A Memory of Brixton

I lived in Dalyell Road when I was about five in 1954. I remember "Aunti and Uncle Mills" not reallly my realtives but we called them that as they were friends of my parents Alf and Ruby Timpson. The Mill's lived in in what I think was Cromfield St just off from our road leading on to Stockwell Road. Sally Mills was my brother's friend. Their eldest son was Frank Mills who became a character actor and can still be seen taking many parts on the TV e.g. Foyles War etc. I went to Stockwell Primary School, leaving there in 1960/1. I remember the Odeon cinema in Stockwell Road and queuing up down the side of it. Taking a broken doll to the Dolls Hospital, a shop off Electric Avenue I think, just past the market under the railway bridge a road on the right - I can see it now the windows full of broken dolls and teddybears. Such innocence - nothing like that there now!!! I remember being in my pram and my mum pushing me past the Scots Wool Shop; remember having my feet measured in the Clarke's shoe shop measuring guage of Lilley & Skinner which is now the entrance to the tube station. Weirdly, the shoe shop always had a large mock up train and carriages at the back of the shop! I then moved to Sandmere Road off Bedord Road, Clapham North but this was also off of Solon Road leading to Acre Lane. I remember us both getting dressed up to look older than we were so we could get into the film Circus of Horrors at the ABC cinema (the old Palladium I think). We tottered down Acre lane thinking we looked so grown up! I loved to go with my friend to Bon Marche in Brixton and we would "bagsy" all the things we would really love to have when we grew up and had lots of money! I remember seeing dozens of Italians congreating on the corner outside the Prince of Wales pub in the High St with their flashy silver suits with short jackets and winkle-pickers all looking like Tony Curtis; going to Saturday morning pictures in the Palladium just along from the Town Hall; going to the library with my class from Stockwell Primary School. I remember poor Diane Fell, a little girl living in Dalyell Road who was found dead having committed suicide by putting her head in the gas oven. Remembering the "bomb site" at the top of Dalyell Road we used to play on disobeying our parents, running a stick along the inside of an old wrecked piano left there. Walking down Ferndale Road to school in Stockwell from Sandmere Road - what a walk for a little girl on her own! The police flats at the bottom of Ferndale Road where Tamara lived and where we used to play rounders. The coal man and his horse stabled under the bridge at the bottom of Ferndale Road; remember taking the bag wash to the laundry near the back of Marks & Spencer; and my Saturday job at 15 in Marks & Spencer, having lunch in the canteen listening to Sonny & Cher I Got You Babe!! Loved to go to Brockwell Park for country dancing and then the fabulous open air swimming pool too! Seems a life-time and another much more innocent world away now!

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