High Street c1955, Aldershot
Memories of High Street c1955, Aldershot
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Aldershot & local memories
Read and share memories of Aldershot and Hampshire inspired by Frith photos.
My husband was in the RAF and Odiham was our first place as a married couple. We were unable to get a married quarter and so my husband rented a flat over a driving school in Station Road. We both learnt to drive from there. I worked at the DHSS which was at that time in 1968-1980 in the old post office building before we moved to new offices opposite the bus station. We went to RAF Odiham again in the late 70's and my young son of 4yrs was admitted to Cambridge Military Hospital. He had excellent treatment and the young soldiers on another ward made him a plane, fortunately his virus cleared up. I always thought what a lovely old building it was and when again we returned to Odiham in the 80's was upset to see that it was closing. In fact, I went for an outpatient appointment there after all the wards were closed and was amazed that parts were still accessible, down one corridor... Read more
I was born in the Cottage Hosp in 1959. We lived in Cranmore Lane; then 13 Connought Road, then 70 Holly Road; then 11 Eddy Road. I went to Newport infant and junior schools then Heron Wood and Wavell. I would go Sat morn pictures then reanact the film up at the rec; we also had a den when they were building Mount Pleasent st. We would spend all summer scrumping and swimming at the lido paying and bunking in! Would eat at Wimpy and buy singles or albums from Rumbelows and have to go shopping with my mum in Army Navy store ..great days! There was also a bakers near Manor Park where we would buy stale buns for a few pennies (prob couldn't do that nowadays).
Pavilion Cinema in Background - Before They Put The Railings Round The Pond
This picture was taken before they put the railings round the pond. One Sunday on my way home from Sunday School at Christchurch, I was feeding the ducks and my Bible flew out of my hand. I tore the back of my leg on the barbed wire on top of the iron railings as I climbed over to get it back. The fair came to the park and there was a wonderful playground at the top and the Hero's shrine at the St Michael's end. The bowling green and tennis courts were at that end too.
Lanes Ice Cream
Lanes has got to be the best ice cream ever. I had Asian flu followed by bronchitis in 1957/58 and my brothers would cycle up and get a thermos flask of ice cream - I honestly think I owe my survival to them (my brothers and Lanes). I have never tasted ice cream as good,
An ACC Cook
The winter and spring of 1958 I was an ACC cook in the hospital kitchen. On one night duty I contracted tonsillitis and was put in the ward upstairs where the ghost of 'Sister Aggie', as she was known to us, was supposed to haunt and give comfort at their bedside of those who were about to slip away. She did not appear to me as I was not about to die. I had to sample our food which was sent up from the kitchen in heated trolleys. It was not too bad when it left the kitchen, but the time it got on to the plate in bed on the ward it was pretty grim stuff that would just about finish anybody off. Someone the Victorian ghost nurse might have appeared to was a young soldier who was put in a special private ward reserved for those who had not long to live. I was detailed one morning to go and offer him the... Read more
Wrinkled Fingers And Toes
From Chrismas Avenue to the bathing pool, come rain or come shine, every day of the summer was bathing pool fun time for us lads. With our towels rolled up and tucked under our arms and our costumes on to save time, a bag of sandwiches and your entrance money if you were lucky... otherwise it was over the fence. On arrival it was through the turnstile and with a quick glance at the water degree board straight in at the deep end. The pool was nature's babysitters from morning till night, seven days a week The pools in those days were full of servicemen American, Canadian and many others stationed, passing though, or just plain taking a hard earned rest from terrors of war, and I can describe them in one word, "boisterous", but glad to be alive and they showed it... A lot of them were missing their familes far away and latched on to the local children, be it in the town, or at the pool. Many a time with... Read more
It was 1952 and the NAAFI Club held dancing lessons. Now, trying to learn to dance in hobnailed Army boots was impossible, but I did chat up a NAAFI girl and arranged to meet her after her work, which I did. She had, to me, an exotic name and was Finnish. When I arrived back at Baadjos Barracks the Intelligence Corps awaited me. I was taken to their HQ near Tunbridge Wells and quizzed overnight. Apparently they thought she was a Soviet spy and had been placed there to quiz solidiers about their regiments. I was so innocent then, but was angry when they refused me transport back to Aldershot. I had to phone the RSM who reluctantly sent a PU vehicle for me to return to Aldershot and my RASC unit. Being the RSM he really tore me off a strip - as RSMs do, of course. As he dismissed me with an angry warning about chatting up foreign girls, and wasting his time, he winked.... Read more
As a kid in the eighties, I used to mess around by the Wellington Monument, back then it was like a jungle all around it, and you couldn't really see it properly unless you were right in front of it. A group of volunteers did a brilliant job of clearing a lot of the bushes back, so now you can see it better from a distance which I think is how it should be seen. We were told as kids that a workman accidently dropped his lunch into the monument when it was being built!
