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A Memory of Guildford

My father was farm manager at Orange Court Farm from 1964-1967. We lived in one of the cedar wood bungalows put up in Littleton, I suspect in the early 1960s, by the More-Molyneux family for estate workers - they also owned the Guildway building firm at Artington at that time, and the bungalows were variants on their standard designs. Other estate workers lived in unrestored 17th-century cottages in Littleton which, while quaint, were much less salubrious. Children in the village attended St Nicholas School in Guildford, being picked up by a coach which negotiated the hairpin bend near Pilgrim's Wood with difficulty. After passing the 11+ in 1966 I went on to Godalming Grammar School which required a mile and a half bike ride to Loseley Lodge on the main A3100 to catch the Aldershot & District bus. A mass of bikes owned by other Littleton people catching the bus to Guildford or Godalming was left round the tree next to the Lodge.
The lower part of Littleton lay on thick grey-blue gault clay which became like plasticine when wet. We used to put lumps of it on the end of sticks and have competitions hurling it as far as we could. We also used to dam the stream that ran through the village at Orange Court Farm by putting a board in front of the pipe that carried it under the road, occasionally causing a spectacular flood at the back of the farm.
As an estate village, Littleton was curiously detached in geography and 'feel' from the more typical Surrey commuter towns and villages which surrounded it, although we went to school in Guildford and the church was served by the Rector of Compton, in my time Canon Guy Howard. The shurch had I think at one time been a school and a library (it still had the County Library sign on it) before being replaced by a new school further up the hill which by 1964 had become a County Council Camp House.
Other memories are of hollow elm trees near Orange Court Farm in which we built camps (these fell victim to Dutch Elm Disease in the 1970s) and the contrast between the flat, narrow clay vale around Orange Court and the steep pine-clad Greensand Hills to the north. The narrowness of the lane that ran through the village, pretty much all the way from New Pond Road to the Surrey Police HQ turn at Mount Browne could also be a problem if another vehicle was encountered. I believe it is not now possible to travel along it from end to end.
Finally, I remember being impressed by the load bark of the then new 'Tadpole' diesel-electric units on the Reading-Tonbridge line as they left the Portsmouth main line at Shalford Junction... on a clear day they could also be seen bearing away east from the narrow lane that ran to Loseley Lodge bus stop. I also recall steam trains during the last year of the Guildford-Horsham branch which left the main line at Peasmarsh Junction.
My father did not enjoy working on the Loseley Estate and we moved to a smaller farm at Shackleford in 1967, but those 3 years in Littleton still remain fresh in my memory.

A memory shared by Andrew Webb , on Dec 27th, 2009.

Comments & feedback

Sun Oct 30th 2016, at 3:01 pm

avril04 commented:

I remember it well having lived in one of the cedar bungalows (10A). My father worked on the Glover Farm and my brother at Loseley. I certainly remember the school coach and the times that it managed to get into the village in the snow but never could get round that bend! Many a happy hour spent playing in those hollow trees!If you went to Grammer School in 1966 you are a few years older than me. Also remember the children's home as one on my friends was there. (Mum always used to say she would leave me there if I was naughty!! What families do you remember? I was from the Warren family

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