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Saturday, 26 May 2007

Our Crest.Add your inscription by posting on comments.


St Anne's Choir Fill in the names.Pat Travers


Pat Travers St Anne's choir

Here is a photo of St Anne's School Choir, perhaps some people will recognise themselves.  The teacher was Miss Williams, top row, 2nd and 3rd in my sister Stella and me, next to me Sally Gaynor, bottom right at the end, Betty Washer,  Can't remember the names of any of the others but all their faces are familiar.  I think Phyllis Gooch is in the top row, not sure.Help fill in the names if you reconise anybody.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Tommy for Queen and country 1956.


Tommy's football school team.


My memory's from the Cuckoo estate By Tommy

My name is Tom Higginbottom and I was born the youngest of nine children on December 20, 1937.  In order of birth, we were Wally, Nell, Florrie, John, Eileen, Kit, Pat, Doris and me.  Doris died before I was born so I never knew her - my brothers and sisters tell me that I was only added to make up for the loss of Doris, but later on became the apple of my mother's eye.  My mum and dad had me later in life, in their forties, which was quite aged back then. My mum was the loveliest woman I've ever known.  

 

We moved to 67 Cuckoo Avenue on the Cuckoo Estate in 1938 from a two bedroom slum in Paddington that had only an outside toilet, no electricity and gas mantles for light.  My sisters tell the story of running up and down the stairs to the loo during our first week at 67 Cuckoo, just for the sheer joy of flushing the indoor toilet. 

 

My earliest memory of living on the estate was going to nursery school on Borders walk while my mum went to work at a factory that made bomb shells for the war.  I remember Cuckoo Infants School on Laurie Road and 'shopping' at the Salvation Army store for free used clothing.  I have a vague memory of being evacuated to Wales during the war.  I went with my oldest sister Nell and my nephew but we stayed only a short time as the woman we stayed with was ever so mean.

 

Some of the kids who had a lot to do in my growing up were my best friend Maurice Field who was four years older than me but still let me hang around. I lost touch with Maurice for over thirty years but we met up again in 1992 when I was visiting my sisters. Since then we've stayed in touch and have gone on a couple of memorable trips to Las Vegas.   Lenny Dyer was also a good friend.  We belonged to the Hoover's boxing club in Perivale and Lenny taught me how to box.  Other friends from the Avenue where Charlie Bigerstaff, Johnny Haynes, Allan Markwell, Robbie Bruce, Patrick Moody and Bobbie and Don McKenzie and Brian Bellamy. The Kennedy sisters, Margie, Barbara and Kathleen, lived across the street. We enjoyed the fun and mischief we got into, playing football and cricket down the middle of the Avenue using dustbins for wickets and lampposts for goals.  Knocking Dolly out of bed was one of our favorites – does anyone remember that game?  Or making lanterns out of cocoa tins and string, sticking a candle in them on a dark cold winter's night?  My first girl friend was June Culver who lived up the street.  She gave me my first kiss - I was quite the lad, only ten or eleven.

 

How many of you remember Church Lad's Brigade at St. Christopher's and marching around the Estate on Sunday mornings with the drum and bugle band?  We thought we where so smart. Going to school at Cuckoo Juniors was a lot of fun. I remember the football teacher, Mr. Griggs, and the worn-out football team jerseys that where full of holes, they must have been 10 years old.  The first game I ever played for the school I remember wearing that shirt to bed the night before I was so excited.  My parents could not afford football boots so my dad nailed leather studs into an old pair of school boots.

 

I remember World War II but only as something incidental to life on the Cuckoo Estate.   As a child of eight years old I only knew rationing, buzz bombs, air raid shelters and the gas masks we had to carry around with us, it was just the way things were.  It didn't seem to faze or traumatize us and unlike today it didn't seem to do any lasting damage to our mental state.  As a kid, the biggest fear we had was catching polio.   Many kids on the estate where inflicted with the disease so we saw what could happen.  We weren't supposed to drink tap water from the allotments for fear of spreading the disease.   I'm sure it wasn't good drinking water but we drank it any way.  

 

Cuckoo Seniors School was my next great adventure.  I was always a good athlete and was football captain of the Ealing school team coached by Mr. Pragg.  I was into cricket, track, and boxing.  At fourteen I was the Middlesex schoolboy boxing champion for my weight class, over six feet tall and weighed less than 10 stone, a real beanpole.  I discovered girls while at Cuckoo Seniors – my old flames were Kathleen Richards, Maureen Sullivan, Eileen Shelby, Sylvia Lewington, Margaret Weeks who lived next door, Joan Woolford, Marion Lttlejohn whose dad owned the bicycle shop in Greenford.  How many of you remember playing Truth, Dare, Will or Promise?  We might have gotten ourselves into a lot of trouble if we hadn't been so scared!


 

I left school just before my fifteenth birthday and lost touch with all my old school friends - Eric and John Corsham, Peter and David Sibley, Brian Holt, Bertie Smith, Freddie Reese and Michael Rose.  It was great to meet up with them at the first Cuckoo Estate Reunion in 2003.  Brian Holt, John Corsham and Peter Sibley stay in touch and we played golf during my visit last year.  I became a right old Teddyboy during my teen years, with drainpipe pants and Edwardian jacket.  I hung around with a tough crowd from West Ealing.  We'd go to dances at the Park Hotel in Hanwell where rum and pep was the drink of choice or lager and lime.  Do you remember the Creep and wasn't dancing the Jive fun?   I'd often take a girl home to Acton or Northolt from the dance – we'd miss the last bus home and have to walk, getting home in the wee hours.  But it was well worth it if I got a kiss and a cuddle.

 

At seventeen I met my first love, Janet Gould.  She was related to the Wilkerson family who owned all the fruit barrows in West Ealing.  I was working in Kings Butcher's shop for 30 bob a week and she would come in the shop with her mum.  I was sure we'd get married and we spent every evening together after we attended West Ealing Youth Club.  We'd sit around and play 78 RPM records of Frankie Lane, Johnny Ray, Kay Starr and many others.  Just before I went into the Army to do my National Service Janet and I broke up and that ended that - but you always remember your first love. 

 

My two years in the Army were a great adventure. I had never been away from home before and did I ever grow up fast, meeting a lot of tough guys from all walks of life.   Lucky for me, I knew how to take care of myself and managed to stay out of trouble or perhaps just never got caught.  While in the Army I met my first wife Stella.  She was a canteen girl at Harwell, the atomic research facility and I was stationed close by at Didcot Berks.  Stella and I met in a local pub, she was twenty and I was nineteen.  Just after my twenty-first birthday and fter I demobbed from the Army we got married in Scotland near Stella's girlhood home.  After we married, we llived with my mum and dad for the first few years.  I worked for Dewhurst Butchers and became the manager of their shop on Greenford Avenue in Hanwell.  We found a flat in Chiswick and lived there until we immigrated to the States in 1962 - following my sisters' lead - Florrie who married a Yank after the war and Nellie who left in 1954.  I was twenty-four years old and Stella was six month's pregnant with our first child.  We'd sold all our worldly possessions, had 150 pounds to our name and just two suitcases.  

