I was evacuated to Balcombe in 1940 along with the Stanley Technical College pupils from south London. At first, 3 of us were billited at Monks, a large and beautiful home some 3 km out of the village. At that time the Johnston family owned the house. This was a fantastic experience.
We were taught at the village school and the log-cabin scout hut was adapted for our engineering workshop practice. Later, I was billeted at a house adjacent to the railway station. I don't recall the owners' names, but the man of the family owned the only car-repair business in the village. We were resented and not made welcome in this home at all. A miserable experience.
I visited Balcombe from New Zealand in 1990 and found that Monks had become a protected property - owned by the National Trust - or whatever is its NZ equivalent. The log-cabin scout hut was still there, as was the school, and of course, the church - but I couldn't find the Johnston named pew! I could write a book about Balcombe in those days - let alone 1000 words, but meanwhile I would be interested in any information about Monks. Does it have a website at all? Hoping for your interest.
A memory shared byon Oct 30th, 2006.
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