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Reconnecting with our shared local history.

Enjoy these selected memories that have amused or fascinated our team - we think you will enjoy them!

The Seagoing Years. I must have left the Army sometime in August or September of 1949, and went back to C.J.King & son, tug owners, to carry on with my job as deck boy. This was not to my liking, as I was now twenty, and scrubbing floors for 3 quid a week all hours of the day and night was beneath my dignity, even though I was only getting 26 Shillings in the Army, but that was ...see more

I can remember waiting at Ashley Down Station for the steam train; towels,swim suits and picnic in big beach bags. The journey was an adventure every time, the smell of the smoke and the old carriages. Pushing your head out of the window with a a leather strap to keep it open. Feeling the wind in your hair, mum nagging about getting things in your eyes! The excitement as the train pulls into the station the ...see more

I Join the Railway In the summer of 1953, my Aunt and Uncle were staying with us for their holiday. It must have been my Uncle who first spotted the advertisement in the Dartmouth Chronicle for a Junior Booking Clerk at Kingswear Station. Everyone knew I was not fond of school, so it seemed natural that I should apply for the job. With some help from my Uncle, I sent off ...see more

Added 25 October 2016
We were raised in a pit house on Springfield (sometimes 'Avenue') near the far end of Ings Lane, in the fifties. It was a small street, only 6 houses. 2 or 3 keys would open both front and back doors (and the coal-house) of the whole street; but you hardly ever locked the door anyway. Often our small 'gang' walked over the lane towards Broomhill where there was a small wood. We would pinch a ...see more

I lived in Medway Road from 1934-1956. I also remember the doodle bugs (as did Gordon Savage, I remember him), the dockyard heavy guns, and school. I was due to start school on the day war started and finally went to Richmond Road Infants two years later. All the teachers were evacuated with the local area evacuees so there was no one to teach us. I went for 1 hour, then 2 hours, an afternoon, and ...see more

Added 24 September 2012
I was raised in Mountsorrel in the Soar valley near Leicester. It was a Norman village that lay alongside the river Soar under Castle Hill. The hill got its name from the mote and bailey type 12c castle built by the Beaumonts – Earls of Leicester who were given land by William the Conqueror. It is first mentioned in 1150 when its strategic position for a castle was first noticed. Some say the name of the village ...see more

Added 19 September 2020
I was born in 1938 and my maternal grandparents lived in a tiny shop on Havant Road, Cosham. I remember I used to write to them occasionally which is how I remember the address. I can't ,though, recall the number. Their name was Owen. I know that when my mother and I travelled on the No. 31 bus from Fishbourne to visit them my mother always gave the destination as "The Red Lion" and I do recall that the shop ...see more

I think it must have been 1952 or 3 when I went to live on Kingwood Common with my parents in the old nissen huts left by the German POWs, and afterwards by Polish refugees. We knew the place as Kingdom Camp, or just 'The Camp'. There were a good few families living there that I remember and they formed a friendly community of people that were waiting for council houses in some of the nearby villages. My ...see more

We moved in to our new house in Rosemary Avenue in 1938. We had a Triumph car and my father built a garage of timber and asbestos sheets and laid concrete runways for it (they're still there). I started school in 1939 at the infant school in Down Street. One of our neighbours had a daughter Shirley, the same age as me and we went to school together. When the Blitz first started in 1940 we couldn't get ...see more

Added 27 September 2020
I was 17 years old and lived at no 7 Tivoli Road, and when Father Christmas arrived at the front door with 4 cwt of coal my mum put newspaper down the hall and throughout the house so that the coal man could dump the coal in the shed. So Christmas Day we all sat around the fire to keep warm - and cold at our backs. We cooked chestnuts on a shovel and played cards, and my dad played the piano and we all sang carols. No ...see more

Added 26 December 2015
I lived as a child at number 110 henwood lane Catherine de barnes or better known as catney.The house we lived in was the lodge to the hospital. I lived with mother and father,4 sisters and 3 brothers. We spent 3 years there from 1962 untill1965.in 1962 I remember my dad and I going into the woods and looking for some where to dig an hole I was only 5 at the time and did not understand what was going on, ...see more

Memories are funny, they come and go and during this time of lockdown I've thought quite a lot about my childhood. We lived in Amberley Road, very close to the Raglan School entrance in Raglan Road. The school gates were never locked and the girls' toilets were at the end of the corridor and led outside, which meant that any member of the public could access them! I remember one of the ...see more

