I Lived In Cricklewood In 1945 - a Memory of Willesden.

Willesden High Road leads past Willesden Green tube station and on towards St Gabriels Church. It was opposite this church that I lived for the first few months of my life in 1945 with my mother and my grandmother, Florence Norfolk, in a rented flat on the third floor of Melrose Mansions on the junction of Walm Lane and Melrose Avenue. The area had suffered bombing during the war with much damage to property - I remember as I grew older visiting my grandmother and being told not to lean against the window in case it fell out! I loved watching from this high window looking over the road junction to the church. There was a large road island where trolley buses turned round. If the window was open I could hear the trolley wires "singing" so I would know that one was approaching but still out of sight.

A memory shared by John Howard Norfolk on Jan 6th, 2008. Send John Howard Norfolk a message

 Comments & Feedback

Sat Jun 2nd 2018, at 8:40 am
jhnorfolk commented:
Thank you for triggering further memories! Grandmother Florence Norfolk (a widow) where I lived with her in 1945 had a flat on the second floor in Melrose Mansions - not the thIrd floor as I first remembered. I checked with Google Street View and was surprised. As a toddler back then it seemed higher! My uncle Ian Norfolk married at St Gabriels in 1949. I am in wedding photos! You mention Gladstone Park which reminds me the telephone exchange gave numbers with the “GLA” prefix. Oh nostalgia - isn’t it wonderful. Just think, we probably first met at the local shops more than 70 years ago!
Sat Jun 2nd 2018, at 8:07 am
marynolan commented:
It was 140 Walm Lane not 149. Sorry.
Sat Jun 2nd 2018, at 8:06 am
marynolan commented:
Hello John, I too remember that area well. I lived at 149 Walm Lane just across the road from you. I was born 1942. The whole front of the house we lived in had to have the front rebuilt because of bomb damage. The council did the work in 1952 while we lived there and it was freezing in February. I remember they hung a large black sheet down the front of the building. There was no such thing as central heating then, you had to scrape the ice off the insides of the windows to see what it was like outside. I remember the trolley buses too. One evening when we were coming home from skating in Cricklewood at the Galtymore, one of the trolleybus cables snapped and came down near to me and my sister at St Gabriels Church just across the road from where you lived. We jumped over the little wall and back again not knowing which way to dodge the live electric cable. We were so lucky but scared stiff. I was 16yrs old at the time and my sister Margaret 14yrs old. My maiden name was Maureen Lafferty. I remember the Brennan family living opposite St Gabriels Church as they went to Linacre Road School where we went in Willesden Green just off the High Road. I have such wonderful memories of those times and places. I wrote a book about them called 'As good as I got.' On Ebay and Amazon. I go back so many times to my memories of where I spent my childhood. such happy days and with so little but we enjoyed ourselves in Gladstone Park and around.

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