What is your favourite memory of Cedar Chase? Send it to the CC50 organisers and we will add it to this page. Here are a few that we have collected so far:

In 1966 we were living near Blackheath Span houses, so we knew about Eric Lyons, in south London. We decided it would be easier for Tony’s commute to the BBC to move to a more convenient place, i.e.off the M4. So one Sunday morning we saw the Span advert in the Observer- for Taplow. We had never heard of Taplow but set off that afternoon to have a look at these houses.

We drove along Rectory Road; only the bottom row were built – 9-14,but immediately we were excited at the design and went to look at the show house at no 9… We said “yes” immediately.

We moved in August 1966 to a rubbish filled site, workmen everywhere, even in our house laying floor tiles. It was chaotic. No roads, footpaths, no boundaries, it was awful. Jill Frost of Frost Estate Agents had a caravan near the old cedar tree selling houses. When we moved to CC Tony used to come home for lunch from White City in our mini car on the deserted M4 and return after lunch. So quick then. A joy to use the motorway.

Emma and Amelia were not happy with the lack of friends, but soon families moved in and the situation was saved. Eventually there were 50 children here. CC was so named because it had 3 beautiful Atlantas cedar trees in the upper grounds.. All gone now through disease.

The first ever Bonfire night I arranged below No 9 for the few residents who had moved in, not many. Then later it moved to the woods… what we called the lower grounds. Tony used to go to Harrods for the fireworks on the Saturday morning.. On the M4!

CC had to be built on the original building line.. Good really as we have the woods to enjoy.
My girls say it was a wonderful place to live and play in. Happy memories.

Rosemary Read Number 7, 1966 –

A Cedar Chase Childhood by Amelia from Number 7

Cedar Chase was an idyllic location in which to grow up in the 60s and 70s. There were about fifty children, all roughly the same age and we spent most of our time playing in the woods and in each other’s houses. Our mothers would know which house we were in by the shoes outside the back doors! We had no anxious parents hovering over us and had complete freedom to roam around the whole estate, spending many a happy hour making dens in the woods and escaping into the pigs’ field (the field below the woods), glebe field and getting told off by the farmer for flattening his hay in the lower field beyond.

My very best friend, Jo Davies, lived at number 23 and from a very early age, I remember running over the car park (on my own!), up her garden and knocking on her dining room door to continue playing our games. This happened nearly every day, including after school, as we had no homework at St Nicolas’ School until we reached “top class” at the age of eleven or twelve.

In the summer, all the children would play under the water sprinkler set up by the gardener, Mr Donaldson, or play run across games with a quiz master calling out questions which we answered before running across to be the winner and thus take over the quiz master crown. We organised all this ourselves – there were no parents supervising our play.
In the winter, we played “kick a peg”, which was basically hide and seek in the dark in the upper grounds, with the purpose of trying to be the first to “kick the peg” (the mushroom light outside number 6, which died a death, probably as a result of our games). No adults hindered our fun as we hid in the bushes and amongst the cars in the car park!
We also played tennis in the road outside numbers 25 to 20, as well as riding our bikes as fast as we could up and down the road. There were few cars around then!

The highlight of a cold winter would be “ice-skating”, or rather skidding in our shoes, at the Gloekners at number 21. They concreted over their garden, and in winter flooded it to make a temporary ice rink. All the children squeezed into the garden to have fun.

Looking back, I realise what freedom we all had living in Cedar Chase and how lucky we were to have so many children to share growing up with.

Amelia Number 7, 1966 – adulthood

As children growing up through the seventies (the average age was about 6 yrs old in 1970) the most vivid memory is the amount of time spent outside playing ‘war’ ,climbing trees, building camps and wandering off as far as the train station across the ‘pigs field’ and ‘horses field’ at the bottom of the estate. During holiday time, and there being no mobile phones, it was considered quite normal for a group of 10 yr olds to disappear off after breakfast only to return at lunchtime and then off again till supper, with the parents presumably having little idea where their children where.

It was also a decade of must have products for children, particularly with the launch of the Raleigh Chopper and the first wave of skateboard mania. The path running down from no 4 – no 14 was an ideal skateboard path and the thick bamboos that sat at the end of the path adjacent no 8 on the way to the woods, acted as a fantastic crash barrier to pile into having picked up great speed from no 4.