Each year, the excitement mounted as summer drew near. Dad would drag out the large wicker hamper and Mum would start to fill it with clothes, wellies and tins of food from Galbraiths or the Co-op. By school's end, the carriers would have come to cart the hamper down the tenement stairs and on to its journey. We'd be dressed in our best for travelling and then off to Central Station to catch the steam train ...see more

I am Jeannette McNicol (nee Elliott). My brother John and I moved there with my parents ,when I was 13 years old and he was 12. I had found the house when we were having a picnic by the Webbern with friends. I had gone skipping off down the lane, and seen the house around the corner, and run back to my parents saying "Mum! Dad ! There's a fairy house around the ...see more

Added 31 January 2015
My father believes the man in the carpenter's apron in photographs 60995 and 60995x may be Francis New. The carpentry business he is standing in front of was eventually taken over my grandfather, John Bray, and his brother William. In the directories they were listed as wheelwrights but they undertook a much larger range of buiding work some of which is still on view today, e.g. the lych ...see more

I grew up in Southall in the 1940s and 50s. We lived in Gordon Road in a terraced house that backed onto The Tube. We had an outside toilet, no bathroom and, until I was about 6, no electricity. At the age of 5 I could change a gas mantle. My mother continued to live there until she passed on in 1989. Two doors away was Mrs Ridgewell's grocery shop and on the corner there was a greengrocer's. I recall being ...see more

Added 24 November 2009
We moved from New Cross, Deptford just before the war to The Heights Northolt. As a child then, memories are now somewhat fragmented but that reflects the conditions that parents faced. As a child there seemed much freedom, school was intermittent, lots of time, putting pennies onto the rails of the trains (I still go over those rails on way to Bucks), building a camp near the arch way into the Pony ...see more

This goes back a long way, I think around 1950. I was a pupil at King's School in Rochester and used to live just off Brompton Farm Road. My parents used to allow me to sleep in the garden (an adventure ?), I digress, I used to go around on my bike, and one day cycling down Crutches Lane, I noticed some tents being erected in the fields of Gads Hill School. They were all girls trying to put the tents ...see more

No stranger to Friday bath night (did we really only bathe once a week?), where the tin bath was hauled into the kitchen in summer & in front of the fire in winter & filled by kettle. As I got older my dad would take me down to the public wash baths where I could luxuriate in a 'real bath' in a real bathroom. My dad actually knew the man that ran the baths for the council & instead of the fixed amount of boiling ...see more

We moved from Chelmsford to Radcliffe in 1968 - I was 2 years old. I went to Lorne Grove Nursery and my memory of that was the Rocking Horse Toy. I hated sharing it!! I was about 3 or 4 and I remember being so upset at being taken off it I was given a dilute orange and a rich tea biscuit - not a good exchange in my book!! We lived on Clumber Road backing onto Betts Farm - which I adored - Prince the Lion Woke us ...see more

I lived in the valley until the very early 60's and can remember Christmas very well. As a treat I was taken to Lewises in Manchester to meet Father Christmas. I can recall queuing up some stairs to visit his Grotto. Christmas parties at Hareholme Methodist Church. Making decorations at school for the class room. Nagging your parents for the toys you wanted and the excitement of Christmas eve and not ...see more

I left Ireland with my Family in 1953 and left part of my heart there. My Grandparents lived in Portavogie right by the seaside, they had a farm and a General store. Granny always had a pot of soup on her stove in the winter, and many people would have a bowl of soup to warm them. She always said, "always put an extra potato in the pot for the man from over the hill" I always wondered who the man from over the hill was. ...see more

I was born in Battersea in 1938. We lived at 28 Forthbridge Rd near Clapham Common. With my mum and sister, I went to the Granada cinema loads of times on a Saturday night. Often you had to line up to get in and they had these men dressed up in uniforms, even with 3 stripes or 2 on their arms, who used to bawl at you as if you were on a parade ground. We could only afford the 1/6 pence seats but kids were ...see more

I lived in Wood End Lane (no. 9), from 1941 from the age of six months, until 1948 when I moved to the new council houses at Newnham Close, locally known as Tintown, because it had steel framed walls on the upper storey. No. 9 was a ground- floor flat with two bedrooms and my sister Joyce and I shared the back bedroom. After the war we used to play in the Wireless Field, as it was called by the locals. We went blackberrying ...see more

As a boy of thirteen, with my family, after the war, I spent all my school holidays in Cornwall. Six weeks with my Uncle Arthur and Aunt Mabel in a tied cottage on Lower Tregantle Farm near Torpoint. The very air was different; how many times since those days has a certain fresh breeze and smell conjured up the Torpoint Ferry and once again I am leaning out over the side watching the bow wave and ...see more

