A few days ago my wife and I had the pleasure of meeting up with Janet Williams and her husband at the Hiltonbury Pub, my old home, and we discussed the way Chandler’s Ford had grown over the years.
In the entrance hall of the pub there is a photograph of Hiltonbury taken from the air in about 1974 and Janet suggested that I took a photograph of it and put it on the blog with some descriptions of some of the buildings in the photographs so here goes.
I will start with the Large Barn, bottom left hand side.
The Large Barn
Originally when my Father’s Uncle Great Simon Beattie lived at Hiltonbury this was the original cowshed. The cows milked were English Shorthorn.
When the larger shed was built for 36 cow standing when my Father took over, the Large Barn was used as a hay store the in the 60s. It was rented out most weekends for parties and many older residents of Chandler’s Ford will remember it as the Jug of Punch.
Jug of Punch
There were some great parties and a lot of Folk singing as folk groups used to hire the barn many times to have folk sessions.
When one particular party was held we had complaints about the noise and the complainer said they would call the police. We did mention to them that may cause a problem as it was the Police holding their annual bash!
The 36 Standing Cow Shed and Dairy
The 36 standing cow shed and dairy was used until about 1968 and from there we ran Vinings Dairy delivering milk (in cartons, not bottles), cream, butter and eggs to the residents of Chandler’s Ford until it was sold to South Coast Dairies.
In 1968 the new herringbone milking parlour was built along with the cubicle house, which housed 120 Jerseys in the winter.
Some of the Hiltonbury Jersey Herd can be seen in the photograph out in the field behind the 36 standing cow shed.
Here is a link to the herd (Hiltonbury Jerseys) as it is today in Botley run by my nephew and his partner.
The Old Cart Shed
The Old Cart Shed (Marked) was the building that can hardly be seen in the photo as it is hidden by trees but was the place where the Ferguson Tractor was stored that I learnt to drive at the age of 10.
I was allowed to drive it on the roads from the age of 14. Our first Combine was stored there. The Combine had a 6′ cut. Very small compared to the huge 40′ monsters used today.
World’s biggest combine harvester: 2 CLAAS LEXION 770
The Dutch Barn
The Dutch Barn was where we stored all our cattle feed, Silage, Hay and Straw. In around 1962 the barn was set on fire by vandals and we lost all our winter feed.The culprits were never caught.
The Hiltonbury Farmhouse can be clearly seen. I have marked my bedroom. It was FREEZING in winter, always ice on the inside of the windows and I often slept fully clothed in winter.
When we moved into Hiltonbury to join Mr and Mrs Beattie there was no electric, and water was from the well outside the back door. Mains water arrived in around 1946/7 when the trench was dug from the Hursley Road to Hiltonbury.
My first wages
I received my first wages as a 5/6 year old cleaning the shovels of the workmen hand digging the trench. The foreman of the workers was living in “Willowthatch Cottage” in Ramalley. We had Calor gas lighting downstairs but candles upstairs until electricity arrived.
This was my home until I married in 1964 when I moved into Ramalley Cottages just behind Draper. I have marked the “Gallops”, which was a horse riding track and the path to where I lived. The Cottages along with Willow Thatch were knocked down to make room for Draper’s carpark.
Draper arrived in Chandler’s Ford
Draper arrived in Chandler’s Ford around 1961/2 in what was the old Navy Victualing yards and grown into the huge business it is today.
The old “Granary” which stood on concrete mushrooms, was, I believe dismantled and moved to Twyford.
The Turkey House
The turkey house is marked and we used to grow around 200 turkeys every year for Christmas and I have met a number of people who remember collecting their Christmas Dinner from us at Hiltonbury.
There was also a Duck Pond by the Farmhouse that my son Alex managed to fall in when he was small and my sister managed to rescue him before he drowned!
In 1974 I handed over the running of the Farm to my sister Heather who managed it until 1976 when our family had to leave the Farm and Heather and her Family moved with all the cattle and Cubical House and Milking Parlour to Velmore Farm (Opposite ASDA) and continued to grow the Hiltonbury Jersey Herd.
I started a Farm Hygiene service in 1974 working from the Farm and left Ramalley Cottages to live in Oakmount Road.
Hope this has been of interest.