Displaying the first of 5 old photos of Britford. View all Britford photos
Historic maps of Britford and the local area, hand-drawn by Ordnance Survey and Samuel Lewis. View all Britford maps
Britford area books
Displaying 1 of 14 books about Britford and the local area. View all books for this area
Memories of Britford
Life in The Park.
I was born in Longford Park in April 1942, my father was "Bill" Ashman, head gardener to the Earl of Radnor from 1940 until 1965 (approx). My younger brother Peter and I were fortunate to have been brought up in the relative calm and prosperity of the Longford Estate immediately after the war. Many reminders of the estate's wartime role were still evident in those times especially the Nissen huts occupied by the American troops prior to their D Day landings.
The park in those days boasted four gate lodges at Britford, Bodenham, Nunton and Alderbury, although the Nunton lodge was demolished to assist in the improvement of the A338 main road to Bournemouth.
I am reminded of many characters from that era, Vic Gray the head keeper, Arthur Morril the butler later succeeded by Fred Gibson, Jim Wilson the chef, Freddie Sims the chauffeur, Frank Freeman the groom, all neighbours and all living within 200 yards of the castle.
As my brother and I came... Read more
My Childhood at Bodenham
I used to live at Bodenham for about nine years and went to Odstock School. I played on my bike or on roller skates all around the village lanes. It was a lovely time, no worries or cares, just an innocent childhood.
My paternal grandparents lived in a house called "Chuzzlewit", opposite the Green Dragon. My grandfather was called Hedley and my grandmother was Francis Sarah. I lived for a time at "The Tetherings" in Whaddon and went to Alderbury School. My father (Dereck) and myself also sang in the church choir. My parents were married at Alderbury church in 1942. My maternal grandmother (Alice Brown) and my mother ( Aline nee Fyfe) lived in Whaddon in the 30's as well.
My maternal grandparents lived at Old Rectory, School Hill, Alderbury (now called Court House). They were Charles and Elizabeth Sheppard and grandad worked at Longford as, I believe, a woodsman or carpenter? I still have 3 cousins living in Whaddon and try to see them at The Green Dragon for a reunion when we come over to UK as I have lived in California for 46 years. I remember well going across the fields to fetch the milk, sometimes at Taylors farm on Silver St, and mushrooming on the way back. My mother, Millicent, went to the school across from Old Rectory with her brothers Louis, Hector and Nelson and sisters Iris and Eva. Some familiar names I remember: Hatchers (Grandma's relatives?), Mary Fry, Newsomes, Abe Bellstone. Mr Carr the headmaster. Loved going to the copse to pick primroses, bluebells, snowdrops when in season, feeding chickens and going up to Mrs Vinings at the "shop" for a few groceries and getting a lollipop for my... Read more
SORRY, BUT WE USED TO CALL IT GIBBS AND SPEW
Yes, I worked there when I was 15 with two other boys. I remember Tony Fletcher and Alan Blackman (are you still out there?). It was a dark warm place when on full tilt, it looked like London in the fog. I remember the characters like old Seth, he could drink beer straight from the fermentation tank whilst it was still hot, yes, it was free, we used to have a ration of two pints a day hence I was legless after my first, then I used to save it till the weekend to sell to the oldies who could drink as much as they could get. Seth was a bomb, he loved the gee gees but it would take him 26 minutes to go to the bookies and back so he devised a way of getting out. I didn't know where he did work in the brewery, only that every now and then he would come to where I was on the barrel wash, it was a monster to... Read more
Dating Circa 1965
Salisbury in the 1960's was a good place to be if you wanted to meet interesting people.The place to go was the Cadena Cafe - sandwiched between Style and Gerrish, and the Chough. One now (sort of) famous person who frequented the dark reaches of that cafe is the writer and food critic Jonathan Meades. The Bus Station was the match.com of its day and between 3.45 and 4.45 pm girls and boys from the local schools who lived in outlying villages and towns would chat each other up there. Ah, the girls who used the ladies loo for a penny ......just to get spruced up (and shorten their school skirts) before hitting the dating scene. Actually when you got a bit older you graduated to the Cadena Cafe where you could smoke and look cool. How many people remember this?
The Town Path
Have seen this view many times in my younger days back in the late 1920s and early 30s, just after crossing the footbridge over the river, when on my way to see my dear old gran at Harnham. I can still remember the smell of the old mill.