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Embed code for: Victor William Thomas Deadman - in his own words2
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My father might properly have been considered by our family as the real-life Baron Munchausen (only without title, lands, deeds, or wealth of any kind). When I was small he told me how Badshot Lea, which lies in the Blackwater Valley, between two high points (Caesar's Camp and Crooksbury Hill), got its name:
Julius Caesar was holding forth at Caesar's Camp and his opponent, General Lee , was with his army on Crooksbury Hill. Lee's second in command asked him if he would like to fire the first canon shot but as the fuse was ignited the canon muzzle dropped and the canon ball flew into the valley below. HIs second in command was heard to utter the immortal words, "Oh, I say, bad shot Lee!" - And that is how the village got its name.
Well, to be fair I was young and impressionable at the time, but when I told some of my more intellectually-able school friends the story, they naturally laughed in my face. I learnt pretty quickly to take what my dad said with a pinch of salt.
However, recently I have had a change of heart having found, after clearing out his home when he went into residential care, 150 or so pages of hand written material about his life and times. As soon as I started reading I realised that (upon further investigation) there was more to his stories than met the eye.
Having made a false start of about 14 pages he starts again, with sometimes more and sometimes different detail or different emphasis. It is also somewhat like reading Chaucer. He alternates spelling and changes grammar and tense. He also has a habit of capitalising most common nouns. However I hope you can bear with me and forgive the inclusion of the false start. I think it's worth it in the end.
Tony Deadman [DATE]
Section One: A False Start
I was born on the 24-1-1914 the begining of the first world War I dont remember much about it until I was 4 years old then I can remember that I was pushed to Aldershot in a pram with my mother to collect washing from the Officers in the Army I can remember one officers name was Lord Carnegee. My Mother had a Laundry by the side of our Bungalow that she used to wash and dry the cloths in. we used to have plays in there as well as most of the children on the green used to be in the Play Molly Brown, Betty Golding Lilly Alexandrer my Sister Marjorie and myself Dolly Brown and Marge Pearsy all girls and me they were mostly girls that lived on the green excepted for Pat Golding and Less Goode but I did not have much to do with them till I was much older and went to school. My Dad worked for the N.A.F.F.I. [NAAFI] during the war and I used to go and see him in the big store at St Georges by the Railway station and get Oranges and Bananas as well until the end of the War. I very often went to visit my Uncle Harry at his house in Lower Weybourne Lane there were only 2 houses then and a Kiln where they dries hops the 2 old houses are still there now behind all the other new houses.
It was all fields from Badshot Lea to the Elm Tree those days because I had to pull mangals and sweeds after the war. Because my Father got stood off after the War because they closed the N.A.F.F.I. or most of them down and my Father had to take a job on the Farm for John Henry Knight at Weybourne until his death and Tice married one of his girls and [took] over the Farms and my Father work for Tice for years till his Death.
Figure 1 The original Elm Tree, 14, Weybourne Rd, Weybourne, FarnhamI used to visit my great Grandfather he used to live in 2 old Cottages in the Upper Weybourne Lane they were the only 2 Cottages up that Lane where they have built Council Houses now there was old Pub opisite them but they pulled the Cotts down and built on their. The old Pub was turned into a house which is still there.
My Father told me he was born at holt Pound he went to Rowledge Church school and paid 1d a day to go. His father had a Farm there I think there were 8 or 10 boys and 2 girls in the Family. his Uncle kepted the Jolly Farmer or owned it at Black Nest on the Crors roads. One of my Fathers brothers got drown when they were skating on Lodge pond near where they lived.
We have a lot of relations around mostly all over the world. My Father used to say that their is a lot of money in Chancery as they could not find one of the Sons he went abroad and they couldn't find him so the money went into Chancery and he said they should soon be releasing it he used to look in the Paper every day to see it it had been released. I dont think it is the name of Deadman it is in the Uncle Name and I cant remember it but Diane will no Georges daughter she will remember it.
I went ot Badshot Lea School and my Brother and Sister all our tine at school till we all left school We lived at Elkins Cottages The Green Badshot Lea they have pulled them down now and built other Bungalows there. When I lived at Badshot Lea there was not many houses there then and every Body new every body and we went out to Partys at other children houses on there Birthdays we had lots of fun there was not many houses in Badshot Lea then nearly all hop Fields and Corn fields I used to help stack the sheaves of Corn when they cut it and pull mangles and stack in heaps in the fields and cover them with the leaves we cut off of them to stop the, freezing because it was about September time and used to have lots of frost at that time and it used to freeze till about March those days and we had lots of snow and frost at that time.
I used to do a lot of skating in those days I had a pair of skates Given me from one of my mates mother and we used to go skating on Robins Pond oppisite the Green where we lived as, there used to be a farm oppisite the Green with a big house with a moat all around it and the Farm had al wll all the way around it excepted oppisite The Green where was a [Seyde? Segde? Eegde? Legde?] and a Pond in the field with a footpath through it. I used to no 2 girls who lived in the farm house and played with them and skated on their Pond I called them the Robins girls as they lived in the lived in the Big house with the Pond.
We had a lot of Ponds around Badshot Lea where the old acient Brittons used to dig the Clay for pots and so forth their used to be one in our Garden that was white Clay and at the Back of our house in the feilds were a lot more Ponds all around Badshot Lea there was lots of Ponds where they dug the Clay.
Behind the back of our cottage was another big house where the 2 Girls of Campbell and brother used to live and used to go and play with them as well and at the bottom in a big house at the bottom of the Green was another big house that had a big pig farm and I played with Les Goode whos Father had the big pig farm and used to go and watch them kill the pigs for the Pork shop they owned at the end of the pig farm at the side of the road and I used to have to go and get liver and Crow for my mother and we used to eat the potatoes the small ones they cooked for the pigs in there skins , there was a Pond on the side of the farm where there were a lot of ducks and geese and used to get ducks eggs and Goose eggs and take them home to mother.
When I began to get older we used to travel farther away from home there was not many houses from Badshot Lea two Farnham for about 3 miles only fields and hops nuserys with fruit trees till we got to Bourne Mill and then there was a few house there their was no street lamps or anything in those days it was the same when we went to Aldershot no lights till we got to St Georges Rd near the Station now. My mother and Father used to take us to waterloo Rd to visit some relations by the name of Mason and a little Higher up used to be the Picks and Pinks I think they were my mothers relations and down below used to be my mothers auntie Jan we used to call her. I very often called in their when I went to Play up Waterloo Rd with friends and went and got a bit of cake and a glass of Lemonade I very often on a Saturday morning called in on my aunt Nance who lived at ash road when I had to take George in a truck we made out of Old pram wheels and get coke at the Gas works in ash Rd and we used to call in my Aunts place and get a lump of cake and a glass of drink her real name was Grover my fathers Sister she had 2 Boys and 2 girls they were a lot older than us and one or 2 geting ready to be married. They are all dead now except Frank Grover he lives in Boxalls lane he has one daughter and Bert has one daughter - Beaty had three girls and one boy 1 girls is disabled and lives in Farnborough one lives with 3 Girls in Brighton Rd Aldershot. Orchard way.
I used to go to school every Sunday school every Sunday afternoon then I went and had to join the Quire and had to go every morning on a Sunday to Church and Sing then I had to go in the Evening as well so I had to go to Church 3 times every Sunday to Sing then when it was lent I had to go every night to Sing in the Church then I had to be confirmed at the Aldershot Parish Church by the Bishop of Guildford then I had to go to Communion every Sunday morning at 8 oclock in the Morning so I finish up going to Church 4 times a day every Sunday until I left School after I was about 16 years old I packed it all in and never went to church as I had to work late every day and the only time I got off was Sunday I had to get up at five in the morning and walk to Farnham to the Bake house at Ransoms on the Corner of South St Farnham but thats another story I will come on to later on.
We use dot have a lot of fun I used to go off all day with my Brother and we never came home tile late at night we had been out with nothing to eat all day In the Summer. Of Cause my Mother and Father had to work all day in the fields till late at night in the Summer and we were left on our own to play I had to take my brother with me always we used to go to Moor Park by the Caves and made a rafted to get on the Swamp and get morehens eggs and used Ducks eggs and make a fire and Cook them in an old tin with water from the river and eat them. We used to have a lot of fun in Moor Park in the Caves and of Course there was no houses in Moor Park then or Crooksbury it was all woods we used to eat hurts and get Carrotts out of the fields and sweades and Hurtle Berrys from the woods dig up some Sort of thing under the Beech trees I forget the name of them of it now.
