In Praise of the Local Shopkeeper Or Life Before the Shopping Centres (Part of Growing Up in the Bush Saga)

Whilst having a coffee break during our regular visit to Lakeside Shopping Centre, I found myself reflecting on the way life has changed since the 50’s and 60’s. In the 50’s, there were no shopping Centres such as Westfield, Lakeside and Bluewater with a multitude of shops located under one roof. No large DIY chains such as B & Q or IKEA type one stop retailers (most of these were not created until the late 60’s and later) and the small shop keeper reigned supreme. This was also assisted by the small number of people with cars and most trips to the shops involved a walk, a concept that today’s kids would find alien, or a 1d or 2d (in old money of course) ride on a bus or trolley bus.

Living in Kelmscott Gardens Council flats at the junction of Askew Road and Goldhawk Road, there was a valuable source of such small shops in Askew Road itself. Immediately across the road, the local Newsagents, Huxleys, became our second home and source of our estate-demolishing penny and tuppeny bangers, of the firework variety, in mid-October, and the usual delights of chews, sherbet, bubble gum and comics etc. These were the non-PC days when you could purchase such items as Black Jacks, Sambo Chewing Gum (liquorice flavoured) and marmalade jars would have a Golliwog on the side. Such were the times we lived in!

We alternated between this shop and the Off-Licence in Westville Road as to our source of a frozen Jubbly subject to word having got around that there were half-frozen ones available which was a great delicacy ! This shop was also the source of the local paper, the West London Observer, which gave us, along with the Evening News, Standard and Star, the London evening papers, our main source of everything QPR. I am indebted to Steve for reminding me that many local shops would also have fixture list posters, should we forget ! Some yards away and near the Goldhawk Road junction traffic lights was a second and ‘posh’ supplier of cigarettes and tobacco which was a sign of the times and a valuable source of discarded cigarette packets and sometimes with the cards within them which boosted our cigarette packet and flick card collection.

My earliest memories of trips down Askew Road usually involved being sent to the bakers near the Co-Op I think, to purchase a seeded bloomer loaf fresh from the oven. Unfortunately, the aroma of the fresh baked bread usually proved irresistible and much of the carefully wrapped loaf had bits pulled off the end before I reached home ! Curiously, I could not remember being sent to the Fish and Chip Shop, probably as my parents preferred much of the purchase to reach home safely !

The other gem in Askew Road was the corner situated toy shop, Standens. This was a regular haunt to spend ones limited pocket money on the latest fad such as Scoobidoo or lead toy soldiers. They had a Christmas Savings Club which enabled my less than affluent parents to provide me with a special Christmas present such as two layer Meccano, a Hornby Dublo train set (the original metal three rail system) and possibly my much prized Philips Kingfisher bike (which expanded my range and horizons greatly). I say possibly, as young Kerrins has reminded me that there was a nearby cycle shop called Hinds which I had forgotten about. Most of these items, if kept, would be worth a fortune now. I enjoyed speculating as to what my present that year would be and if the toy shop was visited with my mother, I ensured that she had suitable ideas by looking longingly at items out of reach of my pocket money.

These were the days when you had to make things work to entertain you by either playing games or assembling things such as Airfix plastic models of planes. Building kits were popular with two such kits coming to mind. One involved small stone-like bricks which were ‘cemented’ together much as a house is built and a Bakelite building system with ‘bricks’ slotted into thin rods inserted in a base. The names escapes me but feel free to remind me…no doubt Kerrins will be the first ! My need for train set bits and pieces and other modelling items also meant a longer trip by bus or bike to a strange model shop in the Turnham Green area. I say strange, because it had a sales counter to the street.

It was a reflection of the times or the way that I was brought up by my parents that whilst on a Saturday morning trip down Askew Road, I found a five pound note in the road, a fortune in those days of the late 50’s. I decided to take it to the somewhat Dickensian Askew Road Police Station and my honesty was rewarded three months later when I received a letter asking me to collect it ! The toy shop became a beneficiary of my good fortune, as did my parents.

As technology progressed, the second little gem appeared in the far reaches of Askew Road, but it was worth the walk, as this was a curious little shop near Becklow Gardens which sold some of the first portable radios. These were a valuable source of news on Rangers away trips and enabled covert listening to Radio Luxembourg under the bed sheets !

The main source of clothing involved a bus ride to King Street, Hammersmith for Marks & Spencers or the shirt shop in Shepherds Bush Market which also included a visit to W G Stores for records or the stamp dealer with his small table. I also visited the record stall for ex-juke box records with the black inserts to convert them for normal record players. Woolworths in King Street was also a valuable source of a multitude of items. In those days it was an antiquated collection of old timber desk-like displays, a far cry from the modern display stands that followed. I acquired a taste for their own brand of chocolate buttons, not to everyone’s taste bur somewhat addictive.

