the journey a detailed itinerary in the shape of a small booklet produced on the schools Gestetner duplicating machine. This I read over and over again until I literally knew every word and the places we would visit by heart. Travel was by rail all the way there. First to Dover for the ferry and then onto a French sleeper train to Berne where we switched to the Swiss railway system. I was that excited I did not sleep throughout the journey. Both the French and even more so the Swiss trains seemed to glide smoothly over the rails. This was in stark contrast to the side to side buffeting experienced on British Rail. It was also strange to experience the more human side of teachers on the trip, some who were normally quite stern in the classroom. We travelled to many local places and saw many sights. One evening we went to a casino. This however was not to gamble but to see an evening show also held at the same location. More importantly, it was also my first experience of learning first hand of different cultures and their way of life.”
Perhaps the rest of the article will bring back some memories for yourself too.
I am enclosing an old photo (very poor quality I'm afraid). It was taken on a school trip to Interlaken, the year was 1960 (though possibly 1959).
Left to right, they are: Gerry Cambitsis, Alan Thrift, Johnny Johnson and Fred Keruise (not sure about the spelling of Fred's surname). I have recently found out that sadly he passed away in 2011. I hope some others will recall the trip, and perhaps remember some or all of the Four (five if you include me) McGuffieteers?
Good Morning Bill
This may interest you re school camps as this is the one where I went 3 years running around 1950:
I remember David Chappell, but cannot recognise him in that photo. He was at one time in my class at William McGuffie I believe. Very sad to learn of his death at such a young age. Your mention of his father's shop bought back one very old memory of the days when radio was our main (perhaps only) form of home entertainment, apart from game playing of course.
Our old 'steam' radio had what was called an accumulator, which as you probably know was a kind of battery, made of very thick glass with four terminals on top connected to rods inside the jar, and filled with some type of acid. Chappell's used to rent them out, and every second weekend it was my job to carry the used one down to their shop, and they would replace it with a recharged one. The cost, if I recall rightly, was 2 shillings. Money well spent I reckon, to hear such classics as 'Journey into Space', Dick Barton , Hancock's Half Hour, the Goons, and the very creepy 'The Man In Black/Appointment with fear'. The last mentioned being a series of horror/supernatural stories superbly and frighteningly read by the 'Man in Black' himself, Valentine Dyall.
The were many more favourite radio shows, but I will not bore you with a long list, maybe some others will recall some of their own. I realise I have digressed from this being a story about Walthamstow, my apologises for that.
I do have many 'Stow' memories, and in time will try to place some on here. Especially ones concerning my many varied work places, such as Garners, Unichem, Achille Serre, Jeeves, Sketchleys (the last three mentioned were all dry cleaners) and the GPO. Also about schools days (or perhaps in my case non-school days, for my attendance record was at best what might be called erratic!!), anyway the schools I should have attended were Greenleaf Infant & Junior, and of course the mightily magnificent 'McGuffie'.
Getting back to your photo, my sister attended Marsh Street church, but she may have been too old to have been on that particular outing, for she would be 12 at the time. She also went to a club that was, I believe, run by that church in a building on the corner of Eldon Road and Truro Road; she called it the 'Happy Hour' club, I also went a couple times, but it didn't make me very happy, so I gave up. Did you attend that club as well? I have a feeling you may also have been in some of my school classes (but only on the very odd occasions that I turned up!!).
I recently found a box of old photographs from my fathers effects which got put away and forgotten. The picture below was badly damaged but I have managed to clean it up a bit using Photoshop.
The picture was taken about 1954 and is the Marsh Street Congregation Church Sunday School outing to Westcilff. The Congregational Church was located in the High Street directly opposite the library.
I have forgotten all of the names except the Rev Ron Walters (front left) and myself standing directly next to him, My sister Anne who some may remember is far right on the back row. Anne emigrated to Australia in 1963 where she still happily lives with her family. She also went to William McGuffie School.
One of the boys is possibly David Chappell, (I am not certain which) whose father used to run Chappell’s TV repair shop in Palmerston Road. I only learned recently he suddenly died when he was 30. I cannot remember any other names but perhaps someone will recognise them.
If I recall correctly, all the kids wanted to go to the Kursal Fun Fair but the adults had other ideas.
This is one for all the former McEntee School pupils:
I have Emailed the church with your enquiry asking them to either respond direct to you or to me, so that I can relay the information. If they reply direct to you, would you please let me know so I won’t have to ‘chase’ them up.
This is just a thought from me as I am wondering if it would be possible for the WM website to send out an automatic notification when there are any updates on it.
I look every day and as I said it would be so convenient if something could be done about that.
Meanwhile I am looking forward to summer in Perth as I have had enough rain for a while.
From Daniel: Your ‘update notice’ suggestion is quite appropriate, although I have introduced a ‘last updated’ date on each page of WM - a hint on possible changes/updates. I also usually report in the “What’s new” section of the home page if there are relevant changes on the site or new articles.
To implement a ‘notification’ system, I should setup a sort of mailing list for visitors to join and then send out mailings each time something new appears. However, since visitor emails are posted almost daily, you would receive ‘reminders’ with equal frequency.. and that would probably be cluttering your email box..!
The attached is the rather long second part of what, I hope, will be a mini series on the history of healthcare provision in Walthamstow. I intend next to try to cover the Whipps X , Hale End/Brookfield and Walthamstow Isolation hospitals as well as the services provided by Brookfields and the various Walthamstow clinics and I will be grateful for any readers’ reminiscences/comments.
Very many reminiscences and histories of past and existing Walthamstow residents start by saying “I was born in Thorpe Combe”. What they are referring to is the Thorpe Combe Maternity Hospital that was in Walthamstow from 1934 until 1977. In that period, many women thousands of babies were born and many women attended ante natal clinics.
The Thorpe Combe hospital site in Forest Road opposite the Town Hall is one of the well known Walthamstow landmarks. Over the years, we have seen the original hospital buildings on Forest Road, extended into a sprawling mass of buildings on the site.
Now, we know that big changes are afoot. The site owners, the North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT have obtained planning permission to make extensive developments on the site.
So, I have a written a history: Thorpe Combe Hospital
Hello and thank you for your interesting site.
I am trying to do some family history research and wondered if it was possible to get a post on your bulletin board. My name is Victoria Alexander and along with my cousin (1x removed) Christine King we are trying to get in touch with a David Johnson, born 1937, and his family. Christine’s mum was Vera Samwell (Macarthur) born 1918 and my grandmother was Florence Alexander (Macarthur) born 1910. They were sisters of David’s mum Doris Johnson (Macarthur), born 1914. David has 2 sisters Kathleen born 1935, and Valarie born 1939.
However we do not know their current surnames and believe they and David may have moved out of the area. I have been told David had a partner around the late 1970’s who worked in Ethels’ hairdressers, 141 Markhouse Road. Above which my mum was living at the time and where my Dad (David’s cousin) used to visit. My dad only remembers meeting David once by accident. After Florence did not inform Doris of their mother’s death in 1964 they understandably fell out.
Florence never spoke of Doris or much about her childhood. We were wondering if David or any of his family knows any family history or if Doris ever talked about her childhood and the time she spent in care with her sister Vera and Brothers Reginald and Kenneth. If you recognise any of the names mentioned and would like to ask/share information we would be happy to talk to you.
Thank you for your time
I have been trying to find out what happened to my mothers grave, last visited some 30 years ago due to the fact that I now live in Shropshire. My Mother Pauline Ralph died some 60 years ago at the sad age of 28. She left me, my sister Janet Ralph and my Father William Henry Ralph. She was buried in the church yard of St Mary's Walthamstow and her grave was near the raillings next to Church St. I remember on my visits how white the marble was and her name and details clearly inscribed at the end of the grave. A friend of mine, who's Daughter lives in Walthamstow, walked every inch of the church yard and found no grave for my Mother. I have tried to contact the church via a message left on their phone line and via e/mail, but no responses so far from either, I'm afraid...
My Grandmother on my maternal line was Alice Stock re Alice Chadwick and lived with her Daughter Lilly (Glady's) Way and her Husband Bert Way. She had 3 boys: Grayham, Barry and Phillip. They lived in a large corner house at 20 Barrett Rd for many many years.
I would like to visit my Mothers resting place in the not too distant future, but am at a loss to understand why her grave has gone missing as it was such a stricking grave stone of white marble. My friend went to visit her daughter 2 weeks ago and also walked the cemetary but with no luck. I am 66 now and would like to visit Walthamstow one more time to see Mum but was saddened to be given this news and why the Church is not responding to me...
I have by the way some old photos of me and my sister at a coronation street party and some pictures of my Grand parent in their younger days which, as born and bred in Walthamstow, someone may recognise them.
My Paternal Grandmother was married to Horace Stock and their home backed onto the coal yard of the Leytonstone High Rd station. I called her Nanny choocher as we had to travel from Foster Rd to visit her after Mum died as we lived very sadly with our horrid Grandmother (Dads Mum)... sad days.....and memories...
Could you help, I wonder? I would appreciate any help regarding Mum if possible. Thank you so much.
With kind regards
Today, it is commonplace for our school children to go on school trips. Whether this is simply at Junior school to carry out field studies and pool-dip Epping Forest ponds at High Beech or when they're older to more exotic locations.
This year my 9 year old grand-daughter went to France and her 14 year old sister went to Holland. In the past, my children have gone to a variety of outdoor sports locations in England and Wales as well as cruises around the Mediterraneum, various European countries and both my grand-sons went to the Bahamas (Although not with a Walthamstow school). This year the oldest, now a teacher, helped take a party of older children doing Media sand to Hollywood!
It was therefore delighted when in my research on Walthamstow Hospitals, I came across this excerpt from a fascinating report in 1947 to Walthamstow Educational Committe from the Medical officer of Health:
that tells us how it all started. It actually should go with my earlier piece ‘War Memories on School Camps’ that you published in 2012.
Enclosed an article on "School trips in 1947".
While researching something entirely different, I made the stunning discovery that there wasn’t a proper dedicated history of Connaught Hospital. A little further digging showed that, other than the excellent ‘Lost Hospitals of London’ series, this was also the situation for Thorpe Combe, and Walthamstow Isolation (Chingford) Hospitals (Len Davis of the Chingford Historical Society did write a piece some time ago about the latter, but is now hard to come by) This situation is also true for Brookfield and Hale End Hospitals and for the ancillary facilities such as Brookscroft. By now I’ve probably lost you, as I’m throwing around names of hospitals that you might well associate with Chingford.
In a record to be proud of, Walthamstow (Which once had the biggest population outside any of the London metropolitan Boroughs) was ranked 5th in the UK in its healthcare provision for its residents. Yet, there isn’t any joined up history of this situation.
So, I’m researching and writing. This piece about Connaught Hospital is the first. The next will be about Thorpe Combe Hospital and I welcome any reader reminiscences.
Thank you for your interesting Email. I’m hoping that Walthamstow Memories wonder woman memory of High Street shops, (correspondent Sally Passmore) will be able to answer your question about the Men’s clothing shop.
With regard books about Walthamstow after 1950, I’m sorry to say that they haven’t yet been written. There are a few books like "Walthamstow Past" by David Mander and "Walthamstow Through Time" by Lindsay Collie that have snippets but they don’t cover the period in any depth. This is exactly the reason for the Walthamstow Memories site existence and if you read through the ‘Personal’ memories section and the ‘Postbags’ you will find a wealth of material about the period that forms a social history of the times. Indeed, it’s the basic reason for my history pieces that are an attempt to document facets of Walthamstow that have disappeared.
In your Email you mention Unichem. This was a business about which little has been catalogued and it would be extremely helpful if you could contribute your memories of the company.
In conclusion I would suggest that you may want to look at the Walthamstow Times Facebook site that, although limited by the Facebook format, has many pictures that cover the period of your interest.
The headmaster was called Herbert Percy Williamson.
I too left in 1952.
I was interested to see the photograph of the ARP group, posed in front of the sandbags. The steel helmets have the letter 'R' painted on them. This would indicate 'Rescue' squads, who would work through the bombed-out houses in search of survivors. There were also 'Heavy Rescue' squads as well.
I have been able to locate this address in the 1911 census and by going backwards and forwards to adjacent census entries I have been able to establish it was within a few buildings, of the buildings that existed at that time, of the Victory Public House at 222 Chingford Road E17. This public house has since been renamed the Dog and Duck.
The other nearby entries in the 1911 census give various cottage names in Chingford Road but not the position within it. I think at the time, Chingford Road may have extended both sides of Wadham Road, with the part of Chingford Road north of Wadham Road being later renamed Chingford Mount Road. All these properties came within the Chapel End Polling District.
There may have been some distance between these cottages and it would probably require a more detailed Ordnance Survey map of the area at that time to determine this.
Google Street view does indicate extensive rebuilding of this stretch of road since 1911.
Winns Primary school was and still is a very successful school. In the 70’s it served as a ‘feeder’ school for William Fitt, Sidney Chaplin and Willowfield that were all schools for 11-14 year olds. These schools then ‘fed’ children at the age of 14 years to McEntee.
As you know I have sent you other information via the Private Email system.
I have a lovely old photograph showing my grandmother as a young child outside her home. The address of the property (a tiny cottage) is 2 Poplar Cottage, Chingford Road,Walthamstow. Would anyone have an idea as to where these properties were located? The photograph is dated 1911.
Below is a snip from Bartholomew’s 1908 interactive map.
This would seem to indicate that the likely location for Isabella Villas was between Carew and Paget Roads. The entire area was redeveloped with the creation of the Wadham viaduct as part of the North Circular Road in 1930 and these roads are gone. Since then there have been further alterations to the North Circular Road affecting Wadham Road.
If you take a virtual walk with Google maps along Wadham Road you will see that the earliest properties all appear to date from the thirties.
The attachment – A Walthamstow Murder – is the last (for the time being because I’ve still got a few interesting bits) of my excursions into 18th century Walthamstow.
The first bit tries to give readers some idea of life in the period. The second bit is about the Jeffries murder that is documented in "The whole tryal of John Swann, and Elizabeth Jeffries, for the murder of her uncle Mr. Joseph Jeffryes, at Walthamstow, ... at the assizes held at ... 11th of March, 1752".
It would make a good television drama. It was a cold calculated murder for financial gain with the two conspirators trying to stage a fake burglary and set up a ‘fall guy’ for the murder. However, they came to a ‘sticky’ end.
Has anyone got any photos of early Longfellow road? Two of my great uncles, Charles John Martin, who worked at the Walthamstow Water Works, and his brother George, who died on HSM Aboukir, lived at no 112.
I have just found your website after visiting the William Morris Museum and going down "memory lane"!
I left the school in 1952!! A lovely English teacher, Margaret Pollard. What was the head-master called? He was a north country man and called the playground a yard... I think he took over from Miss Herring, who taught my mother!
Do you have anything on winns ave school in Walthamstow in the early 70's As I can't find anything..?
From Daniel: What we have is [here], but perhaps some of our visitors may add more?
The local newspaper has gone to town with the TDF this year read pages 36 to 43.
If only I was there in my home town for a few days!
Do you know where Isabella Villas, Wadham Road, Walthamstow might have been in 1911?
In answer to your letter on your site about S NOTON’S, whose factory was based by the Standard in Walthamstow.
I started at S NOTON’S on the day after Boxing day at Christmas in 1955 as a 15 year old apprentice as a sewing machine mechanic on two pounds and ten shillings on a 40 hour week. Our foreman was an Irish guy by the name of Jack Croak his two mechanics were Roy Harvey and Alan Rice plus myself as the boy.
I was there about three years or so and I did learn a lot about factory maintaince some of which I still use today, the foreman in the factory was Charlie Ellis, Mr Poltrack who we all called Polly and his brother Felix were the factory managers in charge of the output and smooth running of the plant.
S Noton’s ran a fleet of about six Dennis trucks which were about 2000 cubic feet in size plus two Dennis artics with flat trailers which were based up in Oldham in Lancashire, where they made the large industrial containers all painted up in a cream and red with sign written on each side and the front.
As I was only fifteen my main interest was the girls of my own age and a lot of them worked on our sewing machines so there was a lot of time to chat.
While I was there, S Noton’s started to build the new factory (which is still there) and as they put in the footings all the old railway sidings from the old AEC works (builders of London buses) were dug up, there were also some old AEC bus engines which I think were from the old General buses in the underground cellars which were not used and we only got down to a couple of times. Walthamstow was the original home of the AEC back in the early part of the 1900s, until they moved to Southall.
S Noton’s bought out a luggage firm by the name of Parker Wakeling Ltd based over by Northumberland Park Station in Tottenham, they made very high class luggage in wood and I was sent over to help clear out the wood machinery, S Noton’s transferred the handbag department from Walthamstow to P Ws along with Bob Brown, who was the foreman and who became the factory manager at P Ws.
I learnt a lot from that time and I still do remember quite a few names but I eventually left in 1958 to go and work in the West End the same job but three times the money there are many stories to relate about the staff of S Noton’s or as we called it SANATAS NOTON’S.
I'm not sure if this is the right place to be asking a question, or do I have to post somewhere else on thes site? Here goes anyway.
I was born in Campbell Road in 1946 and lived in Walthamstow until 1987. The High Street was my favourite domain for many years throughout the 50s & 60s. Just recently I have been trying to gather together as much information on the many various shops & stalls that have at one time or another been present in the market.
Unfortunately most of the material available (or that I have found) dates from the late 1800s to the early 1900s, interesting as this is, it doesn’t help in my quest for information on the period that I actually remember. So I was wondering if any of the 'Stowies' (or your good selves) that contribute to your excellent site, can recommend any books that may cover the Hight Street of the 50s & 60s.
My brother-in-law's family had a fish stall in the market for probably in eccess of 50 years, it was situated just outside the Black & White cafe. Plus, both my Mum & sister worked in chemist shops, one was Fox's the other was Megsons. I myself worked in a garment manufacturer that was at the back of a small alleyway/mews opposite where the Carlton used to be - I think the name was Garners. Also worked at Unichems in Westbury Road for a while, and did a five year stretch at Achille Serre's as a Hoffman presser (a very bad one!!). I have so many wonderful memories of Walthamstow, and your delightful site has evoked many that had laid dormant for years.
Right now to my main question (there will I'm sure be many more): can anyone name the men's clothing shop that was situated opposite the bottom of Erskine Road, next door (on the right) to the cafe that had a snooker room above it. I have been trying to recall as many shop names as possible, but this one just wont come to me (as well as quite a few others) and it has special relevance concerning a pair of cavalry twill trousers!!
Sorry to have been so long winded but once I started writing about the market I got a bit carried away!!
I am in negotiation with the WF Council to have commemorative plaques placed at the sites of the former film studios in Wood Street, Hoe Street and Lea Bridge Road. The first studio built in Wood Street was The Precision Film Studio (which was also the first purpose built film studio in the UK). As far as I can discover there are no extant images of this extremely important building. If you or anyone else can provide original images of any of the Walthamstow Studios we would be very grateful as we plan further commemorative work in partnership with the council with regards to the film studios.
I’ve just recently discovered your website and it was great to read all those memories about Walthamstow. I’ve written down a few things relating to my childhood (5-13 years) [read them here], some of which might not be of interest. If there’s anything you can use, then please do. Maybe you could split it up into two or three messages as it would be great if I were able to contact some of the people I knew as a child. I now live in Belgium, but I have been back to Walthamstow – once for a family reunion which was held in Vestry House, as well as a stroll down the High Street, back to Lloyd Park etc. I’ve also actually been over once to look up records in the Archives section of Vestry House : Electoral registers, Walthamstow Guardian Newspaper, the schools my mum went to, etc... There is one specific request I’d like to make to Bill Bayliss, but I don’t know how to contact him. Would you be able to put me in contact with him?
I shall certainly keep up with the news now that I’ve discovered you. So far I’ve only been through about 4 years of Postbags, so there’s plenty to discover still.
Many thanks and best wishes,
I was at Chapel End School at the start of WW2 and can remember the day being moved from the school in buses to the train to go and live out in the country.
I was seven and a half at the time and this was the first time away from home.
Can’t remember what my feelings were but I think we all had labels on with our names.
Nor shore of the village where we eventual stopped but I can remember all gathering in a hall and all the kids at one end and the village folks at the other and we were sorted out to go and live with new family’s.
