Peascod Street 1937, Windsor
Memories of Peascod Street 1937, Windsor
Windsor & local memories
Read and share memories of Windsor and Berkshire inspired by Frith photos.
Nell Gwynn's on Church Street
My mother, Josephine Miles, worked with Mrs Thorne who owned the Antiques shop in Church Street, near the Castle. It was called 'Nell Gwynn's'. It was said that it had a secret tunnel that was built by King Charles II for his mistress, Nell Gwynn. It ran from the cellar of what was her home, and came out in the King's bedroom fireplace. Whether this is true or just rumour, I cannot say. While working at this famous antique shop, my mother met many stars including Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Marilyn Monroe, Ryan O'Neil, Terry Thomas and many more... but she did mention that the most handsome man she had ever met was Gary Cooper.
My dad's uncles purchased a horse and cart with their gratuity from WWI and travelled from Cippenham to the market in the Guildhall. They sold crockery they bought from barges on the Grand Union canal direct from the Potteries, you could order replacements for broken crockery. There was the usual traffic jam on Castle Hill and dad would jump off the cart and race up Kings Stairs(?) (they were open to the public then) race across the castle and out the gate, still beating his uncles to the Guildhall.
The Queen And Pantos
I was going from Slough to our favorite pub (The Victoria Arms) on the bus in the 60's not knowing it was Ladies Day at Ascot. The bus ground to a halt at the bottom of Castle Hill, the clippie (young people will have to Google that!) yelled "It's Lizzie!" and everybody jumped off to watch the Queen, Queen's mum, Margaret and Snowden go into the Theatre Royal. Pity there is no pics of the 73(?) pubs in Boro of Windsor! even in W Cornwall I met an ex postie who worked in Slough and Windsor and could name every pub! Before that we went every year to the pantos, Norman Evans with his pneumatic falsies and "over the garden fence" act always made a wonderful dame. Dad took the family back in the 80's, alas no Norman Evans! Panto sometimes meant a meal in a restuarant in Slough, very unusual for us or anyone in the 50's, dad once lost his glass eye on the bus to Windsor!
Back to Windsor
I've been here - to this very spot, with the precious women of my life - my Mom when I was a child, and with my children when they were women. How can it be that it looks exactly the same in 1890, 1971 and 2001? I can feel the cool brick under my hand, and see the flowers over the edge. I wanted to jump down and walk there when I was a child and later with my girls. How can it be that the air and the sky is the same. When I want to remember, to feel, to grieve, to rejoice - I go back - back to where memories and feelings are connected - Back to Windsor.
Fishing on The Thames at Romney Island.
As a teenager living in the Old Kent Road back in the early 1960s, Windsor was surprisingly accessible to me. I spent most summer Saturdays fishing the lock cut at Romney Island. A number 53 bus would take me to Lower Marsh, which was the rear entrance to Waterloo Station. A short walk up the slope past Dewar's bottling plant and I was on the station concourse. It was about forty minutes by train to Windsor & Eton Riverside if I remember rightly. The first thing to greet me at Windsor would be the delightful smell of freshly baked bread coming from Denny's the bakery. I would stroll past the Donkey House pub and along Romney Walk, eventually reaching Tom Jones's boatyard and the lock. The lock in those days was a delightful old wooden structure with long beams by which the lockkeeper would manually operate it. The weir too was of wooden construction back then, with a pitched roof over the walkway. The lock keeper kept an old punt... Read more
There was a tunnel in the basement of Nell Gwynne's old house, rumoured to lead to the king's bedroom in Windsor Castle. I worked in the restaurant next door which used to be part of the same house and the start of the tunnel was still very visible in the basement.
At the foot of Windsor Castle on the Datchet Road is St. George's private school, which is within the castle grounds. My mother's mother (my gran), worked in the kitchen there. When I was small (about 10), we would go every Sunday and sit in the parlour with gran and a man called 'deafy', and a lady who smoked and had hairy legs. The door which is opposite the station by the river, is still the same door and the windows have bars against them. My gran's name was Alice Stewart, she died of cancer and I don't know where she was buried or cremated.
Windsor/Eton Town Bridge & Sir Christopher Wren's House
I remember when the old Roadmaster double-deckers used this bridge daily on their run to and from Slough. Now the bridge is closed to road traffic and the vehicles have to detour around the Brocas to access Windsor.
The Guildhall 1937
Later to become famous as the site of the marriage of Prince Charles and Camilla. There was a blessing ceremony later in St. George's Chapel but Queen Elizabeth would not give permission for them to be married in the Chapel as Camilla was divorced. Perhaps an omen of future problems now surfacing.
Main Train Station Windsor
A great job transforming this old lady into a viable and attractive entrance to Windsor from the Slough station, where tourists arrive from all parts of the country. An improvement from the dirty, smoke stained facade that it was when I was in nursery school a few doors away.
