Marjorie Thornley

Scope and Content

Born at 40 Derwentwater Road, Acton in 1916. Father volunteered for the army - parents were married at 8am on 22 August 1915 at St Mary's Church, Acton. Later said she was born at 42 Derwentwater. Uncle lived in one house where mother lived until father returned from the war. 40 Derwentwater was a show house at the time oppisite what is now a row of maisonettes was then an orchard, built on between wars. School - at 28 Churchfiled Road, name of house was Marlows run by old lady Miss Hopkins. Fee was 1 shilling per week. Learnt everything there, mostly by repetition. Met Amy ? (now green). Stayed at school until 10 or 11. Both of them went to East Acton High School, was in East Acton Lane, now the Arabs school. Lovely old house with garden. Stayed until 13. Joined by Ruby Clarke, Mary Turner & Phyllis Truscott. All then went to Chiswick Polytechnic. Church Sunday School in first Rectory when de Summaries (spelling?) was Rector at St Mary's Church. Rectory was where Maison Marguerittes was - daughter of Rector Helen de Summaries held the Sunday school at the top of the building. Brownie troop there also. Went to Gunnersbury Park for rallies etc. Went to lasy day of oppening of Park by Parents (also visited in May 1996). Acton Town Station was called Mill Hill Station. Left school in 1932, couldn't get a job, worse recession than now. Head master at Chiswick poly helped. She had a telephone call inviting her to go to Fromows (where Sainsburys is in Chiswick), worked there until War. Nurserymen, suppliers of christmas trees to all big stores. She was responsible for the booking and delivery. Lovely greenhouses there. Luxury trade, was there 8 years, only non-family member there. Steyne. Almshouses. 1 or 2 chimney sweeps. electrical shop. Co-op jam factory. Before war joined Toc H. Meeting in cellar of Lynch's Opticians on corner of Horn Lane and Churchfield Rd. Had to go to the Albert Hall to have their lamp lit from the original lamp. Lighted by Duke of Windsor. Flame only ever went out once when someone blew it out in All Hallows Church. Ladies lamp was lit by the then Duchess of York (now Queen Mother). Acton then became a branch. During the war she helped run library at Central Middlesex Hospital. Only 1 trolley, few books. 2 on duty every Saturday afternoon. Prior to that Toc H started club for blind peolpe in St Andrew's Hall, near Nevilles Bakery and the Priory. Stage above kitchen. Many romances blossomed there including her own, although fiance attached to Chiswick Toc H. Took people by private cars to Jordans, and had to have two sighted to every 2 blind people. blind were referred to them by Middlesex Association workers, no National Health and there were more referred then than there are now. Raised money by jumble sales etc. Folk came from London to entertain, including Ted and Barbara Andrews (parents of Julie Andrews) and the Gang Show. Re-started after War in Scouts Hall at Methodist Church on Acton Hill. Holidays. Friend Amy and she went to France in August 1939 as War started in September. Also went to Switzerland 2 years previously. Holidays with parents were to Gorleston, Norfolk and Isle of Wight. She also went with Holiday Fellowship, walking to Cromer, Lyme Regis, Alnwick. Her 21st birthday was celebrated in the cellar where Toc H met. Confirmed at St Mary's when 16. When she left Fromows wrote for jobs to Barclays Bank and received a reply from Barclays Bank Dominion Colonial and Overseas Bank and had to report to Wimbledon. There were only 5 branches in England. She worked in Chief Accountants Dept. Difficult travelling during the War (details given). Had one day off each week to counteract loss of sleep. Toc H ran a canteen in Twyford Avenue. She did firewatching at the Bank. Had a day off and when she went back the Bank had been bombed so she was sent to Lombard Street. Fiance was a Coastal Command pilot and he was reported missing over Norway and never returned. She is still in contact with his surviving sister. Toc H met also in Acton Town Hall, had re-dedication service in St Mary's Church, then they moved to 21 Twyford Crescent, in the front room. Blind club then moved to St martin's where they still are. She arranged entertainment for the folk every fortnight and has done so now for over 60 years.