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Harlow is 70: Why I Came Here: Cheryl Prax and The Pinball Wizard

Harlow is 70: Why I Came Here / Tue 21st Mar 2017 at 08:21am

CHERYL Prax’s father Cyril made the short hop from Hertford to Harlow in 1969. For his oldest daughter, Cheryl, it was quite a wrench, leaving her friends especially as she was into fourth year at school.

Cheryl’s time in Harlow was, relatively speaking, short, but she seems to have packed in a lot in those five years.

And as for the title of this piece. Cheryl went on to have a walk on part in the film Tommy. Cheryl gets to hand a note to Ann-Margaret which tells her that her husband (Robert Powell) was missing in action.

Tommy 1

Cheryl’s story

My sister (Linda) and I moved to Harlow in November 1969 because our Dad’s printing firm, Shenval Holdings moved from Hertford to Harlow. Mum (Pauline) and Dad (Cyril) took the first council house offered to them in Churchfield because it ticked all the boxes and was a cycle ride away from Templefields where my Dad’s firm had relocated. We were sad to leave all our friends, especially Mum. However, the new friends Mum made in Harlow were the best ever. Dad still lives in the same house now which he purchased from the council a long time ago.

My sister and I went to Mark Hall school. I was in the 4th year and she was in the 1st. I joined the Mark Hall Old Boys Society (MHOBS) and went on many of their events. It was due to the excellent teaching and encouragement at Mark Hall that I went to college and gained a degree in Psychology.

On Saturdays I worked at Woolworths and then Marks & Spencer and in the holidays I worked in the CWS biscuit factory, Pitney Bowes, Royal Mail (the highlight was delivering post to the Petting zoo) and Greenpar Engineering near Harlow Mill station.

I also helped out at the Town Park pop concerts and when we had bands like the Bay City Rollers and Hawkwind I was enlisted as a ‘bouncer’. We wore red shirts with the Harlow Council logo on. I think I still have my shirt. They were fantastic times.

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