For two-and-a-half dreadful years, from July 1942 to October 1944, my parents and I survived in three rooms at the top of number 40, Victoria Road, rented from a Mrs Pither. Only the front two rooms, overlooking the street, were habitable and the back room my father used as a sort of workshop. Water was from a tap, a few inches off the floor beside the loo, in a small closet at the top of the stairs. Hot water was boiled in a teakettle on an old gas stove in the ‘kitchen’. Washing was done in an enamel basin and the dirty water was carried out and flushed down the toilet. One of my earliest memories is of going to get water and getting confused with the tap. I couldn’t make the water turn off, the pot overflowed and, by the time my mother came to the rescue, the floor was flooded and water was dripping through the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs. Mrs Pither was not amused!... Read more
The Cambridge Ghost
The Cambridge Military Hospital was apparently founded as part of the initiative begun by Florence Nightingale after the Crimean War to improve medical facilities for the Army. It was built on a grand, traditionally solid Victorian scale, and as I remember, had very long corridors, which seemed to be about a quarter of a mile long! At least, it seemed, standing at one end, the roof and floor met at the other.
In February 1969 as a cadet at the nearby Sandhurst, I had an accident on the assault course, twisting my knee badly on the frozen ground. The injury was quite severe and I was required to have an operation and physiotherapy as an in-patient, so I spent several months in Ward 7. At this time, Northern Ireland had only just started up and there weren't many major military campaigns underway around the world, and so the hospital was not full of military patients. It was the policy then to take in overflows from NHS hospitals and so... Read more
Not so sure of the date, I was born in the cottage hospital in 1936 and spent all my holidays with my grandparents the Brockbanks who had a pub in North Lane called the Heroes of Lucknow. I had many trips to the Lido with my brother, we walked all the way with our towels rolled up under our arms, the summer was warmer then. At the start of the summer holidays we caught the bus from Reading to spend six wonderful weeks in Aldershot. I remember sitting under the counter in the pub with a lemon fizzy drink and packet of crisps; the salt always in a little blue packet. My cousin also used to holiday with her grandparents, we had a great time. My grandfather Charlie Brockbank used to take us on endless walks with the dogs, all through the Hogs Back and small villages, also we would go to Ash Vale and visit two elderly aunts who lived in a huge house called Foxhurst. My father and... Read more
In 1956 I was 8 years old, I had to have a minor operation at the cottage hospital. I remember it was warm and clean I was treated so well by the lovely nurses. I didn't want to go home. Actually, my mum didn't come and collect me when I was ready to leave, they had to call at my house and ask her to take me home. I felt sad leaving the hospital, it was better than living at home.
Where's The Bandstand?
My dad took me to see the old barracks being demolished and we had a vantage point from a bandstand next to RAOC. It last appears on 1963 map prior to Potters building the Hotel. It would appear that the extension has been built on ther site of the bandstand. I remember it was surrounded by trimmed hedges.
Can Still Name Almost All The Shops
Can remember most of the shops in this part of the street. My father worked in the shop beyond the Wimpy Bar - Lascelles fishmongers. Fred the butchers, Lanes ice-cream, the Hot Oven, Hall & Warner, the herbalist, Keens newsagents, the Camera shop, the entrance to the Market what memories this brings back!
