Bathing In The River

A Memory of Bishopstoke

Montague terrace was home to many children. I remember the Allen's, John, June, Barry, Hazel, Ivan & Valerie. The White's, Maurice and Barbara, The William,s and Smith,s, Joan, Roy, Margaret, Jeffrey, and at least three younger ones. Plus Pauline Sollet, Valerie & Johnnie Butt. We all played in the road outside of Andrews Hardware shop. I was born on the top floor of that shop and my grandparents Harry and Lucy Andrews owned it. My mum was Joan who also lived and worked in the shop.
We, the children, spent the summers paddling in the river which had a concrete base and was shallow in summertime. Us older ones would go down river a little and swin through 'the hole' well it came up to my chest if I walked through. The mums would get through the railings and using drain holes as steps climb down and clear all weed from the concrete base as soon as the lock closed the water flow down. Then even the little ones of the road would be allowed in, and us bigger kids all of the age of 5 to 8 would splash and play with them. We would all then lay on the paving slabs by the bus stop to dry off in the sun, leaving our wet mark when we went in again.
So many good memories of Bishopstoke. The rose garden in the corner of the rec, and old George the gardener chasing us out if he saw us. The old church tower and yew tree. We all climbed it and had great fun when the original tomb stones were in place, winding cotton from tomb to tomb. When folk who oft would cut through as a shortcut to the barge just might think a ghost had caught them!!! The many games in Montague Terrace, two ball, skipping ropes, marbles, whipping tops and hop schotch. Even tiddler fishing with jam jars and bluebell gathering from the local woods. What a lot the modern day youngster is missing.
I also remember Mr Collis and he frightened me too. Mr Marshall was the Head at the time and Mr Lloyd was my teacher at Bishopstoke Junior School. Does anyone remember Charlie the milkman and his horse Pat, or remember seeing the lamplighters on their bikes?? Likewise I used to get a 1p worth of scraps from the chip shop, and sit at Bournes 'beach' where often Montague Terrace mum's took the kids for a picnic. We would go swimming here too, on the far side of the river where the water was fast flowing and deep, Again 'the hole' would let us swin for several yards before the river became shallow again. On the nearside of the bank where the picnicer's sat, the shore was sandy and very shallow so the little kids could paddle. Does anyone remember when the hall was replacing the old maroon tin hut. All the men and some women from the families in Bishopstoke, turned in to raise the new hall? So many more memories but too many to write here.
Ahh well those were the days.

A memory shared by Barbara R Bryan , on Nov 30th, 2007.

Comments & feedback

Tue Jul 15th 2014, at 1:16 am

slambert commented:

My mother Hilda LeQueux was born in Montague Terrace, No 8. Its long gone now and replaced by a some ugly looking houses that look out of character for the terrace, now renamed Montague Road I think.
Marshall and Lloyd must have been at the Junior School a long time, I also remember a Mr Jenks and Mrs Balfour though she was not one of my teachers.
I remember Mr Lloyd reading The Hobbit to us. He smoked a pipe and had a prominent Adam's apple as I recall. Nice Bloke.
Mr Marshall I remember wore braces and used to stretch them when lecturing us. His diatribes often started with the words " When I was a boy..........." . That was in 1960 or thereabouts.

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