We made a trolley out of some old pram wheels we found and used to go up and down the hills and roads at Crooksbury as there was no Cars then on the Roads only horse and Carts then and so a lt of swimming in the River all day as well. We some times walked to Cut-Mill to swim in the lake there and Collect eggs to eat as we were there all day. We used to go to Moor Park year to Moor Park house to have a party with the Sunday School Mrs Soames lived their then and we went in a hay-Cart with our tin mugs tied round our necks so we did not loose them to have our tea in and we played games on the front lawn of the house. When I was a bit older half the time I never went to school I used to take my brother and then I used to buss off down the Moors all day and come back and pick my brother up when he came out of school of cause my mother and father did not no as they had gone to work before we went to school and they were not home when we came home from school in the Summer as they never came home till late at night. and they never new where we were till we got home then we used to get into Trouble for not being home. We used to worry our Mother and father to death when we were not home when they came home and found and found us out I had not been to school all day the teacher Mrs Gorey used to give me 6d a week to go to school and clean her Bike for her every week to get me to go to school
When I was between 12 and 13 they said at school the teachers and the Head master that I was a good drawer and painter and they ask my [mother and father] if I could go and they said yes so I started at the art school in west St once a week I went for a little while and was being trained by the Art Master a Mr Allen. I was getting on well until my Parents got short of money and had to give it up as they wanted me to do a paper round morning and night to get a bit of money when I told the Art Master he said it was a pity [to] give it up I could go to a house in Tilford Rd on Saturday afternoons the house was called Strangers Corner on the corner of Greenhill Rd. but I only went one or twice and Mr Allen said he was very sad when I had to give it up as I had to go to work on a Saturday to get Coke in the mornings at Ash Rd and had to take my Brother with me on a truck or old Pram to get the coke in. And in the afternoon I had to go and help in the fields to pull mangles or sweads or Carrotts , as my Father and Mother were being paid peace work and the more they got done the more money the got so that finish my time at the At School Mr Allen tried to get my Parents to let me go to Miss Barnard and her Sister in the morning once a week if my Father would let me in Little Austins Rd and if he would take me but may Father and Mother said no as they would not have the time as we would have to walk there and back in the evening and they said no as they never would have the time so that was the end of that so I never went any more to do any more Painting. they were very hard times when I was young not much work about not very good money for work in those times I think my Father was geting about five to ten shilling a week 6 days work and some times he had to go in on a Sunday to feed the horses and Cows and [I] used to go with him and grind up the mangles in a hand grinder and mix it with Bran for the Cows and feed Corn to the horses.
It was fun Hop picking time tho because my Father work in the Kiln drying the Hops and we used to help him in the evenings and have Baked potatoes Baked under the fire and eat them and help my Father bag the dry hops in what they called pockets and used a press to press the hops in the Pockets they were about 12ft long all day we had to pick hops off the Bines into a bin or baskett it was a horrible job and [I]hated it and used to run off if I got the chance and used to get into trouble for running off when we got home I had to go to bed for running off.
Old Mrs [Ada]Tice asked my Father and Mother if adoped me and bring me up but my Parents would not let me go and said they would rather starve than let me go so they loved me any way. Although I used to play them up they were lovely Parents any way and they put up with a lot from me when I was young they worked hard all the time to get money to keep us three children they were hard times those days and lets hope they never come back. it was terrible no work no money and if you did have work you had to work for next to nothing to try and get a little bit of money. I went to the Art School but when they stoped me Mr Rankin asked if I Could go in the evening to his house they said I could so my father used to take me to Strangers Corner next to Great Austins House in the Tilford Rd. but that was put paid to after a few times and they said they would not afford the time to take me so that was finish then Mr Rankin wanted me to go to do some Painting once a week with Miss Barnard who did a lot of Painting they said they would pick me up and take me and train my to paint Properly so my father took me to see them but when he found out that they were maiden ladies he would not let me go so that was the end of my Painting as I had to work a morning and evening on a Paper round. Mr Rankin after that used to take me out looking for arrow heads and other ancient British things the arrow heads were out of flint stones and we used to find them in Snails Lynch at the end of Broomleaf Rd that came down to the old kiln and river we sound a lot of them I think they are in the Museum in West St now. We found a lot of long Burrows where they used to Beary people in the old days their was one over Robins farm opposite the Green where I found one at the old Chalk pits on Tices Farm one at Sewred [sewerage] Farm one at the bottom of Crooksbury Hill going towards the Sands. We found a lot of things with him and since he is dead he put them in the Museum in Farnham. In those days when I was young it was all Fruit trees from Monkton Lane to Bourne Mill and Green houses on the Guildford Rd to the Princess Royal the pub.
Figure 2 Post card revealing the only photographic image of Moor Park Mill waterfall.We went swimming at the mill in Moor Park under the Railway Bridge there was a Waterfall just under the Bridge that came down from the Bourne Mill water fall and down over the Bank of the Rock house garden the water came from the Bourne Mill Pond where there is a waterfall at Bourne Mill as well the water came accrossed the road and behind the back of the Sheppard and flock pub and under the railway where they Put Pipes when the Put the Railway line in and over the Bank down into the River at Moor Park Mill and we would stand under and have a shower but when they altered the road and took Gravel our behind the Sheppard and flock they cut the river out and diverted it strait down to the river at snails Lynch by the kiln what as been converted into houses.
We used to go and get Chestnuts in Moor Park above the Caves in Moor Park as there used to be loads of Chestnut trees in Moor park as their was no houses then all wood to Runfold. We had a lot of fun with Jim Atfield his Father had a little farm between Weybourne Rd and Monkton Lane their was a lot of woods and we used to play in them that went from his farm to Bourne Mill till they Put the sewer farm Change the lane what we used to call Donkey alley that was the name of Monkton Lane. I had a mate used to live in donkey alley their was about four old houses then his father worked for Bides they have pulled them down now and Built a lot of houses and the Trading Estate When I was younger a Mr Bingham ask my mother and Father if they would let me go to train as a jockey as he said I was the right size to be a jockey but they would not let me go away to train as a jockey. We used to go jumping down at Badshot Lea docks jump and very often fell in and got our feet wet and used to bang our socks on the tree to dry them as we would get into trouble when we got home and we used to go down to the Moors that went from Runfold to Tongham and catch Magpies and teach them to talk we used to catch Owls and Cookcoos [cuckoos] and all sorts. We used to get carbine from the lamps and put it in rats holes and bung it up and when there was a good lot of gas in the hole we used to set light to it and blow the rats out of the holes. I used to go to Pat Golden [-] who lived in a Bungalow net door us to their Uncle at Moor Park [( or Compton is they call it now[) -] they had a had a Building Buisness and used to go with him to do a lot of painting in houses with before we left school at the weekend thats how I learned to Paint and brick laying and we used to get paid for it.
Pat Golding and his Brother and Sister who was my age they had a Pony and trap in a Barn in there Garden and we used to have some fun with that he had 3 Goats we used to milk and drink the milk its a funny thing that Pat Golding had a Pony and trap and Lees [Les] Good had a Pony and trap on his Dads farm with Pigs and Doug Sanders Dad had a Pony and trap on his small holding in Seale Lane so I had a lot of fun with the different Pony and traps that they had
We used to go to Old Harry Nickson that lived at the Bottom of Burnthill hill where a little river runs along the bottom of the hill and he had a big apple Orchard there and we used to take the Pony and trap and collect windfalls for Doug Saunders Pigs to misx with the Bran and that [-] for the pigs at Seale Lane. Lees Goods Pony was a black Pony it was compleatly Blind but we used to ride but we used to ride it in the field behind the back of our house in the field and we rode it bare back. and we had some fun with that Pony at weekends. it was a lovely old pony very gentle and let us do any-thing with it. We used to hid and seek at night in the winter Dicky Dicky Dike show us your light with a torch we got chased till we caught then we had to change over and hide our selfs till we got caught with the Torch.
Section Two - Start Again
I am writing about the Deadman family from when I was born the first thing I really remember is my oldest sisters Wedding their were four of us two Sisters two Boys and my Mother and Father. I remember my oldest sister getting married to a Scotsman he was in a kilt and aporon . I remember them going from Grovener Rd to the Church. My Gran was there and my mother and father the Cranham Trusslers Pinks Masons and Simes [Sims] the reception was held at the back of the Post office they had. They also had Groceries shop next door and a sweet shop next door to that all the familys lived next door to each other and had shops in Grovener Rd.
My Mothers Father was a master he built the duke of wellingtons Statue and a lot of Aldershot [Army] camp and the Queens Hotel [Aldershot]. My Mother was born at the Lordy [Lawday] House Hale. My Father was born at Holt Pound he lived on a Farm that his father owned he went to Rowldge School which was a church School. One f his Brothers was drowned in Lodge Pond when they were skating my father paid a Penny to go to school I have a book which he had as a Prize. his father [William Deadman, b. 1836] was the first Counciler on Farnham Council.
