Finchley Road

Memories of Pauline Stacey

As we all know the war started in 1939 , my dad went into the army, and stayed there

till he was demobbed in 1945,  my mum had to work at several low paid jobs to keep my brother and myself clothed.  I remember that we had most of our clothes from relatives, and the local jumble sale in the Church Hall, (directly opposite our house.. St. Lukes Church). we were poor as most of our neighbours were.. so definitely no school uniforms. and clothing coupons too.    there would not be any coupons to spare for school uniforms , during and after the War years.

Restrictions were gradually lifted three years after war had ended, starting with flour on 25 July 1948, followed by clothes on 15 March 1949.

I do recall the day sweet rationing ended and I waited in a queue, right down Finchley Road,

to Stones, the newsagents….  I think, not quite sure, that they ran out of sweets before I got to the shop!

Now clothing rationing, I won a scholarship to King Edwards Grammar School for Girls, Handsworth, and started there in 1947.   there must have been a special clothing allowance for the uniform , which was compulsory,  but perhaps the scholarship helped out?

I do remember that I had the minimum of requirements, ie. two blouses.. but no way was school uniform at Peckham Road School, (now known as Kings Rise).

Memories of Carole Müller

My grandparents Bill  and Amy Nicholls lived in Finchley Road from about 1940 onwards and my Aunt still lives in the same house.  They ran a bookmaking business from their front room and after bookmaking was legalised, they bought a  betting shop on the corner of Kings Rd/Finchley Rd which was managed by my uncle Fred Nicholls.   My parents lived in Peckham Road for about 12 years from 1958 onwards, afterwards they retired to Shropshire. I do remember very well the chap who stood outside the house in Finchley Rd taking the bets, I went to school in Erdington and got off the bus on Kings Rd.  If there was a policeman anywhere near as i walked past the house I would say “Watchit George, there’s a copper up the road”.  With thanks George would do a disappearing act. However he was often caught and had to appear in court where a fine had to be paid. my cousin used to have a little three wheeler bike with a little basket on the handlebar  and rode up and down Finchley Road on it. People who wanted to have a bet used to put the money and betting slip in the basket and tell him to go home with it.  



  1. […] Carole Müller recalls her grandparents betting shop on Finchley Road. Read more… […]

  2. I well remember taking my dad`s bets to the man waiting , casually, outside the house in Finchley Road! lol I thought i was a secret agent, and had to walk along, and surreptitiously hand over the money wrapped in folded paper, with the bet written inside. I thought it was a fun thing.

  3. I too remember the betting shop and the maner that the bets were placed. We lived in Twickenham Rd. and my dad had a habit of placing bets just prior to the race being run so, either my brother or I would make a dash over the fence into the Finchley road park, down the hill and hope that the `slip man` would be standing close to the gates leading out of the park. Getting any winnings was always the difficult part as you would almost have to be smuggled in to front parlour. In reply to Pauline Stacey, yes the news agents/sweet shop was Stones.

  4. My friend always tells the story about when she and her friend went to the house in Finchley Road to put a bet on for her friends’ Nan. When they were there the house was raided by the police, my friend was scared stiff in case she ended up in prison, what a laugh.

  5. My dad often sent me to put on his bet at that house and I seem to recall that George also sat on the wall of the College Arms and collected bets (secretly) there.This has been a recurring memory (and story told) for me over the years.Ah, the good old days :O)

  6. I went to Peckham Road School infants and juniors and Billy Nicholls was in my class with Fred Shellis, Peter Palmer, David Ford, Robert Hughes. Carole Harris, Evelyn James, Pat Day,Joyce Abley, Barbara Shelley, Mary Peters, Alan Kirk Vera Williams, Ann Shelley and I was Valerie Burckett. The favourite teacher was Mr Thomas

  7. I lived next door in Longford Rd to Steve & Elsie Nicholls and remember Fred Nicholls. I used to have to take a bet on my way to Peckham Rd school every day for my dad and remember the man would hold his hand behind his back and we had to slip the bet in his hand. I remember Steve Nicholls took me once as a treat to get the papers from Birmingham I suppose it was to get the early racing results.I loved it because I had a ride in a car!!
    When I was around 14-15 I worked in Stones part time at weekends and still see Johnny Conlon who used to work part time on the pop counter.
    My favourite shop there was the chippy 3 pennorth of chips with batter bits wrapped in newspaper dripping with vinegar and we used to suck the last of the vinegar through the end of the newspaper.God knows how we survived all those germs we must have drunk!! lol.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: