Church Farm Caravan Site 1975 1979 - a Memory of Pagham.

I have just booked a holiday to Church Farm Caravan Site for May 2011 and the reason for this is I used to holiday there every year from 1975 to 1979. My parents had a caravan on the Saltings I think it was number 11. We used to driver there in my dad's Ford Zephyr car and I can still remember the registration and the long front seats in red plastic made to look like leather. Our caravan had candles for lights which you lit with matches and blew out at bedtime, it had no loo and I remember all the spiders lurking in the communal toilet at the end of the field. We used to have a bucket to pee in through the night and I always used to laugh when my dad put the tea cosy on his head when he made the tea in the mornings.

We collected water from a big tap and the gas man came around with a bottle when you ran out. It was freezing at night and we had sleeping bags to keep us warm (no duvets in those days). My friend used to come with us sometimes and we used to spend hours running along the little streams that went along the side of the road, we would be filthy and stung from the all the nettles but hey, we were 7 or 8 years old and didn't have a care in the world. At lunchtime we went into the cafeteria and they had knickerbocker glories and chocolate milkshakes.

The evenings were spent in the clubhouse playing on the machines or being made to sit nicely in the pub area listening to a lady singing songs. I can't remember her name but she bought albums out that you could buy.

We used to go down to Pagham sometimes and they had a few small shops and a little fun fair with small rides and in Bognor there was a cafe on the corner that served frothy coffee in glasses and all the staff were Italian or Greek!

My dad sadly died in 1979 aged only 49 so my mum sold the caravan and we never returned again. I have a 10 year old daughter myself now so let's see if anything looks remotely the same. I doubt it but I can always shut my eyes and imagine it being 1975 again.


A memory shared by Jayne Barthram on Jan 26th, 2011. Send Jayne Barthram a message

 Comments & Feedback

Tue Aug 9th 2016, at 10:47 am
As a young child, from about 1954 to 1960, we used to camp at the site which I believe is now Church Farm. We lived in Old Byfleet, Surrey, and I remember my mum spotting the advert for the 'tent for sale'. We got on our bikes and cycled the few miles to West Byfleet to see it - and buy it, what excitement! We had an old Hillman car and each year we set off for Pagham complete with camp beds, folding table, folding chairs, primus stove and all the paraphernalia needed for a camping holiday. We'd never been on holiday before. It took forever to get there because my dad used to like to sample at least two or three pubs on the way! At that time the camp site was just a field. It was full of hay which we used to gather to put round the base of the tent. The toilet was a tin drum (as I recall) in a small hut in the middle of the field, which was collected by a truck each day, when everyone held their noses against the smell! The hay was wonderful to play in, and you could hire bikes from a place along the road and cycle for miles through the countryside without meeting any traffic - happy memories!

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