Our new found love of fishing also gave us a good excuse to walk to Uxbridge Road for our fishing tackle and bait from Mascalls (?). Long gone I understand, but at least it also brought us closer to the other love of our lives…following the R’s. On the subject of fish, I also used the Queensborough Fisheries in Goldhawk Road for tropical fish, an early but short lived hobby. When I started work in the City in 1963, my new found wealth also resulted in my shopping for upmarket clothes in Krantz, also in King Street. Otherwise, there was not the wonderful choice of clothing shops that we have today, although a greater outlay on a bus and/or tube ride, opened up the great delights of the West End and Oxford Street, but in the early days that ‘Promised Land’ seemed a million miles away and we mainly satisfied ourselves with our trusty local shops.

It would be interesting to have confirmation as to when these shops finally succumbed to the pressures of competition or merely faded away as society changed, so feel free to enlighten me ! They were all part of my early life and provided a valuable service.

Colin Woodley

74 thoughts on “In Praise of the Local Shopkeeper Or Life Before the Shopping Centres (Part of Growing Up in the Bush Saga)

  1. That brings back a lot of memories, thanks Colin. Remember all those especially Mascalls and the Queensborough Fisheries. Happy days. Anyone remember Mylos the ice cream place near the market in Goldhawk Road. Remember useekia(?)where you could buy all sorts of obscure nuts bolts etc. there was also a model shop opposite Mascalls

    My Saturday job was in Days the greengrocers in Uxbridge Road just opposite Loftus Road and often saw players walking to the ground for the game. It was always a rush as I finished at 1 o’clock especially if it was 2 o’clock KO which wasnt uncommon in those days in mid winter.

    I visited the Bush back in Feb and the only shop I saw from those days was Ellis’s pet store in the market. It was a real culture shock to see the changes. It was like being in a foreign land.

  2. What a fantastic insight to your area in such an era. got me thinking now about my own when as a 5 year old you start to remember such things accordingly. 1965 rocked!

  3. A truly wonderful walk down memory lane Colin. Great Stuff….and some fantastic pics to go with it. I could do with a frozen Jubbly right now during this heatwave.

    Yes I always did admire your tropical fish collection set up round at your flat at Kelmscott. You had more success with your venture than I had with mine..I just could not keep the plant life alive back then…Today I am strictly a Goldfish man lol

    Mascalls..or was it spelt Maskells? went “bust” sometime I believe in the early 1970’s not sure about the exact date. Rumour has it that old man Maskell gambled away all the revenue thus causing the business to fail.

    Yes that old Askew Rd Police station…right out of an episode of Dixon of Dock Green wasn’t it. Long gone now replaced by a Library complex.

    The old Standens Toy shop last time I looked was an empty premises..and subject of a murder crime scene last month. Hinds Cycle shop is now a cafe.

    My dad still lives in the area so on my visits to him over recent decades I have observed the changes develop..but never the less looking back the mind does boggle!!

    • Charles Maskell (my father) owned Maskell’s Fishing Tackle from 14th July, 1949. I worked there from 1961, but never being a fisherman at heart, I left at the end of 1963.
      The shop prospered until 1973, when dad decided to retire at age 60, and sold the shop to Roger Daltry, lead singer of The Who. Dad and mum moved to Lancing on the south coast. By the way, dad was never a gambler (except the occasional flutter on the Derby, Grand National etc). He died of cancer on 29th January 1975.

  4. Thank you all for your kind comments. The bakelite building set was Bayko I have now manage to trace on the internet.
    I still possess a rod from the fishing tackle shop(whatever it was called!!!)you will be pleased to know young Kerrins, and it has survived five house moves! I must dust it down as it has not been used in anger since 1973.
    Would like to know what the other building set was called with the little bricks glued together with a paste that you could then use again after water was chucked on the latest creation.

  5. I recall only two flavours of Jubblys at that time, orange and I think blackcurrant ? Choice of frozen or as a drink of course and often from a shop in Cobbold Road close to Wendell Park School.
    Standens, yes, a great toyshop. I also remember one near the Bush Market…anyone know the name ?
    There was a stall down the Market that sold loads of DC comics, Batman and Superman etc.
    One of the last ports of call before heading home from Hammersmith would be a visit to the Lyons Corner Shop.

    • Would that shop have been owned by a Mr. Price? I remember Price’s sweet shop near Wendell Park School. Only yesterday I was telling my grandchildren about Jubblys. Great childhood days.

  6. What a great memory jogger. I went to school in Rylett Road, St Stephens with its playground on what seemed then a very tall building . Not sure if it satill exists. My best emeories are of shepherds bush market with the “Shilling stall” always a good place to spend your pocket money. How about Horatios the shop which sold everything from clothes to materials to curtains. I worked there on a Saturday for ¬£1 two and six . There was also a very good toy shop in the market which as a a child you could loose yourself in. Thanks for the memories.

    Margaret Faley

  7. Anyone remember the Bagwash at the back of Woolworths in Shepherds Bush Green, I used to have to go there with my Mum . What about swimming in Bloomfontein open air swimming Pool Those definately were the days.