The only other things I can remember about that time was that we were given a small bag of sweets and a piece of fruit.
Such a long time ago.
P.S. I was only out in the country for about eight months then Mum got me back home.
Look at page 8 if you can, this was published this week and this morning I have had one reply.
I am top row 2nd from LHS.
The Guardian (Walthamstow) - "Eager for news from class of '52"
I couldn’t resist it, cockney ‘cheeky chappies’ must stick together!
MY OLD MUM on YouTube
MY OLD MUM
(Harrington / Turner) as recorded by the Max Miller 1950
I'm an ordinary Cockney bloke and talkin's not my line,
I like to hear the other's view I tell 'im mine;
But there's someone I could talk about for hours and hours on end,
Although she's not a cover girl, she ain't half been a friend!
Oh, I ain't 'alf proud of my old mum,
The finest pal a fellow ever had!
She looked after me when I was just a kid,
She put me right when I was wrong, no matter what I did!
Oh, I ain't 'alf proud when she's walking down the street,
'Cause I know what she's been through;
But now I'm in the money and I've got some LSD,
I'm lookin' after my old mum as she looked after me!
Oh, I ain't 'alf proud of my old mum,
And she ain't 'alf proud of me!
Now all together, now then!
Oh, I ain't 'alf proud of my old mum,
The finest pal a fellow ever had!
She looked after me when I was just a kid,
She put me right when I was wrong, no matter what I did!
Oh, I ain't 'alf proud when she's walking down the street,
'Cause I know what she's been through;
But now I'm in the money and I've got some LSD,
I'm lookin' after my old mum as she looked after me!
Oh, I ain't 'alf proud of my old mum,
And she ain't 'alf proud of me!
Now I'm in the money and I've lots of LSD,
I'm lookin' after my old mum as she looked after me!
Oh, I ain't 'alf proud of my old mum,
And she ain't 'alf proud of me!
From Daniel: Trust Bill to dig out jewels like this!
For our younger visitors, may I just point out that the LSD (or more commonly £sd) mentioned in the text refers to the Pounds/Shillings/Pence currency (from the Latin currency denominations Librae, Solidi, and Denarii) - and not to a certain 'substance' widely known in the late 60s?
Apart from the obvious that Hatherley Mews once was where horses were stabled and later served as an access to various shops and small businesses in Hoe Street – what else do you want to know?
I don’t wish to be rude, but I am curious about why somebody running a ‘design’ project in Old Street with an email address that appears to be of an independent garden nursery in Sussex, is asking for information that can be easily obtained by searching the internet? I've just had a quick look and there is masses of stuff. As you will see, it’s now full of wall-to-wall trendy businesses. A number of them apparently associated with the Hiltongrove Business Centre who do a nice sales patter about a cobbled street and provide a lot of local business information.
What you really should do, is contact the Waltham Forest Museum, which is the best Walthamstow resource centre and is also listed on the internet. However, you will have make an appointment to visit to look at their records.
I was born in Stow in 1967 and cannot find any pictures of the central as a turnaround for the buses or the wood sheds that were there and no pics of the arcade where sounds right was and the sewing shop and the delicate place in boundry road which I play the market is horrible now I'm fact most of Stow is a disgrace to the way I knew it in the 70's and 80's the Granada and the ABC in bakers arms wingfiled was a green bound in the middle of the park and a umbrella roundabout and a shed that smelt like wee but it was our shed and rag and bone man that was near wingfiled park and connect hospital as a demolition site that I played on and found some w2 goggles I loved my walthamstow when I was a kid and teenager but I hate it now I moved away to high Walthamstow in the late 90's but if any1 has pictures of the places I mention please get in touch
Hi Daniel, Hi how are you?
I hope that this finds you well and that Pat is well too.
Please find attached a story (Oh I aint half prad of my ol’ Mum) for WM website
All good wishes
I work at a design agency based near Old Street. We're currently working on a project at Hatherley Mews (just off Hoe Street). I'm just wondering if you know much about that particular part of Walthamstow or would be able to put us in touch with anyone that would?
All the best
I’m at it again. Following publication of my Walthamstow Muggers piece, I was contacted by Mick Gilbey, who is a regular correspondent with Walthamstow Memories site. He is an excellent genealogical researcher and has more expertise than I have with Australian genealogy.
The information that he supplied allowed me to carry out further research and uncover a fascinating story. The article attached is the result.
I know that I’ve strayed a long way from Walthamstow but so have many WM readers, so I hope to be forgiven.
My sincere thanks go to Mick Gilbey because without his input I wouldn’t have a story.
Respects and best wishes,
That was an interesting if not sad article about the mugging where John Edwards and Charles Fitzpatrick were convicted and sentenced to death at the Old Bailey.
I can advise you how ever that they were not hanged, not in the UK anyway as I have found records for both of them showing the were both transported to New South Wales.
Entry 1998 (File attached), for the prison ship Fortitude moored at Chatham shows Charles Fitzpatrick arrived there from the Old Bailey on the 27 April 1935. The date of his conviction is also given. He was “disposed of”, by transportation to NSW for life.
Entry 1363 for the prison ship Leviathan moored at Portsmouth shows John Edwards arrived from the Old Bailey, (presumably Newgate Prison), on 16 March 1935 and again was disposed of by transportation to NSW for life.
I know from my own family tree, (not on my main line fortunately), of someone who was transported to Tasmania for pick pocketing, that they normally served about 7 years as convict labour and then were freed. There is a Church of England record showing the person in my tree was baptised in Newgate Prison while awaiting transportation.
I suspect you have probably come across the saying of “picking up your socks” usually given as a mild reprimand for someone who is slacking. The origins of this were from the penal colonies in Australia as convicts usually wore ankles manacles which left marks. When they were due for release they were give the advice when seeking employment to pick up their socks to cover the marks left on their ankles.
Here is the sad part of Greyhound racing that is never talked about...
Mel, The Needle Man
Don't mourn for me when I am dead
I was raced for greed; I'm Irish bred.
No one cared if I lived or died,
I raced and lost, my owner sighed
"He's got to go, I need the space,
I've a faster hound I want to race".
At the end of the night there comes a van
Driven by Mel, the needle man.
One by one we're pushed inside
Jabbed by the needle, there's nowhere to hide.
There is no escape just fear and pain,
I'll never see the track again.
Dead bodies are heaped at the rear of the van
Killed by Mel, the needle man.
The dog before me screams and bites
But he's kicked in the guts, he's lost his fight.
Now it's my turn to go, I'm sick with fear
I see dead carcasses at the rear.
My legs grow weak, I hit the ground
Who gives a damn, I'm just a Greyhound.
And also read this and then condemn dog racing as it is really no better than organised dog fighting when one considers the cruelty that takes place. http://www.nightatthedogs.org/antiracing.htm
Hello Walthamstow Memories friends, if you are not aware of the fact that you can get an E version of the Waltham Forest Guardian here is the link, I hope it works for you too.
Let me know if it works for you too.
I’m still finding my way around in the 18th Century and I will give you an article about a 18th century Walthamstow murder soon. Actually, although the area looks very different to today, the people who live there are very recognisable.
We seem to think that what we call ‘mugging’ (Theft from a person with violence) carried out by gangs of disaffected young men is a 20th century invention. Here’s a true story about a mugging in the first half of the 19th Century that (Except for the Judge’s sentence) could be read in in any issue of the present day Walthamstow Guardian.
Sorry, I can’t do pictures with it but cameras weren’t invented when this happened.
Wow, thanks for sending this through, really appreciate it!
My memories of Harts are from the 1950's and 60's when it was Harts Hospital and my mother was nursing there. There were, if I recall correctly, two single story wards with doors opening onto a veranda as it was a TB and Chest hospital and fresh air was the best medicine. Lots of open space, lawns and trees but that has now all gone and a housing estate built on it.
A real matron Matron Andravandra ruled with a rod of iron but she also had a heart of gold when necessary. Her deputy Sister George was a bit of a dragon but was known to turn the flames down when necessary. The annual staff children's Christmas party was one time when she softened a little bit. I met one of my first "serious" girl friends at one of those parties ( "serious" as I was 10 years old and she was 11 ). We sat holding hands on front seat of the coach to see the Oxford St Lights. I do recall ( maybe wrongly ) that it was considered "un-professional" for the son of a Nurse to associate with the daughter of a Senior Sister. How times change.
One of my memories was being allowed to man the switchboard (under strict supervision of course).
S Noton , Endurance Works, 5, Blackhorse Road, Walthamstow
The outstanding business in leather goods was S. Noton Ltd. .The company, founded in 1928, went into production in Blackhorse Lane in 1929. They began as makers of 'Crown' luggage. Post war they made Noton Travel Goods including "Paxall" Expanders, and described themselves as the 'World's Largest Makers of Travel Goods and Handbags'.
At the 1947 British Industries Fair at Earls Court they bhad two stands at the Leather Goods Section and advertised themselves as manufacturers of Noton Travel Goods and Ladies' Handbags: including "Paxall" Expanders, "Herculax" Vulcanized Cases, "Milady" Soft Tops, leather Airplane Luggage, "Stowaway" Trunks, "Harlequin" Picnic Sets. Also Trucks and Industrial Containers for Textile and Allied Trades.
They had a West End showroom at 22, Brook Street W1. In 1949 there were 450 employees. In 1968 the company was the largest manufacturer in Europe of moulded luggage for air travel. Their factory is still in use by other occupants at Blackhorse Road.
The former S Noton building is on the left A larger image of the building
In 1870, The Walthamstow Chronicle was Walthamstow's first weekly newspaper. It was published by James Phelp of Beulah Road but owned and edited another printer, Joseph Shillinglaw. Like many other local newspapers it was taken over by the Walthamstow Guardian. Check with Waltham Forest Museum at Vestry House in Rectory Road to see if they have copies that you can access. http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/pages/services/vhm.aspx
Although I was not a Walthamstow Stadium habitué, I do have some knowledge of greyhound racing stadiums. In the early 70’s I was the Office Manager for George Walker’s building and shopfitting company. Remember him?. He was the older brother of Billy Walker the boxing ‘blond bomber’. George had been a British champion boxer himself and managed Billy’s lucrative career. George was building a leisure business empire that came to be named ‘Brent Walker’ and in the early 70’s owned a number of ‘Billy’s Baked Potato’ restaurants. At that time he also had a West End pub (‘Billy’s Boozer’) and disco and an East End disco called ‘The Upper Cut’ at Forest Gate.
The company I worked for was called Waldair Construction and was based at a wharf beside the Thames at North Woolwich. We carried out all of the building work of George Walker’s various enterprises.
In 1974, George Walker arranged a reverse takeover of Hackney and Hendon Greyhound Company and called the new company Brent Walker. Although you may recognize the Hackney Greyhound name (The site now forms much of the 2012 Olympic park) not too many will remember Hendon Greyhounds.
Today, you will know it by a different name because using land from the Hendon Greyhound Stadium, Brent Walker entered into a joint venture with Hammerson Estates to develop the Brent Cross shopping centre and took a 25% stake that was later sold to Hammerson in 1976.
George Walker had a particular interest in the Hackney Greyhound Stadium site as he wanted to develop this into a Leisure Centre in collaboration with Hackney Council. He especially wanted to create a Casino on the site. Unfortunately for George (And lucky for Hackney residents) Hackney Council pulled out of the proposed deal. Adding insult to injury for George, because he had a criminal conviction he couldn’t get a licence to operate a casino. However, we did build a disco at the stadium that was named ‘Cherryoggs’ (Cockney rhyming slang for dogs) and we went on to build a leisure centre based on the old corporation swimming pool at Westcliff on Sea. He also bought a country house with tennis courts and riding stables and got his casino (Although the licence wasn’t in his name) in the Kursaal at Southend. The entire enterprise formed a very lucrative leisure membership package.
I left the company in a complete career change to work in local government. I had become increasingly uneasy about the ethics of Brent Walker and was keen to work in local government housing.
George Walker went on to build a massive leisure company. This was based on the fact that from the 1970’s, property had increased every year in value and he could borrow against his accumulating property assets to buy more property that, in turn, would accumulate value. He took over William Hill bookmakers in 1990 just as the property bubble was about to burst. In the next two years the bottom dropped out of the property market and the company was in severe financial trouble.
He was investigated by the Serious Fraud Squad but after a lengthy trial in 1995 was cleared of all charges. He was made bankrupt and moved to Russia where he ran a series of businesses selling cigarettes (And that’s another story, did you know that cigarettes have an expiry date?) and perfume and later opening a chain of betting shops.
My connections with Walthamstow Stadium were quite tenuous. I have a mate who was the head of security there for many years and I have to confess that I only went into the Stadium on two occasions.
The first was to meet my wife, in the late 1960’s, who worked there some evenings as a barmaid to supplement my meager income as a Cost Clerk for Taylor Control in Hale End Road. She says that her wages were poor but the tipd from successful punters were good.
The second when I was a Board member for the National Care Association and we sponsored a race. However, I rapidly got fed up with the corporate hospitality bit and went outside to stand with other local Foster Care Association members rattling collection tins.
I have written the article [read it here] because although there are lots of bits and pieces available about Walthamstow Stadium, there doesn’t seem to be a joined up piece.
I hope you don't mind me emailing you, I came across your website as I was googling a few things that I am interested in, and was wondering if you could help.
A friend of mine has a snippet from the Walthamstow Chronicle from the 50's and we wanted to know if the archives are held somewhere still? Maybe in the Town Hall?
Another are of interest is a building that used to be Crown luggage run by Mr S.Noton. This was my friends Uncle and we were keen to see if the building is still there, and if there is any history available on it, as we believe it was the biggest employer in the area in its day.
I appreciate you are probably very busy, but if you do have any information on with either of these, or could point me in the right direction I would be so grateful. My friend, as mentioned above, is 70 this year and wants to collate information on his family history to mark the occasion.
Hello! I hope my email finds you well. My name is Victoria, and work as part of Bupa Care’s digital marketing team through DigitasLBi. I’ve been browsing through the Walthamstow Memories site – what a wealth of information!
Harts House Residential and Nursing Home is a beautiful property in Woodford Green, housed on a site once belonging to Sir Humphrey Handforth, who was the Master of the Wardrobe to King James (who once stayed on site). The home offers full-time nursing and residential care. I noticed that you provide local links on your site and I would be extremely grateful if you would be willing to include a link to the home in your listings, so that your users can read more information. The link to the home can be found here:
I completely understand that this might not be something that you can do. However, any help with this request, if at all possible, would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks for your time and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions whatsoever. Kind regards
After living in Canada for 40 years I recently went back to Walthamstow for a visit. Much had changed but much looked the same. I attended Mission Grove from 1948 to 1953 and then attended Walthamstow High School till 1960. My name then was Aileen East and we lived on Melford Road. I had a Saturday morning job at Rosens Bakery on High Street. My best friend at Mission Grove was Marlene Kettle. She lived over Chas Fish Bros Jewellery store on Hoe Street, where her dad was the manager.
My best friend at High school was Madge Davis and her dad had Davis's dairy on St James Street. I walked up High street every day with Madge to our school on Church Hill and still remember running past Manze's pie shop so I wouldn't have to see the live eels on the stall outside!
I wonder if anyone has any memories connected with these places and people.
This time, two articles for one.
I’m trying to find my way around Walthamstow in the 18th century and I’m finding it an interesting place. This started because I want to write a piece about an 18th century Walthamstow murder and I realised that I didn’t really know enough about the social history, geography and demography of the period. As a single resource, the extracted records of the Walthamstow Vestry Minutes and Churchwardens Accounts 1741-1771 are the most useful and accessible records of the time and even if you don’t read my article, have a ‘dip’ into these at:
Where possible, I have tried to use the ‘voice’ of the Vestry minutes to tell the story. Unfortunately, the software programme that has been used to digitalise the original documents tends to distort some of the original text. Many years ago I was able to read the hand-written originals and I assure you that, other than some odd and inconsistent spelling, they were perfectly readable.
There can be few people who went to school in Walthamstow, who haven’t been to the Waltham Forest Museum at Vestry House in Rectory Road. This article is my homage to the museum, that, despite its resource limitations, does an excellent job in keeping alive the history of the Borough.
The second article is mainly about the original use of Vestry House that, for two hundred years, was the place where most of the decisions affecting Walthamstow was made. It was also, until 1836, the place where Walthamstow put its poor, elderly and sick people in the workhouse.
Respects and best wishes,
As you know I thought that I had located Ken Halesworth, who was one of the Walthamstow Wolves Cycle Speedway team in your photograph.
I spoke to his wife today and I regret to inform you that he died some 18 months ago. Unfortunately, I haven’t any leads on the whereabouts of other team members.
Cheers Daniel. Here's another. It's at Mission Grove school in 1947. Maybe some of your site visitors might recognise themselves. I'm in the front row. The little girl with attitude in the middle is Trudy Blake
Mission Grove School, Walthamstow 1947
Here is a photo of some of my school friends in the play ground at the school in 1954.
George Gascoigne - The Boys 1954
I can remember three of them: Allan Pike, Allan Fryer, and Peter Searl.
The Headmaster at that time was Mr Jim Dixon. What a wonderful man. All the kids loved him. Yes loved!
Hello Bill & Carolyn,
I can add a little more information to the post I sent on 19th. Dec 2011, regarding the High Street photographer Emilio Matioli. I have a photograph of my father taken about 1906 by the photographers Moulden & Co., of 76, High Street, Walthamstow. I have another photograph of my father’s youngest brother taken about 1917 by Emilio Matioli of 76, High Street, Walthamstow, According to old telephone directories Matioli continued his business at 76, High Street, up to 1924. In 1925, the year of his death, the business address was given as 78, High Street. After Emilio’s death his wife Marie continued the business at 78, High Street into the 1930s. I do not know exactly when the business closed but it is not listed in telephone directories beyond 1932. So as Caroline’s photograph has the 78, High Street address I would date it between 1925 and 1932. Mrs. Matioli died in 1954 aged 84 years. The registration district was Holborn. I trust this information is of help to Carolyn.
Having read a few posts about the King family, I wanted to add that although Dick King died some time ago, his wife Dorothy has recently celebrated her 95th birthday. She is now living in Hatfield Broad Oak in Essex.
In reply I would advise that on 19 Dec 2011 as part of the correspondence about the L. Rodi Café, regular correspondent. Rodney Silk advised:
"Whilst on the subject of Italian immigrants another who made his mark in Walthamstow was Emilio Matioli, a photographer, who had his studio in the High Street. He took many photographs of places in the area and of the people who resided there. Some of my family photographs were taken by him. He was born in Milan in 1864 and his wife Marie was French. Emile Matioli died in 1925."
Although he had a wife and daughter, It seems likely that the business closed at that time.
I have copied this Email to Rodney Silk who may have further information.
I regularly take a stroll around my old Walthamstow haunts with this website:
Just type an address and then you can just walk around your old address etc. I strolled from Markhouse Road up Ringwood Road and thence to Willow Walk and The high Street yesterday all without taking a step.
Brian I need a photograph to jog my memory please.Len HALL
I remember you at Markhouse road school. I left there in 1955, my brother Ted used to have the Brewery Tap pub. What good days they were. I've moved out now, but went back to Walthamstow a few years ago, what a difference, glad I moved. I've good memories thou
Hi Daniel & John,
I'm doing a local history talk on Saturday 14th June 2014 at Orford House as part of the E17 Art Trail History Strand.
It's on the Art Lending for the Home scheme run by Waltham Forest 1965-1990 from William Morris Gallery in 1965 and North Chingford and Leytonestone libraries in the mid 1970's.
Love to hear if you and your members know anything of it. (Can't see anything on website)
Cheers Nicolette (Nic) MURIN
I have been corresponding with John Lamude who lives in France and who contacted me after you published my article on Cycle Speedway. With his permission, I reproduce below his two (One slightly edited to remove family information) emails. As, in the last few days, we have been remembering the D Day landings that were the beginning of the end of WWII, it is especially nice to see the King George VI letter to British school children.
Hello again Bill
Yes I did read your article on the cycle speedway teams active in Walthamstow in the early 50s, what memories they brought back.
I notice in the list of riders in east London that I am mentioned as R Lamode (spelling error). Also some of the Walthamstow Lions riders such as Jimmy Morris, John Mullen, (now deceased) and Allen Rowling. Where did you get that information from?
