First Memories

Moving in and on

By John Swain (aged 9yrs 1 month)

February 28th 1953


Our first day on the estate, moving into the Police House at 314 Hayling Road. A cold but dry day and happy memories of that initial encounter with the Oxavians: inquisitive neighbours, marvellous woods and playing fields, and a wander up Hayling Road to the new shops in Hallowes Crescent.

Well done John

The next day: into Little Furze JMI School and meeting up with the charismatic Leo Magin, class teacher of B1. Brilliant! Four terms later and progression to Watford Boys’ Grammar School. In July 1954, a close neighbour, Mrs Potter, said to me:- “Well done, John, on passing your scholarship to WBGS. Good Luck! You’re going to need it!”

This page was added on 07/05/2010.

Add your comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.

  • I also grew up in South Oxhey 1950 till 1969 when I married and moved away we first lived in Bramshot Way then in 1954 moved to Fulford Grove I would love to hear from any one who knows any thing about the plane crash over the golf course in about 1956 ish or even has a photophoto.

    By John Smith (16/09/2018)
  • I grew up in South Oxhey from the tender age of 2 years old (c1951), I am now 62. My parents (who had been in the London blitz) had decided they would like their children, 4 living and one dead soon after birth, to have the ‘fresh air and country life’, they paid the penalty of having to catch buses and trains in order to continue working. We lived in Prestwick Rd. South Oxhey in a Council House. My mum did work on Carpenders Park station kiosk for a while also. We had the benefit of living opposite the bus terminus. Myself and siblings loved going ‘up the woods’ to pick Bluebells which we carried back in armfuls to our mum, we also went ‘cob-nutting’ and blackberrying, I did love to ride my pony (thanks to my maternal grandad) through the bracken decked woods, I remember ‘Pretty Corner’ with wonderful rhododendrons, also the ‘Wooden Bygones”, down ‘the golf course’ (Hayling Rd area) which at that time in the early 60’s was a disused golf course. I remember anxiously waiting for the 285 A or B bus that would take me home from shopping trips to Watford, and not turn off at Hayling Road!!. I remember my younger brother and others used to play a type of “Tarzan” over the ‘swamp’ areas in the local woods. My sister’s wedding reception was held at “The Pheasant” quite a new venue at the time..Yes, many happy memories do I hold of those times. On our local green outside 285 Prestwick Road we spent many a happy hour in the twilight hours of summer playing all sorts of childhood games. The green in front of our home provided so much fun, when the grass was cut we made forts to defend from the ‘enemy’ among so many other fun games. I remember Brazier’s Dairy and Burt from Braziers Dairy who delivered our milk and sometimes biscuits… The cinder path which I crossed to attend school, my sister went to Greenfields, I and my younger brother attended Woodhall Lane Primary and later St Josephs Primary school and also attended Hampden Secondary School. I am very grateful for my life in South Oxhey and to my now passed on parents. A grocery bus used to provide all sorts of essential items before the local shops were built and I remember myself and grandmother shopping for items on the grocery bus! Later local shops were built, I remember in particular Hinkins for groceries where we could purchase tins of broken biscuits quite cheaply, I remember the building of “The Grapevine” pub and for a while my parents worked there also. I remember the old library in Oxhey Lane, the floorboards used to creek and groan. I now live in Australia but my childhood spent in South Oxhey will always remain with me..There was an annual parade which came up Prestwick Road, I am not sure of it’s purpose but was always afraid of the sound of drums in the distance, would love to know what it was in aid of?? Could write so much more…

    By Cheryl (24/10/2011)
  • Our family moved into 57 Blairhead Drive on 5th May 1951 when I was 2 and a half! It was the girl next doors 2nd birthday that day. In August 1953 my youngest sister was born in the house. I have memories of playing skipping with the other children in the road, my mum and a neighbour would stand on opposite pavements turning the rope and we would all be in the road skipping. There weren’t any cars in our road then so it was quite safe!

    By Janet Hudnott (04/02/2011)