My Life In Elm Park, Hornchurch - a Memory of Hornchurch.

I could go on and on with memories. Myself and my parents moved from London to Arbour Way, Elm Park on 24th August 1953. I went to Ayloff School from 1954-1960, when I left to go to Suttons Secondary. We moved to Elm Park because my dad worked at Murex in Rainham and it was a lot closer for him to get to work. I went to Brownie's at, I think it was St Nicholas church hall, in Benhurst Avenue around 1960. Miss Smithson was the Brown Owl. Also she was the secretary of the Riteway School of Motoring at the corner of Maylands Avenue and Coronation Drive. The instructor there was a Mr Gollop who scared the life out of my parents when he taught them to drive circa 1958. When I went for driving lessons in 1968 I said to him. "you scared my parents, but you won't scare me". He passed me over to a younger instructor, then back to himself to take me for my test at Hornchurch test station. Thankfully I passed first time.
I used to go to Hollicks sweet shop nearly every day after school. I remember it was the first shop to open when Tadworth Parade was being built. Then later they built Station Parade. I remember the pram shop's logo was 'Everything except the baby'.
My parents bought me a second bike at the bike shop on Tadworth Parade next to Regal fish and chips - to go to school on when I started at Suttons. I came off it in the ice and deep snow of the winter of 1963 and Mum took it back to the bike shop to have new handlebars.
I used to love the shops in Elm Park. So individual. Treasure House with it's costume jewellry and various other items. Noddy's toy shop, Spotlight - a forerunner of Superdrug. Joan Lesley ladies' wear. The good old Co op, Tuck Box sweet shop - I bought my first naughty pack of 5 cigarettes there when I was about 13!!!
No more time now. Will add more memories later

A memory shared by Elaine Stebbings on Jul 30th, 2013. Send Elaine Stebbings a message.

