Friday, 28 March 2008

Beyond the Brent Dot Tessier

Hi Jackie,  I received the book today thank you very much.  I've scanned through it and have read most of the stories and seen the photos but what is nice is that as I have it in print I can show family/friends.  I was surprised to see my story on there as I didn't realise it had been kept.  It gave my grandaughter Ashley's age as 20 but she is only 10, but I probably did that myself.
Overall, I think the book is well presented and the photos are good, I just wish I knew more people in them.  Reading the stories has made me realise that life was hard during the 40s and 50s.  We didn't have the technology we have today and I clearly remember Mum washing clothes by hand, carrying them down two flights of stairs (in Brants Walk) to hang them out and if it rained we'd all go running to get the washing in.  Trying to get it dry in a cold flat was another chore.  If Mum had the fire going she would drape the washing on the clothes horse near the fire to dry.  Mum scrubbed the floors on her hands and knees, she planted vegetables in our garden, she had to go shopping every couple of days and so on, but what I've realised is that although life was very hard it was healthier.  People had more physical work to do and therefore didn't suffer the problems we have today with weight and health issues.  Also, no one had time to feel sorry for themselves they just got on with things.  Us kids would worry about Mum having to work so hard (she had two cleaning jobs too) but even in her 70s she walked straight and tall and wouldn't take pills of any kind.  There were many families like ours and I didn't see a TV until I was 11 as we couldn't afford it.  We were poor but like many of the others in the book, we were taught right from wrong and good manners.  We all rebelled at certain points in our lives but never hurt anyone and ended up as good decent people.  This says a lot for everyone from the estate and their parents before them.
Many thanks
Dot (Tessier)

Thursday, 27 March 2008

George Key remembers

My name is George Key I lived at 14 Brants Walk my mum and dad and five brothers Alf Ron Jack Dennis and Harry,sadly they have departed this world.We moved to Brants Walk in 1936 and moved in 1952 to 65 Browning Ave where my future wife lived at 63 we celebrated our golden wedding in 2007.I spent 4yrs in the RAF 53-57 when demobbed worked at Sadia water heaters some where up Greenford way cant remember,then worked as a milkman for United Daries in Ealing got a tied house right next door to the depot worked threr for 9yrs before being offered a new house in Haverhill(where!!!)Suffolk under a labour exchange new town scheme,but to qualify one had to have a job to go to,so I transfered from the milk job in Ealing to a milk job in the local daries in Haverhill, where ,after a few more jobs retired in 2000,but Joan(wife)and I seem to be more busy than when we worked but Its still a great life, anyway enough about me.
I have just finished reading our cuckooites book and I would like to congratulate all the people in its birth,It is a marvellous read and also a piece of history for future generations,and to all the people who shared their memories with us I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU.
I am really surprised at the amount of people who remember names from their school days and all the adventures that took place. Icannot remember what I had for dinner yesterday,although I do remember most of the Brants Walk boys/girls,the Davis family who lived next door,Mrs Davis looked after Harry and me during the war whilst my mum had to do war work at the factory, I think the name was Trepurs I dont know how to spell the name but someone may remember it over perival way I think,anyway we all liked Mrs Davis she introduced us to Weetabix and we loved it,in fact I still have it for breakfast. I remember Wally Davis what a monster he was, enough said about him.The youngsters were Jim,Sid,June and Christine,the rest of the street,Peter Jackson,Jackie Armatage,Peter Ward,Ray Clark,Ronny Seymour,Bobby and Jonnie Hills,the only other girl I remember is Gloria Rice, that is really bad of me perhaps someone can remind me?
The memories come flooding back when other people remind us of pushing cars out of the floods,making bows and arrows and the scooters with their shiny ball bearing wheels,I do remember scooting up to the indoor market at Greenford for some Gob Stoppers(Aniseed Balls) they were huge and changed colour as you sucked them,happy memories so sadly gone.
I purchased Jim Davis book,read it in 2 days, could not put it down.Well written Jim.
Those Italian POWs building the prefabs at at the bottom of our gardens in Brants Walk,am I right in saying that no armed guards were needed,went swimming in river Brent a few times with them and those pecking chicken toys they made,I bought one for sixpence,where did I a little urchin during the war get all of sixpence from,from selling back the golf balls to the golfers who had hit them in the Brent,the thins we had to do to earn a crust!!
The underground camp over in the fields next to the Brent,I remember helping with that we dug down very deep layed some Anderson shelter over the top then replaced the earth that we had dug out,we then put tufts of grass on the top of the earth it looked just like a small mound,we sure did have some fun in there!!!I remember my mum came looking for Harry and me she actually stood on the mound shouting our names not knowing we were just a couple of feet away from her.Oh happy days.
My last memory is of my brother Harry climbing a tree in the Ruislp Rd,he reached the top then froze and refused to come down,at the same time the air raid siren went off I ran home to tell mum the story who called for the fire brigade(how I dont know as we did not have a phone) anyway the firemen arrived got him down and gave him the biggest telling off that he was shaking like a leaf the firemen charged my mum five bob,when we got home Harry got a whopping from mum,when dad got home from work(he was a postman in the city)mum told him of Harrys escapades,poor Harry he got another whopping from dad,me,I stood in the background laughing my head off,Oh brotherly love.
But of all the things we did It didnt do us any harm ,we learned discipline and respect,and we all had great fun in the open air,I am sorry I have rambled on a bit Ihave just thought of an Idea to promote the cuckooites,what if we could somehow get the cuckooite crest made into a lapel pin,anyone with buisness connections who could enquire how feesable and pricewise this would be.I would wear mine with pride.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Jackie (Smith) Stringer