Tonsils, Broken Arm And Two Children
First visit in 1957 - tonsils out, next time in 1959 - a broken arm. Then I had my two children there in 1970 & 1974. It was too small for my appendicitis; they took me to Farnham for that in 1961 and put me in the women's ward.
Sneaked Trips to The Lido
In the late 60's, I was a WRAC PTI and was posted to Aldershot. During the summer I had been out with others on a practical map reading course and we finished early, so the guys suggested we go to the lido for the afternoon. As it was nice and sunny and I didn't even know it existed, I said why not. Later, on sunny days when I had a smaller class, I used to take the girls on 'bike rides' but told them to put their 'cossies' in the saddle bags, and to keep their mouths shut. We all enjoyed the fun afternoon, the girls got fit riding there and swimming, and was much better than the usual PT lesson in the gym. I reckon I would have got busted if they had found out, but hey ho, lifes a challenge.
I used to swim here every summer, one of my best memories of relaxed swimming, the 'Slippery dip' slide and sun bathing. I remember there was a canteen where we used to buy icecreams and wandering around the grassey grounds - This made the 70s summer for me!
Where the advertising boards are, there was a barber shop run by a lovely man called Alf Bernadi. I would take my little brother to have his hair cut & sit and read him the Beano comics while we were waiting. I'm almost sure the lady in the picture is my mother, Muriel Hill, walking back home to Denmark Square.
155 VICTORIA ROAD SPARES AND REPARES
We lived in Aldershot from 1970 up until the late 1970s early 1980s, we lived in 371 Williams Park. I went to Heron Wood School and loved every minute of it. My best friend was Peter Hedicker who joined 3 Para and lost his life on the 12th June 1982 at the Falklands, God Bless you Freeko!!! I also spent a lot of time in my teens at 155 Victoria Road, my friend Tony had a shop there, Spares And Re pares (TV SHOP), does anyone remember it? ALSO I had a girlfriend, Donna Webb, and would love to get back in touch if possible. Does anyone remember her name? I always will think of Aldershot as my home town, it's where I grew up and had so much fun, I love the place and still do even though I don't live there any more. There are so many memories for me.
Birds Nuts And Bumping Cars
In 1944 my mother and I moved from a two bedroom basement flat in Grosvenor Road at the top of the town, to Chrismas Avenue, a three bedroom semi-detached, that connected between Ash Road and Newport Road. My father was away with the war in North Africa. I soon made firm friends with the Chismas Place gang.... the Place being a small cu-de-sac off the Avenue, that had many more interesting children living there. The Manor Park was a mere hop, skip and a jump away for the Chrismas Place boys and girls, with just one dangerous main road, "The High Street" ,to cross which sadly did claim one of our number...David.... a highly priced lesson was learnt by us all. But the Manor Park was our teacher too, it taught us how in those post war days of rationing that you could keep the hunger pangs at bay by knowing that the nuts from the beech and the chestnut trees were very tasty and we often returned home at end... Read more
Boil's Adenoids And Tonsils
My overriding memory of "The Aldershot Cottage Hospital"was of blind panic and fear, and of a day in 1946 aged six years old I was taken to what must have been the out-patients department to have a very large carbuncle in the joint of my left arm lanced.
I remember and was later told that it took two nurse's a doctor and my mother to hold me down to enable them to administer the gas to knock me out....the smell of that rubber mask remains with me to this day.
As a child of the war years who would stubbornly not eat any vegetable's whatsoever, I was used to having many painful boils on my neck arms and other places treated at home with my mother's old recipe's, such as the red hot bread poultice, and the equally hot milk bottle placed over the offender to draw out the core....but this carbuncle defeated even my mothers best effort's (god bless her sole.)