    Margaret Faley

  8. Thanks for your comments Margaret.
    I lived in Rylett Road in the 50’s and went to Wendell Park and Victoria before we moved up the Western Avenue. Where did you live ?

  9. Steve I think that shop in Cobbold Rd you mentioned was called “Greens”.

    It was owned by a Mr Donald Green who later changed his premises and for a while ran a newsagents shop in Askew Rd(across the Rd from the Sun Pub)

  10. What a fantastic article. I lived in Willesden but I remember going to the shops with my Mum in Church Rd and going into the butchers, the Greengrocers (complete with sawdust) and the bakers where they all knew you and had time to chat unlike the unfriendly superstores you get today. Woolworths for the black or white plimsoles for PE and the Winfield trainer that had 2 stripes.
    I also remember bringing the lemonade bottles back to the Off licence and getting a penny back and later the corona man coming round once a week to deliver cola, orangeade and cream soda.

    Also pre McDonalds a trip to the Wimpey was a real treat.

    Can you imagine anyone nowadays going into a Police Station to hand in Money that they found in the Street ! And people wonder why society has changed so much.

  11. Once again my old mucca from my beloved Kelmscott Gardens (22 !) has astounded us with something so many of us seem to have mislaid today : Memory ! Colin Woodley, where do I begin? I won’t coz it’s bleedin 1.39 in the morning I’m burning light and Her Indoors thinks I’m safely tucked up in my 66 year old cot. Only another Kelmscotter (well, slightly around the corner in the Askew Road Mansions but still adventurous enough to be a Kelmscotter…Bernard “Kerrins” Lambert has the memory that defies ageing logic. Me? I only remember the best bits. I am indebted to another historian originally from Rylett Road, Mr. Steve Russell who added some fantastic images to an enthralling piece of writing and remembrance of the good times. The sight of that Jubbly…oh my God, that immeasurably tasteful mouth-watering little oddly-shaped cardboard box that dripped of orange and raspberry down your chin and on to the white shirt that had just been Friday night washed in the Wash in Kelmscott, ironed by my loving aunt Carol (Sears) 90 years old last June 17th and now living in West-by-Fleet..a long way from the old bus stop where we used get the trolley down Goldhawk Road,the thing was you just could not remove Jubbly stains from a crisp white shirt collar. I know that either Bernard or Colin will come to the rescue here but I recall when we met up in the “Connie” a couple of years ago before a QPR game I told them and Steve that once my mother (who reared me in Hampstead in the final year of the war, and should have probably remembered) my mother sent me on an errand to the little shop down Percy Road on a Sunday afternoon and I was to ask for a packet of custard, a box of Daz or maybe it was Persil and for a treat for going on the errand – a Jubbly. When I recited the verbal list of messages the old geezer behind the counter’s face went purple and a couple of women already at the counter looked at me aghast..the old geezer’s cheeks looked like they were about to explode as he said, “Washing powder on a Sunday? You want washing powder on a Sunday? Don’t you know that I’m not allowed sell it? Come back Monday, mate. You can have all the washing powder you want.” Does anyone remember that strange trading law? Or have I spent too long at the old acid and LSD, to say nothing of the dexys and leapers I took down the Goldhawk Social Club? Thanks Colin for a great trip once again down memory lane. Your correspondent Brian is quite right..can anyone imagine handing in money found in the street to a police station? I found a mountain bike once in 1961 when we lived for a while in Walham Grove, North End Road (my mum managed Hemmings Bakery shop there for a few years, 63 Walham Grove now a Chinese take-away). Like the good citizen like Colin I dutifully handed the bicycle into the Fulham police station and was told at the desk they would keep it for a few weeks and I was given a date to call back, and after saying several decades of the rosary and removing from under the mattress my favourite picture of “Lily” (a Soho dancer wearing nothing more than a full one-piece bathing costume at Ruislip Lido) which I used for obvious recreational purposes…the bike was duly handed back to me. So there is a God there after all. I mentioned Memory at the start of this response to Colin’s piece..Some weeks ago I was strolling (in the old days you did it going through Ravenscourt Park !) I was strolling down my computer when a flashing light suddenly appeared on my Dell screen warning me that I was about to run out of MEMORY !! Jesus, I ask you, how did we do it all in the old days? NO mobiles, NO e-mails, NO bloody iphones or whatever…Just plain ordinary MEMORY ! And what good memories they are. So thanks Colin for a wonderful trip and to Steve for providing the images.

  12. Interesting comment Jack.

    Yes I remember that strange Sunday trading law(if you could find a shop that was open!)

    There were certain things the shopkeeper was not allowed to sell..and if he did break the law he always made sure the product was concealed in a big brown paper bag.

    I must admit I was never a big fan of Sundays in the 1950’s(things improved a bit in the 60’s) seemed to me as a small child back then that most of the time all you were allowed to do was…Breathe lol

  13. There used to be an amusement arcade in Shepherds Bush Market, plus a hardware shop.
    One day (this would be the mid-60s) me & some mates realised we could buy a bag of washers from one & use them in the other (they were the same size as tanners). Got a fortune out of the one-armed bandits, until the manager sussed & chased us down the market.

