(Last updated on 31 Dec 2013)

Listed here are the 258 emails we received in our thirteenth year of operation.

One word of warning: the email addresses here are rather old and may have changed since...

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My father was Revd. William Henry Reeves and he was minister of Church Hill Road Baptist Church, Walthamstow, from 1937 to 1947. He kept a daily diary and the war years in Walthamstow are particularly interesting. I have discovered your site and I am wondering if there would be anyone who remembers my father.

Rosemary FREEMAN
  Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Consuelo

Just a quick response to say that whilst I cannot help with your enquiry I am the grandson of Doris & Eddie Longhurst [Barbara's son], who lived next door to you at No 22.
My nan always talked highly of you.
Take care

John HUNT Private Reply Public Reply

Correction to my previous posting, it was not Kenny who jumped through the skylight or received the camera but Freddie Black. My memory's still good except for people, places and things.

Tony LANCASTER Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Ganesh,

I'm sorry that I can't tell you with certainty that Laurel and Hardy played the Walthamstow Palace Theatre but it is quite likely.
Stan Laurel came on holiday to England in 1932 and was joined by Oliver Hardy and his wife. The visit turned into a working tour and they returned to the USA in 1933.
They did a British music hall tour from February 1947 and played a number of venues before returning to the USA in January 1948.
In February 25, 1952 - Laurel and Hardy begin their second British tour, with the sketch "A Spot of Trouble" and they played a number of theatres before tour ended in. September 29, 1952.
Their last visit to the UK came In 1955 when made their final public appearance together, taking part in a BBC television program titled "This is Music Hall", about the British variety organization - the Grand Order of Water Rats.
As your friend is 75 years old, it seems likely that, if he saw them perform, it would have been in 1952.

There is a good on-line free Google book that tells us about the 1947 tour at:

Google Books: The Making of Stan Laurel


Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

From Daniel: I avail myself of this opportunity to express all my gratitude for the excellent and constant flow of articles (and assistance to single visitors) you have provided during the past year: may it continue for years and years to come! You are building a great reference for the local history of Walthamstow.

Referring to the Martin Family who lived in Tennyson Road, I knew a lad called Kenny Martin back in the late forties and fifties. He had what we called a 'clubbed foot' and seemed a bit intimidating till you got to know him, but was a really nice guy. I imagine he would now be into his seventies.
He was a particular friend of Freddie Black, who lived nearby, at number 20 I think. Freddy's dad was into used tyres among other things and revelled in a market which was not what you could call white, just after the war.
It obviously paid well because I remember he gave Ken a £20 camera for his tenth birthday, at a time when a wage was somewhere between seven and ten pounds a week, and the rest of us kids would regard a ten bob note as untold riches.
The last I heard of Ken was when I read in the Guardian around 1968 that he broke both his legs jumping through a skylight in an attempt to evade the police. He was obviously following a very specific career path.

Tony LANCASTER Private Reply Public Reply

The very cold winter you refer to was 1947 and I remember it so well. I was a kid of nine and lived in Gordon Road, off Lennox Road , Walthamstow.
The snow was so deep that a lot of the dads built an igloo out of snow blocks that was soo big and roomy we were able to get seven or eight kids in, all standing up.
I also lived in Walthamstow in 1963, before leaving for Canada in June, and although people seem to refer to that winter as the coldest, my memory tells me that 1947 was worse. Furthermore, 1947 was a period of after-war shortages of food, clothes, and especially coal, so the effect was much grimmer.

Tony LANCASTER Private Reply Public Reply

This is a link to the official website so you could try asking on line. http://www.laurel-and-hardy.com/

Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

Did Laurel and Hardy ever appear at the Palace Theatre, Walthamstow? Someone I know is convinced he saw them there when he was a kid. He's 75 this year and I wanted to try and find something for him to do with it, but cannot find any record of anything. Can you help?

Ganesh Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel

Hope this finds you both well.
Alan has written two very short pieces for the website , which I attach [Personal Stories section: "Wenke Bombs Walthamstow" ]. Not long now til 2014 is with us eh. Bye for now Best wishes

Andrea MILES Private Reply Public Reply

I wonder if the mass graves from 1946-47 were a result of an intensely cold winter.
My mother related pushing me in a pram from Highbury (where we lived) to my grandmother's house in Walpole Road E17 in a very cold winter. That winter would have been 46-47 or 47-48

Bernard GREEN Private Reply Public Reply

I now have some new information about Charles John Martin, who lived in Walthamstow: we now know he died in 1969 aged 91 - he had been living at 71 Gosport Road, so if anyone has any information about the family living at this address in the 50s and 60s we would be very interested.

Many thanks

Stephen MARDEN Private Reply Public Reply


I thought the following pictures could be of interest:

Warwick School - 1960 ca.

Warwick school ca. 1960, don't remember all the names.
Top row 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Middle row 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Bottom row 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38
3. David Vesea
5. Alan Jones
8. David Whiter
9. David Cunningham
11. Terry Bone
21. Peter Fielding (identified by Steve Read)
25. Alan Parsons
26. ??? Slade
28 Brian Basin
29. Johnny Cooper
32. ??? Chapman
36. Jeffrey ???

Woodside Junior

Woodside junior school 1
Top row 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Second row 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
Third row 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33
Bottom row 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41
1. Terry Bone
3. Alan Jones
4. Richard Bright (Titch)
8. Gwen Read (identified by Steve Read)
10. David Whiter
11. Brian Basin
21. Billy Trailer
26. Craig Dichenson
28. June Digby
32. Alan Chapman
36. Barry Keen
38. Alan Parsons
36. Geoffrey Norton
39. Johnny Cooper

Woodside Junior (2)

Woodside junior school class 9, don't remember all the names.
Top row 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Second row 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Third row 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Bottom row 30 31 32 33 34 35 36
1. Mr Knowles
3. David Vesea
12. Brian Basin
18. Jonny Cooper
24. Jeffrey ???
25. Alan Jones
27. David Cunningham
32. June Digby
33. Barry Keen
36. Alan Parsons

Alan PARSONS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel,

Because nobody else seems to has done it, I've written a long overdue history of the Royal Standard Pub and Music Venue at Blackhorse Road [read it here].

I first remember going there with a few mates in the late 1960's or early 1970's. Although I enjoyed the entertainment, I wasn't impressed by the ambience of the place. There was a good sized crowd but the hall was scruffy and badly lit. The stage was at one end of the hall and Don Harvey, the resident organist and compere was at one side of the stage. Over the years, because I was a jazz and folk fan, I seldom went there as although I love live music it wasn't much to my taste.

In 1976, we moved from our three bed overcrowded flat in Priory Court, Walthamstow to a large four bed house in Chingford. After a few months, early one evening, I saw my next door neighbour, a small charming apparently shy man, loading a keyboard, an amp and leads into his car. I asked him if he was a musician and he told met hat he was a keyboard player and had a regular gig at the Royal Standard. As I was obviously interested he showed me his studio that he had built in his garage where he used to practice, record tracks and teach music. Stupidly, it was a couple of weeks before I put two and two together and belatedly realised that he was Don Harvey of the Royal Standard.

Because we were neighbours, both our families got to know each other quite well. Don was a fantastic musician and had played with many leading bands and backed many famous stars. His wife suffered from severe agoraphobia and an associated nervous condition that limited how for long Don would leave he on her own. This meant that, although he did regular session work with the record and TV companies, he wasn't available to tour which limited his chance of becoming a really big star.

Some years later, he became estranged from his wife and moved out and I never saw him again. I shall always regret that I never took the opportunity to get to know more about his work at the Royal Standard.

I knew Rising Sun pub in the 1970/80's when I managed a tough east London housing estate in Bow for the GLC. This was the Coventry Cross estate that had been sliced into two parts by the creation of the Hackney link motorway approach to the Blackwall Tunnel by Bow Locks. When I knew the pub, all trace of its former musical past were gone.

I take this opportunity to wish all the Walthamstow Memories readers the compliments of the season and a happy and prosperous new year.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

From Daniel: I avail myself of this opportunity to ex12-12press all my gratitude for the excellent and constant flow of articles (and assistance to single visitors) you have provided during the past year: may it continue for years and years to come! You are building a great reference for the local history of Walthamstow.


I found the extract below at http://queensboundary.wordpress.com/local-history/queens-road-cemetery/

"Also in this area are four public graves containing the remains of 129 people who died during an epidemic between September 1946 and February 1947."

Although the nature of the epidemic is not mentioned in the article, Google research for epidemics in 1946 indicate there were a large number of Polio epidemics throughout the world as well as the UK. It may well be this is what happened in this case.

Michael GILBEY Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Janice

My Husband saw your letter on Walthamstow Memories, my mum and Dad and all our Family lived at 183 Winns Avenue, next door to the Myers Family. We lived next door to them for 22 yrs. I went to school with Eileen from the age of 5 and we spent all our school days together. I also knew all the boys Freddie, Jimmy, your Dad Albert, Harry, also the daughter Doris. Eileen and myself worked together at Wrightons, the furniture makers at Billet road. My surname then was Asprey. Eileen and myself both got married, I married Eddie Wybrow, who lived in Sutherland Road. Peter, Eileen's husband, was Eddie's friend. Eileen and Peter moved to Burgess Hill and we moved to Tonbridge in Kent. After some time Eileen and Peter moved to Canada, and we moved to Bournemouth. We visited Eileen and Peter in Canada for 3 wonderful holidays, we were made so welcome and their 2 daughters were delightful. Since Eileen died Peter has been over to England and stayed with us for 2 weeks. Our wonderful holidays with all of them we will never forget. I was talking to Peter on the phone the other evening and he tells me he might be over again in 2014. We phone each other about every 8 weeks, its so nice to keep in touch with friends.

Best wishes

Phillis WYBROW Private Reply Public Reply

Tony Kemp wrote to you in Dec 2010 for information relating to Rev Ernest Ketley, minister of Higham Hill Baptist Church from 1947 to his death in 1955. Rev Ketley was my grandfather and I would be delighted to share information with him.

Joy COLES Private Reply Public Reply

Hi. I chanced upon 4 graves in Walhamstow cemetery. About 100 names are inscribed. The dates are Nov-Dec 1946 and Dec-Jan 1947!! Can't be WW2. Was there a boat/plane crash or large disaster that caused all these deaths? Does anyone know what happened? I would really appreciate any help. Yours sincerely

Jeremiah O'MAHONEY
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Hi Michael,

Its Louise from Walthamstow Times. My mum went to William McGuffie: she thinks she was told he was a soldier but don't know anything else about him.
Best regards

Louise RIDGWELL Private Reply Public Reply

Hi everyone just found this site. My granmum, aunt and uncle, we're massive speedway fans, I think they were Walthamstow Wolves. The family name was Brooks, Violet, Lily,(my mum), Dot and Terry, does anyone out there remember anything? Incidentally, I was born at Thorpe Coombes Hospital in 1952!

Christine SNELL Private Reply Public Reply


The only plausible reference I can find to William McGuffie is in the 1922 & 1925/6 edition of Kelly's Directory. Listed under Walthamstow Urban District Council for as a councillor for Higham Hill Ward is a William James McGuffie J.P.. He does not appear to have been born a local man and there are few English census references that could possibly be him suggesting he may have possibly been born in Scotland.
He appears to have died in 1930 where his estimated birth year is given as 1876.
Although I was a product of the "Scruffy McGuffie" school, I don't ever recall anyone telling us who the school name founder was.
Best wishes,

Michael GILBEY Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Vera,

It is a very small world. I married Dave Williams' (Williams Fish Shop) grand-daughter and we lived above the shop and ran it in the early 60's. We prided ourselves on the quality and cooking of our fish and chips and we had many faithful regular customers.

We bought fresh cod, haddock, sole, rock ell and skate from Billingsgate very early in the morning, and took it back to the shop to clean, gut, fillet and cut into portions. The potatoes were mechanically peeled by a rotary peeler that looked like a cement mixer. We would go over them manually with a knife to remove 'eyes' and frost bites etc before putting them into a mechanical chipper. They then went into a huge tub of water that contained a whitening agent so that they wouldn't go brown before use. While the ranges were coming up to temperature, we mixed the batter, laid the tables in the restaurant, filled the salt and vinegar bottles, buttered he rolls and prepared the tea urn. We were the ready for the day.

David Williams was a well known character in the market. He and his wife came up to London from the Rhondda valley in Wales in the early 1930's. He was an ex miner and pit over-man who had got the 'dust'. This was an incurable illness of the lungs caused by constantly inhaling coal-dust and contracted by many miners. David's illness was diagnosed early in the illness and he and his wife left the valley to find work in London. Although David didn't have any trade other than as a miner, his wife worked for a fishmonger and taught him the necessary skills.

When they came to London in the late 30's, they lived in north London and got work in a Lyons Corner House. Both of them worked cleaning and filleting the huge amount of fish used in the restaurant. Later they moved to Walthamstow to work in the High Street shop and lived over the premises. As you know, quite early in the war a high explosive bomb wiped out the corner of High Street and Hoe Street. The shop owner was never seen again and was presumed dead. David and his wife took over the tenancy and the business.

During the war because fish and chips were not on ration, it was like having a license to print money. The shop prospered and after the war they were able to set up two of their children in their own fish and chip shops (The third emigrated to America) The were also able to assist financially with setting up other members of the family in the fish and chip business. In the late 70's. family members had shops in Walthamstow (High Street, Forest Road and Orford Road). Leyton, Debden and Islington.

When I first met my wife, her father had a fish and chip shop and a separate wet fish shop in Islington until, like you, he emigrated to Canada. After his retirement he moved to Kichener in Ontario and died some five years ago.

When my wife and I first ran the shop in the High Street, her grand-father would assist with the preparations before opening and would be in the shop for the first 30-60 mins, This length of time depended on how much money we took in the shop for his pocket money. Once there was enough money in the till , he would take the banknotes and disappear until it was time to open again in the evening. He went and socialised in the back bar of the Chequers in the High Street, the Prince of Wales in Brunner Road (His favourite hiding place) and sometimes the Tower opposite Hoe Street station. Almost invariably he ended up in the Conservative Club that then was in an old big house at the top of the High Street. He was a genuinely pleasant, generous, sociable man and incredibly for a south Wales miner was a staunch Mason and Conservative Party member.

In conclusion I would like to ask you a question: I know about the William McGuffie (Scruffy McGuffie) school, but can you tell me who was William McGuffie ?

Best wishes,

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel,

The attachment is about the Walthamstow Palace Theatre, that I hope John Knowles (Founder of the Walthamstow Memories site) particularly will enjoy. I've actually been on sitting on it for some time in the hope that I would be able to consult the audio recording of the recollections of Bill Martingale, who was stage manager and then manager of the theatre and other Walthanstow residents, that was taped by the Waltham Forest Oral History Workshop.

Judging by their publications and outline catalogue, this organisation, since the 1980's, has done some fantastic work in recording the memories of many Walthamstow people. Unfortunately, due to lack of funding, very many of these tapes haven't been transcribed or digitalised and are unavailable to the public. When I do finally get to hear it (Hopefully in the New Year) I will be delighted to share with WM readers. I am particularly keen to learn the real identity of the so self styled Countess De La Marr!
Regards and respects

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Vera,

Thank you for your information. It would be good if you would put down some of your memories of life in the area and email them to the Walthamstow Memories site. I recently came across a good picture of the pub on the Walthamstow Times Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/walthamstow.times.7 that I wish I had seen before I wrote my piece. The picture is by the courtesy of Maggie Rowlings: who says "The Essex Brewery Tap, with George Pope, 2nd from right in the front. I would say this is very late 40s".

Picture of Essex Brewery Tap (Ca. 1940)

Best wishes,

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Bill,

With regards to the "Brewery" in Walthamstow, my husband used to sing in there in the early 1950, his name was Ted Forbes or Teddy Forbes keep up the good work.

Vera FORBES Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Melanie,

this is a long shot, just for my information, but my grandfather last name was BLYTH and he came from somewhere at the bottom of the "High St". I think his first name was Charles, if you know of anyone with that name I would be grateful.

Vera FORBES Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Keith,

I now live in Canada 60 yrs have passed, since I lived in England, my address was 91 Sommers Rd. It is still there to-day, my name was Vera Rice, perhaps you know my brothers Jimmy and Bernard. It's great to get in touch with someone who remembers William McGuffie, not many people talk about it. Also while I am on here I would like to say I also remember the bombs that fell at the top of the High Street, that was a disaster, and incendiary bombs fell in our street, not sure if I spelt that right. I do miss Williams Fish and Chip Shop. Enough for now.

Vera FORBES Private Reply Public Reply


Hi Bill

I read your article about when you worked as a boy in a Welsh Dairy. Was that dairy named Evans dairy, the reason I ask is that he was a friend of the father of a girl that I was going out with when i was about 17/18 years old. Her name was Pamela Barrick they had the sweetshop in Orford Road next to C.R. Electrics on the corner of Eden Road, where I worked for quite a few years. I don't know why but it was pulled down - it is now a small garden. Now I lived at 87 Orford Road where I was born in 1935, so i do remember the war years. I went to Maynard Rd school and Joseph Barrett secondary school. I am surprised there's not much said about Joseph Barrett school. I do remember Tony who found the lady floating in Hollow Ponds and saved her life; he was in my class. My name is Derek Greening-Brown.
Thanks Bill for a trip down menory lane.

  Private Reply Public Reply

Do you have any information or a photograph of a drinking fountain in or around Lloyds Park that was destroyed by a german bomb in ww2? Many Thanks

Duncan BULL Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Usha,

I am answering your Email publically so that I can place on record the following:

Yes I remember Sharad with fondness. He was a larger than life character with a keen intelligence and an impish sense of humour. I remember him as a tireless and inveterate campaigner against racial and religious intolerance. I particularly remember him trying to open a restaurant in the High Street called 'Roti' that he hoped would help to people to understand other cultures.
He was one of the people who inspired me to work with what then was the alienated and isolated Bangla Deshi community in Tower Hamlets area where you and I worked and I think that he would have enjoyed the diverse multi racial communities that make up present day Waltham Forest.
I am still in touch with some of the people who knew him and I will send you a private Email.
Respects and best wishes,

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello, I just wanted to greet Bill Bayliss - Bill you knew my father Sharad Dapurkar / Kar - he died 33 years ago tonight 14 - 15th Nov and I am thinking of him and our life back then in Walthamstow which is how I came across this page. I know noone who knew him and remembers him from those days which is such a shame he was of course a huge character as well as an activist. You and I worked very briefly together one summer in the housing dept in mile End - I was 17 at the time.I hope you thrive!

Best wishes

Usha KAR Private Reply Public Reply

It was often said within my family that my mums grandfather was Hitchmans first milkman whether or not that's true is to be debated. He would have been a Conyard.
I grew up in Walthamstow in the 60`s and 70`s. we lived in a flat in Warner Road. It had no bathroom just a loo leading off the scullery. It was either a wash in the tin bath or using my nans, she lived in Tenby Court.
My mum Doris Myers née Jones worked as a machinist at the infamous Achille Serres for years. Prior to that, before she married it seemed my whole family worked for the paper mills.
Uncle Ken owned and ran the fish stall at the bottom of the High Street, ably assisted by my Auntie Betty. Seems everyone knew Ken and Betty Jones.
My late father, Jim Myers worked as a caretaker at the Priory Court Clinic until his untimely death in 1985 at the age of 58.
As a youngster he and his brothers and sisters lived in Winns avenue. His dad, my grandfather, also Jim Myers died on a local bus in 1962. It was reported in the Guardian newspaper. My nan Myers went to live in the old peoples flats at Priory Court, overlooking the Walthamstow Avenue football ground.
Most of that generation have passed away the most recently being my Aunt Eileen Allen nee Myers. She and her family emigrated to Canada.
Myself and cousins have moved away so I only have a fond emotional attachment to Walthamstow, of good times. Wandering up and down the High street, shopping in Temptation and J Davis
If anyone knew any of my family Jones or Myers I would love a reply.
I often visit the site. I'm amazed at peoples power of recollection.
Best Regards

Janice MYERS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi we know Robin & Michael Titterton we were all in the Young Braves. Jean Smith married to Barry Norman.

