Seven Kings photos
Displaying the first of 3 old photos of Seven Kings. View all Seven Kings photos
Seven Kings maps
Historic maps of Seven Kings and the local area, hand-drawn by Ordnance Survey and Samuel Lewis. View all Seven Kings maps
Seven Kings area books
Displaying 1 of 16 books about Seven Kings and the local area. View all books for this area
Memories of Seven Kings
Looking at The Old Downshall Senior School.
I went to Downshall School in 1957 after moving from Downshall Juniors. The big tree on the right covers St John the Evangelist Church and Downshall Junior School. To the back of the shops on the right used to be the 2nd Seven Kings scout hall and Sunday school. On the left 50 metres on from the 105E Anglia were a group of shops that were suppliers of goods to the local community.
Walking to School
I went to Downshall Infants and Primary up to the age of 12 when I then went to Ilford Country High in Gants Hill. I remember the daily walk along Meads Lane calling for a sour grapes gob stopper that would dye our mouths dark purple.
The school seemed so big and when I look at this photo it looks like something out of Dickens! Miss Backhouse was my infants teacher and in the primary I had a wonderful teacher Mr Richards who was so supportive of me - he gave me faith in myself - thank you always Mr Richards!
From Downshall I remember we were all walked over to Seven Kings Park to play sport because there was no oval at the school.
I now live in Sydney and have done since 1972 - I'm now 57 and wanting to return and pick up some of those memories.
Please leave me a message if you have any memories of being at Downshall!
I arrived at the Infants School aged 6, fresh from a tiny village school in rural Somerset. My abiding memory was of the outside communal toilets with a trough at the base of a wall which used to back on to the pavement of Aldborough Rd. We would compete to see who could reach the highest up the wall (if you know what I mean) and attempt to score a bullseye by actually aiming right over the wall onto the pavement.
A more respectable past-time was playing with our Dinky racing cars in the playground, I recall they always went faster backwards! As I write this I'm looking at my No.6 racing car, a Cooper-Bristol, on the dresser; it has weathered the 55 years since then a bit better than I have.
I went to Downshall school as it was then. It is vastly altered now. On the left of picture was a row of shops. First on the left was a greengrocers. Then the fish andd chips shop. Then Alberts Cafe, Balls the chemist. Then Leslie W Hubbard the hardware shop. Correct me if I'm wrong but that's not a bad memory going back to 1955. I lived round the corner in Norfolk Road at 128 and was late for school most days. Mr Tucker and Mr Crisp were very good teachers. I remember St John's Church with that rotten bell that used to wake us up every Sunday at 8 am. The Irish Padre was quite a character.
Downshall School 1950-1960
I attended Downshall Infants, Junior and Seniors; not the happiest of days for me. I remember being treated quite badly by Mrs Mansell in junior school who really had it in for me because my mother was a bit of a trouble maker. Also, Miss Addiscot the PE mistress at the senior school who seemed to think that sport was the most important thing in life and bullied anyone who didn't agree!! I would dearly love to meet these two individuals now and put them straight. Happier memories were summers spent at Valentines Park, so much to do over there, cinema visits and trips to London on the central line. It was really good being in such easy reach of so many lesiure activities. I recently went back to visit the area, what a shock!!!!!
I used to live in Chester Road, and it seemed miles to walk to school. I attended the infants, primary and secondary schools of Downshall, before moving to St. Albans in the 60s. I remember the baker shop in Meads Lane and given the task of buying a loaf, and a loaf of bread arriving home minus all the poppy seeds, no plastic wrappers then, just tissue paper. I too remember Mr Crisp, Miss How and Miss Hilyard, the games mistress, and the wonderful science teacher who gave me the love of all things scientific. I also remember the huge, well they seemed huge, coal fires in the class rooms, wonderful for drying wet coats, hats and gloves.
Downshall Secondary School
I have very fond memories of Downshall Secondary where I was between 1958 and 1962. I used to live in Downshall Avenue, and we used to walk everywhere, to school, to Seven Kings Park and the park up Meads Lane. We also used to walk to swimming lessons at Ilford Baths which was quite a way. I enjoyed the art lessons with Mr Dean, but not the needlework lessons with Miss Howe, who seemed to have it in for me! My form teacher for three of those years was Mr Burrows who taught maths. We had a youth club in St John's church hall which was run by Eddie Wheddon. We thought we were very grown up to belong to that. There were enough shops in Aldeburgh Road for us to survive without going to Ilford which was our "big" town. Obviously my name has changed now, but I was Pauline Willan then. Mr Tucker (Woodwork teacher) and Mr Crisp (History) used to arrive at... Read more