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Brookmans Park in the 1950s

By Mary Morgan

Photograph of the house Mary Morgan lived in on Bluebridge Road, Brookmans Park. Image from the Brookmans Park Newsletter
Mary Morgan's house on Bluebridge Road, Brookmans Park
Image from the Brookmans Park Newsletter

My parents moved to Brookmans Park in 1949 (having lived for a year or so before that in Hawkshead Lane), and I lived in Bluebridge Road, in the house immediately behind the lamppost in the photograph above - the first of the pair of ones made to look old.

I too went to the school, and remember the ones you mention, plus Mr Thomas and Mr and Mrs Clifford. I also remember Doris the fish Stan Hart the butcher (they had to two shops that are now Alldays), Archie the sweetshop, his wife had the hairdressers next door, Tony Coombe the chemist, Perce at the station, Les Beechey the policeman, Dr Dwyer.

Before the school started having bonfires nights, Stan Hart used to arrange one round the back of his shop on the spare plot of land which is where Brian the mower's shop is now. Mrs Canham still ran Moffats Farm and Moffats Lane was a cart track.

The village green was full of rhododendron bushes, and the neat little wall was not there. The United Reform Church was then a Congregational Church and housed in more or less a nissan hut/prefab. Went to Sunday school and Brownie's there.

In the history section, Peter Kingsford tales about Brookmans Park in the 50s is exactly how it was. One if his son's John was in my class at school.

(Editor's Note: There is a chapter in Peter Kingsford's book, 'A Modern History of Brookmans Park 1700-1950', entitled 'People's War and People's Peace 1939- 1950', which covers events leading up to this period.)

We used to play in the woods where Chancellors now stands and Gobions as well, plus the woods between Brookmans Park and Water End.

Like a lot of people we bought a little black and white TV to watch the Coronation. Shortly after that the Queen came to Potters Bar (and I think the Vet College -but that may be a false memory) and I have a photo of her car in Darkes Lane.

I remember very nearly breaking my nose playing in the foundations of what is now Station Close, and I too remember Merrylegs in the field in the village. I use to ride the ponies that were kept in the fields behind our house and belonged to friends of my parents.

I remember going to a horse show/fete in the grounds of Hatfield House in 1957 that was opened jointly by the Queen Mother and Norman Wisdom. There was a terrific thunderstorm.

School camp at Cuffley in 1959, I seem to remember getting into to trouble at that - I think it was something to do with being in the boy's tent!! Still I left BP school that year.

I could go on for hours, but won't bore the rest of you. Happy Days.

By Mary Morgan 


  1. Thanks Mary, I loved reading your account.
    Having just discovered this wonderful website, I so enjoyed reading the childhood memories of Mary Morgan and Trevor Alcock. Thank you both and the others who have enriched me with their wonderful tales.

    We moved to Georges Wood Road in 1954. Bill the milkman was my hero, I would ride my bicycle around the front garden eagerly awaiting his arrival in his Tesla milk float.

  2. Thanks Mary for stimulating the brain cells. Very enjoyable, as is the whole website. I read Tracey Thorn's 'Another Planet' and thought it was a bit harsh on the area!
    To add to your memories Mary instead of Cuffley Camp there was Barton Broad Camp. I think if you could swim x yards in the newish school pool that was an option. MrThomas took a group and at the same time his brother led a group from his primary School in East Barnet, it could have been Brunswick Park. Miss Thomas (no relation) was our teacher in the final year. I sat in the coach to Norfolk on a plank of wood spanning the aisle as all the seats were full. I'm sure we had some shenanigans too!
    For the Coronation we went down our road, Bradmore Way, to Pam Stone's, before the school, to watch it.
    As for shops the newer ones on Bradmore Way included Hughes Electrical (David was in our class) and opposite a DIY shop, Mrs Burns in the toy shop and UK Tea Company a grocers to rival Rawlings and a butcher to rival Stan's who had a chicken rotisserie. My mum was very loyal to Stan Hart and also Mr Lewsley in the veg shop at the start of Bluebridge Ave (not Regent Fruit Stores) Mr. Saxby's ran the post office but that changed in the 60s to another owner. Archie Copeland (sweet shop) took me to see Barnet FC for many home matches at Underhill, and the secretary for Arsenal lived on Brookman's Avenue.
    Could go on for hours, as you say.

  3. Didn't mean to be anonymous with the above. George Wormald


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