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Tales From The Forumside


John P. Mone

Copyright C 2017 V.2

John Mone

All Rights Reserved

Published by Forumgang Publishers at Smashwords

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Table of Contents



Chapter 1 - The Mystery of the Trains

Chapter 2 - The Ghost in the Mirror

Chapter 3 - Tales My Mother Told Me

Chapter 4 - Life in The Forumside

Chapter 5 - A Day at the Zoo

Chapter 6 - The Strange Tale of Father Patrick O’Murphy

Chapter 7 - Uncle Paddy

Chapter 8 - The Irish Ferry

Chapter 9 - The School Dentist

Chapter 10 - The Art of Scrumping

Chapter 11 - The Creature Walks Amongst Us

Chapter 12 - Sports Day at St James

Chapter 13 - Saturday Morning Pictures

About the Author

Connect with John Mone


To Don Shaw for his assistance and his book, “Growing Up With Agnes”

Memories for Posterity, Woody Point

U3A Redcliffe, Writing, Formatting, Editing EBooks Group

To my wife Jayne, for her Encouragement


The Forumside was an industrial area bordered by about twenty shops and thirty flats, close to Edgware’s Station Road and The High Street. It lay at the beginning of the Edgware Road, which runs for 16 kilometres/ten miles, to Marble Arch in central London.

When I was a child, it was surrounded by three pubs, an ancient church with a bell-ringing tower, a school and a railway goods yard. Nestled inside this L-shaped block was a bread factory named “Spurriers”, several engineering factories and workshops, a telephone exchange and two very old workmen’s cottages which must have been leftover from Edgware’s agricultural past.

The Entrance to The Forumside, was a laneway known locally as The Alley, or more commonly The Forum, it’s main purpose was to give access to the factories and the flats, which were mainly occupied by families with children, several of these families had up to twelve children each. This was after two world wars and the British population was being encouraged to repopulate the country and it would seem that the parents of The Forumside were doing their best for Britain.

I recently read of one forensic archaeologist's report claiming that The Forumside could have been the site of the Roman Sulloniacis mansio, mentioned in the Antonine Itinerary. A mansio was an official stopping place on a Roman road, a place to stay the night and change horses. Edgware was ten miles from London and ten miles before St Albans. Consequently, it is possible that The Forumside was the location of the long lost Roman staging post, water was available from the nearby Edgware Brook which was apparently much deeper and broader during the Roman occupation. Before the Romans arrived the area was disputed territories between the Celtic Trinovante and Catuvellauni tribes.

After the Romans left, the Saxons settled in the area. North of the Thames to just north of modern day Edgware became known as the land of the Middle Saxons or Middlesex.

An enterprising Saxon named Ecgi built a weir across the brook to create a pond to trap fish and the area became known as Ecgi’s Weir, the name was recorded in a charter in 975 AD. The name slowly changed to Edgware.

Then, there was the composer, George Frederick Handel, who spent several years as a resident in Edgware, during the early 1700's, he was employed by the local Duke of Chandos. Handel left the Chandos estate when the Duke, who was in charge of the British Armies payroll lost the lot on the stockmarket and his mansion and estate was sold. Another famous personage was Dick Turpin the famous highwayman, who would visit Edgware in the 1730,s for various nefarious deeds.

Chapter 1 - The Mystery of the Trains

When I was about five years old, my older brother Frank, who was three years my senior, was told to entertain me for the afternoon. We discussed various plans and Frank decided it was time that I was introduced to the mysteries of the London Underground Railway system. We set off merrily from our home in The Forumside, walking along Station Road and stopping to look in the local shop windows. It must have been close to Christmas as I remember the toys in one particular shop window and the Christmas decorations.

On arrival at Edgware Station, Frank led the way past the ticket collector, who was busy collecting tickets from the passengers of a recently arrived train, down the dimly lit, broad wrought iron stairs and on to the platform, where a brightly coloured shiny red train, with gleaming glass windows, was waiting to welcome us with doors wide open. We entered and I marveled at the plush interior with its velvet like seats, patterned upholstery and sparkling metal hand railings. Bouncing on the seats, I asked Frank where the train would go, he replied that he didn’t know, but it didn’t matter, because we could get off at any station, walk across the platform and board the next train travelling back the way we had come and this would bring us back home.

“Great,” I said. Then a thought struck me, “Why aren’t other children using the trains?”

He replied, “They haven’t been shown the mysteries of the trains.” Just then the train came to life with a low rumble.

“It’s alright,” said Frank, “The train’s just warming up, it won’t move for awhile. We can do anything we like while it’s not moving, we only have to behave ourselves when it leaves the station.”

I stopped bouncing up and down on the seat and noticed for the first time the big shiny red lever, high up on the wall in one of the corners of the railway carriage.

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