Archive for the ‘Football and Sports Clubs’ Category

Old Alresford School in the 1960s

Mike Whitley, 50 years ago, was a student teacher at King Alfred’s College, Winchester. As a part of this course, in Autumn 1963, he spent one day a week at Old Alresford Primary School: then in 1965 he did a full-time teaching practice there, for half a term. Recently he was asked to do a presentation at Winchester University about student life at the College back then, so he dug out old photos and memories, and has been kind enough to share those relevant with us. Some of these photos can also be seen, perhaps in greater detail, on the photo memory website, www.alresfordheritage.co.uk.

The two colour slides below show the old school building, taken from across the road, and some of the children in the school yard, at the lunch break playtime. The cars are those of the teachers.

Old Alresford CE Primary School, Hampshire

Old Alresford CE Primary School, Hampshire

Teaching practice

The photo below was on a December afternoon in 1963, and shows the afternoon PE football game, refereed by the class teacher, Mr Adams, in the field below the Southdowns National Children’s Home, which was almost next door. At this time, 45 of the pupils at the school were from Southdowns, a large proportion of the school total of 103 children. The others came from Old Alresford, and on the school bus from Wield. Mike was attached to Mr Adams’ class in 1963 (Class 3, the lower juniors, aged 7 and 8): while the boys played football, the girls had needlework indoors!

Old Alresford CE Primary School, Hampshire

In the spring term of 1965, Mike did a 4-week teaching practice period, working in the head-teacher Mr Lavis’s Class 4, which contained 24 upper juniors aged 9-11 – so this included some of his previous students. The Class 4 weekly timetables in 1965 are shown below, which Mike comments are rather formal compared to current practice!

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The school and its procedures

The old school building dated from 1846, but three further classrooms were added in stages after WW2, the most recent completed in 1963. The permanent teaching staff numbered 4, with the rector coming in to take the RE class. A peripatetic teacher, which in 1963 was Mrs Lavis, came in on Thursdays, so that he could concentrate on his administrative duties that day: she also acted as the school music teacher. Classes 3 and 4 were described above, Classes 1 and 2 were the infant classes, which also included a few of the younger 7 year olds.

The school AV equipment comprised a radio, a record player, and a film projector. As can be seen from the timetables, the BBC played a major part in the daily schedule for Class 4 at least! The students were divided into three “Houses”, or teams, named Raleigh, Drake and Nelson – interesting they had a naval flavour! Pupils won or lost house points for good or poor work or conduct. Each week a trophy went to the highest scoring house, and there was also a sports trophy. The school had no communal hall or dining hall, the children ate their school meals in a couple of the classrooms: also some of them went home for lunch. The meals were delivered from a central kitchen serving all the smaller schools, brought out in insulated metal containers.

In those days, free school milk was distributed every morning, in 1/3 pint bottles: Mike can remember the procedures with milk monitors collecting the crates and distributing the bottles, even with straws. He says this ended in 1971, so soon very few will remember the practice. One of the older classrooms in Old Alresford had a blackboard and easel, but most of the classrooms were equipped with roller blackboards – a modern, more efficient invention for presenting info to the kids.

Mike Whitley particularly commented on the effect of the large percentage of the children being from Southdowns, in that the school was very successful in gaining the confidence of all the children, and maintained a very happy and family atmosphere. The panoramic photo below, created by Mike from pictures taken on 5 December 1965, shows Southdowns on the left looking down on the school, just above the end of the pile of sticks: it is taken from the top of the field to the West of the road.

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Transport from Winchester

The group of around 5 student teachers sent to New Alresford travelled by a special coach from King Alfred’s College, and were dropped off near the Bell Hotel, before going on to schools towards Alton. From here Mike and a colleague walked down Mill Hill, and across the watercress beds to Old Alresford, and the others went to the Dean school, and maybe also to Perin’s. If they were kept late at Old Alresford school, they would miss the coach pick-up and have to take the train back to Winchester, though occasionally they saved the fares by hitching a lift (Mike comments that even as students they were dressed respectably, invariably wearing college scarves and carrying a rolled umbrella and briefcase, so the car drivers seemed happy to stop!). In February 1965 Mike took this photo of those cress beds from the footpath, made into a panorama.

