Spread the word
You have found us ,if you lived on or around the Cuckoo estate,attended any of the local schools.Had family who live on the Cuckoo estate.Your Grandparents or parents lived or where born on the Cuckoo estate.Then you are in the right place to meet old friends and new ones.Get involved in our group and become a Cuckooite.
As children we once played by a stream
So forever a river runs thru our dreams
Thru Pitshanger and Perivale we float
In a park we see a boy with a toy boat
Flowing under Castle Bar train tracks
Hearing a Push n' Pull whistling back
A small schoolboy slips on stepping stone
While he fishes for white golf balls alone
By a gypsy caravan a herd of horses stand
While women make paper flowers by hand
On the hilltop sits Charlie Chaplin's school
From its clock tower our Cuckoo bird calls
A boy gathers conkers from under tall tree
Stuffs pockets that hang down to his knees
In the White Hart men play darts for a beer
From Greenford Granada hollering we hear
In the Churchfield a weeping willow sways
By the white rabbit a peacock tail displays
Close to a cave where Dick Turpin did hide
Under Hanwell viaduct our river does glide
Our Brent to the
Clock chimes four its time we went home
From a top window of a red 55 bus we see
Lads in Pete's Café drinking nice cups 'o tea
Hello to all,
I'm a first timer, just found this site by chance, had no idea it existed, but after reading some of your stories, and seeing some of the names, places, and things we all used to get up to on the estate, I just had to join in. I was raised on Hillyard ave. from birth in 1937 until 1954 when I moved to Canada. I went to the Cuckoo infants, juniors and seniors. Some of your comments on those school days, like Yvonnes back in April about teachers like Mrs. cummings, she liked to pull everyone around by their ear, she always wore her hair in a fringe. Nitty Nora the flea explorer, used to love to pull half your hair out with her fine toothed comb, so many memories. I often show my Grandkids the estate on Google maps, you can zoom in pretty close on the schools and houses, places like the flat roofed school on Brants Walk where we used to shinny up the drainpipe and get all kinds of balls that kids had thown up there, then we'd sell them back or trade for other stuff. We'd watch the girls doing handstands against the walls showing off their blue bloomers that came to their knees, but we still liked to watch. We'd play all the games like conckers, marbles, cigarette cards against the wall etc. Great memories. A few of my Cousins lived on Brants Walk, right next to the school, and we used to hang out together, we'd collect conkers from the trees on Cuckoo ave. Built an underground cave and tunnels alongside the river Brent with a bunch of other kids, it became quite popular with a lot of locals, and got bigger and bigger until it was destroyed by a bulldozer, or some other piece of heavy equipment that fell through when it was either doing some work in the area, or was called to fill it in, I don't remember now, but it was good fun while it lasted. We used to go to the Greenford Granada, and were members of the Greenford Grenadiers and sang the song."one for one and all for all the Greenford Grenadiers" watch Tarzan serials, Tom Mix etc. and hope they'd call your ticket to win a choc ice. We'd walk home along the Brent, looking for golf balls to sell back to the golfers, or take "cats eyes" out of the road markers, catch hedge hogs, all kinds of things. We were pretty much left on our own to do stuff from an early age, not like these days where all the kids activities have to be organized and constantly watched over.I didn't have a Dad and my Mum used to work at Lyons factory, and I used to always manage to meet her at Castebar station on the days she was allowed to bring home brocken chocolate mints from work, never tasted anything so good, a real treat back then. I remember ration books and queing up for hours to get food, no sorting through and choosing your veggies then, they just scooped them up, weighed them and dumped them in your bag, the bad along with the good. Anyhow, now that I've started, I could go on for hours, but I'll save it for some other time. I'm sure we all know some of the same people, probably played together, I hope to hear from some of you in the near future, Bye for
A River Beyond
Maybe it all started long ago, in our teacher Miss Irwin's class, in my first year at Cuckoo Junior Boy's school.
I sat at a desk in the front row and gazed at the beautiful sunlit painting on the wall.
It was quite a large picture, and it had been skillfully painted in oils by Miss Irwin's husband.
The scene was like something from the Song of Hiawatha by the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The poem, as you know, is about Hiawatha's departure, and the first two lines are,
"By the shores of Gitchie Gumee. By the shining Big Sea Water".
I'm sure that you must have heard it.
Miss Irwin's husband, the artist, may well have been inspired by this poem because in the scene was a lake or wide river, with tall fir trees in the distance and in the foreground there was an American Indian dressed in doeskin and moccasins, he was about to set out in his canoe. At least that's how I remember it, as a kid I was so fascinated by it.
Little did I know at the time, that one day I would also become an artist and eventually cross a big pond, the
Neither did I have any idea, that one day
I don't have a wigwam or canoe like Hiawatha, but I am fortunate enough to have a modest cottage in the state of
This river is considerably wider than the Brent and is full of fish, from Carp, Bluegill, Catfish to Walleye and others. There are plenty of Mallard ducks, Canadian Geese,
A few Great Blue Herons, Turkey Buzzards, Cliff Swallow's and even tiny Humming Birds etc. Also we have plenty of grey squirrels, chipmunks, some deer, a wood chuck and frogs etc. I haven't seen any bears nearby yet, but I think I saw a Bobcat early one morning.
My favorite time is in the Fall (Autumn), the reflections of the blazing foliage colors on the calm mirror glass sparkling water at sunrise is a site to behold.
It's much quieter then and most of the vacationers and pleasure boaters have gone home 'til next summer.
You may hear or see the occasional couple of fisherman trolling in their motor boats, or a lone kayak enthusiast paddling along, or sadly, you may hear the distant sounds of the duck hunter's guns echoing across the water.
