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Bit late to post this now but I hope you all enjoy just the same. I moved from Elstree Drive in Beechdale to Russell Road Forest Fields in the summer of 1961 ready to start at Forest Field Grammar School in the autumn. The Victorian terraces with outside toilets and cellars were quite a contrast to the 1930's semi I was used to in leafy Beechdale. I soon made friends and enjoyed living close to the Forest and Goose Fair. The most striking thing to me was the cobbled streets. I was very nervous about riding my bike over them but soon got used to it although my bum was sore for a while. It was a real bone shaking experience. What really astonished me though was on Bonfire Night I witnessed a bonfire at the top of Russell Road that was set alight in the middle of the street!! I was informed this was the tradition in the locality but to me I had never seen anything like it before. The cobbles seem to withstand the heat of the bonfire with no problem and I think the locals just swept up the ash the following morning. I recall this practice went on for a few years before the council tarmaced all the streets and roads in the neighbourhood. I'd be interested to hear from other posters about their recollections of this annual event. I was driving around Forest Fields recently and i noted there are still a few cobbles in evidence on Stanley Rd.
Our family moved from Beechdale to Russell Road Forest Fields in 1961 and I clearly remember how excited I was by the huge variety of shops on Berridge Rd and the surrounding streets. I was even more taken when I discovered that some of the sweetshops were open on Sundays. I particularly remember a grocers shop on the corner of Burford Rd and Beaconsfield St. I think it was called Richardsons and it was very run down. The poor old grey haired lady who ran it (presumably Mrs Richardson) was really struggling and most of her stock was in a very sorry state. Of course there were no best before dates then but I imagine much of the stuff she sold was well past its best. My friend Peter Tulley used to tell me how he and his mates gazed in the window to watch the insects crawling over the old faded products on display. It certainly wouldn’t be allowed to go on in a food shop these days. I see on Streetview the building is still there but the display window has been bricked up during its conversion to a dwelling. I’ve also been racking my brains (not much left to rack these days) trying to remember the name of the Fish & Chip shop on the corner of Ewart Rd and Berridge in the 60s I think it was Carsons or something similar. The couple that owned it were also in The Salvation Army and I often used to see them in their uniforms on a Sunday. It was great Fish & Chip shop and in 1961 you could get a 4d mix which was chips with mushy peas on top with a bonus of batter bits for free. I think that was the start of my love affair with mushy peas. It wasn’t long before the price went up to 6d. 50% inflation in the early 60s what a cheek! There’s a scene in The Ragman’s Daughter which features it. Someone related that it was called George’s but I think that was later on.