Tuesday, 28 April 2009

New faces on our Site

Hi Cuckooites,
just want to welcome a couple of new faces to our website,Phil and Eddie thanks for sharing with us all your stories,You are the lifeline of our website ,even though we all share the same tales and memories it is nice to get a different take on someone's life growing up on our beloved Cuckoo estate and surrounding area.Many of you visit the site daily in fact we average over 6500 visitors a month but only a small percentage post comments and share their stories with us.You can do it and we welcome your input.
Come on get involved.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Just to let you know

Hi Cuckooites,just to let you all know I will be off duty from April 29th until May 6th.The website will look a little sparse as I will be able only to do very limited things,but rest assured when I get back I will quickly bring it up to speed.Sue and I are going to Salt Lake City Utah for the week to visit our son and his family,living so far away it is hard to see them very often.We plan to drive and will travel around 1800 miles both ways but it is a lovely trip as we go thru three states to get there.Keep posting your comments and help us attract and find all those lost Cuckooites all over the world.

Stay safe Tommy.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Fw: Tom Higginbottom has sent you a PhotoShow

This is a test.Turn up your sound and then tell me if you could watch this show.We are allways trying to improve our site.Please send me back feedback under comments.Tommy

Roxio PhotoShow
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"2003.05@08 Reunions"
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Fw: Happy St George's Day 23 rd April 2009

Happy St George's Day 23 rd April 2009

 English  English  English  English  English 
 Knight      Raptor  Princess 
I hope you slay all your dragons
Best wishes
Roy Baker from Ealing, London

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Fw: Second book (All Our Yesterdays)

Hi Cuckooites,
recently I had mentioned to you that our second book (All Our Yesterdays)was in its final stages of edit before we send it to the printer for publication.We have had a great response to this book which is packed full of stories from our past,some are funny ,some sad ,
the photo's will bring back many memories and you will recognize lot's of folks I am sure that you knew growing up on the Cuckoo Estate.This book is a chronicle of our time we hope to leave to our Children and Grandchildren and other generations to come so we will not be forgotten. We are a generation that survived poverty a war and grew up to what we have achieved today,people who can hold their heads High and say we made a difference in this world.
You can order your book from Jackie Stringer
Or call her at  0208 8683 133.
The cost is 8 pounds 50 pence and includes shipping in the U.K.We would like you to pre order so we can get the best deal from the publisher for printing and bulk shipping,please support us on this project by ordering early.We also have a good sellection of Lapel pins for you to wear and show your pride,these are available at 4 pounds and this includes shipping.
Thank you Jackie,John H,John B and Tommy

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Some things to Relish.Pat Routledge sent this in.

Isn't it amazing that George Carlin - comedian of the 70's and 80's - could write something so very eloquent...and so very appropriate.

     A Message by George Carlin:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways
but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

This is one amazing Video

You must watch this video.totally amazing.Turn up the volume and hang on to your chair.Watch it to the end just left click on the underlined web page.


War time Identity cards..

Hi Tommy,

Great site.

We have had the Ration book.

How about this, Identity Card.Everyone had one in the war, cannot see the problem with having them today.The only thing I am against is having to pay for them.If the goverment wants us to have them then I think they should foot the bill.

I am sure many people on site will have various views.

John ( eggo ) Eggins.Hi Tommy,

Monday, 13 April 2009

Terry Finucine sent in these photos.


Our favourite things to do.

When you lived on The Cuckoo Estate what were a few of your favourite things?
A) Your favourite drink and pub.
B) Your favourite shop and food.
C) Your favourite Cinema and film.
D) Your favourite Radio or TV programme.
E) Your favourite song or dance.
F) Your favourite school teacher or lesson.
G) Your favourite game, team, sport or hobby.
H) Your favourite park, garden or outdoor place to go.
Please write your memories of any or all of the above and post them on the site under
"Our Favourite Things" .

