My name is Allen West. I was born in Eastleigh in 1935. My parents moved to Leigh Rd, Chandler’s Ford in 1935 or 1936.
During the war we lived with my grandparents in Bournemouth Road whilst my father was serving in the 8th Army. I attended Kings Road School and later on to North End School.
I was a member and rider for the Chandler’s Ford Stars Cycle Speedway Team from 1949 – 1953 when I did my National Service for two years. The original track was at Hiltingbury Woods and then moved to Hursley Road opposite Chandler’s Ford Railway Station, where the new flats are now in the dip.
I spent 18 years in the Post Office both in Eastleigh & Southampton and finished my working life in the workshops in Eastleigh Railway Works.
Betty’s Memory of Ritchie Hall
My cousin (Betty Tabor nee West) has some information on Richie Hall. Betty was born in Chandler’s Ford in 1932/33 and lived in Winchester Road near Kings Road. She does not have a computer, so has given me the following information.
The Ritchie Hall was built in 1912-1913 in memory of Dr Ritchie with a donation from his wife. Dr Ritchie was also treasurer of Chandler’s Ford Cricket Club and held a position with the football club.
About 1935, the late Ethel Moore started her dancing school holding lessons in the Ritchie Hall. The most famous pupil was Philip Chatfield, who was given a scholarship to Sadler’s Wells Ballet, now the Royal Ballet. Also Margaret Woolridge who gained a place in the International Ballet Company.
Miss Moore later moved to Shaftesbury Avenue. After her marriage, the classes moved to Southampton. After the Americans & Canadians arrived in Chandler’s Ford, dances were held on a Saturday night. These were organised by the ballroom teachers – a Miss Rosalind Edwards and her parents who lived in Bournemouth Road. These dances were very popular with the troops.
Other points of interest. Mr Kendall, manager of the Gas Showroom, which was opposite the Cenotaph at the corner of Hursley Road and Bournemoth Road, arranged for a display in the shop window with all the men of the village who were in the armed forces during the Second World War.
History Of Ritchie Hall In Chandler’s Ford, by Betty Tabor nee West