Growing Up In The 1940's And 50's - a Memory of Wealdstone.
We originally lived in Camberwell and were bombed out in the blitz of 1940. After sleeping on the platform of the Elephant & Castle underground train station for a few weeks, my dad found us a house to rent on Toorack Road, which was the border of Wealdstone and Harrow Weald. We were on the Harrow Weald side. I went to Whitefriars Elementary School, which was across the street from Windsor & Newtons who manufactured artist's paints. We had a wireless that needed its accumulator charged every week. I had to walk about a mile to the hardware shop in Wealdstone High Street, near Lockett Road, to take the old one and pick up the other one which had been charged. I never did understand what that glass battery thing did, because I thought the radio was plugged into the electric, but maybe not! While doing that errand, my mum would have me pick up fresh bread off Spurriers the bakery on the corner of Lockett Road. Every so often there would be bananas for sale at the green grocers, but you had to buy an orange to be able to get one, and the queue was long to get them. My favourite was to get a pomegranate when they would be available, but it was a difficult fruit to eat when you were hungry! Most of my evenings were taken up with going to the Y.M.C.A. When I started going I wasn't old enough to go to the Senior one near the police station in the High Street, so we had to go to the Junior one which was in the shed across from the Odeon cinema, not far from St. Joseph's Catholic Church. When we went to the Senior one we played table tennis, billiards, basketball, and darts. We had a pretty good football team, that laid the foundation for me eventually playing for Wealdstone F.C. at Lower Mead behind the Dominion Cinema in Harrow. During the war we were evacuated to Stafford, but my mum didn't like not knowing what was happening to my dad and our house, so we only stayed there 10 weeks before she took us back home. Our street was one of the lucky ones, as no house in it was hit by a bomb. What a great party we all had when the war ended, with a big bonfire in the middle of the street, and a charabang day trip to Southend with the Air Raid Watchers fund money that was left over. I'd never seen the sea before, and we all sang "I do like to be beside the seaside" when it came into view. I went to work at H.M.S.O in Headstone Drive, and then served my two years in the R.A.F. before emigrating to the U.S.A. in 1959. I try to visit my sister and her family every year...they live in Northolt. Such happy memories.
A memory shared by on May 16th, 2013.
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