In February 1952 Marcia Thomas arrived in England to join her father who was stationed at South Ruislip United States Air Force Base, and the 15-year-old from Texas embarked on one of the most memorable periods of her life in London.

Now 57 years later the mother-oftwo is trying to track down the people she shared her time with in Harrow.

The teenager, who was known then as Marcia Craver, and her mother sailed on the Queen Mary ship from New York City.

The theatre manager, who is now 74, said: "It was a fascinating experience in itself.

"I was a 15-year-old girl from a small, inland town called Jefferson, Texas, and it was a huge awakening to the sights and sounds of a different nature."

The family moved into a flat in Ealing before setting up home in Merrion Avenue, Stanmore.

The year that followed was a whirlwind of social events. Marcia took tap and ballet lessons at the Stanmore youth centre, which used to be in Merrion Avenue.

She said: "I dearly loved it at the youth centre. It was here that I met so many local young people who seemed to be fascinated with a Texas girl's accent.

"My English friends and I spent some warm days at a small pond, swimming and sunning."

The student was also featured in a newspaper feature about the American school in Bushey. For the budding performer it was a great experience.

She said: "I found out only a few years ago at a reunion of students that I had been elected 'most talented' during the school year.

"I had to leave the school early and did not know."

Marcia was also a majorette in a marching band that cheered on the US Air Force football final played at Wembley Stadium in December 1952.

She said: "It was the first American football match played in England and it was wonderful."

Marcia also took part in the Miss Stanmore beauty contest during the Queen's coronation festival and came in third place; the winner was a hair-dresser called Janet McNair, of Kenton Lane. The teenager also pursued her dreams of becoming a performer.

She said: "I was invited to audition at a West End theatre for a role in a new musical and sang a song and was told I had a job if I had a work permit - unfortunately I didn't."

Shortly after the audition Marcia's father was called back to America and the family returned immediately.

She said: "Since my mother would not let me stay in England alone, we came back to Texas and I married within six months to my high school sweetheart Donald, but everyone knew him as Tater."

Marcia hopes her search for her lost friends will lead to success.

She said: "I was truly in heaven while living in London. I have always said it is my second hometown.

"I received a letter in 1962 from Tony Rose, who went to the youth club - he was the nicest little fella, but I never kept up the correspondence.

"I want to try and find him again and the people I knew."

Marcia believes Tony worked at a car company in Harrow in 1962 and had a flat in Bridgefoot House, Potters Bar.

After working as an actress, singer and cabaret entertainer, Marcia now runs a small theatre and produces original one-woman plays about Texas women.

Marcia had two sons and now has two granddaughters, who she has encouraged to visit London.

She said: "Living in Stanmore really opened my eyes to the world.

"I returned there in 1974 for a vacation and visited Merrion Avenue - it looked the same.

"I went back to London in early 2002 and took one of my granddaughters.

"I will take my other granddaughter in two years and she will be about the same age as I was when I went there.

"It made such a difference in my life and I want it to make a difference in theirs."

* Do you remember Marcia or were you living in Stanmore during 1952-3? If so please get in touch with her at TxStarmt@aol.com