Visitors e-mails 2013


With only three contributers to the "Visitors e-mails" page last year,
I am putting out a request.

If you have any memories of Walthamstow, Leyton or Chingford.
please share them with my other visitors by emailing them to me.

Thanks for visiting the email pages.



From Brian Williams................................South Australia.....................16th April 2013

Hi Richard,
Although I now live in South Australia and have done so for the last 40 odd years, I still have to go back to `old Walthamstow` when holidaying in the UK, even though I lived in Walthamstow for only four years.
Before that we lived just over the border in Leyton. However,the years I lived in Walthamstow and attended William Mc Guffie school in Greenleaf Road, was the most memorable of my childhood.
The friends I made at that school remained so even after leaving school. Does anyone `out there` recall Ken Lewis, Ken Catlin, Charlie Knight and his sister Coral (their mother & father had the cafe on the corner of Byron Road & Hoe St.) Joyce White, Janet Peters, Janet Parker, Jean Morley & Mick Denton, who incidentally, I discovered lives also in Australia.We have managed to meet up & had lunch with lots of reminisces!

I lived awhile in the no longer Working Man`s Club in Hoe St. just along from the `Bell` pub.
The club has now gone and the cinema is a snooker hall. I also lived in the other club in Hoe St. on the corner of Tower Hamlets Rd. eventually seeing out the rest of my teenage years at Orford House. My mother and father being Steward & Stewardess. Many an hour after school I would spend having `a roll up` on one of the several bowling greens at the rear of the Orford House Social Club. I recall the Hon. Sec.was Bill MacManus .

We would get our bread etc. from Scotts news papers and from Desbourghs. Both these shops still carry those same signs on their shop fronts! My mother would get her main shopping either from the High St. market or the Co-Op on the corner Orford Rd. and Hoe St. where she also got her `divi`.
My after school job was as a delivery boy for the small grocer/off license along from the pub. The owner of the store was Mr. Bristow. I would deliver beer wine and spirits, plus groceries on a heavy old push bike with a large wicker basket on the front. With some orders having to be delivered as far away as Chingford near the reservoirs come rain or shine, and of course in the winter months in the dark. How I never came to grief pushing that bike along the North Circular Rd. I will never know!
I recall having my tonsils removed in Connaught Hospital in Orford Road (this was the old Walthamstow Town Hall and is now sheltered housing. Richard) when I was 18. Being a patient there was not too bad as my mother would `pop in ` from just across the road from Orford House` . By this time I was a Merchant Seaman.
As I will be making another but possible my last pilgrimage to the old town this coming summer (trusting there is one !) another stroll down `memory lane` is on the cards for sure.

Best regards........Brian Williams.


From Linda Hall.................................Vancouver, Canada.....................13th January 2013


Hi Richard,

I have been meaning to write to you since finding your site last year. I would hate it to shut down for lack of memories so here are a few of mine.
My name is Linda Hall formerly Wiley and I now reside in Vancouver, Canada.

I used to live in Beulah Road in Westcotts Laundry where my Mum Win Wiley managed the laundry. In the tiny little accommodation above and behind there resided my Brother Anthony (known as Tony in later years) my Dad, Nan and Granddad. There was an outside loo and a tin bath hanging on the outside wall that was bought into the the scullery for "bath night" once a week. I was born in 1947 and my Brother in 1944. We both went to Maynard Road infant school and then Junior. Our secondary modern school was Joseph Barret later to become Warwick Road with the Girls having their own school built down the road. My brother left Joseph Barret and went on to Tom Hood Technical College. As a teenager I used to go to The Mambo Youth Club that was held in Maynard Road Junior school Hall.

On our side of Beulah Road there was Horsey's the Butchers, a wool shop, a sweet shop, a second hand stall where the Friers lived and then the laundry. Further down there was a removal company where a friend of mine named Edna lived and then there was a grocery store where they used to pat 2 ounces of butter together behind a pale green shield. That is as far as I can remember on our side. Opposite us there was Cundys the Greengrocers and a sweetshop. Way further down there was a barbers and a chemist and a few other shops but can't think now what they were.