I very often went with my mother to visit the Simes at hale Common, first they lived in Wooden huts that the Army had then they moved to Council Houses. I had to visit my fathers, Grandfather and mother lived at Weybourne at the Elmtree they lived on the Bank in the upper Weybourne Rd where the council houses were built after the 1914 War. My Father Grand Parents moved their after the Goverment took over the Farm for Building more forest and trees when they cut down so many for the War and wanted ground for the Forest their is still part of the Farm still left there at Present
I had to visit my uncle Harry and his wife and two children Harry and May. they lived at the Kiln in Lower Weybourne Rd the tow old houses are there but the Kiln they Pulled down and built houses their. My Grandfather and Harry went to help John Henry Knight on his Farm at Weybourne.
I can always remember going to see my father during the War he worked at the NAFFI we always got Oranges and Fruit at the Railway sidings in St Georges Rd. My Mother my mother worked for the Army during the War when she Used to do the Washing for the officers Lord Carnegey and other Lords in the Army My Mother had a Laundry on the Green next to our house and she used to employ one or two other women [to] help her. I can always remember going to camp and collecting the washing.
I can remember having chicken pox I was left all day and got fritened and climb out the window and out under the Laundry window nearly all day until MRs Brown found me and took me in doors till my mother came home its a wonder I did not Die of cold. After the War I can remember queing for Butter and Bread at the Shop in Village every thing was short then.
After the War they stood my father off he was out of work we got no money we had to go to the Spike in Farnham they gave us Bread sugar meat and Butter once a week. Then my Father got a job on Tice's Farm which belong to John Henry Knight. My Brother George was born My Sister Marge at School and I was nearly 5 years old then. my Brother was just beginning to run about John Henry died he lived in Barfield house then Old Mrs Tice, being John Henry Knights girl [daughter] inherited all the Farm old Mrs Tice wanted to Adoped me but my Father would not let me go. After Henry Knight Died a lot of land was sold off Robins bought the Farm opposite the green it had a big wall all the way round form the Pond and school next to Rankins' [Rankine's] the Head masters house by the school. It went round to Green Lane Farm. The Big house had a moat round the house and I used to play over there with the Robins children we used to have a school fate in the field opposite the house.
I started school now and I was in Mr Diers [?Dyer's] class thats when I met Edna Niggers she was the same age as me and she used to come home with me to tea when we had a fate each year we were great friends all the time until I was fifteen then she want away as her Mother Diedand her Father left Vicks garage and went away. The next year I went up to Mrs Cooks class had lots of Fun now geting older and starting to get into Mischief and trouble. The next year I moved into Mrs Metcalfs class she had just started there and was the Vicars wife thats when we started Sunday School and the choir. I had to go to Church Sunday mornings in the afternoon and at night to sing in the choir. I was in the choir till I left school I was confirmed at Aldershot Parish Church we had to be in those days thats when we first started Church outings. We always went to Moor Park house the Soames were there then. We used to go in a hay Wagon with a tine cup tied round our neck we had a lot of fun every year at Moorpark House once a year the church used to take the Quire to Portsmouth the Chara Bang [charabanc] we had had solid tyres and the top folded back and when we got to Butser hill we all used to have to get out and help push bus or Chara-Bang as we called it. It was driven with a Chain drive to the Back wheel axel it looks very funny when you look back at that Chara-Bang now.
I am getting older in Mr [House's] class he is nearly stone deaf we are plying him up some-thing terrible he said he would give a 1d [a penny] to the best runner bean grown so Fred Smith and myself had this bean in our desk the lid lifted up it was like a square box with a lid the desk and we used to have this bean on a piece of wet Blotting Paper in a Saucer and we use to light a fire in our desk to make it grow quicker but we got caught out one day he asked us [to] open the desk and when we opened the desk smoke poured our all over the room the desk had caught fire and there was smoke everywhere we got the cane for that 4 on each hand.
Old Mr [House] being deaf we used to through lumps of paper at him he used to put his Pencil in his mouth grind his Teath and Clump us round the ear. This is the time I started to get into trouble at school. I never used to go to school half the time I would ither be down the moors in the Copse looking for birds nest and such like. we went jumping ditches hang by our toes from the limbs of trees
In the holidays we went swimming in the river in Moorpark Girls and boys together with no cloths on and being young we never took any notice about girls swimming with us. we were all freinds together. we went all over Crooksbury woods moorpark it was all woods no houses we traveled for miles through the woods to Cut-mill. And swim there we also swam at the laundry snails Lynch or snorsring we used to call it. Their was a lot of King-fishers along the rivers we used to got Ducks eggs from the swamps at Moor-Park. We made a trolley out of a old Pram and came down Crooksbury hills there was no traffick about those days. As I am getting older and summer is nearly over I have got to go up lower Weybourne Rd next to my Uncle Harrys house and help my Father pull mangles cut the tops off and put them in heaps and cover them with leaves because of the frost It was a very cold job my hand used to get frozen another job we had to do was open and cutting the hops and string them. Then came the hop picking I hated h]that job and used to run away I fell over the Chalk pits and manage to grab a root of a tree that save me from breaking my neck and people had to get me down.
The next thing I got into trouble was I fell in the Tar tank where they used to dip the hop Poles. I can alway remember my mother having to get a lot of Butter to get the Tar off of me I got into trouble for the I can tell you. The next thing I got into trouble was coming home from school with my brother George and we were so hungry the baker used to leave Cottage-Loaves on the window sill we could not wait for my Mother and Father to come home from work we sat down and eat all teh inside of the Bread and only left the crusts we stuck the top and bottom together and looked like whole loafs till they took them down didint we get into trouble for that.
During the winter we got up plays and had a concert in my mother laundry. my sister Marge Molly Brown Less Godde pat Golding loiuey Alerundrer Betty Golding Marjorie Pearsy lily Hole. Every Saturday I went pout Cadying up at Farnham Golf Club at the Sands. In the Morning I had a Paper round to do for Old Mr Farmer from Badshot Lea to Ash Green I had to walk a;; the was it used to be terrible during the snow but I used to get some home Brewed Beer and a piece of cake. that used to warm me up before I went to school. IN the Summer and week-ends we used to go out all day I had to take my brother George with me all the time as their was never any one at home all day. sometimes we used to take Ron Hole with us we used to eat Carrotts and Swedes Cook some birds eggs and cook them Ducks eggs form the swamp at More-Park Moorhens eggs as well one day we went swimming at the Mill in Moor-Park and we used to had a race to see who could get in the water first Ron Hole got in first He dived in and when we waited for him to come up he didint and we thought he must have drowned we search every where for him and could not find him what he had done was he came up under the bank where the water had washed it away because the water used to rush out of the mill and hit the bank and wash it away. when he came up he did not know where he was it was funny because the water is about twenty foot deep there they used to swim the Horses in the river at that point. There used to be a water-fall at Moor-Park the river used to come from the Shepped-and Flock Mill through to the Rock house down through the Garden over the Bank by the Railway Bridge down over the Road and in the River by the Mill at moor-Park. We used to stand naked under the water-fall and have a shower bath all of the has gone now. We always stole apples and Plums at Bides nursery Damsons and peaches al sort of things.
At Donkey alley as it was called I had a mate their that went to Badshot Lea school I have met another boy at school called jim Atfield his father has taken the Farm at Green Lane we are all going out together he had a friend horis Cutbush we caught a bird a moorhen and lit a fire and burnt all the feathers off of it and cooked it tasted orible as we had not taken the inside out of it we did not no we had to do that.
My cousin willie Carter and My Mothers Sister Came down with all the children there was 4 boys of the Royals we all Slepted in one bed 8 at the top 8 at the bottom and the rest Slepted on the floor they came down for Hop Picking and came down every year after that for hop Picking we used to have some fun all together. Willie Carter Bunked me over the Railway bridge to get some lettuce as we were hungry and a man came a long and cashed us Willie run away and left me where I could not get up again as it was to high. I got caught and grabed me by the Collar and he marched me down to the Coppers house a Mr Shortridge he Clumped me round the ear and hit me with his hand on the Bottom and let me go but I met him many times after that for one thing and another and got many a Clump from him thats how I first met Lucy Shortridge the Police mans daughter that went to the Badshot Lea school and was a class below me.
This was the time I met the Metcalfs 2 girls the Vicars daughters the Vicars wife was teaching our class and they came to our school they had just moved here and came into the Vicarage to Live one girl was in my class and the other was a class lower I got to no Mary Mecalfe as she sat next to me I used to crawl under the edge [hedge] and get into the garden the two girls used to Sit under the apple trees and plums at night and play hide and seek Mary used to have fits it was terrible when she had got one she used to lay on the ground and kick and throw her hands about they were in the Vicarage for a few years then they moved to Lea-on-Solent and we never saw them any more.
