Friday, 28 September 2007

Where the grass is greener

Obscure despite its attention-grabbing name, the Cuckoo Estate in Hanwell, west London, is a large inter-war estate of small houses on and around Cuckoo Avenue, a tree-lined boulevard that would not look out of place in Paris.

The Cuckoo Estate was built by the London County Council between 1933 and 1939 on land that was originally part of the Central London District School, a Victorian Poor Law school that closed in 1932 (its best-known pupil was Charlie Chaplin). The school's large central administrative block now houses the Hanwell Community Centre.

. The estate was reasonably near three railway stations, a tram serving Shepherds Bush, and new factories accessible by bus or bicycle. To individualise the houses, the architects varied their materials, using pantile, clay-tile and slate-tile roofing, and yellow and red stock bricks. The street pattern favours open spaces with pedestrian walkways. The focal point is the Grade-II-listed community centre at the southern end of Cuckoo Avenue, a dual carriageway with a central gravel path and containing a long avenue of mature horse-chestnut trees set in grass verges. The other roads are much narrower and less grand, and contain mostly two-storey semis and terraces. The estate became a conservation area in 1995.

In 1958 Margaret Mills and her new husband applied for council housing and, meanwhile, lived in the Cuckoo Estate in his parents' house on Kennedy Road. This temporary arrangement lasted for six years, until they moved into a council flat near the estate. Now a widow herself, she has worked at the Hanwell Community Centre for more than 30 years.

2008 ,April 12th 3rd Reunion.

Hi all, reservations continue to arrive and we thank you for getting this done early,it really helps us as we move forward.Why are we asking for your reservations to be recieved by January 1st .This helps those folks who are coming to the Reunion from outside the U.K. to feel confident in booking their travel arrangements knowing well in advance we are having this event.All you folks in the U.K. do not have this problem and can possibly leave it to the last moment.Please take the time to do this reservation early your funds will be fully returned in the event we cancel for lack of participaption,Let,s make it happen.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Reunion Update.

What a great start,I applaud all you folks out there who are not waiting and have sent in your Registrations.We are well on our way to another great get together.Keep them coming in and we will have this event sold out in no time at all.Remember you must register and pay to be sure of your place .Remember any ?? get in touch with Jackie.Time is a wasting so do not be left out in the cold wondering why you can not get in.WE will not announce any counts untill January 2nd. unless we have sold out this event.
All the best Tommy.
The race is on.

Barbara Deans Mum and siblings Jack and Terry,Me on the left with cousin.Dad is of at war.

Barbara Dean Homefarm Road victory party.Do you reconise anyone.

Barbara Deans contribution

Thanks again.  I found the site simply surfing the web.  I often feel 
quite nostalgic re my Cuckoo Estate days.  I have let my brother 
Terry know about it.  My brother Jack sadly died last year.  He would 
have loved it.  I think the it is great.  Really members led; not the 
commercial fiasco that Friends Reunited has sadly become.  I am still 
browsing the memories, they have brought back so many of mine.  I am 
hoping there may be some from people living on the estate now.  
Perhaps even from people living in our former home!!

Best wishes to all involved

Barbara Dean

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Two glasses of wine

There will always be room for 2 Glasses Of Wine! 
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very
Large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas
between the golf balls.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."
The professor then produced two glasses of wine from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty
space between the sand.
The students laughed.
"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the
important things; your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions; things that if everything else was lost
and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your House, and your car.
The sand is everything else; the small stuff.
If you put the sand into the jar first , " he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are
important to you.  Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first; the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the wine represented.
The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of glasses of wine with a friend."