The grounds at the bottom of the estate were ( and may still be?) known as ‘the woods’ with many more trees than currently it seems. (Dutch elm and storms claiming a number of v large trees from memory) There was an old brick structure with a rusty corrugated roof left over from before the estate which was known to us as ‘wooky hole’ . Many skills of climbing buildings, and jumping off the roof were learnt ; a sort of 1970’s ‘free running’

Fireworks night was always a big event with all of us building a huge bonfire and the path down from no 8 to the bottom being lit by tea lights . The main event though was on the Sunday morning after the Saturday display; all the children would get up first thing and run down to the ‘pigs field and ‘horses field’ in search of the much prized spent rockets and mortar cases that had landed there. These trophies,would be bundled up and returned stinking of cordite and sulphur to each child’s respective home.

It does all seem a bit ‘Just William’ but it wasn’t far off…..

Alex Fergusson Number 6, 1966 – adulthood

I was just 3 when we arrived in 1966 and 9 when we left in 1972. My overriding memory, in common with others quoted here, is of childhood freedom. Freedom for all-day commando assaults on the ‘stingers’ in the pig field. Freedom to play kiss-chase in the woods – we weren’t really sure what to do if we caught up with the girls. Freedom to climb the treehouse built by my dad and a few others at the top of the ‘v’ and where I had my first ever taste of coffee (and the first ever kiss of a girl). Surely an idyllic childhood? Thank you Mum and Dad. Thank you Cedar Chase.

Simon Harrop Number 16, 1966 – 1972

45 years ago at 9 o’clock on a Sunday morning, over breakfast in our flat above The Pillars of Hercules pub in Greek Street, Soho, an advertisement in the Sunday Times for a Span House in Taplow caught our eye. We arranged to drive out to view the house that morning. We arrived at 12 Cedar Chase at 11.30. The view of the garden and the lower grounds as we walked in the front door was a show stopper. A quick tour up and down stairs was the clincher. We bought it at 12.00 o’clock.

Karl & Rosaleen Lawrence Number 12, 1971 –

I answered an advertisement in the Sunday Times, which read:”If you want to live in a conventional red brick house, don’t come here! But if you like sunbathing in the nude on a secluded patio without a house in sight, this is the place for you…”

It was and is!!!

Also a good place for my son who spent many school holidays in complete freedom, climbing trees and making dens in the woods. Freedom, too, for mothers who could take it in turns to be around in cases of acute hunger.

The support from neighbours when needed is just wonderful. Long live community housing!

Sally Jobling Number 14, 1988 – 2012

It made me very nostalgic looking at the website as No 20 featured so prominently. We often think of it fondly. Cate said recently as the days lengthened: Simon will be walking downstairs now into that lovely light.

Heather Trotter & Cate Trotter Number 20, 1982 – 2015

We arrived outside the house with our furniture in a rented van. The previous owners had left us some balloons, and within five minutes one of our new neighbours appeared, introduced himself as Bill Ball  and helped us to carry everything in.

Andrew Findlay Number 2, 1988 –

Work parties were a regular feature of Cedar Chase life in the early years. They are less frequent now, and far fewer people turn out to help, but we still manage to do some of the bigger tasks in the communal grounds and things like re-surfacing the gravel car parks.

Tony and I were living in Teddington with him working in Swindon on a temporary project. We needed somewhere within reach of Swindon but also of London for when this job finished. We also wanted to move before the birth of our first child which was imminent. We saw no. 5 Cedar Chase advertised in the Sunday Times and decided to buy it on our first visit.

We moved in in April and one month later Belinda was born. We were welcomed by neighbours and helped greatly to settle in. There were young children in most of the houses and we quickly got to know many families. For her first birthday party we had at least 12 guest children of a similar age.

Then Tony took a job in Germany and we let our house for the whole of 1978. We returned after a year and one month later Stephanie was born. In our absence a number of new children had moved in and as our daughters grew up I either had what seemed like hundreds of children in the house or I had no idea where mine were!

We had lots of very happy communal events such as the annual bonfire party. Cedar Chase was the friendliest place we have ever lived in and may it continue for another 50 years at least.

Pam and Tony Clark Number 5, 1976 – 1981

Cedar Chase has 24 houses, and at one time there were almost 60 children living on the estate! They used to disappear into the communal grounds and not come back until they were hungry.

There is an annual party for residents and their friends. It really started as a kids’ thing, and was so large in the early years that the only way to feed everyone was to roast a complete leg of beef. The original spit was designed and made on the estate, and over the years has evolved into the one now used for the Village Green party. In fact, the Village Green event itself derives from the Cedar Chase Ox Roast – several people moved from Cedar Chase into other Taplow houses and they missed the event so they started one for the whole village!In recent years the number of kids living in Cedar Chase has dropped so the party has become more of an adult event, with lights and live music. The kids still have a great time, though.

