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Old Byfleet

I was born in 1944. My father was the village doctor as his father had been before. We lived in Granville House, which formed one junction of the road with Clock House and the Blue Anchor, famous for the murder of the landlord some years before. My grandfather had lived at Old Lodge and my cousins the Goodwins lived in Chelsea Cottage, opposite us in Rectory Lane. When my grandparents first lived there in the early 1930s, it was a quiet village of 800 people but when Brooklands was converted to Vickers Armstrongs main aircraft factory, the population exploded. Of the shops near our home, there was a green grocers, whose name I forget, then Elkins the tobacconist, and a cafe on the corner; the general grocer Digby's stores (where the payments used to be paid at a little kiosk at the end of the shop), Byfleet Motors weher we used to get the accumulator recharged for our wireless so we could listen to Dick Barton, and beyond that the Post Office opposite Derisley's farm. Further along there was a Chemist and a hardware store on Oyster Road and there had been a large hotel opposite which was pulled down about 1950. Then Tylers where my father restocked with gin, Venn's the butcher, and a funeral director on the corner opposite the Village School next the Fire Station. Next to Lloyds Bank, Douglas Hamilton the famous racing driver had his garage. My father used to play cricket every week, while we used to play in the field next to it where the M25 now runs. Anything I've missed?

A memory of Byfleet in Surrey shared on Sunday, 9th May 2010.

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RE: Old Byfleet

Loved hearing your comments about Byfleet, I remember your dad. Correct me if I am wrong, was your dad Dr Bennett or Dr Dickson? Both were wonderful doctors, everyone felt like they were our family friends as well as being our GP's. They would always wave if you passed them along the road...where did those days go?

Comment from Christine Woodruff on Wednesday, 6th February 2013.

RE: Old Byfleet

I remember both these doctors but Dr Bennett was from my very early childhood so can remember Dr Dickson more. I knew Miles Dickson for a of his sons.....perhaps via Pipers Hill. Maybe Miles was a friend of Melford Dean who lived there. I stayed at Pipers Hill in school holidays and later worked there whilst a student. I think both doctors did home visits quite regularly in those days unheard of just about today....probably the last of the real family doctors!

Comment from Linda Morris on Sunday, 3rd March 2013.

RE: Old Byfleet

Yes, the two doctors were just so friendly. Can remember after having my sons they both came to see me at St Peters Hospital, felt just like a friend visiting - a familiar lovely. Byfleet went down hill in the 80's ...won't go into politics, but think everyone will know what I am talking about...things aint what they used to be!

Comment from Christine Woodruff on Saturday, 23rd March 2013.

RE: Old Byfleet

Just to add a bit more to the above. I believe that in between Lloyds Bank and Duncan Hamilton's was a small travel agency and also Manns the estate agents. Then came Byfleet Ironmongery owned by Dick Pead. Like a lot of local lads, I used to work on Bentleys Farm in New Haw/Addlestone during our school holidays. One particular summer the weather was so bad there was not any work on the farm so I touted my services around Byfleet so as to get some pocket money. I called in on Byfleet Ironmongery, which had only recently opened and Mr Pead took me on for those holidays and many more afterwards including every Saturday during term time. I earned the grand sum of £3:10:0 per week against the top amount of £1:13:9 that I could get on the farm assuming that I was able to get work every day and Saturday morning. Also I was in the dry all the time. I remember that whilst working at the shop, I served Duncan Hamilton with some wallpaper!! Happy days.

Comment from ALAN FAIRLIE on Sunday, 29th September 2013.


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