I thought I would complement these by writing about some of my memories from more recent times and see how much has changed – and how much has stayed the same.
This is written pretty much from memory – I’ve even lost most of my photographs from the period – so apologies if I have missed out anything important or got my memories a bit confused.
In this first episode, I will look at the general layout of the area. In later episodes I will give some memories of transport and shopping.
Moving to Chandler’s Ford in 1980s
I moved to Chandler’s Ford as a young adult in the late 1980s to take up a job with Hampshire County Council in Winchester. This wasn’t, however, my first visit to Chandler’s Ford.
As a student at Southampton University, my housemates and I bought a chest freezer from a house in the section of Bournemouth Road between Leigh Road and Chestnut Avenue. I’d also been part of a different group of students who had visited the guide group at Ramalley to provide something for an “activities night”.
I first lived in a house at the top of Chestnut Avenue. There weren’t many buildings there then – just a few former farmhouses on the south side – Common Barn Farm and Stoney Croft Farm (hence Stoney Croft Rise). The farmland by then was restricted to a few fields that were mostly grazed by horses – and, I think, owned separately to the houses. There were a few ramshackle buildings alongside Common Barn Farm which provided accommodation for some light engineering firms – a motor mechanics, and a garden machinery store, amongst others.
All this now lies under the B&Q offices. I wouldn’t like to say this was a long time ago, but the original replacement building on that site (a Co-Op distribution warehouse) was subsequently demolished to make way for the current office block.
Tollbar Way didn’t exist – Warner Lambert occupied a fair bit of that site. The junction with Falkland Road was a T-junction, and the retail park (where Homebase used to be) was a disused building – “Forecourt Services – FCS”. I remember the contractor’s signs around the site when that site was cleared: “Demolition by Graham Greene”, as if this were a new book by the well-known author.
Incidentally, it wasn’t Homebase at first – Chippy Bonus points to the first person to correctly give the name of the original occupier of that site.
Some of Valley Park had been built, but most was still a glint in a developer’s eye. I visited a show home on one occasion to enquire how much a small one or two-bedroom house would cost. It was well beyond my expectation – and budget. “You might find something cheaper on the second-hand market”, the salesman said with ill-disguised disdain.
Knightwood Road followed its original line (which is now a foot and cycle path) but very few of the roads leading off it had been built. There were still woods and fields alongside the road at the Flexford end. The Cleveland Bay pub was there, as were the neighbouring shops. The Tesco was either Misselbrook and Weston or Circle K – the two predominant chains in the local convenience store chain.
That pretty much concludes my memories of the general area. Please comment with any of your own – they may jog my memory too.
- Chandler’s Ford from the 1980s – Part 1
- Chandler’s Ford from the 1980s – Part 2
- Chandler’s Ford from the 1980s – Part 3
Part 3 of Chippy’s Chandler’s Ford memories will be published on 30th March 2016.
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