Who is Jackie,
One year ago she had never heard of the Cuckoo Estate or even knew where it was.Jackie at the time was a friend of Peter Stringer (they recently tied the knot congratulations).When I was trying to put another Reunion together Jackie came forward and offered to help with being our U.K. coordinator.During the past year she has filled that job with passion and enthusiasm keeping folks informed and answering questions about the Reunion.Also Jackie asked me if she could work on putting a book together combining all the stories from our website and photo's .The results from this you can see in our recently published book .Memories from our past.The book has been available for the last week and sales have been very good .You can order your copy from Jackie for the price of seven pounds if shipped in the U.K. If you live in other parts of the world you will need to check with Jackie for rates to your country.
Jackie has agreed to stay on and become our full time representative and treasurer after this Reunion,we are already planning the next Reunion for 2010 same time same place stay tuned for more details.
You can contact Jackie at.

Jackie Smith

37 Weall Court

School Lane

Pinner, Middlesex, England  HA5 5PG

Phone number  0208 868 3133


Jackie (Smith)Stringer.Our U.K. Reunion and book sales co ordinater

Friday, 21 March 2008












I don't think our kids know what an apron is!


The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the stove.


It was wonderful for drying children's tears and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.  


From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.


When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.  An when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms. 


Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot stove.


Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.  From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.  After the peas had been shelled it carried out the hulls.


In the Fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.


When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds. 


When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields for dinner.


It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that "old time apron" that served so many purposes.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Cuckoo Avenue.The Crown Jewel of the Estate

Some more great Photo's

Dereck Applin remembers

Hi Tommy,
Thanks for getting back to me.John Ratchford would have remembered my brother Ray,who lives in Acton now.there were three of us,I was the eldest.My youngest brother Len
died four years ago,from cancer he was just 61.
The photo that is attached of the house colored cream,is where we lived,but this is what it looks like now.My daugther took it on her mobile as we past by.No158 it backed on to the old Cuckoo School,not far from the main entrance,so we had plenty of space to playaround in.
I was in the 8th Hanwell Cubs wich was based there.I rose to the rank of seconder,my mate Alan Basham was my sixer.Alan play football for England school boys and went on to play for Brentford.F.C.Sadley he died at age 49.
We played alot of football together.
I joined the church lads brigade based at St. Christophers Church and played the bugle in the marching band.
We would march round the estate on Sunday mornings,what a laugh, it was so cold some Sundays the mouthpiece on the bugle would freeze.Some of the so-called musicans i remember where,Dennis Crawey,who lived in Westcott Crecs.Roy Lines,from Greatdown Rd.Cyril Stanford,from Benham Rd.
Later on I joined Tower Youth Club,based at the Old Cuckoo Schools.Ihad some great times there.I played football for the youth club,which was in the Ealing Youth League.I also played for the League & for Middlesex Youth against Kent & Surrey.The Tower Youth side wich later changed it's name to Hanwell Community F.C and then later to Hanwell Association,played at the side of the Old Cuckoo Schools.Some of the players I played with where.Les Milbank,who lived on the Greenford Rd.,Jack Stannard who lived in Borders Walk, Terry Moore,who lived in Cuckoo Ave.No.22. Terry moved to Newzealand in 1963 and will be making his 6th trip home to blighty in June.Terry and I were Great mates.When he comes over he will spend some of the time staying with me and my wife Jean.I meet my wife Jean at the Park Hotel,at guess what! A football dance.That was in we have been married 47yrs.
I knew your friend Maurice Field,he was in my class at school,Len Dyer also lived nearby,not far from where Maurice lived,where the Haynes brothers, Reg,Stan& Les.
We all played football for Hanwell Town at a later stage.
I did my National Service in the Army,joining up in 1952.
With me when I joined was Peter Brider who lived on the other side of Westcott.
I hope you enjoy reading this bit of my memiors,theres more to come if you can stand it.
I have sent my cheque off to Jackie for the reunion and the book.Look forward to meeting you soon. All the best Derek

Friday, 14 March 2008

Fw: Memories from the past our book

Hi Cuckooites,
we have just received our first initial order of our book from the Printer,
Cuckooites Memories From The Past.
Jackie is taking and filling orders for the book on a first come first served basis for this initial order of books.The price in the U.K. will be seven pounds and this includes shipping.Please contact Jackie to place your order or send your Check to Jackie in the amount  made payable to CUCKOOITES.
Everyone will want to own a copy of this book it is filled with great stories and photo's taken from our website that have been sent in by Cuckooites.Some of these stories will make you want to laugh and maybe cry.
Contact Jackie at.

