I walked past Chandler’s Ford war memorial this morning and saw this wreath:
There was a rainbow in the morning and the rain stopped for the Remembrance parade and services.
At the Chandler’s Ford war memorial, a crowd of hundreds – from veterans to youth groups, families, and people of different ethnic groups – all gathered to pay their respects.
Hursley Road looked like this in 1918 (peace day celebration), and 1989. [Read more…] about Remembrance Sunday in Chandler’s Ford 2018
Several field trips; a couple of new birds; “Adventure lit their star”; a Nightingale competes with Southampton’s traffic; with Brother and Fin in The Forest; the Habs at Beaulieu; country buses and painting flowers to capture memories.
On March 30th 1955, Gran, with Adrian on her mind, writes:
During the evening I listened to a beautiful but poignantly sad play, “Autumn Crocus” by Dodie Smith, and have come to bed dear, with my soul wrung by it and living again its own anguish. But, as with Fanny, the beauty remains and nothing can take that from me even though I grow old.
This is an appropriate topic as we approach Remembrance Day and Armistice Day and also after my review last week of The Chameleon Theatre Group’s excellent performance of Blackadder Goes Forth.
Why do we need to remember? To be grateful to those who made so many sacrifices, in too many cases the ultimate one, so we can live as we do now. To be grateful to these unknowns who gave up their fathers, sons, brothers, husbands, wives, sisters, daughters and other family so we do not have to give up ours. [Read more…] about The Importance of Memories
In the late spring of 2014 I read with interest of the national plans to commemorate the fallen of WW1. It was accepted that these commemorations would not in any way be an attempt to glorify war but were to be an acknowledgment of the great sacrifice made by so many.
It was also decided that these commemorations would continue until November 2018. It was suggested that researching the names on local war memorials could be an appropriate way of doing this. [Read more…] about Margatet Doores: Love’s Greatest Gift – Remembrance
A longed for book; a medical worry results in an unquiet week; Gran gets her Smew; a bike is mislaid; flower paintings for friends; Tussock Corner; did Kew get it wrong? Oppressed by the London Underground; Roman Snails and a kind gesture.
On February 10th 1955 Gran is in Southampton. She has an appointment there for a chest X-Ray but does not enlarge upon this, preferring to record that:
I had drawn an unexpected fifteen shillings overtime for Christmas week, and, having also a book token to spend, I went to Smith’s bookshop and gave myself a book for which I had longed for many months. It was “Wild Orchids of Britain”, by Summerhayes, of Kew, and I also bought the latest edition of “Hampshire Review”, in which an article of Barry’s on birds of the coast appears. It is a good article and reveals depths in Barry’s character, which may not be apparent to those who only know him superficially.
IMAGE CREDIT: A very big thank you to Stuart Wineberg and The Chameleons for kind permission to use the images in this post.
I’m delighted to review the Chameleons’ latest production – Blackadder Goes Forth. [Read more…] about The Chameleons: Blackadder Goes Forth – Review by Allison Symes
This review is written by Dominic Mayes
Blackadder Goes Forth, performed by Chameleon Theatre Company, went beyond all expectations. It truly brought back a classic comedy set during one of the greatest conflicts in history on the Western Front in 1917. [Read more…] about The Chameleons: Blackadder Goes Forth – Review by Dominic Mayes
If you have ever walked past the war memorial outside St Boniface Church in Hursley Road, you may have wondered about those named on it. Perhaps you wanted to know a bit more about them and how they died in the Great War. Or maybe a bit more about the Chandler’s Ford they left in 1914. [Read more…] about Book Review: Margaret Doores’ Love’s Greatest Gift – Remembrance
A letter from Mill Hill; a hectic train journey; those migraines will not cease; Mr Tod seeks food in the town – but when he is hunted, Gran will always side with the fox. Spring is coming – the garden tells her so.
Gran is still looking after the two-year-old Julian while Jock recovers from my birth, and she finds it a tiring business, “…in spite of Jane’s help”, she writes, on January 9th 1955. She continues:
Jane took Julian for a long walk this afternoon whilst I did some cake-making. They saw several Grey Squirrels, which ran up the trees and Julian gave me a graphic description on his return. He also stroked the nose of a horse but withdrew in alarm when it snuffled at him, and this, too, was described to me with much drama.
A bit of London bird news; another friend emigrates; beloved trees continue to be felled; a prolonged period of child-care; Honey-buzzard in the New Forest, a child is born and the young family moves to North London.
November 29th 1954:
Gran completes her last painting of the year with Butcher’s Broom – she has been doing one each month – and her skill appears to be improving. She writes:
I was quite pleased with the result and intend to paint wild flowers seriously next year when I should have more free time. I feel that I could do better with more practice, for these last are a great improvement on my earlier efforts.
Empty nest syndrome; fun collecting crab apples; flowers for a Queen; a dockers’ strike; a farm wedding; “Goodbye Mary”; and another wedding.
September 21st 1954:
Jane left early this morning to return to college at Eastbourne and Jill Fowler, who joins her there tomorrow, arrived just before she left, with some things which Jane had promised to take for her. Our farewells were brief, for even when we feel our best, we dislike these partings but today with the shadow of Robin’s tragic accident hanging over us, neither of us was fit for prolonged speech.