Jean SMITH Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Jean
As you know I was a member of Walthamstow Speedway TT Club with my Uncle Ken Hall. I also once played with Bobby Stevens he played in the first team with Ken I played in the third division team with the Abley boys sons of Cyril Abley.

John EVANS Private Reply Public Reply

Can anyone remember about the Walthamstow Town Hall being built and local schools were invited to get pupils to write about themselves and their families and all this info was put into a metal canister and buried in. Mum belives in the foundations for people of the future to find and learn about children in the 1930's

Margaret YEOMANS
née MANDALL Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Bill

Just wanted to say thank you for adding John Moppett name to your article as they are great pictures and we must appreciate him for sharing them instead of them being lost forever... also I must add appreciate you adding my site Walthamstow Times to the credits as it be great if all Walthamstow Memories followers had a peep on Facebook as I now hold many exciting and interesting pictures for everyone to enjoy.
Best regards

Louise RIDGWELL Private Reply Public Reply

Hi My mum and dad both worked at Achille Serres... my dads name was Charlie Hayesman he was a Hoffman presser, my mum Doris Hayesman nee Dugmore was a ironer. They met there and married in 1950.
He must have worked there during the 50s and 60s then it was taken over by Sketchleys. He then went to work for them in London. Do you remember them at all?

Sue COUTTS Private Reply Public Reply

I am Janice Dunn's daughter (third in from right, half way down with the big bow in her hair!). Mum came across this website by chance and recognised herself and others remembering lots of their names! Top left is Maureen Webster, girl holding the board is Marcia?? Anne Scotheran top row and Raymond Dolphin, .. and the list goes on!! Hope this helps!!

Helen COOK Private Reply Public Reply

I remember a table tennis club under the archways. I joined in the late 1950's and think it was called "The Walthamstow Speedway T.T. Club. I played there for years and then followed them to Wadham Lodge in Brookscroft Road til 1964 and EVEN played with the then English No:1 Bobby Stevens who sometimes visited Wadham Lodge with 'old' players from the arches.

Jean BROWN née Truman
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What memories..my dad worked at Achille Serres as a hoffman presser. must have been in the 50s and 60s..Sadly now dead. His name was CHARLIE HAYESMAN..he met my mum there (DORIS) and they married in 1950..Anyone remember them?

Sue COUTTS née Hayesman
  Private Reply Public Reply

Hi was his nickname "ELVIS" and did he have a sister "LA LA" ?

Sue COUTTS née Hayesman
  Private Reply Public Reply

Does anyone remember the veg stall outside the cock tavern? My uncle Joe worked on the stall next door. His name was JOEY HAYESMAN.

Sue COUTTS née Hayesman
  Private Reply Public Reply

Dear all,

Waltham Forest Oral History Workshop has put together some great stories from its archive of 600+ recordings. You can hear them at Vestry House Museum next Saturday afternoon, 16th November.

This is our contribution to Words Over Waltham Forest and to the launch of the national Explore Your Archive Campaign, http://www.exploreyourarchive.org. You can drop in at the Archives and Local Studies Library and the Photo Collection that afternoon as well. Our flyer is attached - please pass it on to anyone who might be interested. Thank you.

Best wishes,

Alice MACKAY Private Reply Public Reply

I too was born in Willersley Castle I. June 1941. My mother was sent there to give birth because of the bombing. I went back there and took my Mother and Father, I saw the room that I was born in. On my birth certificate it states my birth place as Willersley Castle, Matlock, Derbyshire. I have met 2 other people born there also

Carol SHARPE (née Monaghan)
  Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel,

As I promised a few days ago, here is my piece on Manze's in the High Street [read it here]. Fortuitously, we learnt yesterday that it had been recognised nationally as "a unique part of the capital's heritage and is as relevant and popular now as it was when it first opened in the 1920s. It clearly deserves to be given Grade II-listed status."

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, i would like to put the following message on your site please. I am looking for anyone that attended the Warwick Secondary School for Girls in Brooke Road, Walthamstow E17 during 1963 - 1968. The headmistress there was Miss Hubbard. My name then was Susan Doerffer and would love to contact others from the school. My friend Rosemary attended there her surname was Titterton.

Sue SHEEHY Private Reply Public Reply

Doris Wise was a lifelong friend of my mothers. They were at school together. My mother's name was Ada Gilyatt. As a family we knew Doris and her sister Gladys as auntie Doris and auntie Gladys. They didn't marry. Our mother trained as a nurse and midwife. Her married name was Walden.

Tsjrlim Private Reply Public Reply

I have been searching high and low for any information and especially photos of Higham Hill Infants and Junior School or maybe known as St Andrews Road, School in the late 1950s to mid 60's. I was a pupil at that time, and I know the school has since been knocked down, but I would so much like to find any photos or info on this. I hope someone can help.

Barbara HAMMOND Private Reply Public Reply

Read an article about A.H.Herberts: I worked there for 20 Years; was a Haulage contractor with 6 Lorries would like to hear from anyone else who worked there from 1968-1988

Jim BURGESS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi All, Hi Jim,

My name is Jim Burgess.

I had lorries on hire to A.H.Herberts in 1970 for 21 years before moving to Hampshire for a quieter life.

Was good to read your Story.
Hope you are keeping well.

Jim BURGESS Private Reply Public Reply

Lovely to find this site. I was born in Walthamstow, as was my mother and her siblings. Her family moved there from Bermondsey in the 1800's. I don't think there are any of our family left there now, but... oh what memories! My husband and I were married in St. Mary's Church old Walthamstow, as was my mother and grandmother. My husband and I made a sentimental visit to Walthamstow just before we retired to France. We had moved to Leigh on Sea at the end of the seventies. My grandparents and many ancestors are buried in Queen's Road cemetary. Dear old Walthamstow!!

Beryl TAYLOR Private Reply Public Reply


Dear Daniel,

Just discovered your page, and thought I would write about my years in Walthamstow.

I was 18 years of age in 1955 and my father, who had been a butcher/machineman in Deptford before and during the war, bought a cafe at 775/777 Lea Bridge Road, Walthamstow E17, which I worked in. The transport cafe was called Rene's dining rooms and we had a very successful business. I was a very shy young lady and agreed to help dad in the cafe and what gentlemen the lorry drivers were in those days, if telling a joke when I went up to serve them they would stop straight away and say "there is a young lady here lads"...

How times have changed, I never heard a swear word from these so called hard men of the road.

Good days forever gone.

(née Benton),
now living in sw France
  Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, I am not sure where I found this website: http://www.rainbowcircle.f2s.com/Walthamstow/1%20introduction.html Maybe it was in W'stow Memories & if so. I apologise. If not, I am sure others would like to see it. I wish it had been available when I was at school. Would have been amazing to walk the streets & imagine the bombs dropping. Steve Read. W'stow 1949 - 1984.

Steve READ Private Reply Public Reply

Too long for me at 41 minutes but if you want to see the High Street have a look.


Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

I wonder if anyone remembers the St. Marks table tennis club in Roebank Road, just off of Boundary Road E.17. It was 2 arches under the railway line, one arch had about 4 tables and the other on held the competition room and table. They were in 4 teams in the local league. I can remember Ken Beamish, Harry Wagstaffe and Jim Marlow. It was quite a prestigious club and often had visits from the English number one player Peggy Franks. You could get a cup of tea or soft drink provided by Mrs Tingay, whose son Reg was also a member. Happy days indeed.

Alan TUCKWELL Private Reply Public Reply

I've wanted to write about the Wood Street Walk for some time, but photographs were extremely hard to find. So, I continued to collect material and filed it away on my computer. Then, recently, out of the blue, some wonderful photographs were posted on the Walthamstow Times Facebook pages. These were posted by John Moppett and had been taken by his father, who ran a chemists Shop in Wood Street from 1946-1976. The pictures were of the Wood Street Walk and perfectly caught the 'feel' of the event and of the times.

In many ways this isn't an article written by me. All that I have done is to collate the memories of a number of Walthamstow people and illustrate these with John Moppett's pictures. [read it here]

Respects & regards

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

When my wife was a little girl, in the late 1940's and early 1950's, she lived above her grandparents' Fish and Chip shop at the top of the High Street. Virtually opposite the shop was her playground in Selborne Park. Today, it is completely unrecognizable from what it was like then and this [read it here] is my attempt to show its history.

Respects & regards

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel

I know that you're not at your computer as I write this , but hopefully in London.
I attach an article about V1s in the war and the compassion shown to each other during those awful times [read it here].

Best wishes

Alan MILES Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Barbara,

don't know whether this is helpful or not or even if I'm barking up the right tree!!!
I've asked some old school friends about the info too. I have a feeling that the school you are looking for was actually on Clifton Ave. in front of Willowfield school.

I left Walthamstow in 1985 and the school was standing then so don't know when it went. When I was at Willowfield 1975 -78 the school was an infant school but it was an old school then. I thought there were some photos of the school around on Friends re-united but as yet I haven't been able to find any.

I'll keep looking and see if anything turns up. E17 6HL is the postcode for Willowfield for you to have a look at the area on Google maps.

Hope this helps
Best Wishes

Andy JUDD Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Jacqui,

My e-mail address changed quite some time ago. My new address is: tasjude@shaw.ca and so hopefully it can be changed on this site. I am interested in contacting you to find out how we are related.

Tas RICHARDSON Private Reply Public Reply

Unfortunately, I can't shed any light on the mystery illness, but I do know that the Lido closed for more mundane economic reasons. To compensate for my ignorance, I've written a piece about the Whipps Cross Lido that, I hope, will evoke some pleasurable nostalgia.

Respects & regards

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Noella (aka Nicky) Smith of Leyton would like to hear from long lost cousin by the name of Gregory who lived in and around Blenheim Road Walthamstow in 1960s

Nicky SMITH Private Reply Public Reply


Whipps Cross Lido closed in the early 1980's for economic reasons. At the time I was one of the councillors on Waltham Forest Council who unfortunately had to make that decision despite looking at all methods of keeping it open.

I don't have the figures now but the lido like many others was suffering from years of falling numbers of people going there and ever escalating maintenance costs. At the time the council was also facing severe cut-backs in the rate support grant from central government. The final option was to repair the lido at huge expense for the relatively few users that swam there when the weather was fine, but which would result in the imposition of drastic cuts elsewhere to fund both the repair bill. The small amount of money coming in from lido takings due to little usage by bathers went nowhere near the actual amount the lido cost to run. The only other way to fund the lido would have been through a hefty and very unpopular rate rise.

As much as everyone explored other options, economically there really was no choice in the end. As Whipps Cross Lido was built on land that is designated part of Epping Forest its closure also meant the land had to be returned to forest use.

Michael GILBEY Private Reply Public Reply

Dear Daniel

I wandered if you wouldn't mind posting [this] onto Walthamstow Website? It is a little piece about Dawn Molloy's book?
Hope you're OK
With best wishes

Alan Miles Private Reply Public Reply

Hello. My query is about Whipps Cross swimming pool and I gather it was closed about 1970/71 for refurbishment. I wonder if anyone knows why it closed. Was it anything to do with an incident which occurred around about that time which involved a young man called Robert Palmer, who was about 26 at the time. I believe he was working there. There were some foreign visitors to the pool and Robert and one other person contracted a weird virus of some sort, which left Robert blind and a virtual vegetable. I believe the other person died. Robert survived but spent the rest of his life in a care home, unable to see and mentally retarded. He passed away two weeks ago.

My curiosity about this incident is because my sister is married to Robert's sole surviving brother, who lives in Canada and is in his late 70s. They remember very little about what happened at the time and I would like to find out some information for them.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Valerie HUME Private Reply Public Reply

I can confirm Rodney Silk's information about the Wise family and add a little bit more.

According to the In Electoral Rolls of 1964 & 1965, Gladys G Silk was the sole occupant of 48, Hoe Street. The death of Gladys Grace Wise, who was born on the 30th September 1905, was registered in 1991 at Walthamstow (15 889)

The Southampton marriage of Doris F Wise, almost certainly is of another Doris Florence Wise who was born in Southampton in 1900.


Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Rodney

Thank you for doing the research and sending this; I really appreciate it. I confess I wasn't intending to do much research myself, being a bit preoccupied with my own. But I thought it worth a note on the web site in case a family member might come out of the woodwork. It's not a valuable book or even very interesting, just a schoolgirl story, but it would be nice to get it back to the family. I'll certainly hang on to it and hope one day to have the time to follow up the details you've sent me,

I came across the website quite by chance and looked for my own Walthamstow connections in the A to Z with no success. I shall have to think about adding some of my information. I was interested to see some posts about The Lighthouse, which was the Church all my Mum's family attended.

Thanks again. Best wishes

Barbara DING Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Barbara,

According to the 1911 Doris Florence Wise was living at 19, Tavistock Avenue, Walthamstow with her parents Edmund Thomas Wise(age 40yrs) and Florence Martha(Nee Cattell)(age 38yrs). Doris had a younger sister Gladys Grace who was aged 5 at the census. I believe that the Blackhorse Road school was situated between Tavistock Avenue and Clifton Avenue but is now known as Willowfield School. Getting more information than this is proving difficult as I cannot find a suitable marriage entry for the sisters in the marriage index. There is a marriage entry for Doris M. Wise in 1922 registered in Southampton but further information can only be obtained by applying for the certificate. That will cost about £9 but you take a chance as to if it is the right person. Also It could mean that the sisters did not marry or emigrated abroad. There are possible death entries for the parents as Edmund T. Wise aged 64, death was registered in 1935 in Hackney,and Florence M. Wise aged 58, death was registered in 1931 in London City. Getting the death certificates will tell you who registered the deaths but again it will cost money. I have tried Genes Re-united but got no results which is most unusual. On Ancestry.co.uk there are three public member trees with the Wise family included but the information they have is no more than I have given you here. This information may not be enough to contact the present generation of the Wise family but it is a start and I wish you luck in your efforts.

Kind regards

Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

I wondered whether you could post this message on your site somewhere?

I've found a book entitled "Vera's Trust" in my late mother's effects which has a Walthamstow Education Committee label on the inside front cover stating: "PRIZE Presented to Doris Wise for proficiency in Drawing at the Blackhorse Road Girls School 1914"

I know nothing about the family or the school, but my mother lived in Walthamstow (Markhouse Road). I'll happily post it to a descendant of Doris Wise .......someone's late mother/granny/great grandmother perhaps?

Barbara DING Private Reply Public Reply

Although both my parents were working class, not for me the usual place of birth Thorpe Coombe, Whipps Cross, Clapton's Mothers Home etc., but Willesley Castle in Cromford, Derbyshire, although my birth certificate says Matlock which I guess was where my birth was registered.
From 1940 to 1946 4,000 babies were born in Willesley Castle, many from the East End. Clapton's Mothers Home had suffered war damage and part of it was transferred to Willesley Castle. It was felt to be safer to be in Derbyshire than in London with the bombing, although after 10 days you were sent home on the train. Willesley Castle is in fact a rather grand stone-built house built by Richard Arkwright the mill owner in the late 18th Century there is plenty of information about it on-line. The building now houses a Christian hotel not a lot of good to me being an atheist and a drinker. I have only met one other person who was born there and he was a very dear friend of mine as children. I was born in June 1944 and my mother had very fond memories of how nice Derbyshire was with warm sunny weather but my friend who was born in January 1945 his mothers memories were completely opposite with cold and draughty rooms and atrocious weather.
There must be more of you out there who share this birthplace because I believe there was 2,000 from the East End born there during this time. In our case it was fairly pointless my mother leaving London because we weren't back many weeks before we suffered being bombed.
They had a reunion there on the 70th anniversary but I did not read about this till after the event.
I would be interested if anyone else was born there or maybe their parents or grandparents.

Tony JONES Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Bill,

Your article re milkmen reminded me of ours Bob Mount, who ran his business from just of Higham Hill Road. I lived in Millfield Avenue 50s & 60s and can still recall his distinctive cry something like "whoo-op" he pushed a hand barrow around the Higham Hill area.
I can also remember the horsedrawn carts, getting an ear bashing from Dad for being too slow to retrieve the horse dung. Old ladies would tell us off for making a slide in the ice as a danger to the horses.

Keith COOPER Private Reply Public Reply


Hello Bill,

As I attended primary and junior school during the war years and up to 1947 I too received school free milk. I do remember having to put the bottles on the heating pipes during some winter months to de-freeze the milk. When I went onto Clark's College in 1947, a private general education and commercial school in Hoe Street, there was no free milk.

In the early years of the last century the health of school children was a concern due to under nourishment and in 1906 the Liberal government passed the Provision of School Meals Act which permitted local authorities to provide free school meals . This legislation was further strengthened in 1921 which empowered local education authorities to provide free meals including milk to its pupils. However, local authorities were rather slow to implement the legislation and by 1939 only about half were providing free meals. After the war Ellen Wilkinson, the education minister in Clement Attlee's government, persuaded Parliament to pass the 1946 Free Milk Act which gave every pupil under the age of 18 a third of a pint of milk a day. Ellen Wilkinson was the first female education minster and only the second female to hold a ministerial position. But her private life was a little troubled being romantically linked to two labour MPs. This together with her failure to get all the education reforms she wanted, raising the leaving age to 16 was one, she took an overdose of barbiturates and died in office on 6th. February 1947. It was Harold Wilson's government that stopped free school milk for secondary school pupils in 1968. It was when Margaret Thatcher was the education minister in Sir Edward Heath's government that she stopped free school milk in 1971 and got the title "Margaret Thatcher the milk-snatcher". However recently released documents have suggested she was in favour of keeping this grant but was overruled by Edward Heath. Despite the cuts local education authorities still provided free school milk and in 1977 the EEC Milk Subsidy Scheme was introduced to allow them to claim extra funding for providing milk. Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979.

I remember Hitchman's Dairies delivering local milk and my mother taking a jug to the door which the roundsman filled from the churn using a ladle. My family knew one of the roundsman as he lived in our road. When I was at Selwyn Avenue school we paid a visit to Hitchman's art deco building in Walthamstow Avenue and had a tour of the dairy. Nice to see the building is still there but it is now a hotel and rather lost as the north entry and exit of the Billet underpass is in front of it.

Many thanks for the post on Hitchman's Dairies. I did know a little about them but not to the depth of your knowledge. Keep up the good work.

Kindest regards

Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel,

Maybe some readers may be interested in my recollections of the Walthamstow Palace, to which I was taken sometimes by my parents when I was growing up in the 1930s. Among the performers that I remember were Dickie Henderson, Vic Oliver, Leslie Henson and Julie Andrews as a young girl with her Mum and Dad. I seem to remember going to a circus there and I certainly remember a truly spectacular magic show by "The Great Dante" who had a large company of male and female assistants. You can see a film of him sawing a woman in half in absolutely amazing style if you google "Dante the Magician" Another remarkable act was Martin Taubman with his "Electronde", one of the earliest electronic musical instruments, which he played just by moving his hand to and fro in front of an antenna. You can see him too by googling "Electronde + Taubman" or Electronde + British Pathe".

We always sat in the seats called "the fauteuils" which was just the theatre's posh name for the Stalls, which made me feel very superior to the people in the Pit (horrible little snob that I was). I also saw one or two plays when the Countessde la Marr took over the theatre after the war, but the audience at these was so sparse that one felt very sorry for the actors having to play before such an empty theatre

Respects & Regards,

John BUCK Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel,

Attached [read it here] is another article in my series about former Walthamstow companies.

When I was a young lad in the late 1940's, the baker and the milkman with their horse drawn carts, used to deliver in my road. To my absolute chagrin, my father made me go outside with a coal shovel and bucket to collect the horse dung droppings that he wanted for our garden. Where I lived, the milk delivery company was the United Dairies company but I now know that exactly the same scenario was being played out in Walthamstow except that the company was Hitchman's.

At 12 years old, I graduated from doing a paper round to doing a bicycle milk round for a small local Welsh dairy. I did the round on a big heavy bicycle that had a carrier in front of the handlebars which was big enough to take a crate of milk and had a side-stand to lean the bicycle when at rest.