Both my brother and sister in later... Read more
Aldershot, Cottage Hospital 1897
It was only recently that my eldest daughter (17) asked where I was born, I told her of this place, she asked if the place still stands to which I told her no. She asked about the Cambridge Military Hospital and I told her all I know about the once majestic building, its role in history and its role in our family, she replied that it is a tragic waste of such a beautiful building. I left Aldershot in June 1988 to join the Royal Navy (enough army for me). Alas, after 23 years in the RN it is sad to see RNH Haslar go the same way as the Illustrious Cambridge, when will we learn, alas never. God Bless those all who served in such arduous conditions and made us all comfortable during crisis, LEGENDS All of you
I lived here from 1962-1969 with my two sisters and my mum, Rita Oldfield, who was the owner and the secretary of the LVA at the time. It was still used by the Paras in those days. I have a lot of happy memories. I went to St Michaels C of E Secondary Modern School and remember going to the Aldershot Lido in the schoool holidays, and seeing lots of famous live bands and artists at the local cinemas. Our dog had his photo on the front of the Aldershot News as he liked to march in front of all the parading bands.
Talavera School 1969 - 1971
I too lived in Ramillies Park between 1969 and 1971 (185 Ramillies Park,) and went to Talavera.
I remember getting the bus from North Camp with a pink bus pass up to the top of hospital hill, walking up past the old officers mess, past the water tower and down the hill to the Naafi at the bottom of the hill. After a little bit of sweet shopping would head into the playground. Yes, I remember the two concrete cats faces that you could climb over, or run through? I had many happy school memories from that Talavera. School dinners with silver jugs of thick yellow custard, small bottles of milk for morning break, playing marbles, and collecting chewing gum cards of the TV show ‘Land of the Giants.’
Aldershot, et al (1952-3)
Further memories include attending Mattins at St George's Garrison Church, just across the lines from my RASC barracks; running the Scout Group there in the Garrison Church Hall, as well as the Cubs, and then a note being slipped to me in my barrack room, requesting I take the Guide Company meeting as the Guide Captain and her Lt were unwell. I did, in Army uniform and it was enjoyable - I simply ran it like a Scout Troop meeting. I also took them to camp on my own ( how innocent both I and the girls were) which was a roaring success. Then I would borrow the Padre's cycle and cycle to the Hoggs Back and to the wee villages, like Elsted, to the south of it on Sundays after church. A convoy of tanks passed me and then it stopped and I was hauled back to the Tank Commander's tank, displaying a major's badge, which I had not... Read more
Talavera Junior School.
I too have very happy memories of Talavera Junior School. I was a pupil there in the late 1960s, having moved up from Marlborough Lines Infants School. I now live in Essex, but over the years on my travels, I have visited these old schools. Does anyone remember the cats' masks in Talavera Junior playground? I also remember that on a Monday, the shield for the winning house (Wolf, Wellington, Clive or Gordon) was announced to the children. As previously asked by someone, I believe that the head of Marlborough Lines was a Mrs Searle, and my teacher at Talavera was Miss Milton. I too also lived in Ramillies Park, although thankfully these terrible looking boxes have now gone. Who on earth was responsible for designing those places?!
Julie Barker (nee Wilkes).
Happy memories indeed! I have many of those both from Marlborough Lines Primary and Talavera Junior...marbles, hopscotch, Shirley Temple and all the games we played in those days and reading Beano comics when it was pouring down with rain! Does anybody remember any of the Talavera teachers 1968-1970? Or the headmistress of Marlborough Lines School? I lived in Ramalies Park, Army Quarters until 1972. Did anybody else live there?
I had my tonsils removed here in 1955 or maybe 1956, found my first boyfriend named Gregory who brought me so many games, toys etc. the nurses complained!
I remember eating jam sandwiches and maybe ice cream, but not much else. I was only eleven!
The next time I was there was for the birth of my first daughter in 1968. My husband was not allowed to stay for the birth, not the done thing even in 1968.
Not particularly bad memories of the old place.
Hiking in The 1970s at The Cambridge
I began my pupil nurse training at the Cambridge in 1970. I enjoyed my time there. I remember the corridors, indeed they were very long, some say a quarter of a mile lonf, and some say nearly a mile. I think I would say the latter. I was posted to Hong Kong in November 1970 and went back there in 1972.