 Comments & Feedback

Wed Jul 15th 2015, at 5:01 pm
dashstew4 commented:
I attended Ayloff Primary School from 1945 to 1949. my parents lived in St. Andrews Avenue, our house was rebuilt after the War, it had been destroyed by a V1 'Doodlebug' one week after we were evacuated to Wales. I went on to attend Romford County Technical School in Romford. We attended THe Baptist Church in Elm Park and I remember being in The Lifebuoys, junior to The Boys Brigade. The Church had a great Youth Club which I went to on Saturday evenings. Life in Elm Park was enjoyable despite 'Rationing', I had a very enjoy able upbringing - many happy memories. David Stewart.
Fri Jul 17th 2015, at 9:17 pm
Hi David
Thank you for your comment on my memories. Sadly you are some years older than me, so I wouldn't have known you as we moved to Elm Park in 1953 when I was four years old, so I started at Ayloff in 1954. An old school friend recently told me that Ayloff had been knocked down and rebuilt and it is now called Maylands Avenue Primary. What a cheek! That's both my schools renamed now!!!
I remember our dear next door neighbour Mrs Cubitt, at 6 Arbour Way ( you may have known her son David Cubitt, he sadly passed away a year or so ago at the age of around 80, but then I think he was a lot older than you) telling us about her house being bombed - it had a direct hit, funnily enough the bomb missed our house and the house the other side of hers. But her house was rebuilt and they moved back in. I don't remember her saying where they stayed while the house was being built.
Yes life in Elm Park was definitely good. I remember coasting down the hill from the station on my Triang scooter - great fun.
Best Regards
Elaine Stebbings (nee Silman)
Fri Aug 28th 2015, at 8:54 pm
Hi Elaine. I also moved to Elm Park from London with my family around 1953. We lived in Rosebank Avenue. I remember the shops you talk about well. I think the shop your bike came from was called Dayberns or something like that. Do you remember a shop called The Maypole? It was a food shop and I remember the lady who worked there would stand outside in her apron and cap shouting "come on ladies - we have some nice cheese in today"! Hollicks was a favourite sweet shop and in later years my friend's mum worked there for a very long time. There was of course Woolworths also. I loved Monitas as I got older, the clothes shop not far from the station. I am still good friends with the girl who lived next door to me in Rosebank and we often share our memories of Elm Park. We went to Suttons infants, juniors and seniors. Happy days.
Shirley Ainsworth
Sat Aug 29th 2015, at 2:37 pm
Hello Elaine,
I too have very fond memories of Elm Park and am the friend of Shirley Ainsworth and it was my Mum who worked in Hollicks (two days a week) for about 28 years. She was rather a biggish lady called Peggy and she loved her days at Hollicks, with all the children coming in for there sixpenny worth of sweets! I, too, went to Suttons Primary from 1955 and then went up to Suttons Secondary until 1967. I lived next door to Shirley in Rosebank Avenue and our houses overlooked the airfield (now a massive housing estate). There was also Suttons farm which we used to walk through to get to school and I remember a beautiful horse called Gypsy who used to benefit from any cake I hadn't eaten during "playtime". I used to cycle too when in the Secondary School. I remember the shops you mention and Home and Colonial, which sold groceries, and which was a couple of shops away from Dayburns the bike shop. When I was really little my Dad and I used to go mushrooming over the airfield which belonged to the RAF and I was always scared that someone would see us and shoo us off with a rifle or something. Shirley and I, with our Mums and neighbour "Auntie Marjorie" and her labrador Bruce, used to walk in Bluebell Wood also which was where St. George's Hospital was. It was just like being in the middle of the country. Such happy times and it is so nice to have a good friend with whom I can relate all these things.
Best wishes
Jeanette Davies (nee Poole)
Sat Aug 29th 2015, at 10:26 pm
Hi Shirley and Jeannette
Hope you don't mind me replying to you both together. Well you are lifelong friends. How good is that??
Thanks so much for your replies and memories of Elm Park. Although I was a very regular customer in Hollicks, I'm sorry but I don't remember Peggy, although maybe if I saw a photo, my memory could be jogged. I do remember that all their staff were very friendly and helpful.I used to buy my Acid flavour Spangles there frequently and Mum used to order me a Beezer comic
Thanks for naming the bike shop too. Yes of course it was Dayburns!! I was glad when the handlebars of my bike got changed there after I came off it in the ice in the winter of 1963, as they were originally drop racer type ones, which I was never happy with, so I asked for them to be replaced with straight ones like the brand new 'Dawes Daisybell' bike they sold, which I really wanted but my parents couldn't afford a new one.
Of the shops in Elm Park, I think Blows the radio, electrical and record shop was my favourite when I became a teenager. Every three weeks when I had saved up my 6s 7½d for the single I desperately wanted that week after hearing it on Juke Box Jury, I would go into Blows and ask to listen to it before buying it in the listening booths. What a thrill!! The latest Beatles, Billy Fury, Cliff, The Shadows or whoever.
Yes I remember Maypole grocers and Home and Colonial. Do you remember Rands' the drapers in Tadworth parade? I was friendly with their daughter Margaret who was in the same year as me at Suttons.
I used to walk or ride my bike with one of my friends to Suttons across (we used to call it) the old Farmer's Field. After school sometimes Mum would send me over to Nu Bake the cake shop in Tadworth Parade to get a couple of bakewell tarts to have with a cup of tea when I got in.
Also my parents took me to Huson's photographers a couple of times over the years to have my portrait taken to send to family overseas. I remember Mr Huson a thin man with a beard sitting me there telling me the best way to turn for the photo.
George's Hobby Stores remember next door to the Launderette? George's daughter Georgina was in my class at Suttons, but sadly she passed away at only 13 - something to do with her brain and and onset of puberty. So sad. We were all so shocked. She was such a nice girl always giggling in a group together with us in the playground.
Can either or you remember the name of the hardware/oil shop in Tadworth Parade? We used to buy our paraffin there for our smelly old paraffin heater in the winter. Also fire wood when we had a coal fire before my Dad got the fireplace blocked in as it was dangerous. No central heating in those days. Just the paraffin heater in the hall at the bottom of the stairs and odd one bar electric fires around the house. G-d it was cold in the winters back then.
When I was 12 in 1961, Mum and Dad went over to Rumbelows in Station Parade and (thought) they bought themselves a record player on the never never (Dansette type) - Guess who played it the most?? I was sent over there monthly with the £1 12s 6d payment. So that was the beginning of me being a regular customer at Blows. The first record I bought was Hayley Mills singing 'Lets Get Together' from the film 'The Parent Trap' , second one was Neil Sedaka's Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen and third one was Wild Wind by John Leyton. I wore a bald patch in my parents' carpet in the lounge dancing to all the records.
Well I'd better stop now. It would be lovely to read more of your memories when you get time
Very best wishes to you both and looking forward to more of your memories
Elaine xx
Mon Aug 31st 2015, at 5:04 am
Hi Elaine!

