As part of the Gazette's public service role, the Retro West London page provides reminiscence therapy for those in danger of developing oldtimers' disease.

The article of February 13, recalling the winter of 1940, brought back floods of memories.

That was the year when I had a snowman which I christened Wilfred. No one knew where I got that name, but I can now reveal that I had been impressed by a newsreader on the wireless called Wilfred Pickles.

In Fletcher Road, Acton Green, where I lived, pipes were frozen and a standpipe was set up outside Ward's corner shop to supply water. In those days warmth would come from a coal fire in just one room around which the whole family would huddle.

My mother did not need to join the water queue because my father, much to my amazement, seemed to have an unlimited supply of water under the stairs. He had fixed a tap to the stopcock where the pipe was not frozen.

When Timmy Hurn's horse slipped on the icy road, neighbours rushed to haul it back to its feet. Timmy Hurn, who lived locally, used to deliver vegetables to his customers by horse and cart.

Other callers were the milkman with his horse and cart, and the Co-op breadman, who used to pull his own cart.

Later that year Timmy Hurn's house was demolished by the parachute mine which devastated Kent Road and Church Patch. Soon after he joined the army. A few years later, a high-calibre explosive bomb and then a V1 flying bomb devastated Fletcher Road and killed many of the residents. I still remember their names.