Marie Walker

By Georgina Colbeck

Hi - just come across this lovely site which has brought back so many happy memories of my childhood. From 1947 I lived in the Mission Hall (my parents were the caretakers) on the corner of Bell Street and Burn Street, just up the road from the Sally Army as we used to call it. Mr Long the pastor used to run everything. Although there was not much money around, I remember a very happy childhood. Mr Long used to have lots of different events at the Mission besides the Sunday Services. I used to like helping my mum at the Mothers Meeting on Tuesdays as I could help myself to the jam tarts.

I too remember Minnie Mays which was open until 10 pm most days a tiny little shop filled to the brim with everything (wouldn't pass the health and safety brigade today I'm afraid).

 The fish and chip shop on the corner of Broadley Street where we could buy a 1p bag of cracklings on my way home from Regents Park School.

Alfredos as everybody has said was wonderful. If we had no money, all we had to do was walk past looking longingly at the ice cream and he would call you over and give you a free cornet.

Church St. was the most wonderful place to grow up in. All the stalls on a Saturday, the record stall being my favourite as a teenager. I too remember Chocolate Joe's and being entertained by his banter.I could never bring myself to eat eels after seeing them still moving after having their heads cut off although I loved Pie and Mash in the shop which I thought was called Fortunes.

I moved to Ashbridge Street in 1964 and loved the close proximity of the market with Jordan's just across the road. Does anyone remember they used to have those canisters that used to fly around the store upstairs to the office. I could go on and on but I'm glad I spent my childhood and teenage years in and around Church Street, poor in money but rich in characters and the warmth of the people who lived there.

I loved the markets, Bell Street being a lot smaller than Church Street. I too remember so many stall holders and shop traders.  Chocolate Joe seems to be the one everybody remembers along with Alfredos in Edgware Rd.  He would always call the kids over and give them free cornets (can you imagine that happening today). There was also Saturday morning pictures.  I attended Cosway Junior School and then Regents Park from 1956 - 1961.

As I got older I would go to the Four Feathers Club nearly every night and on Saturdays hang around the record stall along with the other teenagers. I moved to Charlotte house in Ashbridge Street (now demolished) in 1965 and loved walking through Church Street on Saturdays with my lovely neighbour Ann Simmons and it could take an hour as we stopped to talk to so many people! (just like a small village in the middle of London).  I moved to Kenton Middlesex in 1974.  I now live in Kings Langley, a lovely village in Hertfordshire, near Watford.

I still miss those years very much but I still keep in touch with my old friends from those days going out for lunch every couple of months and swapping memories of those happy times.

Marie Walker (nee Cooney)

This page was added on 01/07/2015.
Comments about this page

I meant to ask when I wrote the above, does anyone remember Bell Street Mission Hall on the corner with Burne St?  I would be interested to know if they had any memories of the various functions held there and if they remember Mr Long the pastor that looked a bit like 'Mr. Pastry'.  

Marie Walker (née Cooney)

By Marie Walker (Nee Cooney)
On 05/07/2017


Hi, I am writing on behalf of my sister Pat Roche nee Murray. She has asked me to say hallo and that she has very clear and fond memories of yourself and Mr. Long. She hopes you remember her and you can both share some memories together. You might also remember our mother. She had a green grocers shop opposite the mission hall. Her name is Maggie. We all have such fond memories of those days and of that wonderful man Mr.Long.

By Margaret Murray
On 02/12/2020

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