 

We hated the U.S. at first and ached to come home. We stuck it out and since then, we've had three wonderful children, Kevin, Corene and Colin, and six grandkids, Lauren, Amber, Ashley, Olivia, Elijah and Josiah.  Some things don't last forever and Stella and I separated and divorced after 34 years. By then, I'd met my second wife Sue (she's says she's my last wife) and we've been together for fourteen years and have made a happy life together in Seattle, Washington, USA. 

 

I only spent my first 23 years on the Estate but it will always be where I began, where my roots are.  I hope to have my ashes scattered down Cuckoo Avenue when the conker trees are in full bloom, but not until I've danced at all my grandchildren's weddings!   I believe it was here I learned lifelong values and how good and true friends can be.  As a family growing up on the Estate your neighbor would always lend you a cup of sugar or a few pennies for the gas or electric meter until payday and you never had to lock your front door - truly the 'good old days'. This place will always be my Camelot.

 

Tommy Higginbottom.

 

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Cuckooites coat of arms

Cuckooite Coat of Arms.

My compliments on the new website, great job!
 
This is just a suggestion, not sure if you've ever thought of it.
How about asking for input from everyone for ideas for a "Cuckooite Coat of Arms".
 
They would need to suggest the following:
 
1. An heraldic symbol of some sort for the Crest (the part at top that sits on a knights helmet).
 an example could be the Old Cuckoo clock tower or a White Hart (stag) rampant.
 
2. A design for the Coat of  Arms (the shield part of it).
an example: it could be quartered, (that is divided into four corners) with something different
in each quarter such as: a horse chestnut (conker) tree in one quarter, a Cuckoo bird in another,
wavy lines for the River Brent in another. The Push 'n Pull engine or some other familiar object in the last quarter.
 
Or it could be much simpler, and we could just have one item on the shield such as a Cuckoo bird displayed (wings and legs spread) like an eagle or Charlie Chaplain or a conker.
 
3. We would need an inscription (Motto) at the bottom, it doesn't have to be in Latin, it could just read
something like: "Cuckooites Rule" or "Cuckoo Forever" something short and catchy, nothing too long 
 
Then maybe someone could have a small shield or plaque made in color an it could be awarded each year to "Lord or Lady Cuckooite"  for the years best memory or simply just have crowning ceremony at the reunion.
 
This may seem a bit of a wacky idea and a bit complicated or not really practical for this website....just a thought...and of course it's up to you. You may already have a mascot as I saw the Charlie Chaplin costume on the website.
 
Cheers mate, JohnB

Friday, 18 May 2007

Chriss Turley's Memories Nee (Davis)

Hello Tom
Just want to thank you for the time you have put into the Cuckooites,it  is
great to hear from people that bring back memories to us all in one way or
another.
I will try to give some of my memories.it was Sept 3 1939, and it was Sunday
as I remember.I was the only child at that time and was walking Alan Fowler
in his pram up and down Brants walk,that is when the first air raid siren
went off and of course being a kid I had no idea what it was,it did;nt take
long to find out.
Mr & Mrs Fowler lived in the flats at #16 Brants Walk and they had one other
son Ernie.they shared their anderson shelter with us most of the time,we had
one in our back yard but Dad decided that he found himself someone else
while working on the railway and took off leaving us without the shelter
built,at that time brother Jim was only about 4 and brother Sid was only 9
days old,but we made it.we had a garden shed in our back yard.and spent many
nights in it.I'm glad we was in safer  quarters when the bomb dropped on
Cuckoo Ave or we woulld have gone up like a box of matches.
We had a lot of good neighbors in Brants Walk,I met my life long friend Rose
French she and her mum and Dad moved into 12 Brants walk the same day we
moved in,and that is before we went to nursery school and I am happy to say
we have now been friends for 70 years,even though i married an american
The Key family moved into 14 .Brants Walk
, I can always remember Mum saying Bloody Hell how many kids do they
have,,well they had 6 boys.it was the Key Family, Alf, Ron,Jack,Dennis,Harry
and George.
Now how many of you out there can remember the little air raid warden that
use to come around the school and check our gas mask,the little ones had the
red and blue mask; the babies had helmets none of us could leave school
while a raid was on,so Mum use to punch holes in a cocoa tin
put string thru it and put some cheese a biscuits in it.so I would have
something to eat.
And can you remember the air raid shelter with the duck boards on the floor
so our feet didnt get wet;and how about the string inside the letter box
with the key on it.can you imagine doing that today.
I have memories of a lot more people,but too many too mention this time so
will write again in a few days .oh yes I forgot to mention I have lived in
Florida for the past 19 years I dont have any children,and since my husband
passed away in 2000 I now try to make it back home(Cuckoo Estate) every
other year I stay with Brother Sid in  Greenford.maybe I will run into
someone I know in July BEST WISHES TO EVERYONE CHRIS TURLEY nee DAVIS

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Terry Finnucine and the Day,s Reunion 2005


Fw: More memories from Terry finnucine

 

