Empire Pool c1960, Wembley
Memories of Empire Pool c1960, Wembley
Ice Hockey And Olympic Swimming
During WW2 I went to this venue to watch ice hockey. The teams playing were mainly, if not entirely, teams of Canadian servicemen from various UK stations. The team whose name I remember the best was from Down Ampney, an airfield a few miles north of Cricklade. I suppose it was the unusual name that has stuck in my mind all these years.
Later, in 1948, the Olympic Games was held in the UK. I managed to get tickets for two events, one of which was for swimming in the Empire Pool. It is so long ago that I cannot remember the event.
1948 Olympic Games
My father represented Great Britain in the 1948 Olympic Games. He (Thomas Patrick Holt) and his brother John and two sisters were on the swimming team. Unfortunately, Thomas came fourth in his event, as he was struck down with a tummy bug, prior to his swim, as he had over-indulged in the lavish food supplied for the competitors, and as it was just after the war, dear old Dad could not resist the temptation of food he had not eaten for the duration of the war (WW11).
None the less, I am very proud of his achievements as he trained without the assistance of a coach, dietician or any financial backing. Today's Olympians have every facility available to them to achieve success. My Dad inspired myself and all of my siblings to swim, and to try your best at everything we attempt. I live in Australia and plan to visit the site of the Empire Pool in August 2008.
Olympic Games & After
My father, who worked for Philips Electrical (Mullard Amplifier Division) was the Sound Engineer at both the Wembley Stadium and Pool during the entire Olympic Games of 1948. He had to work very long hours not only during the events but also during the daily rehearsals of ceremonies. I went to one of the last events, with my grandparents, which was equestrian. After the Games finished, my father continued as the Sound Engineer and my Sister, (and sometimes my cousin) and I went to all the ice shows at the pool. We also went to see the Harlem Globetrotters every year when they came to the UK. They were good times. I went to watch Speedway at the Stadium but my view of this event involved climbing a very high ladder to one of the spotlight cabins, way above the stands. Quite a frightening experience for a small boy! I have very many happy memories of those times, I still have programmes from the 'Games' and some Rugby matches and... Read more
Sports at The Empire Pool
I used to go and watch the Wembley Lions and the Haarlem Globetrotters in the early 1960s. The atmosphere was always exciting for the spectators and the Dagenham Girl Pipers performed during the interval of the basketball. The Globetrotters always won, I remember. The Lions played their matches on a Saturday night and it was a good place to meet other young people.
I can remember paddling in the pool, the depth went from nothing to, I think, about 24 feet to allow for the height of the diving board. Every so often a bell was rung to let people know that the wave machine was about to start up. There was a rope across the pool to keep the diving area clear. Living close to Wembley I went to a lot of shows; Skating on Ice, Harlem Globe Trotters, Ice Hocky, Skating Vanities ' roller skating'. There was a speed limit of 12mph around the area, I was stopped by a policeman for speeding on my bicycle, he was joking.
Wembley & local memories
Read and share memories of Wembley and Middlesex inspired by Frith photos.
Those Halcyon Days of my Youth!
I remember my relatively short time in Wembley with great affection. At my mother's instigation we moved from Willesden to Lonsdale Avenue, Wembley, in 1953 when I was fourteen. My father paid the princely sum of just under 2000 pounds for the house - two-up-two-down, inside bath and separate toilet! - and for the privilage of moving to the more mundane Wembley. I had already finished school and had, at my father's insistance I hasten to add, started an apprenticeship as a sheetmetal worker (yawn!) with Barlow and Whitney in Coombe Road, near Blackbird Cross, Neasden. My old mate, Michael Hays,(later Mickey Most, the well-known music entrepreneur) was already there and disliked the place and the people as much as I did! We were supposed go twice or three times a week to a technical college to learn argon-arc welding, a brand new invention at the time (YAWN!). We only went to the college every second or third time and on the other days went to the big film... Read more
Dancing in Wembley
I lived in Wealdstone but went to the Wembley Majestic every Saturday evening to dance to the Roy Kimber band. It was a great place to meet girls, but there was no liquor sold there and we had to go out to the pub down the High Street to get a pint! If we met someone we liked, the first thing was to find out where she lived. If it was in the other direction than Wealdstone we couldn't afford to take her home and then get back to our house, so it was a case of "see you here next week?" I eventually met my wife-to-be at a birthday party in Wembley. She lived there and she emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1959. I finished my apprenticeship at H.M.S.O. in Wealdstone and then followed her to the states six months later. We got married in 1961.
