Life In Kilburn

A Memory of Kilburn.

I was born in 1956 in Albert Road, Kilburn and lived in the area until I was 15.  I remember the community as one that was very close knit, you would walk out of your door and say hello to everyone you passed, young or old.  My dad came from a large family (Holder) and we all lived within a very small radius.  I was privileged to have attended St John's primary school with the fantastic and eccentric Mr Kinsman as the Head and the great Mrs Chiltern.  He made school so enjoyable, I can remember making pancakes (with the help of Mr K and 'another ' kid) and jacket potatoes for the whole school in the tiny, dark staff room.  He would take me out of class with another kid and get us to polish his office and have a tidy up.  Mr Caldera would go mad and have a good old swear up under his breath when he done this.  I'm sure many pupils would remember at the end of a hot summer's day when school had finished we would all change into our costumes and line up against the playground wall and he would drench us with the hose, all screaming louder than the next.  My cousin Kim (another one) and I visited Mrs Chiltern at her flat in Maida Vale until her death in about 1997.  She was a fantastic teacher, real old school.  She would send a couple of us out for her lunch (a cheese roll and a tiffin bar) and she would treat us with sixpence for doing so!  We would skip all the way to the market (the precinct) loving the fact that we were the 'chosen ones' to do her errands.  This just wouldn't happen today, it's a pity our kids can't have that freedom.   Another 'special place' in Kilburn at that time was the Oxford & Kilburn (OK) club.  Kids from surrounding areas would visit, it was that special.  The people who ran it were brilliant, very patient people.  They provided sport, music, food and 'Syd' the ghost!  The club had a great football team and were well known in the local areas.  When we left Kilburn for Wembley in about 1971, the leaders of the club (which was run by young Christian members) would take me and my sister Julie all the way home to Wembley at about 10 pm in the evening just so that we could still come to the club.  Living in London was good then and I'm glad I was brought up there with the market, the pie & mash, my family dotted all around.  It's a shame those good things about a community have to change for the worse, I couldn't live in London today and prefer to see a bit of green.  But I'll always have those happy, happy memories.  If anyone reading this has some photos of the school or club, please contact me through this site, I would love to reminisce and have a look.

Added 08 November 2008


Comments & Feedback

I was born In Granville Road in 1954, we moved
to Albert Rd and our neighbours were Mr & Mrs
Holder and their lovely family.
Annie was my best friend and Margaret my sisters.
I went to St Johns school and remember it
as one of the greatest times, the teachers were so caring!
Pie & Mash was my favourite thing to eat after
Shopping in the Market on Saturdays with my
mum. We also lived in Ely Court Chichester Road.
Great memories of a growing up in a great place where everyone knew each other.
I was born in 1961 and my mother lived in Maida Vale. Her name was Valerie krasnuik and she met my father who was Greek Cypriot. I do not have his name but I would be grateful for any information.
Hello Kim
Your fond memories of growing up in that part of Kilburn are spot on. My Aunt Beatty was my Godmother and lived @ No. 111 Albert Road, the last house (or the 1st house?) in the street, next to a bus driver's cafe. All the busses used to park in Albert Road opposite her house. Sometimes I would sneak onto a parked bus and nick a few un-punched bus tickets from the clipboard left of the seat by the conductor.
My recollection of schooldays at Percy Road were just great. All the teachers were brilliant. Mr. Grave (Ernie), tall and lanky, Northern accent, smelled of Woodbines, taught Maths and English, lived in Harrow and took the train in to Queens Park every day. Excellent.
Then there was Wm. C. (Bill) Curette, a Science teacher, pipe smoker, had a temper, used to throw things when he got angry, older than the others. Great .
Mr Warr was the English teacher, always smelled of catpiss, also did History.
Mr. Kimber was a delicate little man, did R.E. and Mr. Johnson was a South African, always wore suede shoes, possibly gay, very strict and had no sense of humour whatsoever.
The head was Mr. T. P. Hall (Terence Peter) an ex-Naval Officer, always had a loud coughing bark when he was approaching, so as to warn you. Made me a Prefect in 1962 but still caned me for watching a fight after school. Very posh and well spoken, drove a Hillman Minx.
John Street, ex-boxer, was our caretaker.
Our 4 'house' names were Raleigh, Drake, Nelson and Grenville.
It is a pity there is not much evidence of the Percy Road School building these days, but does anyone have a foto, a memory or a story?