I recall riding against John Brown when the Lions raced against Whipps Cross Comets on a bomb site that was opposite a motor cycle showroom called S. A. Coles situated in Leyton High Road. Another match we had with them was on their track next to the pub in Temple Mills.
As for the Lions, well we never really had a permanent track so we raced in Epping Forest in an area void of trees known to most local kids as The Patch. Access to it was into the forest from the top of Belle Vue Road, straight across the North Circular and keeping a straight line through the forest for about 300 yards and there was The Patch. It was a grassless mud patch, perfect for cycle speedway, except when the Boffie (Forest) Keeper came around. We also travelled around a bit, against the West End Wanderers over Camden Town Way and at Godalming in Surrey, can't remember their name.
The Lions never became a sophisticated club like some of those you mentioned, with proper built tracks and electric starting gates, but I like to think that our little club was among the pioneers of the sport. Not a bit like the later clubs of the late 50s and 60s, but one thing I do know is that I enjoyed every minute of it, including the grazed arms and knees. The team disbanded once we all left school and started work.
I am now going through my archives to find a group photo of the Lions team. I'll send you a copy (when I find it). Also a photo of some of my school mates at Chapel End School, I think we were all aged at around twelve or thirteen at the time.
I replied and he sent me the following:
With regards to your request to publish extracts from my previous email, I have no objection to you going ahead but as you say leaving out personal details.
I attach a copy of a photo of the boys in my class at Chapel End School whilst out on a nature ramble in Epping Forest near to the Rising Sun pond, I am seated front row right. Unfortunately, I am at the moment unable to find the photo of the Walthamstow Lions Cycle speedway team. I will find it eventually.(copy below).
What you might find of interest for Walthamstow memories is a copy of a letter from His Majesty King George VI sent to all school children a few weeks after the war had finished. My mother had kept this and I came across it in her belongings soon after she died. I thought it was worth keeping ( a blast from the past) so I had it framed. (Copy below).
I must say Bill you have been very thorough in your research of Walthamstow Past. I have been scanning through memories past and names like the Palace Theatre, The Grenada Cinema, Rael Brook shirt factory, The Ensign factory and the Royal Standard Pub all bring old Walthamstow back to me.
Carry on the good work.
Above: Copy of letter from George VI to school children
Above: boys from Chapel End School on a nature Ramble in Epping Forest near the Rising Sun pond.
John Lamude is sitting in the front row right.
Hi Bill & Daniel
In Galleries 7, there is a photograph of the Original Walthamstow Wolves Cycle Speedway Team of 1949, Yes our first Track was on a Bomb Site which we cleared just behind St James Street Station.
I have a collection of Newspaper Cuttings and programes from the 1949/50 seasons . Over the years I have tried to find the other members without success the only one being Ted Gee who sadly died last year, (I am 82)
The Team was Myself, Ted Gee, Ken Halesworth, Fred Belcher. , Alf Russell, Frank Tosco, Charlie Kaufman, Syd Wilkinson and Des Gamble (The Manager)
Happy DaysLen FINCH
The launch event went really well and we had a lovely afternoon tea for Warner residents on Sunday.
As mentioned the book will be available after 15 June via Amazon or Lucy at the project website (£8 plus p&p). I can let you know when both are up-and-running:
Project Website: http://www.exwarnerproject.co.uk/about/
Don't know if you can help. I have just found a picture that was framed by a shop called Matioli's, 78 High St, Walthamstow. I am trying to date the picture and was wondering if anyone knew when they closed down.
From Daniel: I believe that Matioli' Studio was active in late 1800's to 1930s, but perhaps some of our visitors might have a more accurate reply...
My girlfriend has an old school blazer, Royal Blue with Yellow Stripes, inside it is marked with a name Olwen Wilson and there is a label marked 'School Wear Ltd.Factory Latebell Manufacturing Co, St Stephens Road - Office Eden Road Walthamstow E17.
We realise the jacket may not belong to a school in Walthamstow, but are trying to find out about the Company and the owner Olwen Wilson. Can you help please.
This time, something a little different. I’ve written a piece about cycle speedway with particular reference to the Walthamstow Wolves Cycle Club who were closely associated with the Walthamstow Wolves Speedway Club that many of your readers will remember with fondness.
Cycle speedway was a real working class do-it-yourself sport. Participants cleared bombed sites to create tracks and built their own cycles on which they raced. It was particularly big in East London and Walthamstow was one of the sport’s leaders. Unfortunately, there are now few information sources and I very much hope that some readers will be able to add to the limited knowledge base.
Best wishes,Bill BAYLISS
Please see below details of a new exhibition on the Warner Estate which opens this week at the E17 Art Trail in Walthamstow. I thought the group might be interested!
Artists Lucy Harrison and Katherine Green have collaborated on a new project that surveys the former Warner Estate in the suburbs of east London. The artists have worked with the archive of the Walthamstow Historical Society and with local writer and researcher Kirstin Sibley to produce the first extensive survey of how these unique and distinctive 19th and early 20th-century properties are used in modern times. The results will be presented in an exhibition from 30 May â€“ 15 June 2014 in London. To accompany the exhibition, a new limited edition book is also being published and there will be free walks, talks and events throughout.
Here's a link to the website: www.exwarnerproject.co.uk
I enjoyed very much your Email "Schooldays Chapel End" on the 24th May. In your Email you wrote about school teacher, "Taffy" Dixon and you may be interested in the piece that I wrote about him on this site: http://www.walthamstowmemories.net/pdfs/Bill%20Bayliss%20-%20Cambridge%20Road%20Estate.pdf
You may also be interested to look at the piece that I wrote about the Rising Sun pond, also on this site, that has some pictures that, I'm sure, you will find evocative of your youth.: http://www.walthamstowmemories.net/pdfs/Bill%20Bayliss%20-%20Walthamstow's%20Playground.pdf
I was particularly interested in your mention of former cycle speedway club Walthamstow Lions and I would be grateful if you can tell me anything about the club e.g. Where was its track. How long the club was in existence. The names of any riders etc.? I know that Dave Hunting who maintains the definitive cycle speedway history site: http://www.cyclespeedwayhistory.org.uk/562.shtml would be very interested in any information that you can give. Although he lists nine Walthamstow clubs on this site, he only has information on two (Walthamstow Diamonds and Wolves)
My respects and very best wishes,Bill BAYLISS
I have just found your website on Chapel End Secondary Modern School Walthamstow E17, which I found very interesting.
My name is John Lamude and I am now a pensioner living permanently in south west France.
I went to Wood Street Junior School and left there to go to Chapel End School from 1944 to 1948 and remember my teacher was a Mr Charlton. He had the nasty habit of throwing pieces of chalk at pupils who were not paying attention in class (including myself).
I remember other teachers at the time were Miss Killin (Head) who took over from Mr. Dixon (Taffy) in 1945 also Mr Grainger, Mr Timms, Mr Lewis, Mr White and Mr Petiffer (for Woodwork), The school was divided into four houses Keller (yellow), Shaftesbury (green), Edison (blue) and Curie (red). I was in Keller house. I can still remember the words of some of the hymns we sang at morning assembly, (alas it's something young children don't do nowadays) more's the pity. I wonder do any of the teachers names jog the memory of anyone out there.
I was in attendance at school when (either the V1 or was it the V2) fell close by in Sturge Avenue, I think it was around lunch time. I also remember looking at the damage caused by the V2 rocket very soon after it landed next to the Waterworks Pumping station at the junction of Forest Road and Woodford New Road. I remember seeing a babies pram hanging high up in a tree, it seemed like chaos and mayhem everywhere,what a mess. Not one of my very nice memories.
One of the pastimes we got up to as kids was to go dragging in the Rising Sun Pond. Dragging consisted of two boys paddling in the water upto their knees each holding the two ends of an old sack and dragging it along the bottom of the pond like a net in order to catch newts. Another method was to tie an old wicker shopping basket on a rope, throw it into the middle of the pond and drag it to the bank , empty it and run our hands through the contents of mud and slime to inspect our catch. A very smelly operation - just for a few newts.
Another pastime was cycle speedway, we had a team called Walthamstow Lions and I regularly sent in a report on the various matches to the local newspaper (Wathamstow Post) for publication. Some of them were actually printed. Naturally I was a strong supporter of the Walthamstow Wolves Speedway which used to race at the, now defunct, Stadium in Chingford Road.
I do have a couple of photographs of school mates aged around 12 Years old and one of the cycle speedway team if anyone Is interested.
I enjoyed very much looking at the archive material on your website, hope to see more in the future.
Hi. I am looking for old photos of Hazelwood Road Walthamstow and wondered whether you might be able to help.
I am trying to locate a copy of a book entitled 'The Achille Serre Story' by Roy Brazier. Can anyone assist me, please? Maybe Bill Bayliss? Many thanks.
There have been several recent nostalgic posts about A E Belchambers of Palmerston Road from readers who had bicycles purchased from them. Out of pure nosiness, I looked them upon the internet. To my utter amazement, I found that they still appear to be in business. There are a number of entries that say the following:
AE Bellchamber - 80-84 Palmerston Rd, London E17 6PZ - 020 8520 6051
A E Bellchamber is a bike shop which sells a variety of bicycles and accessories and also provides a repair service. A E Bellchamber is based in Palmerston Road, London
A search of Google maps gave me this snip:
While there is not any discernable sign of A E Belchambers and although it's a bit tatty and appears to be occupied by a carpet company, it is the same premises that readers remember them occupying.
A little further internet mining produced the information that it was once a private limited company that was dissolved in 1999.
I haven't tried to phone them because I don't want a bike, but it seems that they never went away!
Best wishesBill BAYLISS
From Daniel: read Bill's article [here]
I am amazed to find that my first posting to the WM website was 10 years ago.
Now, I am sad to announce that my Dad, sometime Walthamstow resident and former employee of Engineering firm, E. N. Bray Ltd, died peacefully on May 2, 2014, aged 88 years, after nearly 62 happy years of marriage to my Mum, who survives him.
Dad was brought up in a little house in Waverley Avenue, off Wood Street, and started work at Bray's aged 14. He started out in the firm's stores, where he was given the workname Joe, by which his workmates knew him for the rest of his life. He became a press setter and worked at Bray's for more than 25 years. When we moved to Stevenage in North Hertfordshire, he worked for many years at Taylor Instruments, which was later taken over by an American corporation, Sybron. Dad was one of the few people who still remembered Mr. (Edward Neville) Bray, the son of a High Court judge and descendant of Sir Thomas More, who became an electrical engineer, and along with others, including Len Hall, another WM regular who also worked at Bray's, was part of the story that Bill Bayliss told on the site a few years ago.
On behalf of Slap Haddock, I would like to ask you to add some very exciting news to the Walthamstow Memories website. It is regarding our upcoming performances of A Night at the Pictures at the Wood Street Indoor Market between the 28-31 May.
A Night at the Pictures is a series of live, interactive, promenade performances based on the vibrant cinematic history of the Wood Street Indoor Market aimed at entertaining and inspiring the local community. The project is supported by Arts Council England and Soho Theatre.
Please find our press release attached along with a publicity image for your perusal. We hope you will be able to support this project and join us at the end of May for the live performances. If you have any questions please feel free to call me on 07906 666937.
I remember Richard King who was my Sunday School leader at Brandon Mission in the late 50's early 60's.
He lived just off Upper Walthamstow Road, Dean gardens I think. He had 3 girls: Grace, Hazel and Rosemary. It was Rosemary who was quite close to me in age at Sunday School. I recall she was very friendly with one of the Washington boys, Robert, in her teens. Mr King had a very powerful voice and led us most Sundays with his 'squeeze box' accordion. 'Deep and Wide', 'My cup is full and running over', 'The wise man built his house upon the rock' come to mind as some of the choruses we sang.
I also recall a full submerged baptism he performed on his daughter Rosemary and other youngsters who had come to Christ within the congregation. It really frightened me as I couldn't and still can't bear water on my face. I knew there was a connection with Kings the Florist, as an old school friend Pauline Ledwith who did my wedding flowers worked at the florist at the top of the High Street.
Mr King was a truly lovely man and taught us all well. I know but for him, Mr Ayres - who is still alive and living in Walthamstow and Mr Miller. I am sure that I would not be the person I am. Along with my peers we were taught what was right and what was wrong and to have the conscience to do the right thing, something which is in short supply nowadays.
Hi - I can offer a little anecdotal information about the Gillards Factory from my post-Monoux teenage years frequenting the three bars in The Bell pub (C1966-ish) as it was also a very popular weekend venue for many young ladies of the Borough!
I clearly remember the lurid tales told by some of the ladies who worked on the Gillards production line concerning their habit of introducing "foreign objects" into pies when they had a grievance with the management...............and their consequent dire warnings never to eat any Gillards products "just in case"!
Some years later, as a Weights and Measures Inspector, I visited the factory to test the large capacity weighing machines they had installed for checking-in meat deliveries and marveled at how my young assistants managed to keep their footing on the grease-covered concrete flooring whilst carrying a 56lb weight in each hand......................happy pre H&S days, of course!
I found your article on the history of Britain's toys absorbing. As it is so detailed I will be re-reading it to ensure I did not overlook anything.
By strange coincidence the picture of the tin soldiers you used in your article is the same one I used at a Complete Nostalgia website I am developing at http://completenostalgia.com/toys-and-games/
You briefly mentioned RNAS Chingford which has long since gone but again by coincidence my home overlooks RNAS Yeovilton (HMS Heron) which is one of the few RNAS stations left. I probably have the best view of the station in my village which usually means when the have their annual International Air Day I have many friends here to watch a free day long air show and barbeque. All the jets on the aircraft carriers, (when we have them), come from here and it was with sadness I watch the last flight of Harrier Jump Jets return here when they left their carrier for the last time.
To give you an idea of the view I get I have attached to pictures I took from my garden although I have many more.
I was one of the first comprehensive intake to William Morris having arrived from William (scruffy) McGuffie in (I think) 1967.
The teacher that you couldn't remember the name of was Mr Stockdale, who was my form tutor when I was in 4DO (Drawing Office)
You are right that everyone feared him as it was to him that you were sent, if you seriously broke the rules, for corporal punishment!
I enjoyed my time at William Morris, which was a much better school than â€˜scruffy', kids actually wanted to learn!
My first bike was also purchased from Bellchambers in approx 1948. At the time I was living in Priory Court and had to cycle to Sidney Burnell School in Highams Park.
I later got another bike, more sporty, and when I started work in 1952 I cycled from Priory Court to Hackney Marshes, passing the Leyton Orient Football Ground, each day in all weathers. I remember the Smog of '52, I had to push the bike all the way home that day.
As you will see from what I have written below, I've gone back to writing about Walthamstow's industrial past. It's a bit long but I wanted to tell the story.
In 1945 after the war ended, my father was demobilised after having served abroad throughout the war years. Our family (Consisting of my father, mother myself aged 5 and my 3 years old brother) then moved to live in a prefab in north Islington. This was the first time that we had lived together as a family.
In 1946, my sister was born and my father was in his first year of training to be a teacher at a training college in Trent Park, Middlesex. As his only income was his student grant, money was extremely tight and when possible my mother supplemented this by working at part time cleaning jobs. In 1948, like many other local women, she also became a â€˜homeworker' for Britains.
This was a period when it seemed that our entire life was overtaken by the Britains work. We lived in a very small two bedroom prefab that virtually became a factory where every space in the entire living room and kitchen were used in the process of painting and assembling Britains toys.
Although I was too young to be useful at painting the toys, I worked hard assisting my mother in assembling the various figures and packing them into their presentation boxes. The work was arduous and boring and extremely poorly paid. However, it soon became obvious that, because of the way the outwork system was organized, there were â€˜perks' to be had when carrying out assembly and packing work.
â€˜Homeworkers', had to collect the work from a collection point in Holloway Road. Most boxed sets contained a number of pieces that had to be assembled to make up the figures and other components of the set, which were then carefully placed in the boxes. These were always made and paid by the gross (A dozen, dozens = 144) pieces. In order to make any worthwhile money, the â€˜homeworkers' had to paint, assemble and make up very many gross of the products.
Because of the quantities involved, most women used their prams to collect the various component pieces and packaging . Their prams were not like the present day clever 3 wheel convertible buggies but were big solid capacious 4 wheel jobs that, if necessary, could carry a sack of potatoes! Almost invariably, the number of individual component pieces of the toys that were issued to the â€˜homeworkers' were either a few under or over the correct number required. That resulted in a situation that, if the â€˜homeworkers' had less than the number of pieces required to make up their sets, they would return to the collection point and ask for the required numbers of component pieces.
It was this situation that gave the â€˜homeworkers' the opportunity for their â€˜perks'. Many of the â€˜homeworkers' knew each other (Where I lived, there were six within a hundred yards of each other) By collaborating with each other on the over and under issue of components and collecting the numbers of â€˜missing' components from the distribution point, it was relatively easy to acquire sufficient pieces to make up an number of unauthorized sets that could be sold at a much cheaper price than the â€˜official' sets.
In fact, although I am sure that some were sold on the open market, these generally changed hands locally and many children had a nice Xmas or birthday present that their parents otherwise couldn't afford.
Of course for us children there were the perks of receiving numbers of spoiled figures and surplus figures that were not required to make up the order. Because they were hollow cast, figures that had lost their heads could be simply repaired by using a matchstick to join the heads back to the bodies. My garden must have contained dozens of these figures that I had left and not picked up after playing war games.
Move forward twenty plus years and my wife and I with our children were living in Priory Court. Although I had a steady job it wasn't particularly well paid and my wife supplemented our income by a variety of jobs that didn't affect her care of our children. One of these jobs was to work for Britains as a homeworker assembling and packing Britain's toys.
From Daniel: read Bill's article [here]
I was at William Elliot school between 1952 and 1957 and I am sorry to say that I have no memory of a school photo being taken during that time. One of my memories of the football field was that it was on a hill, it was fine going down hill but hard going up the hill. I don't ever remember getting any encouragement from the teachers. I think we were regarded as factory fodder. Despite this poor start after having numerous jobs I ended up as a police officer for over 27 years
As you know, Thomas Faux and Mary Ann Barrett married at St Mary, Walthamstow on the 9th August 1808.
In the 1841 Census, Thomas Faux's age is given as 65 and Mary's as 45. If these ages are correct it seems unlikely that this is Mary Ann Barrett as it would mean that she was 12 years old when she married Thomas. This means that either Mary's age is wrong in the 1841 census or she is a different person.
There is further confusion in the 1851 census where George B Faux and Joseph Faux are listed but there is a problem about the relationships of these and other people in the household.
There is an entry for the death of a Thomas Faux in 1842 at West Ham. At that time this was the Registry Office for Walthamstow.
Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.Bill BAYLISS
Can any body give me any guidance - I'm really stuck at what to do next!
Thomas Faux married a Walthamstow girl, Mary Ann Barrett, in 1807. Marriage record located and only provided names, nothing else... no details of father or mother.
Thomas Faux and Mary Ann had several children and resided in Walthamstow. He was a blacksmith (census record 1841). Thomas Faux was not born in Walthamstow as shown from census record. I do not know what to do next. His birth year is around 1776 and when I search for birth records several Thomas Fauxs come up . How do I work out which one he is?
What other records could I look for to provide more details on Thomas Faux?
I have just had the absolute pleasure of reading your article about Northcott House and one of its attendees, Driver J Drain. Whilst many may initially think how unfortunate Driver Drain's early life was, his tale demonstrates that it is possible to overcome life's difficulties and give a positive contribution to society.
Thank you once again for a highly informative and absolutely enjoyable article.
Just wondering what ever happened to Belchambers bicycle shop in Palmerston road. It was 2 shops wide and held the largest array of bicycles I have ever seen.
My mum purchased first bike from there and years later I upgraded to a Raleigh RSW 14 in Red with a little white box on the back.
Oh happy days.
I had a family member who worked for Gillards briefly in the 1970's as a delivery person.
He used to take Pies & Savaloys to fish & chip shops and cafes around North & East London. When I worked for BT International in the City of London, just off London Wall, the staff restaurant always used Gillards sausages and they were very tasty too.
I was inspired to write the story of Northcott House by Sally Passmore's email.
Well mums know best and I knew a bit about Northcott House. So I thought that it would be a simple research job compiling the history of the place. As the history of childcare is my specialist subject, I wasn't able to resist giving an explanation of Industrial Schools.
