Aerco

A Memory of Addlestone

Aerco was started by my grandfather, Thomas Ricketts after the war. He was an engineer and Aerco sold and repaired early radios and the first TVs, hence the name Addlestone Electrical Radio Company! I believe there were two locations for the shop before it moved to Chertsey Road in Woking. Whilst in Addlestone, I believe it was in Station Road, nearer the High Street end. There was a flat above.

My mother as a young teenager worked in the shop, and it is where she and my father met. My father's sister was living in the flat above and he was visiting her! A young Tom Voysey also worked with Tom Ricketts, until he moved to Australia with his wife, Margaret, on the 10 shilling fare.

Tom Ricketts, and his wife, Vi, lived in Woodham Park Road, New Haw, for many years. They had a big garden with a coal shed, worktools shed, play shed, apples storage sheds, a chicken shed and the cat shed! There was an outside loo down the garden. When my mother was a teenage she persuaded her father to let her have a skinny pony called Rubert, she fed him up and nutured him and retained her love of horses all her life. Much of the land was sold off, bit by bit over the years, to fund the purchase of commercial land in Woking.

My early memories (1950s and 60s) of visiting them included going shopping in Woodham, or West Byfleet. We used to take the footpath from Woodham Lane, pass the school and over the Basingstoke canal via the little bridge. If we were lucky we would stop at the cake shop, in Station Approach, owned by the two sisters with loads of cats strolling round the tea room! the cakes were selected from a cabinet and put on 3-tierred cake-stands. These were placed on the table and you only paid for what you ate. We always finished the whole cake-stand supply! Flapjack were deliously hard and chewy.

Later in life I lived in Byfleet Road, by the White Hart Bridge. I was told the little cottage on the lock was used in the film/ TV programme? "3 Men in a Boat".

My fathers family lived in Sayes Court Road, before moving to Wordsworth Road, in Poets Corner. Fred used to be a French Polisher in one of the factories in Addlestone. He was a very keen gardener and when we visited many happy moments were spent picking his fruit and eating it quickly. Fred used to take snuff - a horrid habit! and also took a keen interest in the horse racing. It was not a good idea to visit on a Saturday afternoon as you would be bored to tears, having a cup of tea in the front room whilst the racing was on, and not a word was spoken!

I too remember standing at the railway crossing barriers, patiently, for the trains to pass through. I agree with the other reader, the modernising of the barriers changed the feel of the place. My family history research has turned up evidence that many generations of both sides of my family lived, worked and died in the Addlestone and Chertsey area. Unfortunately, Addlestone is not a place I wish to linger any longer.

A memory shared by Adele Hall , on Mar 19th, 2011.

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