Best regards to all

Chris Moody (b.1947)
Hi Chris,
I remember Mr. Grave from my time at South Kilburn High School. He was our math teacher and heaven forbid if anyone spoke while he had his back turned to the chalkboard, he would spin round and throw the board rubber at the culprit. He had a good sense of direction!
Have just come across this site, & read these accounts with interest. I lived at Kilburn House, Malvern Place intermittently from 1938 (when born) to 1971. I was at Percy Rd school from 1947 (juniors & seniors were then combined) till 1953. I remember many of the teachers there (I thought Ernie's surname was "Graves"), incl. Dougie Rosewarne, Bill Curette, "Baldie" Bodger, Mrs Goldsmith among others. Am planning to visit Kilburn shortly with two old schoolfriends, John Conroy (Carlton Vale) and Tom Ashmore (Kilburn Pk Rd) for a trip down memory lane, tho I think very little of the area now remains.
I too have only just discovered this site. Yes it was Mr Graves. He was strict but fair and actually when he talked to you out of class was a very nice person. I remember his cane sat in linseed oil in a bottle in the classroom for all pupils to see. I do not remember that many kids being on the receiving end of it. Those occasions it was brought out led to us all recognising the benefits of not being unruly.
I had completely forgotten about the house names! Mr Hall was a respected headmaster and his forewarning cough appreciated. Does anyone remember Mr Fitzpatrick who was the PE teacher for just one year I think. We had a good football team then and played a cup final in the stadium at King Edwards Park.
Hi there, I too went to Percy Rd, just before it became South Kilburn High School. I started in September 1970 and spent my first lunch time in a dustbin with a couple of second years sitting on the lid. Yes Fitzpatrick was the PE teacher, he lasted for a couple of years at least but like a lot of the teachers couldn't hack it when we became Co-ed by merging with Carlton vale girls school and becoming a comprehensive. Old Gravsey had to hide his ''cane in a bottle'' and tried his best, but females were like aliens to him. Rosewarne fared a lot better , a charming gentle guy. Mr Cook, the woodwork teacher, was the one who flourished, and led us right through to 6th form, doing his utmost to set a standard for the new SKHS. A man who, on a personal level , I owe my life to. Kilburn played a big part in my early childhood. My parents, immigrants from Cyprus in the 50's ran 3 businesses there. The Cabin Cafe in Palmerston Rd, the Parthenon restaurant at 267 high road, and the Pantheon Restaurant at 6 The Parade, next to the Essoldo Cinema. I went to a tiny private school at the top of Shootup hill called Geneva House, run by some truly unique ladies from the late 1900's. l had a teacher called Mrs Payne who looked like the young queen and a private tutor a Mrs Hanks in west hampstead who l adored. We had no sports hall, so we went to swiss cottage once a week but there was an orchard at the back that we were allowed in if the weather was nice. Saturday morning pictures at the State Gaumont or the Grange, summer concerts and the paddling pool in Grange park, shopping in BB Evans and Woolies with its overhead whizzing payment system. Many wonderful memories, hope this stirs a few in you guys and you tell us yours.
Hi Kim, my husband found you memories very interesting and then we realise we know you! My husbands name is Ian delvalle, but most in Kilburn may know him as Ian Waller. He lived at 67 Carlton house, and also in Albert road. I came into contact with your family when you moved to Wembley. I attended Copland high school, which is where I met your sister Julie. Julie and I became good friends during our early years, and my name is Susan Wilson, later to become Susan delvalle. I remember you had two other sisters - I think it was Jane and Alison. We now live in Oxfordshire, where are you these days. I can also remember going to your wedding!
I grew up in Cricklewood but we used to go to Kilburn a lot and eating at the Parthenon was such a treat. I went to Geneva house school too and can remember the two old ladies who ran it , one of whom smacked me for spilling my orange juice! I was only three at the time ...later on I went to Emmanuel school in West Hampstead and had many happy memories there ... I saw my first film Lady and The tramp at the Grange and we loved going to the state cinema on Saturdays .... we used to shop in BB Evans too
Hi Kim, new photos were uploaded to the skhs picture gallery which were supplied by Peter Back who you may remember. Neither of us are on Facebook. Check it out
I too went to Geneva house school and remember a miss wimbush, Mrs mckell, Ms Payne. Recall the hall and the grandfather and grandmother clocks as well as watching Andy Pandy and reading Gullivers travel and Hiawatha.