Jackie Smith

37 Weall Court

School Lane

Pinner, Middlesex, England  HA5 5PG

Phone number  0208 868 3133



Thanks Tommy


Friday, 7 March 2008

Future reunions

Here is something to think about for the future if we have another Reunion.Let folks bring whatever drink they choose,we do not provide a bar.We do the catering ourselves,plain old pub food,sausage rolls,pork pies,cheese and ham rolls,pickle onions and other snacks like crisp's.We provide the hall and the music,We could put a event on like this for 500 pounds.Divide that by 120 folks and you are looking at 5 pounds a person.This would cover Misc expenses.Presently we need 1300 pounds just to break even ,as for this event I am hoping to clear maybe 200 pounds to help with future activity's plus the book.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Fw: Reunion Update.


Hear Ye ,Hear  ye,Hear ye,
The news is in we have a sell out on this 3rd Reunion.
Jackie informs me we are sold out ,she is checking with the Community center to allow us ten more places.
She asks that anyone who is still thinking of attending to contact her first to see the availability of places available before sending in their registrations.Availability will be on a first come basis no places will be held for people who want to pay at the door.
This a great feat on our part to be sold out with six weeks to go.I have been preaching to everyone for the last month not to leave it to the last minute. I want to thank Jackie for all her hard work and patience and it has paid of for us.
This is going to be the best one so far and you will glad you are going.
All the details on Program will be sent out at a latter date,if you want to contact Jackie to see what is the latest availability on places call her at
0208 8683133,I wish you luck.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

A A A D D- Age Activated Attention- Devicit Disorder

Recently, I was diagnosed with ~ A.A.A.D.D. ~ Age Activated Attention ~ Deficit Disorder
This is how it manifests ...I decide to water my garden. As I turn on the hose in the driveway I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.
As I start toward the garage, I notice mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier.
I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car. I lay my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can, under the table, and notice that the can is full.
So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.
But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out  the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.
I take my cheque book off the table, and see that there is only 1 cheque left. My extra cheques are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke I'd been drinking.
I'm going to look for my cheques, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over
The Coke is getting warm, and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.
As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye ~ they need water.
I put the Coke on the counter and discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.
I decide I'd better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers.
I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table.
I realize that tonight, when we go to watch TV, I'll be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.
I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.
So, I set the remote back on the table, get some towels and wiped up the spill.
Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day ~ the car isn't washed - the bills aren't paid - there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter
- the flowers don't have enough water - there is still only 1 cheque in my check book - I can't find the remote- I can't find my glasses - and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.
Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really  baffled because I know I was busy all day, and I'm really tired.
I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.

Do me a favour. Forward this message to everyone you know, because I don't
   remember who  I've sent it to.

Don't laugh ~ if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!!




Saturday, 1 March 2008

March Newsletter

Hi Cuckooites,
March is here,spring is just around the corner and I am sure ready for it,we have had a really bad winter in our part of the world,record rain fall,flooding that made thousands homeless and some of the worst storms I have ever seen.
Other than that a great winter,and boy was February a busy month with the group and website.  As I have told you we continue to grow,Cuckooites are finding us in droves and telling us how they are enjoying our website and spreading the word to their friends and family.
We have just put the finishing touches on the book.  Memory's from the past,J ackie  and John B and John H have worked on it all month getting it edited and ready to go to the printers, Jackie has seen the finished product on DVD and is very impressed with what the guy's have done with the art work and lay out.  We will have copies on hand at the Reunion for all to see and put in their orders for a copy.  (Price to be announced at a later date).
Last month I sent out a post that we are thinking of putting a trip together to Las Vegas, and taking in the Grand Canyon and the famous man made wonder the Hoover Dam.  We have had about six couples telling us they would be interested.We would do it  in February or March 2009,if you are interested let me know ,we have plenty of time to work out dates,we would rent people movers and share the cost,very reasonable in the U.S.  If you have never done this trip it is well worth it and very reasonable ,hotel rates are very low in Vegas as they want you to gamble and they give the food away.  It would be a blast to get a group together and take in the shows.
The Reunion is just 45 days away and we are just about sold out.  If you want to know if there any places left contact Jackie and she can give you the latest update,please do not leave it to late we had a bunch come in this past week.  We will give you all the times for this event and directions it is easy to find ,right at the bottom of Horsenden hill, where we used to go courting as kids.  Get hold of Jackie at telephone 0208 868 3133 or email
Remember to have a good month.  Call a friend.  You can always email me at
All the very best,

March Bulletin Board

New Month ,New Board.
 Share with us some of the ways you think we can raise money for future events that will benefit Cuckooites who may not be in a financial position to come to the Reunions because the cost of attending is beyond their means.