One of my Earliest Memories . . .
was walking through Manor Park where it was a common occurrence to see red squirrels right next to the main entrance. We often walked through the park on our way to the swimming pool which was quite a distance after leaving the park.
Ducks swam on the pond in the picture above; they were mainly mallards and frequently we took bread to feed them. I think that Manor Park was my introduction to the British wildlife in which I have had a keen interest as long as I can remember.
Manor Park was the venue where the annual fun fairs put up their stalls, and many a time I attended the circuses that put up in the park too. There wasn't all the fuss then that there is now about animals in circuses and I remember being frightened and thrilled at the same time when watching the big cats and being quite close to the elephants when we had front seats. Those... Read more
To North Town
I'd get the number 11 or 12 bus (I think?) religiously for 3 years, every day after school, having gone across the railway bridge at the station, from the now defunct St. Joseph's Primary. Sometimes it would go via the military area up by Alamein Rd, and sometimes it would go via Redan Hill, past the footy ground. I never knew why?
The waiting bay at the station was home to several thousand pigeons. We used to try and feed them Space-Dust!
As kids my brother Ray and my sister Jan and myself spent every weekend and all the summer holidays at the lido, we used to take our food and stay for the day. We had season tickets and I must admit the summers seemed warmer. Sue Marriott (Crockford).
Aldershot Swimming Pool
I remember being thrown in the deep end by some other kids. We used to go there lots of times when I was a kid. I was born in 1956 and lived in Aldershot until I was 11 years old. Don't know if its still open anymore? Summer at the pool was lovely when it was very hot - not like our summers now!
I learnt to swim at the "command baths" in Aldershot in the 1960s. It was a very old building and very cold. I hated the lessons as the instructors used to have a long stick to push you back into centre of the pool. I now know why I hate swimming!
I was born at the Aldershot Hospital but I don't know if its this one. It was in St Josephs Road near the Catholic St Josephs School. I was born there with my twin sister in June 1956 and had my tonsils out there too!! very painful!
I used to catch the bus every day to go to school in Weybourne from Cove. It seemed to take ages waiting in the rain for the Cove Bus. If I missed the bus to All Hallows School in Weybourne I had to walk all the way instead!
Saturday Morning Pictures
The ABC song certainly brought back memories of my regular Saturday morning trips to the pictures in the late 1940s and early 50s. In Aldershot we were lucky that the ABC – the Ritz, and the Empire – an Odeon cinema, were situated right next to each other. We looked at each programme displayed and, depending on which film we fancied, chose the one we wanted to see. It certainly gave our mums an hour or so without having to amuse their kids at weekends!
My most vivid memories are of the huge ruched curtains which went up at the start of the show and of horrid boys who kept clambering over the seats or threw their sweet wrappers at us girls. Imagine the despair if we were too ill to attend one week and had to miss the next exciting episode of Flash Gordon or other gripping serial instalments.
Here is the kids’ Odeon song we used to sing... Read more
My Stay at The Cambridge Military Hospital
I had my tonsils removed at the Cambridge Miltary Hospital in 1981 (aged 8). The only memory I have of this time is of a little girl named Yvonne Cherry who stayed in the bed next to mine, she never had any visitors and spent the majority of her time looking in my locker.
My father, Eric James was an ambulance driver for the Cambridge Hospital for many years. It's a beautiful building and it is heartbreaking to think of it standing with empty corridors and dusty old cobwebs.
The Queen Hotel
I used to work in this pub with my sister. It's 4 walls have set the scene for many a drama! It was a great pub back in the day - and excellent fun on Airborne Forces Weekend (not so much fun for out of towners, I'd imagine!) LOL!
I Met my Wife-To-Be on The Firing Ranges at Aldershot!
I met Elizabeth Sewell while we were both on a Territorial Army training exercise at Aldershot. We were both serving with 39 Signal Regiment. It was April 1970 and I first saw her in her WRAC uniform, green beret and brown boots! Very nice too!
