I passed the 11+ in 1952 and started Grammar school in Sept that year at Orange Hill Girls' Grammar. I caught the 140 bus from Streatfield Road, Kenton every day for 5 years which is when I left with 8 O levels and a choice of jobs. The buses were always full when they got to my stop and I often used to wait for several before getting on. At Burnt Oak station I walked through Deansbrook Park to school, I thought the park was lovely with the Silk stream going through it.
Teachers at the school include Miss Hartwell (English), Miss Chilleystone (music), I used to make her life difficult as did many others. She is buried in Sandringham which is where she originated. There was Miss Hughes (Maths), Mrs Hitchcock (French), Miss Bristol taught Latin, she was fresh out of teacher training I think and again I made her life difficult. I met her a few years ago at a reunion and she was still single and very sharp memory wise. The education was good and in those days you could get a job quite easily when you left school. I wish I could have stayed on into 6th form and had a better career but my parents wanted me to leave once I reached 16.
I got a job at the Westminster bank and was disappointed when I found I was to work in the Burnt Oak branch having already travelled there each day for 5 years. I had hoped for somewhere different. The bank was on Burnt Oak Broadway and trolley bus 666 went past and there were only 9 people working there. They were good times for the most part but being a girl meant I could not progress, not even take banking exams so I left in 1963.
Lunch times when I was at the bank were spent walking down Watlng Avenue, buying clothes from little clothes shops. There were several cafes where I had lunch and of course the Coop. This was one of few big department stores around in those days and I used to eat lunch on the top floor there. Another place I ate was next to the bank and was called Angelos and was run by an Italian family called Capaldi. It became a Greek restaurant after that so Burnt Oak was trying out foreign food quite a lot. I liked going down Watlng St towards Edgware to a Greek Cypriot run café called Romana's. The food was great, cheap and I liked trying different sorts of meals.
I could probably go on ad finitum, Burnt Oak has a special place in my memories.
At school I was known as Josie Payne, now I am Jo Dunstone.
A memory shared byon Jan 13th, 2014.
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