It wasn't a big milk round but in addition to the crate of milk bottles, I had other bottles that I placed between the bottles in the crate making it quite a precarious load. The tricky bit was at the beginning of the round, when my load was heavy, and I stopped to deliver the milk bottles to the customer's front door step and I had to lean the bike on its stand. Remember, these were heavy glass bottles and not the lighter safer plastic cartons that we use today.

When I was 13 years old, after I had finished my bicycle round, I was 'promoted' to helping with the milk hand-cart round. This was a much bigger round and you needed a lot of 'puff' for the job. The real bonus was that on a Saturday, after I'd finished the milk round I worked in the shop.

This was a typical London- Welsh dairy & grocery shop and I used to pack and deliver local orders for customers. The job I particularly liked was cutting slabs of bacon on the bacon slicer. According to the customer's preference, you adjusted the machine for the thickness of slice, placed the slab of bacon on metal spikes to hold it steady and ran the slicer back and forth. In my head, I can still smell the co-mingled smell of the 'mousetrap' cheese and raw bacon.

At Junior & Senior school up until 1970, when, in virtually the first act of her Prime Ministership, Mrs Thatcher stopped it, we were given a free one third of a pint bottle of milk every morning. By ten AM, when it was issued to us, it had stood unrefrigerated since the early hours of the day. Sometimes it was left near a classroom radiator. This was before the days of homogenization and usually there was a layer of cream at the top of the bottle. I hated it and whenever I could I would give it to a mate to drink.

When I came to live at Priory Court in Walthamstow, I got to know several people who worked at Hitchman's. One was a milk roundsman and the other worked at the North Circular Road depot. It was he who provided the lorry on which we built the various floats that we entered in the annual Walthamstow carnival.

It was these memories and my curiosity of how it began, that prompted me to research and write the Hitchman story.

Respects & Regards,

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Pauline,

I have some information to answer your query posted on Walthamstow Memories. Being a plastics manufacturer the Xylonite was engaged in the production of aircraft canopies and gun turrets during the second World War. It may be that it was targeted for this reason but I think that doing so would not have had much impact on reducing our aircraft production. There were recorded nine high explosive bombs being dropped on the Xylonite factory and its grounds during 1940 to 1944. You may have witnessed the dropping of four high explosive bombs on the 31st. January 1941 which could have caused much damage . I can remember going to school one morning and seeing a large hole in the roof of the admin building block which was built alongside Tudor Road. This could have been the result of an unexploded anti aircraft shell recorded as falling in the grounds on 23rd. February, 1944. The trade name Halex for the Xylonite products was derived by adding the X(for Xylonite) on the end of Hale, as in Hale End, the nearby hamlet and which the area was generally known as before Highams Park became more popular.

I know something of the Chingford Road V2 Rocket incident as I was sleeping about 100 feet from the impact in our outdoor Anderson shelter which was situated at the bottom of our garden which ran along the back of the houses in the Chingford Road. Of the 1115 recorded rockets that fell on England between September 1944 and March 1945 this was number 694 and would have been launched from near The Hague in Holland. Time from launch to impact was about six minutes. The impact of the Chingford Road rocket was midway between Nelson Road and Marlborough Road and made a direct hit on a public air raid shelter situated on the pavement. Houses on both sides of the road were destroyed and eight people in the shelter and eight more, four on each side of the road, were killed in the incident. It occurred at 1.08am on the 8th. February 1945. I have a vivid memory of this incident and can elaborate on it more which I will do as I intend to forward to Daniel my impressions as a young lad living in Walthamstow during the second World War.

Kind regards

Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

A little more on Charles John Martin. His spouse was Frances Rosetta Day but we cant find any marriage record for them. When daughter Lily Esther was born in 1909 the family was living at 14 Nursery Cottages, Lea Valley Road, Leyton. Anyone have knowledge of these cottages?

Looking through the records we've found that in addition to the four children in the 1911 census there are seven more under the name of Martin with the mother's maiden name as Day - all at regular intervals from 1912 until 1922.

It seems that wife Frances died in 1960 and her husband is described as "Engine Driver" but we assume he was operating a machine at the waterworks rather than driving a train!

All the best,

Stephen MARDEN Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Pauline,

Ordinary Luftwaffe raids are not usually my speciality, but fortunately I have almost complete records for the borough of Walthamstow, so I can answer your question.

There were no HE bombs on Higham Station Avenue. There were a few on the open land between Tudor Road and Larkshall Road, and these were the nearest. However, on 11th May 1941 there was a raid on that area with incendiary bombs. Numbers 65 and 79 Higham Station Avenue were both hit, and we can assume the resulting fire spread beyond these two properties. Other properties in Marlborough Road, Nelson Road and Tudor Road were also hit on this raid.

The V2 Rocket fell in Chingford Road near to the junction with Nelson Road at 01:08hrs on 8th February 1945. The rocket scored a direct hit on the end of a brick surface shelter in which eight people were sleeping. All eight were killed and the shelter was completely demolished. Eight others were killed in surrounding property.

Best Regards,

V-Weapon Researcher Private Reply Public Reply


I am an archivist of Harlington Heritage Trust in Bedfordshire and I am currently researching the children evacuated here from London. Many of these children came from your school and I wondered if you have any information relevant to this?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

Kim CHARLESTON Private Reply Public Reply

To the many avid readers of the Walthamstow Memories website.

I would like to publicly give my profuse thanks to Bill Bayliss and Colin Weeden for their help in producing the article about E. N. Bray Ltd. Because the story was previously untold and it had intrigued me for over 60 years.

The amount of research by Bill and Colin makes my contribution almost insignificant and I am deeply indebted to both of these gentlemen for their time and trouble over the past months.

I sincerely hope that others enjoy Bill's article as much as I have.

Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

Hi John,

When WW2 started in September 1939, I was just over 2yrs old and lived with my Parents and Grandfather at 76 Highams Station Avenue... In May 1940 I was in Oakham, Rutland, with my Mother and Grandfather.. When we came back (I cannot remember exactly when that was) the houses next door to us had been bombed. The next road was Marlborough and Tudor Road ran across the top of both roads.. all that part was hit... I remember the British Xylonite being a mass of flames one night... that factory was at the top of Highams Station Avenue.. perhaps the Germans were targetting that and the houses were also hit in that Raid.

I would interested to know if you have any dates or any information on that Raid.

Also later in the War a Rocket landed at the end of HSA in the Chingford Road, my friend's mother was killed.


Pauline TAYLOR Private Reply Public Reply

I have just returned from a two day visit to Walthamstow after 50 years.
Much has changed and I thought it was all generally pleasing, but regret the loss of many places.
I would like to contact anybody that went to William McGuffie (Now demolished) 1946 to 1950, St.Lukes (It appears to be now closed) 1946 to 1960, 5th. Walthamstow Scouts 1946 to 1960, Chapel End Secondary (Now demolished) (1957 and 1960 to 1964.)
Are Geff Matthams and Alan Britland out there ?

Many thanks

Keith TODD Private Reply Public Reply

I am looking for any information on a family who lived in Walthamstow called Louisa and Edward Burtenshaw. I believe they had 19 children in Queen rd can you help ?

Many thanks

Sylvia KENNERSON Private Reply Public Reply

We now know a bit more about the Martins: George sadly went down on HMS Akoubir when it was hit by a german u boat in first world war. He was never recoverd. Charles lived at 71 Gosport rd walthamstow till his death in 1969. It appears his daughter and son in law George and Lily Hurst also lived with him. Any further information would be welcome

Many thanks

Stephen MARDEN Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel

Hope all is well with you.
I have attached for your consideration for the website an article [read it here or in the Personal Stories page], it is about three men who lived with Post Traumatic Syndrome after the War.

Best wishes

Alan MILES Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Ron,

When I read this, I had an immediate vision of my Nan in the late 1940's dressed in her best to attend a wedding and wearing her red fox stole draped around her neck. This had its head, paws and tail and it smelled of mothballs. I was an eight year old boy and I hated it.

Picture of fur stole

My Nan's fur stole wasn't as grand as the one in the picture, but this is for those younger readers who may never have see one. It is actually from a recent Ebay advert and a shows silver fox fur stole.

Genuine 1940's/1950's Silver Fox Cape
Stunning cape featuring 2 silver foxes. It is in impeccable condition apart from the nose rubbing off one of the foxes. There is no balding, matting of the fur or bad odour.
The front part is made up of the foxes tails and fastens with a large popper. The back has 2 fox heads finished with plastic eyes. It sits beautifully on the shoulders. It is lined in a dark red silk/crepe type fabric. [Link to eBay item]

Like most people, I wasn't aware that there had been fox fur farming in the UK. Your letter prompted me to do a little research and I found the following letter to the Spectator (The earliest continuous magazine published in the UK)

From the Spectator archive... letter to the editor:

27 SEPTEMBER 1929, Page 18


I have been interested in Silver Fox Farming in this country for the last ten years, and we've had several inquiries from the R.S.P.C.A., and other people interested, as to the method employed in killing the foxes. On learning that all foxes are killed by chloroform all these inquirers have been completely satisfied. I do not believe that any fox farmer of repute in this country would employ any other method in killing his foxes, not only from motives of humanity, but also for economic reasons, and the Association would always advise that chloroform supplies the best means of killing foxes from every point of view.'


In fact, fur farming was not abolished in the UK until The Fur Farming (Prohibition) Act 2000 (c. 33) which is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom to "prohibit the keeping of animals solely or primarily for slaughter for the value of their fur" in England and Wales. It received Royal Assent on 23 November 2000.

Coming back to you enquiry, I would advise you that I can't find any hard evidence that your maternal grand-father did farm silver foxes on the land on which Walthamstow Stadium was built. However, for the following reasons, although it seems unlikely, it is possible'

According to London Telephone Directory, In 1909, James is shown as being a 'Manufacturing Furrier' at 25, Ruby Road. From 1911 -1920, James and George are shown as 'Furriers' at 65a Pearl Road (Was their factory there?) In 1922, Kelly's Directory shows another 'Furrier's' (D F Cocks & Co at this address) In 1924 , George and James are shown as 'Manufacturing Furriers' at 55, Melville Road. From 1920-52 (And possibly longer) James, the older brother, lived close to the Stadium in Marlborough Road.

From about 1908-1931, the main site of Walthamstow Stadium was the home of Walthamstow Grange Football Club. When Bill Chandler bought the site, there was already a football stadium with two spectator stands in situ. If there was a silver fox farm, it may have been sited on the rear part of the site that was an athletic ground called the Myrtle Grove Sports Ground. The athletic ground appears on plans up to 1919.
I will send you my research notes that include genealogical information about your family separately and privately.


Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel,

The attached article [read it here or in the Personal Stories page)] was written principally at the instigation of WM regular contributor, Len Hall and I am extremely grateful for his tremendous input. I would also like to thank ex E N Bray employees; Denis Cooper and Colin Weeden on behalf of his father, for their help.

I find it quite sad that there is so little information available on the internet about the factory which was in Walthamstow from 1923- 1958 and about the predecessor company; Bray, Markham & Reiss.

Respects & Regards,

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Valerie,

Your father's swimming diplomas would have been awarded for his swimming at Walthamstow Baths in the High Street.

The original Chapel End junior and infants school, Roberts Road and Brookscroft Road. Chapel End board school was built in 1903. It was reorganized for Juniors and Infants in 1945. New buildings for 240 infants were completed by 1960. The present Infant and Junior schools in Roberts Road, together with nearby Early Years Centre in Brookscroft Road form a complex of primary education facilities that were purpose built in the 1990's.

The pictures below are by courtesy of the Friends Reunited website. (I am sure that the Waltham Forest Museum will have others) They are two views that show the north side(left) and south facing sides. The block just visible bottom left was added during the use by Monoux School as an annexe.

Chapel End School Chapel End School

The early years of the school are particularly noteworthy as the Headmaster was John Hilton. He was the father of James Hilton, the author who of 'Goodbye Mr Chips' which is a short novel about the life of a schoolteacher, Mr. Chipping. It was published in the United States in June 1934 and in the United Kingdom in October in same year. The novel was adapted into two films and two television versions. The memorable and most famous film version starred : Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Terry Kilburn, John Mills and Paul Henreid. Some of the charactor of Mr Chipping was based on John Hilton.

Describing his father in c1907, James Hilton wrote: 'My father was the head master of another school (Chapel End) in the same town, and I was a good deal petted and favoured by his colleagues. There were quite a few dirty and ragged boys in the class of seventy or so; the school itself was badly heated and badly lit; schoolbooks were worn and smeary because every boy had to follow the words with his finger as he read, an excusable rule, for it was the only way the teacher could see at a glance if his multitude were all paying attention... '

From: http://www.oldmonovians.com/old-monovians/who-s-who/james-hilton/james-hilton-about-monoux.html


Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Could you please give me the email address of Tas Richardson. The connection on the sight does not work. I realise that we are related so would dearly like to write to him.


Jacqui ENK Private Reply Public Reply

From Daniel: I'm sorry, but I only have the email address appearing on this site for Tas, so if he (or someone who knows him) can help...

I am doing some research into the family origins on my mothers and fathers side. My Mothers maiden name is Key, Harry and May Key lived in Brettenham Road and then after WW2 moved to Cecil Road Walthamstow. May Key had 5 brothers but I don't know the names of any of them. I think my mother Myrtle worked at the Wrighton factory on Mosquito wings. My father was Kenneth Donald Search known as 'Don' and he was also from that area. I think he went to a school at Markhouse Road

Kind Regards

Russell SEARCH Private Reply Public Reply

Does anyone have info - and photo!! of Chapel End Boys School? I am researching my family tree and just found two diplomas awarded to my father (for swimming !!) from Walthamstow Urban District Council, Education Committee, they are awarded to Leonard Chinnery - Chapel Ends Boys' School and dated 1929. Dad died many years ago and I can't find anything on the school when I 'search'. Would love to see a photo of the building if pos. Here's Hoping!


Valarie SLADE Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Doug,

There is a St Mary RC Primary school picture on the Walthamstow Memories site at: http://www.walthamstowmemories.net/html/Schools/StMary_School.html The school doesn't any longer exist as St Mary's RC Primary, but together with St Helen's RC Infant school has now become: Our Lady & St George's Catholic Primary school & Nursery. Contact details are: Our Lady and St George's Catholic Primary School and Nursery Shernhall Street, Walthamstow, London, E17 3EA (Tel 020 8520 3552 / 020 8520 8500), it's near Our Lady & St George's church. The following site gives more information on the new school: http://www.olsgweb.org/

You may also want to read my brief history of St Mary's Convent & Orphanage on the Walthamstow Memories site at:


Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Gilda,

It's good to hear from people who enjoy the site. Yes, although it's undergone many changes, the Walthamstow Guardian still exists and you can access and read it on-line at The Guardian

I am sure that the Walthamstow Memories site administrator - Daniel Quinn - will be very pleased to receive and publish your school photos and you may want to contact: https://www.facebook.com/walthamstow.times.7 who also have a lot of Walthamstow pictures, including Mission Grove and George Gascoigne school photos.


Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Live Eels, what memories standing looking at them wriggling, wrapping themselves around the large chunks of ice, and then going inside the shop and mum buying me a pie and mash with lots of green gravy as I called it, and then during scoffing it down always looking at the large bottles of vinegar on the marble table, thinking about the tiny looking orange things in the bottles, always thinking they looked like goldfish!!!!! (tiny chillies).
What lovely memories. Also you mentioned a surname Newell, I had the most wonderful art teacher Mr Newell at Sidney Chaplin Secondary Modern School in the 60's, could he be any relation?
Thank you for Walthamstow Memories I live a long way away now in Tasmania, and I love to look at the site to see if anyone I remember is there.

Thank you

Charlene ALLEN
(SMITH) Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Phil and John and Daniel,

It might not be true, but my mother always told us that her father (George Henbrey) and his brother (James Henbrey) owned part of the land on which the Walthamstow Stadium was later built. They were Furriers and had a silver fox farm there. I have a few photos of foxes in cages, but they could be anywhere. The factory was in Melville Road.

Well done Walthamstow Memories!

Ron EVANS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Sally,

I'm guessing that the photograph/s that you are after is to be found at:


Its described as: Staff of the Wrighton Aircraft Co.in front of the 1,000th Mosquito fuselage produced by the firm, 8 July 1944. (Duplicate, HU 57628). Front (left to right): Ritchie, Lou Napier, Loveland, Scott, J A Foot, Atkins, John Wrighton, Thorpe, F Wrighton, W Wrighton, Keight Wrighton, Brown, Fox, Jack Loveland, Willan.

There might be two pictures, one of the staff and one of the workers. The site doesn't seem too clear about this, so its worth enquiring.


Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

My Mother attended St. Marys Catholic Church School from 1934. Is the school still there? If so, can we visit? Mum is now 86, but very active. We visit Walthamstow on the 16/09 every year, which was Mum and my late father's wedding day. We go to Mass at St. Pats in Blackhorse Road and then visit Bempstead Road there we moved from in 1960. We then go to Elphinstone Road where Mum grew up. We then have a walk around Lloyd Park and then go home.

Doug JOTHAM Private Reply Public Reply

AUGUST MAILS [Top of Page]

I have just discovered your wonderful site. I have lived in South Australia since 1969 but lived in Erskine Road, Walthamstow from 1941(when I was born) until 1953 when we moved to Sudbury. My mother, grandparents and uncle were all stallholders in the High Street market and my former days were spent there. My grandparents also had a general drapery shop in the market, about two thirds of the way down near to the cinema. My father was killed in the war and the Walthamstow Guardian had an article about him. Does the Guardian still exist? I went to Mission Grove Junior and Primary schools and have several class photos which may be of interest to you. If so I would be happy to scan and send. I also went to George Gascoigne Secondary School (sadly no photos here). I returned to England in 1997 and visited the market but could not recognise the area at all, so much had changed.

Best wishes to you all from Australia.

Gilda MANN Private Reply Public Reply

Dear Daniel,
Please find attached for your consideration two articles for WM Website:

Was Boudicca defeated in High Street, Walthamstow? and Zeppelins over Leyton

Best wishes

Alan MILES Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, I am searching for any information of the Kings family of Walthamstow. I am told they owned a nursery/florists in Hoe Street. Also they were connected with a Church which was Next to Stevens the florist in Palmerston Road.

I am told by a family member that the Kings had a large house in Church Hill, and displayed an open Bible in their front garden. I am related to the Stevens side of the family who own the florists and would like to hear from anyone connected to either the Stevens or Kings family. I am looking for any information.

Thank you

Annie JONES Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Ruth/Doug,

The incident at Douglas Avenue was caused by a V1 flying bomb, not a V2 rocket. The impact occurred at 17:18hrs on 5th July 1944. There was one fatality, and approximately 40 persons were injured.

I hope this is useful.

Best regards

V-Weapon Researcher Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Sally,

There are several options open to you to find the photo of the carpenters building the first Mosquito at Wrighton's furniture factory. The photo could be at the local Vestry House museum depending on whatever happened to the archives of the Wrighton factory when it closed. There are the two RAF museums at Cosford and Hendon that may be of assistance. However, first try the de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre which incorporates the Mosquito Aircraft Museum, which is next to Salisbury Hall close to University College London just off of junction 22, London Colney, of the M25.
You can contact them through their website www.dehavillandmuseum.co.uk. The de Havilland company, which was based in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, was taken over by Hawker Siddeley in 1960 which then became part of British Aerospace. I hope this is of some help.

Kind regards

Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Ruth,

I am afraid I do not have any personal memories of the Flying Bomb that fell in Douglas Avenue as I was not resident in that area. However, I can give you a little information on the incident which happened on the 5th. July 1944. There appears to be just one fatality that of Elizabeth Emma Humberstone, age 43 years, of 46, Douglas Avenue. Her name appears in the record of the Walthamstow civilian war dead of which I have a copy. You will be able to access this by going to the website of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at www.cwgc.org Go to Find War Dead on the top menu and fill in the details of the deceased person and click the box for civilian war dead. There is a mention of the incident in the record of incidents page published in The War Over Walthamstow by Ross Wyld but no details of damage caused or casualties are given.

