Growing up in Aldershot

March 24, 2011

Growing up in Aldershot

By NickLitten

March 24, 2011

aldershot, growingup, hampshire, hants, memories

Aldershot, the home of the British Army

Like many English Army Brats, I grew up in this town.

I was born in the Cambridge Military Hospital. I called Aldershot home, even though we moved around a lot with the military. Wherever my Dad was posted with 1 Para – we would move there for a year or so, then end up back to Aldershot.

Schools were Talavera Infants, Beaumont Middle and Heron Wood.

Home was in the old Military housing complexes, Willems Park (which used to be near Asda is now) and then Talavera Park (at the top of Barnard Way – the most epic death defying skateboard run down into a busy road LOL)

Willems Park block was army married quarters on Wellington Avenue. It was built about 1964 and demolished in the 1990s, to be replaced by houses again used as married quarters. It was built on the parade grounds of the old cavalry barracks.

Growing up in aldershot 1

By God those housing complexes were grim, but as a kid we had great fun knocking on doors and seeing how far the angry squaddies (or more scary wives) would chase us when we ran away.

In my teenage years I went to Heron Wood Boys School… but there is whole blog on its own. LOL

The official ALDERSHOT SHOWREEL displays a much glossier version of Aldershot than I remember. PS: It’s (rather unfairly) nicknamed Aldershit for a reason 😉

Thanks for the memory jogger 🙂

  • Thank you Mr Litten. Knockdown ginger in Willems! Seriously, there were some hard geezers there. Not for me, we did that at the top end of town, West End. Got a relative called Andy, from Aldershot?

  • I lived in Willems park as a young kid in the late 70’s, when the 4th field regt. Royal Artillery were part of the Airborne, great place, always remember the long path where you could get hit with falling conkers from the trees on each side

    • That’s “Willems Avenue” and its still there. I took my kids on a “where did Dad grow up” tour in 2016 and loved the memory of walking down conker alley….

  • My father was with 1Para and he had met my mother who was American in 1970, and we moved to Aldershot in 1971, living at 332 Willems Park for about 2 years before moving to Montgomery Lines in Berlin in the early 70s. We returned to Aldershot around 1976-77 time and we were at 52 Willems Park. I also attended Talavera and when we returned from Berlin I went to Beaumont. I remember the walk to Talavera and the Lollipop Man near the top of the hill crossing Hospital Hill and the underpass that they had recently laid an asphalt path up to Alexander Road to stop us from crossing the A323. The path through the underpass at that time led to a big empty pit, and the old abandoned Police Station was there.
    The old Calvery Barracks were one place to explore, and there were several bomb shelters located along the side where Beaumont School was. Got caught by a couple of RMPs one day while exploring, and that left an impression on me. We later moved to Derring Lines in Brecon before my father got out and we moved to the USA. I ended up joining the US Army Military Police.

    • Your story overlaps mine almost exactly – Talavera, Berlin then back to Beaumont! Fond memories of exploring the old Barracks and getting chased (but never caught thank god) by the military coppers 😉

  • I lived at 111 Willems Park in 1970-1972. I was in the infants school when the bomb went off, i remember us kids standing at the fence in the rain seeing what had happened, so many blue lights, quite frightening at the time.

    The stories of knockout ginger made me laugh, it was the best game for us all to play. I was too small to reach the button for the lift so i used to have to drag my dolls pushchair up the stairs, or sometimes i would shout to my mum in the flat to press the button for the lift to come down.

    I was surprised how grim the blocks looked when looking back, but at the time it was the norm.

  • Remember it well ,used to live there when very young with my mum. After moving on elsewhere in the town i recall returning with friends exploring on push bikes. Also recall running through the globe trotter in the town full of paras,Ha Ha !!. Finished my education at Heron wood boys school ,leaving in1987 was the last year of all boys before it merged with Maner park girls ,gutted .At age 53 still living in town not the same now though. Still lots of fond memories and still making them too . Time is precious .Enjoy Life .

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