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Happy Days In Woodford Bridge - a Memory of Woodford Bridge.

I've just come across this site. My memory years are really from 1938 up to 1958, when I married and left Crownhill Road, but I have returned several times recently, as it draws me back to 'home', although we moved there (from Burnley), in Oct.1936, when I was just over 4/years old (I am now 77). I had a brother, (Gervase, now called 'John' ), 3/years older than me.  My wife & two sons, have lived in Newport, South Wales, since 1969, but if and when we motor East, I try to go via Woodford, and I am pleased to note that the St Paul's church area is still well kept, this evokes many good memories, as I went to the Sunday School there, and was in the choir, and was also a  Sidesman for a while.

Some good times were had, despite the Second World War. We could roam around the fields all day,without parents worrying at all. We had the cricket field at the end of Crownhill Road, plus Claybury hospital grounds (forbidden, but more exciting!), and Drapers' Hill was a favourite. I cycled around all the area, including cycling to Buckhurst Hill school, in all weathers, for 5/years (it did me no harm...).

I think I recognise some names already on this site, but am not sure now. My cousin, Brian Parrott, lived four doors away from us, but emigrated to Canada and we lost touch.  Other 'play-mates' were John Adkins, Brian Farmer (now deceased)and, in my later youth, several very nice girls of course. (I wonder where Maggie Holton is now, from Holtons butchers... a second home to me at times?). She married, & became Mrs.Peter Scott & moved away, & we lost contact after some years.   
I belonged to the 'SPYF's' - St Paul's Youth Fellowship, and we were never short of company and things to do and see, unlike some folk today. We had the Ashton Playing Fields (sport and dancing etc available), plus several cinemas in South Woodford and Leytonstone, so plenty of choice.

One of our play areas was in the 'Bluebell Dell', at the top of Claybury Road. My father was an A.R.P warden, and they had an underground base up there, alongside a huge emergency water tank. As a 'kid', the War did not seem frightening, in spite of bombs, one of which went through the chimney of No. 29 (we were at No. 33) and settled in their basement, and was not dealt with for several weeks, as no one knew it was there. I also recall running away from a Doodle-Bug, heading towards us in the cricket field! We spent many un-comfortable nights in our garden Anderson shelter, as well as the large underground shelter on the green, near the 'White Hart' public house. My cousin Brian and I used to make fireworks from the magnesium scraped from unexploded incendiary bombs, which we pulled from their holes in the fields, until we nearly set fire to his fathers shed, and were naturally banned!
Our schooling was rather fragmented during some of the war, as we only went 'part-time'.. either am, or pm, so we had plenty of time for mischief. I went to Ray Lodge, in Snakes Lane, and naturally in those times we walked, even in the bad snow/floods, of 1946.   

Woodford, has changed of course, but there is still countryside around, though the estate roads are now crammed with parked cars, like everywhere else. The new roads have really changed the old original Bridge, plus the course of the river Roding, so it is very different.
I must conclude this... if anyone wants to contact me, I'll be pleased to hear from those who may have known me.

Doug.A Parrott.  Feb.18th.2010.

A memory shared by Douglas Parrott on Feb 17th, 2010.
Send Douglas Parrott a message.