  14. Thanks for your response Irish and I hope you are keeping well. Must agree with the Sunday trading comments you could eat your Sunday lunch in the middle of Askew Road things were so quiet especially as cars were few in number. Young Kerrins I am a bit worried as to the nature of goods you were purchasing that needed to be in a plain brown paper bag!!
    A couple of traders I have failed to mention were the much anticipated visit from Tony Bros ice cream van and the sunday visit from the seafood man with his hand cart covered in a white sheet with piles of different seafood.
    Can still remember the sound of the ice cream van chimes which seemed to induce temporary deafness for my mother until my pleadings plucked her heart strings!

    Also a mention should be made of the Marble Arch Stores near the market for car bits etc.

    Irish, your mention of memory and phones also reminded me that most of us did not even have a house phone. Kids nowdays can’t seem to organise themselves a day or evening out because the ease with which you can contact anyone seems to produce chaos as plans change with monotonous regularity. It is a wonder they have the time to attend the event they discuss! In the 50’s and 60’s we agreed to go fishing or the Rs etc.and that was happened with no drama,and, we had to carefully plan trains and buses to achieve such visits.

  15. Colin.

    Tony Bros (of Acton I think)..great ice cream.

    The seafood man was a very welcome sight when he called round…There was indeed a fantastic variety of seafood on offer. Our family usually opted for the prawns and winkles.

    Yes Sundays in the 1950’s were VERY quiet!

    • there was also a stall outside the adelaide pub every sunday it sold winkles cockles, mussels and jellied eels. we always had the seafood for sunday tea..jellied eels were for grown ups only!

  16. The old phone thing we were lucky enough to have one and I remember my Dad putting a lock on it!! Also neighbours knocking asking if they could give our number in case of emergency. And the phone being pride of place in the hall with its own table and a chair next to it.

    Having no mobiles also made people turn up on time when you were going out otherwise you missed out.

  17. An excellent read and being a son of a former local shopkeeper, (Reg’s corner of Thorpebank Road and Dunraven Road), I very much mourn the passing of these valuable establishments not only as a valuable service to the locals, especially the more elderly community, who relied on these shops for the provisions, and shopped most days for their needs, and certainly find it more difficult to get to the large supermarkets and shop once a week, which seems to be the requirement nowadays, but also they tended to be a font of knowledge for people as well. Sunday trading has got a lot to answer for as has the relaxing/abolition of the laws restricting who can sell what, (i.e. only newsagents could sell newspapers and magazines). Remember jubblies well, certainly orange and blackberry flavour and also seem to remember that there was a strawberry and lime flavour too. But, boy, could they damage your teeth if you dared to try to bit them! Stawberry mivvis and orange maids aswell, and of course the ‘square cornet’ complete with a mini block of vanilla ice-cream. Bringing back your R-whites or Corona lemonade bottles meant that you got a deposit back and bags of sweets were just a pipedream, when you could have 2oz or 4oz straight from the jar. 4 black jacks or fruit salads for 1p, jelly dummies, shrimps, chocolate bananas and chocolate tools were all part of the sweet mixture. Classified papers on a Saturday evening added to the excited of a decent result. Something tells me that progress has made us go backwards.

    • when I lived down thorpebank, the corner shop was called Alf’s, and he and his wife were great. they always slipped us a few extra sweets during the war

  18. Well we lived on High street harlesden and went down Scrubs Lane to the games.

    Yes the fish shop where we ducked in when the Stukkas dive bombed the high street,
    the Jubilee Clock and Park Parade which had a nice toy shop. I got a an LMS train set for christmas like the picture. 4-6-2 streamliner, collected train numbers bus numbers, You had little books. going down to St. Pancras was the best cos they had all the never seen LMS engines. Mr Tarn, the Dentist 662 664 trolleys, also in Park Parade lived Daphne Biggs her whole life and we used to drop her off on the way home on the fans club buses.
    Petcheys fish and chips on Fortunegate Rd. Satterthwaites greengrocers in the footpath toward Leopold Rd. The tobacconist on Leopold Rd Star Ladeda he always said as he folded it and gave it to me to take home. Boring sundays too
    going down to Hyde Park. But my comics. wow, Beano Dandy, Wizard, champion.
    When younger Film fun Radio fun Knockout. So much more and so many memories from all these great posts.

  19. I’ve just been reading through a 1949 home programme and in the centre pages and all around the team line-ups, are various adverts. One of which refers to ‘K’s Model Shop’ at, 197 Uxbridge Road and states that they were stockists of:Meccano, Trix, Hobbies Milbro.Leeds Model Co.,Hamblings and all “0” and “00” accessories plus aircraft, ship, galleon and race car parts.

