Living In Effinham Junction1936 To 1958 - a Memory of Effingham.
I grew up in Surrey Gardens, first at "Ceuta", then at White Croft. My father, Mr Crump, purchased the plot of land beside the footpath and the house was built 1947/8. During my childhood, Surrey Gardens was a rough road with many potholes, and our fathers became expert at mending our bicycles. The woods behind the houses on one side were our playground as was the Common beyond the station. There were no houses opposite the Railway Cottages, and I remember woods there, carpeted with bluebells. Also there was no road to Horsley through the woods by the bridge over the railway line...again our playground.
There was one shop by the station, a wooden structure, presided over by Mrs Searle. She sold everything, only limited by the war time. There was another shop next to the Garage on Forest Road, which also had a Post Office Counter, and a Mr Marshall, further along, opened his garage once a week to sell fish. For most things it meant the bus to East Horsley or the train to Guildford.
The Memorial Hall was the venue for any village activities, Brownies, Womens Institute, Sunday School, and Church Services, but not every week. I had to play the organ for these for a time when the organist, Miss Jenkins, damaged her hand. I belonged to the Brownies and we had our meeting in the Memorial Hall, but in summer we would take our toadstool and go into the woods by the railway line, for paper-chases, gathering wild flowers, and learning about the countryside. During the Second World War, Brownies from London came to spend the day with us, they insisted on taking home armfuls of bluebells.
There was one bus an hour, only 2 or 3 on Sundays, and it ran from Leatherhead to Guildford. And a train service to Guildford with 3 trains an hour. Anywhere else called for the possession of a bicycle. During the War years there were few, if any, cars on the road, so we children were free to roam in safety.
In 1939, I started at Effingham Primary School, now St Lawrence, and took the bus from the station. My mother gave me 2 old pennies for my fare each way. Although, in summer, we often walked the 2 miles home, and were allowed to keep the penny to spend in the shop. Mrs Searle could usually find a bag of broken biscuits for us. The school had 4 classrooms and probably only about 15 or 20 children in each, but in 1941 our numbers were swelled by evacuees from London. There was no Canteen, we had to take sandwiches or go home for lunch, but a little later, we started going to the Senior School for a cooked meal. And, of course, we had to take our gas-masks in the cardboard box. Brick shelters were built in the field and we had sessions in them, sitting on benches, chanting multiplication tables, having mental arithmetic and spelling tests. I was one of 3 who passed the 11-plus exam in 1945, and my name is still on the Honours Board on the stairs. I went on to Guildford County School, and the footpath provided a welcome short cut to the station every morning.
From 1948 more houses were built towards the end of Surrey Gardens, but the road,on my last visit a few years ago, still looks much as I remember it. No pavements, no street lights...
I saw houses built opposite the Railway Cottages, some on the land beside the road from the station, and The Lord Howard had gone... and the Memorial Hall seemed to have been renovated.
It was a good place to grow up...
A memory shared by on May 24th, 2010. Send Angela Haddrill a message
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