I had the pleasure of living in Beechcroft since the day I was born in 1954, my parents and grandparents had bought the rectory, named a "White Elephant"as no one had lived in it for 4 years. During that time we had birthday parties on the front lawn, unless of course you were born in January. My parents loved to have BBQ's in the grounds. My sister and I had our weddings here and walked across the lawn to the church. I remember the cellars - cold, dark but exciting, lots of stories have been written about secret passages to the river. The house was magnificent and I still miss it now. I travel to the UK from Australia often, and just sit in the grounds and relive my youth. We as kids played in the grounds, searched in the fields for mushrooms and climbed the trees. I did not like walking past the graveyard at night to get home off the last bus, so my mum was always there with the trusty dog. Summer was the best, putting on the cozzie and sitting in the Lily Pond to cool off, those days we did'nt have water restrictions. We were told that Polly was the ghost, I had a few near misses but never actually saw her. My sister and I did find some engraving on an upper window on the glass, possibly made by a maid. My nanna had a room full of miniatures and the original bells for summoning staff were still attached to the wall with a button near her chair. I remember the grand front stairs, and - when no-one was looking - sliding down the banisters. As my aunt has said in her memory, Christmas was a memorable time with half the village turning up for mince pies. Our family always came to Beechcroft for Boxing Day and the annual table tennis competition. We always had a dog, but our family's main love was cats, and most of them are buried in the grounds. Many people have painted the house and written lovely poems about their time spent there, times which have left a loving memory. I left England in 1976 to travel and work in Australia, and yes, I am still here! My parents sold Beechcroft in the late 1980s and now live a few yards away in the grounds, still overlooking the river and with a view of the old house. I have a large old photo I took of the house which takes pride of place in my home in Australia, so I never forget my happy childhood spent in this wonderfull home.
I was born Maureen Whitby, now known as Liz Collins.
A memory shared byon Dec 4th, 2008.
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