But while was researching, I came across the story of one of the boys who had been â€˜banged up' there and I thought that I needed to share this with Walthamstow Memory readers.
I am indebted to Sally Passmore for not only inspiring me to research the subject, but also for supplying the image of the school.
Best regards,Bill BAYLISS
Your mother was correct about the origins of Northcott House. The following excerpt comers from the site below.
â€œThe North London industrial truant school, founded in 1883 jointly by Hornsey, Tottenham, and Edmonton school boards, opened at Northcott House, no. 115 Marsh Street, in 1884. It seems to have closed between 1937 and 1940â€
Although I cannot remember offhand where I saw them, I have seen photographs of the boys like up in the playground.Michael GILBEY
I have just been flicking through a copy of Waltham Forest 1940-1975 and have come across a photograph from 1964 of Northcott House which stood next to J Davies in the High Street and extended around the corner of Palmerston road.
My mum used to say that it was the â€œNaughty boys schoolâ€. However, the photograph description refers to the building being used as Civil Defence HQ in its later years. The photograph is credited to the National Buildings Record. I just wondered if anybody knows anything about the building? What was its early years, Who built it, what was it used for etc.... it looks to have been a substantial building in its day.
It's just one of those unanswered questions...
From: Waltham Forest 1940-1975
© Walthamstow Antiquarian Society - Vestry House Museum
From Daniel: Names added to caption on picture [here]: thanks Jack!
Just wanted drop a line to say just how much I enjoyed seeing the photographs of the market that Jane kindly submitted to the site. It is just as i remember the Market.
Thank you Jane for bringing back some wonderful memories.
From Daniel: Names added to caption on picture [here]: thanks Jack!
Have just found Walthamstow Memories after speaking to a friend and surprisingly found a photo of myself. My name is Jack Hibbert and I am first in the second row of the 1955 Maynard Road Primary Cricket Team next to David Hurst. Some other boys I remember are David Newstone at the right hand end of row three in front of Mr. Frost, John Betts seated left on the floor (he was the scorer), and David Palmer seated right on the floor.
I have a copy of this same photograph, and to see it on the Walthamstow Memories website did bring back memories of happy times and a great bunch of lads.
From Daniel: Names added to caption on picture [here]: thanks Jack!
I'm asking for help about the Gillard's pickle factory that was at the back of the High Street in Westbury Road for about 70 years. I've got some good stuff about the factory in its early days but there is a lot that I need to know. I have tried to obtain information via the Facebook Walthamstow Times site but although there was a lot of social interest, I didn't get any hard information.
Essentially, I want to know:
Answers to a any of these questions and any other information especially pictures will be very much appreciated.
I am still looking for information on ex pupils and staff that went to or worked at Sidney Chaplin Secondary Modern School at any time from its opening in 1958 to when it closed. If anyone can help in any way, however small, can you please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If anyone would like a copy of the information i currently have on this school please get in touch and i will send a copy by return.
My Dad was from Walthamstow and told many tales about his life there. He was born in 1924 and sadly died in 1976 and as I get older myself, I realise the importance of listening and retaining the stories we are told as children.
As a young girl, he kept me entertained with stories about the rag and bone man, the 'cat's meat man, and a local dairy where he could buy a glass of cold milk and be served on a marble counter. He also told of being sent to Sunday school with a h'penny to put in the collection box for 'Bible Boy Thomas', who I guess was someone doing good works somewhere. However, Dad felt his need was far greater and he would keep a farthing back to buy sweets (something called stick jaw) and rather grudgingly give the other farthing to those he didn't really consider more deserving than himself!
I have found 2 photos which show him with what I believe would be a fire watch team. Oddly, you have a group photo of such a team on the Walthamstow at War section, October 2010. I am not sure if Dad is one of the two younger men on the bottom row, right.
Anyway, I attach a scan of the pictures for you to add to you pages if you think they will be of interest.
Dad is on the left, in what looks like a military uniform. He was in the RAF later so I think maybe he was in the RAF cadets at the time of the photo? Unfortunately there are no details on the back.
I also have a series of photos he took along the market in the early '70s and I am happy to scan and send them to you. Interestingly, I revisited the area in May 2010 and took pictures from the same spots to compare. While doing this my husband and I got talking to someone called Keith Foster from Waltham Forest in Focus, who was very interested in the original pictures. He suggested we take them to Vestry House Museum, which we did. They took copies for their records. However, I am more than happy to scan them and the updated versions so they can be added to your site. [See here]
Hope I have not waffled on too much!
There are/were a number of church halls in Woodford/Woodford Green and Woodford Bridge. I suspect that the likely one was the Woodford Parish Memorial Hall at: http://www.woodfordmemorialhall.co.uk/history.php
I would also suggest that you contact the Woodford History Society at: http://woodfordhistoricalsociety.co.uk/ who may have more information.
To the best of my knowledge there wasn't an Air Force station at Woodford. However, there were a number of WW2 airfields within an easy drive of Woodford. These were:
I would also like to thank Alan for posting the photo of the boys playing football at William Elliott.
Brian Penalver (Spiv) is my brother and I copied the photo to his daughter to show him but she is rather going to have it made into a card for his 70th birthday next month. He was a lovely big brother When I was small and we are still very close although I now live in SA.
Unfortunately, I am not aware of any barracks for Polish servicemen anywhere near Walthamstow. However, there were any number of Church halls that provided refreshments etc for servicemen.
I have replied to you separately with details of your husband's family history and with the website references to the RC church nearest to Edward Road, a website for a north London RC Polish church and a website that will give you information on Police resettlement camps etc in the UK.
I am helping my husband try and find his real father who was a Polish serviceman living in London around 1944. My husbands grandparents lived in Edwards Road Walthamstowe, their surname was Edis and they had 11 children. Does anyone have any history of the Edis family and where the Polish army base was near Walthamstowe. Also was there a church hall in Walthamstowe that operated as a social place where coffee etc was served and people could meet up there during 1944.
Hello, the photo of the "ARP" with "K"s on thier tin hats on, are definitely ARP gang, the gent second in second row is my lovely grandfather Bill Hattersley.
you wanted to know if anyone had or used an Ensign camera. Well I had one bought from Dixons about 1960-65. It was a Selfix taking 16 pics on a 120 film. At one time, I masked it to take 32 pics, but it was too fiddly to keep going. I eventually sold it to a dealer in Wood st. Arcade some 25 years ago. Fond memories of use, as I took the camera with me where ever I travelled
I thought your article on the history of Jack Cornwall was excellent and well researched. I have a lot of input on the â€œNewham Storyâ€ board which is one of your reference links so I have heard his name mentioned quite a lot from time to time. I did not know however he was educated in Leyton so that is something new I have learned.
Fortunately Jack Cornwall however does have a school named after him in Walton Road, Manor Park.
Like yourself, my paternal grandfather also died a few years after the Great War with respiratory illness due to the effects of poison gas. My grandmother never remarried and she lived another fifty years after his death. As a child she would tell me stories about him but it was not until later life when more mature thoughts develop did I fully appreciate the great loss she must have suffered all those years.
That war was a hundred years ago now but the effects are still being felt. That makes one realise similar effects from WW2 will still be causing heartache in many nations for many more years to come.
I am certainly no pacifist but by the same token no one can enjoy the after effects of conflicts particularly when one considers in the final analysis the origins of all wars is political. I once heard a saying about war and politicians, they will fight to the last drop of your blood.
I accept it was a different situation in WW2 as we had no choice but to defend ourselves against the attacking onslaught of a tyrannical dictator but the origins were still political.
I always find it a sobering though that there will never be a war to end all wars as there will always be someone, possibly not yet born, waiting in the wings wanting to assert themselves. My guess is an ever growing world population outstripping individual countries land and resources and water shortages will figure highly in future conflicts.
We are now in the period when we specially remember the appalling events of WWI.
Like many people of my generation, I was affected by those events, as both of my grand-fathers fought in the war. My paternal grand-father survived but I never knew my maternal grand-father, who died several years later from a respiratory illness after inhaling poison gas. My mother, then a twelve year old girl was always haunted by seeing him cough his life away in a Military Hospital.
As most readers will know, I don't write very often about issues outside of Walthamstow. The accompanying article is a variation from this for which I make no apology.
Jack Cornwell, the boy seaman VC [read article here]
On June 2nd 1916, just over a hundred years ago, Jack Cornwell, a sixteen year old working class, Leyton born young man died in WWI at the battle of Jutland. He was later hailed as a â€˜hero' and he was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
I thought that it was important that the facts of his story should be be re-examined and his story retold. Some of the information throws an interesting light on the conventionally accepted story.
While researching this story I came across an incredible fact. Jack Cornwell attended Farmer Road School in Leyton. This school was later renamed the George Michell school after another ex pupil was also awarded a Victoria Cross in WWII. This means that the school had pupils who were awarded a VC in both world wars,
You asked for information about the King family. I have recently read the unpublished autobiography of a man who lived in the Wood Street area as a child. He mentions that â€˜Dick' King was the leader of the Sunday school and youth club at the Brandon Railway Mission, which he regularly attended in the 1930s. He says Dick King was the son of Mr King who ran the florists shop.
If you are interested I could ask the author if he would be prepared to pass on any more information.
I have not seen any letters from boys of William Elliott School. Is there anyone around still? Can you put the class photo on the album, or reprint it ? I don't seem to be able to. Perhaps you can instruct me how to. Also who do I send a donation to and where? The photo I sent was put on WM, 16 Jan 2014. Thanks for your help.
Hi Guys, I have become very interested in your website, as my cousin Ron Biggs was in the Walthamstow group 'The Creators'. I used to follow the group in the sixties, I have contacted Geoff Gibbs ex rythm guitarist with band, by finding him by links on you website, have seen former lead guitarist Ray Drake by looking on internet, although can't contact him - he is on linekin, as no email address. I have also seen Les Parsons ex singer of the group, in school photos on your web site, very interesting and now the memories come flooding back - GREAT DAYS - GREAT WEBSITE - keep up your good work, you are doing a great job
Please find attached another short piece from the 'Once Upon A Time in Walthamstow' file.
From Daniel: read Alan's new article [here].
this wonderful photo is the corner of our home 52 Blenheim Rd. Now all the children love to play on this corner.
I believe our house was a beer retailers or pub and I would love to know the name of it at the time of your photo. Any information regarding the building or those who lived there or on Blenheim road would be appreciated!
I agree with all you say LEN and to add I thought (george) Easton - headmaster - had a rule Miss Paddock could not wear her shorts in any classroom and had to change for every PE lesson.
The following (minus images) is taken straight off the â€˜Sir' George Monoux College site and I make no apologies for blatantly advertising one of Waltham Forest's educational jewels â€“ even although George Monoux was never a knight!
â€˜Sir George Monoux College is a Sixth Form College, catering for 16-19 year olds, situated in the North East London Borough of Waltham Forest. It is located on a single 17.5 acre site in Walthamstow. The main building is set back from the road in landscaped grounds, surrounded by two playing fields. The College serves a wide catchment area and approximately half of its students live in the neighbouring London boroughs of Newham, Haringey, Hackney, Enfield and Tower Hamlets. Access to Central London is good via tube, rail and bus links. The College aims to help students reach their highest potential whether it is academic, artistic or vocational.There are currently around 2000 students at the College, all of them 16 to 19 year olds on full-time courses. Over 80% of the students come from minority ethnic groups living in the London East area. The College curriculum provision includes GCE A/AS level and BTEC subjects and GCSE resit courses including English and Mathematics. In addition, all students have access to a wide range of leisure and recreational facilities within our enrichment programme.
We have invested millions over the past few years to provide exceptional facilities for our students. The College has two new buildings and the original main College building is constantly being updated and refurbished. The Brockman Building was opened in September 2003, providing first rate accommodation and facilities for Music, Business, Media and Performing Arts. It also houses changing rooms and a Sports Hall.
The Drapers Building was opened in September 2004 and boasts an exceptional LRC, excellent Art and Photography studios, a state of the art language laboratory plus a cafÃ© and relaxation area. This building is also home to the Humanities department where classrooms are bright and airy, providing a very pleasant environment in which to study.
Apart from our two new buildings, other developed areas include the student conservatory, Theatre and the Student Information Centre. The garden areas have been beautifully landscaped. We also have Science laboratories and an IT Suite. The whole College is well equipped with computers, reference books, audio visual equipment and a range of journals and newspapers. The College is accessible for wheelchair users.
Sporting and recreational facilities are very good, with a sports hall, weight training gym and sports fields and changing rooms near the Sports Centre. Our students compete locally and in some cases nationally at basketball, netball, athletics, football and cricket. The College's basketball team were recently under 19 English Schools' National Champions.
The College currently employs over 150 staff and all teachers contribute to the College's Tutorial and Enrichment programmes as required.'
Over the years, in a number of different ways and locations, this educational establishment has provided education for many thousands of Walthamstow children and the public perception is of a traditional old English grammar school.
Unfortunately, the reality is somewhat different from the perception. We don't know much about the school from its beginning in St Mary's Churchyard in 1527 or for the next nearly 300 years. George Monoux built and endowed the school to provide free education for a small number of children of poor Walthamstow parents and we can reasonably assume that in its early years this is what it did.
However, by the time that we start learning some detail about the school in 1816, we find that something had gone dramatically wrong and that situation continued from then until the school was forced to close in 1878. The school was dogged by incompetent/corrupt governors and their appointed Alms Priest teachers. It is probably reasonable to assume that this was not a new situation and was a continuation of a situation that had existed in the 18th century.
Paradoxically, it was further corruption by Walthamstow Board members and their officers that led to the rebirth of the school in Walthamstow High Street IN 1899 that completely changed the situation. They appointed a dedicated educationalist, Henry Alpass (See my previous article on his family in WW1) who laid the solid foundations for the educational excellence and good reputation of George Monoux Grammar school.
In 1927, the school moved to its existing site in Chingford Road and remained a selective Boys Grammar School until 1968 when it became a Boys Comprehensive school. In 1986 the school became a co educational sixth form college for students aged 16â€“19.
It was funded and administered by the London Borough of Waltham Forest from 1986 to 1993 when it was incorporated under the provisions of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. Then becoming, in effect, an independent body funded by the newly formed Further Education Funding Council for England (FEFC) In 2001 the FEFC was replaced with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) The college driven by government growth targets increased in size from 600 students in 1986 to approximately 2000 students in 2006.
At last we can say that George Monoux College is doing what its founder wanted and I hope that my great grand-daughter, who is presently applying for a place at the College becomes a student.
(Read Bill's article "Sir George Monoux School Scandal")
Still had no luck finding any ex pupils from Chapel End Secondary Modern - years of leaving -4AU 1951-4Sp and 4SU 1951.
Either they don't go on this site or their all dead...?
Regarding the recent publication by Alan Wills. I believe Alan asked for some feedback so at the risk of starting WW3 here goes.
You may recall the old story about the King and his new clothes, where no one said anything until a small boy exclaimed that the King was naked.
Well between ourselves although I am not that small boy I find the new book by Alan Mills quite distressing, maybe the title is the worst aspect and I would not buy it because of that alone. In my mind there is only one interpretation of the term 'Wanker' and possibly the whole of my generation may feel the same as I do.
Being an avid watcher of 'Dowton Abbey' I feel sorry for the guy who plays the part of Mr Bates as any lad with that surname always cops flak when referred to as Master Bates.
Maybe the idea is to shock the would be purchaser and as far as I am concerned I am indeed shocked. Just do yourself a favour Alan and disregard your editor and use the original title.
I went to the same school as Alan and my experience was obviously different to his possibly my perspective was different as I am two years older than him and now 76. Actually I think he has made an error with his age relevant to the period he claims at the school. He claims to have been born in 1940 and now to be 69 I think.
The gym teacher (looked up her shorts) he refers to in the story is or was Miss Paddock and she is now dead, and she was a lovely lady who did wear gym shorts most of the time. She is in the two photos attached. She is in the group of girls top row centre and in the other much later she is the lady on the LHS.
As I say this is just my opinion but with such a vast audience it is possibly the view of others too.
I have attached two photos with Miss Paddock in them. In the girls group she is top centre and in the teachers group I am sure Alan will recognise her on the LHS. He should also know who the other teachers are too.
Miss Jean Paddock with the girls in the Jym (back row, centre)
Ms Jean Paddock (first left) with other teachers.
I know you have had replies to the problem of your birth from Bill Bayliss, Michael Gilbey and myself and I hope the replies have not overwhelmed you, but it just goes to show how helpful people on Walthamstow Memories can be. It appears that Bill and myself went on a different tack to Michael and it was most curious that in the last quarter of 1968 there were two births (one registered in March 1969) of girls, one named Nicola and the other Nichola, in which the name Goldsmith is common to both parentage. As you mentioned the names Stephenson and Goldsmith I assumed these would be your parents. However, Michael came up with the marriage in 1964 between Derek A. Goldsmith and Valerie Giles who named their daughter Nicola, registered Newham in December 1968.
It can sometimes be a long shot in finding the right person when going forward, but I found in the marriage index of July 1995 Nicola Goldsmith married to Robert D. Bush, registered in Newham. If this is the daughter of Derek and Valerie Goldsmith then one must come to the conclusion your parents are Robert Stephenson and Patricia Goldsmith. I could not find if Patricia was related to the Goldsmiths mentioned by Michael.
I sadly attended the funeral of Dave Sampson this week. I'm sure many of you will remember Dave who was in the charts with SWEET DREAMS in 1961. I have always been a fan of his and got to know him while living in Clacton. Spent three hours over coffee chatting away about all his interesting times on the road. Dave was such a lovely man and a real gentleman. We both went Sidney Burnell school and lived in Highams Park. We really miss him.
I thought this would be of interest to the website:
I will supply the first name: bottom row first left Ed Chatwin (yob 1934).
I found you photos very interesting and recognized most of the sites. I've also looked at your Facebook group site to learn your reasons as to why we should support your cause to oppose the conversion of the long time closed and disused Waltham Oak to a Mosque and I'm confused.
Essentially, the reasons being advanced for opposing the mosque application seem to be these:
The reality of the situation is that although there has been a pub on this site since c1846, the existing building on the site is not particularly old and is not of any particular architectural merit. In the last half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, like the many other pubs in the area, it was a local social (Not community) centre predominantly for men. It then became a specialist live folk music venue until the folk club moved (See: http://www.walthamstowfolk.co.uk/history.htm for its history)
The growth of alternative easily accessible entertainment media (Multiplex cinemas, digital HD and 3D television, smart phones, tablets and clubs etc, together with the availability of cheap supermarket alcohol, has created a situation that suburban pubs can't compete with. They have found that it is more profitable to dispose of the pub sites to other developers and users (See: Walthamstow Stadium and the EMD/Granada cinema sites)
The growth of mosques in the area reflects the number of Moslems in the area who wish to worship locally. Almost one in four people in Waltham Forest are Moslem. https://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/Pages/Services/statistics-economic-information-and-analysis.aspx It is interesting to compare this with the decline of traditional (C of E) churches that now virtually exist to conduct baptism, marriage and death ceremonies. Today, there are about 200 assorted Christian places of worship and about 10 non Christian (Moslem.Hindu, Sikh, Jewish) in Waltham Forest. In other words, there are 200 places of worship for 78% of Walthamstow's population and only 10 places of worship for the 22% non Christians. This shows that non Christians need to open another 30 places of worship to maintain the population balance. I should also point out that apart from being a place of worship Mosques, like many Churches, are also a community centres.
The last part of the objections really puzzle me. Whether the site is a pub or a Mosque, there will be parking problems that will impinge on the people who live in the locality. However, there is far likely to be less other social problems from a Mosque than from a pub.
According to the England and Wales births index you were born Nichola Louise Stephenson registered in the March quarter 1969, district Newham, reference 5e 829, your mother's maiden name was Goldsmith. The marriage of your parents is registered as Robert A. Stephenson to Patricia L. Goldsmith, September quarter 1968, district Waltham Forest, Essex, reference Vol. No. 5E, Page 936. There appears to be no other child registered to Robert and Patricia Stephenson in the London/Essex areas. A Peter Stephenson, with a mother named Goldsmith, was born in Durham in 1971 and a Rebecca Stephenson, with a mother named Goldsmith, was born at Colchester, Essex in 1987. Certificates can be ordered on-line from www.gro.gov.uk giving the references I have quoted.