Kind regards

Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel,

Please can you help our family in trying to trace a photograph of the Mosquito in production at the Wrighton's factory circa 1941.

My mum remembers a photo showing all the carpenters employed in manufacturing the first Mosquito.

The photo would be circa 1941, in the photo is her dad, brother and two of her uncles who all worked on the aircraft.

She would dearly love to trace this photo and possibly get a copy.

The photo consisted of the first Mosquito built, surrounded by all the employees of the factory. The was professionally taken, very long like school photo. The family name was White, well known in the area as carpenters, any lost photos of Rupert White and his family would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Sally WILLIAMSON Private Reply Public Reply

We are trying to find out if anyone has any information about any living descendants of two of my grand uncles Charles Martin and George Martin, both lived at 112 Longfellow rd Walthamstow. According to 1911 census George was 28 and single, but Charles was 32 was married to Frances and they had four children: Charles, Francis, Lily and Frances. Charles worked has a waterworks engineer. I would like any information because although my name is Stephen Marden my grandfather who was Charles, and George's brother, was born William George Martin, but changed to William Marden when he joined the army. They also all lived at 13 Felton st, Hoxton, for a while. Some of the family ended living at 15 Seaford rd, Tottenham.

Many thanks

Stephen MARDEN Private Reply Public Reply

My father Frederick Lampard was in the Leyton Argyle football team during 1930's. As I am trying to trace my family history I have been looking for anything regarding the team. I live in Spain and it is quite difficult to research online. Do you know where I can research old news online?

Many thanks

Christine DAWSON Private Reply Public Reply

Has anyone got any memories of the V2 rocket that demolished about 13 houses in Douglas Avenue about 1944? Mum and I (Doug Saunders, born 1933) were in the shelter in the back garden when it came down. I've never heard anything about the Douglas Avenue rocket. I did place an email re Saunders Family History few years back but never got a reply via email. Very interesting site for 2 old Walthamstow people

Ruth SAUNDERS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello, I was looking for some information on my great uncle who I knew as uncle Wal. I use to write to him as a child. He was, I believe, one time the mayor of Walthamstow. His full name was Walter Frank Savill. He was a batchelor and i believe my grandmother therefore took up the postion of mayoress when required, Olive Minnie Savill. I think uncle Wal use to live in St. Barnabus road.?

Kevin STEED Private Reply Public Reply

Hi John,
Thank you for taking the time to give us the benefit of your expertise and knowledge about WWII weapons. Alan Miles's assertion that the Germans were deliberately targeting Jewish and Socialist targets in Walthamstow is patently absurd. If they were trying to specifically target anything it is more likely that they were after the Royal Enfield Small Arms factory at Enfield Lock.

Respects & regards,

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Alan,
Your articles were interesting, but the one about bombings in Walthamstow contains a number of errors which I will correct for the sake of accuracy.

First of all, you refer to the V1 as a 'rocket'. This is actually a common mistake. The V1 was actually a pilotless aircraft powered by an Argus pulsejet engine. It was not possible for a V1 to target specific buildings as you suggest was the case with Burton's (although I doubt the German High Command would deem a Tailor's shop to be a worthwhile target in any case). The V1 carried a small propeller in the nose which rotated during flight and was linked to a counter. When this counter reached a set number it was deemed to be over the target area whereupon another mechanism would force the missile into a dive. There are several variable factors involved which could affect the exact point of impact. In short, the V1 was an inaccurate terror weapon which was only of any use against large target areas.

It was not an anti-semitic gesture. These missiles had been fired at London on an almost daily basis since 13th June that year. August 16th was just one more day in the V1 campaign. Nor was it in any way symbolic. During June and July 1944, most V1's were making it past the AA guns undamaged. However, by the time of the Hoe Street bomb the gunners were destroying most of these missiles as they approached the coastline. The Hoe Street bomb was one of a salvo of 14 V1's launched approximately 30 minutes earlier. Only one other got through, falling at Waltham Holy Cross.

Similarly, you seem to be suggesting that the parachute mines were aimed at specific targets. It was not possible to 'aim' a parachute mine except with regard to a large target area due to variations in height/speed/wind direction etc. When used against land targets they were carried into a general target area and released at the discretion of the pilot. We can be absolutely certain this pilot was not aware of which particular buildings were beneath his aircraft at the point of release.

Apologies if this seems a little long-winded, but I hope you find it helpful.

Best Regards,

V-Weapon Researcher Private Reply Public Reply

Hi there, My father used to work at Warwick Boys during the 80's and retired from there aroud 1997. I'm looking to get in touch with colleagues who may have worked with him during that time. His name is Apollos Oji. Thank you for your help.

Adanna OJI Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Vic, your name rings a bell from McGuffie school,I think we were in the same class at school and can remember the teachers you have named ..

David FITZGIBBON (Fitzy)
  Private Reply Public Reply

Did you knock about with Mick Murray?

Calvin BRADFORD Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, my great grandmother lived in Ickworth Park road and was called Serena Day. She had 7 sons and one daughter. I don't recall my great grandfathers name or what number house it was. Serena lived there all her married life until her death. She was a spiritualist medium and held regular seances in the house and was well known in the area for this. Apparently there were many strange occurrences in the house even after her death. Her sons when all young and at home formed a skittle band. Albert, Arthur and Fred Day were three of the boys. There was a brother Ernie who died very young. Holidays were spent hopping down in Kent. When Albert left home he built a shack in Epping Forest and worked at one of the retreats (not Butlers). He later became a carpenter and worked for Halls, eventually running their shop in Leytonstone High Road. During the war he was in the merchant navy.

Robert SIMPSON Private Reply Public Reply

I live in Wadham Avenue and I know there was a farm on the site as late as 1932, (the weather vane on the top of the farm buildings is dated 1770), I have sourced a few photos but was wondering if anybody had any more information/photos of the Farm.
This is all I can find :-

Wadham Lodge, devised to Wadham College, Oxford, by John Goodridge in 1652, and sold by the college in 1894 and 1898 to John Hitchman, was sold as a sports ground and for building in 1919 and the years following.
In 1906 John Hitchman was one of only 3 cow keepers locally. He came to Chapel End in 1867, leased and later bought Wadham Lodge farm, and from 1886 also leased Clay Street or Chestnuts farm. Hitchman began retailing milk in the 1880s. In 1918 the firm of John Hitchman and Sons, dairymen and cowkeepers, was bought out by D. A. Davies, a partner in the firm of Davies and Williams, dairymen in Walthamstow since the early years of the century. The firms were amalgamated as Hitchman's Dairies Ltd., based on Green Pond farm, Higham Hill Road, where cows were still being kept in 1926. In 1938 a large modern dairy for processing milk was opened on Walthamstow Avenue. In 1968 Hitchman's, a member of the Unigate group, had branch dairies in South Chingford, Walthamstow, and Leytonstone.

The building Wadham Lodge Farm was sited (looking from Wadham Road down Wadham Avenue) to the immediate right of Wadham Avenue according to a circa 1940s map.

Gary G. SPONG Private Reply Public Reply

Dear Daniel
Not wanting to make too much more work for you but here are 3 more articles, 2 are for Spooks Corner section and the other for somebody - though I can't remember who - who had asked for some stories about the bombings in Walthamstow:

The Witch of the Village
The Girl in White
More on World War 2 Bombing
(all in the "Personal Stories" section)

With kind regards

Alan MILES Private Reply Public Reply

Hello, I am researching our family tree and wondered if anyone has any knowledge of the David family who lived in Turner Rd around 1910 or the Pullen family around the same time in Wilson St

Sue GILHAM Private Reply Public Reply

If you are a pom and were born before 1940, as I was, this may interest you, it does not include the V1 and V2 rockets which commenced in 1944.
This bombing took place between October the 7th 1940 and June the 6th 1941. They certainly dropped a lot of bombs in this period.
You can put in a street and see what landed there:


Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

Hello, I've just found out from my Dad that a picture I have of some factory workers is not a facotry at all, but of the inside of Achille Serres in Blackhorse Road, where my Great Aunt worked along with her friend Florence 'Nellie' Davis, who I believe was the surpervisor. Would you be intereted in it? I would like to retain copyright of it if you decide to publish it on your website.

Achille Serre factory


Nigel MOODY Private Reply Public Reply

Hello, I'm looking for any relatives of Edith May Davie nee Biggs from Walthamstow. She was my grandmother. She was born in Islington, died in 1950. If anyone has a picture or related from Edith please get in touch.

Lee CREASER Private Reply Public Reply

Hello, I've just found out from my Dad that a picture I have of some factory workers is not a facotry at all, but of the inside of Achille Serres in Blackhorse Road, where my Great Aunt worked along with her friend Florence 'Nellie' Davis, who I believe was the surpervisor. Would you be intereted in it? I would like to retain copyright of it if you decide to publish it on your website.


Nigel MOODY Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel & John
I am desperately trying to find my two half sisters who may or may not know about me. One of them Sharon E Warren married to Eric K Warren, I am absolutely sure lives in Walthamstow. Her sister I believe is Shirley Rands? Their maiden name was Caton and our mothers name was Iris Ivy Mary Caton (nee Styles), who died in the Epping forest area in 1966. If there is any way that you could help me find or get in touch with Sharon I would be eternally grateful as I have nothing to remember my Mother by and would dearly love a photo to see if I resembled her in any way.
I would quite understand if there is no contact wanted as after all they may not know about me but if you do find them all they would need to do is send a picture of our Mother. I hope I have not asked too much.
My best regards.

(née Lynette Faith Styles)
  Private Reply Public Reply

The Marsh Street Youth Club and Boxing Club was in the street that is now occupied by Sainsburys store now. The street is no longer there

Eb Private Reply Public Reply

JULY MAILS [Top of Page]

I am looking for my father's brother JOHN BLYTH. They were born in the 1940's and attended Barritt Road Secondary and Wood Street Primary. Dad's name was Roy Anyone know of them or just John please?
Thank you.

Melanie JACK Private Reply Public Reply

Hi,just been looking at the speedway memories. my nan, aunt ,uncle and mum (now 83) were real fans and went to each meet, I have a great photo of them all, and when I work out how to load it onto iPad I will post it. My familie's surname was Brooks nan was Vi, uncle was Tel, aunt was Dot and my mum was (or should I say is) Lil. It would be great if anyone remembers them.

Christine SNELL Private Reply Public Reply

As a 6year old in 1949, my father took me to meet Archie and got a signed photo as I have of some of the other riders. I believe he was called "Spider" because of his long legs. I was a regular Wolves supporter.
Keep up the good work your site keeps me up to date in Devon

Keith COOPER Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel,
Please find attached a piece that I have written about the Essex Brewery and its associated pub - The Brewery Tap.

When it comes to drinking beer I am a philistine. For me, the fizzier the beer is, the better (My current favourite is Efes) and I still yearn for the days when I could get Red Barrel) So, 'good' beer is wasted on me and I must confess that, when I lived in the High Street because of its association with a brewery, the Brewery Tap wasn't a pub that I used. Today, it is commonplace to have micro-breweries all over the place and I understand that the Warrant Officer pub in Higham Hill ( Previously the Woodman) has recently installed one.

I wrote this piece because although back in the eighteenth century ale house were two a penny and many housewives brewed their own beer, as far as I can ascertain. this was the only recorded Walthamstow brewery.

Like very many pubs it was severely hit by the growth of popular entertainment (Music Hall, Cinema, TV, Bingo etc) and despite trying to change its image and product, ultimately it didn't survive.

Oddly, when researching this piece I didn't come across any user reminiscences of the pub and I hope that Walthamstow Memories readers will redress this situation,

Respects and regarda,
Respects & regards,

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Chris,
Marsh Street Youth Club was located in an old school building at the corner of the High Street & Willow Walk. The site is currently occupied by J Sainsbury.
The ground floor of the building housed the Children's Library and the top floor was the Youth Club.
I have a feeling that when the site was cleared for development (Late 1970's - Early 1980's) the Children's library incorporated into the central library at the top of the High Street and the Youth Club amalgamated with the Whittington Youth Club in Higham Hill Road.
Kindest regards

Sally PASSMORE Public Reply

Hi Chris,
From what I can remember it was more or less in the High st., opposite and facing Palmerston road. Hope this helps.

Janet REILLY Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel,
This is my mother and fathers wedding photo taken 1936 St Mary's Church, Church hill, Walthamstow.
Would love you to put this on memories.

1936 - Wedding in St Mary's Church, Walthamstow

My brother lives in Canada and always looks on your site, finds it so interesting.
Mother was Gladys Williams and Dad was George William Titchener Ashton.

Many thanks

Joan BRADSHAW Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel,
This photo is of a Christmas party at Andrews mills, Higham Hill 1954:

1954 - Christmas party

1954 - Christmas party

my mother is in the middle behind the lady in the white blouse..... Gladys Ashton

Joan BRADSHAW Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Christine,
Please see the two extracts below that give the history and location of Marsh Street School in which the Youth Club was located (Marsh Street is the original name of the High Street because it ran down to Walthamstow marsh) and what is now on the site.

Extracted from: Walthamstow High Street: Willow Walk and up to the top (C 1966 -1986) By Sally Passmore

"Whatever you want, you'll find it in Walthamstow market" Looking up the "High street"

from the junction of Palmerston Rd and Willow Walk, Sainsbury now occupy site between Willow Walk & Linden Road However before the supermarket was relocated to the site there used to be a cafe on the corner of the road, called the "Sunrise". It backed on to an old school building that housed the Children's Library on the ground floor and Marsh Street Youth Club on the upper floor. It was opposite the "dolls hospital" where a few of my dolls had to receive some attention over the years. I believe the doll's hospital was demolished in the 1980's to help with the widening of the Palmerston Road junction with the High St'......

Extrated from: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42784

Marsh Street British school. In 1789 dissenters established a school in Marsh Street New Meeting chapel yard, after the master of the Monoux school had spoken abusively of them when chastising a pupil who attended the chapel. It was planned for both sexes, but in 1807 there were twelve girls and in 1818 twenty girls only in the school. From their green dresses it was known as the Green school. In 1839 a new British school for boys and girls was built behind the chapel at a cost of about £400. This school absorbed the Green school and also a small British school which had previously been meeting at Wood Street Independent church. It was at first supported chiefly by subscriptions and chapel collections, but by 1877 it was receiving an annual government grant. In 1863 there were 180 pupils. (In 1872 a new building providing 173 additional places was opened in Marsh Street, opposite Buxton Road. Miss Hall contributed £1,000 towards the cost. In 1881 the school was transferred to the school board. In 1884 a new building was erected for 540 boys in Marsh Street near Willow Walk. The girls and infants remained in the older buildings until they were closed in 1908. The boys school was closed in 1932.

Respects & regards,
Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel,

From: "John Knowles"

To: LONDON-L@rootsweb.com
Subject: Something Strange from Walthamstow
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 1999 12:43:10 -0000

Dear Listers,

Did you ever wonder as you try for the umpteenth time to find what that indecipherable scribble was on that obscure parish record that one day you might, by accident, find something or someone unexpected and slightly closer to home.

Well its happened to two of us!

Placing an item about E.17 (Walthamstow not the band) and my grandmother, Edith May KNOWLES, has led to John Newell a friend and fellow pupil at St. Mary's Infant School, Walthamstow - who I have not seen or known about for 40 odd years - getting in touch.

This has led to numerous exchanges about Walthamstow, St. Mary's School (1948 onwards), Forest Road and Maynard Road Schools (1952 onwards), William Morris Technical School (1963 onwards). Names of teachers and fellow pupils from the past and all those wonderful sights and sounds from Walthamstow HighStreet Market, Hoe Street and The Bell Corner.

If any of these or the following strike a note then please get in touch with John or myself as there must be numerous people on the net who have elements of their family tree placed in Walthamstow, Essex or London who remember aspects of the place that can provide some flesh to the bones of theirs' and others' researches.

Some nostalgia points that might strike a chord: The live eels for sale outside the Black & White Café in the High Street (with mash and liquor for sale inside); Jim's Pie and Savaloy stall outside Hoe Street Station; The Bell Pub with The Barristers playing on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights; Manzes Fishmongers and Bicks Toy shop in Hoe Street, Rossis Ice Cream mmmmmm, The Carlton, The Palace, the steam trains, fishing for tiddlers at Connaught Water and Highams Park Lake and Whipps Cross, Walthamstow Wolves Speedway and the smell of raw Coca Cola and high octane mixed together, The Beatles yes The Beatles live at Leyton Baths and an act filling in called Screaming Lord Sutch, The Johnnie Howard band at Tottenham Royal. Humphrey Littleton and Chris Barber and Ottilie Patterson at The Royal Forest Hotel, winning the yo-yo competition and appearing on stage at the Granada! William Morris being a better school than the Monoux and whatever happened to Jean Honeyball?


John Knowles
John Newell

I came across this when researching something else. Is this the beginning of the Walthamstow Memories site?

Respects & regards,

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

From John Knowles: Yes, it is the very first inklings that a website was the answer as a bulletin board for memories about the old Essex County Borough of Walthamstow. Amazing that it is still out there in the ether! Brings back a lot of memories. Many thanks, Bill!

Hello Daniel,
I came across the fact that, in the 1948 Olympic Games, a football match between Turkey and China was played at Green Pond Road in Walthamstow, while researching the history of Walthamstow Avenue Football Club (Likely to be another article!) The attached article tells the story and tries to put it into the context of the times.
Respects & regards,

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Yes I remember Rossi's opening, I lived at 8 Erskine Rd and this area of the High St was my usual haunt..

David FITZGIBBON Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel,
Bill Bayliss gave me your email address. I have been going through my dad's possessions and found some photo's of the Bawn Reunion Event 1945 (visit to Bury St Edmunds 1995). My dad (Stan Robinson) went to the reunion, but as none of the photos contain my dad I have no use for them. Would you or do you know of any one who might like them? They are hard copies so would need to send them to you, which I am quite happy to do. It would seem a shame to put them in the bin.

(See pictures on the "Walthamstow at War" section)

Love the Walthamstow Memories website, been doing family tree and found that most of my family have lived there at some point.

Debbie CLARK Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel,
Interesting to see the post by Tony Deuters in Canada, with photos of his cycle speedway days in Walthamstow and the group including Walthamstow Wolves speedway star Archie Windmill. It was typical of Archie to spend time to encourage others interested in the sport. After he retired in 1952 Archie became involved in the Veteran Speedway Riders' Association which was formed in 1957. He was their president in 2001 and continued into 2002 when the next elected president, Geoff Pymar, died before he could take office. Archie visited tracks around the country and many social functions organised by the Association. Born in 1915 Archie began his speedway career before the second World War with Wimbledon and Hackney Wick. He died in 2007 at the age of 91 years. The Veteran Speedway Riders' Association is now known as the World Speedway Riders' Association. Websites of interest are www.world-sra.co.uk and www.cyclespeedwayvets.org.uk

Kind regards,

Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel or John,
Does anyone remember where Marsh Street Youth Club used to be? My husband played there regularly 63/64 with his band, The Crescents. We live at the bottom of the High Street, but he cannot remember exactly where the Youth Club was.

Chris CROSSLAND Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel or John,
My name is Maggie, and I would like to submit a story about my late Mum's childhood in Waverley Road Walthamstow. I have fond memories of that road as My mum was born in Waverley road and her Sister still lived there for many years after. How do I submit my story, and maybe even someone may have known of the Frankland Family.
Thank you,

Maggie CHANDLER Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel,
I thought would like to write you this its in 2 parts the first is historical the 2nd is more about me and my life in the US and Canada, so I hope you enjoy it.

(read Tony's recollections in the Personal Memories section)

Tony DEUTERS Private Reply Public Reply

JUNE MAILS [Top of Page]

Hello Sharon,

You wrote,

...'at 14 years old went onto McEntee Senior High as it was now a comprehensive school. I left after just one year' ....
http://www.friendsreunited.co.uk/mcentee-technical-school/b/9b4a01f4-1322-48f8-930e-881d6f3dbf6d McEntee Senior High

It's now called Walthamstow Academy.


You also wrote,

.....'I also remember going to Plough & Harrow Leytonstone High Road.'.....

