Moving In Day

July 1948

By Susan Waller (nee Davidson)

'Cattle Arch'
Susan Waller (nee Davidson)
Aerial view of part of South Oxhey 1953
Home Counties Newspapers at Watford Library P10714
Our home in Woodhall Lane 1953
Home Counties Newspapers at Watford Library P10714

My earliest memory of South Oxhey was our ” Moving In Day” in July 1948. I was 4 years old, with a 6 month old sister and brothers of 14 and 18 years old.

‘Cattle Arch’

We had travelled from our old home in Morden, Surrey in the removal van.  Instead of driving down Little Oxhey Lane, the driver had chosen to go down Carpenders Avenue and come onto the estate through what was then called the ‘ Cattle Arch’. This was accessible in those days for cars to drive through but he had not thought about the height of the van, so the van became stuck!

My mother taking me and my sister started to walk the rest of the way and the van was removed from the arch and made its way to our new home in Woodhall Lane.

During the early days in Woodhall Lane the roads and pavements were not made up and were the cause of many grazed knees for the new local children.  The roads did not have any street lights and most of the street signs were attached to the houses.  As we had a corner house adjoinging ‘Kilmarnock Road’, my mother was paid  6d (old pence) a week to switch on a light at night, which the council had fixed high up onto the side of the house.  The switch for this was like an ordinary light switch placed on the landing at the top of the stairs.  It was there for many years before the new lamp posts were erected.

Kilmarnock Road started life as ‘Ashdown Road’ but had to be renamed because of the confusion it was causing with a street of a similar name in Bushey.  The roads on the new South Oxhey Estate were named after golf courses in various parts of the country.

The aerial view shows Woodhall Lane in the bottom right hand corner.  The enlargement show the house we moved into.  This view was taken in 1953 and shows the new garage errected by the council to the left of the house.


This page was added on 01/07/2010.

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  • Hi my name is Colin Butt I moved with Dad, mum and sister Judy in 1948. I went to school at Beecham Grove Oxhey Wood Woodhall and Hampden. Left schoolin 1960, good memories of people places things we used to do. I moved away in 1968 but mum and dad lived there . Dad died 1981 mum died in 2008. I live near Kingswood Watford. Forgot to say we lived at 2 Kilmarnock Road till 1963 we moved to 15 Hindhead Green. I will have to dig out some photos. There are some names on this site I remember, also lots of names not on this site. If any body remembers me I would like hear from them.

    By Colin Butt (21/10/2015)
  • Ray Pringle, we went to Woodhall school together, I lived at 122 Woodhall Lane.

    By Robert Pratt (05/10/2015)
  • Lived in Woodhall Lane, no 72 from 1966 to 91 . I never liked South Oxhey too many phony cockneys

    By ray pringle (01/10/2015)
  • We lived at 12 Caldwell Road with my gran Doris Gray in the 60’s. My memories are of all the fantastic open spaces for us to play in and bike races round the green in Caldwell Road. My cousins lived in Lundin Walk. It was such a great place to be a kid.

    By Nigel pates (09/08/2014)
  • Hi Richard, I also lived in Caldwell road number 20,do you remember the Simms family , my brothers are Barry and Keith Simms they are twins, my name is Jean. We often talk about our time there with happy memories.

    By Jean Hendy (11/04/2014)
  • Arthur’s comments about the arch and the footpath to Watford Heath remind me of the days of the bus strike. No no. 346E bus to Watford Technical High School, so we used our bikes to ride to and from school. As well as watching the steam trains, the blue Deltic was also popular.

    By Alan Morris (18/12/2011)
  • I have just read the comment by Richard Reidy. Richard are you the brother of Hazel Reidy who lived in Caldwell Road? We were great friends at school and I have often wondered what happened to her.

    By Valerie Rumble (23/10/2011)
  • Hi ! Susan, your picture of the ‘Cattle Arch’ refreshed my memory, we would use this route to go to Watford Heath from Alva way, we would turn right from the tunnel and walk through a copse to another cattle tunnel on your right, go back under the railway and follow a footpath which ran parallel to the railway past a cattle bridge on your left & onwards to Watford Heath where there was a ‘Tea Room’ & the ‘Stag’ pub. As boys we found watching the Steam Engines scoop water from the water troughs more interesting than the walk.

    By Arthur Hall (26/08/2011)
  • Hi Susan your article brings back memories as I lived at 47 Caldwell Road ,good times

    By Richard Reidy (20/03/2011)
  • Hi Sue ,glad to see website set up will post memory, shortly.

    By Sid Searle (12/12/2010)
  • Hi Susan – I read with interest your article your name is familiar to me and you must have been our neighbours – my family also moved in around that time and we lived at No.50 Woodhall Lane – I remember the cattle arch as we often used to walk through to Carpenders Pk.

    By Josephine Parsons (Nee Searle) (12/11/2010)