Alresford memories – from Gladys Ashe

These several memories from Gladys Ashe are an interesting addition to the memories from Pat Bentley, which described delivering the papers in 1950s Alresford, and is published in the June 2014 Issue (Number 4) of Alresford Articles, from the Alresford Historical and Literary Society.

Gladys writes:

The first Council houses built in Alresford were in Grange Road. These were built with help from the German prisoners of war, in WW1, the 1914-18 war.

Ashe Haig Road BL HutIn Haig Road there was a British Legion hut, and this was used by the Girl’s Friendly Society for their regular meetings – see the picture. The girl on the left there is Gladys’s elder sister, Queenie Coombs, with three friends from the GFS.

The Civic Cinema in Station Road had a matinee performance for children on a Saturday. This cost 3 old pence per person. Gladys went there as a birthday present, and saw her first film – which was Shirley Temple in “Heidi”. She also got a badge for this! There was also a hut along the path by the Police Station (often named as the Monkey Hut – Ed) – this was used for Sunday worship.

Children used to go down Drove Lane and play in the several rivers down there all day long: it was not fenced off like it is now, and they came to no harm.

There was a hut in the builder’s yard – it was called the Gospel Hall. We went to Sunday school there, it was run by Mr Royle (who had the men’s clothing shop – I believe Mr Faithfull took it over from Mr Royle)

When I was 14 I went to work for Lord and Lady Templemore at Upton House in Old Alresford. American soldiers were billeted there in WW2, occupying the big billiard room. Also the Red Cross had the use of some of the rooms in the basement. I had to collect milk from Pritchard’s Farm opposite Upton House, in a “Billy Can”.

I met my husband when he was stationed at Arlebury Park, waiting for embarkation to France.

Horse Pond AsheAt the top of the hill on Jacklyn’s Lane there was a water tower, and storage tank for the town. During WW2 my Dad was in the Home Guard and was regularly stationed at the water tower to guard it.

After WW2, the ford, that is located in Spring Gardens, was a favourite place to take the children for a paddle and to look for tadpoles. Locals then called it “The Horse Pond”, as in the ‘Old Days’ horses were regularly taken down there for a wash and a drink. The photo here is from a more modern time, and shows Gladys’s grand-daughter Kerry Reynolds on the left, with Grandson Steven Ashe on the right.

Windsor Road

In the 50s/60s, after the Alresford Show, the horses and traps would drive down Windsor Road in a parade up to the old Makins Court houses, to show them off to the older people living there, who could not get round the showground.


Ashe Windsor Road IreneThe little girl on the tricycle is Irene Ashe, in front of the houses on Windsor Road – before the new buildings at Makins Court were built.

Bennett’s Farm

Tom Bennett started this farm, and kept dairy cows and sheep on Tichborne Down. He also had a grocery shop which he ran from his bungalow in New Farm Road. These were called the Kingsley bungalows, which were prefabricated structures, erected as temporary accommodation during WW1, but they are still there today! Tom farmed with his three sons, Tom, Phil and Fred.

(See also Alresford Articles Volume 4 – Ed).

2 responses to this post.

  1. What can you finde out for me about the families who lived in 20 Broad Street during the war by the name of William Charles and Kate Biggs they had two sons one name I know of the children the other I am not quite sure I think they moved in around the1920s if there are any details or photographs of these four people I would appreciate a view or copy sent to me the eldest son served in the Auxilary Fire Services During the War and His wife was Kath Biggs ,why I ask I because I was born to Eric and Kath and was one of their sons my Name was Steven Biggs.thank you for reading one thing I did know all the ash family and went to school with Irean Ash


  2. Posted by mary sunderland on October 21, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    I would be very interested to her from anyone else who worked for Lord templeton around the 1920s to 1940s, especially if they have any photographs of the staff. And also anyone who lived on Bighton Rd or Kiln Lane.


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