Growing Up In Aldershot

A Memory of Aldershot

From the early days to leaving school and getting married in 1972.
Dad - Bob (Robert)Coles, Mum - Doris Coles and my elder brother Barry and I lived above the shop that dad had, it was called J J & R H Coles DIY, in the High Street, (Manor Park side of the football ground), next to the RSPCA clinic. The J J was my grandad. My Aunt Bet, dad's sister also worked in the shop.
From the living room window above the shop, I could just see the steam trains going in and out of Aldershot station across the High Street bridge between us and the football ground. We were a small community then in the row of shops with flats, and we all looked out for each other. Our very good neighbours who had the printng workshop next door, Joe and Pyllis Morris, and daughter Janet. Then it became the carpet shop. There was the chemist with an old fashioned shop front and the scottish lady Miss McGregor I think, that ran it, who looked after my dad when he cut his finger badly in his workshop. On the corner at the end of the row was the sweet shop where I was not allowed to buy bubblegum! Across the road was the toys and bicycle shop where I was allowed to go to find a small toy after I'd been to the dreaded 'school dentist' around the corner by the park.
I went to the National Schools Infants and Primary school just nearby in Redan Hill. Then eventually to St Michael's Junior School in Park Road followed by St Michaels Secondary in Church Lane East. My school years were the best of my years so far. There was the Beehive Pub where we had lots of fun and numerous celebrations took place, Bas and Eileen Fisk used to run it.
Manor Park was always a part of my life from learning to ride my 'Mobo' scooter, falling off the slide in the swings play area and hurting my rear end, walking to and from school, learning to ride my bike, the fairs, the circus (where my dear friend Patsy and I would look after the horses) and the bonfire / firework events. I volunteered as a an assistant in the RSPCA Clinic and used to bring home all sorts of waifs and strays. My first proper job on leaving school at 15 was at the hairdressing salon, John Alexandra's in Station Road Aldershot, what a shock to the system that was. Plus several otherjobs in and around Aldershot. My dad taught me to drive and I took my test just round the corner at the bottom of Victoria Road from the Test Centre. My first house, a Victorian mid terrace of five, just across the road from the shop. No hot running water, gas lamps plus electric and an outside loo that was freezing cold in winter and no bathroom. I married and was very fortunate to have the Army carriage and 4 horses pull up outside the house, much to the disbelief of the locals and because it was on a Sunday, the customers in the Beehive. Married at St Augustines Church, Holly Road, North Town, it was the same day as the Farnborough Air Show and we were held up in the traffic and had to go the long way round to what was then the Officers Club along the Farnborough Road for the reception. I can remember lots of foriegn tourists for the Air Show, stopping and taking photos of us. We would be famous in Japan as a 'Traditional English Wedding'. I am lucky that I am still friends with some of my class mates all these years later in 2013 and have attended several 'school reunions' .

A memory shared by Marilyn (Pru) Spencer (Nee Coles) , on May 27th, 2013.

Comments & feedback

Add your comment

You must be signed-in to your Frith account to post a comment.

Sign-in or Register now

Tips & Ideas

Not sure what to write? It's easy - just think of an important place in your life and ask yourself:

  • How does it feature in your personal history?
  • What are your best memories of this place?
  • How has it changed over the years?
  • How does it feel, seeing these places again?
  • Do you remember stories about the community, its history & people?