Shops in we Blew in The 60s And 70s
I remember when we lived in Perivale, we used to walk to Wembley High Street where my dad worked in J Davy, the car place. My nan and grandad owned the bakers across the road to the indoor market. I remember going to the clothes shop Snobs which was round, there was a toy shop called Zodiac, and the Golden Egg Restaurant, also C&A. The Times furniture shop, Savonarola food shop, Ravells shoe shop, Woolworths, Lilly and Skinners shoe shop, a lovely children's clothes shop called 123, and M&S was across the road from Woolworths. There was a big Green Shield Stamp shop where you filled your books with stamps and got things for them. We also loved going to the indoor market and every Sunday was the big market; we moved in 1975. A lot has changed since then. Every Saturday we used to go to Sainsbury's in the square with my grandad and then on to the Fox and Goose (I think it was called). Those were the... Read more
The Leeds And Sunderland Cup Final
I watched so many cup finals on black and white television when I was a boy never dreaming of the day that I might actually be there. But it happened in 1973! Would you believe my neighbour was a long retired football referee and received two tickets for every cup final! I don't think he had refereed since the 1940's and yet he continued to get his tickets - small wonder that real football fans struggled to be there on the big day. Anyway he made my dream come true and sold me his tickets for an unbelievable face value price of just four pounds each so my wife Elizabeth and I were able to see the Cup Final. The touts were out in Olympic Way offering big money to buy tickets and Elizabeth thought this would be a good idea to finance a shopping expedition in the West End. No way! I told her that the Cup Final was a magic occasion, part of her education and an event... Read more
Wembley in The 50s
I was born in 1948, and we lived in Nettleden Avenue, Wembley, until I was about 11. My sister and I went to Oakington Manor primary school. The head was Miss Taber and we learnt to read from a series of books called Old Lob, about an old farmer and his animals. I would ride my bike around the stadium area where the Olympics and British Empire exhibition had taken place. Every year we used to go up to the Harrow Road to see the Queen waving from her car as she went to the Cup Final. There was a a Woolworths, M & S, British Home Stores, and a model shop called Wally Kilminster at the Triangle, where you could buy fascinating stuff like model trains, balsa wood aeroplanes and catapult elastic! We used to go to the library at Barham Park, or there was a travelling library every week (or fortnight?) parked in St Michaels Avenue. We would go to the Saturday Matinee film show at the... Read more
Ealing Road, Wembley
Reading about Ealing Road again I remembered the wood yard/shop at right hand side at the top of Ealing Road, past the Regal cinema. It was a very narrow shop but a very deep shop and i loved the smell of the wood on sale. Does anyone else remember this? I also remember a sweet shop on the corner of Chaplain Road/Ealing Road that I used to get my sweets from and often used to get cigarettes from the machine outside during the evening.
William Brothers on the corner of Ealing Road, Garners Bakery at the top of the steps leading down to Station Grove which is where I lived until 1956. We could hear the cheers from the football matches at the Stadium. Radio Rentals, Blands linen shop which was still there a few years ago. Wembley police station, the three cinemas; the Wembley Hall, the Majestic and The Regal.