    
WELL  I REALLY DO NOT WHERE TO START  LETS BEGIN AT 13 BENHAM ROAD CUCKOO ESTATE  WHERE I LIVED
FROM THE AGE OF TWO YEARS  UNTIL I WAS  FIVE  MY BROTHER GEORGE  WHO IS NINE YEARS MY SENIOR AND
OF COURSE PADDY WHO THREE YEARS  YOUNGER  MY MUM WAS CALLED FLO AND MY DAD JIM  WE HAD GOOD
NEIGHBORS  HERE ARE A FEW  RUMBLES , WELLERS , FANNINGS  BARNES  DACKS, KATE NORRIS  JUST TO
REMEMBER AFEW  THEN WE MOVED TO 104 WESTCOTT CRESCENT  AND I SUPPOSE  THIS IS WERE IT ALL BEGAN
WE HAD IN ST CHRISTOPHER'S CHURCH A NEW  CLUB CALLED  THE CHURCH LADS BRIGADE AND I JOINED AND SO
DID MANY OF THE BOYS FROM THE CUCKOO BECOME MEMBERS . IN FACT I KNEW EVERYONE  FROM HOME FARM
ROAD TO RIVERSIDE CLOSE  INCLUDING HARP ROAD ,GREATDOWN,UPFEILD, BORDERS EVERY ROAD ON THE
ESTATE. MY NEIGH AT 104 WERE BRUNINS OR BAKER, PARKS, HAROLDS,FRISWELLS ,JAMES KEILLYS,
GINGER TOMKINS , LYONS  EATONS, SANDERS ,BANHAMS, BUCKLANDS SMITHS ,HIGGINS ,AMBLINGS ,CRAWLEYS ,
PICKFORDS ,SPUD MURPHY ,AVERY'S ,GOBBOLTS, JACOBS, JOHNNY STEWART, FRANCIS ORAW, THEN WE MOVED TO 112, WESTCOTT QUICKEST MOVE WE EVER HAD GETTING BACK TO THE CHURCH LADS AS A KID THEY WERE GREAT TIMES. THAT'S WHERE I AND MANY OTHERS LEARNT TO PLAY MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS WE FORMED A BAND AND WE PLAY ROUND THE STREETS ON A SUNDAY MORNING YOU CAN IMAGINE THE NOISE .I PLAYED THE BUGLE ,TRUMPET FLUTE AND CLARINET  SOME PLAYED THE DRUMS ,SYMBOLS,ETC, AND THE OTHERS MARCHED BEHIND WHAT A CARRY ON HA HA  MY FIRST D√ČBUT AT THE AGE OF NINE I USE GET ON STAGE AND DRESS UP AS OLD MOTHER RILEY AND I WOULD ALSO PUT BLACK BOOT POLISH ON MY FACE A BIG BOW TIE AND MY LITTLE BLACK SUIT AND SING AL JOLSONS SONGS, THEN THEY WOULD GO ROUND WITH THE HAT AND I GOT A FEW BOB THEN I WOULD SING IN THE WHITE  HART PUB AND MANY CRICKET ,CLUBS AND ENTERED MANY TALENT COMPETITIONS IN WHICH I DID  VERY WELL,WOULD NOW LIKE TO  TALK ABOUT MY MUM AND DAD  MY MUM USE TO TELL FORTUNES AND WAS VERY GOOD WE WOULD GET ALL SHAPES AND SIZES VISIT OUR HOUSE TO FIND OUT THERE  FATE  IN LIFE  HA HA SHE WAS A GREAT  CHARACTER ALL WAYS  JOKING AND LAUGHING AND HAD A HEART OF GOLD MY  DAD NEVER  STOPPED WORKING I THINK HE MUST HOLD THE RECORD FOR HAVING SO MANY JOBS AT ONE TIME HE AT TO TO KEEP MY MUM PLAYING BINGO EVERYDAY THAT'S LIFE HA HA
JOBS MY FATHER HAD  WERE SO MANY BUT HERE A FEW  HIS FIRST JOB WAS A FIREMAN WHICH HE DID DURING THE BLITZ ON LONDON DURING THE WAR ,AFTER THIS HE BECAME A COALMAN AND HE WORKED FOR A FIRM CALLED TYNE MAIN COAL WHICH OPERATED FROM DRAYTON BRIDGE COAL YARD ,WERE I USED TO HELP HIM AT A VERY YOUNG AGE HE THEN BECAME PAINTER AND DECORATOR AND WORKED FOR EALING BOROUGH COUNCIL FOR A FEW YEARS ON LEAVING THERE HE WORKED FOR NAPIERS AT PARK ROYAL ON NIGHTS AS A FIREMAN AGAIN BUT WAS ABLE TO GET HIS HEAD DOWN AT NIGHT HA HA THIS WAS WHEN HE HAD ALL THE PART TIME JOBS EXAMPLE DAVIS BUTCHERS.DANIELS WEST EALING FOLLETS SEED MERCHANTS WEST EALING AND ALSO POLICE STATION AT EALING
AS A CLEANER AND FINALLY 28YEARS DRIVING FOR LONDON TRANSPORT  MY MUM USED TO WORK FOR MYERS AT GREENFORD WHO WERE GREEN GROCERS THIS CAME EASY TO HER FOR ALL HER FAMILY WERE COSTER MONGERS FROM PADDINGTON WHERE I WAS BORN
 
GETTING BACK TO ME  MY BROTHERS AND MY ONLY SISTER  THERE WERE GEORGE PADDY  AND BERYL I AM 66YRS  GEORGE 75YRS PADDY 63YRS BERYL 60YRS AT 14YRS I WAS DELIVERING COAL PART TIME ON SATURDAYS MY FIRST JOB WAS A VAN BOY WITH A FIRM IN WEMBLEY CALLED CATERERS BUYING ASSOCIATION AND I REMEMBER A VAN WOULD PICK US UP AT THE BOTTOM OF CUCKOO AVENUE ON THE RUISLIP ROAD AT 6. 30 IF YOU MISSED IT YOU LOST A DAYS WORK IT NEVER WAITED ON SATURDAYS I WORKED FOR DOUGLAS THE PAPER SHOP IN BORDERS ROAD AND I USE TO STAND OUTSIDE THE WHITE HART PUB SELLING NEWSPAPERS SHOUTING OUT NEWS, STAR STANDARD ALL THE WINNERS  FROM 4.30 AT NIGHT TILL SOMETIMES 10 O'CLOCK AT NIGHT. I  THEN DRIFTED INTO SELLING IN MARKETS AND EXHIBITIONS , MY FIRST EXPERIENCE WAS AT A CAMPING EXHIBITION AT OLYMPIA AND I  WAS SELLING NONE STICK PANS WITH A JEWISH FELLOW CALLED LENNY THE LION WHAT A NAME HA HA I WAS THE STOOGE AND PART OF THE ACT  HE USE TO MAKE ME SAY  CAN YOU SMELL ANYTHING BURNING THIS WAS DONE BY POURING SOME MILK INTO A SAUCEPAN THEN TURNING THE GAS UP HIGH THEN THE ALL AUDIENCE WOULD SAY OUT LOUD YES BUT THIS PARTICULAR DAY THE WHOLE STAND CAUGHT ALIGHT THAT WAS THE END OF ME SACKED MY NEXT EXPERIENCE WAS MAKING CARDBOARD HANDKERCHIEFS  ME GINGER TOMKINS HAD A GREAT IDEA WE FOUND A SEWING MACHINE SHOP IN HARROW ROAD HARLESDEN WHO WERE SELLING INDUSTRIAL MACHINES WE WALKED IN AND CONVINCED OF OUR BUSINESS VENTURE SIGNED ALL H P DOCUMENTS SO NOW WE WERE ON THE FIRST RUNG OF THE LADDER ,WE FOUND A SMALL WORK SHOP IN BOSTON ROAD HANWELL CALLED THORNHILLS YARD NOW WE ARE READY TO GO BUT WE HAVE NO MACHINISTS TO WORK  OR SEW THE THREE POINTS TOGETHER
 
NEXT EPISODE TOMORROW DO NOT FORGET TO TUNE IN !!!!  TERRY.
 
 

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Trivia from our time.

See how many of these you can answer.
1.What was the #of the bus that took you Ruislip Lido.
2.What was the #of the bus that ran from the bottom of Cuckoo ave to Greenford.
3.What did we call the train that went from Castlebar to Ealing Broadway.
4What was the names of the three butchers shops on Greenford avenue shops.
5.What was the name of the bakers.
6. Name the three grocer's shops where you bought your weekly shopping.
7.Name the two movie theaters in Ealing Broadway.
8.Where was Dick Turpins cave.
9.Where was Blue Bell woods.
10. What was the name of the greengrocer who came around the estate right after the war.
 11.Name the other private detective show on the radio other than Dick Barton special agent.
12.Who sang the Little cloud that cried.
13.What song made Adam Faith famous as a pop singer on six five special.
14 What was the name of the Radio show about someone's diary                      
15.What was the name of the Radio show about a certain gang and who where the stars.
16.Name six teachers from your junior or senior time at school.
17. Name the two brothers who played cricket and soccer for England and what football team did they play for.
18. What did you call a loaf of bread with the middle pulled out stuffed with chips.
!9. What did B.S.A. stand for on a moter bike.
20.How much did 10 woodbines cost in 1954.
See how many of these you remember.Post your answers under comments on our website,or email me at sthiggy@comcast.net    editor@cuckooites.org
 
Visit our website at     http://www.cuckooites.org        just click on and go.
 
