The Cassiobury Kid
My husband nicknamed me the "Cassiobury Kid".
By Sue Stacey
My husband nicknamed me the “Cassiobury Kid”. I went to Cassiobury School, newly opened around 1950, lived on the Cassiobury Estate and my parents having moved from Watford after my father retired, named their house in Sussex ‘Cassiobury’.
Reading through all these memories has been a real nostalgia trip. As a child and teenager, Watford was such a brilliant and rather lovely looking town to live in. Now like many other towns, it has lost some of the landmarks that made it special. Who on earth decided that the Park Gates should be demolished?
Now on to my mish mash of memories.
- The Wednesday Beat Club, does anyone remember Ray and the Riversiders?
- Going down ‘The Trade’ on Saturday and Sunday. The Top Rank never held the same appeal to me, and we lost our Odeon for it.
- Like others have mentioned, the tiny shop that sold ‘Rossi’s’ Ice Cream and tasting the best ice cream ever.
- ‘The Cabin’ by Watford Baths to buy sweets, after going to Watford Swimming Club, having a mug of Oxo and a penny biscuit.
- The old market behind Cawdells.
- Going to Watford Girls Grammar, and remembering some of the girls spending time during ‘recess’ at the bottom of the playing field, eyeing up the ‘talent’ working in Benskins Brewery.
In about 1960, does anyone remember when some bullocks escaped from the slaughterhouse? (as it was called then) One ran into Freeman Hardy Willis on the High Street, one into St. Mary’s graveyard and one on to WGGS tennis courts where all the girls were leaning out of windows dreading that it would be shot in front of our eyes.
- The great haunt that was The Mocha Bar and my introduction to frothy coffee.
- On Sundays I worked in the “The Sedan Coffee Bar” near High Street Station, where my friends would try and congregate and want one bottle of Coke with about nine straws.
- The annual Whitsun Fair in Cassiobury Park, is it just nostalgia that makes me think it was so brilliant?
- Watford Palace Theatre when Gilda and Jimmy Perry ran the weekly repertory company.
- Brilliant shows held at The Gaumont with many current pop stars.
- Garner’s chocolate cornflake cakes.
- Being told off by my headmaster at Cassiobury School for playing around by the lock gates in Cassiobury Park, when all the working barges passed through!
- The masses of bluebells in Whippendell Woods
- The large ‘Pudding Basin’ golf hole where we used to go tobogganing.
- The old ruin of a watermill by the River Gade.
- The watercress beds, seen on my journey from Watford Met Station (having walked across Cassiobury Park to the station) via Metroland to London
I think my list of happy Watford memories could go on and on, like I went on and on at my parents when they decided to move away…