Oh you brought back a few things I had forgotten there! I think the hardware shop may have been Goodrich? It always had a distinctive smell but I loved that shop as I got older. Before I got married (in St. Nicholas Church in Elm Park) I saved up for a crockery set there and the owner used to accept money bit by bit until you had paid fully and then you could take it away!

I also had a Dansette record player bought from Rumbelows. I used to put my favourite record on (after listening to it in the booth and buying it in Blows) and leave the arm up so it just played and played!

I remember Rands (although I had completely forgotten it). That is very sad news about their daughter. I used to buy material from there and sit and make dresses by hand for my holidays!!

I also recall being in the garden in Rosebank Avenue as a child and my mum would call over the fence to our next door neighbour (and she would do likewise) and offer her a cup of tea! Mum would then proceed to make the tea and hand the cup over the fence and they would drink their tea and chat! Not something we would dream of doing these days!

Do you remember the Winkle Man who used to come round on Saturdays in his van? I think a bakers van used to come round midweek too as I was allowed to go and choose a cake! Also the Paraffin man who sold pink and blue paraffin??

And then there were the few shops that we used to call the Airfield Shops. They were the only ones open on a Sunday in those days.

Ahh such memories and between us all I think we should be able to piece together a complete picture of those days.

Best wishes
Mon Aug 31st 2015, at 5:51 pm
Hi Shirley
Last communication now for a couple of weeks as I'm off on holiday tomorrow for a couple of weeks. Just thought I'd let you know in case you reply and wonder why you don't get a response back from me for a while.
I must put you right about something Shirley if you will excuse me. It wasn't Margaret Rand who died, It was Georgina ( I don't remember her surname) the daughter of the owner of Georgie's Hobby Stores.
I don't know what happened to Margaret as I lost touch. Some of my school friends passed the 13 plus exam and left Suttons to go to Abbs Cross Tech or Hornchurch Grammer or Romford County High. She might have been one of them. I wasn't academic and the thought of two hours homework every night put me off passing the 13 plus. I was quite happy to stay at Suttons, although my parents would have preferred me to go on to Grammar school.
In those days education wasn't thought so important as jobs were easy to come by. I think we were very lucky to be born just after the war straight into the National Health Service.We had an Enid Blyton 1950s idyllic childhood, then the 1960s was the best time ever to have been a teenager. We had the best music and the best fashions in my opinion and I would think that everyone of our generation would agree. Elm Park was a lovely place to grow up and it's location was so good being only 20 minutes from Southend so the seaside was so easily accessible and Romford for all the big shops only 3 miles away and an easy bus ride on the 252 or 165. And of course you could jump on the Underground at Elm Park Station and be in central London in an hour.
I love Essex and wish I still lived there but owing to personal circumstances I moved away in 1977. I live in Milton Keynes now and am very happy but would happily go back and live there. But it would be too far from my kids as I only have a couple of school friends still there.
Thank you for naming the hardware shop. Yes of course it was Goodrich. I remember the paraffin man coming to the house and the baker. Also do you remember Fella Brothers ice cream? I used to go rushing out in the summer to get my cornet and a choc ice for my Mum and a wafer for my Dad.
Lovely the neighbourliness in those days. Back then you always called grown ups Auntie or Uncle even if they weren't you real Aunties or Uncles. It was just a form of politeness. Not much of that these days sadly. Our neighbours were 'Auntie Next Door' to me.
I don't remember the Winkle Man.But a rag and bone man with a horse just like Steptoe used to come down my road Arbour Way shouting to announce they were there.
The clothes shop near the station I remember being called Joan Lesley'. I don't remember the name Monitas. Maybe you can correct me on that.
I used to play over the airfield in and out of the bunkers a few times with friends.
I remember when Hornchurch swimming pool was built in 1960. We got taken there from school and also used to go there with friends in the holidays. I swam a length once when I was 12 and got a stripe. It took me a week to get over it. I never was much of a swimmer, just the breast stroke widths. After we had got out of the pool and got dried and dressed we use to go upstairs to the cafe and I always used to buy an orange cupcake. Delicious!!!
Well Shirley that's about all my memories for this message. I hope you and Jeanette will send me more of yours. It's so exciting reading your memories. Do you still live in Elm Park? I still hanker after it. Occasionally when make the trip to Southend (two hours from MK) I stop off at J29 of the M25 and drive past my old house. It looks totallly different now. Unrecognizable with all the updating. When my parents were alive ( we left there in 1968 and my parents let the house then when I got married to my first husband I wanted to move back so Mum and Dad sold us the house) I took a photo and showed it to my Dad and asked him if the could guess what the picture was. He guessed it was our old house, but would never have recognized it. It has an extension to the side added and the fron garden all paved over and different windows etc.
Very Best wishes It's lovely having these 'chats'
Hoping to hear from you again
Elaine xx
Wed Sep 2nd 2015, at 9:36 am
Hello Elaine,

