Memories Of A Young Lad Of Fifteen Visiting Burnt Oak 1941

A Memory of Burnt Oak

I am now 83 living in South Wales, and have very pleasant memories of Burnt Oak. My two aunties lived at 54 Fortescue Road, Rose Mills was married to Percy and her sister was Alice Mundey. Rose was a piano teacher, her husband Percy worked, I think, in a aircraft establishment in Collindale. The two aunties were sisters of my mother Catherine. Each year I was able to visit London because I had a free travel pass from the Great Western Railway where I worked as a office junior. In earlier years Rose was a silver service waitress to Lloyd George and was a member of the staff to go to Versailles when he signed The Peace Agreement after the First World War. Alice was the head waitress at Marshall and Snelgroves in Oxford Street. Well, one of my many errands as a young lad of 15 was to travel on the underground into the city to buy pet food for their spaniel dog, and then to meet up with Aunty Alice when she finished work. We then went to The Strand Palace Hotel for evening tea. Being from a poor family in South Wales, the youngest but one of eight children, to me it was like being in a film, with a Palm Court Orchestra playing in the background and all that kind of stuff. My two aunties were very fussy in their ways and treated each meal as if they were still working, table napkins in pearl holders and etiquette to a very high standard, something I was not very used to. Still, I loved my aunties and Percy was always very kind to me, often walking through the park with me to the shops. My memories of Burnt Oak are vivid to this day and they will always be remembered.
As the years went by after my visits I was eventually called up for the armed forces, and after being trained for action against the Japanese in Burma ended up serving the rest of my time in India from 1945-48. The high standards they set always bring happy memories of Burnt Oak.

A memory shared by John Beal , on Feb 14th, 2010.

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