In the Winter we used to cut Mangels that they used to grow to feed the cowes we used to cut the middle out and make two eyes and a mouth and put a candle in the middl of it hang it with string light the candle climb up a tree over the road and wait for some one to come along and drop it down in front of them as there was no lamps in the streets and it was pich dark it used to scare people seeing that in front of them it looked like a ghost.
We used to play round Goodes pond down the footpath he had pigs ducks chicken and we used to hang over the pond by our toes from a limb over the pond its a wonder we did not slip and fall into the Pond an drown then we used to meet Less Goode and go into where they were boiling Potatoes [for the pigs] and eat them. Less Dad had a Butchers shop at the end of the Drive and sold all sorts of Pork. We used to get the pigs bladers and blow them up and tie them at the neck and play foot-ball with them.
I had to take my brother with me all the time now where ever I go to the Gas works at ash road to get sixpenny worth of coke I used to get it in an old pram and push George in it there and back I used to call on my Aunt Nance Grover and got a peice of cake and a cup of tea every week. Sometimes we would go up Crooksbury and eat herts as we called them and then wander right through to Cutmill have a swim and walk back home about seven oclock at night or later. Some days we would go down the Moors pinch apples cherrys pears out of the Orchard and hide them for the next day in the holes of hollow trees. The net day we would go jumping diches fall in get our feet and trousers wet band them on a tree to try to dry them so that we would not get into trouble when we got home. I always had about 4 patches where I used to tear them in my trousers. I used to climb the flag pole many a day and the church one as well some times the rope used to break on the flag and they used to ask me to climb the pole and get it down.
One day in Waverley abbey we found some food pits where the monks used to keep there food and drinks. Some times we used to go to look for mush-rooms at Itchel Manor, Crondall and Clare Park We used to used to play in Gravel and Chalk pits there used to be some trolleys on lines that they used to put the Gravel in we used to ride up and down the lines till we were chased by a man on a three wheeled trike.
I used to go to Waterloo Rd and play in the School and the Laundry drying fields go to aunt Fanny in Waterloo Rd and get a Piece of cake and a drink sometimes I used to got to the Masons as well and see Ilean [Eileen] and Peggy Mason my cousins and play with Florree Rogers and her Sister. When I got to Mrs Gory Class she used to give me Sixpence a week to Clean her Bike if I would do my lessons and go to School. One day I sat on the cookery roof and shot agases with a pea shooter at them in the class it took them all day to get me down. I passed for the Gramar school in Mrs Gory class but could not go as my mother and father could not afford it because they said I would have to go out to work when I was old enough.
I used to go once a week and do drawing and painting at the Art school in west street and some times I used to go to the Art Masters house that was called Great Austins house in the tIlford Rd his name was Mr Allen the Artmaster that did not last for long as I used to have to walk to his house and back in the evening and could not afford the paints or paper. we used to go Chestnuting in Bides chest nut copse we always used to get chased by the keeper and hide in the corn fields. We used to have some fun the Railway up Weybourne Rd at the Bridge we used to lay between the lines where there was a sort of Box and wait for a train to come along and go over us until some one told on us to Mr Rankin and we got the Cane for that.
I used to go out a lot looking - for Spears heads made of flint that the old ascent Brittons used to use. I did a lot of the with Mr Rankin we use to go to Snails Lynch at the bottom of Broom leaf Rd that went into Moor Park a by the Cuverlands where the Chestnuts trees are there used to be a lot of flint Arrow heads their made of flint. of course most of that as gone now when they started the Gravel Pits there I used to go all over the Place with Mr Rankin looking for Old Flint stones and acient Britton Relicks. We found a Acient Britton Village on Robins Farm down by the Railway and another a Crooksbury at Bally hill. the bottom of the Crooksbury hill. there are plenty of ponds around Badshot Lea and where I used to live that the Romans and Acient got there Clay their used to be a lot of white clay in our garden Pond that they used to dig.
Their are a lot of Burial grounds at the chalk pits and Munlkton Lane by the Sewrg farm. My Brother George and myself now he is at school hardly ever go home after school we go jumping ditches and Climping trees till it is dark and we get hungry although we used to eat all sorts of rubish agases cocoo Sorro wheat swedes carrotts and lettuce Onions we usly pinch them from some-where aspecily fruit time. I get up in the morning take George to school have a bit of bread and Marge and buss off out down Moor Park or Crooksbury for the day always geting the Cane for not going to school now so I got another Idea now go to school till play time then buss off after we come out to play and used to get the boys and girls to say that I had gone home sick and such like till I was found out about that and got the Canes by old Rankin in the end they used to give me Sixpence a week to go school and MRs Gory used to get me to clean her Bike every Friday if I went to school.
I got into trouble for Smoking when I was with Stan Pesterfield he bought a packet of Woodbines and we smoked them up our Garden but Oh they did make me sick I was only seven then and Stan Pesterfield took me to his Mother and when we got there she gave me a cup of tea and said I no what you have been doing the two of you have been smoking that will teach you a lesson not to smoke any more but it didn't I was always smoking after that if I could get them if not we used to get boys tobbaco as we called it really ragc wert sometimes we used to smoke dries tea leaves.
In the dark nights after the summer we used to play hid and seek or dicky dicky dike show you light and chase each other. I am going to the shops now to get things for Mr and Mrs Thompson that lives in the Old Cottages next to the Golding they gave me apples and sweets for going they were quite old and old Mr Thompson had gout and had big lumps on his feet and could not get his boots on we used to pinch old Mr Porters sellery in the summer out of his Garden he used to live next door to Mrs Thompson he was a miserable old devil. Im shopping for Mrs Wilkinson as well now and get six Pence a week from the two of them 3d from Mrs Thompson 3d from Mrs Wilkinson. so I get 6d a week to go to the Pictures at the Palace at Aldershot or Farnham I used to have to take turns which one I went to as it depends on who was waiting for me for what I had been up to on the way to the Pictures we used to tie 2 door knockers together and knock one and when they opened their door it knocked next door of cours and people got used to what time we went and waited for us one day Mr Banham in the Aldershot Rd was waiting for us he chased me all the way to Aldershot he could run to and when he caught me he clump me round the ear but we still done it next time.
Figure 3 The 'Saucy Kipper', with 'Admiral' Gibbs at the wheel.Old Mr Marshall up the footpath had some chickens and he had a shed for them to sleep in made of tin and he used to chase us because every time we went by we used to throw stones at the tin shed of cors he was very religious and went to Catholic Church so he never used to swear at us as he used to shout Salifither Salaafither [Saintlifither?] I'll strike you when I catch you. you boys. Another Person we used to get chased by was Old Admiral Gibbs at the bottom of Badshot Lea. we used to throw bricks at his tine shed as we went by and he used to chase us and shout I'll suck the Infermatiom down from your nose when I catch you he had a long beard that was black and he look like a admiral in the navy thats why we called him Admerail Gibbs he used to chase us for miles accross fields but he never caught us but near it sometimes.
I got to know a boy from seale Lane he started to come to school and I got to no him his father was in the Salvation Army his dad joind as he was a alcolick and he gave up drinking they had a lot of pigs in Seale Lane in a big field and had a pony and cart we used to go to collect apples and potatoes for the pigs. We went in a Pony and trap to the Bourne burnt hill Rd to a Old fella called Harry Nixon he had a hop Garden and a Orchard full of Apples we collected bags of Apples rotten ones as well and they cooked them with Potatoes for the pigs. We used to have some fun with that Pony and trap thats how I got to no the Cheds at Moor Park we got piglets from Cheds for Dugs Dad there was 2 boys and 2 girls at chets and the Oldest girl of ched took a fancey to me and I had a job to get rid of her she used to follow me all over the Place and wanting me to take her out it took years to get rid of her even when I left school she used to turn up at home when I was older and George used to have to take her home as I used to buss off when she came our house.
We used to skate on our Pond in the Garden one day my sister had Ron Holes sister Lily and we were skating on the Pond after my sister came home from school and she [Lily] fell in through the ice and the water was filthy and stank because all sorts of rubbish was thrown in it so we rinsed her cloths out like we used to our trousers and socks when we fell in. We banged her cloths against the wall and she put them on as did not dare go home like she was it was freezing hard at them time and her cloths froze on her a few days later she was taken ill and about 2 weeks later she died of double Phewmonear I dont quite know how to spell it but I have done my best.
Mr Goode had a field at the back of us and he kept a blind pony in it that he used to use with his trap to Collect food for his pigs we used to ride bare back on the Pony up and down the field we did have some fun with that Pony I can tell you.
We went to Moor-Park very often nearly all day we had a raft a raft made out if two 2 barrels and some Planks we tied the barrels to the Planks with some Hop-string and travel all over the swamp we used to get Moorhens and wild Ducks eggs for Dinner and then we played a lot round the caves and along the river where the ruins of the Abbey was and over Crooksbury hill as well.