  20. As a boy growing up in the 50s I only remember the orange Jubbly but maybe the flavoured ones came later. As well as Black Jacks there were also Fruit Salads. The farthing coin was just going out of circulation but you could still buy four of these sweets for a penny. Also does anyone remember liquorice pipes, packs of sweet cigarettes and pouches of sweet tobacco? All very un p.c. these days.

    The corner shop in Thorpebank Road had a Wrigleys chewing gum penny machine on the wall outside. With every fourth penny you got two packs instead of one. An arrow on the handle showed when you would get the extra pack.

    I guess many of you still go to Cookes pie and mash shop in the Goldhawk Road near the market. But I remember going to the one that was in the Askew Road between Curwen Road and Starfield Road. Pie, mash and liquor was a shilling.

    W. G. Stores was the favourite place for listening to new pop records. You told them at the counter what record you wanted to hear then went into a small soundproof booth to listen. The shop carried the same name for many years but changed to a hardware shop, and finally disappeared in recent times.

    I still have my Meccano Set 5 bought for me one Christmas in a big toy store, near W. G. Stores.

    In the 60s and 70s I used to buy old coins from the stamp stall. The younger man Tony left London and opened a shop in the sticks. I guess Bill, the older man, died.

    Sunday trading was pretty strict when I was young and it was only newsagents who opened on Sunday mornings. A grocery shop opposite The Adelaide pub had a very large vending machine outside the shop so customers could still buy cartons of milk and orange when the shop was closed.

    The only other way of getting food or drink on a Sunday was the pubs. But they only opened for a couple of hours at lunchtime and the evening hours were much shorter than weekdays. The Princess Victoria had a shell fish stall outside and The Conningham had a pie stall in the mews behind the pub.

    How many of you remember the large Arrowroot biscuits, Smiths crisps with the little blue bag of salt, and small bottles of R. Whites lemonade?

    And also in those days if you got caught short many of the pubs had unlocked outside toilets.

  21. Thanks for your comments Peter and for updating me in respect of a couple of the traders. Yes I remember those milk carton machines which were less than reliable at times!
    I have a couple of other articles in Steve’s locker of goodies that you may be interested in (if they see the light of day!!)

  22. Thanks Steve for getting in touch with me. I spose nostalgia comes with getting old. I can only say to me, they were the good times, even thru the war.Cooke’s in the Askew Road, was a once a week treat for us, I live a long way from the one left uin Goldhawk Rd. I remember Tony’s ice cream shop, up by Acton park.I dont remember a Reg’s corner shop, on the corner of Thorpebank while I lived there, it was owned by Alf, thats the name we knew him as up to 1960, which was when I left to get married. W.G stores I remember as a Saturday good time, when I first started work, and used to spend my wages, plus you could listen to them, before you bought them. The shellfish stall I remember, used to be outside the Adelaide pub. My dad, used to go there, when he came out of the British Queen on Sunday, to buy cockles,and winkles for Sunday tea. Sunday didn’t appeal to me much, for one thing, the Salvation Army, used to come down Thorpebank, and play, right outside our house, and wake me up. Reading all the comments here, bring back a lot of memories, all of them good. I can still smell the faggots, and pease pudding, that they had outside the butchers shop (opposite the Queen Adelaide). Can you imagine the Elf and Safety “police”? I dont ever remember anyone getting food poisoning in those days. I’m afraid those days are gone. The last time I was down the Bush, it was like being in another world.The pubs were still there, the Queen was all “tarted” up, and for heavens sake, who would have thought there would be Trees down Thorpebank? Anyway, it’s been great going down memory lane with so many people. I’m afraid that I’ve forgotten a lot of names of the shops but Hammersmith and King St, Shepherds Bush and the market(does anyone remember the pet stall down the market where you could buy baby chicks) and Prince Monolulu? What about the fish and chip shop just past Thorpebank, where we could go in and buy a pennorth of crackling ina a bag. I could bore everyone for a long time, but I wont. so thanks for all the good memories.


  23. Jean

    Did you have a brother called Reggie? Do you remember the Trotts or Baggetts from Thorpebank Road?


  24. Jean. Interesting comment.

    Yes to people of our generation the 1950’s Sunday was never very appealing!…At least that is one thing that has changed for the better.

  25. does any one remember the dolls hospital in Acton? The only toy shop in the area in the 50s 60s Do you remember the name of the owner? O r his family? I do!!!

  26. Hi I am looking to find the Greek Cypriot man named George who ran the south africa road fish and chip shop, I think he retired in Cyprus. If anyone has any details or memories of him please let me know, Thank you

  27. I used to live in the Bush but I couldn’t read this piece because it brings back too many bad memories of losing a five pound note back in the 50s.

    Chairman QPR supporters club Western Australia

    Ps Seriously though great read, always used to get our chips from the St Elmo Fish Bar

  28. Hi
    Regarding Maskells, it did go bust in the ’70’s but Charlie Maskells did not own it at the time as he died several years earlier due to cancer. I used to work there

  29. Thanks for that info stuwatts.

    Maskells was a very popular fishing tackle shop in the 1960’s. All our group used to shop there for gear and bait.

