Baked cakes and created memories.

005                                        Well, well, well! All You Read is Love red_heart_with_a_swirl_0071-0904-2000-1164_SMUis a spacious pop-up café opposite the mammoth new building construction site opposite Halal butchers, Turkish grocers, carpets and rugs,  and ever-changing retail outlets in scummy Walthamstow. I say ‘scummy’  because that part of Hoe Street has always been yuk.

Once the cinema closed down encasing gorgeous staircases and mirrors behind the boards then no amount of weird roofs and fab caffs could make it salubrious.

The pop-up café proprietors must be working their socks off baking fresh cakes and pastries, serving and waiting. The menu is reasonably priced. Second-hand books go at £4 each: Bit of a rip-off. The clientele is made up of young parents and their off-spring. Why wouldn’t I have known that before? Where was I?IMAG001614
Today Creative Writes’ owner Nichola with reminiscence workshops’ leader Rochelle  hosted their second free writers’ workshop in Walthamstow, this time, in the new café. The meet-up was excellent from the choice of venue,  the welcome and on to the programme which was well-designed and researched.

We enjoyed impulse writing and shared stories reminiscing about cakes, baking and special occasions where baking mothers produced marvels or otherwise. Women read their own scribbled down in ten minutes free-flowing  stories of family togetherness, despised wedding cakes, personalised icing, daily visits to bakers’ shops, and cakes representing cultures, countries and roots. Sugar was both a favourite and an enemy. Someone ate ants with the old and  saved piece of wedding cake and that was being polite. Another ate birthday cake topped to the brim with decorations full of artificial colours and ‘Es’ and adored it. The mystery of the pattern in marble cake was revealed.012

We had candles softly flickering in pots on the table. Rochelle had set the table with her mother’s linen embroidered table-cloth. Someone else helped the coffee percolator explode and the white table-cloth turned into sepia vintage. We laughed and were really in the swing of creative-ness when time was up.

What a well-spent hour.

Reminiscing in a launderette.

Years and years ago when rats roamed Walthamstow and up by Eden Road the houses had wooden porches full of umbrellas, wellies and paraffin heaters, when velvet curtains were the rage and guaranteed to last twenty years and they did! when the Asian Centre was a twinkle in the chimney smoke sky then I heard that my cousin had a butcher’s shop in Beulah Road. She was Carol Bell as a singleton. I never knew her married name. Full of curiosity partly because no-one in my family ever owned anything I went along to see her imagining she with a stripey apron and a cleaver raised above her peroxided head. Blow me down, the couple had moved out and away the day before. Look below for a mention of Horsey’s Butchers back in the fifties so there really was a butcher’s.

Beulah Road in Walthamstow is special now. It is in the Sacré Coeur of Waltham Forest, the conservation area away from the new builds down by the station, in the heart of the Village of E17 .The road name  is exotic and there’s even a Beulavilla. Don’t tell me Beulah Road is named after Warner’s sister’s husband’s auntie’s grandmother. The name belongs to Downton.

Today I went to do a reccie on the Deep Clean Launderette deep cleanand am certain it’s on the old butcher shop site.

laundry 1

There I met some women and we got talking. Here was a rehearsal then for the “Hanging Words Out To Dry” reminiscence workshop and writing stimulus happening on 7th November. I needed to see if there were chairs for the seniors to perch on for two hours on that morning.

2 laundry

PS Beulah, Eden, Biblical, (Blake?) roads built around St Mary’s Church E17

Look at this from Linda Hall b 1947 nee Wiley off Richard Dunn’s Walthamstow History website.

My name is Linda Hall formerly Wiley and I now reside in Vancouver, Canada.

I used to live in Beulah Road in Westcotts Laundry         where my Mum Win Wiley managed the laundry. In the tiny little accommodation         above and behind there resided my Brother Anthony (known as Tony in later         years) my Dad, Nan and Granddad. There was an outside loo and a tin bath         hanging on the outside wall that was bought into the the scullery for         “bath night” once a week. I was born in 1947 and my Brother         in 1944. We both went to Maynard Road infant school and then Junior. Our         secondary modern school was Joseph Barret later to become Warwick Road         with the Girls having their own school built down the road. My brother         left Joseph Barret and went on to Tom Hood Technical College. As a teenager         I used to go to The Mambo Youth Club that was held in Maynard Road Junior         school Hall.

On our side of Beulah Road there was Horsey’s the         Butchers, a wool shop, a sweet shop, a second hand stall where the Friers         lived and then the laundry. Further down there was a removal company where         a friend of mine named Edna lived and then there was a grocery store where         they used to pat 2 ounces of butter together behind a pale green shield.         That is as far as I can remember on our side. Opposite us there was Cundys         the Greengrocers and a sweetshop. Way further down there was a barbers         and a chemist and a few other shops but can’t think now what they were.

After school every afternoon I was sent round to         Scotts the Bakers in Orford Road for a small tin loaf or a large one depending         on the circumstances, either way by the time I got home I had picked and         eaten the end off. It smelled so good I couldn’t resist. There was a big         fish shop almost adjacent, then my mind goes blank until Isons the Oil         Shop where we got our paraffin from and anything else you may need. It         was like Alladins cave. Cross Eden Road and you came to the Post Office,         Button Factory The Connaught Cafe, where I spent my teenage years drinking         coke and sharing one cigarette between two people. There was the TA training         centre on the corner of Orford/Beulah. Opposite side of Orford Road was         the Connaught Hospital and further down there was a house that did Ballet,         Tap, Singing lessons and Piano. I did the Ballet and Tap but for the life         of me can’t remember what it was called. There was the Greengrocer who         used to stand outside his shop and say Good Morning to everybody, wearing         a lovely clean white apron.         There was a sweet shop whose owners emigrated to Australia. I think their         Daughter’s name was Linda. As I read this I realize how many blanks there         are. Of course I am forgetting the Queens head pub on the corner.

My Husband and I along with our kids emigrated         to Canada in 1982 but go back every year as we still have lots family         and so we have seen many changes through the years. In 2011 I did a memory         lane walk around Old Walthamstow. The laundry is still there albeit under         a different name. Scotts Bakery is still there, again under a different         name. Isons name is still above the shop