Acton In The 1950/60’s

A Memory of Acton.

I lived in The Vale flats from 1953. First in Beech Avenue and then Larch Avenue. I first went to East Acton school before John Perryn and finally Bromyard Avenue, which was later renamed Faraday School just before I left in 1966. I enjoyed my time in the area before leaving to join the Royal Navy in 1967. I remember the shops over the road from the flats. The small post office, the butchers at the end and the bookies where my dad used to go on paydays. I cannot remember any names from school except one girl called Barbara Smith at Faraday who I used to carry her books for her. Good times they were. A good, quiet area in those days. I used to walk to school along Bromyard Avenue with the detached houses on the left and council offices on the right. Past the small church where my aunties got married. The town of Acton was a good shopping area with a small market and the best of all a Wimpey just across the road from the library where my mum would always stop after shopping on a Saturday. We rarely got the 265 or 266 bus from town to the flats, preferring to walk the mile or so. Those were good days. I now live up north in Blackburn, Lancashire with my wife of 45 years, Alison. I have only been back to the flats once in all that time and it looked no different. Smaller than I remember. But in those days we as kids were not allowed to even stand on the immaculate green lawns otherwise dad used to get a ticket from the council. There used to be some old age pensioner flats along Beech Avenue. If anyone remembers either me Leslie, my sister Susan or my mum and dad, called Lucy and Jim Hamilton, please contact me. Hope you enjoyed your time around the Vale flats as I did.

Added 02 August 2020


Comments & Feedback

Remember it well,
I also lived in Beech Avenue in Acton Vale from about 1954 - 62, I have two photos of us kids taken in the large central playground. I also went to East Acton Infants School and then on to John Perryn (now demolished and replaced by a modern school building). We used to walk to school via the foot bridge over the Western Avenue & past my grandparents' house in The Approach.

We moved to Chiswick when I was about 11 as our flat only had two bedrooms. My mother was pleased to move away as our neighbours upstairs were very noisy. I think the flats had nice wooden parquet floors? I then went to Burlington School - my older brother went to Bromyard which later became Faraday. We used to go to that nice church in Bromyard Avenue, I was sorry to see that it has also been demolished and replaced by housing.

Another local landmark is also currently being demolished - the Goldsmiths Arms. I used to go to the Barbara Speake School of Dancing which was held in the church hall next door to the pub. We weren't regular customers of the pub, but I remember it had a wonderful large garden. It's always sad to lose these historic, characterful local buildings.
Hi Linda. We must have lived in Beech Avenue at the same time. Used to walk pass the government building passed the church in the middle of the road, to Bromyard School. Mum and dad took me and my sister to the city each month and we would stop at the Goldsmith Arms for a drink on the way home. My sister went to the Barbara Speke Dancing School. I also used to walk to John Perrys School over the western Avenue bridge. Was often late for school after standing on the wooden bridge over the railway line waiting for the steam trains. The bridge was right next to the school. Used to play in the playground often, especially when we moved to Larch Avenue. I think we moved from Beech Avenue because it was a four bedroom flat, while Larch Avenue was. Two bedroom. Used to play tin can Tommy by the electrical sub station. Went back a few years ago and although it all looked them same it seemed much smaller. Do you remember the wire raid shelter at the end of Beech Avenue. It was where the trolley buses turned around. Played there often. Good days.
Hi Leslie, should have mentioned my family surname was Scott. Have checked my mum's memoirs & we moved to 53 Beech Avenue in 1955. My dad worked for a while at the government buildings in Bromyard Avenue. I started at John Perryn School in 1958 & my brother went to Bromyard School in 1959.

Just before the old John Perryn buildings were demolished I went to an open day where they had photographic displays. Came across a 'punishment book' which listed which children had been caned! Sounds quite barbaric now. I remember being hit on the calf with a ruler because someone had copied from me & I wouldn't tell. Also remember teachers throwing board rubbers across the room at students. Despite all that, we seemed happy enough.
We lived at 152 Beech Avenue. That was the other end to you, near the Kings Arms pub. Didn’t get caned at John Perrys but did get smacked on my bum by the headmaster. No idea what I did wrong. Still enjoyed my time there. Used to walk across the field especially in the summer to the prison. We lived with nanny and her daughters at 152. She was called Annie Skelley. We were called Hamilton. Dad worked at Wall’s ice cream. Mum a cleaner across the road at CAV and Rootes. I used to sell newspapers on the corner opposite the CAV computer building. My boss was called Tom. Can’t remember the year we moved to Larch Avenue. Mum’s day in the laundry by the playground was a Wednesday.
Hi Leslie
I was just having an idle punt around the web trying to find the name of the headmaster of Bromyard school when your name popped up .You may recollect that I lived with my family in the opposite flat to you in Beech Avenue. I now live in Marlow in Buckinghamshire a retired chartered surveyor.I was thinking of joining the navy and becoming an artificer The idea may have sprung from you joining but I did not pursue it Probably because I thought they may make me learn to swim. (I still cannot ) One of my brothers and one of my sisters together with my dad have died but I still have two sisters and a brother and unbelievably mum is still with us at 102 .Cheers Ian
Hello, loved reading all your memories. I lived in Churchfield Road from 1941 until 1947/48 and attended Derwentwater School before moving to the Prefabs on Trinity way, East Acton. I also went to John Perryn and remember standing on the railway bridge to catch the smoke from the trains, East Acton House and Acton Wells. We used to go to all these schools during the week until Bromyard opened. Mr Foxman was Headmaster. Remember roller skating on Bromyard ave outside the flats at the top of Trinity way down to the church in the middle of the road as it was tarmac and really smooth. Left School at 15 and started working at S Parker and Son (Accountants) in Acton High street. Acton and East Acton were lovely places to grow up in and I have many fond memories of my time there. Kevin.
Hi Ian,
when I was at Bromyard (left in 1956) the Headmaster was called Foxman. Really loud voice and very strict but fair.
Hi Kevin
I went to Bromyard when Foxman was in charge and that would have been about 1960 before it changed to Faraday I had a mate who lived in the prefabs in Trinity Way and I used to leave my bike there when going into school His name was Alan Barr but that may have been a bit after your time I remember the church and they had a horse grazing there for quite sometime (it had a huge organ ,the horse that is not the church Funny the things that stick in your mind ) The church is gone now and I think there are flats in its place . Cheers Ian
Hello Ian,
thank you for your reply.
Yes the Church is no longer there and now replaced with Flats as you said.
Sorry don't know your friend as I left Trinity Way in 1956/7 and am now 80 years old.
What amazes me is that just about everybody who has posted here have all had similar memories which says a lot about the area in the 50's and 60's. I know I had a great time there as a child and teenager with many friends in a safe and happy environment.
I lived in 143 beech Ave in the vale flats and went to
Bromyard school left in 1956 age 15 belong to dices
Skiffle group & was in group with Geoff Green knew
Many people in the vake flats l remember Carole Swain
Janice Lynn my name is Melvyn Mash

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