  30. Yes thanks Stu for that update. As Kerrins has said it was a regular haunt for our mob.When did you work there?

  31. Hello all,
    Charles William Maskell of Maskell’s Fishing Tackle, 346 Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush, W12 was my father. He opened the shop on 14th July, 1949. I worked in the shop 1961 to 63, but my heart was always elsewhere so I only stayed there for 3 years. Dad was dignosed with Cancer, and was always in a lot of discomfort (making him seem a bit ratty sometimes), and he retired sometime in 1973. He sold the business to our old mate Roger Daltry (of The Who). Dad and Mum moved to Lancing, Sussex on May 20th, 1974, but Dad died on 29th January, 1975.
    Maybe this short note will stir a memory or two.

  32. Thanks for that…you must of served us!

    Yet another Who connection to some of us.

  33. Thanks for that comment Fred Maskell. That puts us in the picture.

    Yes you will have certainly served our group at some stage between 61-63…I dont suppose you will recall a scrawny young sprog like me very fussy about pink maggots and the types of porcupine quill float! lol

  34. Reading these has been a revelation. In the 40’s and 50’s I lived in Stamford Brook Avenue, opposite the common (no. 22). I went to St Stephen’s Rylett Road when Mr Bassett was head, and Sister Beatrice was head of the infants’ school. From the playground on the roof ( four stories) at playtime we could watch the barrage balloons from the Scrubs, probably parachute practice.
    After school, I used to go round to Standen’s, an Aladdin’s cache in those days. Another favourite source of lead soldiers, and later air gun slugs, was Wally Barnes’ shop at Young’s corner. And did any of you use Record Rendezvous opposite the Regal, or go to Saturday morning pictures at the Commodore?
    The 657 trolleybus stopped in Goldhawk Road opposite the Queen of England, and a penny took you to the library in Duke’s Avenue.
    Talking of that trolleybus stop by the Queen of England, does anyone remember the wooden cafe there or that pair of shops, one of which was a bootmender’s, and the other a tobacconist and newsagents. There was of course another bootmender’s next to the Raven by Stamford Brook station (we used to get our veg and fruit from Higgins’s store just by there. Greengrocers were SO different in those days. Which reminds me: did any of you get a Friday night veg delivery from a horse and cart , run by two women. They came by our house at about seven in the evening. I’d love to hear all your memories of that time (I’m now 70).
    Bob Anthony

  35. Thanks for your comment Bob Anthony.

    Standens what a toy shop and yes in the 1950’s I got my lead soldiers there too. There was also Hinds across the other side of the Curwen Rd junction..Toys and cycles there.

    In the 50’s and 60’s I got all my sports gear from Wally Barnes.

    I went to Saturday morning pictures at the Commodore. Its now offices.

    Cant help you with anything else though…bit before my time I reckon..I’m 64

    Bernard Lambert

  36. Joan Pullen used to take a group of us to Saturday morning flicks….we walked up Goldhawk Road, past the hospital and Stamford Brook Station, turned left and the cinema was on the other side of the road…was that the Commodore ?

  37. A great piece of nostalgia re qpr in the early fifties my mother used to wash the team socks after the sat match not in a washing machine but by hand on a scrubbing board

    All of your comments brought a forgotten era back to life I lived in gayford road went to wendell and Victoria then to Christopher wren

  38. Hi Bob Anthony. My Dad Ted Connolly attended St Stephens R.C. from the age of three [ I remember him saying that his brothers and sisters were going so he didnt want to miss out so they took him along!] in 1934 til 1942. That might have been slightly before your time but it would be great if you knew of him. He was an ardent Rangers fan [as am I] and went to matches thruout the 40s and 50s.He lived originally on the Cleverly Estate and then Pansy Gardnes [ on the Wormholt Estate]

  39. The plastic house building sets using “bricks” which were attached to vertical rods was called “Bayko”.

  40. Thanks, Jane – it was indeed before my time; I was there from 1947 to 1953. The head was J.M. Bassett. Did your dad mention the playground on the roof? Good to hear from you.

  41. Reading all this has brought back so many memories, i lived in godolphin road from 1950 till 1977 & went to coverdale road school. My mum & dad were friends of the maskells. Mum worked at S & A stores, hemmings, & the home & colonial all on uxbridge rd. my dad had a motor repair business in Keith grandad worked on the coffee stall in the bush market .i worked at sports& pastimes (next to maskells) as a teenager. My first job was with LEB on the green (aprentice sparks) I also worked for Buck&Bromley(wendell rd) worked with a girl named Jean who lived in kelmscott gdns, & i worked forLG Euler & son (gayford rd) i could go on & on

    • Yes it was Jean Wannell, she worked in the office & i was in sales, do you know her?
      My family moved to the Bush in 1922 and lived there until 1989 my great grandparents lived at 283 Uxbridge Rd in the vale opposite Brown Bros. they were very good friends with Mr Griffiths who owned the ironmongers in Askew Rd

  42. John. I was friends with Ray Wannell Jeans sister for many Years. I did not know Jean Well and have not seen her since 1967.