Their used to be a lot of footpaths from the farm lane of Tices accross all of the fields as it did not take us long to get anywhere accross the fields. We stoped out nights in the woods and used to try and catch owls we used to look for thier nest in the Hollow trees. In those days when we were young it used to start freezing in September and went on freezing till February or March and we did a lot of Skating Mr Gory bought me some skates and I have still got them. It used to be very cold when we were hop picking with the Frost but as the day came on it used to be bright and Sunny, but it did snow it used to snow for a couple of days then it used to freeze and we could walk over the hedges and ditches and for miles over the top of it because it was frozen hard.
We very often walked to Borley [Bourley] woods between Aldershot and Crookham and right on to the Odiham Rd towards Basingstoke picking primroses and bluebells with my mother and Father. My Father was a clever man he used sticks and all sorts of things and balance on his nose he was a good jugler and singer as well he sang at Clubs and all sorts of Places at weekends and be out half the night he could yogal [yodel] with his songs and play any sort of Instrument and could draw as well al sorts of things he drew for me when I was young and he was a good father to me and so was my mother of course, but as she got older she got very funny and say funny things but we did not realise that she had sugar diabetes that made her talk very funny at times but at that time no one knew much about that sort of thing till later years and thats why my Mother was funny at times.
We used to be left all day with no one to look after us my mother was out all day working and there was no one at home to get us anything to eat I had to come home and got a piece of bread and butter for myself and brother George and look after him all day, and when he came out of school and take him with me wherever we went even when I never went to school and played truant I used to find out the time and come back and collect him when he came out of school of corse my sister Marge always told on me for not going to school and I always got the cane for it.
We had a Camp in Crooksbury and we used to go to Charles hill looking for arrow heads and such like their was a ancient Britain Village and graves there as well as Crooksbury. During the First World War the Canadians cut all the trees down at Crooksbury for the trenches for shoving up the sides of trenches.
In the caves at Moorpark Mother Hubbard’s and Father foots caves we had fires and cooked fish that we court in the river we used to put our hand in the water as scoop the fish out with our hand and cooked them in the caves we always have matches that we used to pinch. There is only one cave left now is there do a lot of houses now whether caves used to be at the top of the case and one has disappeared altogether I go to Frensham ponds a lot now with George we walk through the fields to the ponds at weekends and we stay all day we find it to eat what we can we usually get some swedes and carrots on the way and drink river water.
Figure 4 Father Footes Cave, Moor Park, Farnham (harvested from BabelStone, 2015) Reference: 53(below)
I am doing a lot of painting with Mr Allen from the art school in Farnham you collect me on his old Ford with solid tires and takes metres home at Strangers Corner in Tilford Road and he taught me to paint. It won’t last for long as I have to get a job after school to help with the food for the house and I have got to help pull mangles and sweedes and get paid 6d a week I have to work from 4 o’clock to 6 o’clock in the week and Saturday mornings two 12 o’clock then I went to my uncle Harrys house an had a piece of bread and butter before I went home they lived at the houses in the field at the side of the hop kiln at the Lower Weybourne Road it was all hop gardens and fields all the way to Aldershot and Hale and Farnham at the time it was all hop Gardens than.
I have started to play football for the Badshot Lea school we go all over the place to play Aldershot Cove Farnborough Fleet Hale Farnham Ash etc. Thats where we met at Waterloo Road when we were playing at the football ground in the park at Aldershot I was with Charlie Backhurst Reg Turner and Stan Pesterfield we met two girls Florie Roger and her sister. And Charlie Backhurst and Stan Pesterfield started to take them out after school they went with them for years and Charlie married one of them in later years and lived at Badshot Lea. I have got another night now Fred Smith we go out a lot together but I always have to have my brother with me all the time and Ron Hole Georges mate. We do a lot of birds nesting in the spring and take Vera Monk and Barbara Marshall with us. Vera Monk is about George’s age and Fred Smith has Barbara Marshall from the farm cottage up the lane on the farm of Tices.
Figure 6 A wagon load of Walter Tice’s [hop pockets] are loaded for market at the kiln in St George’s Road, Runfold 1908. The building is now the Badshot Lea Village Hall. On the left, hop poles have been stripped of dead bines and stacked in aisles until needed next year.
Text by Maurice Hewins. Photo from Rural Life Centre collection.In the hop picking season we got to the kiln with my father and help pocket the hops I have a big shovel when the hops are dry and push them off the drying nets in the top of the kiln over top of the fires the drying nets are right acrost the top of the kiln they are like a fishing net only stronger and they stretched right across the beams and the hops are laid out all over them and when they are dry we push them with this big wooden shovel going through a hole at the side of the room to the floor below where we pocket the hops in long big bags the hops are pushed into this bag with a shovel and then you press them down with a big press we wind a big handle and a big press goes down inside the bag and press the hops down the bags are about 15 foot long and are about 4 hundredweight with each pocket as they are called we do this in the evening after hot picking is over with my mother we go and help father of corse we have baked potatoes as well but they bake in the ashes under the fires and they taste lovely. We also have to help to get in the corn when it’s right they cut the corn the cutter cuts the corn and takes it in bundles and we stack them in fives bundles round like a circle with the ears of the corn facing the sky and they stand like that for a week. Then the Wagon comes along and picks them up and takes them to the farm yard where they are put in a hay stack till they thrass it. Then we help my father help with the thrashing of the corn. Then the potato picking starts after hop picking and Picking up potatoes behind the potato digger thats a back aching job I can tell you. The potatoes are put in the barn to dry and to be sorted before they go to market.
When the nights get dark we have some fun we climb up the trees over the road first we get a mangle or swede and cut the centre out of it and then we make some eyes a mouth and nose and get a candle put it inside the mangle and get some string and tie it to the mangle get up the tree and get over the road on a limb and light the candle and when we hear some one coming and get near where we are we drop the mangle down in front of them and they are scared and think they have seen a ghost and go down the road like the wind of course being no lamps and it looks worse going along the road as it is so dark and glummey and misty at night another thing we used to do at night get our trolley and go up Crooksbury and put a oil lamp alight on our trolley and come down hills on the road right down to the Guildford Road the only thing we met was horse and carts in daylight nothing in the dark.
George and myself go to the chalk pits in the spring and catch the young rabbits and take them home skin them and then fry them. When we went caddying at the golf club at the Sands Henry Cotton used to play their a lot and caddied for him once and got 2/6d.
[from now on needs checking ….]
I have very often since I am older gone with my father on bikes to see where he lived on a small farm opposite Lodge Pond that Alice Holt that his father owned he went to Rowledge church school he paid a 1d a day to go to school he used to have to walk to school at Rowledge. I have got a book that he got for a prize in the book case. His brother or one of his brothers got drowned in Routledge pond when they were skating on the ice and fell in. I no my father had two or three other brothers and sisters. His father was one of the first counsellors on the Farnham urban Council in those times and his uncle and his older brother and the pub along the road on the way to Binsted it’s on the crossroads one goes to Binsted one goes to Bentley and one comes back to the Bordon road again He was always looking to see if the will had been released as it was put in Chancery as they could not find his brother and did not know where he was he went abroad somewhere and so they could not find him so the will and money was put in Chancery and he was waiting for them to release it the pub is still there. It’s nearly time for me to leave school and go to work I’m going with Pat Golding to his uncles place at Compton in Moorpark his uncle as a painter and we are earning some money painting and learning to brick lay and paint we get 1/6 for a weekends work painting window and door frames in the yard (I have wrote some of this twice I forgot.) It is a wrist aching job at first but we got used to it.
When I left school I got a job in bake house in Farnham it was on the corner of South Street where Barclays Bank is now, it was owned by Ransoms it was a bakers and confectionery and a café there was a bake house in the back of the shop where we learnt to make bread and cakes and all sorts of cake. Ransoms had a bread and cake shop in Castle Street as well as the one on the corner of South Street I used to have to start work at five in the morning I used after walk from back shortly to Farnham in the morning and walked home in the afternoon as we used to finish about 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I always had a kipper for my breakfast I used to go over the road to the fish shop opposite Bentalls as it was then where Courts are now. A Mr Tracy owned the fish shop and I use to get a pair of kippers for 2d for my breakfast, as I never had time before I went to work I always got up too late and had to run all the way to work till I got a bike I used to have some fun with the people I worked with Reg Pound Albert Boxall Mr Chuter Mr Mills Miss Ransom Peggy King and one or two others Miss Oley after we went to Dorers Green to stay with the Reg Pound his mother was very nice and Reg had fine bothers and one sister.
