A small folder of images of The Latymer Mission has been passed on to me so I will take the opportunity to share them. I have also included photos that came originally from Rose Vinten and Charles Buckle and from the Latymer Christian Centre.
Timely, since I notice that there is a new comment on the posting on Walmer Road that mentions the Boys Brigade run by John Buckle at the Latymer Mission.
The Latymer Mission featured here disappeared in the redevelopment programme in the 1960s and 1970s for the construction of Westway and the housing estates to the south.
Latymer Road Mission Rooms were opened in 1863 as a Ragged School (before the introduction of state education) and later became a Boys Evening Institute. An Infant Day Nursery was opened in 1880 to provide help to the many women employed in the local laundries.
From the early days there are many postcards that probably existed to help fund raising (see below) and they give a good ides of the varied activities in the nineteenth century.
There are also some fine images of the Infant Day Nursery.
Activities continued after World War Two. Perhaps remembered most by local people was the Boys Brigade, run since the 1930s by John Buckle and seen and heard throughout the local streets as they marched past on Sundays.
Rosalind Jackson and her sisters belonged to the Girls’ Life Brigade at the Mission. They attended Sunday School and also played in the Girls’ Band.
The pictures below were sent in by Margaret Pitcher who sent in the following memories.
Attached are some personal memories of Latimer Road Mission.
I attended Sunday school there from the age of six (1948) until 1954. The main hall is where it was held and we (children) split into age appropriate groups each with a teacher for our lessons. I can recall the minister Mr Lyddel. I loved Harvest Festival. The hall was decorated and we all went up to the stage to place our gifts of fruit and vegetables etc. There was also a play centre with evening activities, arts and music etc. I remember the Boy’s Brigade. My brother was involved in that and I was in the Brownies. The chapel was lovely, small and plain. We attended many weddings and christenings there.
More memories below from James Farndale
I lived in Oldham Road from about 1942 until 1959/1960 when I was called up for National Service. When I was discharged in 1961 I went home to a new address at East Acton. I remember going to Sunday school at the Mission and being a cub scout for a very short time. I seem to think we went with the Mission to Windsor for a short holiday. I had rickets when I was 3 or 4 years old, and I was led to believe the Mission (via The Shaftsbury Society) paid for my treatment at the Children’s Hospital at Carlshalton. I have since tried to find out what treatment I received (I was away from home for some time), but because it was before the formation of the NHS no one knows where the records are. I knew the Rixon Twins, from Mersey St. I wouldn’t say we played together but we certainly hung out together with other young people, who I can’t remember.
And from Brian Iles
I was born four months before the outbreak of the second world war at number 70 Blechynden Street which was at the end of the block of houses seen on the right of the first picture shown on the site, and lived there until I got married in 1963. The shop by the lamp post on the corner of Oldham Road and Blechynden Street was Sleeps the greengrocers and the one at the far end on the corner of East Mews Road was an oil shop owned by Mr and Mrs Webster, which sold all sorts of interesting things like little tied up bundles of wood for lighting the fire. Opposite the mission was Tom Fox’s sweets and newspaper shop.
During the war part of the Mission was used as an air raid shelter and I can still recall being carried there by my mother as the raids started and staying there until the “all clear” siren sounded. As a toddler there I experienced my first ever “sense of false security” when the Air Raid Warden let me put on his helmet and I went to the door of the shelter thinking I would be safe if a bomb dropped on me. When I was old enough I became a member of the Life Boys which was run by a woman whose name I can’t remember but we had to call her captain. It was held in the main hall on the first floor of the mission a couple of evenings a week and you could not go unless you had attended Sunday School the preceding weekend. I can remember that there was a large painting on the hall wall of Lord Shaftsbury, the one time president of the Ragged School Union and promoter of reforms to help and educate children of poor families.
I always aspired to progress to the Boys Brigade because I had wanted to join in with the band and march round the streets on a Sunday morning which we used to follow as younger children. I didn’t last long there though as I joined the Harrow Boys Club. Happy days with lots of sports and camping holidays at the Isle of Wight. Does anyone remember Lou Ashman the club manager?
I recognize some of the names of people posting their memories. I remember Jimmy Farndale and Norman Norrington as I believe we were all at Latimer Road school, and I certainly remember the Rixon twins.
The Latymer Christian Centre is now on Bramley Road next to Westway.
If you can tell us more or have your own memories of the Mission, email them to me here at firstname.lastname@example.org and they can be added to this posting or add them directly to the comments below.