Glebe and Ickenham recollections by Barbara Busst, née Mott

These recollections add to and refer to those written by Robin Scagell]

First of all a bit about myself now.  My home is now in New Zealand and has been since 1973.  At the moment I am in Malaysia, just west of KL, in a place called Shah Alam.  I have been here 3 weeks now.  My husband and his family have a company which does sportsfield draining, and for the last couple of years or so we have been doing a lot of work overseas, mainly in Singapore, and the Pacific Islands  (where we are helping FIFA with their ‘Goal Project’ which is upgrading a lot of the Islands soccer fields.)  So far we have been to Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands, and in May are supposed to go to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.  When we go on these jobs I go as cook etc, and look after the boys.  At the moment I am spending a lot of time playing on the computer as there are only 3 of us on this job, and it’s too hot in the afternoons to go out much so I’m becoming a computer addict!

My family arrived in Ickenham about 1951, fresh from a 4 year attempt to live in Australia.  (The southern hemisphere must have been in my blood.)  We moved into 12 Tavistock Road, and I started at Glebe at the start of the school year in September 1952 I think, in class 7.  My birthday is in August so I was always one of the youngest in the class.  Your pages have bought back heaps of memories of the school.  Do you remember the allotments at the back of Glebe Avenue? [They are still there – RS] My father had one, and they used to have a show every summer at the Glebe School hall.  I remember my mother used to win prizes for her Victoria Sponge, and things like that.

By the way, my parents names were Frank and Alice Mott.  I, like Michael don’t remember your name, but I’m sure we must have been in the same class.  I too had Miss Maynard and Mr Cheslyn   He worked so hard to get us through our 11+, didn’t he.  I remember I had quite a bit of time off in his class because I had scarlet fever, and he used to bring me work around to our house so that I wouldn’t fall behind.  I was in the ‘should pass group’, but unfortunately I didn’t, and went to Swakeleys Secondary Modern.

Did you go on the trip to Dymchurch in Kent with Mr Cheslyn?  Michael didn’t, and a few years ago when I was in UK I visited the school to see if they were doing anything for their 50th anniversary.  At the time they thought I was mad to think they would celebrate just 50 years.  I also asked if they knew what happened to the 8mm film that was taken of us at Dymchurch, but came up with a blank look about that too.  In NZ, because the country is so new these things are taken very seriously and a school that gets to 50 means big celebrations.  My daughter’s school reached 100 years just after she started and they had a whole week-end of happenings.

I can’t remember who I sat next to in class, but reccognise lots of those names you mention.  Through Friends Reunited I have been in touch with the then Meredith McRee who I used to be really friendly with.  I was also great friends with Janice Warren, who used to live in Sussex Road.  I remember, Sally Moxon was such a quiet girl and used to live just by the school on the corner of Sussex and Glebe.

I remember the school hall well with the PE apparatus at the end.  They also had ropes with knots in that we used to have to try to climb up, and I never could!  I also remember the playing fields with the nature corner in the corner, backing on to Tavistock Road.  On ‘hot ‘days we used to sit outside for our lessons.

Have you seen the two photos that Michael has of the school?  I am in the one of us all sitting in a class room, and I think I am the girl next to Janet Atkin, on her left hand side in your school picture.  I’m not very good at spotting myself, but I know that in Michael’s photo I look so much like my daughter at that age it’s spooky!

Do you remember the caretaker, his name is on the tip of my tongue, but I can’t quite get it.  He used to live in the flat upstairs, by the dining hall, with his family. [It was Mr Byford, wasn't it?]

I remember Milverton Drive.  What was the name of the road that used to run from just passed Clovelly, on the right, and join Sussex Road at the top of Tavistock.  [Burnham Avenue] I remember when I went to Swakeleys, I used to go through a footpath between the houses there and over one of Dalton’s farm fields to Dalton¹s Lane as a short cut to school..  I remember Hamer’s well, in the little green hut.  Meredith used to live in Clovelly and her mother still does.  I can remember having bottles of Corona and Tizer from there.  Roy Shelvey used to live next door to us in Tavistock Road, but they moved away before we did.

We left in about 1961  when I was 14 and moved to Swakeleys Drive.  I remember the ‘Splash’ well, and the road that ran along the edge of the lake in front of the big house.  I think quite a lot of ‘courting’ went on down there!

My cousin used to live in the caravan park and had 3 children before moving into a house.  Imagine doing that today.

Do you remember Fletchers in the village? I used to deliver papers for them, and then when I got older used to work Saturdays in the little shop just around the corner from Glebe Church and received 19 shillings and sixpence for the day!  When I was in the UK a few years ago we went on a nostalgia trip and visited all the old haunts, and ended up in the Coach and Horses for lunch.  Do you remember how the gypsies  used to camp in Austins Lane, over the fields at the end of Tavistock Road.  We used to get them coming and asking for water, and I recall a girl named Anna that used to be in our class whenever they were camped there.

 The horse drawn milk float used to come to us as well, and I can remember my father with his bucket and spade if the horse left him a present to put on his vegie garden!

A couple more things and then I will go.  My mother used to work in the kitchen at Vyners.  I think it would have been after we moved to Swakeleys Drive, and later worked at the checkout at one of the little grocery stores in the village. I think it was Bishops.  She now lives in Surrey, as do my two sisters who also went to Glebe, but at least 6 years after me.

– Barbara Busst neé Mott, March 2003