Changing Times - a Memory of Chiddingfold.

I was a Chiddingfold child. My father was from Milford (Cozens) and his mother and father owned the little newsagents/grocery shop on Manor Road. My mum was from Shackleford (Reffold) and I didn't move far away - Godalming, and some of my siblings still live in Chiddingfold today, my youngest brother in the family home with his family and pops.
I remember the Laggs and taking my first swim in the brook, jumping off the bridge, going to the bottle dumps, even in the 70's there was no H&S we had the best childhood ever. In the woods at the back of Hartsgrove from 9 in the morning untill late in the evening, we used to make camps, wooden jumps and had whipey sticks for imaginary horses (my sisters and I often called our horse Glamour, after our aunt Hilda's horse). I remember mum calling us from the bottom of our garden for dinner. All the kids in Hartsgrove used to play in the woods - it belonged to the Moores from the farm and the grandson I believe still owns the woods but the farm house was pulled down and is now Woodberry Close. We used to cycle around Vann Lane into Hambledon and just take a bottle of squash and a jam sandwich, our parents didn't worry about us we seemed to be safe, it is very sad but I wouldn't let my daughter do that now.
Bonfire night in Chiddingfold was always a big event, roads blocked off, you had to get back in the village by 5pm or you wouldn't get in. Mr Bull and Mr Young butchers would provide this lovely pork, roasted on a spit. There was always a procession of lanterns and a talent competition in the old village hall (which now has houses on). My sisters and I entered one year, as the girls from St Trinians, never came anywhere but it was fun. The fireworks were fantastic and we had people from miles come to the village, even the BBC. Then at Christmas we had a trip to a pantomime for the children via the members of Chiddingfold Ex Service mens Clubb. Saturday nights there were bands on, this was a family event our parents and their friends would take the kids out for a Dance on a Saturday evening, they had radio DJ's, wrestling, auctions and the famous band Genesis used to practise at the Clubb. Hills, the little bakers/grocers, the little RACS (Coop) that used to be on Woodside Road before large superstores, and the local ladies that used to work there. St Marys school and the fantastic lunches we had, waiting at afternnon break for the tray of left over sponge jam and coconut pudding to be distributed (first come first served) that was a competition - getting some left overs.They wouldn't dream of it today!! Being scared to walk down Woodside Road in the dark to go to brownies/guides, or the shops for mum. There was a big laurel bush from the Matthew's garden and Shrimp's field on one side (shrimp was a big white horse that belonged to the Harris family) and slopes of woods on the other. Both sides now have estates of houses on them. I even remember Sunday school at the baptist church, which my stepfathers family attended several times a week (Mitchells). Those are the fond memories and days of a Chiddingfold child !! I hope there are others who remember those days!

A memory shared by Nicola Cozens on May 17th, 2012.
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