Country: England

Region (County/State / Province): Middlesex

Website: None specified

Contact: Christine Payne

Study Description 

Northdown Close Ruislip 1940-1962

This is a living memory of the Street where I lived and as part of a One Place Study.
20A Northdown Close Ruislip

On the 31st of October 1952, it was in the back bedroom of this upstairs maisonette, No. 20A Northdown Close that I entered this world screaming like a banshee according to my father. While this property remains important to me as my birthplace, I also find myself considering the History of the Close and its inhabitants during the pre and post-war years when my family happened to live there 1940 – 1962.

When you arrive at Northdown close today, you will not notice any difference in the maisonettes as they stand and the original build between 19??? And 19??? Certainly, some crickle windows have been replaced with double-glazed PVC windows, and the supporting outside stair wall changed dramatically in the 60s, but I will refer to this later. Without a doubt, the 2-brick wall in the front of this picture is the same wall that was standing in the 50s. I remember trying to jump over it while my roller skates were still attached to my shoes. A very foolhardy thing to try and do, especially when you take into consideration the weight of a 1950’s “Speedway” “JacoSkate” that was made of steel and carried heavy ball bearings in each wheel. I can smell the Dettol poured onto each wound to this day and that strange smell of an Elastoplast that went on a lot easier than it came off. The pavement in front of that wall was my practice ground for skating on ice. My very own interpretation of following the yellow brick road on skates was carried out with gusto, but never on a Sunday when it was considered un-godly and very definitely un-neighbourly to carry out such noisy activities on the Sabbath day. In my early childhood years, you would never hear a lawnmower on a Sunday. Such was a post-war neighbourhood that remained caring and thoughtful to each other (most of the time). But this study is not all about me. It’s A street study of the street where i was born. and it’s surrounds. Telling the story of the street and its inhabitants during WW2 and the post war years. A story of new beginnings for many people that had escaped the London bombing for leafy suburbia.


WW2 and post war.


64 Households 1940-1962.

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