The following site that gives details of its previous landlords etc, may be of interest:


It's being re-opened as a music venue


Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello John,
Been onto your Walthamstow web site, and wanted to send email to ask about finding old school mate, but your emails wont go from my laptop, so did a copy and paste and sending email from my email address on btinternet, hope you get it.

We are trying to find Micky Trevallion, lived in Brunswick Road, off of Addison Rd Walthamstow, he would be about 70 or 71 now, and some old mates seem to think he moved up north, Micky went to Joseph Barrett School, lots of his old mates along with there wives go, it is just a wonderful time chatting to old friends from school days, there is a reunion once a year back in Walthamstow, next year its going to be at The Cricket Club, Greenway Ave, off of Wood Street, on 12th April 2014, lots of us old gals as well are there with our husbands or partners, a few names Micky would remember are Micky Bone, Graham Wakeley, Jimmy Hazel, Roy Lillington, Dave George, Chris and Jim Beaty, who lived very near to Micky in Wilson Street. I hope you get this John and it put onto your Lost and Found page.

Kind Regards from all of Micky's old mates

J CLARKE Private Reply Public Reply

With regard to your request as below, I would suggest that you contact Vestry House Museum which is the museum for Waltham Forest. They are sitting on something like 40,000 local images that they don't have resources to digitalise and put on-line.

Picture of Cock Tavern Blue Plaque

The following site that gives details of its previous landlords etc, may be of interest:



Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

We are delighted to announce Vestry House Museum has been awarded £80,000 by the Museum Association's Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund. The grant will be used to catalogue, rationalise and increase use of the museum's vast collection. For more information about the grant click [here]

More good news; our "What's on" leaflet is ready! If you haven't already picked up a copy, please find attached [here].
We look forward to seeing you at Vestry House Museum

Vestry House Museum
  Private Reply Public Reply

Dear Daniel,

As a result of me searching my records and scrapbooks, I found stuff from when I designed the Ripley and Tussaud Museums and got in contact with them: they were so pleased to hear from me after all these time!
Now for some history of Wstow. I had a jazz group at the Brewery tap every Friday; I met Jagger (but he he was not into it at that time), but my cousin booked him at the Leyton baths, I learned and I was asst manager to Will D Barr who taught me everything in the club and music biz. We had the Royal Forest Hotel, Chingford, where we booked the big bands on Fridays, Will D Barr was Dankworht's mentor and he was from WStow, Carisbrooke road.
My Grand Father built the St Pats Catholic church on Blackhorse road, he had a hair dressers on copper mill lane, was made faimest for doing ladies hair before WW1.
When my Uncles Wally Buck and Bill Elms had their funerals the merchants and all the shops owners closed for the Aft in their honor.
My life in America and Canada was very successful and I proved to be a good strong and real Wstow boy with all the -proper behavior expected of OUR KIND good morals and Samaritans to the people we met in our travels. I am very proud of my Heritage believe ME MATE LOL
When I first arrived in Montreal I was told at every job application Englishman need not apply... You think for one moment - I am sorry for the whiners LOL
More to come if you would like.

Other members of Family:

  • Tanis Jordan author Ronnie the red eyed frog (international)
  • Claudette Blamey actor and leading Hairdesser
  • Grahame Blamey rock musician back in the beginin 60's
  • Julia Deuters famous milliner work with Royals
  • Cluade Blamey leading dog trainer and racing
  • John Elms successful international business man
  • Charles Gent founder of the printers Union. I have all his beautiful graphics etc

And last but not forgotten, my dear father who was killed at Dunkirk rescuing our boys. I was 7

Kind Regards

Tony DEUTERS Private Reply Public Reply

Very many of the readers of the Walthamstow Memories site will have lived or had relatives who lived in a Warner Estate or Law Land property. In my family it was my mother in law, her parents and siblings who lived in Coppermill Lane. So, at long last I have written a rather long article about Warner Estates in Walthamstow. It is an article that I tried to write in the 1960's but as a result of the lack of information available to the public at that time, I couldn't complete it. Fifty years on, thanks to the internet, there is more information available although if you try to access information from Waltham Forest Libraries, other than the comparatively recent invaluable book by Philip C Plummer and Walter H Bower entitled 'A Brief History Of Courtenay Warner and Warner Estate', you still won't find much information. This lack of information may relate in part to the fact that members of the Warner family were past presidents of Walthamstow Antiquarian Society that was the forerunner of Walthamstow Historical Society. The following isn't the article but an overview of the article (Warner Green) in the Personal Memories Section.

The Warner Family & Walthamstow
At one time the Warner family virtually controlled great chunks of Walthamstow, Leyton and Chingford. Starting when they first bought land in the middle of the nineteenth century they went on to buy one of the Walthamstow manors that had a lot of land and became Lords Of The Manor.
They were involved in `trade' in the city and in particular with the sugar trade in the West Indies. Edward Warner married daughter of a West Indian sugar trader and was was described in circa 1860 as the richest MP in the House of Commons. It seems more than likely that it was this money that enabled and underpinned Thomas Courtenay Warner's massive development of Walthamstow.
Quite early on (Around 1860's) they sussed the development potential of their land for housing working class people who worked in London. In order to realise the full potential of this they needed a cheap transport system to get the workers to their places of employment. No problem... they formed a consortium of fellow rich entrepreneurs to get the railway built to where they wanted it to go.
Where the Warners were shrewder than most of the other land developers of the time was that they controlled the whole process. The properties were specifically built for rent and not sale and they were targeted at artisans.
They owned the brickworks and building companies that built the properties. This was done via a company called Law Land in which they held a half interest. (Interestingly when I first started looking at the company public records in the late 1960's both Law Land and the Warner Companies seemed to have exactly the same directors !.) Most old time Warner residents will tell you that Warners were good landlords but Law Land were nasty. Actually, Warners effectively owned Law Land and used the company to manage the properties for them.
At one time it was possible to live in a Warner flat, work at a Warner company and shop at a Warner owned shops. You could even get buried by a funeral director working from a Warner owned shop.
The heads of the Warner family became Lord Lieutenants of Essex, Charter Mayor, and Presidents of the local historical society.
Nearly all of the Warner properties are named after Warner family members or interests. E.g. The common Warner family names are: Thomas, Courtney, Edward, and Theydon. There are roads called these names. A female Warner was called (Lady) Diana, Leucha, Maud. She was the daughter of the Earl of Montalt. There are roads with these names. Another female Warner was named Nesta Pennant - there are also roads named after these. After they had built all over Waltham Forest they moved to leafy Suffolk to a large palatial country pad called Brettenham Hall. (There is a Brettenham Road in Wslthamstow)
By the end of WW11 they had so much property that Walthamstow Council entered into an agreement with them about local housing. Relationships were so close that in the 1960's Walthamstow Council sacked their Chief Housing Manager for undisclosed dodgy practices concerning Warners.
Warners started pulling out of Waltham Forest in the late 1960's when there were various restrictions placed on private landlords by the government. This is not to say that they didn't miss the opportunity to maximise the sale value of the properties by carrying out improvement works funded by government grants.
Warners are very clever at making sure that the only publicity that they get is good. In the 19th century it was all about the charity and benevolence of Warners giving things to the people. You could have a more uncharitable view.
Some of the land deals that they did e.g,. swapping bits of land with the Council so that the Council could use the land for recreational purposes also meant that Warners got very nice bits of housing development land in exchange. They `charitably' sold land to the Corporation of London for incorporation into Epping Forest. This of course was land that could not be used for building purposes.
On one never forgotten occasion Lady Diana Leucha Maud Warner donated money to a public subscription to buy land from Warners for recreational purposes for Walthamstow people.
In Waltham Forest today a lot of people assume that Warners sold off their property to Law Land and retired. Nothing could be further from the truth. Warners are now one of the biggest property developers in the UK and have diversified into many other profitable areas. E.g. Shopping malls and office developments .They are also part of the huge Time Warner media company.

If you want to know more about Warners there is a book written by former Warner Estate Local Managers - Philip c Plummer & Walter Bowner . It is published by the Walthamstow Historical Society and called `A Brief History of Courtenay Warner & Warner Estate'.


Bill Bayliss Private Reply Public Reply

Hi - I wondered if you had come across any photos/postcards of the Cock Tavern, Walthamstow High St (formerly Marsh St) round about 1890s? I'm researching someone who was born nearby then and trying to get a close view of it in those days. Any help would be really appreciated. Thanks!

Sara Private Reply Public Reply

I was born at Thorpe Coombe in 1955, Lived in Millfield Ave and went to Roger Ashcam primary school until 1966. I then went onto Sidney Chaplin until 1969 at 14 years old went onto McEntee Senior High as it was now a comprehensive school. I left after just one year and started work in Great Eastern Street, London EC1, at a textile company NB SMITH'S. WAGES of 10 POUNDS PER WEEK. I then went to work in Sketchley Overall Service which was in Blackhorse Road, as an office clerk until I married in 1973. We bought an ex Warner house in Bemsted Road and lived there until 1982 . We then moved to East Devon where we lived for 30 years, we are now in Melbourne Australia. I would love to hear from anyone that remembers me. I also remember going to Plough & Harrow Leytonstone High Road,Tottenham Royal on Thurdsay nights, it was a huge Mecca dance hall where they had a great Disco Room at the Top Ilford.

Best regards

(née EDWARDS) Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel
As I promised, a little more but due to a hospital stay have been unable to go through my stuff, so here are a few pictures to go on with.

The one of me as a bike speedway circa 15 yrs old; the group of Walthamstow team Archie windmill etc... I am in front with the big smile; last but not least RCMP Canada.

Shall send more text and pics later, my Family was very powerful and very well liked. Name was BUCK

Kind Regards

Tony DEUTERS Private Reply Public Reply

Dear Mr Quinn,
Amberley Publishing are currently looking for new or experienced authors to contribute to our successful Through Time series of local history books.
In your area we have the following potential title: Walthamstow Through Time. As your website is based on the history of the local area, you or your site's users may have the expertise and enthusiasm that we are looking for.
The Through Time concept is a ninety-six page, then-and-now picture book, containing around ninety old photographs. Each photograph is paired with a new photograph in full colour to show how the same scene, or a related one, has changed over time. Each pair of photographs has a short descriptive caption.
If you know of anyone who might be interested in producing this kind of book for us, please let me know, or pass on my contact details, which can be found below. If appropriate, it would be great if you could place a notice regarding this opportunity on your website.
I am happy to supply any further information as required.

Kind Regards

Elizabeth WATTS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi I was very interested in your site as I was a Tottenham boy who sang with a group from Tottenham and then later with a group from Leyton who played in a lot of local venues. The Leyton group was called The Beat Syndicate and two of the members lived locally. The Drummer Tony (Surname alludes me) lived in Forest Road and the Rhythm Guitarist Jim (Again surname alludes me) lived in a road off of Blackhorse Road. We regularly supported groups like the Animals, Dave Berry, Tony Jackson and Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders to mention a few at Leyton Baths. Another regular booking supporting these types of group was Walthamstow Assembley Halls. We also played at Coronation Gardens, The Red Lion both at Leyton and the Two Puddings at Stratford, as well as many other venues all over London and the south. The Lead Guitarists name was Mick George and the Bass Guitarist was John (again surname not recalled). I do hope this is of interest to you and keep up the good work! If I can be of any further interest to you please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Kindest Regards

John MASKELL Private Reply Public Reply

There is a message regarding the 'Lord Roberts off licence in Macdonald road Walthamstow e17. Name of Prudence Lewis is the e-mail still valid as I would like to contact her with some information. I lived at number 29 Macdonald road.

Michael HOPKINS Private Reply Public Reply

Does anybody else remember Rossi's ice cream when they opened their 2nd shop up by Bateman's & they gave away free cornets allday this was aboyt 1958ish. We queued allday & got about 3 cornets we thought it was worth it. Please tell me I did not dream this.

Best regards

Paul RODWAY Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Mick,
Just reading about Walthamstow and noted some of your comments Mr Furness used to teach French he was my class teacher for a year as was mr Smith, and mr Finch the history teacher.

Hope you are well

Vic MORLEY Private Reply Public Reply

Dear Walter Perkis,
Your name is very familiar to me having live around Wood Street since the 1970s, and I also carried out some Oral History's in the area (with the Waltham Forest Oral History Workshop) - and the Purkis family name came up very often!
Your photos are absolutely amazing - we just launched a new website for the Wood Street area, and wondered if we could use your photographs on the History page? We can credit you. They are just wonderful to see. Vestry House Museum may also be interested in them.

Thanks very much

Katherine HALL Private Reply Public Reply

We are in Australia and trying to find family members of Frances (Franky) Hampton who came here some time last century and lived at Monbulk with her husband, John De Vere and two children. She was my husband's aunt. From postcards that we have, Franky's family otfen went to stay in Walthamstow in the early 1900s. I can't get on to the Walthamstow Wanderers in Australia and wondered if anyone on this site may have known the family. Their mother was Elizabeth Akerman and became Elizabeth Hampton in 1894. Her maiden name was Dukes. I would be pleased if any Monbulk people could post on this site if they have any memories of Franky De Vere. I think she was in Monbulk in the 1940s.

Best regards

Lyn Private Reply Public Reply

Found your pages on my iPad today. How exciting!
I was born at no. 37 St. Mary's Road, actually in the back small room (now a bathroom I believe). A tin bath was hooked on the garden wall when not in use in the scullery and an outside loo was the norm. The coal cupboard was also in the passage near the kitchen.
My Dad used the local facilities for his bath. I loved that house, even the noisy trains running at the bottom of the garden from the old Hoe Street Station. My mother remembers my brother Reg was always dashing down the garden to watch the trains go by, especially when the railway banks caught fire in the summertime. The sweet shop which was directly opposite our house is a favourite memory of mine!
My Dad worked at Woolwich Arsenal and cycled there every day even in the air raids during the war. I remember the air raids only too well and the wonderful way our parents looked after us in and out of the Anderson Shelter at the bottom of our garden. Hitler, I am sure, was trying to bomb the station! Reg looked for bits of shrapnel after any air raid.
Went every Sunday to what was then Folkestone Road Hall to Sunday School. Very happy times there. My brother, Reg, six years older than me, also remembers it well. St. Mary's Church was very prominent in our lives. Mum and Dad were married there in 1922, three years after Dad came out of the army after the First World War and both Reg and I were baptised there.
I attended St. Marys infant school as it was then near the church, and clearly remember walking up the path from home when I was very young. Then to Orford Road Junior School, from where I was evacuated in September 1939 to Rutland when I was eight and a half.
Remember listening to the radio with my mother when war was declared.
Due to the heavy bombing of Woolwich Arsenal, my Dad's job was transferred to Greenford in Middlesex. We all took it in our stride as families did during the War but it was certainly quite a change and a bit quiet after being in E17! Being a London girl I soon made friends. Did go back to Hyams Park area to visit my mother's youngest sister in recent years but there is no one in the area now that I am in touch with.
I remember the barrel organ playing in the street, my friend the butcher's daughter two doors away tottering along to see me in her Mum's high heels, and friendly elderly neighbours next door. My Dad remembers when I became friends at Orford Road school with the solicitor's daughter who lived at the top of the road and thought I was aiming high even then.
Remember her name well, Jacqueline Brewster! Maybe you have a solicitor of that name in your records around the 1930s who practiced in St. Mary's Road? Hope this will interest you. I was a very lucky girl to have had my early years in Walthamstow.

Best regards

Middlesex Private Reply Public Reply

I was born in Walthamstow and have tons of memories! I shall compose a letter and pictures future date Related to J Buck, mother Julia Buck hairdressers in Coppermill Lane. I was nove rider for wolves colors were RED WHITE AND BLACK, left for Canada 50's and was a Royal canadian mounted policelots more later OK

Best regards

Tony DEUTERS Private Reply Public Reply

I was born in Walthamstow in 1955 and lived at 131 Chingford Road, near to the bus garage.
My memories of Walthamstow are really happy ones and it was a great place to grow up.
I remember fishing on the Lea, playing in Lloyd park, visiting the William Morris gallery and every week going to the high street with my mum. The high street was quite intimidating for a little tot surrounded by all those crowds. However I remember it fondly as I think of the Pie and Mash shop, the sweet stall that always smelt of aniseed cough candy and of course Rossi's ice cream.
My brothers were David Clements and Alan Clements. Alan played in a band called The Mariners at William Fitt.

I went to school in Winn's Avenue infants and Juniors before going to McEntee and am always glad to hear from anyone that remembers me. I now live in Nova Scotia Canada. Thought you might be interested in the attached pictures. Two of them are of my mum and dad's wedding at Walthamstow registry office and the other is my mum Lilian Clement at school. Think it was Walthamstow girl's school??

Many thanks

Peter CLEMENTS Private Reply Public Reply

MAY MAILS [Top of Page]

Daniel, photo attachments for your Walthamstow website, I received the shop advertising photocard recently, this shop of Raven's Bakers as marked, posted around 1906 to Louis Raven Fishmonger in Wood Green. Edwin R and Louis R, were brothers and had come into London from Chelmsford Essex. Edwin started this bakers in Beulah Road 1885 and his son went on to increase the baking business with other shops in Walthamstow one being at Brighton Terrace Forest Road. The second picture shows the Beulah Road shop property as it is now. The Ravens' also owned the bay windowed property next door. This Baking business was sold off to the A B C Co. just after 1945 and the family moved out of Walthamstow.

I have long searched for this family photo and information and would be interested to know if anyone has any knowledge of this Raven Bread Company and indeed just when did 27 Beulah Road shop have its frontage taken off and reverted to flats accomodation. I hope you find this of interest to include on Walthamstow Memories.


Cliff RAVEN Private Reply Public Reply

My father, Edward Roy Langley was born in Walthamstow in 1923. The address his family were living at that time was 507 Hale End Rd. I see from photos that site now seems to be a shop. Would you be able to advise where I could get an historical photo of that part of Hale End Rd when they were homes.

Thank you

Patricia HORAN Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel,

www.yumpu.com has a free pdf download. The lady in question was called Razafy. She was a malagasy nobleman. Makes a good read! She was buried in what used to be Marsh Street now Walthamstow High Street and was not allowed to be buried in a Christian grave. Was glad to research this myself as my grandad used to show me the grave, which was situated in Willow Walk on the crossroads with Walthamstow Market behind the shops.

Jan Private Reply Public Reply

From Daniel: Dear Jan, Many thanks for your email concerning princess Razafy.
In fact, the article on yumpu.com is taken from Walthamstow Memories, and was written by our friend Bill Bayliss! You may find it in the "Personal Memories' section.
However, thanks you for your mention.

Dear Daniel and John,

I'm writing to let you know about http://streetlife.com, a local community website that may be of interest to you as both a resident and representative of Walthamstow Memories. Streetlife, the local social network, has a simple aim: to help people make the most of where they live by connecting with their neighbours and sharing practical information, advice, skills and resources. Three out of four of our users say they're better informed about local matters, and 68% say they feel more connected to their community since joining Streetlife. And the more people who share their local knowledge and support, the more useful the site becomes. If you haven't yet, please give Streetlife a try; it only takes a minute to join and is totally free for residents and community organisations to discuss the local issues they care about. I've added some more information below, and if you have any further questions about our service please don't hesitate to get in touch. Best wishes,Kavita Kumar http://streetlife.com

ABOUT STREETLIFE: Streetlife provides a place for local residents, community groups, local government representatives and businesses to share practical information, advice, recommendations, skills and resources.We believe that better connected neighbours build stronger communities, and that digital media has a key role to play in bringing people together to discuss and improve the local issues they care aboutFor many people, chatting over the garden fence and attending local meetings is impractical, but Streetlife is enabling those with busy routines, antisocial hours or reduced mobility to become more involved. It's also helping neighbours come together in the real-world, whether that's through organising coffee mornings, book clubs or walking groups, or volunteering in their local community. Over 75,000 people in almost 350 communities across England already use the local social network to talk to their neighbours, with around 1,500 new users joining weekly.
Main uses of the site include: finding locals with common interests, organising and attending social groups and events, sharing skills and belongings with neighbours, from jump leads and hedge-trimmers to spreadsheet skills and knitting tips; discussing nearby news, crime, planning proposals and public services; recommending and discovering local businesses and tradespeople; promoting, campaigning and volunteering for community projects and good causes.
Find out more and watch our 90 second explainer video at: http://streetlife.com
Here are a couple of examples of busier areas, to give you a better idea of an established Streetlife community in action:
Tooting in the London Borough of Wandsworth, where we first piloted the site:
Norwich in Norfolk, which we launched about six months ago:

Kavita KUMAR Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Dave

Hi Dave, my name is Charlene Allen (Smith) and I went to Sydney Chaplin Sec Mod school. I left in 1966 as my parents left for Oz. I was in 3a and my form teacher was Mrs Gasson. I have many fond memories off the school. Hope this helps you.


Charlene ALLEN
(Smith) Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel,

I was directed to this website by a Mr Rodney Silk: he said you might be able to help or someone who uses this website might be able to help me .. I'm researching the history of my house (3 Stanhope Road, Walthamstow, E17 9QT), my family have lived here since the early 1940s and I was after any information anyone might have of the history of the building and area.. ie: what house was built first in road and any other information.. anything would be wonderful. Thanks & regards

Lorraine ELLENS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel,

I was most interested to read the trail from Maureen SHANKS regarding the High St/Marsh St church. My question relates to the buildings on the Church Hill side of Hoe St, opposite the High St intersection.
My relatives, Applebee Bros, blind manufacturers, occupied 7-9 Church Hill from about 1885-1915 for their business and also lived there.
I understand that this group of buildings were damaged by a V1 bomb in 1944. Is this so? Any details surrounding the fate of the original building would be appreciated for my family history on the Applebees.


Rodney HAMMETT Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Dave

I was the first captain of Sidney Chaplin from Sept to Dec 1958 when I left, Brian Richardson took over. I was also captain of William Elliott this was the time of the changeover. I think our old sports master Alan Spicer was head master of Chaplin whilst Bill Acres was head of Wm Elliott. Sorry cant help with names, as I only know teachers and pupils at W Elliott


Keith COOPER Private Reply Public Reply

I would like to know anything about William Henry Godfrey and wife Ellen Mary of Walthanstow prior to migrating to Australia in the late 1800 or early 1900, with a young family Elsie Ethel, Edie, Jessie, Charlie and some time later Nell. There was a son Bill who was lost in ww1 I think. They had another son Edward late in life in Australia (my late father).I would love to know more of the family history. Can anyone help?

Thanks in advance

Dennis GODFREY Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel,

Still looking for help with Sidney Chaplin School, as I am listing all pupils that ever attended the school (opened in 1959 closed 1990?). As well as all the form teachers, etc. I would appreciate if any of the WM visitors could send me information.
I will send anyone who wants a copy of my findings so far, if requested.

Kindest regards

Dave HUGHES Private Reply Public Reply


According to the marriage index, a David B Lewis married Edna M Sinden in the second quarter of 1950 in Essex South Western registration district.


Michael Gilbey Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, Do you by any chance remember who lived at 3, Winns Avenue - My Lewis family lived at number 3, Bert Lewis who died in 1972 and his wife Edith Lillian nee Vizard, she died later, they had two sons Roy David Lewis c1924 and David Bertram Lewis c 1928. I've been trying to track down this line of my family for years. Recently found the family at this address from the polling books. I don't know what became of the two sons. It is possible that David Lewis married an Edna Sinden, I'm not 100%.

Jane M Private Reply Public Reply

Good morning Daniel,
Thank you for your email.
I had re-newed contact from a classmate from school as a result of your help - thank you.
I noticed from your email "letter heading" the old Walthamstow coat of arms which was used as the Walthamstow Swimming Club "badge". I was a member of the club and swam with them from around 1959 to around 1964 or 5.

The picture of W'stow Town Hall also re-kindles memories. It was my first employment when I left school at age15 undertaking the role of Junior Clerk, in the Town Clerk's Department, the post I retained after the "Borough Council's" merge into the London Boroughs under the newly formed GLC. Happy Days!

Thank you again,

Valerie LOWE Private Reply Public Reply

From Daniel: I'm very pleased that you were able to contact your old schoolfriend! As for the Town Hall picture in our heading/logo, our thanks go to John Newell. The Walthamstow Crest in out heading is extracted from the official crest of the '20s - see our History->General page

Hi Daniel,
Since writing to you in March asking for any information on Bliss & Co or Rosa and Fred Johnson, I have had a private reply from Val who used to live in Queenswood Avenue wondering if her neighbours, Fred and Rose Johnson could be my relatives. We lived at 104 Bridge End which, being the first house round the corner from Queenswood Avenue, shared a fence with the rear gardens of some Queenswood houses. I know they were friendly with the people in those houses and often talked over the fence so it seems likely they were Val's neighbours, if it was between the '30s and '70s. I am still hoping to find out about Bliss & Co Ltd. Also, two of Fred's brothers, Walter and Bert lived near us and maybe someone remembers them.

Chris BALL
(formerly JOHNSON) Private Reply Public Reply

Hello, My name is Luciana Alves, I am Brazilian, and lived in England between 1996 and 1998. I once met a man called Lee Dennis Lucas and we had a brief relationship in the end of 1996, beginning of 1997. Then we broke up, and didn't stay in touch anymore. I spent 1996 Christmas with his family and I know he lived near Walthamstow (Waltham Forest), I don't know why but I decided to search for him today and found out he died in 2001! I am in shock. He was very young and healthy. I would like to know any information on what happened to him.

Luciana ALVES Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, I also attended Wm. McGuffie school between Sept. 1945 and Easter 1949 and was lucky to be chosen to visit the Beaverdell. I thought that we were to be filmed on this visit and have tried all channels , without success. So now I think that we were photographed, because my friend Sheila Studd and I were photographed holding a bar of gold, this was part of the cargo of gold returning from Canada where it was sent for safe keeping during the war

(née TAYLOR) Private Reply Public Reply

APRIL MAILS [Top of Page]

I was born in Chingford and lived in Walthamstow until 1956/1957. My parents and their parents lived in Walthamstow. Every thing on this website brings back many memories. I attended Winns Avenue Primary and Junior school. This picture was taken in 1952 when I would have been 6/7 years of age. Got this picture from my mothers possessions when she died a couple years ago. I am circled. Does anyone else recognise themselves?
I can remember some names like Royston Bull, John Ayers, Gladys Kirby, and a few others.

Winns Avenue School, Walthamstow - 1952

Winns Avenue Primary School, Walthamstow - 1952

Clare WILLIAMS Private Reply Public Reply

Now this is a real long shot but I am trying to find more about Harry James Davis who was a builder/bricklayer in the 1930's/1940's and lived at some point in Glebe Way, Walthamstow. I think he was born in 1910. It sounds as though he spent a lot of his adult working life working on building sites in and around Walthamstow. He was married to Edith May Davis (nee Biggs) who was my grandmother and I believe he did marry again later but I can't be sure.
If you have any information or know anyone who may have, it would be wonderful to hear all about it.
Thank you for your time.

Clare WILLIAMS Private Reply Public Reply

Being a past student of Warwick Secondary School for Girls, circa 1962, I'm wondering where I would be able to find an email link or if in fact there is one?
Whilst enrolled at the school, my surname was CLIFFORD. Hoping you can point me in the right direction
PS Great Site.

Valerie LOWE Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Bill,
I think that's my mum holding Clement Atlee's hand!
Would you be so kind as to tell me where the photo was taken from, she always said it was in the local Guardian and whether there is a higher quality version I can get hold of?

Mark NORTON Private Reply Public Reply

Dear Bill,
This may interest you, from the days when I put on shows at Lloyd park Pavilion in the Sixties... I wonder if anyone has any photos of these shows?
Also, my aunty Amy card, who lived at 220 Winns Avenue, used to paint the toy soldiers for Britains. I used to live at 198 Winns avenue, and then 52 Melbourne Avenue after I married.

Pete PERRY Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, I lived in North Countess road, from about 4 onwards. Went to Roger Ascham, then to Sydney Chaplin Secondary modern. Left in 1966 when my parents emigrated to Oz. Have many fond memories of 3A with friends like Janet Hills, Judy Brown and Valerie Ball... also John Lapping, Richard Walker, Michael Davidson and many others, A great form teacher Mrs Gasson, anybody remember thoses times?

Charlene ALLEN
(SMITH) Private Reply Public Reply

I was born in the Mount Bay Nursing Home(private nursing home for expectant mothers) 14th November 1947. I went to Thorpe Hall Infants School Hale End Road, then onto Selwyn Avenue Primary School, and finally Sidney Burnell secondary modern in Highams Park. Most of my early life was spent at 8 Trevose Road.
If anyone remembers me from schooldays, times at the Regal Highams Park, playing in Epping Forest etc. please get in touch

Peter ROSKILLY Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel
I noticed Achille Serre get a mention again recently, so I am sending this on behalf of my sister-in-law, I have submitted it on 3 previous occasions but never heard anything, so perhaps I got the e-mail address wrong. The Achille Serre connection is strong in my family as not only did my sister-in-law Margaret and my mother work there for many years, but as a lad in the late '50s / early '60s, I used to spend most of my school holidays going out on the lorries which went to collect and deliver the cleaning for the American Air Bases at Greenham Common, Lakenheath & Mildenhall, and, most often, Wethersfield. I have a lot of memories about that but perhaps you feel there has been enough about the old firm ! I have lived in Walthamstow for nearly 60 years so have seen many changes, sadly, mostly not for the better.

The following are Margaret's own words.

Further to the recent mention of Achille Serre in 'Walthamstow Memories', I hope this may be of interest.
My name is Margaret Coe-Smith, nee West, and I started at Achille Serre's in January 1952 at the age of 15 years. I was put in a department that had several 'units' that ironed and pressed the clothes, ours did the ladies. The one I was in was under a lady called Alice, I can't remember her surname.My job, for the first few months there was to look after the units, make sure they had work, which was delivered in large boxes on wheels, to issue the time sheets and collect them when ready-- plus anything else that wanted doing.
I stayed at this job for 9 months then went into a unit with Flossie Shaw working the blowers, ironing board and steam shapers, as you can see in the photo. We had a 'set up ' each, the sheet in the picture is hiding Flossie's side.
The working day started at 7.45 when we clocked on, tea break was at 10.30, dinner from 1.00 till 2.00 pm. then finish at 5.45. when you clocked off. There was a large canteen at our disposal.
Three quarters of the year was hectic hard work and tiring, what with the heat.You had to work to get a bonus or otherwise it was just a flat weeks wages. We were given a large urn filled up with a drink containing salt to replace what we lost in sweat. These urns were placed in each gangway. The factory had a glass roof and there were steam pipes everywhere and steam presses in use so it could get almost unbearable in summer time.
I did 2 demonstrations at the factory and had coloured photos of me sent to America twice. Then I was taken to Brighton to demonstrate in a new branch that had opened. Management from head office accompanied me there.
In the months between, that is to say November to February the following year, work was very slack. Sometimes we were put on packing tables or checking other peoples work. Often we were sitting in groups doing our knitting making all sorts, jumpers, cardigans, scarves, etc, or if we were lucky, we were sent home, which was the best, but, of course, it meant no bonus.
I made friends with several people, Florrie Shaw, June & Stan Clarke, Violet Harris, Jeannie Morris, Pat & Kit Eley, Ron & Iris Taylor, there were lots more, but memories getting to me now!
I worked in many departments including Drycleaning, Repairs, Packing, Checking and Despatching to the transport dept, plus my own work, including the American Dept. where the clothes from the American Airbases were dealt with.
My mother in law, Lily Paling, worked in the American Department from 1958 until 1980 when she retired aged 70 years. By this time the firm had been taken over by Sketchley's. I worked there for 9 years before I had my first baby in August 1962, then 4 years on and off after he was 3 years old. I had to finish there for good March 1969. I would be glad to hear from anyone who remembers me from those days.
Margaret Coe-Smith


Jim PALING Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Michael,
I have sent you a private reply giving you some information about your grandparents. As you will see, in 1911 your grandfather was a Pianoforte remover and this information seems to tie up with the information that you give. I have provided details about his birth, marriage and children that will enable you to get copies of birth and marriage certificates that will give you further information about them (Parent's names. occupations, addresses etc.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello All
Here's one for your new spooky corner on walthamstowmemories.net.
My brother and I lived here with some friends, and at times, it was a chilling environment.


Stuart SHIPTON Private Reply Public Reply

Hello All
Many years have now past, but still remember as if it were yesterday... working at Achille Serre, the heat and the very salty lemon drink that was in a large dispenser, that we needed to drink to replace body salt lost while sweating buckets.

One presser I remember vividly (name of Eric) used to work so fast, it looked as if he was dancing on the Hoffman press pedals! With sweat just running down his face, he worked so hard poor man. Me and Mum mostly walked to work from Millfield Ave and get the bus home, but on occasions we were given a lift by a chap called Arthur, who also worked at Seers and lived near us, the only problem was ... he had a three wheeler ... just like Del Boy!
And to be honest if I heard him coming down the road I used to bolt back it the house as was very difficult getting in and out of this machine... as I was always designated the back seat and wearing mini skirts wasn't ideal. I was so ungrateful Oh and the smell of the area near by.....!

Bush Boake and Allen? As I remember... and still to this day as I think about it can recall the horrid sickly sweet smell that still revolts me. Does anybody remember the HR manager Mr Hooper? What a dapper he was... with his quiffed hair and silver suits, lovely man bless him. If we were unlucky enough to burn ourself (which happened often) we were sent to the nurse, lovely lady but seems all she had in the medicine cupboard was witch hazel and gauze... still it seemed to work, and I still use it to this day! Well time to clock out and off to get the 58 bus back home. Regards to all

née PAYNE Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Alice
I remember the Wood Street Walk quite well, as I lived in Waverley Road, a turning off Wood Street. I first recall it being held on the Sunday after the Carnival that was held on the Saturday, with the stage erected for the Carnival being used for the dignitaries. A very busy weekend for everyone. I remember it was said to be an 8 mile walk from the Dukes Head to the Warren Wood pub and back again. In the mid sixties my then boyfriend and 2 of his friends took part around 1966-67. I can still see us down in Wood Street for the start and about 2 or so hours later to see the winners return. As a youngster the same names seem to come up every year. If it was a hot day then those that really pushed it arrived back in Wood Street almost in a state of collapse.

You say your dad and grandad recall the Walk. Did they come from the Wood Street area? I do hope that others can relate more than me so helping your project. Wish you well with it.

Jean ROBINSON Private Reply Public Reply

From Daniel: As for the 'thead', it's much up to me to manage threads, as the whole site is handled directly in HTML... no special software working behind the scenes... just me!

Hi Gary,
In reply to your message back in 2011, I do!!! Well, my Dad (57) and Granddad (92) do!

They both grew up in/around Walthamstow (where I now live) and have told me about an annual walk from Epping to Wood St. Apparently, every year prior to the race a bucket of coppers were thrown onto the pavement for the kids to scramble after. They can both remember this well but there is very little about it online, which is strange as they think it definitely carried on into at least the 1960s.

Great to finally find someone who knows about this as I've been trying to find out more! Can you tell me any more about this?
P.S.: Daniel, I'm new to the site - how do I go about setting up a new thread about this?

Alice FULLER Private Reply Public Reply

From Daniel: As for the 'thead', it's much up to me to manage threads, as the whole site is handled directly in HTML... no special software working behind the scenes... just me!

Dear Supporter,

It has just been announced on BBC Radio 4's Front Row that the William Morris Gallery is one of ten finalists battling it out for this prestigious award. The Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2013 is the UK's largest arts prize, celebrating the very best museums and galleries, highlighting and rewarding the innovative and creative ways they bring objects and collections to life for the public.

An independent panel of judges comes together to put the spotlight on the ten museums competing for the Prize. The winner will be presented with £100,000 and crowned 'Museum of the Year 2013' at an award ceremony in London on 4 June.

This a huge honour for everyone involved and we'd like to reiterate our thanks to our funders, the creative design team led by Pringle Richards Sharratt, our advocates and expert advisers and especially to our volunteers and visitors, who've responded so warmly and enthusiastically to the recent transformation and continue to give the Gallery a very special atmosphere.

We face stiff competition from the nine other finalists that include major institutions like the Horniman Museum and Dulwich Picture Gallery, but we're determined to give it everything we've got over the coming weeks. More information on how you can support our campaign will be available soon but for now we'd ask you just to tell all your friends and help us spread the word!

With very best wishes,
Anna Mason
Manager, Museum, Gallery and Archives Service

For more information please visit www.artfund.org/prize

To listen to the announcement on BBC Radio 4 Front Row http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rl8nj

For press enquiries please contact Alex Deller, Communications Officer 020 8496 4726

Anna MASON Private Reply Public Reply

My grandfather was an antique dealer and furniture removals with a shop in Walthamstow: Frank Harry Willson, married Nellie Matilda Walker. I was born in Palmeston rd. My grandfather and grandmother are both buried in Queens rd cemetery. I would appreciate any info you can find. Thanks

Michael W GLADSTONE Private Reply Public Reply

MARCH MAILS [Top of Page]

Hi... just found this site by accident, and have found it very interesting. I was born in 1947 at 130 Forest Rd, went to Blackhorse rd infants and junior and later on to Sidney Chaplin Sec Mod. On leaving school started work at Achille Serre and stayed for four years, working as a "musher" pressing trouser tops firstly, then on to pressing neck ties and later as a chemical spotter. My mother also worked there in the evening gown dept... pressing the most elaborate gowns... sometimes belonging to the stars of the time.
Later I started work as a clippy at the Wathamstow Bus Garage, they were the days burning the candle at both ends come to mind! But I loved it, and stayed until I married in 1969. I have many memories of my young life growing up in Blackhorse Rd prefabs, and then to Millfield Avenue and the trips to the High Street every Saturday morning... well I could go on and on,but enough to start with.

(née PAYNE) Private Reply Public Reply

Hello, I am a former resident of Bridge End, Walthamstow. We lived with my grandparents until 1956. The Johnson family had lived there since around 1930, when it was called Charter Avenue. The Johnsons and Pooles had been neighbours in Palmerston Road and Fred Johnson married Rosa Poole in 1924. My query regards a company, Bliss & Co Ltd, where Rosa worked and who presented her with a wedding present, which I still have. Does anyone know anything at all about this company? Also, Fred played football in the YMCA Cup 1921 and WECFL 3rd div 1925-26. If anyone has information on these I would be grateful. Rosa and Fred lived in Bridge End until their deaths in 1977 & '78 respectively, so some of your readers might remember them...
Kind regards,

formerly JOHNSON
  Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Rodney,
I couldn't find one to play. However, in view of the comments this is probably just as well. The following information is probably more than you wanted to know!


Gramophone Collecting
The Trademark 'all British' should be ashamed of itself!, they couldn't even be bothered to put the transfer on properly. The motor - a Garrard No 11 - is normally found in cheap portables. The Horn - not as I suspected a tin bucket but a properly formed Horn made of thin sheet metal. The sound? Well a tiny child's portable would sound better. The funny thing is you have to play records with the lid open - as the lid touches the soundbox whilst playing.
The last Yagerphone I saw was in a Christies sale - it came complete and working and with a large heap of Jazz records. It made little money and the buyer took the records, soundbox, handle and motor and instructed the porters 'Dump the rest'.

It sold for £35 http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/a-yagerphone-console-cabinet-gramophone-4093172-details.aspx?intObjectID=4093172

There was another one on sale recently on Ebay eBay item advertised as follows:


Yagerphone Wind -Up Gramaphone
This needs to be advertised as parts, spares or repair. I don't know whether there is a human being out there who is passionate about old wind-up gramaphones but fundamentally it is the glued joints that have completely come apart and it takes a passionate person to want to restore it to its former 1930's glory. The mechanism looked exquisite and I didn't have the heart to put it on the dump. Maybe for someone who restores these the parts would be worth transplanting into another wood cabinet. If you message me your email address I can send further pics. Every time I pick it up something else falls off of it.