Sun 30th dec 2018
hi Chris. Don't know if you remember me my name is Alan Knight and lived in Malvern mews, i
remember all teachers you mentioned plus Mr Wosewarne, some of the class mates were Jonny Hill,,Derek Hill,,Robert Sangster, Ernie Maskell, Terry smith ,Francis Curran,Peter Harman, to mention a few.Left Kilburn and moved to Leytonstone and now living in Epping. Hoping to take a trip to around the old haunts in summer

Hi Alan,
I just came across your comment, while browsing on the subject of St Johns primary school.
I don't know if you remember me, but my name is Trevor Ellis
and myself, my sisters, Patsy and Paulette, and my younger brother Micheal ( he went to the nursery) that used to be in the side the school, not too far from the football pitch at the far end of the playground area.
Anyway, we all went to St Johns during the mid 1970s.
Our now deceased parents were originally from Jamaica and I have many memories of that school.
I used to hang around with Paul Curran, and his brother Gary, Paul Levy, Nygel Firminger ( he sadly took his life a few years ago) I also heard that Paul Levy died either from suicide or a drug overdose.
I was mates with Graham Miller, Billy Maskell, Darren Gachette, Phillip, ( I can't remember his surname) but I remember he was thin and wore glasses.
I remember Neil Fox, Beverly Smith, Rosemarie and her tall sister, and many other kids including James Cooper and his brother Heath who used to live on the opposite side of St Johns on Princess Road I think, along with Kim O Connell and her sisters.
I also went to South Kilburn High School with my 2 sisters from about 1978 until around 1981 when I got expelled after getting into a fight with Lenny Franchi.
My sister Patsy, jumped in for me, took off her shoe and started beating Lenny around his head with it!
Countless kids from the school were standing around watching, and eventually got round to Mr Heush and I got expelled.
Please write back when you can and share some memories.
Best wishes
Hi all I've just stumbled across this pageant oh wow what a blast from the past!! My dad Fred Shrimpton was born in Granville Rd in 1920. I was born in 1950 and I lived in Cambridge Ave until we moved into Gorefield Hse in 1955. I also went to Geneva House school yep teachers Mrs Thomas, Miss Windrush Mrs Williams Mrs Payne miss Watkins. I was there with Mary connelly, Chris Turner Anita March lots trerise Loretta parry this has definitely stirred memories too and yes pie&mash. My friend Paula lived in Ely Court nice little trip down memory lane Chris shrosbree (née shrimpton)
I went to South Kilburn High School for a very short time. It was when we had years that ended in letters S O U or TH. I was in the middle of 3U when my Mother passed away and I had to move to NYC the year was 1981. When I saw the name Lenny Franchi, I remembered a tall dark haired young guy who was a bit of a bully and use to tease me so much. I remember the female French teacher used to be mean to me and way too nice to him. I think she was a bit racist. It might not be the same person, but it sounds so much like his sort of shenanigans to get into a fight.
I went to South kilburn school then percy road was still there my English class I was there from 1973 1977 so much has changed last visited 1984

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