Oakwood Memories

A Memory of Oakwood.

I lived in Oakwood, then Enfield West, from 1937 till 1946. My father had the Chemists Shop in the Parade, his name was George Reid, and we lived above the shop. Opposite was Victor Sasoon’s Estate, where I think Prisoner of War Officers were imprisoned, during the War. Also in the Parade was a greengrocer, with a Mrs. Crick who had a dog called Sadie.There was also a fish shop, grocers shop and a dairy, newsagent and a wool shop .We were there during the war, when our windows were blown in from the force of a land mine, and there were big guns nearby. We were No. 12a , my father made two beds in the cupboard under the stairs, as this was supposed to be the safest place in a house, I was very proud of my “house” and called it Very Neat Villa. I can remember writing a poem about the Battle of Britain on the wall of this cupboard. We also had an Anderson shelter in the garden where my father made bunks for my sister and me, and we also shared it with Mabel and Nellie and their mother from next door, they had a cafe in the Parade. There was a “back way “ behind the flats, We used to roller skate there, and a horse and cart used to come along, the ladies all hoped it would stop outside their garden so they could shovel up the manure. We also had a milk cart which I think was electric, the driver used to let us have a lift up and down the back way. I can remember seeing the London Docks burning from an upstairs window, and seeing the dog-fights during the Battle of Britain. I’m afraid my memory is not as good as it was as I’m 90. I remember going to Brownies and then Guides in Cockfosters, also The Woodcraft Folk, can’t remember where they were held, except it was in the Friends Meeting House. I used to go to Oakwood school, which was near Oakwood Park, but then I was moved to a new school called De Bohun which was nearer, it had a clock which played Boys and Girls come out to play. I went home reciting a naughty poem from here, so was then sent to The Hollies, Southgate school for girls. We had a uniform of lilac dresses purple blazers and a panama hat in the Summer and a purple tunic and valuer hat in the Winter. Later I went on the 107 bus to East Barnet Grammar School where I was in 1945 at the end of the war, though I had been evacuated to Scotland for some of the war. Opposite our back way lived Ted Ray, he was a famous comedian on the radio, and also played the violin. His wife was called Sybil, she had been a chorus girl and had an anklet which really impressed me. He had two children called Robin and Andrew, Robin used to go to the Kindergarten of my school, so I used to take him to school. We had to go by tube from “Enfield West”Station to Southgate. In Arnos Grove station they had bunks in the Underground where families used to go at nights to sleep in case they were bombed.
I hope I haven’t mixed things up too much, it WAS a long while ago, but if you are interested my sister could probably tell you lots more, she is 94 but has a much better memory than me.

Hi Doris, it seems to me that your memory is wonderful - any more would be much appreciated. Editor, The Francis Frith Collection.


Added 25 August 2020


Comments & Feedback

Touched some lovely memories. We lived in a new bungalow on the Laings Estate near Boxers' Lake. We and several neighbours were actually blitzed in September 1940 and did not get back till about 1947. For most of the war we lived in a rented house in South Lodge Drive. I went to Oakwood school, then Merryhills then De Bohun too.
I went to De Bohun school too, up to the end of 1963, then to Southgate County school. We lived on Reservoir Road at the end of Green Road. Must have been very different during the war times before I was born,
Are you going to recite that "naughty" poem for us Doris?
I don't remember the De Bohun clock playing Boys and Girls come out to play, that would have been really nice. Maybe they stopped it.
I was baptised at Huddersfield parish church in 1966 and confirmed 1977 a regular church goer until me and my mother and brother moved else where

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