Roderick David Stewart was born at 507 Archway Road, Highgate, North London, on 10 January 1945, the youngest of five children of Robert Joseph Stewart (26 December 1904 –1990) and Elsie Rebecca Gilbart (14 December 1905 –1996). His father was Scottish and had been a master builder in Leith, Edinburgh, while Elsie was English and had grown up in Upper Holloway in North London. Married in 1928, the couple had two sons and two daughters while living in Scotland, and then they moved to Highgate. Stewart came after an eight-year gap following his youngest sibling; he was born at home during World War II. [nb 1] The family was neither affluent nor poor; Stewart was spoiled as the youngest, and has called his childhood "fantastically happy". He had an undistinguished record at Highgate Primary School and failed the eleven plus exam. He then attended the William Grimshaw Secondary Modern School (later Fortismere School), Muswell Hill. When his father retired from the building trade he bought a newsagent's shop on the Archway Road and the family lived over the shop. Stewart's main hobby was railway modelling.