    For your info I am still in contact with Ray Wannell and if you wish I can put you in touch with Ray should you want an update on Jean.

    Bernard Lambert

  43. OK John.

    As a matter of protocol I am waiting for Ray Wannell to get back to me before I release his E mail Address to you.

    In any Event I will E Mail you myself with my own detailed personal recollections etc.asap.

    Bernard Lambert

  44. Hi John (Garman),
    Due to pressing family commitments I was unable to respond to your earlier post regarding your time as a spark with the London Electricity Board on Shepherd’s Bush Green where I myself worked. But before I get to that I noticed where you said that your grandfather worked on the tea stall in the Shepherd’s Bush Market. I was a friend of the gentleman everyone knew as John who ran the tea stall at the Goldhawk Road end of the market and many’s the cup of tea I had chatting to him – if that was your grandfather? As you will probably know there was another tea stall at the Uxbridge Road end of the market but I didn’t know the gentleman who ran that. The way it went and I think I am right is that it was Cork men who frequented the tea stall Goldhawk Road end and Dubliners who frequented the Uxbridge Road end. Regarding being a ‘spark’ at the LEB in Shepherd’s Bush Green : I worked in the offices in the main building from August 1960 to August 1963. I was a postboy in the Post Room on the second floor for a year and then spent the following two years working in the Commercial Office where I had my own desk etc. Do you remember the names of any of the staff in the main building? I remember having to go over to the electrical depot with post every day and I knew a small foreman who wore a flat cap and was the living embodiment of the cartoon character Andy Capp, his name was Chalky White. One of the sparks whom I befriended there was a lad called Alan Mingo, I think his dad was in one of the offices. I have great memories of the 7 floored LEB building and I can remember many many names of people who I had the pleasure of working with there. It was my first ever job and I was sixteen-and-a-half. I used to keep a diary as well. I might be wrong about this but I think though I may be wrong that our friendly moderator Steve Russell (a football supporter currently paying for past sins in another life!) posted part of my diary page(s) a few years ago when I contributed one of my pieces. Maybe he didn’t, I can’t remember. I would be very appreciative if you would respond to this much much quicker than what I took. Thanks John for the wonderful memories. Regards.

    • Hi irish Jack
      I started work at the L E B in september 1965 and worked with Alan Mingo, as an apprentice i was only based at the Uxbridge Road depot for 3 months & then moved to the meter repair department in Fulham Broadway it was my first job after leaving school & i was 15. If my memory serves me right Alan used to repair household appliances & we used to go to customers homes and fix fires & cookers etc . We used to have breakfast in the cafe on uxbridge Rd (near LoftusRd)
      My grandad (Reg) worked on the stalls at both ends of the Bush Market during and after the war,but he died in 1953. As far as i know The stalls were owned by a Mr Frank Hawkins who also owned Devonport Stores and ran the coffee stall in Southall Market as well . Frank & Reg took one of the stalls ( i think the were converted showmans caravans) to Trafalgar Square to serve drinks to the mourners that had gathered when the King died. My Father (John) but always known as Jack also used to work on the stalls at the markets but not on a regular basis
      I read all your past posts with interest and it brought back great memories (i was a mod in the 1960’s)

  45. Hi John,
    I am fascinated by the fact you moved from L.E.B. Uxbridge Road to Fulham Broadway. I was sent to Fulham Broadway a few times with paper work and documentation, and believe it or not I used be sent to the branch in Carnaby Street with accounts every Tuesday. I remember Carnaby Street (this was 1962) didn’t have many shops and the L.E.B. branch was at the end of a long grey wall. I would’ve been in the Post Room (same job JImmy did in Quadriphenia !) under Miss Pratt during my excursions to Fulham and Carnaby. When I started in the Post Room in August 1960 there was a boy who dressed like a Ted in an Italian suit and a hair style like Cliff Richard, he was from Lakeside Road and he was the nicest bloke you could meet. He more or less took me under his wing and showed me the ropes. He moved or got a promotion and became a meter reader at Fulham, his name I shall never forget..Tony Oliva. He had a younger brother called Santi who was a bit of a young Mod. I think Tony married an Irish girl. Did you ever know Tony Oliva?

  46. I think the shop in cobbold road may have been Prices sweet shop ran by a miserible looking couple mind you when you had half of wendell park school in there not surprising that would have been mid to late sixtes . We lived in Emlyn gardens and my favorite shop was Standens still have a picture of me and my sister in the bush market holding a monkey I thought the geezer had given it to me and was just about to leg it when he started asking my dad for money for the photo! Wasnt flavour of the month with my dad or the geezer …..not to mention me mum

  47. Thanks for the comment Paul Brown.

    I reckon the person who had that sweet shop in Cobbold Rd before the owners you mention was Don Green. He sold it circa 1961 and then ran a newsagents in the Askew rd almost opposite the old Sun Pub.

