We are indebted to Ray Kemp who has shared with us both his Kemp Family History together with some memories and photographs when residing in Summerhill Road. Based upon this information we have created a provisional Family Tree to help understand the family relationships

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Just thought I would send you an update concerning my family who lived for many years at 49 Summerhill Road. To explain this interest. I am Raymond Kemp the son of Alf who used to live at this address along with his sisters Olive and Vi


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Picture approx 1938


William & Julia Kemp, along with their sons Will and Alf and daughters Vi and Olive, moved to 49 Summerhill Road just before the second world war. Julia's sister, Annie, was married to Alf Facey and they lived in the house directly opposite number 49 in Summerhill Road.

At one time the Kemp's owned several piano shops in the Clapton and Hackney area of London. William Kemp was a skilled piano maker

Like so many Londoner's the family were descended from French Huguenot's. There is some evidence to suggest they were related to the Protestant arm of the Bourbon French Royal Family who were exciled to England in the 1720's. Part of the family fortune was lost when fire ripped through the silk loft in which they lived in Hackney.

Julia died in 1951 and William in 1954- Both are buried in Tottenham Cemetery

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Pictured left to Right:  Alf , Vi , Olive, Will, Doris sitting.

Will Kemp, the oldest son married Elsie and, after initially living in Clapton, they moved to Dover where they had a son, Peter. Will died in 1997 and Elsie in 2009

Alf died in Eastbourne in 1999. Olive died in Kent in June 2009. Doris died in the 1960's and and Vi a short time after 2003.

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Ray Kemp in the Garden of 49 Summerhill Road with 'RAMBO' - the dog belonged to John Watson who owned the paper shop on the corner of Seaford and Braemar Road


Alf Kemp was a railway plumber on the London Midland Scottish Railway. He was called up during the war and joined the Kings Royal Rifle Corps where he was trained as a medic. The first casualties he treated were on the D day beaches as shells fell all around him.

Six weeks after the D Day invasion began he was severely wounded himself by a shell which killed his best friend who was standing beside him. He was sent home to England. A couple of weeks later while he was recovering his wife, Ethel who he had married during the war died in childbirth leaving him with a young, newly born son, Roger.

When Alf had recovered from his wounds he was sent to join his regiment and took part in the crossing of the Rhine. By then nearly all the men he initially landed in France with were dead. One of his worst war time experiences was taking part in the liberation of a Concentration Camp at Minden near Hamburg. The scenes he saw there gave him terrible nightmares for the rest of his life.

After the war he returned to live at Summerhill Road. In 1948 he married Nellie Kemp who was the widow of an RAF officer who had taken part in the Dambuster raids. She had a young daughter from her marriage to the officer.

Alf and Nellie bought a house in nearby Seaford Road where in 1951 they had a son, Raymond. He went to Tottenham Grammar School and became a television presenter and reporter for ITV working in the West Country, Cumbria and Brighton. Roger, his older brother, worked for many years as a firefighter at Tottenham Fire Station

Alf died in Eastbourne in 1999  and Nellie died in Enfield in 2008

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Olive Kemp pictured left with nephews' Roger and Ray Kemp at the door of 49 Summerhill Road.

Just to give you a little more information about Olive’s background. She had strong Christian convictions. Even as a teenager she would go on her own into the rough and tough world of London’s docklands to preach and hand out leaflets. She was a nurse in London’s East End during the war but never managed to fulfil her ambition to become a missionary in the Far East 

In the 1950s Olive left Summerhill Road for several years to work with a Missionary Society before returning to live with her older sister Vi..  In the 1960s their older sister, Doris, was widowed and came to live with them before she died. At one time in the sixties all three sisters were living together at Summerhill Road.

Olive Kemp passed away peacefully on 6 June 2009 at a nursing home in Kent.

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Ray and Roger Kemp in the front garden of 49 Summerhill Road about 1966. Ray is wearing the Tottenham Grammar school scarf. Roger is in London fire brigade uniform.

The house in the background show number 50 Summerhill Road where Alf Facey and wife Annie lived. Some of these houses have long since been demolished to make way for flats.

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Roger is pictured at the wheel of his Fire Engine outside number 49 Summerhill Road.

In the background you can see St Philp's Church in Philip Lane.

The following is a transcript of the original letter written by Olive Kemp in 2003 that recall her Summerhill Road Memories

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Miss O Kemp




                                                                                                                                                                                                                20th February 2003

 Dear Ray,

 Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write to us, Vi is now 94 years old. She has had a skin graft on her hand, she has also had a stroke and had a pacemaker fitted. She is at home and has a lady in once a week to bath her and wash her hair. She has made a remarkable recovery from the stroke. She was in hospital for three weeks and could not speak. She has overcome this problem but can’t always get out what she means to say but all in all she is wonderful. I am Olive and am now 83 years old but I am arthritic and only get out to the town twice a week in a taxi. It was nice to know that you had a Jubilee Street party in Summerhill Road, we did not have a street party here as it’s a big housing estate (Middle Oak) which is owned by the Circle Thirty Tree Housing Association and its linked up by garages and walkways so they could not close one road and I don’t think anyone wanted the responsibility of organising a street party, although I did attend a Jubilee Party at our local church. It was held on a Sunday afternoon and was for senior citizens only and we all had a good time.

