Prefabs | Pilgrims Way update

Fryent Country Park Story – Part 5

Paul Kennedy has brought to my attention a Pilgrims Way update by local historian Philip Grant, on the Wembley Matters blog. It’s a must for all prefab old boys and girls. Click here  to read this interesting post, the latest episode in the Fryent Country Park story.

Some key quotes which certainly chime with my memories:

“Paul remembered the woods and fields as ‘a child’s paradise to play in’, and not just in summer. ‘When it snowed we’d sledge at great speed down a very long steep hill next to Barn Hill pond, stopping only when the barbed wire fence of the cow’s field at the very bottom loomed into sight.” (By the way, I once fell through winter ice on Barn Hill pond. Lesson learned.)

“One of my best sources for what the area was like in the 1950s and 1960s are the memories of children who grew up on the Pilgrims Way estate, collected as part of a “Prefabs Project” ten years ago. Maureen said: ‘it was an amazing place in which to spend the long summer hours of our childhood. A huge area of rolling hills, trees, woods and fields.  Many of the fields with cows in them. At the top of Barn Hill there was a pond that was the focal point, which as a child l thought was massive. Wally me and the other kids would spend hours fishing in this pond for ‘red throats’ and other tiddlers using a jam jar with string tied around the top.’ Sheila’s summer days included: ‘just playing in the fields, making endless daisy chains, looking for grass hoppers, climbing trees, walking amongst the cows, never feeling unsafe only popping home for a slice of bread and jam then out again.”

Something I didn’t know, but often wondered about: “All of the new homes were occupied by July 1948, and the Council had named the estate Pilgrims Way. This was because the ancient footpath (“Eldestrete”), which ran across it, was thought to have been used by pilgrims visiting the shrine of Our Lady of Willesdon, in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.”

Many thanks Paul.

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