Thursday, 6 March 2014

More on Croxley

In his book John Pilgrim has a list of famous people with Croxley Green connections. One person missing from the list is John Timpson, a journalist who was a presenter on Radio Four's Today programme.   He lived in Watford Road in a house almost opposite us.  There seemed to be a few other BBC journalists who lived in the area and I remember a charity cricket match played at Baldwin's Lane in the summer of 1970 between a BBC eleven and the England Ladies team led by Rachel Heyhoe-Flint. I helped to prepare the pitch (as part of a summer job with Rickmansworth UDC)  but I can't remember who won!

Pilgrim does mention the actor John Grillo, who was the son of the Ice Cream man.  When Andy and I had both left home my parents sold 29 Watford Road and moved to a smaller house on the corner of Gonville Avenue. The Grillos lived on Watford Road just down from Gonville Avenue.  In my first year at Watford Grammar School I was in the choir as part of the school production of  a play called "Galileo Galilei". Grillo gave a towering performance in the title role.

Another set of memories that I forgot to put in concerns our pub visits in the sixth form and later when we were home from university. Our main local was the Coach and Horses on the Green, but I think we sampled all of the Croxley and Rickmansworth pubs over the years.  Alan Rawlinson had use of a Land Rover for one of his part-time jobs and we travelled in this to get out further afield to ChandlersCross, Sarratt and Chorleywood. I remember we always celebrated New Year's Eve in the Coach and one time the Irish barmaid Mary was so tipsy that she got up on a table and danced!

Thinking of Alan reminds me of an event that occurred when we were about fourteen. Alan, Graham and I made use of the bus Range Rover ticket which allowed you to journey on any of the London Transport buses for a day. Our last journey of the day was to be on the 336 bus out to Chesham and back. Unfortunately the bus broke down and we were stranded for a while, getting home very late (after ten anyway when we should have been back by seven).  When we got back to Alan's we found all our parents there, together with a policeman. Of course mobile phones hadn't even been dreamed of then and we hadn't been able to find a public phone box. We were well in trouble and that was the last Range Rover trip we had.

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