It sold for £15.45 !


Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, I wonder if you could help me please. Was Higham Hill Road already called so during the 1911 Census or was it called Chingford Road? I would like to find out who lived in my house. Thanking you in advance.
Kind regards,

Richard HOLMES Private Reply Public Reply

From Daniel: indeed, Richard: Higham Hill Road was, up to 1881, named Chingford Road

Hi Bill,
Just read Part 1 re:Priory Court...recognised the name "Proudfoot" they lived on the 2nd floor of our Block. My mother was friendly with Mrs Proudfoot..one evening when my mother & sister had been to the Cinema, they had to stay the night with the Proudfoot's because I had gone to bed and did not hear them banging on the Front door !!

Marion was the same age as my brother Alan 6yrs my sister Joan was 9yrs and I was about 12yrs old.
If I remember rightly, her brother was David.

The Block consisted of 5 Floors and the ground floor was where the washing machines/drying cabinets were situated...we also had a shed allocated to each Flat..that is where I kept my bicycle.

My maiden name was Ashton, but I doubt that Marion would remember my family.
My sister lives in Penrhyn Avenue, not far from Priory Court and still has contact with her friends from that time....she went to Blackhorse Road School.
My brother lives in Calgary, Canada... you printed a Football Team picture that he sent to you... it was taken at Roger Ascham School.

Will be coming to Walthamstow in a couple of weeks... will be going to the William Morris Gallery in Lloyds Park... my sister says that there is a Coffee Shop there now.

Pauline TAYLOR Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Bill,
Just wanted to drop you a line to say how much I enjoyed your articles on Priory Court.
I used to walk through the court on sunny afternoons on my way home from Mc Entee school and used to stop and purchase a drink or ice cream from the shop on the estate.
Thank you for two wonderful articles.
Kindest regards.

Sally PASSMORE Public Reply

Hello Daniel,
My research starts in the 30s and it is to do with two people (Families) They lived in ALBANY ROAD, WALTHAMSTOW. My Uncle George Swanton at 34 and his sister Alice Swanton later Davy, but I am not sure what number for her. George was still living there in 1975 but died later that year his wife Hilda died in 2000, Alice passed away in 74. George was a labour councillor for some years in the 60s and worked at the Royal Mint. I'm not really sure what can be found out. I kicked myself for losing touch, George had a daughter Josie( my cousin), who is still living in the area somewhere, but where? It would be great to see her again after all this time, her married name was COOPER. Love the site by the way.

Brian COTTINGHAM Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Wendy,
I can't help with old photos, but this is how it looks now courtesy of Google maps:

In the mid 19th century it was the departures point to London from the Nag's Head at Church End and Robert Wragg ran stage coaches eight times a day (Carrying a maximum of 18 passengers). The route was Marsh Street, (Now High St.), Markhouse Lane (Markhouse Road), Lea Bridge Road and on to the Royal Exchange in the City. See also a history of the Nags Head PH at: http://www.e17foodanddrink.co.uk/TheNagsHead_LondonDrinker.pdf

There is a book "The Lea Bridge turnpike and the Wragg stage coaches", by W. G. S. Tonkin, published by London (Vestry House Museum, Vestry Rd. E17 9NH) : Walthamstow Antiquarian Society, 1974 that provides more information.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel,
I recently reorganised my record collection and amongst the 78rpm records I have are these shown in the attachments. I am sure readers of WM will be interested in where these records were purchased, but I doubt whether they could go along to any of the shops now and buy the latest CDs. I have no recollection of The Savoy Music Salon or R. Perkins of Markhouse Road, as I did not frequent those areas of Walthamstow much in my youth. However, I do remember Saville Pianos in Hoe Street during the 1950s and did indeed purchase records there.

I have shown both the printed sides of the Saville record sleeve, or record protector as they put it, which unusually has a 12" record enclosed. Most 78rpm records produced were 10". I wonder what the Yagerphone sounded like as advertised on The Savoy Music Salon record sleeve. These records date from pre-war and were inherited from my father.
Kind regards,

Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Bert,
I would advise as follows:

Death record:

Name: Barry Frederick Axford
Birth Date: 13 Jan 1948
Date of Registration: Apr-May-Jun 1971
Age at Death: 23
Registration district: Waltham Forest
Inferred County: Greater London
Volume: 5e Page: 1064

Now that you have a time frame for his death, you could visit Waltham Forest Museum and go through the 12 relevant (3 months) issues of the Guardian to see if there was a report/obituary.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

When I knew 'Carville' in the 1960-70's, it was being used as a Local Authority Mothers & Babies home for young women. This fits with the concept of it being a 'shelter' for girls/young women as envisaged by Ellen Carville, the original private founder..
I have sent my small research file to you on your private email reply address.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Gillian,
In response to your enquiry about Beatrice Rose Darby (née Strutt) I attach a copy of the 1911 census return for the Strutt family living at 15, Mayfield Road, Walthamstow. I trust that this is the family you are searching for as Beatrice is listed. Her mother's single name was Sarah Ann Chambers. I do have Strutts in my family tree as siblings Isabella Jane Silk(1892-1983) and Thomas William Silk(1884-1972) married siblings Arthur William Strutt(1894-1949) and Eliza Strutt(1891-1964). They were living in the Stratford area but I have not found a link with the Strutt family of Beatrice Rose. I hope this information is of some help to you.

Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

According to the 1911 census, Beatrice Strutt was living at 15 Mayfield Road, Walthamstow with her parents James William Strutt and Mary Ann. Both parents are shown as being born in Sudbury, Suffolk.
This ties in with the marriage of a James William Strutt and Mary Ann Chambers in Sudbury in 1882.

Michael GILBEY Private Reply Public Reply

A branch of my family moved to Walthamstow in 1850's and ran pubs there. We think 2 generations on Arthur Sydney Putnam donated his personal papers and memorabilia to the Walthamstowe Museum. Do you know what happened to this collection? We would like to access it and it might also be of interest to you and your readers.

Jennifer DOUGLAS Private Reply Public Reply

From Daniel: at first guess, I would say that the musem is the Vestry House Museum...

Would you please publish this [Marion Cunningham - Memories of Priory Court, 1949-1959] in the 'Personal Memories' section. With the author's permission I have used it in my article on Priory Court but it would be nice if it could also appear under her name.
Regards and respects,

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Does anyone remember a possible Strutt's General Store located on the corner of Walpole Road and Palmerstone Road sometime around 1917 or any memories of a Beatrice Rose Darby née Strutt at that time, as we are trying to trace the names of her parents.
Many thanks,

Gillian DARBY Private Reply Public Reply

Dear All,
I was wondering if anyone had any information on the Carville Home in The Drive Walthamstow in 1945.

Peter LONG Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel,
At long last I've written a history of the Priory Court Estate in Walthamstow. It's divided into two parts and Part 1 deals with the estate up to the remodelling and major works. Part 2 is about the estate under the management of the Circle 33 Housing Trust. Obviously, it is not definitive and I hope that readers will add to the continuing story. My particular thanks go former residents - Marion Cunningham née Proudfoot and her friend Maureen Shanks née Penn - who kindly sent me their reminiscences about the early days of life on the estate.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Pauline,
Thank you for your email. I'm pleased you like the Walthamstow Memories site and you may be interested to know that I have just finished a history of Priory Court and I am waiting some verification of accuracy from the present landlords of Priory Court (Circle 33) before asking Daniel to publish it.

I'm not sure which block the picture taken from the Avenue ground shows but from the angle it looks like it was the first block on the left as you entered the estate from South Countess Road.

As I'm sure you know, Sidney Burnell School is now called Highams Park and one of my grand-daughters is pupil there. As she lives in Nelson Road she takes virtually the same route to school as you did. Its an excellent school and you can look at the school website at: http://www.highamsparkschool.co.uk/

I too remember the great smog of December 1952 which killed some 4000 people prematurely and made 100.000 ill. I was still at school at the time and had to travel home from the Angel at Islington to north Islington. A;though I thought that I knew every inch of the way blindfolded, like you I got very disoriented and at one stage was walking in the main road following a No 14 bus.

If you haven't already done your family history - please give me some details and I will see if I can do a run-out.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Bill,
The old picture of Priory Court taken from The Football Ground...do you know which Block was featured ? I lived on the first floor of "C" Block No:41 and could see part of the Ground and over to Higham Hill.

Before moving into No:41 we had lived in "N" Block on the 3rd floor No:245..I was 11yrs old and was attending Sidney Burnell School in Highams Park...I cycled there each day, meeting my friend, Maureen Lusher near the "Stadium" and we cycled up Nelson Avenue, through Selwyn Avenue, across the Level crossing and up Handsworth Avenue,

When I left School in 1952, I started working in the Office of the British Road Services, Waterden Road, close to Hackney Marshes and cycled there each day from Priory Court in all weathers...including the "Smog" during the Winter 1952...I walked with the bike to Leyton Town Hall and thought I was walking down the High Road pavement until suddenly a Trolley Bus loomed up in front of me..I was walking in the road.....arrived home a lot later than usual with a very sooty face...I have since read that a lot of people died as a result of that Smog.

When I married December 1956 we moved to Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire...my husband had also lived in Priory Court before joining the Army as a 15yr old...I had not known him then..he had lived in the Block backing onto Priors Croft..he actually had been born at No:64 Priors Croft in 1933. A few years ago I was on a Bus going through Priory Court and was so surprised at the changes.

Enjoy looking at the Memories site.

Pauline TAYLOR Private Reply Public Reply

Hello there
I am trying to find some old photos of the old coach house on Orford road. Do you have any?
Thank you

Wendy LEVINSON Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, I am looking for any information on the Lathwell, Tuvey and Wells family . I am also interested to find out the whereabouts of Alfred Lathwell brother of George Lathwell who died in Walthamstow in 1963....Regards

Roy LATHWELL Private Reply Public Reply


St Andrew's church is still there ... I'm 41 and its been here for as long as I can remember.. I was born n bred round higham hill.

Leah PHOENIX Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel,
I have been looking at a very interesting website created by Mustafa Suleman which is recording the history of the former Harris Lebus Furniture Factory, which was situated at Tottenham Hale. (url : www.harrislebus.com.

I know this is outside of E17 but someone has posted a very interesting article on the website about the businesses which existed in the Blackhorse Road /Lane areas of Walthamstow so I thought it might be worth a link. The article in question has url = http://www.harrislebus.com/lebus-after-tottenham/ and there is an embedded link to Edith's Streets Blog, which contains some fascinating history of businesses working in that area.

Hope it is usable

Best wishes

John ANDREWS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Maureen,
Back again with good news if you go onto the website http://www.walthamstowhistory.com/index2.html and go to 'then and now' there is a photo of the church you after trying to find. It was the Marsh Street Congregational Church.

John ANDREWS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Maureen,
I remember the church you are referring to, it stood almost opposite to the Walthamstow Baths and if my memory serves me it had a tall spire that was during the 1950's removed as it became unsafe. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the church and so far have been unable to locate it on Google.
Will keep trying.

John ANDREWS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Val,
Arkley Crescent is first recorded as being occupied in 1887 and the road was 'made-up' in 1891. This means that it was still quite new in 1894. I have looked at the Census records for 14, Arkley Crescent in the 1891 Census and this shows that there were 3 separate households/families living there. There is nothing whatsoever to indicate that this was anything other than an ordinary house.
As you know Alice Elizabeth Curwood (Age 43) death was registered in the 4th quarter of 1894 at West Ham (4a155) This means that she was born c1851.
The only Alice Curwood In the 1891 Census, is an Alice Hopkins Curwood (b1852 in Birmingham,Warwicks) is a patient In Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, Sussex


Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Maureen,
Please see below pictures of the High Street Congregational Church taken before the war when it still had its spire. An art picture that shows George Monoux Grammar school with the Public Library in the background. And a 1950's -60's picture that shows them all.

Congregational Church before the war

George Monoux Grammar school

Congregationsl Curch Walthamstow 1900s

A view of the '50s/'60s


Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

I think it was called Marsh Street and Trinity - if I recall Marsh Street was the original name of High Street. Hope that helps

(née HARMAN) Private Reply Public Reply

The church you mentioned was the High Street Congregational Church. Old photographs show it as having a tall spire which was later removed, possibly due to war damage. The frontage was a low wall. Two paths ran down either side of the church. The right path as you faced the church led to what was once a private house, possibly the church caretaker's and later incorporated into the churches outbuilding complex. The left path led to a hall known as the Conway Hall. They had a youth club there where I used to play badminton.

To the right of the swimming baths on the opposite site of a narrow tree lined walkway known as Selborne Walk was a disused school. I cannot recall the name of the school but it may have possibly been Marsh Street which was the old name for the High Street. This was a single floor building and when I recall it in the 1950/60's, it was being used by the Youth Employment Service which I was not impressed with. I only went in there once just before I left school. I think all school leavers were invited to an appointment. I was led to an office where a man in a suit simply told me to get myself a job which incidentally I had already secured. That was the extent of my careers advice and which to me at the time seemed absolutely pointless and a waste of time.

Many thanks & regards,

Michael GILBEY Private Reply Public Reply

I wonder if anyone has a picture of the old Arkley Crescent or has any information on no 16 in the late 1800's. I have a mystery surrounding my great grandmother Alice E M CURWOOD, who died there. Does anyone know if in 1894 it was maybe a hospital or nursing home? Or if anyone knows of the name Curwood in that area and time, as I think there may have been a child that may have been adopted.

Thank you,

Val RYAN Private Reply Public Reply

Good afternoon,
I e-mailed your website a few weeks ago regarding my family but think I must have sent it to the wrong place so I'll start again.

I have found your website facinating and wondered if anyone could help me with any memories of my family. The details I know are as follows:-

My great-grandfather was Lewis Miles (born in 1873) who was married to Millie (Amelia) Robertson. They lived at 1 Park Cottages, Beaumont Road (not sure if this is in Walthamstow) and then later moved to 2 Cranbrook Road, Walthamstow. I believe Lewis originally had a greengrocers shop (possibly in Boundary Road) and then later had a greengrocers round with a horse and cart. I have been told that he kept the horse at the bottom of the garden on a piece of land that he reached from the side of his house.

There were five children, Elsie, Annie, Albert, Lilian and May. Elsie, Annie and Albert married and moved away but Lilian and May remained in the house with their parents. Lilian married and became Mrs Day (I think) and they had a daughter known as Little Lil. May had a son Dennis Lewis and remained at Cranbrook road until is was demolished.

Lewis died in December 1958 and Millie died in July 1939. They are both buried in Chingford Mount Cemetery. I have discovered that Lewis' parents were John and Ellen nee Wincey.

Maybe we are related to Alan Miles??? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much,

Christine WOODARD
(daughter of Dennis Miles)
  Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Bill,
many thanks for this. My daughter has found it very amusing to see what we were wearing back then! Look forward to seeing your posting on history of Priory Court. I have asked my Mum (who lived in Priory Court from birth until she was 18 or so) if she can look through her photo album to see if she can come up with anything that the site may find interesting.

Many thanks & regards,

Lyn KILLEAN Private Reply Public Reply

I was born in Walthamstow and at present I am writing a book on my childhood memories, mainly for my grandson to read. I remember there was a church at the Hoe Street end of the Market but cannot remember the name. It was knocked down and is now an empty site. Also there was a building on the right hand side of the market at the top end near the swimming baths which I believe may have been a college of some sort. Perhaps someone out there may remember about these places.


Maureen SHANKS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Lyn,
I hope that the two picture below will give you a sense of Priory Court before the re-modelling of the estate. The one on the left shows a bit of Priory Court looking from the now defunct Walthamstow Avenue football ground, The one on the right shows former Prime Minister, Clement Attlee (Who was at one time the local MP) campaigning in Priory Court.

In the near future I hope to post an article on the history of Priory Court on the Walthamstow Memories website.


Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel, Can you mention this on WM please?

Sidney Chaplin Secondary Modern Reunion
Saturday 16th February 2013
Aldersbrook Bowls Club, Wanstead, E11
Organised by John Lapping.
People already confirmed as attending are: Helena Mina, Ruth Else, Jackie Goodwin, Barbara Key, Stephen Long, Michael Davison and Jennifer Cleminson.

Regards & thank you

Dave HUGHES Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Folks, Great site. I was wondering if anyone has any stories of 1960's mods/modernists hanging out in Walthamstow/Leyton/East London i.e cafes/pubs/clubs/dances etc. Where there any tailors located here in the 50s/60s, good barbers, menswear/womenswear shops instead of going up West, anywhere that had a good dukebox etc
Many thanks

Dermot Private Reply Public Reply

Dear colleagues, friends and supporters
I just wanted to draw your attention to this award, whereby you are invited to nominate a museum or gallery which they think 'is a shining example within the sector for its ground-breaking approach to engaging with audiences and visitors in 2012-13'.

Should you feel inspired to nominate the William Morris Gallery - or anyone else - the deadline is this Monday 11 February. Details of how to make a nomination are below. Thank you all for your continued support of the Gallery. It is very much appreciated.
Best wishes

Museums + Heritage Awards 2013 Culture Pros Pick - have your say Guardian Cultural Professionals Network are inviting your nominations for the UK's most inspiring museum or heritage visitor attraction of the past year

The Guardian Cultural Professionals Network has teamed up with the annual Museums + Heritage Awards to launch a search for the UK's most inspiring museum or heritage visitor attraction of the past 12 months.

This is your opportunity to nominate the UK institution you think is a shining example within the sector for its ground-breaking approach to engaging with audiences and visitors in 2012-13. The winning attraction will gain the recognition of its peers and visiting public alike.

Who should win? To have your say, nominate using the form below, telling us in no more than 50 words why you feel your choice is deserving of this accolade. The five attractions with the most nominations will then be shortlisted and opened to the public vote - you are welcome to nominate your own organisation for the award but you will need to encourage your supporters to do so too. So good luck and get nominating!

  • Monday 17 December - Nominations open
  • Monday 11 February - Nominations close
  • Monday 18 March - Shortlist opened for public vote
  • Friday 12 April - Voting closes
  • Wednesday 15 May - Winner announced at M+H Awards 2013
To enter go to: http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture-professionals-network/culture-professionals-blog/2012/dec/17/museums-heritage-culture-pros-pick

Vicky CARROLL Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, well, I'm amazed and delighted that I've found your site... knockout. My names is Den Gibson, and I'm compiling a list of "musical memories" before I forget them, as today, I still have a great memory for that era and I was just searching for the proper address to Cooks Ferry and bang, up comes your site, really brilliant, but so sad about the building.

From 1968 to 1974, I lived in Harvey Rd, Leytonstone, right by the Red Lion, where I saw all those brilliant bands in early 70`s, Thin Lizzy, supporting Medicine Head, more of us in the audience than on stage, but, you knew this band, Lizzy, there were going to be the boys. Atomic Rooster, with a young Carl Palmer, and me and my mate Bob C, our fav and still my 2nd fav today (I saw them only in Oct 2012 in St Ives, Cornwall) the most wonderful, Wishbone Ash. And of course, loads more but as it was a 2 bus journey to Cooks, we could only get there for special bands, then of course, walk home, completely numb with volume (I still love big volume today) and of course "pi**ed", how we ever got home, I'll never know.

We thought at the time that the Pink Faries were the loudest, we would, of course, stand right up front and get hammered by the Marshalls, mind you, I'm still doing that today, Zakk Wylde at Colston Hall Bristol, 2010, right up front, it actually hurt for the first 3 tracks till the engineer mixed it down to only a huge sound!!!

I worked in Walthamstow in the late 60`s and went to the Catholic school in Sherhall street before that, all my mates either lived in Chingford, C Hatch or Parlmeston Rd, but it's the 70`s rock bands when I came alive.