I trust that this information will be a help to you and perhaps lead to satisfying your peace of mind.
Hello again Nikki,
Further to my earlier message, I have now traced the mother of Nicola Goldsmith to be a Valerie Giles. Checking back through the birth indexes I can find no clear birth near Waltham Forest which would indicate her birth or her parents.
Derek A Goldsmith does however appear to have been born in the West Ham registration district in 1946. West Ham registration boundary also covered Walthamstow at one time. His mothers maiden name may have been Lily Watson and the nearest likely marriage I can find between those two names are a Walter Goldsmith and Lily Watson in the West Ham registration district in 1931.
This couple appear to have four children all born in the West Ham registration district.
Walter J Goldsmith 1931
Eileen L Goldsmith 1936
Brenda I Goldsmith 1937
Derek A Goldsmith 1946 who may be the father of Nicola Goldsmith.
I trust these names may be of help to you and that do do eventually find what you are seeking.
In the early 60's I lived in a half house flat in Brooke Road. We had two small children and money was tight. On Sunday Mornings I walked the children up Buck Walk to Epping Forest by Whipps Cross. Sometimes we would see the commoners cattle grazing on the grass verge between Forest Rise and Woodford New Road. From where we emerged we could go left to the Bull Rush Pond by the Rising Sub pub, straight on to the Eagle Pond or turn right to the Hollow Ponds. . Today, a whole new generation of incoming Walthamstow residents are discovering the delights of the area. I have written this for them and for all previous generations who have enjoyed picnicking, swimming, pond dipping, sailing model boats, fishing. boating, making dens or just messing about in the area.
[Click here] to read "Walthamstow's Playground", by Bill Bayliss
Hi Daniel & John,
I am not really sure where to start, so here goes. I found out a couple of days ago that everything I believed to be real does not exist at all. I guess everything happens for a reason at the right time & somehow I found your website, so informative & such a joy to read the stories. My birth parents are not my parents, there are no longer any living relatives alive that I am aware of. My name on my birth certificate is Nichola Stephenson December 1968. I believe that I am just over a year younger with all of the scrappy bits of information I have been able to collect. I am now under the assumption that I might be Nichola Goldsmith??? I strongly believe I am either a twin or have a brother a little older than me. A little fair haired girl approx 6 years old, Sylvia? I have really vivid memories of names of places & people & certain memories that I am trying to place together to make some sense of who I might be. Walthamsworth. Chingford. I believe I was born at Forest Gate Hospital ? Below are some of the names that i remember & others are surnames that I have gathered from Births Deaths & Marriages:
Yvonne (dec) & Patricia, MAUD, FLORENCE, EDWARDS HOLMES JOHNSON (dec) GERTRUDE (dec) HOLMES, LLOYD, JOHNSON, STEVENS, STEPHENSON, CLARKE, ANTHONY GOLDSMITH (dec), FRANCES, WOODLEY, BROOKES, HUMPHRIES, KNOWLESON, WALWYN, WHITE & HAWKE?
I believe that most of us immigrated to Australia somewhere between 1969 - 1975. If anyone has any knowledge or can help me, with any information no matter how small, I will be eternally grateful. I dont need anything else in life but to find some truth, peace & a little bit of who I am, so that I can move on from here & start the second half of my life. Thank you for your time, I'm hoping to find a little something to put in this big empty space. Enjoy the week ahead.
Hi there. I am a member of FaceBook group that are in the latter stages of fighting against an application to convert the Waltham Oak (formerly The Chestnut Tree) into a mosque and I wondered if you would be able to lend your support in anyway shape or form. Our page is http://www.facebook.com/SaveTheWalthamOak and any publicity or support you may be able to lend would be great appreciated. Additionally I have taken some photo's around the borough recently you may be interested in using and all I would ask is that you credit me as the photographer.My Flickr page is http://www.flickr.com/photos/43208722@N04/ and if you scroll down you'll soon start to see some familiar places.
Thank you so much for your lovely memories of my mum and dad, Vi and Bob Smith. I have no idea what made me google my mum's name today, maybe she did!
If you get the chance, pop into the Alms Houses by St Marys, they let me put a small plaque up to mark the sport where the Alms Houses kindly let me put their ashes to rest.
Has anybody got any pictures of the Walthamstow Pumphouse when it was in operation? My great uncle Charles Martin worked there, the earlier the better would be very interesting!
It's been so long that I can't remember what I told you last. We have changed the name of my first book from "Cockneys Ain't So Tough" to "Confessions of a Wanker".
I have attached the new cover and chapters 9 to 15, hope you enjoy them. By next week we will have it for sale on Amazon as a download for 99 cents for the first 30 chapters. Then we will offer part 2 of Confessions of a Wanker chapters 31 to 56 also for 99 cents. if we get a god response we will offer "Wanker Crosses the Pond" and "Live After Divorce" (my two other books) for the same price as downloads. A friend did this and then got picked up by a publisher who is now publishing her book in hard copy.
I was glad to hear that you have your health under control, I was really worried by your last e-mail 3 years ago.
If you would like to publish any of my chapters you have my full permission; with the understanding that you will put a blurb in Walthamstow Memories when we are up and running on Amazon.
Thanks again for your welcome e-mail
In the early 60's I lived in a half house flat in Brooke Road. We had two small children and money was tight. On Sunday Mornings I walked the children up Buck Walk to Epping Forest by Whipps Cross. Sometimes we would see the commoners cattle grazing on the grass verge between Forest Rise and Woodford New Road. From where we emerged we could go left to the Bull Rush Pond by the Rising Sub pub, straight on to the Eagle Pond or turn right to the Hollow Ponds. . Today, a whole new generation of incoming Walthamstow residents are discovering the delights of the area. I have written this for them and for all previous generations who have enjoyed picnicking, swimming, pond dipping, sailing model boats, fishing. boating, making dens or just messing about in the area.
[Click here] to read "Walthamstow's Playground", by Bill Bayliss
Thanks for your email reply. Yes I remember you and Peter and all those neighbours very well. It was a very nice friendly street. Evidently now the most sought after location in Walthamstow!
Nice of you to check in.
All the Best
I lived in Winns Terrace at no. 45 between 1947 and 1968. My name was June Woodrow. I remember the Coronation Street Party being dressed as a quality street girl and my neighbour Peter Crump as a soldier. Some of the families that lived there then were the Crumps, the Fairweathers, the Herrings, the Howes, the Clarkes to name a few who... do you remember?
Thanks for your Email (19/3/14) about Bob & Vi Smith and Ronan Point. In this Email I would like to pay tribute to Bob and Vi and although I don't very often write about stuff outside Walthamstow, I would like to write about some of the consequences of Ronan Point separately.
At a time when politics has become almost a dirty word and many people believe that all politicians are venal and corrupt, I take this opportunity to pay tribute to two Walthamstow politicians who worked tirelessly and selflessly for the people of Walthamstow. They didn't live in a posh part of the Borough but lived for over 50 years in a Warner House in Winns Avenue. Bob Smith worked for many years for London Transport while Vi looked after their three children.
I knew Bob and Vi Smith for over forty years from shortly after we moved into Priory Court in 1966 until they both died in 2007 & 2008. They had been married for 67 years and in many ways they reminded of my parents as they were very similar in age and like my parents met through their membership of the Labour Party League of Youth. I knew them as fellow Labour Party members and as neighbours. My children called them Uncle Bob and Aunty Vi.
Garner Robert (Bob) Smith
Bob died at the age of 90 in 2007. He was the son of a Walthamstow Labour Party activist and had been a a Labour councilor for 28 years. He was an ex-Mayor, an active trades unionist (He worked for London Transport for many years) a community activist, a school governor and a Freeman of the Borough. I don't know if you know the story of why he was called both Bob and Garner Smith. According to Vi, this dates back to
"When he was about 20, living in Shernhall Street and active in the old Walthamstow East constituency, his father was a Councillor, also called Bob, so people started using his first name, Garner, to distinguish them. Over in the Walthamstow West constituency, he was just Bob."
She went on to recall:
"When we were on the Council and I was chairing a committee, everybody knew how I was feeling. When he was behaving himself, I called him Bob, but when he turned me over, he was Garner. It was a great joke in the party."
Amongst his many other Labour Party related duties he was also the custodian of the West Walthamstow Labour Party records and A trustee of the William Morris hall (Now the Limes Community and Children's Centre) in Somers Road. Before he died he entrusted these documents and other material to the care of Waltham Forest Museum.
Above all I remember him as a man with a wicked, impish sense of humour.
Violet Smith neÃ© Bland
Vi was incredible, she was born in Enfield in 1920 and her family moved to Walthamstow when she six months old. She joined the Labour Party when she was 15 and through it met her future husband who she married in 1940. They had three sons and, as was common at the time, she put her own ambitions on hold until the 1960s when she began her activities in the wider community.
She was a Labour councillor, retiring in 1990, and the Labour Party election agent, a magistrate and a governor at Winns Primary School, Sir George Monoux College and Waltham Forest College. She was an active supporter of the Mayor's Benevolent Fund, a founder member of Walthamstow Citizens Advice Bureau and a trustee of the Walthamstow and Chingford Almshouse Charity for 45 years and chairperson for 20 years.
She was made a Freeman of the Borough in 2006.
After she died, ironically, the truest tribute to her was paid by Eric Deakins, who became MP for West Walthamstow in 1970.
â€œHad she lived in today's environment of greater gender equality, Vi Smith would unquestionably have become a fine Labour MP. But she grew up at a time when a married woman's primary responsibility was to her husband and family. Therefore, she backed her husband's political ambitions and distinguished career in the local politics of Walthamstow.
Yet talent will out! In addition to working for her husband's success, she developed a public service career of her own as a councillor and JP.
Her loyalty and devotion to the Labour Party were exemplary. She will be missed by all those, like me, who benefited from her kindness and hard work in the public interest."
What Eric Deakins knew was that he was selected by Labour to fight the seat because there was a virtual stand-off between two contending well known local candidates. One of these was Bob Smith and the other Cyril Abley. The situation was serious and threatened to split the local Labour Party. A number of people, including myself, wanted Vi Smith to put herself forward as a candidate, We knew that she would have received almost unanimous support from the various delegates. But Vi wouldn't do it because it would hurt Bob. A compromise candidate from outside of the local Party was sought and Eric Deakins was selected and elected.
Some years ago I attended a ceremony at the Labour Party local headquarters in Orford Road to honour Bob and Vi by naming part of the building after them. There was a good turnout for the occasion with a number of younger politicians in attendance. I hadn't been involved in local politics for some time but was determined to be there for Bob and Vi.
I arrived with a small bunch of red roses and went over to Vi and hugged and kissed her. You could hear sharp intakes of breath from some of the newer members who saw her as some sort of iconic feminist dragon. They were genuinely afraid that she would breathe fire and eat me. But they didn't know Vi. Yes, she was a committed feminist but that didn't mean that she hated men and didn't like receiving flowers. She knew me, my family and my attitudes. She knew which side I was on and I wasn't her enemy.
Vi and Bob were a team. After Bob died Vi said
"I couldn't work properly without him and he couldn't work properly without me."She had six grandchildren and always loved her time with them after Bob's death, she spent every other weekend with one of her son's family in Reading, and would spend her Saturday evenings loving it that her teenage grand children stayed home to watch films with her.
After her death the political who's who queued to pay their genuine tributes. Many of these were those who had been helped and advised by Vi. One of the most moving tributes came from one of her sons who, speaking on behalf of the family, said:
â€œHer wish was to help people, everyone and anyone, no matter their politics, their race or religion, their colour, their sexual orientation, she simply saw everyone as part of the brotherhood of man."
â€œWe, her family, are so proud of her, the legacy she leaves behind, the people she touched and helped, the difference she has made, and at the end of the day, it is making a difference that really matters, making the world a better place. She did just that."
â€œAnyone who is truly loved never dies, they live on in the memories of those they touched. Vi touched many people.â€
Recently, Stella Creasey MP for Walthamstow paid her a tribute which would have made Vi very proud.
â€œThere are a number of women who I feel really passionate about. There was a fantastic woman in Walthamstow called Vi Smith, sadly she's now died. She was one of the first women on the council, she was a real dragon and she hated Clem Atlee because Clem Atlee never delivered leaflets, which is a really good testament that if you forgot the basics in your local community, woe betide youâ€.
Vi would have liked that and she would have been very proud of Stella who isn't forgetting the basics.
I have been reading two of your articles, one old, one new but both stirred memories in me.
Your article and link on the passing of Vi and Garner Smith, I always called Garner Bob. I knew them both well as a Labour Party member and as fellow councillors when I used to serve on Waltham Forest Council. Both of them were very energetic in their involvement in local politics and one could be certain on any local issue, either one or both of them would have an input somewhere.
The other memory was you mention Ronan Point in your Cambridge Road Estate article. Ronan Point was on my fire stations ground in Plaistow and I went to that incident. I did not go on the initial call as I was not on duty until 9 am that morning but I relieved our crew on another watch that did go on the initial call.
It's fair to say when they returned to the station the were completely dishevelled and absolutely knackered. When they first arrived at the scene it was absolute carnage. They had no way of telling at that moment of time what the cause of the collapse was or whether the remainder of the building was likely to collapse. All they knew is they had to get anyone left in the building out as quickly as possible and they raced up the stairs one floor at a time, (22 floors in all I think), kicking in the front door of every flat on each landing as they went. There simply was no time to politely knock and wait to see if there was a response. Anyone they found was immediately herded to the exit staircase. Some of the doors they kicked in led to open air high in the sky where the flat had simply disappeared.
I know the fire service had to immediately request a one mile air exclusion zone around the building as there was a fear that vibrations from news helicopters could cause a further collapse.
Although the fire service was on scene for a few days, it soon became clear that once there was no longer any life risk and there was no one else in need of rescuing from rubble, there was little more that could be done. It was then essentially a major demolition issue once the experts had finished their investigations.
Local speculation as to the cause did however continue for some time afterwards until facts that is was gas was established. Explosives being stored by local villains was one such rumour that continued for some time.
Before I retired one of my references in the London Fire Brigade where I worked was the responsibility for approving/objecting to all proposals for street and building naming throughout Greater London on behalf of the emergency services. The London Fire Brigade had complete responsibility for this as part of the Greater London Council from 1965 until 1986 when the GLC was abolished.
After 1986 the power was devolved to each local authority within Greater London and became the responsibility of what is known as the â€œStreet Naming and Numbering Officerâ€ in each authority. Waltham Forest will have one and is the person who could probably best help you now. These officers now make the final decision on not only street and building names but also on how buildings in a street are also numbered. They do however have a duty under the relevant legislation to consult with relevant organisations which is where I came in. Street naming officers also have the power to completely renumber a street if circumstances dictate but as you can imagine it is rarely done as it is quite unpopular with local residents.
I am not certain who had the responsibility for the numbering of properties prior to 1965 but I suspect like now it was a local authority duty rather than the Post Office. Many of the records from years ago are likely to have disappeared in the sands of time.
As I indicated local authorities are also responsible for the naming of new roads but they also have the power to rename existing roads. When the London County Council came into being in 1889 it inherited a mish-mash of existing street names from the previous county and local councils that until then covered the various geographic area of London, with many streets in close proximity to each other having having the same name. The LCC carried out a massive street renaming exercise of duplicate street names within its area and many local authorities bordering on the LCC carried out a similar exercise about the same time.
Following that particular exercise, street names were rarely changed except in special circumstances. Rillington Place in London was one such example which was renamed following an upsurge in curious crime tourists to the area following its association with the notorious Christie murders. In more recent times, some roads have been renamed after prominent international figures but often that is reserved when for when new roads are built or the layout of an area is completely changed in large redevelopment projects.
I'm afraid that I don't know if Warner's numbered their property to a set format but I suspect not.
The conventional numbering for properties used by Royal Mail is to start numbering from the end of a road nearest to the centre of London. However, this isn't the situation for many properties that were built when Walthamstow was an Urban District Council in Essex and isn't true for Warner properties. As, I am sure you know, the Warner estates were built at different times when Warner's acquired the property. Winns Avenue was first occupied in 1901 and the road was extended in 1922.
Guy Osborne was Waltham Forest's Conservation Officer for 36 years until he retired in late 2011. The present Conservation Officer is an Australian lady named Jacinta Fisher at: email@example.com
The person who should be most likely to be able to be able to help you is Philip C Plummer who was a building manager for Warner's for many years and who co-authored the book â€˜A Brief History of Courtney Warner & the Warner Estate'. I believe that he lives in Woodford and you should be able to get him via the publisher's - Walthamstow Historical Society at: http://www.walthamstowhistoricalsociety.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=93&Itemid=162
You will probably know that the Warner Estate Company has gone into administration.
My personal involvement with the area is that I lived in Priory Court and my three eldest children were at Winns School. Two very good friends of mine Vi and Garner Smith lived in Winns Avenue, very close to your address, at the Lloyd Park end for many years. They were both local Councillors and former mayors of Waltham Forest. See: http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/whereilive/northeast/walthamforest/3680190.print/
If there is anything else that I can help you with, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I wonder if you could help me - I'm trying to track down information about the door numbers on the Warner flats and houses in Walthamstow. They're painted onto the fanlights of lots of the properties round where we live, and I'd really like to find out more about them.
I found and read an interesting article by Bill Bayliss (who I see is associated with your site), and also managed to find some notes on Leucha Road conservation area written by Guy Osborne. If you were able to put me in contact with either of these people, or suggest someone else who I might be able to get in touch with I'd be very grateful.
Thanks for that, Chris
Not suggesting that the reunion was at Forest Road School just that it was an old boys get together as confirmed by the little placard being held by the chap at the front of the group. If I had to make a stab at the location I would say Friends Meeting House in Greenleaf Road a short distance away. Or maybe a nearby church hall.
Maybe another Stowie will tell us.
I was at Forest Road School from 1958-1961 can't remember the hall they are in or that carpet!
Hello, I was amazed to see this web site - wanted so badly to find a lady called Lou Gibson: she lived in Priory Court flats, Walthamstow, in the 50s. A dear friend of my sister, who is living in canada, but asked me if i could find her or family whereabouts? ..would appreciate it for any help given here. Thanking you
What interested me was that it was about two of the three men that the three high rise blocks of the now demolished Cambridge Road Estate were named after. It reminded me of how much of our local history had disappeared and now only existed in the memories of the people who had lived there or who had known the three men.
It also made me feel a bit ashamed that, although I had known two of them, I had not taken the trouble to actually know them better. Worse, in the brashness of youth, I had regarded one of them (Wally Savill) as a political dinosaur and although I was slightly in awe of Jimmy Dixon, I had not taken the trouble to learn more about him. I also think that readers may be interested in the Ernie Richards connection to the Rolling Stones
I hope that my article will, in a very small way partly redress this situation. I'm sorry that I couldn't provide any images of the estate as incredibly I couldn't find any on the internet!
Walthamstow! What do I remember of it? Well, I don't remember this first bit but imagine it happened something like this: Click here to read it!.
Dear Reg, re your note about Mr Lovelock. It might be him but I remember him as being a smaller man.
He actually put me in the choir so his musical ear is very questionable.
He had zero control of a class. Our class was being so rowdy one day that Ken Clarke had to come in & tell us to shut up.
There was an incredible amount of music going on around that time. 1960 to 1966 but he never got us to sing or play any of it. An opportunity missed.
On the Warwick picture #21 is Peter Fielding. Lived in the prefabs at the bottom of Church hill Road with 2 sisters. Marjorie & Christine(?)
On the Wood Side junior school 1 picture #8 is my sister, Gwen Read.
From Daniel: I've updated the names below the picture. Many thanks, Reg!
Hello Bill and thank you for your prompt reply and advice. I often see mentioned in Walthamstow Memories, Wrighton's Furniture Factory. My grandfather worked there during the 1930's. His picture, along with fellow workers is attached.
Granddad is on the left but hopefully someone will recognise the other four men. Nice to chat again, Kind regards, from Marion
Thanks for publishing the images on WM - damn fine website. What a goldmine of history Walthamstow is. I still remember joining the Walthamstow Antiquarian Society at the Town Hall when I was 12. I used to attend with a school friend named Dave Watts from Carr Road. For us it was heaven, but I don't think anyone expected us to be seen or heard! By the way, I fell into the Town Hall pond when I was nine: Fortunately only up to my knees.