Best of luck Tommy.
 

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Word of advice how to navigate this website.(Jim Davis)

Hi Tom Sorry ( Mr Editor ) if you think this may help people  put it on the web site, I know what I am saying but will other people your decision Jim.

Hi everybody, one or two people seem to be having a problem using the site,I hope this helps just a little. When you go to the home page on our web site, the only thing you need to bother about is the green box on the right side of the page. 
In that box is dates and how many entries were made on that day. Like this  May 07 ( 3 ) that is showing you that on May 7th there was three entries for that day.  Choose what day you want to view then click on it. You are then taken to the second page where all of the items for that day are shown and numbered, one after the other in the yellow section of that page. At the bottom of each entry there is a place where it says comments, and a number informing how many many people have made a comment on that particular item. If you wish to add your own just click on the word comment.
You are then taken to the next page, and on the left any comments that have been made are showing. Just above these is the words Show original post this can be clicked on at any time to hide the comments and show the original message, which is useful because it saves the need to keep going back a page when you want to refer to it. Click it again to return to normal. Finally it is clear where you enter your comments on the right, but also there are three buttons. Ignore the google button, and also the anonymous button, just click on the middle button that says   Other   then where it says name enter your name. Do not enter anything where it says password, then click on PUBLISH YOUR COMMENT  hooray! you are finished. I hope this has been helpful Jim.

Does this make me a bad father,Jim Davis.

Hi everybody this little tale is not about the estate, but it is I 
believe Cuckoo Estate humor.
My son is a principal lecturer at Wolverhampton University, and one 
day about a year or so ago I went to the college with him, and whilst 
there had a look at the lecture hall. It was really very nice and 
modern, much like a cinema though smaller of course. Each row of 
seating was raised higher than the one in front, so that all the 
students had a uninterrupted view.
  A good modern projector was suspended from the ceiling, and most 
importantly the acoustics was superb.
  How we started to talk about this particular subject I do not know, 
but Jim my son said, I'll tell you what dad when you are up there on 
the stage lecturing and you want to pass wind it is terrible. You 
can't say to the students excuse me a minute I have got to go off and 
have a fart, and the pain of trying to hold it in can be extremely 
uncomfortable.
So I said to him why don't you pass wind silently.? He looked at me 
as though I was mad (perhaps there is some truth in that) and said,  
you can't do that you don't know when it is going to be silent. I 
said of course you can you can do it silently any time you want. He 
gave me a disbelieving look and said How? I pursed my lips and blew a 
raspberry then said can you do that?. He frowned and said you're 
taking the P- - s. I  feigned a hurt look on my face then said I'm 
not, can you do it? He said yes then blew a raspberry to show me, My 
response to that was OK now do it with your mouth open.
The look on his face was of skepticism and quickly said you cannot 
make that noise with you mouth open.
That is exactly my point I countered you can only make that noise 
with your lips closed. It is the same with your bum the noise is 
caused because the hole is closed. So next time you are in that 
situation, put your hands behind your back on your lower lumbar 
region, stretch as though you easing back pain whilst at the same 
time pulling the cheeks of your arse open, you can then confidently 
let go and do a silent fart. He said oh! right ! then our 
conversation moved on to other things. A couple of weeks went by then 
I got a telephone call from him that went something like this. "Dad I 
have always been respectful to you haven't I ?" I answered "Yes" 
"Well dad you are a bastard" "What" "You heard your bloody silent 
fart didn't work and you completely ruined my whole lecture today" 
"Oh Jim you didn't" I said trying to hold back laughter. "What 
happened?" He went on to say, he started his lecture, shortly after 
which he got bad wind, then remembered what I had told him. So like I 
had demonstrated to him he stretched, put his hands behind his back, 
pulled the cheeks of his bum open then FROOOM it reverberated around 
that lecture hall that has the great acoustics like it was on 
loudspeakers. Jim when in lecture mode comes out of himself much like 
an actor, but he can be quite shy at times, and this was to be one of 
those times. He stood there looking mortified, wanting the floor to 
open up and swallow him. The hall was in silence the students not 
believing what they had just witnessed, then one of them started to 
laugh quickly followed by the rest,and even Jim had to join in. 
Eventually he got the students under control  restarted the lecture 
then someone started laughing again, and so it went on until in the 
end he had to give it up as a bad job. He said to me what annoyed me 
most dad is I know what you are like and I still fell for it, but it 
sounded so feasable I could kick myself,  ' Question' Does this make 
me a bad father? Jim Davis,

Friday, 11 May 2007

The White Hart Pub


Laurie Road 2005


Peter Stringers memories

I cant remember much about my time at the Cuckoo Estate - lived in 87 Bordars Road

and only during the wartime, being placed there after being bombed out in Hammersmith.  When I was in the forces in 1950 my parents moved from Bordars Road to 44 Stevenson Road.

 

The first people I got to know there were Jack Barnes of Harp Road (now deceased) and Albert Venney of Kennedy Path (now living in Hampshire).  Others I knew were the Stone family, Kenny Pinfield, the Avery family, the Mitchell family and the Hemmings family.

 

Love the website Peter.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Charlia Chaplin Visiting with the Fields at the 2003 Reunion



Charlia Chaplin

Can you reconise any one


Pat Travers(Young)What a great idea.

Some more memories from the past from Pat Travers (nee Young)

This is a great idea. 

I have just read the one from Peggy Gooch (don't know whether she would
remember me but I remember her and some more girls whom she mentions.  What
a lovely surprise.

My family lived in Lile Crescent, I have a sister Stella and two brothers
Sidney and Des.  We lived next door to Pat and May Gilbert.  We used to live
in Dagenham and were evacuated from there to Weston Zoyland in Somerset.
When we came home it was to number 12 and I went to Cuckoo School juniors
and from there to St. Anne's.

I remember Peggy at St. Anne's I also used to go about with Nina Brand.  I
think her mum worked in Pearks with Pauline Bailey's mum, or was it the
Co-op.  Pauline and Walter Bailey lived opposite, also Betty Washer and her
two brothers.  I have pictures of Joan Hambling, who lived on the corner,
also Ross Thompson.  The Fishers lived on the corner of Lile.  We had a big
oak tree on the green in the middle of the road where we all used to gather
to play 'All in a ring for a game of King' and Tin Can Tommy, and cannon.
We also used to go tracking up to Horsenden Hill. I can remember us all
rushing in to Listen to Dick Barton Special Agent.

I will try and dig out the photo of the St. Anne's choir and sent them. Miss
Williams used to take the choir.  I am sure Peggy is in the picture, but
some of the others she might remember.  June Milgate was an ace shooter in
Netball and they used to go the the Tower Youth Club.  Stella and I belonged
to the Carlton Youth Club at the senior Cuckoo School.  TYC always beat us!!
I used to sit next to Hilda Hedges at St. Anne's. 