“Poor little Jane”, Gran continues, “it is the first time tragedy has so nearly reached her and she is being very brave”. Later that day, she cycles to the top of Otterbourne Hill “to get some blackthorn upon which to feed a Fox moth caterpillar which I am looking after for a youngster while he is on holiday”. [Read more…] about Forty Years in Chandler’s Ford – a Journal (Part 65)
One that got away; enjoying Barry’s and Julian’s company before they leave the district; quiet reflections in Compton Church; goodbye Mary Robinson; news of a tragedy; another wedding, and a hedgehog knocks over a milk bottle.
Jane encourages Gran, dogged this day and regularly at fortnightly intervals, by her debilitating headaches, to accompany her on a walk along the Itchen, downstream from Brambridge, on the evening of August 16th 1954. Few people are about, apart from a lone fisherman and a single dog-walker. A Kingfisher flashes past, and a family of Mute Swans is on the water. Gran and Jane observe the fisherman, whom they saw: [Read more…] about Forty Years in Chandler’s Ford – a Journal (Part 64)
Have you ever walked past the war memorial outside St. Boniface Church and stopped and wondered about the lives that lie beneath the names? Where did they live? Were they born here in Chandler’s Ford?
What sort of work did they do before joining up or were they career soldiers? And who was Margaret Caswell? She’s the only woman who is remembered here.
Well, now’s your chance to find out. [Read more…] about Love’s Greatest Gift – Remembrance, by Margaret Doores
How is your eyesight? How is your imaginative “vision”? Both well, I trust. This post looks at views, both literal and metaphorical, and how a writer can develop their “eye” to generate ideas, regardless of whether they write fiction, non-fiction or both. [Read more…] about Favourite Views
A visit to the Cotswolds; a manipulation; Gran is 50; a tryst on Compton Downs; a Drinker is saved; two years of National Service – done; a couple of enthusiastic Irishmen; and four get a soaking on Farley Mount.
Gran, we learn on July 18th 1954, is Godmother to John, one of Tommy and Bob Fowler’s children. On that day, she, with Jill and Diana (the other two Fowler offspring), and Tommy, drive to Cheltenham, where John is at what Gran describes as “the famous school”. The journey is, typically, described in some detail, Gran enjoying the Cotswold villages with, to her, unusual names: Warborough, Stratton St Margaret, Blunsdon and Cricklade. She is impressed by the verges near the last named, “massed with Meadow Cranesbill”, some of which she collects for planting in her garden at The Ridge. And she recounts an amusing incident:
… a boy emerging from a side road was so startled by the sight of an approaching car that he promptly fell off his bicycle and disappeared into a ditch, though we were nowhere near him!
Eastleigh is marking the 100th anniversary year of the end of the first world war today. The event pays tribute to Eastleigh’s role in the First World War.
In Eastleigh this afternoon, I visited a re-enactment of a field hospital, some vintage military vehicles, and have seen great displays by charities and businesses, such as Hampshire Scouts, One Community, Defense Medical Welfare Service, British Legion, Eastleigh and District Local History Society, Eastleigh Gurkha Nepalese Association, Royal Air Forces Association, the Rotary Club, Air Cadets, Peter Green, and local author Paul Nolan. [Read more…] about Eastleigh Remembers – Truly Memorable
Barry achieves some good half-mile times; a new orchid for Gran; a solar eclipse; the pleasure of a seat at Centre Court; devastation in Oakwood Road; Jock is confirmed in Winchester Cathedral, and an Open Day, held at Chelsea College – where a Jamaican girl impresses.
On June 19th 1954, Gran is delighted for Barry, who:
…came in very late, straight from Uxbridge, where he had been running in RAF Fighter Command Championships, and was delighted to have won the half-mile race in his best ever time – 1min. 56.7 sec. This gives him next week at Uxbridge, undergoing training and running in matches – a very enjoyable way of spending one of his few remaining weeks in the Royal Air Force!
And the next day is recorded by Gran as “a very beautiful and enjoyable one!” She arises early because she is going to Eastbourne with the Fowler family, picking up Jane and spending much of the day with her. Many pages of detailed botanical observations follow, including from the downs above Eastbourne, where, Gran writes: [Read more…] about Forty Years in Chandler’s Ford – a Journal (Part 62)
A memory of Italy; delight in caring for a baby again; the Queen comes home; some serious athletics; a lot of orchids; more trees felled in Chandler’s Ford; Chelsea Flower Show again and a mouse causes some amusement.
Gran records with pleasure an experience enjoyed by Jane, with Robin Eastwood, early in May 1954 when on a wet and windy day, which made travel in the open-topped Talbot uncomfortable, the couple end the day with dinner at the Grand Hotel. A good orchestra was playing, she tells us, and after Robin had asked the name of a piece just played, the leader asked if there was anything Jane would like to hear. She chose a selection from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and this scenario reminded Gran of her very similar and wonderful experience as a seventeen-year old, when, she writes, “the leader of the Orchestra in the Carlo Felici Restoranti in Genoa used to ask me, with a low bow, “and what would the signorina like us to play now?”. [Read more…] about Forty Years in Chandler’s Ford – a Journal (Part 61)
The acorns have started dropping off the oaks around Chandler’s Ford, almost certainly earlier than normal due to the heatwave, but for me, that is the start of autumn. I don’t mind that. As I’ve mentioned before, I like autumn. (Though I try to avoid being hit on the head by said acorns, they can come down with some force, and a number of times as I hear them hit the car roof, I’m glad the car took the impact rather than me!). [Read more…] about As Autumn Approaches