I Lived in Winn's Terrace for 21 years between 1941 and 1962 and well remember a VE Day street party and another celebrating the Coronation in 1953.
Can any kind soul help me obtain photographs of these two occasions?
Walthamstow Memories is a great website. Thanks to all who create and run it.
I have just come across three group photographs and thought they might be of interest to followers of Walthamstow Memories. Two were taken at Forest Road School. My father is included. He was born in September 1915, so I think these images would have been created either side of 1926. The outdoor image is annotated 'Camping 1928'. Whether this relates to Forest Road School or another institution I am unable to say. No idea either where it was taken but some of the boys look familiar.
The fourth photograph is one of many of the same lads who got together for an Old Boys reunion evening 30 years on - I believe one of the old boys is actually a former tutor. I remember my father returning home from this evening around 1958-60.
If anyone can tell me a little more I would be pleased to hear from them.
Hello Daniel and Good afternoon, I sent the email as below and the attached photo to Bill Bayliss who advised me to forward it on to you.
Being 2014 is the Centenary of the start of World War One, I thought it may be of interest to â€˜Walthamstow Memories' visitors to hear about the book I have just had published, especially as Walthamstow plays such an important part in the story. You will see from the attachment that I have titled the book; (sub title) He took the King's Shilling FOR HIS LOVE OF AMELIA. The blurb below, taken from the book, will tell you as to what the story is about and explains the reason for the title. Although I now live at Canvey Island in Essex, my childhood and growing up years were spent in Walthamstow where I was born in 1942. I spent many happy hours listening to my grandparents as they talked about their early married life in Bethnal Green and then my grandmother's return to Walthamstow in 1915 on the day granddad went off to war.
My grandfather came home to Walthamstow after the war ended which thankfully against all odds he survived and they were to live there for over 50 years. After their deaths in the 1970's I began writing down and recording all the humorous and sometimes sad events that had taken place within the family.
They lived in Glenthorne Road until the end of the Second World War in 1945 and then moved on to Markhouse Road where they opened a French Polishing, Cabinet Makers and Upholstery shop. This was to become their family home for the next 21 years before eventually moving into a retirement flat. Hopefully this story will appeal to both men and women because not only does it tell of the horrors of W.W.1 but it also gives an insight into the way family life was for many people of Walthamstow during those times now long since passed.
PART ONE; This book is based on the true story of Jesse Fredrick Warren a 24 year old French Polisher by trade who was living in Bethnal Green, East London with his wife Amelia and their two young daughters Elizabeth and Beatrice. The start of the Great War in 1914 brought with it an end to regular employment and the beginning of great hardships for Jesse and his family. By the February of 1915 they were destitute and starving. There was no money for food, gas or coal. Like so many other young men in the same situation, Jesse had only one option open to him: without telling his wife he signed on and volunteered for the Army. It was not for King and Country that he joined up but to put food on the table for his family. For this he was taken to France where he walked through the gates of hell.
PART TWO; This is the continuing story of Jesse and Amelia Warren now living in Walthamstow, East London from the end of the Great War which against all odds he survived, until their deaths many years later.â€¦but firstly it takes the reader back to the meeting of a young couple who were to survive many hardships. It tells of their family, the good times they shared together and the bad times but also it tells of many hilarious moments that will certainly make the reader smile.
The book will soon be available on Amazon price Â£7.99 and is now available on my web page.
I hope you will find this of interest,
Does anyone have information/photographs of Aulman Hosiery based in Hoe Street around 1920's??
Hello John Knowles,
Just to say, I have only just discovered the Walthamstow Memories site.
I sent a small piece of history to Daniel and also a request for the Newsletter and both received immediate responses, which is so refreshing and quite unusual these days, So I just wanted to say thank you.
Nevertheless, just to elaborate, I think the web site is most professional and far superior to a couple of the other sites regarding Walthamstow, Yours is so much more in depth â€“ Not that the others aren't useful, they are, especially a Photo section on one of them, which is easy to follow and comment upon.
I think my own family would be quite hard to research (I've never tried either the Arnolds or the Browns), the Arnolds and maybe the Browns when they were in Parkhurst Rd might be OK, but the Browns maybe more difficult going back.
Plus I was adopted by William (Bill) Brown & his wife Dorothy (Arnold), after my birth father Robert Reginald Cyril Brown (Bill's youngest brother), a Royal Marine Commando was killed on the beaches on D Day.
I did trace my birth mother some years ago, which was sadly unsatisfactory â€“ ie. She didn't want to know.
I didn't wish to cause difficulties for that family so I didn't continue.
I say sadly, because I had a half sister Jacqueline, who I actually remember, she would be 5 years older than me, and I still carry a photo of of her with me â€“ I would have loved to meet her (It was her I had wanted to trace, but I had to go through my mother Gwendolen first â€“ sad.
Anyway that is life, and mine has been OK, Bill & Doll were always my Mum & Dad.
However, I might be able to fill in some details for others on the site, so I might be helpful to someone.
Hi Dan, can you put this up on your web site?
I remember Wally Savile, who if I remember correctly was a Walthamstow councillor and a great friend of my Headmaster, Mr. Dixon from George Gascoigne. This would be in the 1957-1962 period.
I remember him as a very friendly, nice man. He may have accompanied us on school trips in Europe.
The payment went off as a cheque yesterday after I spoke to the curator to ensure I was making it out to the correct payee.
They are as ever very grateful.
I noticed on the posts about Manzies that no one has mentioned the Manzies that was at the Bakers Arms, Leyton, opposite the Bakers Arms pub: I used to use it when I was a boy - think they closed it late 50s early 60s
thank you very much for your reply about my great grandfather William Martin who was a brassfinisher journeyman, the picture you painted was very much the lifestsyle the family lead.
William Martin was born in Spitalfields and married Emma Reader from Swanscombe, Kent. They had ten children, including my grandfather William George Martin, who changed his name to William Marden. Born Camberwell, one child Alfred died in infancy while living in a very bad housing estate in Islington. John was born in Walthamstow. Most others were born in Hoxton, when they grew up the family semed to split. Some, including Wiiliam and Emma, moved north to Seven Sisters, but Charles John Martin and George Martin moved to Walthamstow. John Martin and Walter Martin were in the Leyton area. Sadly, George lost his life on board HMS Aboukir on 22 sep 1914. I wonder if there is any mention of this tragic loss locally. Walter and John and my grandfather survived the great war. I'm not sure what happened to Walter, but we do have some information on John, also another brother Henry seems to have gone without trace. The other brothers and sisters (Emma jr, Francis, and Esther) we can account for. We are very much interested in Charles John because we think any of his descendents would have a lot of knowledge about the family history. We know Charles John ended up living at Gosport rd, Walthamstow, and his son in law was an e webster. I have been trying to find out where Charles John's funeral took place: I've tried nearly everywhere in the east London boroughs. Charles John worked for many years as a steam engine operator at the Walthamstow Waterworks - we're assuming at the old pumphouse. We are awaiting some information about that.
In conclusion life in victorian and edwardian london was very hard, but some of the Martins did survive to good old ages, must have been the east end spirit once again! Bill, many thanks and if anyone has got just some small information about the Martins we would love hear about it
Hello, A quick introduction from my end: I am Chinmaya from Bangalore, India. The reason for my mail is that I understand that the "Sons of the Desert" are having their next convention at Hollywood later this year and would want to know if you are attending it. You may check this for more details http://www.laurelandhardywood.com/. In case you or anyone whom you know are attending, please let me know as there are somethings that i want to discuss regarding transport and accommodation.
I assume that you got the information about the Walthamstow address from the birth certificate of William's son - John Martin born 1893 in Walthamstow. I hope that the following information will be of interest.
Below is 15, Collingwood Road, Walthamstow
The road was occupied and made up in 1879-80. Except for the double glazed windows, plastic gutter and Sky aerial, the exterior of property looks very much as it would have done in 1880.
A Brass Finisher was someone who operated machines which smooth, buff, or polish metal objects by the wearing away action of abrasives or machine files. In the old days, much of this work may have been done by hand, especially brass, which is far softer than other cast metals.
Molded brass pieces are usually rough and dull with casting "spues" that must be removed prior to final smoothing and polishing. Cast Brass is used in many locations because it has a beautiful lasting finish and is strong. One primary usage is on ships because brass doesn't rust or corrode. Cast brass was often used in public and private corporate buildings like banks, churches, etc.
As electricity was not always readily available and depending on whether it was a large factory or a cottage industry , the motive power would have been a steam engine, via overhead shafts and pulleys to a lathe, or a treadle powered lathe. Either way, the work is basically the same now, as it was then. That is the removal of flash, burrs and marks from the brass object using a variety of sanding, finishing buffing and polishing belts and wheels. Usually there were three or four stages, until complete working from the coarsest grits, slowly, finer and finer. Job satisfaction was very rewarding on some pieces but was very boring on repetitive pieces like tapware etc.
As a â€˜Journeyman'. he would travel to where there was work. The railway from Liverpool Street station came to Walthamstow in 1873 and offered very cheap workmen's fares. This meant that people living in Walthamstow could speedily and cheaply access work in Hackney and Finsbury where there were very many factories. As a consequence there was a massive development of housing in Walthamstow. At the same time, many successful factories in the inner east London Boroughs were able to expand into Walthamstow because there was still room for development and because there was a large potential labour force on the doorstep. The situation for working people seeking work also improved with the growth of tramways to Tottenham and West Ham.
I wonder if you think it is worth putting this photo and caption on to the site. I have permission to from Vestry House to reproduce the picture for non commercial purposes.
This photo was taken outside "The Flowerpot" pub; I would guess the date to be around 1920 based upon the charabanc, the clothes and the apparent age of my grandfather, who is in the picture.
It would be wonderful if anyone could put a name to any of the people.
Daniel just discovered your site, so hope these are useful
I am the on the middle left in the nurses uniform next to Nannie Merce (who actually lived in Salop Rd). I know the names of some of the people in the pic. Certainly middle row right, the two children in white are David & Brenda Foreman, and Maureen King is a fair haired child further along in an apron. My next door neighbour Auntie Em, is holding Anne in her arms (wearing the crown). My mum was born in No 12, and her Dad (Percival Horatio Arnold), was a church warden and apparently played the organ at St. Michael's and All Angels in Northcote Rd. Mums own mother, Mary, died when she was 15 and is I believe buried in Queens Rd Cemetery. Mum was one of 8
Where I work we have a photographic restorer, who used some other pics of me (thus managing to turn my head, so the last pic is what he produced).
Parkhurst Rd had a cobblers shop on one end, owned by Uncle John & Auntie Rene.
Mrs Dixon with son Lennie & Joy,(who married Dave Sturgess, of Salad stall fame, opposite Kenny who had the best fruit stall in the High St - just at the end of Buxton Rd).
The Foremans, Auntie Rosa lived next door. Can remember them all if you want the info, let's see how this goes first.
I think the site is excellent.
I was Roberta Brown 'Bobbie', then in 1966 became a Holloway. Now Roberta Hadnam.
Hi, my name is Shenaz. I was born and bred pure Walthamstow girl. omgsss do I miss those days I remember the chip shop at high street; I remember the chips in newspsper n the vinegar. I went to Henry Maynard Infants n Juniors school, then to Leyton manor n then Green School. I really do miss Walthamstow
Hi, as i remember the warrant officer was the Higam Hill Tavern, then the tavern on the hill. The Woodman was a courage pub that I belive has been demolished
I think my sisters went to Warwick Girls about that year. Their names were Ruksana Mohamed, Sherbanu Mohamed and Salma Lorgat. Ruksana was also known as Kulsum and Sherbanu was also known as Sara or Sher Bun. Hope that's of use to you.
Thank you Bill (& Daniel)
hmm, seems like we have a mystery. I thought the Google photo I saw had similar facade to Mum's photo.
Here are two copies of my photo, one with Mum's note...
p.s. on further research, I THINK that my grandfather George T. Wisker lived there with his widowed mother and younger siblings, prior to his marriage in early 1920.
Below is a snip of present day 59, Boundary Road from Google maps. Number 59 is the property with the wrought iron gate and part fence. Boundary Road was formerly called Boundary Lane and it was laid out in 1869 on the line of the Walthamstow/Leyton boundary. Its name was changed to Boundary Road in 1875.
All the properties seem to be part of the same terraced development and except for the double glazed windows and doors seem relatively unaltered since they were built. I can't see anyway that there was ever an extra storey.
My Mother died almost 2 weeks ago; I'm going through her photos. She was born at 59 Boundary Road, Leyton (or Walthamstow) in 1920, father George Wisker. There is a photo of the house at that time. I found it on Google maps BUT her photo has TWO upper floors & currently there is only one pair of upper windows. The lower facade is almost identical to 1920. Do you have any idea when the upper floor was removed?
Hope you're well?
I just wanted to write to let you know the good news that we've managed to pull together the funds for the scanner and the order has now been placed. We're very grateful to Walthamstow Memories and to you especially for your support - much appreciated! We are processing this financial year which ends very soon! Would it be possible to send a cheque for the donations received? Cheques are made payable to the London Borough of Waltham Forest and paid directly to the Museum and Archive.
Very best wishes,
Museum, Gallery and Archive Manager
William Morris Gallery and Vestry House Museum
020 8496 1474
Thank you very much for your help and I hope I have some luck via your site.
I would like to commend you on what a wonderful site it is - I have already been able to contact a couple of my mothers school friends from the time she attended Albany School.
What a treasure our Bill Bayliss is, and what a tireless worker he must be to keep writing such wonderful articles for us expats to read. This last one about the Walthamstow Baths brought back a few memories for me and good old Bill did give me an honourable mention in this his latest article.
A few more memories came to my 76 year old mind after reading the new item, and one was the way the class that I was in at the time would walk from Markhouse Road School to the baths for our weekly swimming lesson. Our teacher was actually also the woodwork teacher and his name was Mr. Fairfoull I believe and he had been a good swimmer in his youth. Can you imagine that happening now and even worse we were all dismissed after the lesson to find our own way home. No one was ever abducted or assaulted and we usually went straight over to the bakers in the high street for a bun or a cake. Sorry Bill it was too early for fish and chips and we didn't have enough money anyway. I forgot to mention that us lads also had found a way around putting a penny in the Brylcreem machine (A little dab will do you as the advert jingle went) believe it or not if you put your mouth over the dispensing nozzle you could suck out a handful of Brylcreem and thus look smart on the way home.
Another memory was that immediately outside the main entrance: there was an underground toilet block and also two red telephone boxes and us lads found that there was often small change dropped into the ground level ventilation grills above the toilets. We would get a stick and put some chewing gum on the end and thus retrieve the small change for more buns etc. Once we saw that a leather brief case had been put into the vent area and so we went down and told the attendant, as all toilets had permanent attendants in those days.
In the retirement village in Perth where I now reside we have a swimming pool a little bit smaller than the Walthamstow Baths but I swim in it or do water aerobics and sometimes even instruct the class. And I have managed to swim 50 lengths of the pool so I suppose one could say that the lessons over 60 years ago were worthwhile after all.
Incidentally those wooden demountable change rooms were so designed so that when a Swimming Gala was held they were removed so that seating could be placed around the pool.
I did hear a story once where Maggie Thatcher's house was being modernised and her bath was stolen from the front garden. Apparently she didn't miss it until the following Friday when it was bath night.
I am writing to you in regards to your site Walthamstow Memories.
I have recently found out that i have 2 half brothers who were adopted out in 1956 and 1957 i have been told that the first child was adopted by the Silk family / Coal Merchants of that time and the other was adopted by the Hedges family who were of Hedges Transport/Haulage of that time.
I have held off from posting anything on your site in case my half brothers are unaware of being adopted the last thing i want to do is upset anyone.
But i was hoping you may have information in regards to these families i did read the story of Mr Rodney Silk on your site and feel this maybe the family i am looking for.
I have the Birth Certificates of both boys but of course they only show my Mothers name Sandra Lurton who then became Sandra Quinton and not their fathers.
My Mother passed away 12 months ago and it was My father who passed 3 months ago that gave us this information like many family's this has been kept a secret for nearly 6 decades but my father felt before his death that we had the right to know.
As i said im not out to hurt or upset anyone and as i live in Australia it is hard to find out any information i was unsure who the best person from your site i should make contact with.
I do know that the first adoption was organized by Dr Jones and my mother was raised in Riley road Enfield.
I hope you will be able to point me in the right direction on how to get further information without upsetting anyone who may be involved.
I have attached a photograph (in the form of a postcard) of the Walthamstow Salvation Army Band taken, I would think, sometime during the first ten years of the century, presumably at the former Salvation Army Citadel in High Street, Walthamstow.
My father's uncle, George Frederick Peters, is the second person in from the right in the second row back, sporting a moustache and holding his euphonium. Does anyone recognise any of the other musicians in the group photograph and does anyone know if any of the Salvation Army membership records/registers for that period have survived?
There will be few people who grew up in Walthamstow who didn't go to the Walthamstow Baths in the High Street. Peculiarly, there doesn't seem anything very much written about it. So, I've written this piece: Walthamstow Baths.
Hello again Daniel,
Further to my posting on 7th February, 2014 about Napier College in Carisbrook Road, I have since come across two lovely group photographs of the staff and pupils at the school in 1911 and 1913 which I have attached and which you may wish to reproduce on the Walthamstow Memories website.
It is possible that others may recognise some of the children in the photographs. The fact that these two photographs were produced as post cards, it is quite likely that they were given to each child to take home, in which case there should be quite a number of identical photographs still in existence. The notes beneath each of the pictures were typed by my late father many years ago.
I have seen on Ancestry the birth certificate you refer to with the 32 Tenby Road address with Thomas Issac Foster as the father. I have also looked at that address in the 1911 census which shows two non-related families living there. I did note from the birth certificate that your ancestor was born at 13 Union Road which was the address for the West Ham Union Workhouse.
I can find no trace of the death of Thomas Foster between early 1909 and late 1911. I chose this time period to allow for the possibility from the likely time of conception of your ancestor to after the 1911 census. For some unknown reason Thomas Forster moved from Tenby Road between September 1910 and April 1911. It is unlikely to have been due to criminal conviction as prisoners are still shown in the census.
The only two foreseeable circumstances left is pure oversight that he was not recorded or he was deliberately trying not to be recorded.
I can find no further births to this family after 1910 and unless you have any further information on Thomas Foster after 1910 there is the possibility he simply abandoned his family.
Thomas was a cycle repairer for some time and I have tried to track him without success in the 1911 census using his birth year plus or minus five years and birth location including surrounding districts as well as his occupation.
As Bill Bayliss has already said, something dramatic happened to this family, probably between the beginning of 1910 to the birth of your ancestor.
After reading the great article by Bill Bayliss about Manzes in the high st, I sent it to my older brother in Nottinghamshire we both are Walthamstow boy's born in Thorpe Coombe. He asked me if we could find out about Manze's during the war; did it carry on trading? I hope you have someone there who can help, I love this site it takes me right back to the 50's of a great childhood please keep up the great work.
Paul R RODWAY
32, Tenby Road wasn't ever a Receiving House. A â€˜Receiving House' was part of a workhouse which were very nasty places. I have traced Thomas's wife and eight children in 1911 living in various parts of the West Ham Union workhouse complex. This was the workhouse for destitute people who lived in Walthamstow, Leyton, Leytonstone and West Ham.
I have searched for Thomas Isaac Foster myself but I cant find him living or dead. I have also looked at the records of his parents and siblings in 1911 but if he was with them he wasn't declared. It seems likely that something traumatic happened to the family in c1910/11. The West Ham Union workhouse would not have been very eager to receive an adult and eight children into their workhouse because of the cost implications and would have carried out investigations to convince themselves that there wasn't any other placement alternative. What I find puzzling is that Thomas Foster had several married brothers living locally and they didn't take any of the children.
In 1901 the West Ham Union Workhouse at Leytonstone contained 2,091 inmates including 333 children. Between 1895 and 1905 the population of the West Ham Union parishes increased by 48% from 451,000 to 667,000 but the workhouse population increased by 98% from 1,814 to 3,597 and the number on out-relief increased by 113% from 7,644 to 16,320. By 1918 there were no children in any Essex workhouses.