We kept chickens and used to go the the Old Cuckoo School to get feed for
them down the dungeons.  We used to play over there as well.  I belonged to
the Brownies then the guides.

We had a dog called Paddy who used to howl at the doodlebugs when they came
over.  There was an Anderson shelter in the back garden but we usually sat
under the stairs when the air-raids were on with a whistle in case we were
buried if a bomb hit us and hopefully we would be able to blow it. I don't
think the kids of today would be able to cope the way we all did.

My two brothers used to go over the dump and pick up all sorts of
interesting things, including a revolver once and spare parts for bikes etc.
We used to go scrumping down at the Bunny Park and the boys shirts were
bulging with apples.  Got caught a few times, but let off again. 

Stella and I used to go the the Le-Gray Stage School in Ealing a couple of
nights a week and were in a few plays. 

I left St.Anne's to go to Clarke's College for a secretarial course.  I
ended up work for an Australin Bank in the city.  They were great times.
I do remember the river Brent always flooding and being late for work.  We
had to sign in when we arrived at work then they would take the book away
and you would have to go and explain why you were late.

Keep up the good work, it's a great idea. I hope some more will join in the
fun.

Best wishes and good luck  Pat T.Young

Monday, 7 May 2007


Pat Travers (Young)This is a great idea.

I remember Peggy at St. Anne's I also used to go about with Nina Brand.  I
think her mum worked in Pearks with Pauline Bailey's mum, or was it the
Co-op.  Pauline and Walter Bailey lived opposite, also Betty Washer and her
two brothers.  I have pictures of Joan Hambling, who lived on the corner,
also Ross Thompson.  The Fishers lived on the corner of Lile.  We had a big
oak tree on the green in the middle of the road where we all used to gather
to play 'All in a ring for a game of King' and Tin Can Tommy, and cannon.
We also used to go tracking up to Horsenden Hill. I can remember us all
rushing in to Listen to Dick Barton Special Agent.

I will try and dig out the photo of the St. Anne's choir and sent them. Miss
Williams used to take the choir.  I am sure Peggy is in the picture, but
some of the others she might remember.  June Milgate was an ace shooter in
Netball and they used to go the the Tower Youth Club.  Stella and I belonged
to the Carlton Youth Club at the senior Cuckoo School.  TYC always beat us!!
I used to sit next to Hilda Hedges at St. Anne's. 

We kept chickens and used to go the the Old Cuckoo School to get feed for
them down the dungeons.  We used to play over there as well.  I belonged to
the Brownies then the guides.

We had a dog called Paddy who used to howl at the doodlebugs when they came
over.  There was an Anderson shelter in the back garden but we usually sat
under the stairs when the air-raids were on with a whistle in case we were
buried if a bomb hit us and hopefully we would be able to blow it. I don't
think the kids of today would be able to cope the way we all did.

My two brothers used to go over the dump and pick up all sorts of
interesting things, including a revolver once and spare parts for bikes etc.
We used to go scrumping down at the Bunny Park and the boys shirts were
bulging with apples.  Got caught a few times, but let off again. 

Stella and I used to go the the Le-Gray Stage School in Ealing a couple of
nights a week and were in a few plays. 

I left St.Anne's to go to Clarke's College for a secretarial course.  I
ended up work for an Australin Bank in the city.  They were great times.
I do remember the river Brent always flooding and being late for work.  We
had to sign in when we arrived at work then they would take the book away
and you would have to go and explain why you were late.

Keep up the good work, it's a great idea. I hope some more will join in the
fun.

Best wishes and good luck  Pat T.Young

Hi all,here are my memories,John

My family lived on Cuckoo Avenue (89); our next door neighbors were the Haynes and the Fields families. Over the fence at the end of the garden was the Cobbold family, who's apples fell into our back yard.

It was one of the best and most fun streets on the estate, because it had two rows of large Horse Chestnut trees that started at the old Cuckoo Schools and ended at Ruislip Road.

It was a school boy's dream come true having so many "conkers" just right outside your front door. We had many secret methods of making our conkers tougher including soaking them in vinegar.  As kids, after heavy thunderstorms we would go and rescue sparrows that had fallen from the trees into the gutters. We would take them home and warm them in our mum's oven, then feed them bread and milk to revive them.

The council would come around every 5 years to wallpaper and paint the house inside and out, what a deal, rent was probably just a few bob a week, sounds pretty cheap, back then it was probably a lot. Though sometimes we didn't have two ha' pennies to rub together, and you still had have shilling or two for the gas and electric meters. I read that in 1939 you could buy a fancier semi detached house on the other side of Greenford Avenue for 750 quid and only a fiver down payment. Probably a lot of money back then.

I don't remember too much about the war as I was too young and was eventually evacuated to Southport, although I remember the Anderson shelter in our back yard and the bomb craters. My older brother and sisters remember more of it though.

I was the youngest, Amelia (Minnie) was the eldest and she still lives on the Cuckoo Estate, then came my sister Philomena (Phil), then Maria (Marie), who just like her friend, Tommy Higgingbottom's sister Flo, they had both married American GI's and moved to the States. Next came my sister Antoinetta (Netta), then there was Biata (Bubby) who tragically died when she was little before I was born, then came the youngest of my sisters Carmela. My brother Antonio (Tony) is about four years older than myself. I was the only one with a good old English name John. My nickname at Brentside School was Tags (or Taggy) because nobody could pronounce my Italian last name.

I was the last to be born, my mother said I was the "scrapings up" or the "left overs". There were also two sets of twin boys that she had that died at childbirth. Then after me my mum and dad also raised my sister's two boys back from America "The Johnsons", as they were infamously called, Johnny and Robert who were just a few years younger than me. 

So in all it was quite a lot of mouths to feed. Plus all the other neices and nephews, brothers-in-laws etc. that were always at our house as my sisters had to wait on a list to get their own council houses

We always seem to have enough food in spite of the Ration Books, but there was a lot dried powdered milk and dried apples etc. issued in the war.

My dad kept chickens, so we had eggs and occasionally he'd wring one of 'em's necks,

Then hang it up outside overnight, I remember one got loose somehow and ran around the garden even after it's head was cut off.

At Christmas we would swop presents with other kids on the street if we had received more than one of the same Film Fun album or Beano Comic book.

Although we really didn't need many toys as we could make our own entertainment.

We had so many great places to play, back then, down the Brent, in the Castlebar fields, up the old Cuckoo schools, up Horsenden Hill, down Conelly Dell, over the hill to Churchfields and the Bunny Park and Dick Turpin's hideaway. Over the dump after school, then go and bend pennies on the railway tracks at Castlebar. We'd  make pipes out of conkers and straws and smoke the Horse Chestnut leaves in Ginger Fields garden shed.

Sometimes Mrs. Sutton, across the road, would cook us pigeon pie with pigeons we got up at the old Cuckoo schools. Play "Releasio" or football in the street, collect Chippers (bits of broken china etc) for playing hopscotch on the pavement, collect spiders with a forked twig from the privet hedges. Make our own catapults, climb trees, go birdnesting, dig up 'taters from the allotment gardens and cook 'em on a campfire. Make bows 'n arrows and javelins from bamboo and meat skewers and string. Play marbles in the gutters on the way home from school, like the gutter snipes we were. Slide down the grassy hills on an old piece of corrugated iron air raid shelter. Put a roller skate under a book, sit on it, and roll down the Cuckoo hill. Play cricket and soccer in the street. 

