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 Memories of Wheathampstead.

by Doug McPherson

In May of this year (2009) I will be making a pilgrimage to the UK from South Africa I used to live in Wheathampstead and schooled there. I lived there from approx 1940 to 1960.  I am 70 years old now.  Here are some of my memories.

The houses I lived in

49 Marford Rd, 49 Conquers Hill. 25 Ceasars Road. Necton Rd with the Village Blacksmith Westwood. and lastly Necton Road again with Jordon's.

The War

The infant school did not go into the air raid shelters as the seniors, and it was said that the senior pupils would realize what was happening, but the infants it was just a game when Moaning Winnie went off ( War Siren) and I can remember seeing a couple of Dog Fights that is Fighter planes in battle.  Kids were at the windows although shuttered going Ag Ag Bang Bang at the planes. We also used to collect foil going to and from school this had been dropped for I believe radar influence or some such thing, We were told not to touch as it was poisonous??  There was also a big street party for the end of the war.  If I remember correctly the man himself (Winston Churchill) came along Marford Road from Hatfield direction. Cigar and big hat the whole trip going to I don't know but the flags and the Bunting were out in force.  Also a plane was shot down??  (but may be a Urban Legend)  You could also see a red glow at night from London (Blitzed) and on occasions from Luton from a bomb or two.

School friends and teachers

Head master Mr. J Housedon High school and head mistress infant school Miss Warren - this would have been from the 1940s to the 1950s.

Friends at school that I remember

Coates -De morney Davies - Fullers -Ellis - Dunham - Stannard - Rowe - Eastward - Spragg - Cowan - Cobb - Holloway -Barns - Jordons -Cunningham -Greys - Wrights - Wiseman - Daniels. Brandon - Humphrey -Seymours- Tillets.  Might remember more later.

Wheathampstead School Athletic Side - 1949 to 1951?
(Mr Griffith?), Brandon, Humphrey, McPherson, Cobb, (Mr Thrussel?)
Wright, Wiseman, Stanard, Ellis, Ellis, ?, Daniels. (names also here)

Village people

I used to be in the village choir.  Worked as a butchers boy or the village butcher Bob Simmons.  My bicycle was knocked down out side the main store I think it was a Co Op by a chauffeur driven car with George Bernard Shaw inside.  I was able to get a new replacement wheel.  He used to live at Ayot St Lawrence.  Station master used to play the church organ?  Village bobby used to ride bikes?


The Lord Nelson, The Red Cow, The Walnut Tree, The Swan, The Rose and Crown, The Bull, The Railway. The Maltings (private club?)


Marford Store run by the Oldfields, Antiques Collins Top of village Bread shop a Shoe shop the Cunnington's electrical. Chennels milk shop? Roes the Green Grocers Fish Chip Shop, Bank, Clothes and wool Shop, Cafe with Juke Box Petrol Pump( hand pump.) Co Op Paper shop Post office Bill Woodly Grocers. The Mill Tittmus. Simmons the butcher and another Bakers.  Blacksmith Westwood.  Murphy Chemical Company - my father worked there. His name is also on the War Memorial.2nd world war casualty.  Working Mans Club, Youth Club, Fire Station with siren for Air Raids.

Doug McPherson   email  -    

March 2009

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