Cottonmill Crescent childhood memories – Brenda Gilson

2013-08-21 09.57.18Brenda Gilson lived in Cottonmill Crescent from when she was two years old in 1945. She recalls what the street was like and the tradesmen who delivered goods. She attended St Peter’s school and talks about the teachers and some of her friends. She remembers the coronation. She remembers the open air swimming baths in Cottonmill Lane. She also recalls a spell in hospital when she had her tonsils removed. Brenda left school just before her 15th birthday and worked for Rose KiaOra Sales Company in Grosvenor Road where she met her husband, Brian.

Interview date: 21 August 2013. Interviewer: Sandy Norman.


  1. Ann McAuley

    It was so wonderful to hear you speak about St Peters school .I was there from 1948 to 1954 .I knew all the people you spoke about . I lived in Priory walk.My Father had an allotment, walking to school knee deep in snow was not fun,as I was short and middle deep would be more correct.I remember the pain of my hands from the cold.
    The swimming pool was freezing and some kids used to swim in the watercress beds as mums could not afford the pool.
    My first teacher was Mrs Irmston,and the others I remember well.
    Thank you for bringing so many memories back.

  2. Susan butt

    I to recall St. Peter’s school, but did not attend until the mid fifties. I remember Mrs Urmston, who taught the first class. I remember having small bottles of milk at break that we put close to the big boiler in the classroom to warm them. Sometimes they were frozen and the ice lifted the tops off! I don’t remember much about Miss Lumsden but Miss Hodges was lovely and was the person that gave me an interest in needlework. Mr Rawlings used to run the choir and Mr Stickland used to show slides of his holidays in Scandinavia as his wife was the school secretary and was Danish.

  3. Alan Jones

    I have just come across this site and remember many of the names and references. I grew up in Lecturn Lane from the age of 2 in 1949. I went to St Peters from 1952 and then onto St Julians. Also I was a member of the 19th Scouts. At St Peters, teachers were, Lumsden, Hodges,Rawlings, Strickland and the head, Bunsford. St Julians, Benbow, Yashnak, Dalby, Head Skerrit. All good teachers. I took am apprenticeship at Nicholsons in Fleetville and became a tailor, which I still am today, a great career.


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