When I left Ransoms I went to work at the Farnham laundry that’s where I met my wife now. She used to work in a house in Morley Road working for a Mr and Mrs Lucy he was the manager of the bank in Town and I used to collect his collars to be done at the laundry and the 2 girls their used to tease her to go out with me. I learn to drive on the laundry with Mr Coles he lived in the Laundry Cottage in Darville Lane where the bypass is know hello my brother left school you come to work there with me on the other lorry with Mr Sillick that lived in Darville Lane in the council houses they poured down to make way for the bypass. We used to have some fun along the river in Darvilles Lane and snails Lynch we used to sit and watch the kingfishers diving in and out of the water catching the fish, they listed along the banks of the river in holes in the banks of the river they were very pretty birds mostly blue and white mostly blue there used avail of wild animals along the river that used to catch fish and we used to sit and watch them until they started having otter hounds hunting them along the River Wey. I don’t think there is any left now all kingfishers ither. We used to go down to Bourne Mill and watch the water-wheel turning at the water fall. It was a lovely sight to see the big wheel turning by the water. When they stopped using that one at Bourne Mill at the shepherd and flock we went to buy Bides Mill in More-Park where we used to swim they used are still grind corn their I think the mail is still their now but it dont work any more but it’s still their.By Bourne Mill there was a lane called Watery Lane where the Seweridge Works are now and we use the catalogue of bluebells there in the woods there until they made a gravel pit and took the nursery away where we used to get apples plums damsons and such like in it after they finish with it they built a trading estate their and took all the Little lanes away which was a pity as it was lovely all along from South Street to Badshot Lea along all the lines you could go to Badshot Lea from South Street along all sorts of little lanes they have all gone now.I had a mate who lived in donkeys Alley that was off watery Lane where they had built the trading estate their what’s a row of old houses their that’s what was called donkeys Alley. We all used to have a lot of fun at the caves in Moorpark old father footes hello mother Hubbard Cave I found a silver calling in the cave and but I don’t know where there are any good or not it seems a old sort of metal to me. And now I have found another one of the same metal near the silent call at near Merrow, in the shape of a heart.I worked in Ransoms the bakers and confectioner in the bakehouse first when I left school when I was 14 years old I used to start work at five in the morning and learnt to make cakes and bread that was on the corner of South Street they also have bakehouse and shop in Castle Street they have some Ford vans for delivering bread in with solid tyres and you have start it with a handle the controls what on the handle to drive date and have to put the retard down to Stop it kicking you that’s where I first started to learn to drive on the old Fords I worked their for two years then went to work on the Farnham laundry with Alf Coles and that’s where I learn to drive on the old solid tryes lorry.They had some lovely parties at Christmas that was the first time I’ve got drunk not realising that port wine would make you drunk I drank two pint pint glasses of it and I had to ride home on my bike I down remember going home on my bike Can remember was getting on my bike I must have rode through the river at snails Lynch I suppose I was too drunk to ride over the little wooden bridge that went across the river as it only had two planks across it and no sites on it so I must’ve rode the ford as I could not make it over the bridge that came out at the shepherd and flock pub. My mother said I was soaking wet through when I got home but I [don’t] remember any of it at all it’s a wonder I got home are used to get pretty tight on the laundry nearly every day when I went round houses they give me a glass of wine a piece of cake home brewed beer in the kitchens of the big houses that cook all the parlor miad and you can imagine the dreams I had in the course of the day out of about five 5 or six houses to call on besides going in the pub for my dinner and beer as well nearly every day I was pretty tired in Xmas it was terrible with having to drink going round the houses all day getting a drink and tip is well.When I met my wife and I was working on the laundry and she worked in Morley Road as I made for the looses and are used to collect the callers to be starched for Mr Lucy as soon as the manager of the bank in Farnham and then his family and my wife moved to Staines Bank and I used to ride my bike to Staines every Sunday to see her then she left Lucys okay home and got the job with the Stobbards[?] in Broomleaf Road, and I used to see her every night and she lived in then and will not get out at all only once a week every Wednesday afternoon so every night I cut across the railway to the back of the house and met her at the back of the garden when the children were in bed and That she used to look after he worked as a manager for Crosbys Doors and Vera went to live with them in Yarrow and she found another boy to go out with while she was up their after a few weeks she came back to help Mrs Stafford pick up all there furniture and they went back to Yarrow to live and Vera hand to get another job but we soon got married after that. And we lived with my mother and father for a little while and then I got a bungalow at Ash where George my brother lives now.
We had a nice little cottage in South Lane and went to get Primrose Intel slips in the copse and on the hogs back for a walk on Sundays. Are used to work for mid Southern Electric and ride my bike to Arbor field the other side of fleet being a wire man and running wires from pole to pole for the overhead elect: it was the first time they had to elect. They used oil lamps and candles before that when my sister moved to ash and came to live next door we had to move because she caused too much trouble between the people and Vera that we had to move and moved to red lion Lane and had a house there but we had to move from there as we had too much noise from the pub next door and Marlow tires to get in and out of the house and making a bother all the time. Then we managed to get Vera Uncle Uburters [Hubert’s] house that Shortheath and remove there and then the war started and I have to join something so I joined the fire service in trying to be a fireman. Then after a while I was called up and went into the army I have done all my training in the army and went to Wales with a unit and was going to be sent to Africa. Just before they left I was sent to Kent to go out of the army and back into the Fire service as they have started all me the towns and citys so I had to go firefighting all over the country for about two years just over when the bombing stopped and had to go back into the army again and was sent to France Belgium Holland Germany Norway. I was jolly glad when the war was over and get back to work at Mac fisheries again. After the war I tried to go into the Fire service again but they said I was not big enough what a load of rubbish read for more fires the name has seen in anyone’s life time and used to cook ladders from window to window with fire is burning all around us and saving people’s lives and they told me after that they talk a load of rubbish.I went and joined the rescue section of the civil defence after that and we used to do a lot of rescue work from cars houses and all sorts till they disband it after a few years. Then I have to work late at Mac fisheries and are used to work quite late in the evening and sometimes I had to run some of the shops for them at Fleet Hindhead Haslemere and Basingstoke all over the place mr Peters got me to join in the buffaloes and went to meetings with him to the grand lodge and other meetings but after awhile I could not afford it cost too much money still we had some good times when you Don were little all of you went for long walks on weekends with your mother we walked to Frensham Pond and all over the place at weekends all of us together we have a lot of walks all over the place after a while we move from Ponds cottage in Short Heath and moved to sheep house, when we were first married we lived at South Lane Ash in a bungalow and worked at pick and shovel all over the place for the mid southern electric. Putting up poles and running wires to carry the electric. Then we moved from Ash and moved to red Lion Lane for a little while that’s when I started to work from Mac fisheries then we moved to Shortheath then the war came and I went and joined the fire service and after a while they called me into the army to fight. When I came out of the Army I went back to Mac fisheries for a little while and went to work for the railway driving a artic lorry, then I worked on a coal lorry for a while then I got the job at Marton-air on the trading estate Farnham till a retired. After sheep house we moved to the chantries. Well done a lot of jobs since I’ve been married and before. I started work for ransoms making cakes and bread then I got a job at Stratford’s the butchers. Then I worked for Farnham laundry then that your mother we got to go together I gave up the laundry and worked on a market garden then we got married and I went pick and shovel then worked for Vic Clarke at the fish shop there are went to work for Mac fisheries then I finish at working for Martin-air Will I finish work and retired. I worked at the quarry at Churt once getting out Bargett stone. I worked on the REs cutting trees down for training the Army on Comons. when we lived in Shortheath we went on a Sunday to pick blue bells in the Holt Pound Forest and take a walk round holt Pound pond. Vera’s mother lived in Weydonhill Road in those days and Joyce and Bob were home then and Bob was going to the grammer school then. Bob and I worked for a little while in helping to build all of the houses on the Marshalls fields into a big housing estate witch was all hop fields once. It is a funny thing how things have changed since I was young I could come down the hill from Crookbury Hill right down to Waverly A but the first almost all about isbbey Gates right across the road and Hill that comes from Elstead down to Waverly Abby on a trolley made from 4 pram wheels and the plank, steered with a piece of rope on the front wheels used to come down at a speed it’s a wonder we never broke a necks as we only had a bloke of wood to work as a break on the back wheels of corse there was not any cars about in those days to worry about only horse and carts and not many of them when we were young we could come down any of those hills crooksbury without seeing any traffic about.