Although the Rock River is quite deep,
I even go up to the lake in the winter, when it gets frozen in places and you can see some
men "ice fishing" through a hole they cut in the ice, in sub zero temperatures. Or hear the occasional snowmobile or see sitting on the bird feeder, a scarlet red Cardinal contrasted against the pure white snow.
Whoever knew that the lovely painting on the wall in my junior boy's class could represent my journey to far off land and a river .Beyond The Brent.
FACE TO FACE
I think Jim has raised an important point with his Burka story, about not being able to see someones facial expressions during an email conversation.
One has to be very careful what you say in an email, as so much of it can be misunderstood when you can't see the other persons face at the time.
Even if you do know the person this can sometimes happen.
It happened to some friends of mine just recently.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to be having breakfast at the local greasy spoon with a bunch of policemen.
But pretty much every Monday I do.
They are husbands of my wifes schoolfriends, they are retired tough Chicago cops.
Actually when off duty, and retired as they are now, they are just regular guys like you and I. These guys would do anything to help you or anyone for that matter.
They would go out of their way to lend a hand if your car broke down, and you got stuck in a blizzard, on a freezing cold Chicago winter day, or night, for that matter, or anything else like that.
It's very handy to know such a bunch of good guys, especially in a town like Chicago!
However, I was quited shocked to hear that two of them are no longer talking to each other, because of some misunderstood email that one of them had sent.
Now remember these are grown men, who for most of their lives have been reliable back-up for one another in the most dangerous of situtations.
This all must sound quite adolescent, and actually it is, it was just a small matter concerning a fishing boat, and no harm was intended by the email.
It was unfortunately, how it was written and not really what was intended, and even though they have been friends for a very long time, it led to a misunderstanding simply because one guy couldn't see the other one's facial expression at the time.
It turned out that the sender was only joking in the email and thought he was just being humerous and that the other person would get the joke.
So as you see, Jim does have a very valid point, if you can't see someones face when you are talking to them, by email or in person, it can definitely be a hindrance to friendship if you are not careful what you say or how you write it. We are all only human, and all make mistakes sometimes, so I can see what Jim meant about the Burkas, lets all try and watch our p's and q's.
I remember going down to see them with Angela my sister. We were a little bit afraid as we didn't know what to expect.We didn't realise they were just men like our Dad. Some time later two of them worked with my Dad and they would come to our house for Sunday dinner once a month.I remember one was a cobbler and he showed my Dad how to mend our shoes.Which is something my dad did for many years after. The other one made us bird tables with birds carved ontop they had string underneath with weights on and when you swung them the birds would peck. Does anyone else remember these.Also he made me a little milking stool but it had four legs as that was how they were in Germany. Guess what I still have it. All my children and my grandchildren have used it to sit on and to reach the sink to help wash up.It is still going strong.As my first Greatgrand child is due in Oct it looks as if it will be in use yet again lol.I have some school photos and as soon as my youngest son has time he will post them to you for me. Bye for now love to you all Sally
Thought I would send you one of my memories of the days following the end of WW2.
After the end of the war, my father was stationed in Kent with the R.A.F. There was a large camp of German P.O.W.'s at the base and that Christmas they put on a huge Christmas party for the children of the servicemen.
When we arrived there were large tables set up with white table cloths and wonderful goodies, which we children had never seen before. There were cream horns, chocolate éclairs, cream puffs and all the little cakes and fruit that we had been deprived of during the war years.
After we had stuffed ourselves, Father Christmas got up on the stage, each child's name was called and given a present made by the POW.s. Mine was a child's deck chair, which I always treasured, and my sisters, who were older than I, both received slippers.
When the presents were distributed, a man with a trumpet stepped up on the stage and entertained us with song requests, while the P.O.W.'s who had been waiting on us, sat down at the tables and had their Christmas meal.
My Dad told me to go up on the stage and ask the trumpeter to play Lilli Marlene. I did as I was told, mounted the stage and I pulled on the mans jacket, looked up at him, and said "My Dad says, play Lilli Marlene" The man ignored me and I went back to my seat. My Dad said "Go up there again, and tell him to play the song" I was very nervous and really didn't want to do it, but was more scared of my Dad than the man with the trumpet, so up on the stage I went again, and tugged on the mans jacket, while my Dad yelled from the audience, "Do as the little girl says". The trumpeter looked down at my Dad and said, "Don't you think that will offend them?" To which my Dad replied "Of course not, go ahead and play it"
Well what happened next was something that I will never forget to my dying day. The prisoner's stopped eating, all stood at attention and sang at the tops of their voices, their own song in their own language.. There wasn't a dry eye in the audience. Here was the enemy that we had been taught to fear, imprisoned, far from their homes and families, but just as vulnerable and human as we all were.
Lilli Marlene, my Dad told me, was the German marching song. The English Translation goes like this:
Tommie Connor, 1944
Underneath the lantern,
By the barrack gate
Darling I remember
The way you used to wait
T'was there that you whispered tenderly,
That you loved me,
You'd always be,
My Lilli of the Lamplight,
My own Lilli Marlene
Time would come for roll call,
Time for us to part,
Darling I'd caress you
And press you to my heart,
And there 'neath that far-off lantern light,
I'd hold you tight ,
We'd kiss good night,
My Lilli of the Lamplight,
My own Lilli Marlene
Orders came for sailing,
Somewhere over there
All confined to barracks
was more than I could bear
I knew you were waiting in the street
I heard your feet,
But could not meet,
My Lilly of the Lamplight,
my own Lilly Marlene
Resting in our billets,
Just behind the lines
Even tho' we're parted,
Your lips are close to mine
You wait where that lantern softly gleams,
Your sweet face seems
To haunt my dreams
My Lilly of the Lamplight,
My own Lilly Marlene