 Comments & Feedback

Sat Aug 18th 2018, at 5:02 pm
Iris Whitbread was in my class at school (Roding Lane) I am Barry Thompson Uplands Road - house facing you at the bottom of the alley
Wed Feb 21st 2018, at 10:08 pm
caroladams50 commented:
Ho buster remember e mickyadams galesway,was it you who was always pulling you socks up ? Also remem er my mate Tich Manley
Thu Feb 4th 2016, at 4:41 pm
Hi Norman... seems we are "birds of a feather". Many thanks for your comments, read last night. Must be only a few of us left now, to add remarks ! I don,t recall your name, but we must have met at some time. Of course, I used Hamlets at times, & as you may have seen, was a frequent visitor to the Holtons, when I frequented their shop & house. Very hospitable. Spent much time there, after my Nat/Service, & 'Maggie', was a good friend until she married. (Someone else !). Our last visit to the Bridge, was in 2007. We used to visit Keith Wells, my good friend, who moved to Norfolk, so we used to divert our trip up there, to visit Woodford, & then onwards. I regret, Keith, died last November. No more 'long' driving now for me, just local trips. Too many impatient idiots around now... St.Paul,s church, has a useful website, which I check now & then. Since my Cousin Brian found this Frith site, in June 2014, we now have very regular e.mails, & a regular 'web-cam' chat, each Sunday evening for an hour, which is great. He recalls more than I do.
Best to finish this before I run out of word- limits. Good to hear from you & I,ll offer you my e/mail address, via the 'personal' feature on this. Regards & best wishes. Doug. 16.40. 4/2/16.
Wed Feb 3rd 2016, at 12:14 pm
norbet commented:
Hi Doug, I have only recently found this web site and as I lived in "The Bridge" from 1934 to 1956, I have found the comments very interesting. I can remember most of your descriptions but have not visited the Bridge now for many years. Of course, I too have many fond memories of the old days like scrumping in the orchards of Dr. Barnardos and having to post a lookout for our old adversary Police Sgt. Dignan but he weren't too bad, it was normally a clip round the ear and sent on our way, next day he would go in goal as we played football, (a forbidden game) on the police station green.
By the way, I lived next door to the Chemist of Mr. & Mrs. Hamlet who were my God Parents, I was named Norman after Mr. H. and you and I ALMOST share the same surname, mine is Partridge. Yes, I too remember going through the floods to Ray Lodge school and one year even taken by army lorry but Mr. Moss didn't accept that as an excuse for being late.
I'm going to keep a very regular eye on this site now that I've found it Doug, so keep the memories coming..........Norman P.
Tue Aug 25th 2015, at 3:49 pm
Thank you Ted, for this comment. I knew Graham, as Brians, little Brother. They lived at No.10. I did,nt know your Brother, John. Long time ago ! I still have had no definitive reply from F.Frith, about quite why many previous useful comments have been erased. Pity, as they were worth reading. Hope your sands, at Par, are still 'sparkling', as we went there in the 70,s.
Best wishes. Doug.Parrott. 25/8/15. ( Now, 83... )
Tue Aug 18th 2015, at 10:37 pm
Not sure I can help or add much but my brother, John Marston lived at no. 61, Crown Hill Road, and I went to primary school with Graham Farmer who lived in that road, at no. 7 (I think it was).

Ted Marston, Par, Cornwall.
Tue Apr 7th 2015, at 9:01 pm
dparrott commented:
What,s happened to all the other useful comments which used to be on this site ? My Cousin, Brian, did contact me in June 2014, (after 60/odd years in Canada ) & I put a comment to this effect soon after.. this has disappeared ! Shame. Just to state that I am still alive, but my Brother John (Gervase) Parrott, passed away on Feb.4th 2015. Will keep an eye out for any other comments, & I have queried this with F.Frith & await a reply.
Doug.A.Parrott. 7/4/2015. ( now aged 82. )
Tue Sep 30th 2014, at 11:42 am
Frank Bedford commented:
Hi Doug,

You must remember me BUSTER BEDFORD of 21 Highfield Road. I am no 76 and my memory isn't what it used to be since a stroke in 2004. BUT yws there were some very good times around the Bridge in those early days. Names that still come to mind are Brian Cordell Claybury Road, Bertie Bladden Crownhill Road Derek Pierson, Highfield Road. Rosie Foster, Highfield Road. Iris Whitbread. My next door neighbour. Mr Peeling the Copper. The Dignans, Highfield Road, (he was a copper also)

My twin sister died a few years ago from Cancer followed by her husband GED PHILLIPS a year later. My brother Bill has also passed away, as are Jim, Jack and Clara.

Will be in touch if I have any more memories.

Take care.

Frank (BUSTER)

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