Hallowes Crescent

parade of shops

By Nigel Cox

Hallows Crescent
Copyright Nigel Cox, courtesy of Geograph

The shops served the west end of the post-war South Oxhey housing development. The photo is looking eastwards down Hayling Road.

Images courtesy of the website Geograph

This page was added on 12/01/2011.

Comments about this page

  • I should apologise for getting the number of the bus wrong – it was of course the 346b that ran the shuttle service between Hallowes Crescent and Heysham Drive during the ‘rush hour’. Please excuse the slip of memory, but it was a very long time ago!

    By John Stevenson (29/08/2012)
  • I simply cannot let that comment on Rangers and Celtic go without a suitable response! I contributed a lengthy chapter in David Reidy’s book on “The Irish in South Oxhey 1947-2011″ and approximately 12 years of my life were spent in the Republic of Ireland, which became a second home for me since 1964, when I made the first of many visits to the country and became a full-time resident in New Ross, County Wexford from May 1997 until July 2008. By contrast, I have only visited the North on one occasion, when travelling back to the UK from a week’s holiday in County Donegal in July 1993. I recall that a Scots Presbyterian, staying in the same B&B Letterkenny, advised me to remove an Irish tricolour sticker from the windscreen of my car before driving through Cos. Derry and Antrim to the ferry at Larne!! I’m sure ye are correct about those early bus routes, but allow me to quote from Reidy’s tome, page 206..”From 5th March 1952 two new services commenced: the 346 between Kingswood and Hayling Road and the 346A between Kingswood and Ormskirk Road. A new route (346B) started on 7th January 1953 to provide a feeder service for Carpenders Park Station. It ran between Hallowes Crescent and Little Oxhey Lane (Ormskirk Road) via Hayling Road and Prestwick Road, Mondays to Fridays peak hours only”. Incidentally, I’m still in touch with Pat & Les Newton, who are also close friends of my brother, Peter. They were married in the RC Church in Bushey over 50 years ago and are still reasonably active in their mid- to late- 70s. Details on how to obtain a copy of David’s book can be found elsewhere on this excellent website. Go raibh mile maith agat, Sean MacStiofan, agus go dte tu slan. Is mise le meas, Sean Og MacSuibhne (Ros Mhic Thriuin, Chontae Loch Garman, An Poblacht na hEireann 1997-2008). Go n-eiri an bhothar leat!!

    By John Swain (29/08/2012)
  • John, your father must have been Sergeant Swain, who lived at the top of Hayling Road. Our family lived at 321, on the junction of Dumfries Close. In the early 1960s I started at Finchley Grammar School, and set out at 7.15 am each morning on the 346a bus to Carpender’s Park Station, sitting opposite your sister, who was a WPC in the Met, (later promoted sergeant). I never learned her name – we were but fellow travellers. We chatted about everything and nothing, but I always felt I had a ‘friend on the bus’ to help me start the day, come rain, snow or shine. I also remember the fire in the chip shop in Hallowes Crescent, which caused a fatality, and that was my first experience of a funeral.

    By John Stevenson (28/08/2012)
  • Well, John Stevenson, as I don’t have a sister, I wonder if you are thinking of WPC Pat Rogers, also of Irish heritage, who lived in Hayling Road before her marriage to PC Les Newton in Bushey? The bus ye caught over 50 years ago was surely the 346, not the 346A, which went to other end of the estate (Heysham Drive). Please consult David Reidy’s detailed text on the history of South Oxhey, “Poor but Proud”, which was published earlier this summer. Finally, if you are a member of the Stevenson Clan I’m thinking of, did I see ye at Vicarage Road in April 1958, when England beat the Republic of Ireland Under-15s 3-0, and you were one of the few sporting a green rosette? Being a life-long fan of cricket and international rugby, that was my one and only visit to the Watford FC ground! Thanks for prompting some memories and I trust ye will forgive the corrections!! Best wishes, John.

    By John Swain (28/08/2012)
  • John, thank you for your ‘corrections’. I just assumed the WPC was Sergeant Swain’s daughter, and I was only 12 years old at the time. Don’t want to appear pedantic, but I spent three years setting out to school at 7.15am on the 346a bus. I know it turned right at the end of Hayling Road, and stopped at Carpender’s Park Station on it’s route to the final destination to Heysham Drive. Anyway, I presume from the tone of your response that you are Rangers and I am Celtic, so goodbye and good luck.

    By John Stevenson (28/08/2012)
  • How different it all looks now, as I can remember visiting the shopping precinct for the first time in late February 1953, only a few weeks after it opened. We had just moved into the Police House, 314 Hayling Road, so Hallowes Crescent soon became our main shopping centre for the daily necessities. Kelly’s Directory for the period lists the shops as follows, in reverse numerical order, looking east down the prevailing slope as depicted in the photograph:- 24. Harry Brown, fishmonger; 22. Gerrards (Fruiterers) Ltd; 20. Peark’s Dairies Ltd, provision merchants; 18. Gill, baker; 16. Kingstons, butchers; 14. Forbuoys (EH Holmes), newsagents; 12. Leiper George, chemist; 10. Mace Stanley G., hardware and domestic store. After a serious fire in 1953, the fishmongers moved out and was eventually replaced by Ernest Price’s wool store. By 1956, Gill’s had been replaced by Fred Roberts as the local baker, and a sub-post office had been added to Mace’s, but all the other outlets remained in place. Four years later, Kingston’s butchers had become Tolly (Oxhey) Ltd, butchers, the purveyors of finest meat! D.Haywood was now listed as the baker at No.18 and there was no mention of a shop at the ill-fated No.24. The names may have changed in the half century since the above listing in Kelly’s Watford Directory, but the row of shops with the distinctive profile has continued to fulfil the daily requirements of the local inhabitants at the west end of the housing estate.

    By John Swain (11/02/2011)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *