|Forest Gate-born Bryan Forbes pictured in 1950, |
revisiting his old secondary school,
now Stratford School in Upton Lane
One of Forest Gate's most famous sons, Bryan Forbes, the dynamic actor, novelist screen-writer, producer and director of films such as Whistle Down The Wind, The L-Shaped Room and The Stepford Wives has died aged 86.
The Times - usually a reliable source of information - in its obituary and report of 9 May mentioned only Stratford when describing the formative years of the multi-talented Mr Forbes. But from his birth (as John Theobald Clarke) in 1926 to his evacuation as a 13-year-old in 1939, he was brought up in a terraced house in Cranmer Road - one of several obliterated in the early days of the Blitz.
His grandparents lived in Odessa Road, and he was a pupil at Godwin Road Junior School from whence he won a scholarship to the former West Ham Secondary School - now Stratford School in Upton Lane.
Writing exclusively for the Forest Gate Times ('Bryan Forbes Remembers Forest Gate' September 2001) he recalled a happy and carefree childhood ("to me they will always be halcyon days") playing on the Flats, haunting the local fleapit, the Splendide Cinema in Forest Lane - formerly on a site now occupied by the Community School's new multi-coloured bar-code block - and spending his pocket money on bits of Meccano at Pattison's Toy Bazaar and Doll's Hospital opposite the station.
|Pattison's Toy Bazaar and Doll's Hospital, |
opposite Forest Gate station, destination of much of
Bryan Forbes's pocket money, as a youngster
We will return to his wonderful first-hand account of pre-war Forest Gate as soon as time allows.
Author: Lloyd Jeans