In the late 1950’s and as a young boy around 8 or 9 living in the west end of Newcastle I used to visit my Auntie Bella and Uncle Ted regularly . They lived at Number 3 Picktree Cottages, a short row of picturesque cottages now demolished and replaced with the bungalows on Picktree Lane situated almost opposite the entrance to the present Ash Meadows. Uncle Ted worked for a Mr Walton who had a butchers ...see more

I went to Gatley Primary these years. Happy memories, completely changed now. I am an aviation buff and saw the first BOAC b747 land at Manchester Airport from my classroom window. My teacher was a Mr Elliott, not sure of his whereabouts now but I shouted "IT'S A JUMBO" out loud - he replied "quiet, I dont care if its a pink elephant."!!!!!!!!

A pleasant comment on my last memory, made by Mr Steve Flora, whom I’ve never met, has prompted me to tell some more stories about Upper Boddington. On November 25th, 1944, a Wellington Bomber; no. LN242, took off from Chipping Warden airfield. Unfortunately it developed engine problems. I am sure that the pilot did all he could to control the aircraft but, with fields all around, the plane hit the Manor ...see more

Having moved to Stourton from Glasgow in March of 1961 at the age of 12, it was really exciting to find that, about a hundred yards from our new house, was a big pub with its own outdoor swimming pool. The Stewpony Pub meant little to me at the time, but the adjacent Lido was eye-opening for an adolescent youth in lots of ways! During the Summers of '62 and '63, I worked part-time after school (Brierly Hill Grammar) ...see more

At the ripe old age of 89 years I well remember my years at what I have always regarded as "Home.". In 1931 I first entered the world, living in Wembley, but in 1935 I recall my father meeting Harry Peachey of Belton Estates and arranging to purchase a yet-to-be built semi-detached house in Northwood Hills. The road at that time was unnamed and in discussion with Harry Peachey my ...see more

I played in the standing corn stooks behind our house, had my first pony/horse ride at Dixon's farm where my horse went berserk in a potato field, so I was put onto and stayed on a horse lead. I flew my kites on Penn Common, I skated on frozen ponds (No skates - I couldn't afford them) in the distant fields, built snowmen on the green spaces on our estate, fished for minnows in West Park, ...see more

The Army My call up papers came with a railway warrant for Gloucester, where I and another group of lucky lads, were picked up by army lorry and taken to the barracks of the Gloucester Regiment for our six weeks basic training. Unloaded at the barrack square, we were marched (shambled) to our huts, then to the QM stores for uniform and kit. The Army does not give you your kit, it is yours “for the use of” during your ...see more

My memories of Cefn Fforest were of Whitson marches in your new clothes and having sore feet where your new sandles rubbed your feet raw. Along with 'Thomas The Milk' was Pughs Farm who had a horse and cart delivering the milk - my parents would send me out to collect the milk in a jug - this was before the milk bottles came into being. Also the police station where Sgt Church and 'Brace the Bobby' put the ...see more

My Name is William Speirs, in the 1940's we moved from Bellshill Lanarkshire to live in Fishcross, Alloa, Clackmananshire, Scotland. This is a short story about when we were kids in Fishcross from about 1946 till I left in 1959. The people I played with, my schools, Fishcross, Sauchie, then Fore brae’s at the top of Sunnyside, the characters of that time and the things we used to do. The Early Years - ...see more

The Cabin in Graham Road was a school boy's (and girl's) dream! At the front of the shop, behind the counter, was an array of jars of sweets, sold by the quarter (lb) and every other piece of confectionary or chocolate you could name: Black Jacks, Fruit Salad, Shrimps, Flying Saucers, Sherbert Fountains, Palm Toffee (banana flavour the best), Flags of the World bubble gum, liquorice sticks, etc. In the summer, the front ...see more

Soon after I began motorcycling in the mid fifties I began to take what has been a lifelong interest in motorcycle racing. In those days it was a good trek to Brands Hatch as there were no M1 or M25 motorways and the journey from Bedfordshire was made through the center of London taking in Euston, Blackfriars Bridge and out through New Cross to West Kingsdown on the A20 and eventually to the Brands Hatch ...see more

In the post war years, as families rebuilt their lives again, Sundays really were special leisure days and those who were able, bought a small car and enjoyed their afternoon going for rides on quiet country roads. My father was a self employed carpenter and joiner and needed transport but, as having two vehicles was out of the question, he used his skills to re-construct a farm wagon, using ...see more