St Leonards Hill
Living approx, six miles from Windsor, one on a clear night could just see Windsor castle. I have been often told that Her Royal Majesty had her own country house where I lived and that on occasions she would reside there rather than in the Castle itself. Not too far away was where Billy Smart would have his circus animals roam wild in a huge enclosure. Again not too far from there from where Her Majesty had her house, there was a woodland and somewhere within the woodland was a clearing where upon a good clear night the guards at Windsor Castle would often see what appeared to be flaming torches forming a circle which would be approx, twenty yards or even more in diameter across, and on seeing these flaming torches circling in procession, the security would notify the police to investigate, one could not be too careful when it came to the Queen's well-being when she was within her country house. St Leonard's Hill was in the 1960s... Read more
I remember always being taken by the parents to walk around Windsor Castle on a Sunday afternoon, just walking in then, not security checks or admission fees! And we were so bored of going to see the Dolls House which now you have to queue for! Then a walk down by the river with all the swans... never a ride on the pleasure boats... too expensive! How times change things!
Cab Rank, Wheel Stop
I always understood that these were wheel stops to prevent the carriages rolling back down the hill and were not to tie the horse to.
The Good Days
My Mother owned the Kings Head and i worked in the reastaurant with her she done all home baking and had Eton College lads and there familys eating there,also a great trade was the Army lads from both barracks,I married one in 1956,we are retired to somerset but my heart will always be in Windsor,we served teas to the queues of people visiting our late Kings floral tributes,my late father was a porter at the castle for awhile,all my four daughters were born in Windsor and i had many friends who still live there,The kings Head has changed so much like the many public houses have,the pub at the end of church street was called The Ship pity they couldnt leave them with the same name,all our pubs were like land marks to us,i know times change but names should not.I spent so many happy Memories in windsor and i visit often as my daughter lives in Holyport.I used your site when you first started up and it has improved... Read more
1964-1967 There was a time when nearly every Winter Sunday was spent walking from the Egham side, through the Beechwoods then up the Long Walk to Windsor for an early cream tea, then back through all the leaves and cob nuts to the small pub somewhere on the Egham gate side.
You had to hurry at times as there were sunset closing times on some gates. Not the Pub one though!
There truly were beech copses which had cobnuts, Oak, Elm and Plane leaves shin deep, with swirling smoke from Park keeper's cottage chimneys.
We walked miles and miles for fun and because it meant being together but 'behaving' :-)
A visit in 1985 showed it to be largely unchanged and I hope that is still so. Someone else posted about the timeless quality of great monuments, whether stone or landscape. So be It.
Warning, it Should't Rain Inside The Bus
I have two early memories of Windsor. One, not far from here and having my photo taken with a huge parrot. The second is a bit funnier. We lived in Chalfont St Peter and when I was about 9 in 1964 my elder brother and his mate took me for a day out to Windsor. We bought Rover tickets and bottles of Tizer and waited for the bus. We all finished our drinks and then the double decker Green Line bus arrived. We went upstairs, of course, and sat in the back. The only other person was a grown up women half way down. By now my bladder was fit to burst but my brother was adamant that we weren't getting off before Windsor. So, I lifted up the back bench seat and behold, there was a long shallow metal tray. Quietly and quickly I pee'd in this tray until it was brimming. My brother and his mate thought this was a real laugh. We all sat down and a... Read more
To Kelly With Love
Windsor Castle, such precious memories come to mind when I think of this place. It connects me to the people I love, and even though they're gone now - the feelings, the thoughts, their presence is real and tangible when I'm there. What a great gift England has given me.
The Mansion on St Leonards Road
I used to work on a pig farm which belonged to a farmer by the name of Lovejoy, he was a provider for Wall's Pork Sausages. The thing was that I had some time to myself where I would explore the woodlands around St Leonard's Hill, one day I found an old derelict mansion with hardly any of its structure worth mentioning. But to the front of the mansion there were two huge pillars of stone like one would see on some Greek island. The story goes that the Lord of the mansion, a wealthy man, had a daughter for whom he bought a frisky horse on her 18th birthday. The horse got spooked and galloped away with her through the woodland. There was a low-lying branch where she could not escape herself being caught up in its branch. She was found a few hours later, hanging by her neck within the forked branch. The funeral was to take place, where she and the horse were buried within the... Read more
The Olive Branch
Outstanding memories of times gone by are the Olive Branch Tea Shop (just before the Theatre Royal) who made the most delicious doughnuts and a little further up the hill was a family run chocolate shop - E.V.Tull. Mr. Tull made the most exquisite chocolates and at Easter and Christmas there were the most magical displays all in chocolate. Fullers Cake Shop was another treat which with the others have long departed and been overtaken by the likes of McDonalds etc. All very sad! Not much magic left there except the Castle and that is almost too regal for its modern surroundings.