This is the only place I have ever lived where I have known the name of every resident.

I love our house and I love our garden. They are both pretty compact but perfectly formed. The layout of the house gives us bright, light rooms and they are very quiet because the rooms we use most don’t connect with our neighbours. Although, I have to say, we have always had very quiet neighbours and they may not say the same about us – two boys growing up with an increasing enthusiasm for music, including trumpet and drums probably aren’t the quietest neighbours! Our garden is very secluded and during the summer feels like an extra room with exotic plants that transport us to far off lands. The shared garden is a huge extra bonus and one of my favourite memories is Thomas’ 6th Birthday party, December 2009, which was a den building party. Between the showers of pouring rain the boys built dens, ate sausages, toasted marshmallows and climbed trees, it was childhood heaven. Every time I venture down to the ‘big’ garden I feel very lucky to live in Cedar Chase.

Cath and Martin Knight Number 19, 2004 –

And the views of the younger generation of the Knight family….


What do you like about living in Cedar Chase?
The neighbours they are all super kind. I like the of the houses because they look very different.

Do you have a favourite part and why? (building, tree, garden)
I love going down the garden, especially the swings and the climbing frame I feel like I’ve gone far away.

Do you have a favourite memory of living in Cedar Chase?
We had a teddy bears picnic down the garden.

What is Cedar Chase like in the Summer?
Playing football down the garden with my friends.

What is Cedar Chase like in the Winter?
When my friend came over when it snowed and my brother built an igloo and we had hot chocolate down the garden.


What do you like about living in Cedar Chase?
The sense of community and having a shared garden

Do you have a favourite part and why? (building, tree, garden)
The red swing – memories every summer

Do you have a favourite memory of living in Cedar Chase?
Making an igloo

What is Cedar Chase like in the Summer?
When it’s not raining going down the garden feels like a forest

What is Cedar Chase like in the Winter?
I like looking at the bare trees everyone coming out into the snow

The rest of the current younger generation at Cedar Chase also contribute their comments.

Ginny Number 10

I like living in Cedar Chase because I like making dens in the summer, having leaf fights in the autumn and snowball fights in the winter. I love helping put the lights on the Cedar tree at Christmas because I get to climb up to the top with the lights. I like the hog roast because we get to run around the gardens in the dark, I made a friend with a friend of our neighbours at one of my first Ox Roasts, I only see her once a year, we once hid in a fox hole and ate Doritos really late at night.

One of my favourite memories is when Dad and I camped out in the lower gardens, we were kept awake all night by various animals sniffing around our tent and making funny noises!

Amabel Number 10

I love playing in the green space below our garden with my brother and sister and building dens in the woods. I like the metal climbing frame as I can climb to the top and see across the gardens.

I love the ox roast as we get to play in the gardens with our friends until it is really late and dark.

I like looking for insects in the gardens and woods, I once found a snake under the bottom of the slide!

Ted Number 10

I like to zoom around the paths on my scooter and in the summer I like it when my friends come over and we play on the climbing frame. One of my favourite things was building dinosaurs with my cousins in the woods out of the fallen branches.

Emily Number 15

I love living in Cedar Chase as it’s full of amazing wonders like …

WORKING PARTYS: I especially love working parties because apart from helping Cedar Chase thrive you get to eat biscuits and drink juice.
HOG ROASTS: I love hog roasts I especially love the old folk dancing, and before you know it you’ve danced the night away.
PLAYING WITH MY FRIENDS: The friendship here at Cedar Chase is incredibly strong. I like to play spies with my BFFs.

My favourite memory here at Cedar Chase was when it was Christmas and my friends and I were helping out with a working party and we were putting up lights on the big Cedar but we got bored so we went to the end of our communal garden and we had a snowball fight and sledged and built a snowman.

Living at Cedar Chase is like living in a book. Every page you turn is full of new wonders and adventures full of friendship, hope and a whole new day at Cedar Chase!!!!

Zoe Number 15

I like living in Cedar Chase because almost every time something exciting happens, you get an email saying something even more exciting is going to happen.

I LOVE bonfire night; once someone got a big pack of jellybeans and some tiny sweet dispensers and we all got one sweet dispenser each and some jellybeans. I especially love Cedar Chase in the summer when it’s nice and hot and there are flowers everywhere.