There weren't  many cars on the estate so we could pretty much safely play in the streets, now every family has about three cars I think.

We'd collect and play cigarette cards, buy five Players Weights or five Woodbines for a bob (one shilling). Wait outside the Playhouse cinema in Greenford and ask an older parent if they could get us in to an "A" movie when we were too young to get in by ourselves.

Catch newts, tadpoles and frogs near the Brent opposite Gurnell Grove and yes I remember the horses and the bones of a prehistoric swordfish head that some kids found near there in Castlebar. We would always be getting chased from the embankment by the railway police.

Then of course there was Guy Fawkes night, bonfires and Rockets, Jumping Jack crackers and Roman candles in practically every back garden on the estate and "Penny for the Guy"…remember that?

I'll always remember drawing chalk pictures on the pavement (sidewalk) at school I sat next to Gordon Furneux as we both liked to draw.

At junior school I remember a lot of the teachers names, Mrs.Owen's, Mr. Coburn, Mr. Griggs, Mr. Fry, etc. I remember designing the label's for the honey jars, from the bee hives at Brentside (still called Cuckoo back then). It didn't change to Brentside 'til later, in the Secondary modern school, I remember Mr. Bartholomew (Art), Mr.Davies(?), Mr. Powell(History), etc. with Mr. Bartholomew's help I designed the Brentside school trophy which was then made by someone else in the woodworking class. The teams in the gym: The Victory(red) The Discovery (green) ...what was yellow and blue called...they were allnames of famous ships....anyone remember?.

Our milk was delivered by the Express Dairy, not exactly express, a horse (old nag) drawn milk wagon. Our coal was delivered by coalmen, and rag-a-bone carts were also horsedrawn, I can still hear 'em holler "raaaaboooone".

I think it was Gill's the greengrocer delivery van, that made stops all over the Cuckoo estate.

Also like the Muffin man there was bloke (geezer) who came round on Sundays clanging a bell selling winkles, cockles, shrimps and welks around Sunday teatime. Then there was the Gypsies selling paper flowers and clothes pegs, my mum was superstitious and would never answer the door to 'em, she said they were bad luck.

They camped along the Brent and lived in real lovely old hand painted Gypsy wooden caravans with horses and one kid, Deer was his surname, got whipped across the face by a Gypsy and got into trouble at school the next day I think.  

 

That's enough about me…….I could go on and on and on, such great memories…..

Cheers everyone… from somewhere near Chicago…that's where I'm at now and married to Kathy…and sadly we have no kids to share all the memories with

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Jim Davis@Dottie Snelling(White(Deceased Reunion 2005


Phyllis Newton(Gooch)memories from a long time ago

Here we go Tommy:
When I was 3 my family moved to Westcott Crescent.  I had 3 brothers, Ronnie was about 17, then Reg, then John, then me (known as Peggy by my family).
One of my earliest memories was waiting for the milkman to come because I knew he had chocolate biscuits for sale for a penny and I was always asking my mum for one but always being told no because we didn't have any spare pennies in those days but I can't remember ever being bothered about not getting one because that's how things were.
The Brand family lived opposite our house and Joyce Fountain lived about four door doors up from Nina, further down on that side was the Tiffin family and I played with Sylvia who was my age.
On Sept.03 1939 my two youngest brothers and I were taken to Paignton, Devon by my mum to stay with my two maiden aunts and I stayed there for 6 years and only came home on my 11th birthday just before the end of the war.  Things hadn't changed much at Westcott except the railings round Hall Drive had been taken down to help with the war effort and a small piece of wood was missing from our wooden front gate which was the result of some kind of military action (shrapnel I suppose).
Living next to us Mr & Mrs. James (he was caretaker at St. Ann's school) and when they moved away we had Mr & Mrs. Bonner as neighbours.  On the other side were Mr. & Mrs. Glasgoe with their kids Vera, Doris & Len.  Mr. G. was a keen gardener and always took great care of his back garden whereas ours was more 'wild'.
Kids around our part of Westcott seemed to play together because we were roughly the same age I suppose.
Hall Drive was handy to play on because of all the conker trees, we would hide from our parents when they called us in of an evening and consequently got extra time to play., We thought we were so smart.   Sometimes we would want to listen to Dick Barton Special Agent on the wireless at 6.45 p.m. because he was a favourite of ours.
Most of us went to St. Ann's because being evacuees we hadn't had the same level of education in our country towns as others who stayed in London had, I think most of us were bright enough, but being evacuated we were sometimes regarded as a nuisance and had to put up with second rate schooling.
I remember Miss Nethercleft, Mrs. Lowe, Miss Williams, Miss Hyde, I was a bit scared of her but I respected her because her bark was worse than her bite.
We had to play netball, June Milgate who lived on Hall Drive was our shooter, I'm sure lots of St. Ann's girls will remember her.
I was friends with Hilda Hedges who lived on the road just off Homefarm, can't remember its name.
I went to Pitman's College in Ealing and when I left I had a job as a s/typist in Berkeley Sq. in London (thought I was the bees knees travelling up to Bond Street every day with my Train Case (they were very popular in those days).  
I've worked at Macleans, Hoovers and had a job as a temp. at Gillette Inds. on the Great West Road for a while.   I wonder if anyone remembers how the River Brent used to flood and we couldn't get through to Greenford on the 211 bus, then later they redirected the road and it was much better.  So many memories which only come to mind gradually as I write.
Moved to Canada with my family in 1970 and have been here ever since, love living in Toronto although life changed for me three years ago and I now live with my son in downtown.   Still feel the pull of my homeland, being a Cockney (born in Charing Cross)
makes me a real Londoner, always will be.  Thanks for the opportunity of 'going back home all those years ago.  Regards Peggy Gooch (Phyllis Newton).

Yvonne Holt St Annes class year unknown


Eff 's memories

I was born on April 20th in the front bedroom of 8 Kennedy Path.  Mrs. Harding from Elmbank Way was the midwife who delivered me.  My mother, in a quandary, didn't know what to name.  She had three daughters previously whose names all started with "E".  (Eileen, who died aged 8 months, Ellen, and Ena.)  Mrs. Harding suggested 'Ethel April' and I was stuck with that name for the rest of my life!
Never did like it, but was thankful that they hadn't named me for Adolph Hitler as I was born on his birthday.
 
Next door to us lived the Pocknee's.  Mr. Pocknee watched out for us during the war while my Dad was away in the RAF.  Frannie was our big brother, and taught Ena and I how to fish for Sticklebacks with a jar and a string, and also how to 'scrump' for apples up at the Scotch Common.
 