I've just been reading through yours and Shirley's comments. You are both very good remembering shop names, something I don't remember, although when you say the names I do.

I do remember the Winkle man who came around on Sunday and the baker and also the milkman who had a horse and cart and the rag and bone man with his bell!

I still pass through Elm Park from time to time as my brother and sister-in-law still live in Hornchurch and sometimes I do a detour around through Elm Park and into Rosebank Avenue. My mum lived there right up until she died which was just four years ago. My mum and dad moved there just after the war so she lived in the same house for 65 years. Many of the neighbours have remained there too, although they moved in after my mum but have still stayed there years. I still go to see her next door neighbour (which was where Shirley used to live until they moved two doors up). They seem such small houses now, tiny kitchens and I just wonder how on earth my mum used to cook a roast every Sunday for the four of us and serve it up as there was absolutely no space, and I remember it took the whole of Sunday morning to cook the meat and everything. Meat was indeed well cooked then!

And yes, we had paraffin and oil heaters too. Oh the smell! And when it was really cold in the winter, we used to wash in the sink whilst my mum was getting the breakfast because it was warmer there with the oven and hob on.

Do you remember watching Quatermass on TV? How scary was that. I remember us all sitting around the tele and half the time I couldn't look, I was so scared. Then on the Radio there was Two Way Family Favourites, whilst mum was cooking the Sunday roast, "Sing Something Simple" at tea time on Sunday, and "Children's Favourites" on Saturday morning and they always seemed to play "Nellie the Elephant" and the man presenter (can't remember his name) used to finish off by saying "Goodbye Children. Everywhere".

I remember Fella Brothers too. Lovely soft ice-cream and also Dickie Birds. He used to come around everyday and shout out "Dickie Birds" and we'd all go running up and I always had a chocolate lolly or banana lolly, still my favourites.

We had a record player too. The first one was a wind up one and then we graduated to one where you could play 10 singles at a time. The first record I bought was "Alvin's Harmonica" by the Chipmunks and my brother's first record was "Peter Gunn" by Duane Eddie. I've still got many singles and kept all my LPs too, which have now come back into fashion. I don't know if you listen to Radio 2 at all, but at 1pm every Saturday Tony Blackburn does "Top of the Pops" and features two separate years and plays the top 20 of that week and the first hour is either 50's, 60's or 70's. Whatever era, it always brings back different memories, all happy I have to say and as you say we were born just about the right time.

Well, all for now. Will think of some more memories.

Best wishes,
Thu Jun 23rd 2016, at 1:33 pm
maureen.cheese commented:
It was nice reading the memories of others who lived in Elm Park. I was born at 51 Ambleside Avenue in 1947. My parents were both stationed at Hornchurch Airfield (now a housing estate) during the war. That is where they met. My mother was a WAAF in the Motor Transport Section and my father a military policeman. My mother Dorothy Gregg (nee Huggett) used to refuel the planes and drive the pilots to their planes during the war. Our house was a stone's throw from the airfield. Following demob she worked for Mrs Glenn who owned the Treasure House. I too went to Ayloff Primary School. My brother Terry started in 1950. Being 2 years younger I followed in 1952. I remember the Coronation street party taking place in Ambleside Avenue for the children. Happy memories. We moved away in 1954. Leaving Ayloff school was an enormous wrench.
Mon Sep 5th 2016, at 8:33 pm
Hi Maureen (and the other Elm Park friends who have responded to my posts)
A very late reply!! I have had some problems in signing in to the site. I've finally managed, as you can see to get signed in again. So sorry to you all if you have been waiting for a year or so for responses from me.
Maureen, sad that you left Ayloff in 1954. That was the year I started there. I remember Mrs Brown who was a dinner lady there. She was very kind and she was there on my first day, helping show the latest intake to their classrooms and generally showing us around. Do you remember any of the teachers? I had Mrs Hayhow, then Mrs Davies, then Mrs Reece and last of all in the Infants, Mrs Colman, a horrible woman who used to pull me out to the front of the class and smack my legs for talking. She would be charged with child abuse these days.