Monday, 17 September 2007

September Newsletter

Hi everyone,
where ever you are I wish you all a happy end to summer.Must say here in the northwest part of the could have been a whole lot better.Today it feels like November outside raining cold and dark,I can only hope for a Indian summer.Things are good with our group ,we continue to grow having found over fifty new Cuckooites since we launched our new website in May.Folks who visit the website enjoy the topics,articles and photo's we post on a regular basis,sometimes the topics get a good discussion going and some of you are not afraid or intimidated to get involved,keep up visiting the site on a regular basis to keep your self informed on what is happening with in the group.People are finding us from all over the world by accident.they do a web search for the old Cuckoo estate areas and find our website by surprise and are commenting how much they appreciate a alternative to the commercial site Friends reunited that just wants your money and gives you very little in return.Be sure and post this site to your favorites and visit us at
As you are aware the registration forms have been sent out to you all and we are hoping that you will send them back to Jackie in a timely fashion,remember January 1st is the deadline for us to reach eighty attendees to be assured of a reunion next April.The cost of 15 pounds each person comes with a free beer and wine bar ,buffet supper,live music ,door prizes and a great time with old friends and hopefully new ones.This year we are not going to let you know until January 2nd how many have registered but be assured in the event we cancel for lack of participation every one will get a full refund and I will personally cover all the expenses we have acquired ,so your money is very safe.Get busy spread the word and make this our third Reunion the best one ever.You can do it.
Any questions please contact me or Jackie and we will get back to you.Do not leave it late or you may find out we have sold the event out as we have done the past two reunions ,You must register and pay to be sure of your place.
Please take time to get involved and we would love for you to post your family's history on the STREET WHERE I LIVED ,it is so easy to do.
All the best keep in touch with one another Tommy.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

A day to remember.


A Day to Remember


Many people have a vivid recollection of exactly where when they first heard that President John F. Kennedy was shot, I know I do.

Likewise I can recall exactly what I was doing 6 years ago today on September 11th 2001.

I was driving my Jeep, taking it for its annual emissions test. It was beautiful morning until suddenly out the clear blue sky; I heard the news on my car radio of the first plane crashing into one of the twin towers in New York. I still remember my initial shock and then to hear next about the second plane was alarming. I had by now reached the emissions testing station, when the news of the third plane crashing into the Pentagon was announced. I immediately left the station and drove very quickly home as my wife was on a domestic United Airlines flight and in the sky that very morning.

I quickly made an urgent phone call and, thank God, learned that my wife's plane was ok and that she was safe.

Later as I watched these horrific, almost surreal events on TV, it was hard to believe that this had happened.

My wife's company's head offices were in the twin towers and she had many good friends and colleagues in New York who lost their lives that day, also a good friend of ours from Chicago was actually at the twin towers on business that day, but somehow managed to narrowly escape the tragedy and ran for his life.

As I'm typing this, the local warning sirens have sounded, a routine test at this time on a Tuesday. But nowadays of course nothing is routine anymore, these tragic events have changed everything. People still go about their everyday lives here and abroad, many have bravely gone into cities to work today, not quite knowing if they'll be safe or be coming home tonight.

We all live with this uncertainty each day, and must pray for the poor souls who lost their lives, the families who lost their loved ones on this tragic day and pray for the brave men and women put themselves in harms way to protect us and preserve our freedom and last but not least we must pray for peace.


Sunday, 9 September 2007

Bob Stevens class Cuckoo seniors

Hi Sue and Tom, hope you are well and still enjoying the summer.
Here's a photo of my class, I think Junior School in Brants walk but of course it could be 1st year at Senior school,
I am 5th. from right back row.
Other names I remember are Brian O'Leary to my left, lived Upfield Road he was best man at my wedding 1959,
Vicky Woods 8 from left lived in a prefab at the bottom of Cuckoo Avenue, Alan Stone next to him lived in Templeman Road he worked at the cobblers in Greenford next to the playhouse. Roy Stone 3rd from Right back row he lived in Lived Laurie Road and went into the Guards for national service and I do believe it is Ron Ratchford on the end.
Lenny Knight next to Mrs. Irwin, Roy White 2nd left bottom row he lived in Harp Road
Would that be you in the back row 2nd from right.
Tell you Tom it's great looking at these and bringing back memories of all the good times.
Looking forward to the re-union.
Kind regards and thanks for the dedicated work in bringing this together.
Bob Stevens

Bob Stevens Class can you name anyone.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Good Neighbour

"Good Neighbours"


My neighbour was truly a good neighbour. He was like the neighbours we had on the Cuckoo Estate when we were young. No matter what the weather was like or what time of day it was they were always ready to help, even if it was just to loan you a cup of milk or sugar.

But this story is about my neighbour here in America. His name is Gary.