I remember when the bomb hit on the corner of Cuckoo Avenue.  We was all tucked into bed in the Morrison shelter in the front room, when we was awakened by this huge bang and all the windows fell in.  The room was ablaze with lights from the fire, which was such a contrast from the black out.  My big sister, Ellen, woke up and was clapping her hand and shouting "The war is over, the war is over" .  Mum quieted us all down, and then made arrangements for Mrs. Mathews, (at number 1 Kennedy Path) to take Ellen and I up to my Auntie Violets in Durham, to be safe from the bombs.  Mrs. Mathews also took along her daughter Gloria.  Ena and Mum stayed behind until my Dad was given emergency leave to close up the house and take them up to Durham also.   I remember standing at the end of the path and looking up Kennedy Rd towards the bomb site.  There was a blue piece of machinery going round in circles in the intersection.  I have no idea what this was, and have often wondered what in the dickens it was!
 
The kids in Durham ganged up on us for a while, because we spoke with different accents.  The same thing happened when we returned to Kennedy Path, as we had adopted the northern accent.  We soon lost it though, and was struck again with what my father called "Cuckoo-itis". 
 
My childhood friends were Pamela Cruz (she was  bombed out too, due to the Cuckoo Ave bomb), Pamela Phillips that lived next door to her, Pat Porter from Elfwine Rd, Pat Roberts from Homefarm Rd, Kathleen Davidson from Harp Rd, and Sylvia Smith from the top of the estate.
Most of my friends were older than I but I enjoyed my escapades with all of them.
 
Years later in 1972 I ran into Pamela Cruz again at a British Wives meeting on a tiny island in the Azores Portugal.  We were seated next to each other. What a small world it is!
 
I met my husband, George Damian, from Brewster Washington at the Granada Greenford.  I was cashier there at the time.  I went after the job there because the wages were so much more than my office job at Cadby Hall, and I always like the uniform!
 
We had 2 children together and now live in Juneau Alaska.
 
That's about it.
TTFN
Eff (Ethel Damian nee Stevens from 8 Kennedy Path)

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Pat,s fond memories

Hi Tommy here are some of my memories

 

I lived at 102 Greatdown RoadThere are 5 of us in our family.  My brother George, who is now 80 yrs old, 19 yrs my senior. My sister Margaret Kathleen, known as Peggy who is 16 years my senior and my twin brothers Peter and David, 8 yrs my senior (who you know Tommy, we also met in Eastbourne where David now lives), making me the baby of the family.  Our neighbours were the Cooks, Wykes, Jones on our side of the road.  Across from us were the Dingleys, Lyons, Wards, Godfrey's the other neighbours that side will eventually come to my mind I am sure but they did not have little children so can't quite remember them, then on the other green were the Papworths, Aplins, (we used to go in Lenny's shed as we had a gang then and he used to show films on a camera made from cardboard boxes and a torch), I thought it was great, the Romaines lived next door to the Aplins to name just a few.  Further down was Taffy then Jenny Jones, who I used to play with but unless she came out to play I was too shy to go and play with all the boys on my own as we were the only girls there.  Cynthia Jones lived on the corner but she was older than us.  I remember the Coronation.  I had a crepe paper dress and hat in red white and blue, Cynthia went as a gypsy and sang "raggle taggle gipsy o" or whatever it was called.  I went to school with Gloria Higgins, (we lost contact somehow over the years), was also friends with Margaret Langton, Shirley Ward (she lived above the shoe shop) and of course Jenny Jones.  Funny but it always seemed to be sunny then.
I remember going down Westcott Crescent on one skate with a book on it.  We used to go down in a line holding onto each other in a line down the hill, it was great fun.  I know we played outside all the time and never wanted to go in.  Sticky glue, he and other games. I also remember having a trolley and going down the hill on that my dad put a pram hood and cover on it.  I remember the winkle and cockle man coming round and the muffin man on his bike, Advance Laundry, Corona were other common sights.  I used to enjoy collecting conkers, going to the Bunny Park.  We went everywhere by foot or bus, my dad did not drive.  When the horses went by my dad used to collect the manure to put round his plants.  I went to St Annes School and was in Mrs Woods class for 2 awful years.  I hated school and could not wait to leave.  We used to walk to school and spend the bus fare on sweets and lollys all one and a halfpenny of it.   I got married at 18 to a fellow from the White City Flats.  We met in Petes Cafe.  My mum used to think Petes Cafe was a den of iniquity, us teenagers listening to the juke box drinking coffee, coca cola and eating toast, and smoking.  If only she could see the kids of today.  My first job was at Lilley & Skinners in Ealing Broadway - I have always had a fettish about shoes.  That only lasted 4 months as I got fed up with working Saturdays.  I then went to work for The Metal Box Company in Perivale for a while.  From there I worked for Taylor Woodrow at Hanger Lane, then married and did temping. Used to get the pull and push from Castle Bar.  We moved to Hayes End and I got a job at the Council until I had my first baby in 1967, Alison.  We then moved to Northampton where we lived for 9 years.  I had another 2 children, both boys, Stephen and Jason.  We moved back to Hayes, then after a couple of years got divorced.  Stayed on my own for 7 years (made up for lost time and enjoyed myself) and got remarried 18 years ago and we now live in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire.  My kids all live close by, Alison and Stephen round the corner virtually and Jason just 10 minutes drive up the road.  We have 12 gandchildren, aged from 21 down to 20 months, and I feel really lucky to have such a wonderful family. 

Its been interesting reading the other profiles on the site Tommy, come on all you youngsters, get writing.

Pat Sibley



Friday, 4 May 2007


St Annes,My thoughts Jim Davis

Oh yes, St Annes school and those navy blue knickers. Sad though it may be it was a sight to make a young fellows heart beat faster. From time to time a few of us young Jack the lads, when we found out what days and times, girls we took a fancy to were having P.T. and or net ball in the playground. We would bunk off from our Cuckoo senior boys school, get half a crusty loaf each, pull the soft dough out of the middle, then fill it up with chips that were covered in the obligitory salt and vinegar from Mr Owen's chip shop on the corner. Then with any change we had left over, the next stop was Choc Box for five or ten Woodbines each.
 All this was done with the money our mums gave us for school dinners. On the odd occasion, our money might even stretch to a 'Joy stick' which was a cigarette about six inches long,( does any one remember them?) We even went through a time when to be with it, you had to have cigarette holders because some of the film star's had them. Boy we must have looked like a right bunch of prats! 
(But I digress,) it was then over to Hanwell Station, sit on the high wall by the embankment, then wait for the nubile young things to come bouncing out onto the playground. As they came out that was our cue to clap and whistle. 
On seeing us on the wall, many of the girls would act like they were shy, which for us lads that had recently gone through puberty we found very appealing. Not all of the girls were shy though, some of the brazen hussy's showed out to us.
 But it was only a part of growing up and no harm was done. (Except  from time to time I still find myself dreaming about those navy blue Knickers.) Just to finish, I am sorry if you fell foul of one of our little pranks at Mr Owens chip shop. He used to have the salt and vinegar on a table away from the counter. After putting the condiments on our own chips, the salt pot which was a large silver coloured metal container with a rounded lid, was left by us with that lid unscrewed just resting on the top. As you can imagine the look of horror on the faces on those who fell into the trap, and ended up with a pile of salt on their chips that looked like bloody Mount Everest was something to behold. On seeing the result of our miss-deed we legged it laughing fit to burst as we went. Oh! those were the days. Jim Davis. P.S. I said i was sorry, but I don't mean it, I would do it all over again if I could