I was 12 when I bought my first balsa wood glider from Wally Kilmisters model shop on Wembley Triangle. It made me more interested in model making as I continued to buy and make models and fly them at Sharons farm, a local park nearby. I remember it well, just as if it was yesterday. Can anyone share this experience ? Thanks, bye for now. Virendra
John Barnard at East Lane School
Hi. I'm writing a book about McLaren and Ferrari Formula One designer John Barnard, who used to go to school in East Lane. It's an official biography. Does anyone remember him? Did anyone know him in his youth? He made the local paper in 1961 after building a speedboat in Mr Pegg's class at East Lane Comprehensive, and featured on an ITV programme called Friday Island. Any memories, please feel free to post here or, if you can contact me directly, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
My grandmother worked in Killips in Wembley. I used to walk up the alley from Harrowdene Road besides the railroad tracks up to Killips to visit with my grandmother. I too thought the tube that collected the money was fascinating. I loved visiting Wembley from North Wembley, most especially on FA Cup Final days. My mum and I would go up to Wembley High Road and wait to wave at Queen Elizabeth as she rode by to attend the FA Cup Final.
Wembley High Rd. And Ealing Rd.
One of my most popular places to hang out was Finley's Tobacco shop on the High Rd. They had a really nice coffee shop downstairs. I also remember a cafe on Ealing Rd. just past Chaplin Rd where a few bikers used to hang out. There was also a musical instrument shop there that also sold records. I can remember lining up outside that shop whenever a new Buddy Holly & Crickets songs were released to get my 45. I attended St Joseph's Church up by the Triangle. On the way home from church we always stopped at the air raid shelter opposite Copeland School and had a few cigarettes. I went to St Joseph's Primary School opposite the Empire Pool and Wembley Stadium. Nice thing about that was being let out of school early whenever England were playing an international match during the weekdays.
Born and grew up in Wembley and recall Wally Kilmisters model shop at the triangle and Simpson American cars too. Also there was an underground market opposite Ealing Road. I think Rumbles school uniform shop stilll exists. Other points of interest; deMarcos Ice cream opposites the Regal Cinema, Killips department store, the cherry tree night club, west lakes sweet shop and wembley music salon.
Ealing Road Wembley.
I Moved to Wembley in 1948 at age of 2 and lived there for 22 years. We lived in Ealing Road opposite Lyon Park Ave. My friends and I used to go up Lyon Park Ave to the Iron Bridge which crossed over the railway lines and do train spotting. I also remember De Markos ice cream parlour oppsite the Regal cinema (which I used to go every Sat morning to see to see the films and we sang "we are the abc minors"). There was also 2 other cinemas; one was the majestic, further up the High St which had a ballroom above, and further still on the High St was the Pilot Cinema (known locally as the Flea Pit). I went to school at Barham Primary School and from there Alperton Boys school. My first job was in Wembley Triangle at Rodney Gibbons (wallpaper & paint shop) in Neeld Parade. My first car was bought in Wembley at a car showrooms opposite... Read more
When I was about 7 or 8 I used to stand outside Wally Kilmister's shop to see the Queen as she arrived for the Cup Final in May. Yes, Wally Kilmister's was a treasure trove - bought football boots, a football and all sorts of things there. To the left of WK was a newsagent with a barber shop in the back where I had my hair cut. The Greyhound pub was/is down to the right on the Harrow Road - not recommended on a match day.
