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That Morris Minor Traveller Has To Be Our Dad's Car! - a Memory of New Alresford.

My family lived at No 3 (the top flat), Corner House, at the top end of Broad Street, first on the left looking at the photo (but just out of the picture) for many years from 1947 or so. I was eleven when we moved to Alresford from Bournemouth. Butcher, chemist and flower shops occupied below at street level. John Sergeant's TV program showing at the moment has led me to visit the Francis Frith website again. I have been greatly intrigued by it before, and it reminded me that my brother, Rex (two and a half years older than me), and I were talking only recently of the rain on the cinema tin roof that Valerie Neil talked about in her comment. We have both lived in the North East of Scotland since our early twenties.
May I offer my disjointed and rambling memories of Alresford? We went to primary school 'down the Dean' - Mrs Warburton was Headmistress, or was it Mrs. Waldron? Warburton's was a newsagent's shop? Then Perins, and by steam train - now the Watercress Line a preserved railway - to Peter Symonds in Winchester. SCATS feed mill - still working, was at the railway station yard, with kindly Mr Gordon Porter, who with his dear wife Nancy, lived at Ladyscroft where the high road and the low road, (the bus route to Winchester), went their different ways. Bike shop (sales and repairs) on the corner of Station Road, next to the Post Office. My dad Bob, worked at Conders, Winchester. My mum Esther, ran Dr Skegg's flower/vegetable shop under the flat. Cruickshanks the grocers was opposite, across Broad Street and 'employed' me - bagging sugar in neatly folded bags and other 'help' (I hope I wasn't a nuisance). Biscuits in big glass topped tins etc., and I was allowed to take home broken biscuits and bacon pieces from the slicer - for my own fry-up! The big ironmongers down Broad Street, is it still there? Brian, a good go-about friend, where is he now? And Thelma Lane from their Dad's electricians down West Street. Looking across to St. Johns Church, its lovely pealing bells and striking clock. Watercress beds, streams (paddling), the outdoor cold! A swimming pool, little used for swimming, but model boats, yes. The Fulling Mill, trout, waving water weed in clear water, meadows, cowslips.
Our four uncles, Gordon (and Barbara), Sidney (and Gladys), Charlie (and Marjorie) and John (and Mollie) running C.E.Evans (our Grandad) the butchers down the Soke at No. 7. Their slaughterhouse round the back, bacon smoker with oak sawdust, sides of bacon in brine. Jimmy Whyte and his cars, down the lane. Follow round to the big working mill, eels in the water, wild playground next to it (built on now, I expect), the big Weir (the 'little weir' on the opposite side of the watercress beds- a nice track with trees). Going to Old Alresford, the Pond down the lane, Robin Greenwood's cottage, a 'big pond!' Walk right round if very daring, rickety bridge, high reeds, willow trees to sit and climb on. Abbotstone downs, New Farm Road, paper round including the Insitute (the dear souls did so enjoy their papers). Sun Lane, deep chalk railway cutting, tame jackdaw, flying model airplanes on the Golf Course (jetex fuel pellet engine and fuse - or elastic band). Opposite the Cricketers Arms - we'd be in the middle of a motorway now! Double decker bus to Winchester through the Worthies - sitting upstairs and the tree branches brushing the bus. Owls in cool, misty, still evenings, swans, ducks, coots, moorhens, water voles, Miller's thumb fish, stickle backs, minnows, cadis fly larvae in their stone tubes and more eels. Bike ride to Bighton and to Syd and Gladys at the Ramblers at Ropley, woods and deep lanes. Charlie and family up Pound Hill on the way to The Avenue - a beautiful avenue of lime trees. The pubs, the London to Bournemouth Stagecoach, stopping overnight at The Bell Inn, looking down on and listening to Broad Street Fair.
We walked everywhere, safe and sound and had no need to get thrills from vandalising anything - though I readily admit to much harmless trespass... hmm...yes...


A memory shared by John Dear on Mar 21st, 2012. Send John Dear a message

 Comments & Feedback

Sat Apr 9th 2016, at 1:30 pm
pat.svensen commented:
Some of my family come from Alresford. My great-great-grandfather (surname Crook) owned a bakery there, but I have no address. I am still trying to get more information but from very elderly relatives.

However, the name of the bakery was above the shop and apparently it remained there until the 1960s, even though the family had moved out some years before. It became a greengrocers after they left. Can anyone shed light on this?

I have just found a couple of photos of Crook's Restaurant on line on Francis Frith website and it does seem rather a coincidence, as I have been told that the name Crook was not common in those days - and we are talking from about the late 1840s onwards until, say, 1960!

Do enlighten me if you possibly can.

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