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Photo's and your story's

Hi Cuckooites,
this is a reminder we need your memories and photo's to keep this website going and bring folks back every week .You all have a story to share with others and we need those stories.I have put up on the website instructions on how you can post a comment and I know with over 150 Cuckooites visiting the site each day we should be getting a greater response,as I have stated to you all time and again you get out of this site what you put in.If you visit us often and the site has not changed it is because we have run out of things and photo's to post.
It is so easy to be a part of what has been started,get your feet wet throw away your inhabitations and get involved,you will have so much fun,Just ask Grace Redding who found us last year and has been a great ambassador spreading the word of our website to old friends and family.We are only as interesting as you can make us.

Come on get involved

Tommy your editor.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Reunion accommodation

Hi everyone who are attending the Reunion in September.
Now we are completely full up we are asking if there is anyone who will need hotel accommodation for the Saturday night September 26th.Jackie needs at least to book ten rooms to get a room discount and it would be nice if everyone was staying in the same hotel this way we may be able to arrange transportation to and from the Reunion.

If you need accommodations please contact Jackie at .

We will try and meet your needs if at all possible.

Thanks Jackie and Tommy.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Then and Now By Val Bailey.

Fw: How to enlarge a Photo,How to post a Comment

Remember you can enlarge any photo by simply taking your mouse and left
clicking on the photo.This helps a lot on the older group photos to check
out the faces..Did you know we have had almost 1800 visitors this past week
and they have looked at and opened over 7000 pages .They must be finding
something interesting to look at. If you want to post a comment to any page
simply left click on the article and scroll to the bottom of that page.You
will see on the left hand side Post a comment .Left click on this. and it
will take you to the box on the next page where you can type your
comments.When you have finished scroll down to where it say's Name URL box.
Type in your name and ignore where it say's U R L .Then scroll down and
click on the publish box.
Presto you are now a official contributor to Cuckooites website.
Hope this helps Tommy.

Coronation 1953,Top photo's from Westcott Cescent

There is a photo from Roy Baker on the site from the Coronation Party in Westcott Crescent 1953, of all ladies, my Mum Betty Brazier has the same photo (she took from a different angle) plus this one which has a few gentlemen in it.

This has the same ladies from the 1st photo, Beatrice Knight and Vera Brazier (my grandmothers) plus Belle Tiffin and Jean Knight (2nd from right)
From the left the two gentlemen sat on the pavement are from the Dawes family, then there is my grandfather Jim Brazier



South Australia

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Reunion update.

Hi Cuckooites,just to let you know we have closed the Registrations for attending the Reunion in September.The number of Cuckooites attending will be 122 we did not want to refuse the last two who came in late.We thank you, those who are attending for your swift support it has made it so mutch easier to plan this event.More updates on the event will be made available in the coming months,if anyone would like a list of the attendees please contact me at and I will be glad to send it to you.

Again Jackie and I and the rest of the committee thank you.

The Baker family From Westcotte Crescent

Ted,Ron and John please tell us who your family members are.

Conker tree in full bloom

This majestic tree is located in Sheila's garden,do you know many of the Horse Chestnut trees lining Cuckoo Avenue are dying of a rare desease.It would be such a shame to loose these wonderful trees we all grew up with.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Happy anniversary Cuckooites Website.

Posted by Jim Davis.

Happy Anniversary

Yes Cuckooites is now entering its third year, who would have thought when it started it would grow the way it has? Even more intriguing is how things came together as though it was meant to happen.

I can't name all of the people that might have had a hand in its conception, but Tommy, and Ethel (Eff) met in the USA and talked about old times. Brian Holt a Cuckooite and good friend of Tom used to have re-unions with his old army buddies. Whether that gave Tommy the dream to have a Web site or not I don't know but I would like to think so.

Tom will admit, the dream became an obsession, he tried different sites and nothing was suitable. He was getting disheartened, because to get a web site set up professionally was going to cost an awful lot of money. Then I came along. I forget how or why Tommy and I made contact, because back in our youth we were not mates or anything like that, so that first contact was strange. Anyway he told me of his frustration regarding his dream, and I said I would have a word with my son Jim, (yes there is two of us) for his advice. He is lecturer in audiovisual communication at Wolverhampton University so I knew any advice from him would be sound.