But the first started out is the time I can remember let me think Osborne 24 January 1914 about seven months before the First World War broke out. The first thing I can remember standing outside the shop queuing for bread and butter and waiting in the cold behind a lot of people that’s the first thing I remember I suppose I was a bout five just beginning to start school I remember my father at the time was working on the NAAFI as storm man at stores distributing the first oranges bananas grapes hello sorts to the only in the camp during the war. I used to go from Badshot Lea to all Aldershot walking all the way to Aldershot with my mother with a pram to collect washing in the camp and my mother used to leave me with my father in the stores while she went to collect washing from the officers in the camp and my father gave me lots of fruit from the stores but as I began to learn the way waistcoat on my own over the footpaths to the stores by myself at the high street in Aldershot. Of course after the war they shut the storms down and my father got a job on Colliss loading their lorries baby the horse and carts to deliveries round the shops or fruit and vegetables please go up to the stores at the siding off of the railway in a row that the bridge that went over the railway to the Aldershot station. Of course after a while my dad got made radund and put out of work of course after the First World War their was not a lot of work and lots of people were out of work right up to the 1920 and beyond.But my father managed to get a job with the John Henry Knight on a farm. Of course he was used to farm work Bessie lived on a farm before the war but when okay he was not fit for the army so they let him work for the NAFFI for his war worked during the war. So he was back on the farm with his brothers and my grandfather the Weybourne for John Henry Knight and now are used to help my father the Waybourne road pulling mangles and swedes in September in the frost in the evening after-school.It’s funny how things have changed in the recent years up that road there was only my uncle Harrys two cottages and a hop kiln up that road then you came to the old Elm Tree that was in the middle-of-the-road and That’s where the name Elm Tree came from and nothing but fields their the times we had about those fields. When I was young my father and mother would not let go any where. One person on the Green there uncle wanted me to go as a jockey with them to be trained as a jockey with them to be trained as a jockey they said that I was the right size. Old mrs Tice wanted to adopt me but why people would not let me go. When I went to file and sometimes it was nothing but hop fields from Badshot Lea to Farnham and apple plum orchards all the way. Once we used to play at Redan Hill the top of Waterloo Road where some of my cousins lived I went up there with a mate of mine Charlie Buckhurst and we met some girls up there call the Rogers and used to play with them of course in the end when they grow up Charlie Buckhurst married one and bought the farm at Badshot Lea and Herbie Pharaoh married the other one and lives in Badshot Lea. When they started to take the gravel out of the fields at Bides Orchards we used to play on the trolley they had there on the railway lines and we used to ride on them up and down the lines. Of course all the gravel pits went right down to the river at Bourne Mill and the other side of the river by the hop kiln their as well and a trolley lines are still in the ground from the little bridge that the railway runs over two Culverlands House along the footpath there at the bottom of Broomleaf the times we had on those trolleys an swimming in the river there was a lot of chestnut trees along there when we got chestnuts as well and the trolley lines are still in the ground from the little bridge that the railway runs over to Culverlands House along the footpath there at the bottom of Broomleaf the times we had on those trolleys and swimming in the river there was a lot of chestnut trees along there where we got chestnuts as well.
One day I was out with Doug Saunders from Seale Lane we were getting apples for the pigs and we had to go to Pat Golding uncle Compton to get some apples for the pigs with the pony and trap and we have to call and pick up 2 little pigs from some people called Cheds and when we went 2 boys of Cheds were there and we got to no them my love we used to go out with them and they had a older sister called Marjorie Chedd and I had a job to get rid of her she follow me every where home and talk about the job it was to get rid of her first she kepted to where we lived at ask after I was married we had to get rid of her.
When we lived at Ash Vera and are used to go on a Sunday picking cow slips on the Hogs Back that used to be loads of them up there but there do not seem to be many know I suppose the first thing I can remember since I was small and I can remember was when I was between 4 and five I was at home with the Chicken Pox and my mother had gone to the Camp to collect the washing and left me in bed on my and told to stop there till she came home but I think I was frightened on my own I got out of bed and climbed out of the bedroom window as the door was locked to keep me in while she was gone but being a Bungalow I could climb out of the window and out under the laundry window that my mother done the Drying of Clothes it’s a wonder I didn’t get my Death of Cold with Snow on the ground and me with the Chicken Pox my mother was wild when she found me sitting under that window when she came home. I was a little Devil when I was young and got up to so many things. When I went to School my Sister used to take me I was always getting in to trouble at School I can remember getting in to trouble because I took the boys pencil that I found on the floor but the Teacher said that I had taken it and I had to stand in the corner with a Dunces Cap on that they made you wear if you got into trouble. I all that many a time till I got out of Infant School I hated it and used to play hooky and go down the fields and play are used to get the Cane that 4 on each hand and I used to sit on my hands after I had the cane.
One day I got on Cookery roof and sat up there with a Pea-Shooter that I made and shoot Peas or May Flower seeds that the School windows across from the Cook house roof it took them all day to get me down with the offer of Six Pence to come down. One day when I was going up to see my Uncle and Grandad at Weybourn another boy and me laid on the line up the Weybourn Lane at the Bridge there was a sort of Pit where the line cross over the road and we laid on the line and let the Steam Trains run over us we got found out and I got the Cain for that. I always went up to my Uncle and Grandad thier was a Kiln where they dried the Hops and my Uncle used to dry the hops for John Henry Knight then.
We used to go swimming in the horse Pond at Ceasers Camp up Hale on the Common and the Sims used to live there until they pulled them down and built some Council House there and moved them into them. They also pulled down the Kiln at my Uncle place and the Old houses when my Grandad lived things began to change a lot then with all the houses going up all around they even built houses where we used to pull Mangles with my Father. We also got stoped going to the Horse Pond to swim as a boy got Drowned so we got stoped it was quite deep where the Horses used to swim from the Army Camp at Aldershot.I always got into trouble at school somehow I suppose I ask for it really because I Did not want to do any sums or writing I would not do it and nothing would make me even if I got the Cane but they found that did not work they used a bribe me with money Mrs Gregory used to get me Six Pence a week to clean her Cycle for her she came from Park Road Farnham most of the Teachers came from some where in Farnham. I used to start out for school but never got there my sister used to take me believe me in the class room but play time are used to disappear and Crooksbury or Moor Park on the bogs by the Caves we had a old boat there that we took from Moor-Park house and get Moorhens and Ducks eggs and cook them in the tin can and eat them. It was so easy those days to play in the woods because there were no houses about to match those days till it all got built on we used to get Cheastnuts and all sorts of nuts and blue Bells we used to get apples and plums in the Orchards and Nurseries and Cherries in the Orchards.
I used to be a proper devil really as would be out all day and come home late at night we used to go to Redan hill top of Waterloo Road I had a Aunt that lived and she gave us Cake and lemonade of course when we went to the Westend to play I had another Aunt so we never went hungry during the day we used to meet boys and girls from other Schools and play hide and seek and all sorts of games. I always got into a lot of trouble when my Parents found out and put to bed with no Tea but it did not make much difference I still done it all again. Now when I look back it must have been very bad for my Mother and my Father at the time. I was a very bad boy those days. What made me go to the West end was that I had a girl that came from the West End. She moved from Lower Farnham Road to there you see she was my girlfriend from when she went to Badshot Lea school she used to live at Badshot Lea when was young like Veronica did but I did not no Vera then so I went with this girl for a very long time her name was Edna Niggers. Are used to go every where with her and bring her home to my home after School to my house then and she used to stay a while then I would take her home to lower Farnham Rd. But when she left School her foster Parents moved to the West End near the Duke of Wellintons statue at Aldershot the West end they called it and I used to go over there every night Play all sorts of games hide and seek with her and the 2 other children they had a Stepfather that used to work for Vicks the Motor Peepol. I went with her 2 years all together. But when she was 15 and her Parents came for her and she went away but in later years when I was working for Martinair she came back to live in Park Rd Aldershot she was a Window so Ron Hall told me but she did not live long after she was back in her old house.Then I met Vera when I was working on the Farnham Laundry on the Vans I went round this house and young girl came to the door in a little white cap and linen apron she was a very Pretty girl and said to her I come to collect the Laundry and when I left she said to me would you like to take me to the Pictures tonight and I said yes so I met this young girl at the Pictures that night. I was a bit late just like me never on time but she waited for me and I took her to the Pictures and then took her home afterwards and I found out that her name was Veronica Prior she said and was just 14 years old and I was nearly 20 years old and when I’d told her how old I was she said age does not make any difference if you love each other so that was the first time I met with Vera or Veronica as I found out later after that time I used to take her home to my Parents Home for Tea every half day she had and Sunday afternoon and evening. I found out after a while that she had had a very rough life being that her Mother had married a New Zealander during the first World War and when the War ended he said he would send for her Mother when you got back home but he never did so my mother was left with Vera and no Husband soon being like the times were and then her Parents being Church People she would have to to work and keep her Daughter sushi had to go into Service and her baby was put in home a Orphanage I think they called it over at Crondall and she had to wear these big boots and they were all dressed in red socks jumpers and skirts and apron all red and her mother to send money to help keep her while she was in Service she was there for a few years then home mother got married and she had 2 more children by the man she married his name was Sidney Prior after a year or to she got her Husband to let Veronica to live with them so she was taken out of the home and came to live with them at Badshot Lea after awhile they went to live in East Street Farnham in digs then after a while they moved to Abbey Street in digs then they got a house in Weydon Hill road and thats when I met Veronica after she left School and was put in Service in Morley Rd Farnham. I am afraid Veronica had a rough time when she was taken out of the home where she was she was hit and knocked about something terrible.When I met Veronica she was told she had to give me up as they wanted her to go out with her Stepfathers brother and she did not want to so they threw all her things out in the garden and told not to come back so she came to live with my Parents till we got married. She did not like Old Sidney Prior brother Bert he used to get Drunk him and Sidney and Vera could not stand them.