My family moved to The Avenue in Wembley Park from Liverpool in 1948 when I was just a baby. Early childhood memories include De Marco's ice cream parlor and Wembley Market with it's fish counter. Wally Kilminster's was brilliant. I went with my sister to the Regal Cinema to watch 'The Young Ones' with Cliff Richard. There were trolleybuses along the High Street. I went to a youth club at The Church of the Ascension and Buddy Holly singles were in demand. I also remember farthings being collected in a jar for the church I think. The pond at Barn Hill was a big attraction where model boats were sailed. The ice hockey at Wembley Arena with the Wembley Lions had a great atmosphere on Saturday nights. It was where I first saw Cuban heels being worn. Wembley Ten Pin Bowling was also a popular venue for teenagers and then later the Starlight Ballroom in Sudbury. My father bought a Triumph 2000 from 'Johnny Simpson's garage near Wembley Triangle which... Read more
Bolton Wanderers V Watford Play-Off Final
I was at the 1999 Football League Championship play-off final between Bolton Wanderers and Watford, played at Wembley Stadium on 31 May 1999. The match was won by Watford through goals from Nick Wright and Allan Smart. As a result, Watford who were "my" team, would play in the Premier League for the first time since its inception in 1992. It also meant that Watford had secured promotion for the second successive season, having been promoted as champions of Division Two in 1997–98. I still have my ticket which cost £38 - yes, THIRTY EIGHT POUNDS in Block 125, Row 25 and seat number 33 although I think most of the Watford fans spent much of the game on our feet in the excitement of the match! This was my second visit to Wembley Stadium to watch Watford and it helped to banish the memories of our FA Cup Final defeat at the hands of Everton in 1984.
Park Lane School
My first day of school was at Park Lane in the fall of 1949. One of the teacher's names was Mrs Reese. I thought that she taught arithmetic but stand to be corrected. I did not stay at the school long. We were sent to the new Wembley Manor school when it opened, there were only two classes at the opening as the school (Wembley Manor) was not finished completely.
The name of the shop on the corner of the High Road and Lancelot Road was Killips. There was also a smaller Killips shop on the other corner, and above the shop was a big square-shaped clock known popularly as "Killips clock". I lived in Lancelot Avenue, at the far end of Lancelot Road, from 1941 to 1964.
Wembley High Road
I used to go to the shops in Wembley High Road in the 1960s. There was a shop on the corner of the High Road and the that had the market in it. It was a haberdashery shop. Does anyone recall what the name of the shop was?
Although it was a fair walk or bike ride away from my Wembley Park home at Barn Rise, I regularly used to play tennis in this wonderful park, always around the time of Wimbledon when everyone rushed out to play. From memory there were both hard courts and grass courts and they were pretty well-maintained. I think there may have been a putting green too.
I attended the Boys Brigade across the road at the Methodist Church and we used the facilities too, coming down the hill to play football (we had an all-conquering team) and cricket (with a soft ball which once memorable exploded in mid-air it was hit so hard by one of our young athletes).
In 1942 I should have attended Wembley Manor school but this was bombed and completely demolished, so we were split up and 2 classes went to Park Lane school.
This school was bombed at night 3 days later and slightly damaged at the opposite end to my class. It was opened again a week later.
My teacher was Mrs Newbury and she taught everything except history. I and others were shy and wanted to sit at the back of class, but she would have us sitting at the front.
My Memories 1950/60s
How I remember Wembley. I went to St Joseph's Catholic Primary which in those days was opposite the Empire Pool. I used to go and pet the horses when the Horse of the Year show was on. I used to walk home to Tokyngton Avenue and I too would look in the Wally Kilminsters stores, I bought my Guide uniform here and later my hockey boots from the sports shop, my parents used to buy us model kits and jigsaws at Christmas. I remember Leslie's Cafe by the triangle and the coming of the first Indian Curry House just down from there. I used to go the Majestic Cinema on a Saturday - they built C & A's there which is now also gone..After the pictures it was into the fish and chip shop to buy chips for lunch. I also remeber DeMarcos in Ealing Road it was lovely ice cream - the van used to call in our streeet every night during the summer and if we were lucky... Read more
Wally Kilmister's (that Famous Wembley NZ Speedway Rider)
I was born in Perivale in 1957,. Our main high street was Wembley, and Kilmister's was a favourite shop for sports stuff. Aged 10, my dad took me there to get my first football kit for my birthday, and him being a Chelsea fan that was top of the list! Sadly for him when we asked for one in my size, they were out, so I suggested an Arsenal kit, and to this day - "Come on you GUNNERSSSSSS". I miss my dad, but have great memories though. Jerry
PARK LANE SCHOOL - 1943-50
I attended Park Lane School having been transferred from Barham School in 1948. My class mates included Christine Lemendin (she was a brilliant scholar and always came top of her class), Ann Field who was great friends with Christine, Tony Dyson who sadly had a fatal accident in the late 1950s, and Roger Cann who was an absolutely fantastic soccer player. Miss Barse? (I think that was her name) was a gorgeous lady, we were all in love with her. I also remember Frankie Walker (a good soccer player, mainly at Centre Half) and Alan Hipkin. Christine Lemendin/Anne Field/Roger Cann/Frankie Walker/Tony Dyson and one other won the District Road Safety competition in 1950 and their picture was displayed in the Hall. I actually attended for the first time Park Lane in 1943 and can remember having air raid drills. I was evacuated to Wales shortly thereafter. Happy memories of a great school.