The West Ham area had the 2nd lowest cost per head of population in Essex for out-door relief and in-maintenance in 1892 . Workhouse inmates had long been required to wear clothes that drew attention to their status, and this remained the case. Children also wore a distinctive uniform. It is possible that Thomas Foster deliberately didn't get himself included in the 1911 Census. Possible reasons for this may be that he was wanted by the police or that he had abandoned his family.
I have seen various family trees of the family on the â€˜Ancestry' site, including the Canadian connection, but none of them seem to have any idea what happened to him.
I would suggest that it would be worthwhile to try to investigate the West Ham Union records to see if you can find out what were the reasons for the admission of the family and you may find the following site helpful: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/West_Ham_Poor_Law_Union,_Essex
I'm looking for any members of the Hewitson family of 51 Apsley Road, Walthamstow or Carisbrooke Road, Walthamstow. My father Albert Grogan had a number of aunts and uncles who lived in the above two roads, one was Aunt May who worked as a pickle labeller in 1911 census. I do recall a pickle factory at the top of the High Street somewhere when I was a child also growing up in Walthamstow. George Hewitson born c 1860 was a fish porter at Billingsgate. Any info on the Hewitson family would help me with my family history project
Georgia DRAPER (née GROGAN)
Hi, I have a question regarding 32 Tenby Road, Walthamstow. Is it possible that this address was a receiving house in 1910? I am searching for a Thomas Issac Foster who was meant to be living at this address then according to his sons birth certificate. We can not locate him at all on the 1911 census though. In 1911 his wife and all his family were in receiving houses in Walthamstow. I would appreciate any information regarding this if you are able to help me.
I think the name of this company was Fairie Glen, my mum also worked for them for a number of years and I can remember myself and my sister helping her to sew on the little buttons on the dolls dresses (no Velcro then).
Linda TONKINSON (née WINGROVE)
Hi, I have been looking through your site with interest, as I attended St Mary's Convent Shernhall st in the 60s and saw pictures of the building on your site, and just wondered if anyone else who looks on here attended the Convent. I was in St marys group, some surnames I remember are: the Zendra, Jackson, Mcurrs, Bambrick, Goddard, Green. Myself and my sister were Janet and Julie Murphy, and our nun in charge was Sister Florence and Miss Cleary were in charge of us.
I'm a photographer working on a project about the Warner Estate in Waltham Forest, alongside an artist called Lucy Harrison. We are making a book and exhibition about the Ex-Warner estate as it today and at the same time we are gathering copies of any old photos or emphemera such as rent books that people might have. We'd love to hear from people who have Warner memories and maybe photos of yourself in your Warner home. There's more information about the project here: http://www.exwarnerproject.co.uk.
Hi - My name is Reg Angel and I have just been searching for pictures old Selborne Restaurant, behind the public baths in Walthamstow High Street, and I came across this wonderful website.
I used to live in Spruce Hills Road, Walthamstow, until my parents moved from the area in 1959-1960.
I therefore used to go to both Woodside Junior and Warwick School during the time of your three photographs. Unfortunately I have scanned the photographs and I cannot recognise myself in any of them. However in the first photograph of the three (Warwick School circa 1960) there is somebody that I think do I recognise. It is the teacher sitting in the middle of the front row. Around that time we had a rather charismatic music teacher at Warwick School called Mr Lovelock, and whilst it is an awfully long time ago as soon as I saw the photograph and the teacher in the middle I thought "Mr Lovelock"..!!
Therefore I thought that might be of interest to some of your other viewers or might even jog some further school memories.
For my contribution I'm attaching a photograph of the Coronation Street Party held in my road (Spruce Hills Road) in whenever it was - 1951 or 1952. I am the little boy in glasses (first on the left) and the boy sitting to the left of me was my good friend Richard Chitty.
What an amazing website - it has certainly brought back some memories
The attached piece was inspired by John Peters recent letter to â€˜Walthamstow Memories'. It reminded me of an earlier query from a correspondent in 2010 and I wondered if they were connected. They weren't but I am now able resolve the 2010 query which was:
I am trying to find out more out my mother's family background and wonder if anyone using this site may be able to help. My grandparents, Henry and Florence Pearce lived in 404 Hoe Street till about 1933. Their two daughters, Phyllis Eleanor (my mother) and Eunice were born in 1910 and 1917. Both girls went to a nearby school, Carisbrooke College - can find no trace of this, in Carisbrooke Road somewhere, presumbably? Anything (text or photos) from anyone who knows about that area, what buildings or shops or schools were there at the time...........would be helpful. Thanks. E. Beddall
I had previously casually assumed that this Carisbrooke College must have been situated in Carisbrooke Road, but I was wrong. In fact I learnt from the Victorian County History: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42784:
Mrs. Sarah Thomas had a preparatory school for girls in Beulah Road in 1870; it had moved by 1890 to Carisbrooke Terrace, Hoe Street, where her husband, the Revd. T. Thomas, had a gentlemen's school, Carisbrooke college, from 1884. (fn. 273) By 1905 he had given up the boys school. (fn. 274) His wife kept the girls school until she retired in 1911. (fn. 275) There was a school at the same address until at least 1926. (fn. 276)
I was able to find Sarah Thomas in the 1911 Census and she was still running the school at 344, Hoe Street, Walthamstow. As far as I am able to ascertain there wasn't ever a road named Carisbrooke Terrace but I am willing to bet that this was the name for the very fine group of large Victorian houses in Hoe Street. The address is corroborated by the book that is referred to in the Victorian County History as references fn273-6. This is an utterly delightful book of â€˜Walthamstow Memories' (Yes its actually called this) that I was luck enough to recently acquire. It is the reminiscences of a number of people who lived Walthamstow over a hundred years ago and was edited by Annie Hateley. The book confirmed that the school was virtually opposite the Co-op in Hoe Street which is exactly the location of 344, Hoe Street.
This picture may bring back memories to you and other people who were at St Mary's Convent in Shernhall Street. The photo is from 1964.
Amongst my family history archives is the attached programme of the second grand juvenile concert held at the Higham Hill Baptist Church on the 5th. April 1913, in which my father, Frederick Silk and his elder brother Alfred, took part. Their ages at the time were respectively 7 and 11 years. My father played the violin and my uncle Alf, as you may see from the attached photo, played a type of mandolin.
The Baptist Church is situated on the the corner of Higham Hill Road and Green Pond Road which, in later years, would lead to the Walthamstow Avenue Football Club. At the time of the concert just open fields but now a housing estate. The church building is still there but is now home to the Ministry of Restoration International Pentecostal Church. As a juvenile concert the performers were very young and so I have taken the task to find out a little more about them mainly through the 1911 census returns. Details are as follows though I cannot guarantee their accuracy or that I have the right person in every case. Their homes are all within the catchment area of Higham Hill Road. The ages given are those in the census return of 1911. Perhaps some readers of Walthamstow Memories will recognise their forebears who had taken part in the concert:
Hubert Gordon Haycock, age 7, son of Albert and Clarrisa of 40, Pembar Avenue, Walthamstow. Mary French, age 23, daughter of George and Sarah, of 15, Stirling Road, Walthamstow.(Possibly May French) Ida Jenny Payne, age 11, daughter of William and Jayne of 36, Gainsford Road, Walthamstow. Mabel Seville Newton, age 11, daughter of Theresa Ann a widow of 79, Blackhorse Road, Walthamstow. Kathleen Williams, age 9, daughter of George and Catherine of 22, Tower Hamlets Road, Walthamstow. Kate Margaret Williams, age 3, daughter of Edward and Ellen of 35, Clarence Road, Walthamstow. Harry G. Cork, age 13, and Christiana A, age 7, children of Henry and Christiana of 10, Roma Road, Walthamstow.(Programme states Masters H & C. Cork possible error) Alfred William Truste, age 10, son of Alfred and Emma of 96, Palmerston Road, Walthamstow. Also daughter Lillian Sarah, age 15. Sidney Henry Cutler, age 13, son of Henry and Clara of 91, Palmerston Road, Walthamstow. Phyllis Margaret Dollin, age 9, daughter of William and Martha of 57, Pearl Road, Walthamstow. Thomas Edward Kinsey, age 9, son of Thomas and Ellen of 6, Nicholson Road, Walthamstow. Frances Sheila Cotton, age 9, daughter of William and Elizabeth of 86, Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow. Edith Violet Hawke, age 7, daughter of George and Emily of 47, Tavistock Avenue, Walthamstow. Annie Louisa Nicholls, age 7, daughter of Henry and Maria of 55, Chatham Road, Walthamstow. Olive Mary Austin, age 9, daughter of George and Agnes of 24, Blackhorse Road, Walthamstow. Alice Bertha Saville, age 13, daughter of Ethni and Sarah of 35, Ruby Road, Walthamstow. Victoria Fitt, age 9, daughter of William and Gertie of 8, Melbourne Road, Walthamstow. Also a daughter Muriel age 4. Katie Winifred Brace, age 9, daughter of Edward and Catherine of 43, Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow. Also a daughter Mildred Violet age 6. Ethel Maud Clements, age 12, daughter of John and Elizabeth of 3, Bristol Park Road, Walthamstow. Gladys Wilkinson, age 11, daughter of Herbert and Charlotte of 74, Hatherley Road, Walthamstow. Frederick Evan Kinsey, age 12, son of Thomas and Ellen of 6, Nicholson Road, Walthamstow.
At the time of this concert my father's family was living at 6, Essex Grove, just off of Forest Road near the Royal Standard. Our family coal business was run from there and I wrote an article about Essex Grove which you can see in personal stories under the memories heading.
The only thing that I can remember my mother saying about her days at Napier Collage was were she first learnt French. I think in actual fact she was only at the school for a few years. In later years of course I remember it as Hall's Restaurant.
I'm looking for help with a problem I have: I used to work for a Cabinet Ind. ltd around 1972 to 78. I would like to hear from anyone who worked at C.I. ltd and if anyone could give me any information what insurance company the company used. I was born in Walthamstow in 1956 and moved to Harlow when i was ten years old. My father worked at Cabinet Ind ltd for 44 years; my uncle was the manager of the mill, and his name was Frank Norman. I would be very grateful for any information.
I have contacted you before asking about information about the Marden/Martin family. I have recently found out that my great grandfather William Martin lived at 15 Collingwood road, walthamstow. This would have been near the end of the 1800s. His occupation was that of a brass finisher journeyman, would he have found much in the way work, and what would the area have been like at the time mentioned? Any information would be very helpful
Myself and Nick Cassenbaum are aiming to run a large project in the Wood Street of Waltham Forest, area based on the cinematic history of Wood Street Indoor Market being a cinema in the 20's-50's as well as the film studios that were located in the area.
As the whole project stems from the local history at its core, we were wondering if there was anything available in your archives that we would be able to reference or utilise towards the show/workshops.
I've attached our project outline for you to get a full sense of what we are aiming to achieve and hopefully you will find it of interest and something you would be able to support going forward.
From John & Daniel: We both find that this project deserves all the support that WM and its visitors can give, so if you have any information you can provide, please go ahead and let us or Emily know!
I was interested to hear that your mother also attended Napier College in the 1920's. Did she pass down any stories to you about her experiences at the school during her younger days, which you could share with us? I am also wondering if you can confirm, from your local knowledge, the location of the school. According to the 1911 census, the Booty's lived at No. 1, Carisbrook Road which was, presumably, the double-fronted house in which the school was held. Although we are talking of events about 100 years ago, I believe that the present No. 1, Carisbrook Road (see attached photograph) is probably the same house as that in which the Bootys lived and in which both of our parents went to school. Are you able to confirm this?
Quite briefly, I would like to thank the few people that remember me from the Park Cafe and have taken the time to contact me. Would it be possible to do you think to put a general message of thanks up on the website from me to those people.
In the near future I will be writing about the cafe in my usual evidential factual believable history. I would also like to thank the detectives from Scotland Yard who have also contacted me after reading my material (only joking!).
With best wishes to you
Back in 1958 (or there about) we went to see Elvis Presley in Jailhouse rock at the Ritz in Leyton High Rd.
Before the film started the Spacemen did a set on stage. The lead guitarist was having trouble tuning his guitar, and the rather portly rhythm guitarist was getting impatient with him.
From somewhere in the audience came a loud voice "Don't wait for him tubby, heel be all F****ng night! "... brought the house down. It wasn't until donkeys years later that I realised that it was THE Joe Brown.
I should like to congratulate you and your collegues on setting up what I consider to be a very interesting website. Would it be possible, please, to post the following text on the site?
In his autobiography, my late father John Stanley 'Stan' Peters talks about his time at the 'Napier College' private school in Carisbrook Road, off Walthamstow High Street, from 1911 to 1919. He describes the school as being located in a double-fronted house which, in the early days, provided education for about 25 - 30 students. Initially it was run by the Booty family.
Following their retirement shortly before the outbreak of WWI, a Miss Peplow took charge of the school with the help of three assistant mistresses. At some point in time during the War period, the school changed hands again, when a young Miss Hilda Lee took charge of the establishment under the guidance, and with the support, of her father and older brother. It would seem that my father made reasonably good progress at this school and was eventually made Head Boy.
I have attached an image of the sterling silver medallion that was awarded to him when he left the school in July, 1919. The note attached to the medallion was written by my late father during the latter part of his life.
The following places may have the information that you want:
Religious Sisters of Charity
Walthamstow, London: 1920 - 2006 St Mary's Convent Walthamstow was founded as a Missionary centre in 1921. The sisters visited the sick, organised Guilds and Sodalities for boys and girls. In 1929 the sisters accepted the charge of a Residential school containing 200 children. In 1931 the Parish school was re-organised and St. Mary's became the Primary school for the Residential children and children of the Parish. In the 1980's trends in Child Care caused the Sisters to look at where they were going as many children were now being fostered and not placed in residential care. The decision was taken to close St Mary's Children's home and a smaller house was purchased. Sisters were also involved in pastoral work in St George's Parish, and they were involved in local schools including: - St Helen's infants, St Mary's Primary and Corpus Christi. Basingstoke, Hampshire: 1927 - 1964 The Convent of the Holy Ghost was founded in 1927 chiefly for the instruction and guidance of the women, girls and children of the parish. In 1950 a school was opened and the Sisters had the religious instruction of children attending the council schools.
The National Archives
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8876 3444
The above possibly hold school/education records
The RC Diocese of Westminster's
46 Francis Street, London SW1P 1QN
The RC Diocese of Brentwood,
6 Ingrave Rd, Brentwood CM15 8AT
I wish you well for any attempts to get information from either the Westminster or Brentwood Diocese's but I won't hold my breath. They are each likely to refer you to each other and both will claim that they don't have records which may well be true. They have always been difficult to get information from and since the large numbers of allegations of abuse against RC institutions they have almost completely clammed up!
The only likely Eileen Tucker whose birth were registered between 1910-15, was Eileen Mary M Tucker whose birth was registered in the 2nd quarter of 1908 at West Ham 4a331 (At that time this was the Registry Office for West Ham, Leyton, Leytonstone and Walthamstow)
In 1911, she was living with her parents and 5 siblings at 10, Watson Street, Plaistow, East Ham. I have sent you a copy of the enumeration sheet for her family via private email.
I suggest that you Email Lissa Chapman: firstname.lastname@example.org http://queensboundary.wordpress.com/local-history/the-blue-plaques/
Hi, my name is Heather Murphy (Imbalzano). I lived with my sister at St. Mary's convent, 1 Shernhall st., Walthamstow for 5 yrs. (1949 to 1954). I am interested to find girls that were there and photos (if any) from that time. How do I go about that ?
Heather MURPHY (IMBALZANO)
I was recently looking on the net for details of the Order of Nuns (Sisters) who where resident in the Convent which was next to St. Saviours Church in the 60s and possibly early 70s. If anyone knows who they were could they let me know.
I came across your 2009 page and scrolled down to a photograph of St.Saviours School in the 30s. I was shocked to see the image of my sister Joyce (top row,middle), who passed away in 1946 aged just 20. I never knew her, but as in all families her memory was kept very much alive.
Really enjoyed the web site and will be a regular visitor from now on
As a long time fan of Joe Brown, I just had to investigate. What I found was a fascinating musical trip down memory lane.
Peter and Tony Oakman weren't from Walthamstow. According to Pete Oakman's website: http://www.peteroakman.com/ (A site that is well worth visiting as it is a very interesting account of a slice of Britain's post war musical history), they were born in Cuffley, Herts.
The following information is taken from this site:
In 1956, together with some members of Wanstead Aeromodellers' Club, they formed The Spacemen skiffle group. In 1957, Joe Brown joined the group as lead guitarist
In 1959 the group became a backing band for impresario Larry Parnes, who was putting together rock 'n' roll package tours. The artistes on the first tour were The Viscounts, Vince Eager, Sally Kelly, Marty Wilde and Gerry Dorsey, who was later to become Englebert Humperdink.
Jack Good, producer of 'Oh Boy', the T.V. music show featuring Cliff Richard, produced the group's first record for Decca. This was 'Darktown Strutters Ball'. The group needed a new name. Joe said to Jack Good: "Well, we're like bruvvers" and the band became â€˜Joe Brown & The Bruvvers'. It was around this time Gene Vincent made his first trip to the UK and it was â€˜Joe Brown & The Bruvvers' who were his backing band.
In 1960 Joe Brown featured in Jack Good's new T.V. show 'Boy Meets Girl', which left â€˜The Bruvvers' at a loose end, so they formed â€˜The Echoes' bringing in Chris Wayne on vocals and Dave Burns on lead guitar. During 1960 â€˜The Echoes' worked with Wee Willie Harris and then toured with Conway Twitty, Freddie Cannon and Johnny Preston.
Back as Joe Brown & The Bruvvers the group switched labels and joined Pye Piccadilly where they had a string of hits including 'A Picture Of You' that was written by Peter Oakman and Johnny Beveridge, which went to No. 1 in the charts during the Summer of 1962. It was around this time that The Beatles were supporting Joe Brown & The Bruvvers at The Cavern and other venues in the Liverpool area.
Peter says: "I can remember John Lennon saying that they had just recorded their first single 'Love Me Do', which was to be released soon". It became their first hit in 1963. Peter has The Beatles version of 'A Picture Of You' - lead vocals by George Harrison. In 1963 Joe Brown & The Bruvvers toured with Dion and Del Shannon and also that year saw the group doing their first Summer Season in Great Yarmouth at the Windmill Theatre. On the show were The Tornadoes, Mark Wynter, Rolf Harris and the Ross Taylor Dancers, which included Ann who Peter married in January 1966.
During the Summer Season, Tony and Peter rented a large house near to Caister Horse Race Track and every Sunday The Beatles played the A.B.C. Theatre and then partied back at the house afterwards.
In December 1963 Peter left Joe and a few days later got a phone call from Lonnie Donegan which started his long involvement with Lonnie, which sadly ended when Lonnie passed away in November 2002. Lonnie was the person who started it all for UK guitarists in 1955 with 'Rock Island Line'.
Peter's first break away from Lonnie came in 1968 when he joined a country band called. 'Country Fever'The band consisted of Jon Derek vocals, Gerry Hogan on steel guitar, John Kitchener (aka Jed Kelly) on drums and Albert Lee on guitar.
Over a 3-year period Country Fever worked with many visiting country artistes such as Don Gibson, Chet Atkins, Nat Stuckey, Connie Smith, George Hamilton IV, Bobby Bear, Charlie Pride, Marvin Rainwater, Guy Mitchell and Hank Locklin. In 1971 Peter was back with Joe Brown in the band Home Brew. The band also featured Joe's wife Vikki, who later became a superstar in her own right throughout Northern Europe.
Two writer/producers Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway, who were friends of the band, were having many successes at this time. in 1972 Roger Greenaway produced a new band that Peter and John Clare formed called Harley Quinne.
Their first hit was 'New Orleans', which had previously been a hit for Gary US Bonds in 1962. Two more singles 'Rock 'N' Roll Is Back Again' and 'Such A Night' were minor hits. After a few years John Clare and Peter decided to get back to their roots and reformed The Bruvvers, which included Chris Hunt on drums and Peter's 17 year old son Steven on piano.
Their reputation took them right back into recording regular sessions with the BBC and playing at their Gala Ball at the Savoy Hotel, London to launch the Children In Need Appeal.
