Alan Grant's Story


I went to Myrdle street school when it was just named Myrdle Street

Elementary School, or at least something like it.

I had lived in Romford Street in the buildings for several years before

the war broke out. Prior to that my parents lived in Christian

Street across the Commercial Road.

My first club was the Victoria boys club in what is

now Henriques Street, I can't think what it's name was then. I know it's

new name was after the well known philanthropist Sir Basil Henriques. When

we were bombed out we eventually were given a council flat in Hackney. I

was interested to see that you mentioned a block of new flats near Victoria

Park. The flat we had was in Tudor Grove and Templecombe Road it was called

Swingfield House. My bedroom overlooked Sharon Gardens where the singer

Helen Shapiro lived. When we moved to Hackney I went to the Hackney Boys

Club where I joined the Army Cadets. I too went to dancing school, the one

I went to was in Amhurst Road. I used to go to the Tottenham Royal, the

Hammersmith Palais, and the Lyceum in Drury Lane. I remember dancing to Joe

Loss and his Orchestra, the Squadrenaires, Lou Praeger and his band. I can

remember when Glen Miller did a season at either the Lyceum or it may have

been the Hammersmith Palais. But, I am digressing from the Evacuees.

I was evacuated to Cornwall, for about 18 months I lived with the Village

Blacksmith, my two cousins who were with me were billeted across the one

road which ran between Nancledra and Cripplesease, with a farmer. My first

and most uncomfortable ride on a horse was on one the farmers huge draft

horses. I was only a little fellow, and I felt as though I was doing the

splits when my legs were first stretched across one of the horses back. I

was billeted with another boy, I had a little trouble remembering his name,

but I am sure that it was Alfred Cohen. The Blacksmith and his wife's name

was Philip and Phyllis Roskelly. After I got married, in 1951 we used to

spend all our holiday's touring Devon and Cornwall, we did it for about

10 years and we never missed going to see Cripplesease and Nancledra. Soon

after I left the village the Blacksmith was called up and served with the

Airborne Red Berets. He was in the Battle of Arnhem and was dropped into

the Dykes and developed a severe case of Pneumonia, and shortly after

getting back to Cornwall he died. That is the story that Mrs. Roskelly told

me on one of the holidays to Cornwall. I can remember he seemed like a

giant to me being so slight, and he so tall and of such big build. He had a

motor bike, and he used to take us for rides on the pillion of the bike; we

went on alternate weekends. He would take us to Penzance, Redruth and other

places which were fascinating to a couple of Cockney youngsters from the

East end.

It has been great being able to remember so much, but I am sure that I have

forgotten even more. With your forbearance I will come back and do some

more of this remembering.

Regards and greetings of the season. Have a good new year?

Alan Grant.



Hi Gerry

I was so amazed at the coincidence of meeting here on the 'net while never

having met you or your family who lived across the street. I was so

surprised that I thought I would see whether anyone of my friends or family knew

your family. I rang England and spoke with a couple who were courting around

1947 in the other block of flats in the same estate, Dinmore House, I think

that is the name, anyway it was the next block on the same side of the road

from my block. The husband who was one of my best friends was courting a

girl from Dinmore? House, Stella Sharon, they have since married, he was

one of twin boys, Arnold and Monty Landsberg. Monty married my cousin who

lived in Ainsworth Road, which ran off Wells Street and ran between Wells

Street and King Edward's Road. They are as surprised as we are, they have

not been able to recall your family but Stella says that your family name

sounds familiar.

What a small world it is, and the Internet is making it even smaller.

That's it for now. TTFN




I now live in Australia, I came here with my late wife and 4 children in

May 1965 on the good ship "Canberra," as 10 bob tourists. It was I believe

the last trip the "Canberra" made as an immigration transport. It was an

>absolutely fantastic journey of just over 3 weeks. We first went to

Melbourne and stayed there for about 11 years, and then we moved to South

Australia, which is where we have been ever since.

I only went to the Astoria dancing a very few times, my dear wife and her

Sister often went there, before she met me, it was where the "Yanks" went.

My sister-in-law now lives in Florida. My Sister, who married a "Yank" now

lives in California, north of San Francisco. She is divorced, has been so

for many years.

I went to Myrdle Street School up to 1939 when we were evacuated.

At that time Myrdle Street School children were joined by the Fairclough

Street School children and we all went to Cornwall. Those of who went to

the Nancledra/Cripplesease are were gathered in the Methodist Church Hall

in Nancledra, and we just stood around until the locals came over to us and

said, "We will take him and him, or her if that was the case. In my case it

was indeed "him and him" the other him being an Alfred Cohen. Our teacher

who came with us in the train, a Miss Solomons from Fairclough Street

School, was dismayed to find herself in the Church Hall, she was a sweet

thing who lasted a very short length of time in that backwater without

another Jewish adult for about 50 miles. We enjoyed every minute of it once

we became acclimatized. All of the villagers were very kind to us and in my

case. our host and hostess were very understanding except when it came to

try and get me to eat vegetables. Then they became quite frustrated with

me. I won't go on about that. I did enjoy it, in spite of the vegetable

incidents, and was thankful that they took us in considering that they only

got 10/- shillings a week to feed and board us. It was one gigantic holiday.

I will write some more later on, it is great to let it all hang out and

enjoy once again all of the memories, they do come flooding back don't they ?

Regards and best wishes for the New Year.

Alan Grant.