My earliest memories are of Aldringham. I was born in the Police Station on Mill Hill in 1937, the youngest of three children. My father was the local policeman, P.C. James McGuire. I often wonder now how my mother managed, with three children under five. There was no water electricity, gas or sewage. Water had to be carried from a well 100 yards down the road. When my father had the audacity to request that water ...see more

Added 30 April 2020
First stayed there in 1951. My dad rented the chalet opposite the green corrugated Chapel aside of the sandy path which lead to the beach. Apart from the shop and chippy there was a Welcoast ice cream kiosk on the corner that closed a couple of years later.'(Often licked never beaten' was the slogan) The shop was run as I recall by two elderly ladies; it was then taken over by Mr. Bill and Mrs Mavis Jones. I ...see more

I was born at 7, Nightingale Row, in the box room which was originally shared by my mother Mavis Warren and her sister Glennis Byard as they were to become. The daughters of George and Martha (Dot) Edwards. The house was rented from a relative who lived in number 8, whose name was Bexley. The two daughters married RAF service men. My father William (Bill) was a Londoner, who was stationed in Newport for training ...see more

My name is Andy Pike, getting on a bit now but lovely to read other folks memories of Westbury. Here are a few reminiscences of my childhood in Westbury on Trym in the 50's and 60's. Maybe this will ring a few bells for ex, or present, residents of Westbury that are of my generation. I was born at the end of December 1947. My father, Douglas, was born at 8 Stoke Lane and my mother, Gwen (nee ...see more

My first job after leaving school in 1968 was at the original Frith & Co. in Raglan Road, Reigate. The company was based in a large Victorian mansion and in many ways the working methods probably hadn't changed much since the early 1950s. The nostalgia market was in its infancy in 1968 and the company had no idea about the potential value of the historic collection held in its negative library. The ...see more

The gas lamps in Station Road, Kilbirnie, were the responsibility of staff on duty at the High Station. This line went right through to Glasgow Central Station and of course it was the age of steam. Sanny Dillon was the lamp lighter and being small he carried with him a large pole with a hook on it. The idea was to hook onto a chain and pull it down, thus lighting the gas lamps that were on either ...see more

I worked at Wannock Tea Gardens during the school holidays. I remember all the slices of Bread we had to butter and I still make sure that it reaches out to each corner. We really had to work hard carrying heavy crockery to the many out-building where the parties were fed. I remember that all the workers would sit down after the gardens closed and clear up the food - and how much us youngest looked forward to a ...see more

My father was the caretaker for the Linquists` Club in Holland St from 1959 to the early 70`s, when the building (Niddry Lodge) was demolished to make way for the new Kensington town hall. We lived in The Cottage next to the lodge and the old stable was below my bedroom. The club was a school of English during the day and a social club in the evening. For 10 years, from the age of 9, I met people ...see more

I was born in 1951 in Lutterworth Road, Northampton just a 5 minutes' walk from one of the most beautiful parks in the country - Abington Park. Originally part of the Wantage family estate, it boasted a museum (formerly the Manor House), a church, three lakes, aviaries, and a bandstand. It was a truly magical place for a young boy in the 1950s. During the annual summer school holidays, I ...see more

Born on the 4th January 1939 in 14 Council Cottages, son of Jack and Francis Cole and cared for by my Gran and Granddad who lived opposite, I had super baby years, although Dad was away fighting. I can vaguely remember sleeping in the Anderson shelter in a house in Bough Beech where Mum used to work. Better are my memories of the school in Four Elms, where we were all in the same class room, except ...see more

It was 1958 and I had just left school at Walbottle Secondary. Me and my best pal Wes Coulthard (who I'm sad to say has since passed away) went on our first holiday together before starting down the Pit. We went with his parents Jimmy and Polly to Middleton Towers in Morecambe, it was just like a Butlins camp and bye, did we have some fun. Then, that over with, it was the pit. We started doing training at Wheatslade ...see more

My wife was living in Northhumberland Avenue when a V1 doodlebug passed by very low, to land unexploded at the top end of the avenue. She lived at number 208. The house number it landed at was about 220 to 230. It was on a Sunday afternoon. The man living there was in the kitchen having his lunch, and walked along the V1 to turn off his gas and water! My wife remembers quite clearly the V1 coming up the street, ...see more

Added 07 November 2009
Rediffusion: about 1958 and onwards. This bombshell hit us like nought else, it meant no interference on our wireless. No more tuning in every ten minutes or so. It was A. B. C. D. E. F. You knew Radio Luxembourg was the station for pop, but it was hell to get on a normal set, we would sit with our hand on the knob and ear to the speaker resetting the dial. But with good old Rediffusion it was crisp and clear. And ...see more