Wally Kilminster Shops
I well remember the 2 WALLY KILLMINSTER shops at the Triangle, one of the shops was for sports gear, and the other was for models, good quality models. One model they had was a 4-engined bomber that had been made and put on dispay in the window, I would go and stare at it on many occasions, wishing that it was mine. In later life when I took up a variety of sports it was to the other shop I would go to buy the sports gear that I then required. Both shops had a magnetic pull on both boys and girls for the range and quality of the products they sold, they were happy days. But the shops have long since closed.
Model Shop Query
Hello 'Model Shop' memories. I remember getting my first gum shield for boxing from the sports shop I believe you are enquiring about. The name of it was 'Wally Kilminsters', it was a sports come model shop. All the best. Bye the way my Nan used to be the cleaner in the 'Ladies Toilets' that were under Wembley Triangle! I used to go down there with my mum to see her.......she'd be polishing the copper piping......it was gleaming!!! We had some pride in those days; didn't we!? Geoff Shwalbe
Elms Lane School
The war was nearly over but I remember the Shelters along Maybank Ave. We'd dare each other into them on our way to Elms Lane school.
Along the avenue and across the Harrow Road using the crossing by the Express Dairy shop, along Elms Lane and into the school opposite the green. Mr Evans was the head, a Welshman, who if he caught us fighting would arrange a boxing match with the gloves on in front of the class. My mates were John Daw and his brothers Brian and Robin, Kenny Daniels, Clive Godden, Mickey Winstanley and Raymond Dyer.
When the war ended we had a Street party and then Saturday morning pictures started up again. It cost sixpence to go to the Sudbury Heights Odeon. Long summer holidays would find us messing about over the railway enbankment, behind the six feathers club or over Horsenden Hill. We'd be gone from early morning till about 6.oclock. In 1948 we moved to a brand new Council House over near Kingsbury, at... Read more
Does anyone remember a model shop that use to be near the Wembley Triangle area, around late sixties to mid seventies There was an amazing train layout with a model cable car in the window. Vague notion of it being a combined sports and model shop. If anyone has any info of dates when it exsisted or any pics, or better still who actually owned it I would be very grateful.
I Was in The Train Crash at Wembley Central in 1984
On 11 October, 1984, a freight train was crossing from one line to another just south of Wembley Central station when my commuter train from Euston to Bletchley ran into the side of it and was deflected to one side, with the front half of the passenger train where I was sitting turning onto its side while part of the freight train was also derailed. The deflection of the trains meant that the force of the accident was gradual as we slid along side by side.
Three passengers were killed and many injured. I was badly shocked and helped away by the Fire Brigade as a walking casualty - not bruised or broken remarkably but absolutely filthy from the mess of the accident and so shaken that I decided I could no longer be happy commuting by train. I took time off work but returned the following week making sure I no longer sat in the front coaches. I chose to commute on the "slow lines" !... Read more
I was born in 1962 in Greenford, Middlesex and I remember walking down Wembley High Road every Saturday and having lunch in a cafe at the triangle. I remember it being owned by an Italian family. We always used to have pink ice cream for pudding.
