An Arreton Childhood

A Memory of Arreton

I lived in Arreton from birth until my marriage.  My family consisted of Dad and Mum, my sister Gill, my paternal grandparents and a retired infant teacher Miss Muskett. She taught me at home before I began school at the village CE school where I remained from 1936-1942.  Headmaster was Mr White known to us all as Skipper White. At school in wartime meant carrying our gas masks everywhere, getting to the air raid shelter if a raid occurred while we were at school. During the Battle of Britain we had no time to get to the shelter and had to get under our desks for cover as the planes fought in  the sky above us. Sometimes we were machine-gunned as we were out in the fields and had to dive for a ditch or hedge.
Living in the village meant joining in the various organisations. I was a member of the Methodist Church, a Brownie in the village Brownie Pack and later a Guide.  We entered in the annual Horticultural show, with vases of named wild flowers, cookery and handicrafts. I only managed the flowers and cookery, handicrafts were not my cup of tea!
We roamed the fields, the Downs, the copses and the streams in the village, sometimes in the holidays being out all day with our friends.  We knew where to find the first primroses, wild violets and kingcups in the Spring, the Bee orchids in the Summer and the conkers and sweet chestnuts in the autumn. There was also a large walnut tree in a field near the downs where we always went to get the nuts in autumn. Walnuts straight from the tree have a vastly different taste from those sold in the shops. The streams and the River Yar afforded much entertainment - catching sticklebacks in the streams, looking for frog spawn and toad spawn in the ponds and paddling in the river which had fish and eels in it.
As a small village, we knew all the people in it and especially those who were members of the Chapel to which we belonged.  We also had several relatives living close by. My grandfather's sister Aunt Alice, his neices Aunt Amy, Auntie Rose and Auntie Lin all lived a few doors away.
The village shop and post office was next door but one and Norah the daughter of the Shop owner took me to school when I first began. She is still a close friend today.
Although I no longer live in Arreton, but two miles away in Newchurch parish, my interests are still there as I still belong to the Methodist Church and I am the Clerk to Arreton Parish Council and very interested in the history of the village and its people.

A memory shared by Pat Phillips , on Feb 3rd, 2007.

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