Gary was the kind of guy that would be the first one to go out in the dead of winter after a snowstorm in freezing conditions to start his snow blower and clear the sidewalk or a neighbours garage pad. Or the first one to help you start your lawnmower, lend you some gasoline or jump start your car. He would be the first one to offer to drive you somewhere or repair a kid's bicycle tire or loan you a ladder. Whatever it was you needed, Gary could be depended on to help. He was a good husband and caring father, he had been a decorated Marine and his great love was to play the bugle in the Drum and Bugle corps marching bands. He would travel the country to attend or even sometimes judge events. I would often hear him practicing on his bugle in his basement. He wasn't lazy and in his retirement always kept himself busy around the house or in his garden with some project or other. I was really lucky to have such a nice neighbour, he was well liked by rest of the people on my block also. Sadly, yesterday I attended his funeral; Gary had passed away last Saturday after going through surgery for a perforated intestine which was caused by the side effects of the chemo treatment he had been receiving for the brain tumor that he had been diagnosed with 10 months earlier. To witness Gary's brave battle with this disease was truly an inspiration to us all. He spent the last 10 months getting his life in order and taking care of all the unfinished chores and details so that his family would not have to deal with them after he had gone. Slowly Gary's fight took its toll, he eventually wasn't able to drive, a big disappointment for him as he was a car enthusiast. He walked with aid of a long wooden staff, and looked almost Biblical as he made his way out of the house to go for treatment. He wore a miraculous medal over his shirt; he was a man of deep faith. His head was bald and he'd laugh when we would tease him and call him Kojak. Eventually things got to the point where he needed help with the little chores like carrying the trash and putting his garbage cans out on garbage day, which I gladly took upon myself to do for him. He would never complain about anything, if you ever made the slightest negative remark about any little thing, be it the weather or whatever, he always had a positive answer or would say something that would put it all in the right perspective. He would call me on the phone sometimes and ask for a ride to run errand, so I would stop what I was doing and meet him by my garage and off we would go. It may have sometimes been in the middle of rush hour and when we got to the store sometimes he'd forget what he needed to buy, and then offer to buy me an ice cream or a cup of coffee. His wife called me last week to ask me to help her get Gary in the car, he became sick and she had to rush him to hospital, as I walked with him down the path that day I had no idea that I would never see him again.

His funeral was on a nice sunny day, a small flock of Canadian geese flew in formation right over the grave site, a kind of fly by, there was military gun salute, which fortunately missed the geese, the Stars and Stripes were draped over his coffin, which three marines in uniform unfurled and folded in military fashion. Some members of the Drum and Bugle corps played "Taps" on their bugles. When they finished a train in the distance blew its whistle, and Gary was then awarded a final military Medal of Valor.Now it was time to wish this humble man, my neighbour, my friend, farewell.I shall surely miss him, but feel honored to have known him and his strength of spirit has taught me so much, of how fortunate we all are and how we should think twice about complaining and never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. And spend more time with our loved ones. But mostly he taught me what it really means to be "Good Neighbours".



(PS) Do you have a good neighbour story, perhaps one from the good old days?


It has been brought to my attention that some of you may not have printers,no problem just copy the information that Jackie will need to register you and mail it to her direct.If you have any questions get hold of Jackie direct or by email.

Jackie Smith

37 Weall Court

School Lane

Pinner Middx. HA5 5PG

Phone number is  0208 868 3133.  


Hope this clears up any misunderstandings Tommy

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Chisholm family history.

Chisholms Family History part one.
Mum,Dad and 3 kids moved into 57,Homefarm in 1938 from a two room slum in Bermondsey.
Dad was a crane driver in a wharf on the Thames overlooking Craven
Cottage.Later Mum went on to work in Rowses canteen in West Ealing.
Maureen and myself were born in no.57 and both went to school at
Shirley worked in Johnny Kings greengrocers for about 15 years
does anyone remember in the Greenford market where the buses turned round.
Maureen worked in accounts at Co-op dairy.She was good friends with
Marian Gainsbury.Maureen married Brian Tullett who used to live above
the shops opposite The White Hart it may have Moons greengrocers but not sure?
Doris Married had 3 kids moved to south ealing near the flyzone but sadly died quite young.
I went on to school at Brentside sec.mod.many school friends
Colin Crow.                 Templeman
John Hullet.                  Harp road moved to N/Zealand
Derek Hindmash        prefabs Bordars Walk?
Peter Hatton                Upfield
Micky Gainsbury         Homefarm
Robert Patch              Wescott
George Dennis          Gifford Gdns Posh side now living in Spain
Roger Morton             Beresford Ave.
Does anyone remember Hop picking? Travelling in the back of furniture lorry down to Kent to pick hops for the holidays. There are  3 photos in the family showing the lorry loading people, dated 1954/55/56 trying to track them down.I will put onto this site when found.
I read a comment asking about Petes Cafe but I cant find it now so I will talk about it next time.

