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Growing up in 1940s and 1950s Slough

by Iris White (nee Bateman)

  My family - my grandmother and her husband, Alice and Jim Tatum, my mother and father Anne and Charles Bateman, and myself - came to Slough in 1929 when Bell's Asbestos moved from London. We all worked there, my father for 40 years. He was one of the men who tested the asbestos suits in 1936 and was badly burned in the process. He had the scars all his life.

  My last employment was at Viat-tex which took over the old Aspro factory when they moved to the Bath Road.

  I remember the war years, especially the night when five bombs dropped, four in the park and one in the Bath Road, killing two elderly people. As we lived at 62 Salt Hill Way we heard them fall. Also I remember the time when the ack-ack gun situated near us was practising and accidentally went off, killing two men playing bowls in the park. Luckily it was not our house, as they used it for siting their gun.

  I have many fond memories of the Social Centre as a teenager and also as an adult. It was tragic when the original youth club was burned down at Christmas, 1945. It was never rebuilt as a club again, but as the Industrial Health Centre. The club moved to the football ground and I was an avid fan of the team. I remember cheering them on when they beat Wycombe Wanderers for the local cup, with the only goal being scored by Elwin Rowlands.

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