The Armes family
My mother was brought up in St Johns Wood and went to Barrow Hill School in the late 1930s; she married my father, a plumber from Hampstead, in St John’s Wood church and I and my two sisters were christened there. My father was a well known local character and worked for pretty much everybody in the area until his retirement in the early 1990s. They lived in the top half of a house in St Johns Wood Terrace where the block of flats next to the Star public house now stands. When the houses were demolished and the council built the Townshend Estate they were offered a flat and took one in the block on the spot where their old house had stood and even decided to take a flat on the third floor so they could have the same view as they had had from the old house. In 1981 my parents took the opportunity to buy the flat when the government offered council flats for sale. My father paid £11,000 for it – they received a large discount as they’d lived there for more than 25 years. When they sold up and moved to the Oxfordshire countryside nearly 13 years ago, they had made a tidy profit on that £11,000. They are with us at 91 and 85 respectively and, God willing, will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary this year.
St John’s Wood cricket club
My father and some friends formed a cricket club back in the 1950s and for years played their fixtures in Regents Park. They then recruited several postmen to play from the sorting office that was in Lodge Road and as a result got to use a pitch in the ground of a fantastic Manor House in Ickenham that bizarrely the Post Office owned. This was sold in the early 1980s and since then we have played at several places and currently the ground of the Old Cholmeleians in NW7 is our home. We play away games around the North and West of London and the Home Counties with a pre-season practice taking place at Lord’s. The original club members were from NW8 and the surrounding areas and this remains the case to this day. The club, of which I am club secretary, has a strong social side and host several events all year round as well as an annual overseas tour each spring. (details at www.stjwcc.play-cricket.com)