Monday, 3 September 2007

Fw: Alleged Incident

 An incident occurred in a supermarket recently, when the following
 A Muslim woman dressed in a Burkha (A black gown & face mask) was
standing with her shopping in a queue at the checkout.
 When it was her turn to be served, and as she reached the cashier,
 made a loud remark about the English Flag lapel pin, which the female
cashier was wearing on her blouse.

 The cashier reached up and touched the pin and said, "Yes, I always
 it proudly. My son serves abroad with the forces and I wear it for

 The Muslim woman then asked the cashier when she was going to stop
and killing her countrymen, explaining that she was Iraqi.
 At that point, a Gentleman standing in the queue
 stepped forward, and interrupted with a calm and gentle voice, and
said to
 the Iraqi woman:
 "Excuse me, but hundreds of thousands of men and women, just like
 ladies son have fought and sacrificed their lives so that people just
YOU can stand here, in England, which is MY country and allow you to
 blatantly accuse an innocent check-out cashier of bombing YOUR

 "It is my belief that if you were allowed to be as outspoken as that
Iraq, which you claim to be YOUR country, then we wouldn't need to be
 fighting there today".
 "However - now that you have learned how to speak out and criticise
 English people who have afforded you the protection of  MY country, I
 gladly pay the cost of a ticket to help you pay your way back to

 "When you get there, and if you manage to survive for being as
 what you are here in England, then you should be able to help
 the mess which  YOUR Iraqi countrymen have got you into in the first
which appears to be the reason that you have come to  MY country to
 Apparently the queue cheered and applauded.

 IF YOU AGREE... Pass this on to all of your proud English friends..
 I just did.............!!!

Victory Party 1945 Stephenson Road .By Peter Stringer


Victory Party 1945 Stephenson Road .By Peter Stringer

Victory Party 1945 Stephenson Road .By Peter Stringer

2008 Reuion Regisration

The race is on,here is your persoanal invitation to attend the 2008 3rd Cuckooites reunion.Spend a fun evening meeting old and new friends from the past.Swap story's and tell a few fibs.Price includes open bar and buffet supper,live music and door prizes.You will not want to miss this nite out.Make sure the registration form is filled properly with a return address attatched.Remember to make this event a go we will need 80 paid registrations by January 1st. 2008.Please do not put this on the back burner your promt reply's are needed.Any questions contact me at or Jackie Smith at
Please print this form and give it out to your friends or you can register them yourselves.
Please give this priority oneThanks Tommy and Jackie.


Third Cuckooite Reunion

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

Perivale Community Centre.

Horsingden Hill Room.



Registration and Fee Information



Please provide the following information so we can confirm your reservation to the

April 12th. Cuckooite Reunion being held at the Perival Community Center.

 Please note that your funds need to be received by Jackie by January 1st 2008 to guarantee your reservation.



Maiden Name (if applicable:)__________________________________________________


Address while living on 'the estate'_____________________________________________


When did you live on 'the estate', from: _______________ (Year)  to: ____________ (Year)


How many attending: _______________________________________________________


Name of each additional guest including maiden name, if applicable:_____________________





(If each one of your guests wants to fill out their own form, please feel free to print a copy of this form so they can do so.)


The cost of registration is £15 per person.  If you live in the UK, you can send a check or money order.  If you live outside the UK, you will need to send a British Pounds Sterling bank draft or a personal check plus15% to cover bank fees and exchange fees.  (Please do not send cash no matter where you live.)  Send a copy of this form, completed with your information, and your funds. Made payable to

Jackie Smith

37 Weall Court

School Lane

Pinner Middx. HA5 5PG

Phone number is  0208 868 3133.  



 If you want a confirmation that your funds were received, please provide your email address: ­­­­­­­­­____________________________________.


Your address as of time of registration very important.---------------------------------------------------