Edited by Allison Symes
Hello again. In my earlier posts, I shared my wartime memories and some names of friends and neighbours from my Chandler’s Ford years.
I was a Chartered Surveyor for many years, now long retired, and have spent many years in the Far East and am now in Hong Kong. One of my hobbies is painting in oils.
In this post I look back at my school years in Chandler’s Ford and share why I’m in contact with Chandler’s Ford Today now.
On the way up towards Fryern Hill on Kings Road was the excellent Kings Road School. The Headmistress was Miss Golding who used to cane people!
I attended Sherborne House School (Miss Wise and Mrs Dyson were two teachers I recall) before I was yanked out of there by my tough sea captain father to ‘roughen me’ up a bit!
Art was taught by a Mrs. Holloway and our form mistress was Miss Ailing. Another teacher who was good fun was a Mrs Adams whose husband worked for The Echo as it was then. Mrs. Holloway taught me about complementary colours which I found totally absorbing. She also taught sketching.
At Shakespeare Road School the headmistress was Miss Brown and another teacher was a Miss Phoebe.
There was Miss Bainbridge’s Cub Group and, on Valley Road, Mr. and Mrs. Deadman’s Cub Group.
ANNOYING THE RIVER KEEPER
Opposite the Merdon Avenue junction on the eastern side was a much abused right-of way to all, especially wild kids on bicycles like myself, where you could freewheel at high speed all the way down to the right hand bank of the River Itchen at Bishopstoke and annoy the river keeper by swimming and jumping into treasured Salmon Pools. I was to fish there some forty years later and know just how he felt!
To the left of this on Bournemouth Road was erected a large scale private housing estate known as ‘The Trickett houses’.
Editor’s note: Can anyone write in with more information on this? We’d love to know more about the Tricketts!
The family doctor and his wife, Stanley and Ruth Golden, had his GP practice on Bournemouth Road near Velmore Road . They were my godparents and had been missionaries in southern China. She was, as mother would say, a ‘Hot Gospeller’ and would enthrall those attending Youth for Christ meetings at St. Mary’s Hall in Southampton.
THE EASTLEIGH CONNECTION
Outings to Eastleigh were not to be missed. There was Bowleys the Newsagent, Welches Fishing Tackle and Sports Shop. A small boy could buy nylon line by the yard and hooks individually! What a rip-off to to the customer! Perretts the Greengrocer and (I think) Mowats the Fishmonger were also here.
There was The Regal (I think ) Cinema and another one opposite.
Dr. Cheal’s practice was opposite the Town Hall.
PETROL FILLING STATION
Some twenty years later I was commissioned by Shell Oil company to seek out a new neighbourhood Petrol Filling Station.
After some investigation, I found the location needed. All that was required was to convince the planners a change from residential to commercial use was justifiable.
I located a suitable and very nice detached house on Passfield Avenue belonging to a Mr. Evans, a Gas Board Manager. After much haggling the princely sum of £10,000.00 was agreed upon. I received the necessary permission as a shopping parade was next door.
Due to bad and unimaginative design, the completed petrol filling station languished for many years and was often boarded up until someone had the bright idea of incorporating a neighbourhood shop/Tyres, Batteries and Auto-accessories outlet.
I visited this gas station some fifteen years ago on a week-end and had to queue for ten minutes to be served. I wonder how much it is worth now?
WHY CONTACT CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY NOW?
Some readers may wonder as to why someone so far removed from life in England should suddenly become aware of your publication. Very simple really!
My fellow British Columbian and Vancouverite, Ray Eagle, was a dear friend who sadly passed away in July. During the closing months of his life he was becoming increasingly anxious to establish contact with anyone who knew him many decades ago, hence my learning from him how he was going about this.
Ray was a marvellous man in many ways. He was almost my exact contemporary. We were both born in Chandler’s Ford, attended the same schools, used the same doctor and dentist and, more amazingly, became subalterns in the same regiment, The Duke of Connaught’s Own, latterly 383 Field Regiment Royal Artillery (TA). The regiment was disbanded by Mrs Thatcher in the 1960s. Ray also served in Hong Kong and almost Korea too.
We shared a Scots ancestry and Ray was, in addition to being a fine singer, something of an authority on Scottish (Highland) Country Dancing. He was an author of some note on Scottish clan history and his last publication in 2011, Scotland – A Photographic Journal (Aquila Publishing, Gibsons, B.C. ISBN 978-0-9877151-0-4) was well received.
Now a final bit about myself. My early mentors as an aspiring Surveyor under articles were successive commanding officers of 5th Battalion The Royal Hampshire Regiment, Basil Gater and Philip Powell. Both Hampshire men to the core. I talk more about my career as a surveyor and my time in the Territorial Army for my last post in this series next week.