Figure 8: How to appear taller than a 16 year- old female. Victor and Veronica 1937.I had some good times with Vera we went all over the place together then the war broke out and I joined the Fire Service and I had only been in it little while and they called me into the Army but I was not in there long before they caught me out is there started bombing the Towns and London so I came back into the Fire Service and I went all over the Place firefighting till the Bombing stoped of course we only had Donald [and Anne] then and Vera was expecting a baby when I went back in the Army and when I was in France and Belgium I was called back home because Vera was ill and by the time I got back home she had lost the baby. It was very lucky I was home because while I was home the place where the house was in abroad was hit by shells and all of them were killed so I was lucky in one way but not the other because Vera was very upset losing the baby. I was very lucky really during the war because I was on the ship that was torpedoed another 500 Soldiers that was on the Ship Drowned and only ten of us got out of that Ship alive.
I was very lucky through the War even while I was fire fighting in London and other Towns as well till the War endid and things started to get back to normal again. So I went back to work at Mac fisheries again but did not stop there long as the money was not very good and was offered a job on the Railway driving a Lorry while I was doing that I was offered a job at Martin Air it was not a bad job I had to put so many hours in to get any money from 7 in the morning till 9 oclock at night all day on Saturdays and Sunday morning as well. So I did not see much of my wife only mostly to go to bed so we did not have much time together first off but things slowly got better as time went on and Veronica was a very good wife she put up with a lot from when we got married we did not have a lot of money and how she managed on what we got I dont no but she did first off I only got 10/- shillings a week and we had to pay 5/- shillings a week rent so how she managed to pay for every thing I dont no but she did some how.
We did not get a lot of money then because we were quite young and did not no much about things and not very well experienced about those sot of things it was pretty tough at the time as we had a baby coming along and managed to get a job on the Electricity company as they were going to start putting cables and Poles wires for the Electric and I got a job digging trenches for the cables first off of Course it was called the Aldershot Gas and Electric Company, Aldershot so I got a job going to Fleet from Ash and be there at 7 oclock in the morning and finish at 5.30 in the evening with ½ an hour for dinner and got paid 1/6 Pence an hour. It was hard work at first but I got used to it after a while an went all over the Place putting up Poles and digging trenches for cables because they had just started to do electric in the County Villages and Towns I used to go right out to Hartley Witney (sic) and further to work and be there at 7 oclock in the morning.
Figure 9 Wire snare: from http://huntergathercook.typepad.com/I think that is enough that. I think the best time of my life was when I met Veronica we used to do a lot of things together but I will say more about that later. We use to do a lot of things when I was young it shows how things have change we could go to the Pictures for Six-Pence and the Hippodrome and the Theater Royal for a few Pence. In our younger days their was not much Transport those days mostly Trains not any Buses so we had to walk every where we went the only thing was, was Horse and Carts or Pony and Traps.I liked to catch birds and put them in a cage. I once had a Magpie and taught him to talk then I had jackdaw and he used to talk and shout when he heard me coming along the Road. I had all sorts of Birds that I caught in my trap I used to get 4 Bricks and a Slate and 2 sticks and put them in a Square and get the Slate and put the Slate on top and get one stick to Prop it up and the other stick across like this with the slate accross the sticks and when the bird would jump on to the bottom stick and the Slate came down across the four Bricks and shut the Bird in the Box of 4 Bricks, another thing we used to do was to get a stick and a Piece of Copper Wire and make a slip knot in the Wire in a loop and peg it down and put it in the Rabbits run and when the Rabbit came along it put its head the loop and it pulled tight around its neck and choked it. It was a very cruel way to catch things those days but thats the way they caught them then I don’t know if they do it like that now or not. I might not spell a lot of the words right because Vera checked things for me but since she has gone there will be a lot of bad spelling I miss for a lot of things she used to do but expect you will sort most of what I and Writing about.
I had a lot of exiting things when I was young one thing I did hate was Hop-picking I used to hate having to sit down and pick hops in a baskett the bines were cratchy and the hops stain your hands and tasted terrible and when it come to eat your food it got on the Sandwich it tasted horrible as there was no where to wash your hands.
My mother used to go hop picking to earn money for us Children to buy our Coats and cloths for new Cloths for the Winter that’s the only way we would get any new Cloths Im afraid but we hated hop Picking and used to run away when they were not looking on day I fell over the Chalk-pits and got cought on a old tree branch have way down and they had to get ropes to save me otherwise if [I] had fallen to the bottom I exspect I would have broken my neck.
Another time I fell in a Tar Tank and I was covered on Tar from top to Bottom and they had to yews a lot of butter to get it off as their was nothing else much they use to move it so I was smotherd in butter to get it off. I was just like a black fella cloths and all its a wonder it did not burn my eyes the Tar pit was quite deep because they used it for dipping Poles for the Wines and hops to grow up on and fro gate Post and things like that. I was trying to walk over the Poles they had covering it and sliped and fell in the tank of Tar.
When we were hop Picking there was loads of Damson trees the other end of the Hop-feild it was fenced off it belonged to Bides their was a long line of Damson trees all along the fence and they were full of Damsons and used to go down and pick them until we go chased and Old Bide used to complain to Tice about the Children stealing them and breaking the trees but he could not do much about it as he could only tell the childrens mother to sop them going there but it did not make much difference any way still we went and picked them. We used to go to Bides Chestnut trees he had a big wood full of Chestnuts that he grew to sell in his shop in Farnham he sold all sorts of things in his shop all sorts of Apples Pears tomatoes Vegetables of all sorts he had a lot of Green houses where he grew tomatoes and Cewcumbes as well at night or early evening when it was dark would go along and pinch things from his green houses Grapes and all sorts of things the trouble was that I always got found out sooner or later as I told other boys about it and they told the Teacher and was always getting the Cane for it or taken to Old Bide or Tice and they took me to Mr Shortrigde the Police man he use tot give me a telling off and smaked behind or Clump around the ear or taken to Old Rankin the head school Master and would take me up Stairs and give be 6 of the best or more on my bottom with a cane or belt but it did not seem to do any good because I always got into trouble again some how.
I was sorry for my Parents because they were always having some one calling to tell them about me or have a letter about me for throwing stones at their tin shed or chicken house roof that was made of tin we got chased run away with people chasing us
26 | Page get 4 Bricks and a Slate and 2 sticks and put them in a Square and get the Slate and put the Slate on top and get one stick to Prop it up and the other stick across like this with the slate accross the sticks and when the bird would jump on to the bottom stick and the Slate came down across the four Bricks and shut the Bird in the Box of 4 Bricks, another thing we used to do was to get a stick and a Piece of Copper Wire and make a slip knot in the Wire in a loop and peg it down and put it in the Rabbits run and when the Rabbit came along it put its head the loop and it pulled tight around its neck and choked it. It was a very cruel way to catch things those days but thats the way they caught them then I don’t know if they do it like that now or not. I might not spell a lot of the words right because Vera checked things for me but since she has gone there will be a lot of bad spelling I miss for a lot of things she used to do but expect you will sort most of what I and Writing about.
When we were hop Picking there was loads of Damson trees the other end of the Hop-feild it was fenced off it belonged to Bides their was a long line of Damson trees all along the fence and they were full of Damsons and used to go down and pick them until we go chased and Old Bide used to complain to Tice about the Children stealing them and breaking the trees but he could not do much about it as he could only tell the childrens mother to sop them going there but it did not make much difference any way still we went and picked them. We used to go to Bides Chestnut trees he had a big wood full of Chestnuts that he grew to sell in his shop in Farnham he sold all sorts of things in his shop all sorts of Apples Pears tomatoes Vegetables of all sorts he had a lot of Green houses where he grew tomatoes and Cewcumbes as well at night or early evening when it was dark would go along and pinch things from his green houses Grapes and all sorts of things the trouble was that I always got found out sooner or later as I told other boys about it and they told the Teacher and was always getting the Cane for it or taken to Old Bide or Tice and they took me to Mr Shortrigde the Police man he use tot give me a telling off and smaked behind or Clump around the ear or taken to Old Rankin the head school Master and would t