Edited by Allison Symes
Hello again. I am Graham McLean, aged 78 years and a long retired former Chartered Surveyor who has spent much of his adult life in the Far East and Canada but I lived in Chandler’s Ford.
My posts are my attempt to share some memories, which I hope trigger other memories in some of you. My first post last week shared some of my wartime memories. This week’s post shares some memories of friends and neighbours.
Something about my family and our neighbours
My grandfather was Captain William Wellington, RM, who was the owner of 21 Velmore Road, and a close friend and drinking pal of Major McMahon. The Major used to own the newsagent and tobacconist shop in Hursley Road.
Our neighbours were, on the left, the mountainous and extremely gregarious Rowland Willoughby (22 Stone and proud of it). He had a Mulberry tree in his back garden, the leaves of which were the staple diet of silkworms. Watching the cocoons being spun was fascinating and the emergence of the moth even more so!
The neighbours to the right were Miss Grabham and Miss Purvett. They were so secretive my mother said that they hung out their washing to dry in the greenhouse at night!
My sister Heather, who died in 1987 (born 1930), had several close friends, including Fiona, Sheila and Heather MacMillan. Their father was Commander Donald MacMillan, Port Hydrographer. They lived close to Castle Stores at the junction of Leigh Road with Bournemouth Road.
Other friends included Helen Oldham and Sheila Gallagher.
My own friends have all departed, the last being Ray Eagle. I will share more about him in a later post.
My family resided at No.21 Velmore Road for some time but we moved to Southampton in 1951. The focal point of family activity tended to center around listening to the news housed in a mahogany box with a dimly illuminated dial. There were only two programmes – The Home Service and The Light Program.
Editor’s note: These are now Radios 4 and 2 effectively.
As my father was away on active service on convoy duty chasing and destroying U-Boats in The North Atlantic, I was left rather too much to my own devices it seems anyway, looking back. Later in peacetime, he was the Captain of Queen Elizabeth 1 and often met royalty.
Some other friends and neighbours included Rowland and Winnie Willoughby. He was a Sales Manager for Pirelli General Cable Works.
Editor’s note: A number of odd coincidences came up while working with Graham on this series. The first one is my late father, towards his retirement, “temped” at Pirelli for a while in the offices there. The second one is my sister-in-law worked on the shop floor at Pirelli, doing shift work, for many years. Of course the old Pirelli site has now gone and a new housing development is on the site, including a new road named after Eastleigh’s most famous ex-resident, Benny Hill Close.
Other people in my world back then included Mr and Mrs. Francis (with their son, Billy). Then there was the Haynes family (who had a florist business).
There there was Mr. Bean who was known as ‘boffin’. Then there was Durban Jupe, the Moxham family, and Mr. Hawkins, who was a Manager. Mr. Hawkins with his 7 inch screen TV set would permit neighbours to come in for an hour or so in shifts to watch it. Can you believe it?
Then there was Mr and Mrs Stone. He worked for British Railways. They had a daughter called Poppy.
I learned the names and characteristics of our neighbours fairly fast and maybe some older readers will recall some of the names here?
The Rev. Fry was the rector (I believe) of the Congregational Church in Kings Road. We attended there.
Editor’s note: This is now the United Reformed Church which came about when the Congregationalists and Presbyterians merged.
I notice the name Meredith. I think there was a Meredith family living at the end of Velmore Road opposite John Pearce the Chiropodist.
Then there were the Needham and Humphreys families. I knew Dr. and Mrs. Goulden. He was a ship’s surgeon. Mr. Pearce the Chiropodist had his practice located on the corner junction with Bournemouth Road.
On Bournemouth Road itself there was Miss Rice who ran Castle Stores, which was a most successful venture. Then there was Candlers Garage and Filling Station and Eccotts bicycle repair shop. P.C. Longman lived at The Village Police House next to the pub.
Editor’s note: this is now The Hut and the police house was demolished several years ago.
Then there was the Ford Dealership.
At the shopping Parade was Mr. Baker the Grocer and Wainwrights Chemists. On Fryern Hill there was Mr. P.W.Fanner the Optician. Scammell and Smith the Estate Agents (probably bought out years ago ).
Editor Note: I moved into Chandler’s Ford in the late 1980s and Scammell and Smith were still at Fryern then. They were bought out and Goadsby Estate Agents are now where Scammell and Smith used to be.
Further up Hursley Road was Mr Inge the dentist. This was almost opposite the Richie Hall.
Editor Note: Strange coincidence time again. When I was a child my dentist was a Mr Inge at a practice near St. James Road in Shirley. Inge is not that common a name. There could well be a link here. “My” Mr Inge would be likely to be the son of William’s one.
Toogoods Seeds was next to the long gone railway station.
Editor note: The irony here is that we now have the railway station back, albeit not quite in the same place as the old one. The hardware store, Deans, that was around for decades and survived the old railway station has now gone!
Next week I’ll be looking at my school years and share with you my involvement with a certain petrol station in Passfield Avenue.