A Youngster's Memories - a Memory of Groombridge.

I was born at Glen Andred which is situated just beyond the Groombridge cemetery, which was just beyond the pumping station. There was Dad, Mum, Gran and my brother, Paddy. After 6 months we all moved to Forge Gate Crossing which was for the traffic wanting to cross the railway line at Forge Farm, and was between Birchden and Eridge. Dad returned to the army after his escape from Dunkirk the previous year and Mum worked as the gatekeeper. My first school was at Groombridge which I think was called St. Thomas but soon after was sent, along with my brother, to St. Augustines in Tunbridge Wells. My next brother to come along was William and he went to the school at Eridge Fostal. I remember Groombridge for the few shops. There was Lichfield the Bakers, Crouch the grocer shop, the post office which also sold knitwear, Hollingburys the small café and sweet shop and Frenches Garage which also charge-up our batteries for our wireless at home (no mains electricity). There was another shop called Saxbys which sold papers and sweets and there was a butcher shop next door to it. The Junction pub still as now, and not sure the name of the other. I always remember having the sports day on the rec. mainly for the children to race and the prizes were money. Food of cakes and sandwiches were supplied by Lichfield, free to the children, and served from the back of his van. Same type of events happened in Old Groombridge and also at Eridge Castle. I also remember bonfire night on the rec. where all would watch the bonfire and fireworks. The war had not long finished and there was a great community spirit but I, as a child, accepted it as normal. Groombridge also had it's own Village Hall in the same place as it is now. There was a small number of houses at Glen Andred, where I was born, and one of them was a laundry (I think it was run by a Mrs Knight). Groombridge railway station had three platforms and a goods sidings. Hop pickers came to Forge Farm in late summer so no doubt came in to the village. I remember Park Corner when there was a pub there with the same name - it's a private house now.
We eventually moved away in about 1953 but I sometimes go back to the village just to remember.

A memory shared by James Stapleton on Aug 25th, 2013.
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 Comments & Feedback

Sun Jun 18th 2017, at 9:00 pm
A youngsters memories.
In my story I mentioned that I was born at a place known as Glen Andred. It was just down from the house with the same name.
Our neighbour was the Hamletons and the only one I remember was Pauline Hamleton. They moved to the old part of Groombridge when we were all young and I wonder if that particular person is still about.
Tue Aug 2nd 2016, at 9:32 pm
dave.bates commented:
My paternal Grandfather, Reg Bates, owned the butchers and his family lived at Old Butchers (appropriately) before moving to My Way.
My maternal Grandparents lived on the Walks for nearly 40 years, from the early 30's to 70's. Bill & Elsie Terrett. He worked at Groombridge Place farm.
I have many fond memories of Groombridge.
Wed Jun 1st 2016, at 5:06 pm
Is there anyone with photographs of Forge gate Crossing, which is just north of Eridge Station, to include the gatekeepers house and in the period of the 1940s-1950s. Also to include the river bridge of the same era when it had the tank deterrents in place. Thank you.
Jim Stapleton

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