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Fishing & Folk Clubs - a Memory of Christchurch.

During the mid '70's I spent many happy school holidays in Christchurch. My brother, Colin, worked at the MoD base (Signals Research & Development) nearby. He had lodgings with a Mrs Alison in the town. There was a direct coach route from where I lived in Somerset at the time.

Whilst he was at work, the days were my own. A friend of his lent me his 10 speed racer (luxury at the time) & I would cycle down to the beach & go snorkeling, or else Hengistbury Head looking for lizards - unsuccessfully, although I think I found some cast skins.

The Hampshire Avon (Royalty Fishery) was a few hundred yards away, which I found when taking Mrs A's dogs - two collies, Flash & Charlie - for a walk. After that, I packed my fishing kit, & spent many happy days by the river.

In the evenings my brother helped to run a couple of folk clubs in the area, think they might have been in Bournemouth. There was the Wessex (traditional) & the Free Xpress - more Dylan/modern stuff. Saw many artists - like Vin Garbutt & a young June Tabor - who would later become stalwarts of the British folk scene. June sang a beautiful version of 'And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda' and afterwards I had a really good talk to her - she sang me an alternate version. Think she preferred talking to the 14 year old me to fending off the attentions of drunken folkies who were trying to persuade her to go for a curry!

Despite me being underage, my brother & his friends would buy me shandy or bitter tops, & we never had any issues about my age.

Other memories of the area. An Italian owned chippy called 'Luigi's' in Christchurch - my favourite after pub meal was either Steak & Kidney pie or 'Rock Salmon' (dogfish) & chips.
A pontoon on the river close to the holiday camp where two or three children had got caught under & drowned, according to recent local history.
A fellow lodger at Colin's digs used to do conveyancing work, & had done some for JRR Tolkien, who lived in the area. He had given her a signed copy of the paperback version of Lord of The Rings. She gave it to me for my birthday, I still have it.


A memory shared by bru.enzer on Apr 4th, 2019. Send bru.enzer a message

 Comments & Feedback

Tue Jan 28th 2020, at 10:42 pm
shaunlinfoot commented:
the noddy train at hengistbury head , has just been condemned, after fifty years , being replaced with modern American rubbish,
LOOK ON FACE BOOK, , ITS ALL ON THERE, NODDY TRAIN, HENGISTBURY HEAD, LOADS OFF BOURNEMOUTH / CHRISTCHURCH PHOTOS, YOU WILL ENJOY.

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