Thursday, 3 May 2007

From Tommy

My name is Tommy Higginbottom.  I was raised on the Cuckoo estate, in Hanwell W.7.  I lived there from 1938 when I was 6 months old until I was 24 when I emigrated to Seattle. Washington,U.S.A.  I have made my home in the U.S. ever since, but more about me later......
     In 2003 I received a email from Eff (Ethel Stevens)Damian through Friends Reunited.  Eff lives in Juneau Alaska and like me,  was also raised on the Cuckoo Estate. 
    In February of 2003 Eff and her husband George were  passing through Seattle, and so, along with my wife Sue, we all met  and  had an enjoyable evening together.  While we was reminiscing about  childhood friends and events, we came to the conclusion that it would be a great idea to round up the kids from the past and have a reunion.  With much planning, the event took place in October of 2003 at Castle Bar, and an overwhelming 120 people attended.         
    Our group was named the ' Cuckooites'  and it became my mission in life to seek out and reunite as many old friend and neighbors that I could find.   Consequently, another successful reunion was held in April 2005, also to a sell out crowd. 
    We are in the process of planning our 3rd Reunion.  It will be held April 12th 2008 at the Perivale Community Center which is located at the foot of Horsingdon Hill (remember the picnics and good times we all had there!)
For more details contact me at sthiggy@comcast.net

My contribution Jackie

Hi Tommy,

My family profile was on the top of my to do list for today, so here goes.

My family first moved to the Cuckoo Estate in 1949. We lived at 114 Homefarm Road. There were 5 kids in my family; Linda Born in 1949, Derek born in 1950, myself born in 1951, Jim born in 1952 and Kathleen in 1956. I remember trips to the Clinic held in the Cuckoo Schools, trips to the Rent office nearby and most of all the hours we all spent in the Little John park. Climbing the fallen tree and jumping off the top. It seemed that we were all friends and all had to be in when the street lights came on. Attending Sunday School at the Cuckoo Schools and even a dance or two. Attending a bible study at 48 Beechmount. Also remember the song we used to sing. We often shopped at the grocery store (Moons) on the corner of Greenford Ave and Borders Road. Also going to the Saturday Morning Pictures at the Granada in Greenford. Visits and Picnics at the Bunny park.

Our neighbours were the Porters in 112 and the Kelly's in 116. Across the road were the Gainsburys, Girellas and at 81 the Goodgers. In 1956 we moved from 114 to 4 Homefarm Road. We still played at Little John Park with all the local kids. Our neighbours there was Horwoods (2) Aults (6) Jacksons (10).

My family all attended Hobbayne School, under the auspicious eyes of Headmaster Mr. Geoffry Arthur Ridley. Teachers I remember were Mr. Butcher, Mr. Petts, Mrs. Samways, Mrs. Belsten, Mrs. Thomas, Mrs. Wildman, Miss Philips and Mrs. Hunt. I also remember starting school at Hobbayne with my longtime friend Pat Wenman. Miss Philips went on a teacher exchange to Vancouver, Canada and arranged for pen pals for my class. I wrote to my pen pal for years and eventually in 1969 met her in Vancouver.

My brothers attended Brentside Secondary School while the girls attended St. Annes Secondary. Many of the girls in Homefarm attended St. Annes. Lil Jackson (#10), Pat Wenman (#33) Linda Goodger (#81) Sheila Hart (Browning Ave), Raymond Morris (22), David Moore (13) were my classmates throughout Hobbayne, and Lil, Pat and Linda along with Audrey Janaway (Stephenson), Christine Smart (Greenford Ave) and Janet Hooper (Mayfield Gds) were classmates at St. Annes. The long walks to and from school, cutting through Hanwell Stations, and taking the shortcut through Madge Hill. I also remember the competition prior to the Hanwell Carnival, where the shop keepers hid an object that didn't belong in their shop windows. I took accordion lessons from Mavis Whiting in Broadbank Ave. My brother Derek had a paper route, Drayton Bridge Rd., Dryden Ave., Browning Ave., and Cowper Rd., which I took over and then Jim took over from me. Have been intouch with several classmates from Hobbayne thanks to Friends Reunited as well as a couple from St. Annes.

Belong the 3rd Hanwell Brownie and Guides under the watchful eye of Mrs. Neighbour. My brothers belonged to 3rd Hanwell Cubs and Scouts. My brother Jim, who lived in Harp Road with his wife and family, died in November of 1996. He was always the jovial one and one of our memories of him was when he was 5yrs followed the "big guys" Michael Gainsbury and others to the Battersea Fun Fair.

Worked for Ealing GPO as a telephonist, then Mowlems, Currys Head Office (in Ealing) and Honeywells in Greenford. I arranged to come to Canada for a year, but liked it so much that I stayed. I did meet up with Miss Philips (teacher from Hobbayne) and kept in contact with Dianne my pen pal.

I have now been in Vancouver for over 35 years and still love it. If anyone remembers me I would love to hear from you.

Thanks Tommy,
Jackie

My Memories By Yvonne

Tom,
So many memories from the past it is hard to know where to start. Everything at the bottom of the estate and where Castlebar station used to be has changed, Who remembers feeding the horses in the field by the prefabs in Gurnell Grove. We used to take my sister Joan as she loved them and years later that was one of the strongest memories she had, that and living in Brants Walk. We would fish golfballs out of the river brent for the golfers and to sell. I never dreamed that one day I would play there, it shows how the great divide between the haves and the have nots have changed. I also remember the Granada cinema and saturday morning pictures paid for from the paper rounds we did, thats if mum would give us the money as it all went into the pot. Does anyone remember the song the greenford grenadiers. When the river Brent flooded we used to push the cars through to earn a few pence. I remember belonging to the church girls brigade at St Christophers church, Brian belonged to the church lads brigade. We used to march round the streets at Easter and other special dates. Father Russell was the vicar.
Miss Crowden was the head of the infants school and Miss Armatage and Miss cummings were our teachers We lived in Upfield Road by this time and to get to school we used to climb through the fence of the hut in the middle of Cuckoo Avenue and then climb over the fence I got many a hiding for tearing my frocks or scraping my knees. At school we played hopscotch and skipping, to the words of patricia rock wears a frock red ,white and blue, I still dont know who she was. We also used to do handstands up the wall till we got told off for not being ladylike and showing all our knickers, my word , they werent very ladylike navy blue passion killers, if you had a pocket in for your snot rag you were made otherwise it was pushed up the leg and you frequently lost it.
Funny enough I cannot remember much about the junior school except for nitty norah, I remember kicking her when she pulled my hair with her comb. I also remember being sent into Isleworthy hospital along with a lot of other kids from my class and my brothers class to haqve our tonsils out. Can anyone else remember it? The only teacher I can remember from there was Miss Hooper and I think she was the head, probaqbly remember her because most of my time was spent outside or in her office.
Anyway I thought I would put down a few memories just to help get the ball rolling