 I do remember you and your brother and sister Christine, you lived two doors away from the Misses Hall. One was a head teacher. I did hear the sad news from Mike Diprose on the loss of his beloved mum Ellen. We were pleased to hear about Ivy Pearman but sorry that she had to leave her home in Summerhill Road. We were surprised to learn that she was older than Vi !  So we will contact John with our regards to his mum, a really nice lady.

 We lived in Summerhill Road before Ellen and Fred Diprose. We came from Clapton, although my relatives lived in Tottenham, as did our Mum and Dad, but lives took them to Clapton E5 where we lived prior to returning to Tottenham. We remember Mr and Mrs Sudaby and an Uncle and Nellie who lived at number 45 (Prior to Ruby and Jeff Nicholls and their boys). The Uncle and Dad died and Nellie and her Mum moved to Wiltshire, but they used to take in washing and were well known for the quality of the work they done. They also had a pear tree in the garden and we often got some, but the pears were very hard, in fact too hard to eat. They also kept chickens.

 Our brothers Will and Alf  lived with us at number 49. Both were married and were away during the war years, but both of them celebrated their Golden Wedding and only last week Will’s widow Elsie came to visit us with her daughter-in-law Margaret, who brought Elsie along from near Dover where Elsie is in a residential home. She looks well for 91 years old. Alf’s widow Nellie is 81 years and lives in her home in Eastbourne, although she had an operation early this year and her daughter also brought her along to visit us after Christmas, which was nice. 

 Getting on, opposite us at number 50, a Jewish couple lived upstairs and the husband was training to be a Rabbi. We don’t know what happened to them but downstairs a mother and her daughter lived.

June, The daughter, owned a canine beauty parlour somewhere and used to catch a bus every morning and often took poodles in for a trim. She also looked after the dogs while their owners were on holiday. She always seemed to be taking dogs out for walks. A really pleasant woman who really admired dogs !  Do you remember Mrs Parrott ?  a lovely lady who died in St Josephs Hospice in Hackney Road. Did you know that the Small’s family lived at number 51 before Ellen and Fred Diprose ? They had four children Charlie, Freddie, Peter and Beryl. They moved to a cottage further up the road. Mr Small joined the Downhill’s Bowls Club (I am not sure if it was same time as Mr & Mrs Robbins from the Dorset Dairy at the top of the road) and I think I am right Mr & Mrs Small came from Sunderland. I think the rear gardens of Elizabeth Terrace and Park Cottage must once have been an orchard going on the amount of old fruit trees growing there! I also remember the Trotter family at number 37 having some big apple trees in their garden, while we had gooseberries and raspberries growing in ours (Really lovely).

  Alf, Kathy and I did fire-watching in the street during the war. The derelict house next door to Mrs Holgate was used for this and Mrs Holgate cleaned it up and put tea etc in for us. Another nice lady! while Vi was on duty at Hackney Town Hall. I can also remember the day when a Barrage Balloon broke loose and it took the spire off the top of St Annes Church and it virtually landed in Summerhill Road. It did cause a real stir in the road and we still think of it today.

Another memory we have was all the refugee’s over from Belgium. Mrs Pearce took a couple of them in. I know we tried to talk and laugh with them. I don’t know if you would remember but they nearly all wore black clothes and would all meet at St Ignatius Church in the mornings. I can also remember Mrs Pearce having to queue up for something in Philip Lane and while in the queue she was talking to a lad who was desperate for Bed and Breakfast for the night. So she took him in for the night and, when she came down in the morning, the lad had gone and so had her purse! He happened to be a deserter from the forces and he pinched her purse and ran off ! 

 I had a job at Haringey Council for 10 years and was a polling clerk in Seven Sisters School and also at the West Green Baptist Church. It was an interesting job.

 We have ground floor flat here at Hatfield and we have a nice patio, but it is all altered since we moved out here. We are on the Piper Alarm system, as Vi has fallen on the floor a couple of times. It’s a 24 hour-a-day system and it’s comforting to know all we have to do is press the button to get help when we need it.

 Please give our best wishes and regards to everyone who knows us from Summerhill Road where we spent many happy years, and its nice to walk down memory lane. So our very sincere best wishes in all you undertake and our hopes that your web-site on Summerhill history and residents memories will be a big success.

 Yours sincerely

 Vi and Olive Kemp ( ex number 49 Summerhill Road)

 (Note: This letter has been reproduced for the internet site from the original written by Olive Kemp)  

                  Original article by Olive Kemp 2003 - UPDATED by Ray Kemp November 2010                                                                     

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