I was born in 1933 and went to live in Broadford Bridge in 1937. There were two village shops, ours incorporated the Post Office. No electricity and when butter was required for the shop it was down in the well to keep it cool. The Bacon was in a metal box hanging in the tree.
When the war started my father was called up in 1939 leaving my mother to run the shop. The helpful postman delivered all the papers whilst doing his rounds. I cycled around on Sundays. No buses, it was cycle everywhere. I bred rabbits for food, taking them on my cycle to Steyning market for sale to earn pocket money.
Just before the outbreak of war my father installed a small engine which drove a generator giving 50volt lighting to our home, but still no power. The large accumulator batteries for this were installed on the first floor of the barn and needed regularly to be topped up with distilled water. I soon realised I could charge radio battery accumulators by this generator so I delivered and collected all around the area to earn more! Prior to this they had to go to Billingshurst for a charge.
When the local woods were full of American and Candian soldiers we exchanged our fresh eggs for their pigs swill! We went to their camp cinemas and saw our first cartoons. The only warlike activity in Broadford Bridge was when a V1 doodlebug landed in the middle of a field on the Adversane road.
As young boys we helped on the local farms often riding on tractor mudguards and had great fun chasing rabbits during the harvest.
I found my father's shotguns and first tried to shoot a rat on the rafters of the stable. The rat disappeared and was replaced by a hole through the tiles.
There was a farm pond nearby (two fields away) where we braved the mud and slime and learnt to swim, afterwards drying out in the sun.
Most years the crossroads flooded, the worst time it reached the side of the house and shop. Leaving the crossroads impassible for a few days.
A memory shared byon Aug 25th, 2008.
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