    By the way did you know Paul Gooch Mickey Finn Paul Knight The Budd and Murrell families from your time at Emlyn?

  48. Hello Jack
    I didn’t ever visit the carnaby st branch of the LEB but went there for the latest mod fashion in the late you remember Dave’s menswear on the uxbridge rd he used to sell the latest mohair suits,stay pressed trousers,fred perrys & dessert boots,and had a contact for genuine usa ex army parkas, and he also took provident cheques.I used to get all my scooter parts from speedway of Acton, & marble arch stores on Goldhawk rd.I bought my 1st vespa from a shop on Goldhawk (the name of the shop escapes me)that sold mainly motorbikes.also used to ride over to Gatto’s garret lane wandsworth for scooter decorations,mirrors spot lamps etc you had to buy lots & they were a bit cheaper there.
    I was watching the bank holliday scooter rally on tv in, Isle of Wight last week,up to 5000 attended amazing sight,have you ever been to it? I was over there a few years ago when it took place in Ryde.
    im sorry to say that I did not know the Oliva brothers but here are a few that I did.
    Billy Conn,Brian & John Davey,Terry Pitcher,David “Dig” Sanchez (all Devonport Rd)Steve Urry Mick Gatis & John Byron

  49. fantastic read, brings tears to ones eyes, expect things to change but no one would have expected the monumental changes in the last 40 years

  50. A big thanks to all who have contributed bits and pieces to this article. Three years old and still going strong!!

  51. I have so enjoyed reading all this. But I had a small shock the other day: I was browsing Google Earth checking up on Stamford Brook, when I saw to my horror that they’ve renamed the ‘Queen of England’ pub as the ‘Duchess of Cambridge’. It used to be a Watney’s pub: what is it now? And nearby was the old Newsagents Nixon’s, when I used to buy my secretive fags. Do any of you recall these?

  52. I forgot to say, did any of you ever play on Stamford Brook Common? On Google it still looks much the same. Our sitting room used to overlook it (we were at no. 22, next door but one to the Drill Hall). And what about Ravenscourt Park? At St. Stephen’s junior school we played football there on an old reddish coloured pitch, and I often played in the sandpit by the railway arches. Anyone remember?

  53. Thanks Bob for your contribution. I have covered some of your points in previous articles in the series and one in the pipeline covers Ravenscourt Park.

  54. Thanks, Colin: I look forward to your piece on Ravenscourt Park; when was your article mentioning ‘The Queen of England’? Cheers, Bob

  55. Bob Anthony…Yes a lot of us used to play football Sunday afternoons on Stamford Brook Common(sometimes known as the Dogs Park) in the early 1960’s

    I passed it the other week. It has not changed that much apart from play facilities for very young kids.

  56. Yes, people came from the local flats, especially Ranelagh Gardens, to exercise their dogs, which created a poo-hazard for people running or chucking/kicking a ball around. But those poplars surrounding the common are still, at 71, a vivid primary memory; and their sound at night in the wind!
    Did any of you use Higgins Store up by the railway bridge, the Raven pub, and Slaughters the florists over the roan from the station?

  57. Hi again Bob Anthony. I forgot to say that I, like my Dad , also went to St Stephens and by the time I went Mr Bassett was Headmaster! But he retired when I was in Junior 2 and Mr Cassell took over as Head. I of course remember the playground on the roof and also remember it was reserved for those occasions when you had been very good- I went up there once I believe! I have just re-read this thread all the way through from the start and it has certainly brought back great memories.

  58. Thanks for that, Joanne. I think the top two years played on the roof, but I’m not sure. Did you do your games lessons at Ravenscourt park or Wendell park – or did the girls use the playground?
    And thinking of that, does anyone remember the laundry whose door opened on to the playground?
    Like you, Joanne, this string is raking up some great memories. We owe Kerrins and Colin Woodley a big thanks.

    • I remember well the laundry door that opened onto the playground.Also the shop accross the road where we bought delicious freshly baked rolls with cheese for our lunch the odd day that we had the money. sixpence i think they were. Mr. Basset was the headmaster, Sister Beatrice the headmistress of the infants, and does anyone remember Mr. Stinner whom we all fancied at 10 yrs of age, and Miss McKenna who seemed ancient to us? Sheamus was the caretaker, and my mother used clean the classrooms and offices after school hours. Happy days.

  59. I’ve just seen, and added to the string on the Raven pub, across the road from the station. Brilliant. And has any one looked on YouTube at the entry for the 657 trolleybus and the 607 trolleybus ( the latter from Shepherd’s Bush Green)? They’re both terrific.

  60. Bridget that sweet shop in Cobbold Rd near Wendell Park School. In my day when I attended the infants school 1954-56 I am sure it was run by a Mr Don Green who later moved to take charge of a Newsagents in the Askew Rd almost opposite the old Sun Pub.

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