On The Corner Of August Lane And Ride Lane - a Memory of Farley Green.

When I was a child, my family stayed in the house then called "Fresh Field" on the corner of August Lane and Ride Lane (we were in the UK on 6 months home leave from the Far East where I grew up). My best memories are of playing in the large garden with my brother and sisters, climbing on the gate to watch horse riders go past, family walks on Farley Heath near the site of the former Romano-Celtic temple, and blackberrying at the farm beyond Farley Hall, at the other end of Ride Lane. Favourite local outings beyond Farley Green were to a sweet shop in Cranleigh High Street, where sixpence (6d.) bought you as many mixed sweets as you could cram into a small paper bag, and to Shere to feed the ducks on the Tilling Bourne from Lower Street. I attended Albury School where Mr. Chitty was the Headmaster and Miss Burgess was my class teacher. The school was on Albury Heath and situated in a clearing at the end of a wooded track off New Road; at break time, we were allowed to play at the edge of the woods beyond the playground and each child was assigned a small plot of earth within the school grounds in which to grow flowers and vegetables. There were no shops in Farley Green; the nearest place to buy anything was the small post office cum village shop in Brook, which had an Aladdin Pink Paraffin pump at the front. We did our shopping in Cranleigh or Guildford; somewhere on the way to Cranleigh I remember a market garden where you helped yourself to vegetables and left the money in a box if the owner wasn't there. Every now and then, the Surrey mobile library would stop in the village; I have a vague recollection of climbing up into a big, green van and being helped to choose books by the library staff. In 2010, I revisited Farley Green and was delighted to see that it has not changed very much from what I remember, except that the trees on the western edge of the green are taller and that the neighbouring house on the Ride Lane side has been replaced by a modern structure. On my way into the village via Brook Hill, I noticed that the Brook post office is no longer there, although the semi-detached brick house that contained it still is. I was able to identify it by the red Royal Mail post box in the wall at the front of the property; to the post box's right is a cut-out in the wall where I believe the Pink Paraffin pump used to stand. According to the Albury parish website, Albury School closed in 1974 and the school house is now privately owned. Before I left the area, I walked up to the site of the Romano-Celtic temple and from there to Albury Heath where I glimpsed the old school house through the trees. Happy days!

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