Jeanette you must have thought me very rude in not responding to your post. Sorry, I have explained why above.
Yes I do remember Quatermass being on the telly, but my Mum wouldn't let me watch anything too scary. She didn't want me having nightmares and not getting up for school!
I listen every Saturday to Sounds of the Sixties on Radio 2 and also Pick of the Pops in the afternoon. So sad about Tony Blackburn being sacked from it. He always made me laugh with his funny comments just before the start of a record, relating to the first lines of the song. I remember Two Way Family Favourites, then the Clitheroe Kid, then Round the Horn. They all made us laugh as we ate our Sunday lunch. Music is very important to me for the memories it brings back. I am currently writing my life story for the benefit of my descendants as life was so different in the 50s and 60s to what it is now for youngsters. So for a number of reasons, I decided to write my life story just in case any of my five granddaughters might be curious what life was like when I was young.
When I listen to those two programmes, they help stir my memories and so provide me with material for my book. I am lucky in having a good detailed memory. I can remember every teacher I had right through school and every holiday I went on as a child. Does any of the Ayloff ex pupils remember the assemblies where as you were filing in, that lovely teacher Mrs Brooker played the piano smiling at every child. When we were going in she played Anchors Aweigh and when we were leaving the hall when assembly had finished she played Stars and Stripes Forever. (I have had a right job recently naming Stars and Stripes as I knew the tune but not the title. I finally found it at the suggestion of an Ex army friend who was familiar with marches who suggested I look online for marches by John Souza who wrote it, then I finally found it. I never did forget how those tunes went.
Best wishes to you all
Looking forward to reading any further memories you might wish to add.
Elaine xx
Tue Jun 27th 2017, at 5:41 pm
yogawiselara commented:
Hi! I went to Scargill Primary School from 1958 (oooh sounds so long ago)! I then went to Maylands Girls' School in Hornchurch. The shops you all mention in Elm Park bring back so many memories. I had a "Saturday job" at the pet shop, my boss was a lovely man - Mr. Fox. When I was 14 my parents moved to Middlesex - I was so upset as my first love lived in Elm Park. My girlfriend Sue Pike took over my job and worked there for ages after I left. I remember the smokey tiny room that was the taxi cab office next to the station and "Jan's" hairdressers that was upstairs - every week I would go with Mum when I was small and the lady would let me pass the curlers up to her from the trolley. I also remember the lovely smell in the stationers, just along from the library near the post office. The great fish and chip shop - I used to cycle from Mungo Park every Friday to pick up the special treat. I also can picture the fresh fish shop that used to have live eels in a large tin container next to Woolworths. Skinners leather shop was opposite, their family lived at the back of us in Ryder Gardens, his wife died when she young. I have lived in Australia since 1973, but in July I am coming back to UK for a couple of months and hoping to instigate a reunion. I am still in contact with Linda Furie who lived in Hornchurch. I will certainly be taking a nostalgic walk through Elm Park, Hornchurch and I guess the old Romford markets are long gone with the livestock.
My sister Ann is now 74 ( 10 years older than I). She went to Britons and had a Saturday job in the chemist around the corner from the fish shop and bike shop.
Great to read all your comments, wish I knew some of you! Hopefully some girls from Maylands 1964 onwards will read this. I wonder what happened to our art teacher Miss Barnfather, she seemed so trendy at the time and was so kind to all of us.
Laraine Payne
Thu Sep 28th 2017, at 2:05 pm
c.angove48 commented:
Hi Jeanette,
I knew your mum well. Remember her working with a Lily Shrimpton?? That was my mum! lol
Fri Sep 29th 2017, at 3:51 pm
Hi c.angove48
If your name is Carol, I remember a Carol Shrimpton in my year when I was at Suttons. Could it be you? I was there 1960 - 1965. I remember during a teacher's strike in 1962 we were having school dinners in the hall and you used to sit opposite me ( if this is indeed you)
Elaine Stebbings (maiden name Silman)
Fri Jun 1st 2018, at 12:28 am
morrisshirley7 commented:
I too lived in Elmpark from 1940 until 1855 went to Ayloff school headmaster mr Adams teacher mr Hawkins have a lovely photo of the teachers of that Era, Joined the GLB as a five yr olfd left at the sge of 15 had many friends jean Melville Pat downes Sheila moore Edith Goodrich all at GLB and school class at Suttons. lived in Carnforth Gdns best mate was Hazel Barnard off of St Andrews Ave
have fond memories of Elmpark but revisited in 97 & 2012 was very dissapointed where had Elmpark gone no front gardens Graffiti everywhere at least I still have my memories of how it used to be
Mon Jun 4th 2018, at 4:46 pm
Hi Morrisshirley (or should that be just Shirley?)
I must have missed you at Ayloff as I started in 1954. The headmaster was Mr Martin. In 1958 our class were treated to an outing to the London Planetarium as a reward for full attendance for six weeks. It got on the BBC news too. There has been a book published called The Elm Park Story. It is available on Amazon. I bought it and there is a photo and a write up of this event of my class's good attendance that year in it. It is a great book telling all the history of the area and how Richard Costain the builder bought Elm Farm in 1935 and built the Elm Park Estate on it. The station was opened in 1935 etc etc. Essential reading for anyone who ever lived there.
Thu Jun 14th 2018, at 1:22 am
morrisshirley7 commented:
Hi Elaine I have contacted you before re friends reunited you sent me a couple of photo's re miss Syrett ant Suttons I have the elmpark story book my sister sent it me in it is a piece about sheila Fry (nee Strellis as she used to call herself (dance teacher) she taught me to tap dance guess she has gone now, my grandfather used to be be nightwatchman at Costains I have just met two nice ladies here where we live who are both from London and Romford so we have a catch up and talk home each time we meet glad to hear from you again shirl (wollaston ) morris Adelaide Australia
Sat Jun 23rd 2018, at 9:52 pm
Hi Shirley
Lovely to hear from you. I remember corresponding with you via FR. You told me about your time at Suttons and the uniform was brown when you were there. You live in Adelaide now? I am on Facebook. Find me there and we can be FB friends. I'll check my copy of the Elm Park book. It's a wonderful book. I found the history of the area so interesting. My Mum used to say it was pea farms before Richard Costain bought the area to build the estate. Interesting to know about your grandfather being the nightwatchman. Reading the Elm Park book, it brought tears of nostalgia to my eyes. It was such a lovely place to live in the 50s and 60s. Also in the 70s when I lived there after I married and had my two boys. But marriage ended and had to sell the house and move away. I belong to an Elm Park group on FB to keep up with what's going on there. Sadly there's a lot of crime there now. Was hardly any when I lived there. Had a reunion with a few of my old classmates from Suttons in Jan 17. It was lovely. I stayed at the Railway Hotel in Hornchurch by the station. It's an Ember Inn now. Very nice. Was a freezing cold night, but the room was lovely and warm. We had a very enjoyable reunion with a lovely dinner at the Railway. Sadly the last of my friends have all moved away now. So there are none of us left living in Elm Park/Hornchurch. But we keep in touch via FB and emails.
Nice to know you found two nice ladies from Romford and London. You will enjoy your catch up. I love things like that.
Take Care
Love Elaine xx
Sat Jun 23rd 2018, at 10:01 pm
Attention all ex Elm Park residents. There is an Elm Park Facebook group you can join if you would like to keep up with what goes on there now. Sadly it doesn't sound nearly such a nice place as it was years ago. But interesting to read. Search it out!
Fri Aug 3rd 2018, at 2:40 am
Hello Everyone,
I have just spent an interesting hour or so on a very hot night in South West France reading the memories of Elm park posted here. If I may I would like to add my humble contribution. I lived in Morecambe Close, Elm Park (South Hornchurch) from 1950 when my parents bought the house. It backed onto and faced the Aircrew Selection Centre of RAF Hornchurch and had a Spitfire and Gloster Meteor (first jet fighter) stationed within feet of our back garden. My brother and I used to climb the fence and sit in these planes before someone came to chase us off. I went to Ayloff County Primary School in 1952. My first teacher was Mrs. Szarak whose Polish name came from the fact that she married a Pole who had come over during the war. She had a volatile temper and had the habit of throwing exercise books if she did not like what