Churchfield Fruiters, Acton

A Memory of Acton

I worked as a delivery boy, riding a bike with a holder on front for the boxes of vegetables, or large sacks of potatoes etc. I was 14/15 and still at school. I worked after school 4 to 5.30 and all day Saturday. The boss was Doug Wilkinson and his son, Colin would come in Saturdays. Colin became a noted jazz drummer, and he worked at Premier Drums in Regent Street. I bought kit off him, a Premier Olympic for £35, paying back weekly. I had a great time playing in a pop band, started at school with 2 friends, playing around Acton and Sheperds Bush, in youth clubs and school dances. We were The Cliches and later Indigo. Sometimes I would serve customers in the shop also. On Saturdays I would look forward to buying a Lyons individual fruit pie, heating it in an oven in the shop, for lunch. One time doug asked me to rinse beetroot in the sink, but then called me to take out order. Inadvertantly I left water running. When I came back Doug said, don't come back on Monday. On the Monday I thought he probably didn't mean it and went in. He said 'you better deliver these cabbage, cauli and sprouts seeing as you're here! I remember the wage was ten bob, and if lucky I might get some damaged veg or friut to bring home. There was two women working in the shop also, probably part time. I remember everyone in the shop was surly and unfriendly, I never got a word of encouragement or comfort from any of them, but just accepted it as thats how the teachers at school, and pretty much all adults were. I was totally lost in music and oblivious to their hostility. Some of the music I remember evocatively recalling the atmosphere of those times, WATERLOO SUNSET, WHITER SHADE OF PALE, PENNY LANE, SUMMER IN THE CITY ETC. As I had been very ill in the winter of 1967 I started to apprieciate a more melancholic moody atmosphere, and enjoyed TV programmes such as ADAM ADAMANT, THE PRISONER, MICKEY DUNNE, THE 1948 SHOW, and DO NOT ADJUST YOUR SET. The times though were great and I remember when I cycled to West Acton to make a delivery, the cherry blossom in the spring and the quiet peaceful atmosphere all over Acton.


A memory shared by Peter Christopher O'toole , on Jun 1st, 2012.

Comments & feedback

Wed Feb 3rd 2016, at 1:04 am

agm.firecrest commented:

Hi Pete, I was very happy to find your memory, you describe it very well and it is great to think of those times which I also remember with a lot of affection. It was a good place to grow up and a good time. Angela Meekins

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