I remember him from when we were kids on Pilgrims Way prefab estate. We lived at number 36 and the Watts family were up the road at number 23. Charlie was two years older than me. One day he held me and my sister up with a toy gun and said something like “Hands up – or I’ll fill you with slugs.” I thought he meant those slimy garden pests that used to chew their way through the lettuces growing in our back garden. Years later, some time in the 60s, we met briefly in a pub in Wembley, where he was playing with an R&B group. I didn’t mention the slugs.
My mum and his mum were good friends from the post-war prefab days right up to when both families had moved on to another council estate in Kingsbury. By that time I had left home and Charlie was famous. My mum told me he sometimes turned up to visit his family, dodging the fans and the press.
In 2012 Wembley historian Philip Grant wrote a brief account of Charlie’s formative prefab days and his later rise to fame. You can read and download it here.
Pilgrims Way photo courtesy Brent Archives.
I remember him well, a few years older than me but I bumped into him on several occasions. Often I walked with him to Wembley Park station whilst I made my way to the same Art school that he attended in Harrow. He did introduce to a commercial artist friend hoping to secure me a job which wasn’t to be. A few years down the line and I was fortunate enough to go the the Golden Rose festival with the programme Ready Steady Go, The Stones flew out with us to appear. Always a gentleman who never seemed to particularly like the limelight, strange when you think just how famous The Stones have been R.I.P Charlie.
Great story, Chrissie. Many thanks.
Thanks for that, a very nice piece for a very nice bloke!
My story is finished I’m just waiting for the proof reading to be carried out by my two nieces who are both English teachers, then I’ll be contacting you ref: the publishing if that’s still OK with you?
Thanks Paul. Yes – I should be able to guide you through the Kindle publishing process. I’ll email you. Best regards.