please empty your brain below

Fascinating stuff DG. Jack Cohen used to live in Chessington Avenue, near Henlys Corner in Finchley. My grandfather, who lived two doors away, was his dentist. I remember my Mum saying she visited the store in Burnt Oak when it first opened.
I grew up fairly near Burnt Oak and my Dad lived in Burnt Oak from 10 so the newer Tescos was a frequent childhood venue for shopping. I remember being told that the first Tesco was in Burnt Oak but I hadn't realised it was on a different site. Nice piece.
I also spent my first years in Burnt Oak and remember the wonderful Co-op (now a Peacocks) at the corner. I lived in Mollison Way in an area named after British air pioneers - as it was built on the former Stag Lane aerodrome.
So that's what you were doing in Burnt Oak (was there a singed tree once?).

Perhaps I should mention (again?) the first self-service (rather than counter-service) Tesco which opened in St Peter's Street in St Albans in 1947. There was a time when it traded on two floors but it was quite small. It closed relatively recently, when the store moved down the road to the much larger premises vacated by Woolworths.
I think the Well Street Tesco has been there for quite a while - according to this page, since 1970. It's my local store, but I had no idea it was roughly where it all started.

If you're interested in the history of another big supermarket, hidden away inside the Museum of London Docklands is the Sainsbury Archive, which has some interesting display, old packaging and ephemera.
The register office for Barnet used to be in Burnt Oak - and I got married there. Mind you, I thought I was actually going out for a birthday lunch.
A bit more info on Jim Mollison the flyer. From Wikipedia...Four roads were named after Jim Mollison. Mollison Way on the former runway of Stag Lane Aerodrome. In Enfield is Mollison Avenue on the site of Weston Aerospace. Mollison Drive in Croydon on the former site of Beddington (Croydon) Aerodrome. In Gravesend there is a Mollison Rise near the site of former RAF Gravesend.
Jim Mollison was married to Amy Johnson who learned to fly at Stag Lane Flying School. There is a small block of flats called Amy Johnson Court where Mollison Way meets Stag Lane. A blue plaque commemorating Amy Johnson is on the wall at Vernon Court on the Hendon Way (A41)just before the junction with Finchley Road.
My sister worked at the Co-op in Burnt Oak on Saturdays in the early 60's. Her take home pay for the day 17/6...seventy seven and a half pence!
Ah! That's what brought you here! My grandparents moved out from Hoxton/Hackney in the early 1930s to Burnt Oak, and my parents/ brother are still there.
Nan worked in the Co-Op as well (now Peacocks) and my brother lives off Stag Lane. I opened my first bank account at Barclays on the opposite corner (now an amusement arcade)
Did you see Hassans, just down from Superdrug. It's a slice of old that has somehow managed to survive almost unchanged. I remember as a small child in the 60s/70s going in there for socks/hankies etc for dad. It was like walking onto the set of Are You Being Served with the glass and wood counters, and wooden drawers everywhere! Everytime I pass through I'm amazed to see it's still doing business, and looks virtually unchanged from the front!
The giant new Tesco in Woolwich opens on Monday. It's an interesting building design...
MOTB: Barnet Register Office is still on Burnt Oak Broadway. I live on Stag Lane (Named after Bald Faced Stag PH next to Tesco. Pub is for sale.) I went to school at Orange Hill on the Watling estate. I'm a year older than Robert Elms, who wrote about life in Burnt Oak in the 1970s in 'The Way We Wore'.
Dixon's (Photographic) first shop was a mile north on Station Road, Edgware. It's now a food shop but was Dixon's until about the year 2000.
My next-door neighbour lived in Watling Avenue until he moved in to his newly-built home in 1932. He attended Goldbeaters' School.
And while we're at it, my great grandmother used to live on Orange Hill Road. She might even have used that first Tesco, although I suspect she was much more a Co-Op shopper.
Like my Dad - who has refused to use Tesco since the Homes for Votes scandal led by the Tesco heiress lady Shirley Porter.

My maternal grandmother on the other hand refused to use the Co-Op - "it's a socialist organisation" - which, to her, was anathema!
Stag Lane and Burnt Oak 1927.

This is an excellent newish website. Thousands of pictures aerial pictures of Britain from the 1920's. A must view site for anyone who is an anorak like me!
Cornish, I used to do all my clothes shopping at Hassans and Milletts in Burnt Oak. From Levi red tab jeans that had to be shrunk in the bath to Ben Sherman shirts. Opposite Burnt Oak Tube station was the excellent London Lending Library. Got all the latest American comics and war mags there. Even got a small deposit when returning the comics.
Beginning to sound like the Python four Yorkshiremen now...
The library is still there on the corner of Watlin Avenue & Orange Hill Road.
*waves to all ex-Orange Hillians*! I was a second generation pupil there!
Some photos I took on tour of The Oak a couple of years ago
This brings back floods of memories. I used to live on Silkstream Road and went to The Annunciation Primary and St James’ Secondary Modern. In particular, I remember the London Lending Library, run by Mr Paddy,a man of rabid right wing politics , but politics aside a great character. He used to hang the Christmas annuals of The Beano, Dandy etc. On a clothes line in the front window so you could alert your parents. He predicted, rightly as it turned out, what Burnt Oak would look like in 50 years time. A popular shopping centre ,people came from miles around-the only oldtimer left is Hassans. Phillip Norman Menswear had Levi and Lee jeans and Melka shirts before anybody else and Phil would spend hours outside the shop talking to the local villains. There was the English Butchers, where you got meat and a running commentary on the state of the nation. The Watling Estate had 3 parks, Silkstream, Watling and Montrose (which backed onto the old Colindale bus garage where the last of the trolley buses were stripped or, if the local lads got in, burnt.
Here is a video of the scrapping of the trolleybuses at Colindale...not Charlton as wrongly titled.

Another bit of long forgotten history relating to nearby Burnt Oak. There was a railway branch line ending in Montrose Park with a station named Hendon Factory Platform. The line only lasted from 1918-1921. I used to practise playing tennis against the wall of the old Engine Shed back in the 60's. This is pictured in both black and white and colour at the
bottom of this article.
The supermarket down from Tesco has a great selection of Baklava and Turkish bread. It also has its own butchers. Well worth a visit, and the queues are better than Tesco.

Also, the kebab shop's restaurant room may look like a transport cafe, but the food is great, and really cheap. The Iskender is very good.
in fact, tesco's first store was not on the site of superdrug but further down on the opposite side 2 shops up from the co-op funeral parlour.
I used to manage a shop in Watling Avenue on the same side as Hassans
called Lyons A sort of mini Marks and Spencer that was in the late '60's

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