Interview with Joan Burchell (b.1924) and her son Bill Burchell (b.1947) about living in Bletchley, employment and entertainment.

Inside the Queens Pool, Bletchley after the roof had been finished, before reopening to the public. Illustrative photograph supplied by kind permission of BCHI (Accession Ref: BLE/P/282). Original donated by Living Archive.
Inside the Queens Pool, Bletchley after the roof had been finished, before reopening to the public. Illustrative photograph supplied by kind permission of BCHI (Accession Ref: BLE/P/282). Original donated by Living Archive.

Comments about this page

  • The tape recording of my mum (Joan Burchell) my brother Bill is lovely to listen to, I have so many wonderful memories of growing up in Arundel Grove, Bletchley, and remember fondly all of our neighbours /families who lived there. Such happy times in my growing up at Queens pool, also Denbigh school these memories are precious and played a huge part in my being.
    Sue Burchell (Clifford)

    By Sue Clifford (16/12/2022)
  • It is good to see names and places I grew up on the Saints Estate St John’s Road, many happy memories, the London brick company with the chimneys, Wilton Hall, Steam trains to spot at Bletchley, waiting for lorries after cycling to the new M1 junction, Mr Smith, Headmaster at Wilton. Under the table at the original Shoulder of Mutton, Vimto and crisps, grandads guinness, just a drop. Good Times.

    By Leslie Garman (03/09/2022)
  • The man standing on his own is Mr Mead the Superintendent. He was newly appointed to the newly covered former outdoor pool and remained until it closed for the new Leisure Centre. This was not actually many years but I was friendly with his son.

    By Robert Excell (30/06/2021)
  • I enjoyed reading the article Joan Burchell wrote. Lovely memories.
    My parents moved from the Harrow area due to overcrowding and no housing, to Bletchley in 1963 with my 10mth old brother, so about September that year. I was born January 1965. We lived in Rutland House, Middlesex Drive, (my mum thought that 2bed flat was a palace!) In 1968 we moved to Surrey Place. My parents are both still alive and live in Whaddon Way now.
    What interested me in Joan Buchell’s story was that now I live in Arundel Grove! My husband and I have lived here since 2001 and are very happy. The residents of Arundel Grove have become firm friends and quite tightly knit since the VE Day celebrations this year. This month, December, we are taking turns in making our windows festive – Advent Windows – and its a lot of fun.
    We have residents who have lived here since the beginning, Tony and Hilda, who celebrated 70yrs wed this June, and Berny who has lived in the street for yonks too! We live at the Kenilworth Rd end, our row of semis were built about 5yrs after the rest of the Grove for “executive workers” Tony says they were built for workers of Bletchley Park, but i dont know that for sure.
    I love Bletchley, i remember the outlying villages of The Shenleys and Loughton etc being distinctly separate from the towns of Bletchley, Wolverton & Stony Stratford. I used to cycle to my friend’s house in Loughton and then on from there.
    I have many fond memories of Derwent Drive Youth Club, great times! I feel i had a full and fun childhood, very lucky to have experienced the freedom of disappearing off with a packed lunch with my friends in the summer and having a great day away from it all in the fields surrounding Bletchley and the villages. I lived in West Bletchley and attended Denbigh School in Cornwall Grove.
    I could reminisce more but maybe another day x
    Diane Simmonds aged 55yrs & 10mths old

    By Diane Simmonds (18/12/2020)
  • i used to swim at bletchley,and sure that is not queens pool,it had wooden seats round the outside

    By steve (18/12/2020)
  • PLEASE amend daughter’s name to Susan. I don’t know why I typed in Carol!
    I would still be interested to know how she is doing,
    Thank you
    Patricia Palner

    By Patricia Palmer (Price) (09/05/2018)
  • I lived next door to Joan and Jerry and their family. My two sisters and I played with Billy, Johnny and Susan. I remember watching Princess Margaret’s wedding round their house because they had ITV! I have often wondered about Arundel Grove because, as they say, Milton Keynes destroyed the Bletchley in which we grew up. My late Mum, Mary, always mentioned Susan and wondered how she was doing. I remember Rock’n’Roll nights at the Working Men’s Club, the swimming pool with Joan telling us off (!) and Saints Junior School. A great childhood!

    By Patricia Palmer (Price) (04/05/2018)

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