Carpenders Park

'St Meryls' Estate

By Arthur Hall

Most of my memories of Carpenders Park, Oxhey, and Bushey are for the period between 1940 and 1954. I witnessed the areas development from countryside to urban expansion. Oxhey Woods, Blackwell Estate, Oxhey Golf Course, Watford Heath, Bushey Outdoor Swimming Pool, The 5 fields from Merry Hill Lane to the Style at the top of Carpenders Ave, Oxhey Lane.

Searchlights on Oxhey Golf Course

These areas we patronised as being part of our recreation. We experienced the war period, the Army occupied ‘Highfields’ there were ‘Searchlights’ placed on Oxhey golf course, and a bomb dropped in a field opposite our house leaving a crater which filled with water and became a home for tadpoles, frogs, & newts. It was finally filled in and St Meryl School was built on the site.

I have added a further photo of Carpenders Avenue looking towards the style in Oxhey Lane. This photo was taken from our front garden no 49, and shows you the houses with their windows open, also note that we did not have street lights, and a rare sight seeing a car outside bungalow No. 26, no doubt belonging to Dr Leeslow, who would have been entitled to petrol. All other transport was mainly horse drawn. Occasionally we would see a military vehicle from ‘Highfields’ going towards the shops.  

This page was added on 17/03/2011.

Add your comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.

  • Hello – I am looking for information on the history of the Oxhey area from the early 1900s up to the 1960s/70s. My great grandparents lived on Little Oxhey Lane when they were first married and their address thereafter was 4 Woodland Cottage, Oxhey Lane (up until the later 60s/early 70s). My great grandfather worked as a gardener for Miss Willis at Highfield (Carpenders?) in the 1920s and I would be very interested in any information or photos of the cottage or his workplace. Many thanks

    By Phillipa Weston (08/01/2022)
  • Hi, ive been researching the history of Carpenders park for some years and would be happy to assist

    By Neil Hamilton (20/01/2022)
  • Would walk to and from Grimsdyke Primary School in Sylvia Avenue,Hatch End.Lived at 110,St George’s Drive Carpenders Park,during the war.Was across fields with other children and mothers.When older,went by train to Hatch End.

    By Ray Levitt (25/10/2020)
  • Roger Heudebourck Thank you for your comment. Highfields Farm at the back of your Bungalow was our playground. We were friends with Brian and Jean Hughes, who lived in Highfields Cottage, and Jean and Hetty Morgan who lived in “Bothy Cottage” also your next door neighbour Rex Gower together with Michael Kirby, who lived opposite at No.33. The fields in Carpenders Avenue, together with the Farms, have now gone, time moving on ! .

    By Arthur Hall (14/08/2020)
  • I did live at no. 30 Carpenders Avenue until 1966 & my Father had a motor bike which he rode to a company called Press Caps in Park Royal, the police used to park-up along Oxhey Lane to try and catch him they kept it up until they watched him enter the works gate in Park Royal, he thought he was in for a fine but all they were interested in was his motor bile.

    By Heudebourck (12/08/2020)
  • Roger Heudebourck – I have a picture of where the surgery was situated, showing where you described it. May I please enquire, did you live at No.30 Carpenders Avenue, next to Kitty & Shirley Welton, & did your Father have a Motor Bike ? .
    We lived almost opposite, at No.49.

    By Arthur Hall (21/01/2019)
  • With regard to Dr Leeslow’s surgery, you are correct it was up from Bushey Station on the left hand side about mid-way from the railway bridge & the traffic lights, on what I would call the main road from Watford to Bushey.

    By Roger Heudebourck (28/11/2018)
  • Born in King Street Watford in 1939 and living in Greenfield Avenue during the war and for three or four years after, your pages bring so many memories, and I too witnessed the areas development. Greenfield Avenue being on a hill, we children would share our tricycles between us all and take turns riding up to the tree and back, the tree being a tall pine tree on the top of the hill
    Toys were hard to get and my mother lined up for ages in Watford market to buy me a toy. I think she and the other mums also bought stockings there.
    As a child the days always seemed sunny but at night whilst my mother would try and sleep I would tell her if I heard planes coming over never realising what they were. I don’t remember having any shelter to go in. My father was away in the Army and we often went to stay the night with my Aunt in St George’s Drive where we would huddle under her table for protection. I remember hearing the air raid sirens but not sure where they were, and seeing search lights. I also remember standing on my Aunts back door step with my family and watching the night sky as London was burning. That has never left me.
    Our gardens in Greenfield Avenue had “ chaff” dropped onto them during the war and as children we would gather up the silver foil and make paper chains for Christmas with it.
    My grandparents were pushing me in my pushchair along Old Redding when a small plane went over, the pilot leaned out and shouted for us to get down. My grandparents jumped into a ditch at the side of the road together with me in my pushchair and a doodle bug went over us.
    At the top of Greenfield Avenue there is a turning off, it might have been a cul-de-sac at the time and we had a street tea party for all the children to celebrate V.E Day. Such excitement for us all. I
    also went to one in the next turning over from St George’s Drive.
    I went to school in Hatch End, St Meryl not having been built at that time, and my mother joined other mums walking up St. George’s Drive and over the fields with cows in to Hatch End and back every day. When I think back the war was on at the time. As I got a little older I went by myself on what was then a steam train. As children we got to know the Railway Porter at Carpenders Park well enough to say hello and chat to each day and we were all very sad when he had an accident.
    Dr Leeslow was our Doctor as well, and would come to visit us if we were sick. Did Dr Leeslow have a Surgery in Bushey just up from the station? We had a Mrs Green, Mrs White and a Mrs Brown living near us, and a Mrs Cox used to make ice lolllies for us children which was a real treat.. we seemed to be so free to go out and play in the fields and woods there, not like things are nowadays, though I don’t think we got so much local news then.
    I remember Mr Absolem and going with my mum to Braziers to get food. Always very friendly and to my young mind the passageway and hatches were very big and solid as we walked into the building. The family delivered our milk and really were a very big part in most of the lives of those who lived in the area.Looking back I realise what a community spirit there was then in such difficult times and it seems to continue today.

    By Valerie Bennett (16/01/2018)