was written. The headmaster was Mr. Martin who was very keen on introducing us pupils to 'culture' so we had to learn a poem by rote every week and recite it en-masse. These included Tiger Tiger Burning Bright, The Ice Man and Cargoes by John Masefield. He would also play classical L.P's in the hall at assembly and when the L.P of .My Fair Lady' came out we were treated to this also. I remember Mrs. Brooker pounding out Souza marches for us to leave the hall and I had other teachers called Mrs. Hayhow (I though she looked like a witch) Mrs. Morgan, Mr. Ball, Mr. Cork and Mr. Swift. In 1957 Mr. Swift organised a trip to Bellinzona in Switzerland which cost £25 which my parents struggled to find but fueled a lifelong interest in travel and languages. My father worked at Murex in Rainham where my Grandfather Cyril Trussler was the General manager and got my father the job after he was demobbed from the Royal Marines at the end of the war. At the top of the road were what someone has referred to as the Airfield shops, Martins the newsagents which sold sweets weighed out from glass jars (2 ounces for 6d) and icecream. This shop was open on Sunday and if we were lucky I would be sent for a 1 shilling (5p) block of icecream which would be wrapped in an old newspaper as insulation to stop it from melting. This was then served up as desert during two Way family favourites, or one of the other programmes on the radio like, The Clitheroe Kid, Life with The Lyons, Round the Horne etc.
The Winkle man also came round on Sundays selling shrimps by the pint or half pint measure. My parents thought this an extravagance to far although our neighbours the Stainers always had shrimps for Sunday tea! On Sundays I was sent to the Baptist Church Sunday School with 2d for the collection. Sometime I had to do my 'party trick' which was to recite from memory all names of the books of the Bible. My Grandparents went to the morning service and if I was unlucky I had to go to that too to give a reading from the Bible. (perhaps this speaking in public was not wasted as I went on to qualify as a Solicitor - but that is another story) At Ayloff I managed to pass the 11 plus and went to Abbs Cross Technical High School in September 1958 (exactly 60 years ago next month) The School had just been built and no pupils had ever been there before this intake. I was in Class 1.4 Mr. Howell who taught German and English. Other poor unfortunates were assigned for German to a Dr. Walters who was a German and drove a Mercedes 190 and who had the habit of swearing at the pupils calling them English B*astards!
The School playing fields had not been finished so in the first Summer we had to play cricket on the tarmac of the play grounds which, with a hard cricket ball made for some 'interesting' bounces. We had state of the art Woodwork and Metalwork workshops and learned Technical Drawing, Art and Pottery/Ceramics. The Gymnasium was opened by members of the Essex Cricket team using the indoor nets. I remember most of the shops in the newly opened Tadworth Parade and used to be sent to Georges Hobbies for glass and putty after my brother or I had put a ball through a window (and suffered for it!) I used to be sent for fresh bread (a Bloomer) to Nu-Bake and brought this home still warm. They also used to bake a loaf in a flower pot which fascinated me as did the eels in the galvanised tank at the fishmongers next to the shoe repairers and Woolworths where, funds permitting I would by packets of Frank Godden Collection Builder stamps.
I can remember very much more but I am sure that you are bored by now! but I would be interested if anyone has similar recollections.
Best wishes
Ian Macintosh.
Thu Aug 30th 2018, at 7:22 am
Hi All.
I used to live at 5a Station Parade (Above what has been Webbs for many years now), but we used to own it in the late 50s when it was called Outwell Bulb Co. as it was part of my great uncle's business based in Norfolk and he installed my parents to run and manage it. I was was 4-5 years old at the time so I don't know what it was called before we owned it, but I do know it was a florist of some kind. Both my parents are well into their 80s now and my mum has had a couple of strokes that has impaired her memory & my father has advanced Alzheimer's (stage 7) and we have been trying to find what the name of the shop was before we got it.
After the shop was sold to Webbs we moved to Princes Park, but I was always in Elm Park right upto the late 1980s when I moved with my wife and family outside the M25 orbit. My 1st boyhood crush was Marion who lived in Warren Drive. She was an older woman. She was 14 and I was 10.
Sat Nov 10th 2018, at 4:24 pm
jillcarrington commented:
Hi bit old but I found this page by fluke, I don't know if it is the same Lil Shrimpton but that was my Aunt I am Gillian, Ivy & George's daughter are you Jean, Carole and Christines sister?
Sat Nov 10th 2018, at 6:23 pm
No Carol Shrimpton was a girl in my class at Suttons in 1962/63.Sadly I have no siblings.
Sun Feb 10th 2019, at 11:35 am
jillcarrington commented:
That could have been my cousin.
Thu Feb 28th 2019, at 7:02 pm
geoffwillis02 commented:
It was so good to read everyone memories of ElmPark .I was born in Oldchurch Hospital on the 1st of April 1944 but I told the other kids it was the 9th to escape ridicule and pranks I lived at 9 Carnforth Gardens and attended Ayloffs and was the school boxing captain and still have a picture of our team with me holding the cup and I believe the Headmaster was Mr Martin and the Sport master who promoted the boxing team was Mr Hurbert . I next went to Suttons until the age of 16 because I attended a class which was called the extended course with our class teacher a Mr Pike who was a tyrant and bully . Double maths on Monday filled us with fear and I remember one class member passed out when we heard his click clack heals coming along the corridor . I was lining up to hand in my class work with several others and it got to my turn and he punched me in the stomach and told me to get to the back of the line . I did meet him again when I was 18 and in Romford market I asked him if he remembered me , he said no so I gave him the same as he did to me and said perhaps this will remind you .I did enjoy the boxing training running backward for a mile and the camaraderie .The other boxing members I remember are Jack Brimstone , Peter Allan Clive peel . Dougie Jones . sorry I cannot remember more names .The shops were something I remember including Hollicks which my brother and I had the job of painting the ceiling of the shop which was a nightmare because we had to cover the counters with sheets and with customers coming in and the ceiling in such a state that plaster was dropping as we painted . My dad knew Jack Hollick and said he drank heavily and was known as Jack alcoholic . I loved living there and playing at the airfield and pretending to be a pilot as we took turns on an old motorbike we rode along the runway . I understand that Suttons the school I attended was renamed because an American pilot avoided crashing in to it during the war . Later I met at the age of 21 a girl from Gidea park who attended Abbs cross school . Her name is Josephine Weide and we married and moved away to Clacton on sea . Elm Park was a good place to grow up and work was plentiful with me dad at Fords in Dagenham a big employer in the area . Geoff Willis
Tue Jun 4th 2019, at 5:51 pm
suehawkins.11 commented:
Hi it was good to read all your memories of Elm Park as I lived there from 1959 until 1969. I went to Dunningford junior school and then on to Maylands secondary school. My class was the first class to go all the way through the school and it was quite a forward thinking school. With all the talk of the Dakota memorial flight it reminded me that our geography group had a flight on a Dakota from Southend airport, over Essex and the Thames estuary. It was a bit of a rough flight and everyone except my friend Janet Edwards and myself were airsick but we found the flight facinating trying to pick out our houses and the school etc. The local paper did a piece on it and we all had our photo in the paper. I just wondered if there was anyone on here that was at Maylands who either went on this trip or remembers it. I would love to find out which plane we went on and if it's still flying but I haven't a clue how to go about it. Fond memories of Susan Hawkins need Lightbody

Add your comment

You must be signed-in to your Frith account to post a comment.

or Register to post a Comment.

Sparked a Memory for you?

If this has sparked a memory, why not share it here?

Tips & Ideas

Not sure what to write? It's easy - just think of an important place in your life and ask yourself:

  • How does it feature in your personal history?
  • What are your best memories of this place?
  • How has it changed over the years?
  • How does it feel, seeing these places again?
  • Do you remember stories about the community, its history and people?

This week's Places

Here are some of the places people are talking about in our Share Your Memories community this week:

...and hundreds more! Enjoy browsing more recent contributions now.