Memories of Wembley
I was born in 1950 at the hospital on Hampstead Heath I think was called St Marys. At the time my parents were living in Neasden. In 1958 we moved to 151 Preston Road, Wembley. I went to Preston Park junior school, the headmistress was Miss Wilkins and I remember Mr shand, Mr Grey and Miss Driscoll. Quite happy days. I failed my eleven plus and ended up at East Lane Secondary Modern. Not happy days! but there you go. Where we lived on Preston Road I remember cup final days where we used to stand outside the house and cheer for whatever team the car drivers supported! Sometimes they would throw money! I think it was 1959-Notts Forest v Luton, and others. I have many memories of Wembley - I have been back a couple of times and how it has changed! I moved in 1970 to Essex.
I lived in Harrow Weald and went to the Wembley Majestic Ballroom every Saturday evening. I've been trying to remember the name of the band that played there, but haven't been able to come up with it. The only problem we had was having to go out of the ballroom to get a drink at a nearby pub. They didn't allow drinking in the ballroom. If anyone remembers the name of the band, please let me know.
Middlesex Higher Secretarial College
I attended the above college for one year circa 1963. What happened to it? It was opposite Copeland School. Are there any other old girls out there?
Train IN The River Brent?!
New to the site! I recollect a train of sorts being in the Brent between the tunnel under Station House & level with Brent library but pulling out of the river up on to the NCR side of the Brent. Was it something to do with construction and where did it go once in the tunnel?
The set of rails remained in the river for some time afterwards - at this point the river is concrete lined & flowed only a few inches high. Time would have been late 60s / early 70s
The Red House, Harrowdene Road
The date is approximate.
Does anyone recall, or have any information about, a large detached residence in Harrowdene Road called the Red House? It stood where the existing bungalows are in Sylvester Avenue and was demolished in the late 1950's. It was unique in that its gardens treched right down to Sudbury Avenue, unlike the other Harrowdene Road properties whose gardens backed onto those in Sudbury Avenue. It was also set at an angle to the roadway.
I recall walking home with my dad after our regular visit to Barham Park library to see demolition work starting, much to my dismay even as a small child. This was one of the first examples of the series of redevelopments of detached houses that gained pace in that road in the 1960's. I have been unable to trace any details or photographs of the property apart from identifying it on a map of the pre-war era.. Any information would be welcome.
The Majestic Ballroom
When I worked at Sketchley Dyers and Cleaners I met a great bunch of friends who introduced me to dancing at the Majestic Ballroom in Wembley. Does anyone of my age remember this ballroom and, better still, is there anyone out there who actually went dancing there?
I was born in Park Royal Hospital in Dec 1948. I remember Woolworths in Wembley town had an exit on a corner of the high street and there were trolley buses all round. We used to shop for toys and games in George Arthur's which seemed huge to me at the time. Cinemas always had a nylon sort of smell about them. My school was Oakington Manor - infants and juniors. Yes, we had small bottles of milk each day and the big brass bell would be rung to get us back into classes. We were taught using Dobbin the horse, Daisy the cow etc and Janet and John books. Also in the town there was a place which advertised Victor Sylvester dancing lessons. I was near the railway station as I recall. Ballroom dancing was all the rage at that time. I do not remember ever seeing a policeman in the town, they were just talked about as being helpful if you were lost or something. Of course if... Read more
DeMarcos And Other Places
I remember meeting my friends in DeMarcos ice cream parlour opposite the Regal Cinema, sitting for hours over one cup of coffee doing the crossword in the Evening News. I remember coming out of DeMarcos, crossing the road and walking down to the fish and chip shop, then going up the steps to the High Road and coming out by the WRVS shop. I remember standing outside my house, on Ealing Road, waiting and watching for the Queen to go by on her way to the Football Final. I remember Bob Keelers in Ealing Road buying up all the shops on one side for a massive bike and car show room. I remember my best friend getting run-over opposite St John's Church (in one of the pictures), I ran back to her house in Chaplin Road for her dad to come quick!