I'll finish here, and if you get the mail/contact, I'd love to add to it and ask many questions to which, I'm sure you'll know and could answer, also, was that Rory on the web site I was hearing? Regards and as soon as I saw bands names being mentioned, ie, the Ash, I knew this was good. Cheers,

Cornwall Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, well, I'm amazed and delighted that I've found your site... knockout. My names is Den Gibson, and I'm compiling a list of "musical memories" before I forget them, as today, I still have a great memory for that era and I was just searching for the proper address to Cooks Ferry and bang, up comes your site, really brilliant, but so sad about the building. From 1968 to 1974, I lived in Harvey Rd, Leytonstone, right by the Red Lion, where I saw all those brilliant bands in early 70`s, Thin Lizzy, supporting Medicine Head, more of us in the audience than on stage, but, you knew this band, Lizzy, there were going to be the boys. Atomic Rooster, with a young Carl Palmer, and me and my mate Bob C, our fav and still my 2nd fav today (I saw them only in Oct 2012 in St Ives, Cornwall) the most wonderful, Wishbone Ash. And of course, loads more but as it was a 2 bus journey to Cooks, we could only get there for special bands, then of course, walk home, completely numb with volume (I still love big volume today) and of course "pi**ed", how we ever got home, I'll never know.

We thought at the time that the Pink Faries were the loudest, we would, of course, stand right up front and get hammered by the Marshalls, mind you, I'm still doing that today, Zakk Wylde at Colston Hall Bristol, 2010, right up front, it actually hurt for the first 3 tracks till the engineer mixed it down to only a huge sound!!!

I'll finish here, and if you get the mail/contact, I'd love to add to it and ask many questions to which, I'm sure you'll know and could answer, also, was that Rory on the web site I was hearing? Regards and as soon as I saw bands names being mentioned, ie, the Ash, I knew this was good. Cheers,

Den P GIBSON, Cornwall Private Reply Public Reply

Hi John,
We are talking 1960's early 70's Walthamstow E17. Baz was a George Gascoigne school boy - Athan boys club - 7th Walthamstow boy scouts. I've been told that he died of a related drug incident around this time and was reported in the local Guardian Newspaper. He lived I believe in Lennox Road. A great guy and a good friend, but I left London more than 40 years ago. Any info would be most welcome.

Bert SHADDOCK Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Darren!
I well remember Elmo as he was my barber for much of the time that I lived in the area until the early sixties. Not only did he sell me my first 'packet of three' but he presented it to me with great ceremony in front of a shop full of customers, much to my embarrassment!
I liked him very much and if I remember correctly, he had a brother of much larger build, but his name escapes me. Elmo was very enthusiastic about Judo at the time and had the perfect build for it, having a very low centre of gravity, as he used to say. These days, I don't need a barber, just a tin of Cardinal Polish!

Tony LANCASTER Private Reply Public Reply

Good afternoon. I found your site with interest. I used to live in Priory Court 1964 - 1974 from birth till I was 10. My family moved away in 1974 to live in Sussex.

Now many years later my daughter is studying at University of East London and we recently visited Priory Court as part of a nostalgia trip for me. I was suprised at how much it had changed and has been totally remodelled since I lived there. What I wondered was if you or anyone on your community site has a photo of how Priory Court looked in the 60's and before it's remodelling?

I would love show my daughter what it looked like then to be able to compare it with now.
Hope someone can help?
Many thanks,

Lyn KILLEAN Private Reply Public Reply


Hi Daniel,
Please find attached some contributions for the website:
[Police Police Me] [Only The Lonely] [The Merseys]
Kind Regards

Alan MILES Private Reply Public Reply


If that is the barbers shop near the Tolly-Mache brewery at the end of Markhouse Road I still remember being taken there kicking and screaming by my father for my first ever barbers shop haircut 70 years ago.

I was sat upon a board across the arms of a chair and I went away as happy as Larry after a very enjoyable experience.

I can also remember having my very last shop haircut in the UK or anywhere else for that matter, it was in a village in December 1969 on my way home from work in Cambridge to Stansted and it cost me 1 shilling and 6 pence. Those were the good old days.
Kind Regards

Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

Hi John,
My Name is Walter Purkis and I was born in Greenway Avenue Walthamstow, in February 1947. I have lived in Walthamstow nearly all my life, I went to Wood Street School and your Father was my teacher in about 1954. As time went on I when into the Fish Trade and for many years ran wet fish shops in Hoe Street and Wood Street as had many of my family before me. I still live in Chingford, but my fish business is now in North London. I have many family photo dating back over a century of both sides of my family, the Clare family from the High Street and the Purkis family from Wood Street. I have attached a few photo that might be of interest to your readers. First there is a photo of Wally Clare Snr. with his brother outside his fish shop in the High Street in around 1908. Then I have attached several photos of the Purkis fish shop at 123 Wood Street in the 1930 some of them showing the shop decorated for George V's silver jubilee. In October 1940 this shop was hit by a German bomb and there are two photos of the destroyed shop. Then there is a photo of the shop that the business was moved too, across the road, showing housewifes queuing with their newspaper own newspaper to wrap the ship in. lastly there is a photo of the Wood Street Walk and I believe It shows Alf (Deafy) Puline winning in 1954.

I Hope these are of use to you,
Kind regards

Walter PURKIS Private Reply Public Reply

Dear Daniel or John,
I am a year 5 teacher (Stoneydown Park Primary School) and we are studying WWII. I have been exploring your website for local testimonies, especially about the blitz or evacuation. I wondered if you knew of any local people that are willing to talk about their experiences of WWII in Walthamstow. I look forward to hearing from you.


Caroline CHAPMAN Private Reply Public Reply

From Daniel: May I remind that our visitors are always welcome to send in their own recollections?

Hello! I was most interested to read about the St Mary's Shernhall Street Orphanage, as two of my Aunts were there from June 1926 until April 1935. Winifred Evelyn Finn and Gladys Elizabeth Finn. Sadly Winifred has passed away, but Gladys is still alive and is 91 years old - amazing. I wonder if any other residents have been in touch?

Gail SKYES Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel,

Highams Park Prefab Estatee

The attached article is about a part of Walthamstow that is now firmly established in most people's minds as being located in Chingford/Woodford. However, at the time, it was an integral part of Walthamstow.

I first learnt about the Prefab estate from a mate of mine who lives in the area and who regularly walks in the park. During an extended period of dry weather, the grassland had become extremely parched and he could see marks and indentations that he tentatively identified as being those of the foundations and paths. He had some knowledge of the fact that there had once been a prefab estate in the area and approached me to see if I knew of a map of the estate.

Unfortunately, at that time I didn't have any knowledge of the estate at all and wasn't able to help. However, not too long later I came across a tiny map of the estate in A.D. Law's invaluable booklet called The Streets Of Waltham Forest Volume 1 Walthamstow. I blew the image up, enhanced it and sent it to him. I also posted it on the Walthamstow Memories site. Shortly afterwards, a WM correspondent emailed me and advised me that by using the interactive Google Earth map facility you could make out the outline and details of the former prefab estate.

At the same time, previous residents of the Highams Park Prefab estate were beginning to post pictures on the internet and were trying to contact each other in order to share memories. The map that I posted seemed to have been a catalyst in expediting this process and the result is an excellent site: The Highams Park Community Website at http://www.highamsparkprefabs.co.uk/ that contains information about the estate and includes a number of photos and individual reminiscences.

My particular interest in the subject springs from the fact that in 1945 my father was demobbed from the army. He had enlisted in 1939 and served abroad for most of the war. I was born just before the war and my brother in 1941. I had been evacuated and my small brother lived with my mother in Enfield. We had never lived all together as a family until 1945 when we moved into a prefab in north Islington. In January 1946 my baby sister was born.

The prefab that I lived in was one of about a dozen prefabs that were located on a large bomb damage site. It was made of asbestos and was damp and cold in winter and hot in summer. Its layout was almost exactly as described in my article. It had a flat tar papered roof, a front and back garden with a store shed. It is the centre place of most of my childhood memories.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi there,
Attached [here] are details from RECORD COLLECTOR on how to order the wonderful limited Edition of 750 copies only of MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME, the Riot Squad LP. (issued 45 years after it was recorded - never before released). (N.B. I went under the name of Bob Evans at the time).
I've been out of touch for a while and am still too busy to circulate - trying to adapt first part of my book, The Riot Squad Scrap book PART ONE of 'Drumshtick' by Bob Evans, to go with the above LP (and not all that well either), but this is a start to surfacing. Will keep you posted, as I do in mind.
Cheers as ever,

Bob FLAG Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Neil,
On the 20th January 2013 you wrote:

Local History: Fred Wrighton Furniture
Hi Daniel My mum is 99 this year and vividly remembers when she was housekeeper to Fred at Tudor Manor Bayford Herts. Apart from the Wrighton family history, she remembers the visits to the factory and how it was that themosquito started to be made there, my mum would be delighted to talk to anyone if this is of any interest. Regards Neil MASKELL

I wrote the Wrighton piece because although the Wrighton Factory in Billet Road was important in the history of furniture making in Walthamstow and manufactured Mosquito aircraft during WWll. Unfortunately, there is little recorded about the factory. It would be extremely kind and helpful and add to our knowledge of the factory if you could record her reminiscences and send them to the Walthamstow Memories site for publication.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Lynn,
On the 19th January 2013 you wrote:

'Not sure but I think that Walthamstow Secondary Modern School became William Fitt in Lloyds Park. Sure if I am incorrect someone else might know... Lyn TUCKER'

In reply I would advise that Walthamstow had a number of Secondary Modern schools. Over the years, as the education system was changed and restructured, many of them were merged with other schools and changed their names. The following, is a brief history and timeline of the William Fitt school.

William Fitt secondary (modern) school, Cazenove Road, opened in 1957 at Winns Avenue. In 1962 it moved from its temporary site (shared with Winns Avenue Junior School) in Elphinstone Road, to the new purpose built school building in Lloyds Park. The Headteacher at the time was Mr G R Easton. The school's motto was "Semper Aptus" ('Always Fit' or 'Always Prepared') In the early 1970s it became the William Fitt Junior High School and was a feeder school to McEntee, Walthamstow Girls, and Sir George Monoux Senior High Schools.
In 1986 William Fitt and Chapel End schools were merged to form the 600 pupil mixed Secondary school named Aveling Park situated at Aveling Park Road
In September 2008, Aveling Park School merged with the Warwick School for Boys to form a new school on the site of the former Hawker Siddeley factory in Fulborne Road. The new school is known as the Frederick Bremer School.

Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, do you have any news articles or photos on when a lorry crashed into a shop on Markhouse road between 1962-1964? Don't know the right year. This was my grandad's barber shop Alan (Elmo) Patriarca. Do you have anything on him?

Darren BRUMPTON Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel,
Would it be possible for you to include in your postbag or family history enquiry section, a request for information regarding my grandfather, Alfred Meyer Woolf and his son, my father, Trevor Lewis Woolf?
Both men were born in Walthamstow and both were school teachers in or around Walthamstow. As I explained in a previous e mail, I had no contact with my father so have no information regarding him.
I have no information about my grandfather, other than hearsay, that perhaps he was a labour Councillor in Walthamstow and he may have been responsible for taking the evacuees from his school to Bedfordshire.
My previous enquiry regarding the "family" factory making clothes for soldiers during WW2 supposedly belonging to my Great Uncle and Aunt, the North's from Mansfield Hill, Chingford, sadly didn't produce any results. The search continues!

Mary WORMAN Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Bill,
I worked at BX in the late 1950's early 60's when it was called Halex. I was secretary to Len Everett (Manager of the Sales Office) but dealt mainly with returned articles. Had so many toothbrushes returned that had been immersed in boiling hot water so that the plastic head melted and the bristles had fallen out, that we had a 'standard' letter that we would send. Len would just write A1 on the letter we received from the complainant and I would just type the standard letter, (this saved a lot of dictation time and me falling asleep from monotony of repeating replies).
I also purchased a Bissell Carpet Sweeper which I used for over 30 years.
I would travel to Hingham's Park via steam train from St. James Street and was often late due to cattle being on the line along the 'ackney Marshes (yep, am still an Eastender even after all these years).

  Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel,
someone requested wanting to know about the fishmongers in Wood Street Walthamstow. I am not to sure what road it was, but it was right opposite Arnolds the bottom of Marlow Road. Love your web site - my sisters and I are learners to computers and are often talking about old times, very lucky our old schools are still with us wood street and joseph barrette now called Warwick.
Have happy days

  Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Daniel
My mum is 99 this year and vividly remembers when she was housekeeper to Fred at Tudor Manor Bayford Herts.
Apart from the Wrighton family history, she remembers the visits to the factory and how it was that the mosquito started to be made there, my mum would be delighted to talk to anyone if this is of any interest.

Neil MASKELL Private Reply Public Reply

Not sure but I think that Walthamstow Secondary Modern School became William Fitt in Lloyds Park. Sure if I am incorrect someone else might know...

Lyn TUCKER Private Reply Public Reply

Personally I never had to wear one of those Alf Garnett type shirts that Bill describes, but I just have to ask if they were designed so that the shirt could be worn for more than one day and the collars could be exchanged for a soiled one.

How awful it must be to be a bus or train commuter and have to stand next to a guy who has worn the same shirt for a week even if he did have a clean collar.

It is a standard joke in Australia that Poms only have a bath once a week and only then if they really need one. In my opinion there is nothing worse than standing next to someone with B.O. but when I lived in Bishops Stortford and then later in Stansted I would cycle every day to my workplace in Cheshunt and after a top and tail wash I would spend the day in the office. And yet I never did get any complaints.

Until I reached the age of 23 I lived in a flat that didn't have a bath or a shower as many United Kingdom homes do today and once a week (yes once a week) I would go to the Leyton Slipper baths for a bath (whether I needed it or not).
Maybe it is due to the climate and temperatures over there that folks don't sweat the way we do in Australia, I live in Perth where this summer has been very hot and we did live in Sydney for 5 years where this week they had the hottest day ever recorded at 45.8 degrees Celsius and that is like standing in front of a hair dryer.
I would rather have our hot weather than the freezing temperatures that you are experiencing over there at the moment.

Len HALL Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Daniel
The attached article [read it here] is about the British Xylonite company who once operated a large factory in Hale End/Highams Park. Although today this area is firmly in Chingford, it was previously in Walthamstow until the formation of Waltham Forest in 1965. Today, the site is occupied by a large Tesco's and its associated housing and commercial development.

Many 'Walthamstow Memories' readers will have relatives who worked at this factory and it would be very interesting to have their comments/reminiscences. I would be particularly interested to hear from Rodney Silk (A 'Walthamstow Memories' regular correspondent) who, I believe, has been involved in the British Xylonite War Memorial project.

My personal experience of the company dates back to when I first went to work in an office in 1955. Like many of my fellow workers, I wore starched white collars that fixed to my shirt with studs. These needed to be changed every day and created another task for my overworked mother who washed, starched and ironed them. Then, she discovered celluloid collars that also fixed to my shirts with studs and only required a wipe with a damp cloth to restore them to a crisp whiteness. These were made by Halex. Unfortunately, although, I never told my mother, these, particularly in hot weather, were very uncomfortable and chaffed my neck.

Of course, the article is not definitive and I cite a number of references for the article. If readers would like to know more about the history of the area I recommend them whole heartedly to read Mary Dunhill's excellent book 'A History of Hale End & Higham Park' and to the Higham Park Forum website: http://www.highamsparkforum.co.uk/history.html that contains some useful internet links.


Bill BAYLISS Private Reply Public Reply

Hi, I have just put my details on the Friends Reunited site a few weeks ago, and have found the photo of the Beaverdell, I too was chosen to visit the ship: what a great day we had.
Derek, I do remember you and will email you straight away. You lived opposite me in Milton Road.

Doug ROLFE Private Reply Public Reply

Hello Walter
Am I right in assuming you are a member of the Purkis fishmonger family from Walthamstow? I read in this morning's Daily Telegraph that the business in Crouch End, which also has a smokehouse, has a problem with a complaint from a neighbour. However, with the article is a wonderful photograph of the fishmonger's shop in Walthamstow. Where was this shop, possibly in the High Street? The photograph is attributed to William Wintercross but I am sure that Daniel and readers of Walthamstow Memories would like to see it and perhaps you could post something about the business. I hope the outcome of the problem at Muswell Hill will be favourable.
Kind regards

Rodney SILK Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Roger
The Butchers shop you are asking about, next to the Towers Hotel in Hoe Street, was Noake's the Butchers. It was there until the eighties and then changed hands and became a sausage shop.
Kind regards

Walter PURKIS Private Reply Public Reply

Blair, according to the 1901 census, William Page was as you say living at 102 Somerset Road, Walthamstow. In addition to the names you mention are also his wife Eliza.
The 1911 census shows he had moved to 13 Downfield Road, Walthamstow with his wife, Frederick, Alice and Winifred still living with him.
William was born in Romford, and his wife and the remainder of the children except Eve were born Hackney/Dalston. Eva being born in Walthamstow.


Mick GILBEY Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Steve!,
I was browsing your website and came across the photo submitted by Roy BEYLEY taken at George Gascoigne (note spelling) School circa early 1950s (27 November 2012- Schooldays). My brother and I are in it!

At the LH side of the picture in the first standing row is a boy with his arms/hands behind his head. Immediately behind him is a curly-haired boy (me) being held up by my brother (to the right in the photo). I am Roger King (b.1948) and my brother is Peter King (b.1941) and we lived in Edinburgh Road, just around the corner from Gascoigne School. From other photos of me at a similar age I believe I am about 5+ which given the party hats etc would put the photo at around Christmas 1953. Unfortunately I do not recognise anyone else in the photo but have forwarded it to my brother in the hope that he does. I wonder if anyone remembers my brother and me?

It looks like a party for local youngsters rather than a school one as neither my brother not I attended Gascoigne.

I remember it was pointless trying to buy sweets in the sweetshop in Queens Road next to the school at any time between 3 and 4 o'clock because it was packed-out with Gascoigne kids, some of whom, shall we say, were not intending to pay for their Black Jacks or Fruit Salads!

I remember going to some sort of celebration/party at Gascoigne School for the Coronation in which I got caught up in the middle of a Hokey Cokey which was quite frightening for a toddler. There was also a party at the Edinburgh Road School for the same event and I remember going there also and reaching up for the cakes on the tables and being 'warned-off!.

On any entirely different tack, does anyone in the forum remember the name of the butchers in Hoe Street Walthamstow which was next to the old Tower Hotel nearly opposite St Mary's Road? It would be useful to know for family history purposes.

Roger KING Private Reply Public Reply

William PAGE lived at 2 Somerset Rd, Walthamstow circa 1901. He was a butcher and had 2 sons Thomas and Frederick and 4 daughters Daisy, Alice, Winifred and Eva, any info would be most appreciated

Blair MACFARLAN Private Reply Public Reply

Hi Steve!,
I was born in 1938 and lived near Gamuel Road School. My folks had a greengrocers shop in the area you describe, and the name Brian Pullen comes to mind as a friend at that time. I think he had an older brother called Derek, but the images and details escape me as it was so long ago. The grocers on the corner of Lennox and Longfellow Road (opposite Elsie and Walt Ecott) was called Staines, and I was friends with their son, Brian. If I remember correctly, Pullens was a few doors away, opposite Mr. Ives' off-licence! It's hard to realise that this was almost a quarter of century ago!

Tony LANCASTER Private Reply Public Reply

Hello John,
I started at William McGuffie two years after you left. Two of the teachers names you mentioned definitely struck a chord apart those I have mentioned in a previous post. The sports master Mr Thompson was still there during my time. I had completely forgotten about him but as you appreciate it was a long time ago. Mr Smith the maths teacher had a reputation as you say. Despite his fearful reputation, my class never experienced any problems with him although nobody dare step out of line. There were times when he displayed a wicked sense of humour too.

I never remember him as a tall man, probably because he always walked with a pronounced stoop, similar to some people with spondylitis. Even after all these years, I remember one distinct mannerism he had. Before asking anyone a question he would draw the fingers of one hand along either side of his nose from the base towards the front making a sniffing sound as he did so. He would then point the same fingers at the person he wished to ask a question. We always called him Sniffy Smithy as a result of that.

There was also a Welsh teacher by the name of Mr Thomas. I am not completely certain but I think he taught biology. He too gave the impression of being friendly with the female PT teacher but that might have been more to do with the imaginations of young schoolboys.

Thank you,

Mick GILBEY Private Reply Public Reply