All Tommy wanted was advice about the true cost and feasibility of getting a site off the ground. It was a Saturday morning so Jan (my wife) and I went out shopping and I thought no more about it. Later on our return I checked my emails, and there was one from my son telling me to click on a link he had put there. Boy was I surprised, there it was, cuckooites,org. ready to be used. Of course I emailed the link to Tommy and he was over the moon as was I.

The word soon spread about the site, and yes there was a lot of learning to do. It was frustrating at times but in the very early days my son did give some advice. Then one day he said, "right now you lot are on your own." He knew if we kept turning to him every time we got in trouble we, or should I say Tommy, would never learn.

So that is how Cuckooites got started, when Tom hit a problem we along with other founder members put our heads together and got through it somehow. I will not try to name the people that helped Tommy then, and the new folk that have come along and helped since, because I am sure to leave someone out. From the beginning as you know Tommy has been the Editor, and indeed is the owner of this site and by and large it runs pretty well. It does need some tweaking, I, E, for me there was too many headings this month and it was a pain to keep trawling through that amount of stuff. But that is neither here or there, those things get sorted in time. But there is one thing we all need to address.

Sorry Tom but this site is your legacy to a lot of people. Heaven forbid but if anything were to happen to you this site would fold unless consideration is given to it. I am not promoting this thought but something like Tom appointing two or three moderators that could help to keep everything running smooth. They could talk amongst themselves privately off of this site, and then when they are ready publish it for general commenting.

Finally most of us are getting on a bit, and if we are not careful as we all gradually drift away up yonder, there might only be Johnb left talking to Tags. Whatever the age of people living on the Cuckoo now they are Cuckooites. If we could attract some of them, a new generation would learn about our time on the estate, and us about their time. But that is easier said than done. Finally please feel free to make suggestions, because at the end of the day Cuckooites is each and ever one of us, and Tommy can't guide us down a road unless we let it be known what road we want him to take.

Jim Davis A proud Father sent this in.

Recently I was talking to my son Jim,and he pointed out that he was a Cuckooite having lived on the estate in the first year of his life, and he was also born in Perivale Maternity Hospital. This was something I had overlooked. Anyway I thought some folks might like to see how he looks today, it is funny though I still look on him as my Kid, and I have to stop myself sometimes when I go to talk to him as if he is still a Child. When you think of his humble background, it is no mean feat what he has accomplished in his lifetime so far. I am sure some of the thing I learned whilst growing up on the cuckoo must have rubbed off on him. I hope it has been a help,and I like to think it has.

What is a Cuckooite

Written by Tags,



At first I was going to decline Tommy's request, I thought that it was a tall order and much more suited to someone with better writing talents than mine, such as Del Southon, or Jim Davis.

You see Tommy had asked me if I would like to write an article on

"What is a Cuckooite?".

I thought about it for a while, took another swig of scotch and hit the keyboards as my first thoughts, mixed with the scotch started to run through my head and warm the cockles of my heart.

Technically the first Cuckooites were my parent's generation, I am the youngest of about eleven kids, I say about eleven because that is what my Mum always said. 

You see she was never quite sure how many kids she had, and when she was talking to us she always ran through a list of our Christian names before getting to the right one.

My parents were survivors of two world wars, like many other families, they moved to the Cuckoo Estate in the late 1930's, just before WWII started.

For them, moving to the Estate was an unimaginable dream come true.

Families came from poorer, overcrowded, run down accommodations from all over London. Their brand new council houses on The Cuckoo Estate, were full of the all the modern conveniences such as running water, electric lights instead of gas lighting, four fireplaces, and an inside flushable toilet and bathroom. A living room, a scullery, and a Sunday Best Room. Ours was a three bedroom house, actually two medium sized bedrooms and a small room called the box room upstairs.