The Lonnie Donegan Tribute Show'
'The Lonnie Donegan Tribute Show' at The Royal Albert Hall, London, June 21st 2004. Musical Director & Master of Ceremonies: Peter Oakman. On June 21st 2004 The Donegan Band played host to a multitude of artistes who came to The Royal Albert Hall, London to pay tribute to Lonnie Donegan who died in 2002. The condition was that all artistes performed Lonnie Donegan songs. Artistes included Rolf Harris, Gerry Marsden (Gerry and The Pacemakers), Rick Wakeman, Billy Bragg, Roger Daltrey, Mark Knopfler, Van Morrison and Joe Cocker.
Hello, I would like to contact the organisation behind the splendid informal "blue plaque" scheme that you can see in house windows in Walthamstow Village. Do you have any suggestions who might be behind the idea?
I have just had an email from a woman named Elaine who was a childhood friend of my daughter Fenella when we lived in Sydney in 1975.
She has been searching the net for ages and then she struck gold when she found my life story on the WM website, as a result I have now put her back in touch with Fenella again after about 40 years.
I think that is wonderful and the Website should take a bow.
I have contacted you before asking about the Marden/Martin family. We now think another member of the Martin families descendents may have settled in the Walthamstow area: Emma Martin, later to become Emma Ballinger, finally settled with a man by the name of Tom Gaylor. We know they had several children and we believe some of their descendents are probably still in the Walthamstow area. Emma, born in Rothherithe, died in Islington 1963. If anybody has any knowledge of the family we would love to hear from you many thanks.
I have just found this web site asking for memories of Walthamstow.
My father was born in East London in 1916 and attended George Monoux in the late 1920's early 1930's. He died 16 years ago. I have a number of photos and papers from his days at the school.
I live on the Kent/Sussex borders and have returned from a week's holiday in London. Yesterday I visited the William Morris museum and walked through Lloyd Park to see where he was at school â€“ the front building unchanged from the photos I have.
This email is just to put down a marker that I will try to take photos of the material I possess so that I can pass it on to you if you are interested. Is this the sort of thing you want?
You may also be interested to know that his Second World War diaries were published as Secret Letters from the Railway. A Remarkable Record of Charles Steel, Japanese POW by Pen & Sword in 2004, edited by Brian Best. Available on Amazon.
Hi, how are you Daniel
Alan loved the 'pictures in words' title to his last pieces that you posted on the website.
Here are two more 'pictures in words' ([Walstock3] & [Walstock4]) and Alan said that will be it, for a little while: now as he is concentrating on thinking about forming the articles as a play.
Regarding the local bands section: Two of my distant relations on my grandmother's side were two brothers I believe their names were Peter and Tony Oakman. They were two of Joe Brown's Bruvers. But not sure if they were from Walthamstow. My father often told me he went to their home and watched them rehearse with Joe Brown.
Thank you so much that is very kind of you to find this information it is much appreciated indeed.
I've sent the information to my dad and his now intrigued why they got married in Hampshire his wondering if his dad Edward Ridgwell was based there when he was in the army. Thanks to you he now knows how his related to the meads will go through it and see what connection we have to the bayliss. Another question you maybe able to answer my mum says it seems everyone from that generation got married at Weat Ham registration if they lived in Walthamstow was that the nearest registry office.
As you know, I identified virtually all the people in your picture puzzle and their relationships.
I had a crack at it because there were a number named Bayliss (Not related to my lot!) and in appreciation of your work running the excellent Walthamstow Times Facebook site.
This is the Brookdale Road VE Day 1945 street party, I cannot remember anything about it... as I'am the one in the highchair with my mother to my right!
I hope this can bring some memories back for members.
Peter Davis was asking who owned the TV shop. I think he means Terry Luxford.
He was living at Highams Park but I am not sure where he is now. I am still in contact with his son's in-laws so I could find out.
Unfortunately, I can't reply via the Mail system as I cannot use the reply buttons: please pass on this message.
Does anybody remember this street party? Most will have gone to Coppermill school
Back row: Christine WOOD, Alan MCMANAN, (NOT KNOWN), Derek PURTON, Raymond RICE, Derek BERWYN, Eileen HAMBLING, Donald BOSWELL, Barbara MILLER.
Middle row: ?? DAVIS, Peter NATHAN, John DAVIS, Connie PAVITT, Pam RICE, (NOT KNOWN), (NOT KNOWN), Francis MATTHEWS, Louise ??, Denis PURTON, (NOT KNOWN), Sheila MILLER.
Front row: Pauline CHARLES, Peter TERRY, (NOT KNOWN), Colin BROWN, Gloria SMITH, Doreen SMITH, David SMITH, David MOULDER, (NOT KNOWN), Davis RICE, Joan MILLER, Pat/Lesley BEESON
(Click to enlarge)
Found your sight by accident last year, and have signed up. What a wonderful time I am having reading all the old letters, and finding an old friend as well!
I was born in Thorpe Coombe (as most of my family were) in 1935. I can recall all the places and streets folk mention. Lloyd park, catching newts in the pond, the High St. Palace, 6pence to sit in 'the gods' watching a show. The friendly stall holders, and Manzies pie and mash. Saterday morning pictures at the Granada, 8 cartoons a comedy & western at the Empire Bell corner.
I get down to Walthamstow 2 to 3 times a year, and my daughter takes me on a nostalgia tour, always ending in Manzes.. I could go on but another time perhaps.
This photo is of 1947/48, William Elliott Whittingham boys. Who is still around today? Teacher was Mr.Green
Front row (L to R): Benson, Ron Stotter, Alex Herring, Me!, Dave Anderson (can trembler last two).
Next row up 1st: Morris Wood, 2,3,4,5 & 6 can't remember, 7 Willie Lee , 8?, 9 Reed, 10?.
Next row up and back row my memory fails me. Hope it helps!
(Click to enlarge)
The shop you mention was Brunswick Radios that was run by Mr Brunswick and I believe his son Terry took it over when he retire. It was not ton the corner of Waverley Road, I used to live there but in the parade of shops that was between Waverley Road and Cuthbert Road. It was originally next to the Home and Colonial shop and the other side was a shop with the windows painted green I think as perhaps they were a shop that didn't sell to the public rather ran a business from there My parents first used to rent a TV from this shop and many was the time that Terry would have to come out to fix it. I think it was a Pye table top TV . I am sorry to say that I do not know what became of them as I moved away from Walthamstow in 1970. Good luck with your quest.
Dear Daniel, Hope you remember me, David Toothill was a good friend of mine along with Brian Furber, Pamela Lipscombe, Yvonne???
Headmaster was Mr Childs, English Teacher Ms Pembroke ,and who can not forget Ms Titmus!!!
My dad was in the A .F.S and stationed at Gamuel Road and once had photo of his Ford 7v Heavy Unit.
Look forward to your reply..
I came across this picture which my grandparents are in but would like to know who the other people are and if they are related in any way.
Hello again Philip,
I remember all those names you mentioned, two of them were my class teachers over the years. Several more I can think of was a Miss Thripleton, Mr Briggs (RE), Mr Rawlinson, (Arts & Crafts), and a Mr Bramble or Brammel, and Thomas, (either sports or biology). I think there may have been a male teacher named Philips as well but not to certain about that. There was also a female PE teacher who I can picture in my mind but not her name. I think the Mr Ferry you mentioned taught woodwork and the was another ginger headed man who was his counterpart in metalwork but whoes name I cannot reall.
Now that you have confirmed Joe Thompson still there the same year I left I do I vaguely remember a teacher by that name but strangely enough, not from your photograph. Mrs Roberts I knew quite well as not only was she my class teacher at one time, she also made me an librarian, (big honour), at the small library she used to run which if you recall was reached via a small bridge archway leading from the boys stairwell.
She was Canadian and I know the sound of recorder practice which I think just the girls did, used to send shivers up her spine. More than once she slammed the door to the library shut to keep the noise out.
It's amazing that we can remember all those names after so many years so I suppose they all made some impression on us. I wonder whatever became of them all?
Joe Thompson was the boys PE teacher still there when I left summer 59, also remember Miss Roberts, Mr Ferry, Mr Furness, Mr Mackintosh, Miss Porter. We went to the Houses of Parliament with our last form teacher to meet her MP Sir Fredrick Messer, had drinks and biscuits overlooking the Thames after a conducted tour.
Struggling to remember her name and others will keep trying though.
Good Evening Bill,
Firstly I would like to thank you for all your hard work. I have found the information you have provided about my family fascinating. This has sparked my interest, so I will be looking into my Mother's side of the family.
When two people born in different areas of the country marry, one often has to look for a common magnet that drew them together and possibly married. This may well be a different location to where they eventually settled and raised children.
Although possible, it is unlikely unless other information is available that John travelled to Wiltshire or Harriet travelled to Royston to encounter each other and marry. Walthamstow was also a small village at the turn of the 1800's and there would have to have been some reason for both of them coming into contact with each other there.
London was starting to rapidly grow at this period and is the more likely magnet to have attract both people to the same location.
There is a possible marriage shown on 14 Oct 1798 between a John Day and Harriot Smale at Newington St Mary in Southwark which an area of London south of the River Thames. Unfortunately married records at that time did not give the father's name or occupations.
Further records for a John Day and a Harriet are shown as parents at the christening of two twins Eliza and Susannah Day in Oct 1812 at St Giles, Cripplegate which is in the City of London. The fathers occupation is given as a cooper.
These christening records tend to conflict with the next chronological information on a John and Harriet Day which is the christening of, (who is presumably a relation of yours), Harriet Day in Walthamstow on 22 Dec 1811.
Unfortunately it is not possible to say if the John Day and Harriot Smale who married in 1798 are the people you are seeking but they certainly remain a possibility.
As you know following my request to you for further information, I have been able to provide you with information about both your paternal and maternal ancestors that gets you back into the 18th century.
I'm sorry that there wasn't a Huguenot connection, as the very unusual name of your maternal family has an Anglo-Saxon origin.
I've sent you a personal reply concerning my preliminary research, that confirms that it will be necessary to do a search of the microfiche films of the relevant St Mary Church Parish registers. Although I don't normally undertake site research, I will try to incorporate this with my next visit to the museum. This research will be undertaken voluntarily as part of the work that I carry out for Walthamstow Memories correspondents.
If you want to know a bit about the Wood Street area where John & Harriet Day lived visit: www.e17woodstreet.co.uk/history
I have completed a massive task of tracing my forbears, starting with John Day of Royston Herts born 1781, who moved into Walthamstow area around 1800-1804. One issue has defeated me: I have not been able to find the marriage records of John Day, who I believe did marry Harriet (all the children were christened in St Mary's). The 1851 census gives her place of birth as Wiltshire. His occupation was a gardener. I am prepared to pay someone like Bill to check physically any relevant records in Walthamstow for traces of these documents and others which may provide her Surname. Would it be possible for him to contact me about the matter. There is additional info I can supply him which may assist. My ancestors lived in Walthamstow for over 100 years. I look forward to hearing from Bill soon.
Thank you very much for your very informative Email about F Wrighton & Sons. Your reply is exactly the kind of response that I hope for when I write my pieces about Walthamstow's industrial past. The information that you and other readers supply, adds significantly to our knowledge of the past and provides a valuable information source for those who come after us. Hopefully, sometime in the future, a social historian will be able to take my work and the contributions of people like yourself and write a new a better detailed account of the history of Wrightons.
You would need to put a little more meat on the bones as it were to assist in your request for further possible Huguenot information on your father's side of the family. I did check the 1911 census and there were 30 people with the surname Wise living in Walthamstow at that time with the nearest living to St John's Road residing at nearby Albion Road. However from the little information you have provided, it is not possible to determine if these people are part of you family or if your fathers family were living in Walthamstow at the time.
To provide a starting point for the search process the full names of your parents and where and when they were married would be most useful, or earlier ancestors if known. From that information it may be possible to extrapolate your family history backwards. A word of warning though it is not wise to give the names of parents on a public forum such as this particularly if they are still living.
Tracing your family line backwards would still not be an easy thing to do as Huguenot refugees came to this country between the 15th and 16th centuries following religious persecution in France. Many family lines can prove difficult in tracing back to this time period particularly if there were common marriages which were numerous as these do not have marriage records, usually to be found in aged parish registers which can be traced.
It should also be appreciated the English Civil War which split many families asunder also occurred after the bulk of the Huguenot refuges arrived. Thomas Cromwell who was the Vicar General of Henry VIII in 1538 ordered the commencement of parish records following the Henry VIII's split with the Church of Rome and for many years these records were no more than scraps of parchment most which subsequently became lost or destroyed.. It was not until 1563 that Parliament under Elizabeth I passed an act requiring that annually copies of all parish be bound in hard books which became known as the Bishop's Transcripts but it took until 1598 for this law to be enforced throughout the country. These laws on parish records were further reinforced under the reign of James I.
I trust that you will appreciate all of the above makes tracing Huguenot history in a family extremely difficult.
I am aware of the Huguenot history as my paternal grandmother, maiden name Pawsey is a direct descendant of the Huguenot refugees although the surname was probably originally Peusey or Pewsey. Many of the Huguenots had silk weaving skills and settled in the Spitalfields area of London which became the centre of excellence for British silk-weaving. Most however were poorly paid. Others settled and dispersed in small farming communities in East Anglia as my grandmothers ancestors did in Suffolk.
Hello Phillip, loved your photograph of the Coronation Party.
I was on the 1959 school trip to Interlaken that you mentioned and as you say of the various teachers that went, Mr Macintosh was the chief organiser. He took his wife with him too and I think she was Swiss which probably helps explain why we went there in the first place. Mrs Macintosh certainly did all the speaking in various languages each time we encountered officialdom which certainly helped oil the wheels.
The cost of the trip was Â£30 which sounds a ridiculous low price now but in 1959 that was a lot of money, particularly for my mother who had a low paid job. I know my mother scrimped and saved to send me on the trip and I have never forgotten her for it. The school produced a small itinerary booklet some weeks before the trip which I more or less memorised at the time.
The school party stayed at a small hotel between Interlaken and a small town called Wilderswil and always seemed like a steep hill road we needed to climb to get to it. To myself as a fourteen year old, the trip was something of an eye-opener in terms of foreign travel and customs, it was the first time I had been out of England. Since the I have travelled extensively internationally and the trip was a good grounding in learning not to expect life elsewhere to be the same as one was accustomed to in England.
I bought a present for each of my parents who were unfortunately separated. A small weather forecasting chalet for my mother, the type that has little man and woman that alternatively come out the chalet depending on whether it is going to be wet and dry. For my father I bought a miniature petrol filled cigarette lighter. I still have both and although separated from my father, I found the lighter amongst his effects when he passed on. I found that rather touching as although this was years after the trip, clearly this was something he treasured.
I saw your photograph of William McGuffie School. I was there from 1957 to Christmas 1959 and I certainly recognise Mr Smith. He was the maths teacher and although quite strict, he could be humorous as well. For some reason a particular mannerism of his always stuck in my mind. He had the habit of continually drawing his thumb and forefinger along either side of his nose as he surveyed the class before him and then would suddenly point his arm and forefinger at a pupil and fire off a question.
I don't recognise Joe Thompson either by name or picture. It's possible he had moved on by the time I joined but it does all seem a long time ago now. As pupils teachers always seemed a permanent fixture but in reality with a lot of schools, their stay was something of a transient nature before moving on to other and possibly better position.
The headmaster was a Mr Tomlinson who was possibly there at the same time as yourself. He was not a particular favourite of mine or many other pupils and he did splutter a lot as he spoke. The downside of his spluttering was he like to stand directly in front of pupils to deliver them a lecture about their personal standards from his point of view. Any unfortunate pupil on the receiving end of such a lecture also got a spittle shower for free.
Have just found your amazing site. This is the Brookdale Road coronation party 1953:
I'am 3rd on the left
Hope you can use this. I also have a few other old photos. I was born, as many others, in Thorpe Coombe 1944 and lived in Brookdale Road until I married in 1967. Moved to Manor Road off Higham Hill in 75, then on to Chipping Ongar in 89. Schools attended were Forest Road, then McGuffie - went on what I believe was the first foreign holiday with the school in 1959 to Interlaken, Switzerland. This was organised by Mr. Macintosh the geography teacher. I was one of the senior members as having actually left school before the departure date. Remember a lot of the teachers that have been mentioned before.
I am trying to find out more information about my Father's side of the family. It's the Wise family and they lived on and around St Johns Road, Walthamstow. I have been led to believe that we are descendants of French Huguenots. A friend recommended your site.
I came across your PDF news about F. Wrighton & Sons Ltd., and couldn't resist getting in touch as you mention in the article to let you know about the closure of Wrighton International, or properly known as F. Wrighton & Sons. I was employed by Wrighton's in the 70's at the Walthamstow site as an order clerk and later progressed to a key accounts manager. I was around 19yrs of age by this time. It was my first job after leaving school. I also distinctly remember Princess Margaret's visit - I accompanied her on some of her visit with Keith and Nigel Wrigton (Keith's son) along with a other company dignitaries and my boss! This was part of my promotion reward! I remember Billet Road being lined with hundreds of people to catch a glimpse of her. You mention about Wrighton closing around the early 70's. It's a bit later as I was still working for Wrighton up to the late 70's before they closed.
Wrighton also had a factory not too far away in Nazeing, Essex. Once I had my own transport, I used to travel regularly between the two sites. The Walthamstow site concentrated on making kitchen furniture, whilst the Nazeing site mostly focused on Bedroom Furniture as it was a fairly new site for Wrighton. This was because the Nazeing site was more specialised at manufacturing large wardrobe doors in its famous gloss polyester finish. It had more room to house the much larger machines to cope with the Polyester glossing process of much bigger panels for wardrobes. The Walthamstow site did close around 1977/78 and all staff and production moved to the Nazeing site, where eventually both kitchen and bedroom furniture was produced until Wrighton's finally closed around 1979. You mention about competition from flatpack furniture, in fact this wasn't really its initial competition, its competition came from Europe initially with other luxury manufacturers getting a strong foot hold in the UK market such as Poggenpohl, Symatic, etc., which were the German equivalent luxury manufacturers to Wrighton. (I think both still exist).
Being told of closure was one of the saddest days of my life as I so loved working there and it still remains one of the best employments I have ever had. The Crooked Billet and all that part of Walthamstow remains strong memories for me. I lived in South Woodford at the time. The factory's history from when it made planes and its contribution to the war effort (with factory targets to achieve during the war) was always proudly displayed kept up on the factory walls - something Princess Margaret was shown on her visit. You might also be interested to know that Wrighton had some of the most advanced office technology of it's time. At a time most companies did not have or use computors - we did!! But then again, it was ahead of its time in it's furniture design too which some say was also part of its downfall. I still today have a Wrighton bedside cabinet I bought. You'd never know it was made as far back as 1976 with its silk polyester finish, concealed aluminium drawer handle trims and still in excellent condition despite house moves and other usual time wear and tear. Anyhow, hope these few points offer some extra insight and clarity. Sorry to have rambled a bit, but I am sure there are others like me who were employed there will almost certainly feel the same was I did about working there and being part of Walthamstow life.
Peter JUDD, Norwich, Norfolk
Just found this about Bush, Boake Allen. They also had a factory in Carpenters Road, Stratford, and Yardleys was on the high Road in Stratford. The BBA closed its factory in Stratford and moved staff over to Walthamstow. I know this as I was one of them.
I am interested in finding out the whereabouts of the owner of a television shop that existed in Wood Street in the 1980s, I believe on the corner of Waverley Rd although I'm not to sure of that. It was on a corner. His Christian name was Terry. I would be most grateful for any information. I also owned a shop in Winchester Road, Highams Park, and would be very interested in contacting him again.
I have been reading some of the recent postbag messages and would like to offer my contribution.
I am attaching a photo of the 1955 Wm McGuffie swimming team. Included in the photo is Mr Smith and Mr Joe Thompson. I am in the back row 3rd from the right.
One photo that I am trying to locate is of the street party jointly put on by Jewel and Pearl Roads to celebrate the end of WW2.
I also have some old school class photos from Forest Road Infants and Primary schools as well as photos the float entered in the Walthamstow Carnival circa 1957/8 by the Mambo Club. If these are of interest I will be happy to email them to you.
Best wishes for the New Year, kind regards