I managed to sit next to her in the back of a three tonner on the way back to our barracks and we talked all the way.
We arranged a date for that evening and slipped out of the barracks to visit a pub. We have now been married for 37 years!
The Odeon Cinema
I started working at the Odeon in 1967 as a projectionist, and the first film I showed there was the original Casino Royale. The screen curtains were made of a heavy velvet with weights at the bottom, but with the lilac coloured spot lights on them, they looked like silk as they opened and closed.It was always a lovely building, and it looks even more beautiful today as The Kings Centre.
The Cambridge Ghost
See my memory regarding this wonderful old bit of Victorian architecture, linked to the 1891 photograph of the Cambridge. In my day, 1969, it was mostly full of civilian patients although there was a fair sprinkling of families, car accident victims and some military having tatoos removed (one having 'hate' removed from his knuckles before enlisting in the police force). Others I recall from my ward (Ward 7) on the ground floor, had been e.g. victims of petroleum fires in depots with severely burnt arms (as walking wounded, we had to feed them and take them to the bathroom etc) and on one occasion a large number of paratroopers injured during a large scale parachute exercise over the nearby training area. Most were casualties of twisted lines, deflated chutes, mid-air and on the ground collisions etc. One never hears about the numbers of casualties in those kind of intensive exercises, although I think nowadays with the many rounds of Defence cuts, I think only one battalion at a... Read more
My son Thor had a branchial cyst removed when he was about 20 months old. The staff were wonderful. I stayed in the hospital all the time and beds were made available for the mums. For our meals we would cross over the road to go to the army canteen and the food was incredible. My son soon made a speedy recovery.
Aldershot Cottage Hospital
How could I forget the Cottage Hospital? I had my tonsils out here! Strangely enough, after all these years I can still picture parts of the Children's Ward, one or two of the nurses, and the bed that I was in. Hospital is never the most pleasant place to be but, if I remember correctly (and I am sure that I do), the worst part of my stay was "Nil By Mouth" after the operation!
Aldershot Swimming Pool
I remember learning to swim in this pool. Once a week we would be taken from school. After our lessons we always had some sandwiches which our mothers sent with us. I always had lettuce and marmite sandwiches. To this day when I have the same sandwiches I can see and smell the swimming pool!
Growing up in 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... Read more
Aldershot Lido & Cambridge Hospital
Went to Aldershot Lido summer of 71 with my mates from Ash to celebrate finishing "O" levels and about to start work. When getting changed to come home caught my "you know what" in my zip and had to be taken to the Cambridge for treatment. Female Army Doctor, very kind, very gentle until the "moment" and wow did I scream!!!! when the zip got seperated from me.
My dad was in the para 1 squad,we lived at 23 Macadam Square for about 2/3 years, I remember them as some of the happiest of my life. I know that the houses are all gone now, but just wondered if anyone else remembered us, the Eskdale family? I was only around 7 when we lived there before going back to Scotland to live. I attended a primary school that was built at the top of a hill, we used to pick up the conkers from the chestnut trees that grew there and have conker fights. Another school was built nearer the town, I went there after leaving the school on the hill. Does anyone know its name or name of headmistress? Or if its still there? Does anyone have any pics. of the square or the old school? I would so love to see it again. I live in New Zealand now so it's not likely I ever will get back for a visit. I had my tonsils out... Read more
Aldershot County High School For Girls
I finished school at A.C.H.S. in mid-summer of 1950. I know it has been torn down for housing, but cannot remember the name of the street it was on. We rode the bus from Cove, when we got off the bus in Cove we would meet the kids coming from the secondary modern school in Cove. They hated us because we wore school uniforms and they threw stones at us. Back then one had to pass what was called the scholarship to attend the High School, I believe that was at around age 10. If you did not pass you went on to the secondary modern school, I live in the U.S.A. now and understand all that has been done away with. I remember I was terrified when I took the scholarship, even at that age I knew I had to pass. My sister went to A.C.H.S. ahead of me and my brother went to Farnborough Grammar School. But it was a fun life, gone forever now.