We had a nice front and back garden, in which we could grow vegetables, raise chickens or grow flowers and hang out the washing to dry or keep rabbits.

When the war broke out, Anderson Shelters were installed in all the back gardens which provided the families with shelter from Hitler's horrific V-Bombs.

Well there is a lot more facts and history to all of this but we'll save that for another time.

The Estate was built on some land that was part of the Central London District School for Poor Law Children. Charlie Chaplin, possibly the first Cuckooite, was a pupil there and the old school became known as the Old Cuckoo Schools or to us "The Cucks".

It is now known as The Hanwell Community Center.

However none of this really answers Tommy's question…"What is a Cuckooite?".

The term Cuckooite, I believe, was originally conjured up between Tommy our editor and Ethel Damian, or Effo as we know her. Apparently, Cuckooites, is what Eff's father affectionately called his neighbours on the Estate.

We all had a great place to grow up and when the war was over, we had so much fun playing in the nearby Castlebar Fields, The Old Cuckoo Schools and it's dungeons, The Bunny or Monkey Park and Churchfields, up Horsenden Hill and fishing for golf balls in the River Brent.  Cuckoo Avenue, where I lived, had two rows of majestic Horse Chestnut trees that would get full of blossom and conkers galore.

Returning to the question "What is a Cuckooite?", well you could say a Cuckooite is anyone who lived on or even near the Estate. Or the descendents or relatives of anyone that lived on the Estate. You could also say that a Cuckooite is someone who would always help their neighbour. Even if was just to loan them a cup of sugar or a pint of milk when they ran short.

You could say that a Cuckooite watched out for his neighbour and his neighbour's children. You could also say that a Cuckooite always looks on the bright side of life and appreciated how lucky they were to have a nice roof over their heads.

You could say that a Cuckooite was someone like Dr.Lasnick who would brave all kinds of weather to go out and care for his beloved patients on the Estate if they were sick.

Another way would be to describe their great sense of humour and common sense.

Or the hardworking way they managed to raise their families on a few shillings a week and kept them well fed and clothed.

Self sacrifice was foremost in our parents nature, they really knew what hard times were.

Their wonderful spirit and kindess to each other was essential if they were to overcome the perils and destruction of WWII.

These values have been passed down to us, almost like DNA they are in our genetic make up. This torch which we now carry and it's flame should never dim, but shine brightly and these same values passed on to your grandchildren too.

Cuckooite's also know how to enjoy themselves, simply and honestly, each year they travel from the four corners of the Earth to meet up for a good old fashioned knees-up in a hall near the Estate. It may sound like a strange ritual, but it's certainly not one to be missed, talented Cuckooites such as Sheila Bransfield and Mr.Finucane, the man with the golden voice, will sing their hearts out as well as dance to Roll Out The Barrel, Knees Up Muvver Brown, and other old favourites.

So "What is a Cuckooite?" certainly they are all of the above and more, if you have your own special definition of a Cuckooite….let's all hear it we'd love to know how proud you are to be one too.

Cheers everyone.


Fw: Visitors Page.Sign in


Hi Everyone,
New feature we are trying.Every week we average around 1500 visitors to our website.It would be nice to know who is visiting.We are asking that you sign yourself into this page and leave a short comment about any thing at all.I will do a sample sign in to get us started.Please give it a try.


Tommy Higginbottom said...

Tommy Higginbottom,Seattle ,Wash,
U. S. A .Just love this site.

Derek Durbin said...

Derek Durbin,Perth ,Australia.I really enjoy reading the comments and seeing the old photo's from the past.

georgek said...

George Key,Haverhill Suffolk England.Cant wait to see you all at the reunion.

grace said...

Grace Redding [bolton] love the site looking forward to meeting old friends in sept living in Buckinghamshire

Anonymous said...

Eileen Venney (Connors) Chandlers Ford Eastleigh, Hampshire.
We'll meet again,dont know where,dont know when.!!

But we do know when.
26th September 2009,
Perivale Community Centre
See You There...

Maureen S said...