After school every afternoon I was sent round to Scotts the Bakers in Orford Road for a small tin loaf or a large one depending on the circumstances, either way by the time I got home I had picked and eaten the end off. It smelled so good I couldn't resist. There was a big fish shop almost adjacent, then my mind goes blank until Isons the Oil Shop where we got our paraffin from and anything else you may need. It was like Alladins cave. Cross Eden Road and you came to the Post Office, Button Factory The Connaught Cafe, where I spent my teenage years drinking coke and sharing one cigarette between two people. There was the TA training centre on the corner of Orford/Beulah. Opposite side of Orford Road was the Connaught Hospital and further down there was a house that did Ballet, Tap, Singing lessons and Piano. I did the Ballet and Tap but for the life of me can't remember what it was called. There was the Greengrocer who used to stand outside his shop and say Good Morning to everybody, wearing a lovely clean white apron.
There was a sweet shop whose owners emigrated to Australia. I think their Daughter's name was Linda. As I read this I realize how many blanks there are. Of course I am forgetting the Queens head pub on the corner.

My Husband and I along with our kids emigrated to Canada in 1982 but go back every year as we still have lots family and so we have seen many changes through the years. In 2011 I did a memory lane walk around Old Walthamstow. The laundry is still there albeit under a different name. Scotts Bakery is still there, again under a different name. Isons name is still above the shop but that is about it. It was a really sad walk as I knew that I would never be back in Walthamstow. We shall still visit England but not Walthamstow, at least not yet. My Mum aged 100 years and a few months had just died a very peaceful death in Whipps Cross so we decided to walk back to her flat in Church Hill which took us around 'my' Walthamstow. Although it is nothing like the Walthamstow of old, if I just stood still and listened I could picture that I was a 10 year old again.

When I was 15 we moved to Tenby Court on Blackhorse Road. It was a newly built place and my parents had been on the Council list for years. They had turned down Basildon, Billericay and Canvey Island because of me and my brother starting work. I didn't much fancy moving from the posh end of the High Street to the bottom but hey, it had a bathroom, I had my own bedroom (not one that was split by a partition by Dad's fair hand) and the biggest lounge we had ever seen. I must confess at the time I did like the flat but all my friends were up top of High Street. I got married from there in 1967 and then moved up to Greenleaf Road where I felt more at home. I remember the days of paying the bills at Electric House and all the stuff they had in their showroom. In later years when Electric House closed they made it into Warden Controlled Flats and Mum and Dad moved into one in the '80's after we had emigrated. They had some good years there and that is where Mum was living when she became ill, still cooking for herself at 100years. They kept the name as Electric House and it always felt strange writing that as their address.

All the pubs are mostly gone now, well any that hold memories. As kids me and my brother used to play in the gardens of the Chesnuts, also sat outside the Castle and the Nags Head. The Essex Arms was where we held our wedding reception. The publican names are May and Nobby they had a son called Brian who opened his own pub in Hainault. I met my Husband in the Bell Pub, that is still alive and well although seeing as it was 40 odd years ago I don't know what it is like now.

Well Richard that is all my memories for now, but at my age memories come and go, so if anymore come I will be sure to add them.

Kind regards
Linda Hall nee Wiley



From Margaret Roberts.................................Hornchurch.....................12th January 2013

Hi Richard
Having visited Walthamstow recently where both my husband and myself grew up, visited the market ( boy how that has changed) indulged in pie & mash at Manze’s which was still the same with the wedge of mash on the side of the plate. Now on reflection trying to recall other landmarks such as Strutt’s sweet shop in Markhouse Rd and what was offered in his famous Strutt’s mix. We recall the stickjaw, clove, peppermint rock, coconut ice but if anyone can provide a complete list would very much appreciate.
Finally, the Sasperella man at the Hoe Street end of the market used to call out ............. anyone know?


Margaret Roberts (nee Hammond)