Emily Number 21

I love living at Cedar Chase because it’s a great place where I can play with all my friends, I can walk down to the gardens ‘whenever I want’, and I love the Ox Roast in the Summer – when we all get to stay up late, playing on the climbing frame and roasting marshmallows on the fire.

Our story starts in Milton Keynes. In an estate agent’s window we spotted an advertisement for flats in a converted mansion in Gayhurst. We arranged to view and mentioned this to a builder friend. He had been involved in several similar conversions and asked if he could come with us. We liked the flat but decided that commuting from Gayhurst would be too difficult.

Later, our builder friend, who lived in Burnham, telephoned to say that if we were really interested in moving out of London, there was a house up for sale in Taplow, a quiet and attractive village not far from Burnham. We contacted the sellers and visited the property. It was love at first sight and we promptly put our flat on the market. After a while the owner of the first house we had looked at could wait no longer and we had to abandon that one. Another house was for sale in Cedar Chase and we put our name down but then the same thing happened again and we finally settled on number three.

What we had begun to think was impossible then happened. A prospective buyer of our London flat telephoned to say that he was ready to clinch the deal at the price we had asked. So here we are, 24 years later and still convinced you could not find a nicer place to live.

Bill and Marjorie Ball Number 3, 1982 – 2017

We moved to Cedar Chase from London in 1982. Everything was unpacked and we were in our sitting room surrounded by displaced furniture and other household items, including an assortment of plants, etc., when came a knock on the door – a neighbour inviting us to join them for an ox-roast in the grounds. From that visit we had the feeling of friendship and neighbourliness that we came to find characterised this unique place and has remained with us to this day.

We look forward with pleasure to the 40 year celebration in October and hope that we may enjoy many more years in this delightful spot. Thanks to all for their friendship, which we value very much.

Marjorie Ball Number 3, 1982 – 2017

Alistair and Liz found an interesting photo of what was possibly the first barbeque.

The first Ox Roast (1983).

The first Ox Roast (1983).

It’s dated 1983. The man with the knife is Stuart McLean, who helped me to set up the ox roast. He was a local butcher and friend of mine and (inevitably) we got talking in the pub one evening. He supplied the ox and came along to help with the cooking and carving. I was wearing one of his aprons and taking lessons! I remember the first spit was slightly crude with only one shaft and, after a few hours, it was impossible to turn the ox, as it kept sliding round on the shaft. We went round the houses, begging for wire coat-hangers to bind it together. The following year Glyn Davies improved the design with 2 shafts.

In the background, I can recognise Bill Ball, Philip Cooley and Geoff Ideson, who lived in what is now the Smales’ house.

Liz and Alistair Forsyth Number 22, 1978 – 1984

Cedar Chase Ox Roast 2010 (with lamb!)

Cedar Chase Ox Roast 2010 (with lamb!)

The Cedar Chase Ox Roast was a well-established event when we arrived in 1988. We rather adopted the event and changed the emphasis towards an adults party, given that there were very few kids on the estate. With the addition of lighting and a folk band the Ox Roast has become a magical evening for all residents and their friends. The after-hours session around the fire has at least once watched the dawn come up, and the kids, happily increasing in numbers again, still all disappear into the woods…

Jane Curry Number 2, 1988 –

Local Opposition

Cedar Chase was not appreciated by existing Taplow residents when it was first built. An article in the Slough Observer on 3rd June 1966 (which was actually very positive about the houses) noted some strong views:

“Futuristic Crematoria”

“Hideous, appalling and entirely out of keeping with this attractive old village”

Mr. Victor Williams, magistrate and member of the parish council, lives at Rectory Farm, and overlooks the new houses. “The futuristic design of these structures in what has been an attractive village is quite horrible” he said. “These blatant, modern ideas are not right for Taplow.”

Eileen Law said the houses looked like public conveniences – perhaps the origin of the “Taplow Toilets” label. “Everybody in the village is furiously indignant” she said. “Nothing can hide these blatant designs”

Even after winning the Ministry of Housing Award a year later the locals had not really accepted the estate (and a few still haven’t in 2016!). Dr M.A.T. Rogers, who was chairman of the Hitcham and Taplow Preservation Society at the time, said disparagingly “I’ve little doubt they are well designed and nice to live in. It’s just that they are entirely unsuitable for a village which is traditional”.

At least two later chairmen of the society were Cedar Chase residents…