Maureen Sullivan.
Basingstoke,New to the site I am facinated with the old memories,I keep coming back.

Del said...

Derek Durbin, good to hear from you. One of my old army mates lives in Perth, he enjoys telling me about the Libyan type weather you get there, talk about a wind up. Del.

Pam Lait said...

Pamela Lait Ipswich Suffolk,
Ex; Borders Road Cuckoo Estate.
Yes I am a regular watcher of the
site. Looking forward to the reunion and maybe finding
someone that I know ???

bob stevens said...

Bob Stevens, looks in every day and enjoys the reading and finding long lost people.

Anonymous said...

hi i visit the web site nearly every day i realy enjoy reading about what people are doing now most of dont live in hanwell when i talk to my children about my child hood they cant imangin living in a place like hanwell. there will never be place like the cuckoo esate. it is a great idea to do the web site.

Sue Boyce[Shelvey] Cuckoo Ave

edna.B said...

Edna Robinson(Bailey), Essex
Love visiting the site, stirs old memories. Cant wait to see every body in September.

Anonymous said...

Angela & Jim Wakenell,just making another social visit to the site.
We settled in this area since 1963.
Nobody in London(including us)had heard of St Neots then. It used to be Huntingdonshire but is now Cambridgeshire. We now live in Little Paxton. Are you none the wiser!

yvonneh said...

great site, computer been out of action, didnt know what to do with myself, back now and all is well again. Mind you it will take me days to catch up with everybody.
yvonne Phipp nee Holt Crawley Sussex

John Corsham said...

Great site Tommy every time I log in I see so many new names ,I must have known many of them but putting names to faces after so long is a bit tricky . Best wishes to all.

John Corsham

yvonneh said...

ah! well John, its because some of us have grown, on account of nobody raiding their larder and eating their tea. Plus all the cakes my mum made. Thats why you cant recognise us,

Lynn Smith said...

Lynn Smith and Flo Boyce. We visit the site a couple of times a week just to see what everyone is up to. Now living in Colchester Essex. Looking forward to the reunion.

george&Joan said...

Hi Lynn/Flo,hope to see you at the reunion

Anonymous said...

Know that JD mentioned the site where you can see the London streets as they are now. Jim & I went onto the site yesterday.The road he lived in in Paddington had long gone. I lived in Tunis road,Shepherds Bush & although most of it was pretty well spruced up,brought back many memories.Jim went onto Westcot,they had lived at no.36. Of course it was again very different but the old oak tree that had been in the Kings back garden & we could see that!
We then went on to Brants Walk. I know several of you lived there as well.They have got posh front doors on the flats now.Lastly we went on to Ruislip Road East.Certainly recognised the houses,but the numbers that came up didn't tally.Really enjoyed looking back. Think it's a great idea for those of us that are away from home.Yes, we still call it home Tommy.
Regards to all Jim & Angela Wakenell

Anonymous said...

lived on the estaste for 44yrs how do i join.

jim davis said...

Anonymouse just by coming to the site as far as we are concerned you are a member, and you can make comments etc. But if You want a Post or/ and Photos put on the site you will do that by sendig the post to the Editor who is Tommy Higginbottom. If you scroll down the right hand side of this page you will see where it says contact the editor, click on that. You have found and used the comments page, but it would be nice if you would sign you name (it is safe to do so) that way we will know who we are talking to. The way you leave your name is. After you have made the comment just below that you can see writing and buttons. The only one you want is where it says NAME/URL click on the little button on the left so it is highlighted . Then in the box enter your name, then press the orange box. That is all you do, but if you want before pressing the orange if you click on the blue button you can see a preview and edit you comments first. Then if you are happy publish them.

Anonymous said...

though lived on the estate for 44yrs my mum moved here in 1937 and i live in the sam house she did

Editor. said...

Hi Anonymous,you seem like you have a lot to share tell us who you are,it is hard to communicate with someone who we do not know their name.We welcome you to our group share with us more of your family and where you live on the estate .