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Other Old Alresford views

Two other pictures were supplied by Mike from the 1960s, one of the cottages at the north end of Old Alresford, from the top of the field again, and one of a dilapidated thatched barn – which he cannot locate, but it may have been along the road through Old Alresford, or along the path up to Mill Hill. Can anyone identify it?

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(C) All the photos used above are the copyright of Mike Whitley. The photo below has been supplied by www.alresfordheritage.co.uk, showing the school and the Basingstoke Road at around the same time.Old Alresford 046.jpg

Alresford Bowling Club

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The latest presentation in the display cabinets in Alresford Library in Broad Street shows some photos and artefacts from the Alresford Bowling Club. The sport of bowling has been active in Alresford since around 1650, around 350 years ago, and it is possibly the second oldest recorded bowling club in the country. The current bowling green on Sun Lane is known to have been in use from 1823. Records suggest that in earlier times the bowling green was on the East of Sun Lane, the opposite side of the road – it was probably relocated to the current site when Langstone House was built in the nineteenth Century.

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The current club was re-formed/established in 1937, through the efforts of Sidney Lane: he had moved to Alresford during the First World War, with the firm of solicitors run by George Ridley Shield. After WW1 he returned to London, but moved back to Alresford on his retirement in 1937. The first members of the re-established club included such people as Canon A J Robertson, Lord Templemore, Sir Anthony Tichborne, Sir Francis Lindley, Doctors Leishman and Meryon, and George Ridley Shield. Cameron Black, the Publican at the Sun Inn, agreed to rent the green to the new bowling club for £10 per annum.

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The 1938 members of the bowling club were shown in the photo below, courtesy of www.alresfordheritage.co.uk, which numbered from the right include: 1. Edgar Blake of the World’s Stores, 2. Canon Robertson, 3. Sidney (Lofty) Lane, 4. George Wigmore (Barber), 5. Claude Hunt (Tobacconist), 7. H C Godwin of Langton’s Farm, 10. Bert Davy, and 14. Mr Bascombe (Postmaster).

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Currently the Alresford Bowling Club has over 70 members, plus 10 non-playing ‘Social’ members. For information and membership details, please contact Barry Morgan, Secretary, Phone 733477 or visit the website, www.alresfordbowlingclub.org.uk.

The display of Alresford Bowling Club items can be viewed in the library during opening hours. These include Saturday morning and all day Friday, as well as half days on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

The Cricketer’s Pub and the Golf Club

The Cricketer's Arms in around 1900, later to become the Links Laundry.  Photo copyright www.Alresfordheritage.co.uk

The Cricketer’s Arms in around 1900, later to become the Links Laundry. Photo copyright http://www.Alresfordheritage.co.uk

The Cricketer’s Arms takes its name from an earlier pub, in fact the pub that was sited at the other end of Tichborne Down, and indeed possibly stood on the edge of one of the first ever cricket pitches on what is now the golf course. This pub was known as the White Horse, but changed its name to the Cricketer’s Arms when the cricket square was created in front of the windows. This was where the number 5 hole was later sited, and then in 1985 the bypass also cut through this area of the golf course. This old building became a laundry, and was then divided into separate dwelling houses. In 1975, when the book “A Taste of Alresford” was written, Mike Burchett, landlord at the new “Cricketer’s”, was in fact a well-known local cricketer, having captained Winchester and played for Tichborne and the famous Hampshire Hogs. At this time, the pub had an “Off-Sales” entrance at the corner of the building, later removed to create a larger dining room.

The old Cricketer's pub in 1985

The old Cricketer’s pub in 1985

The pub was purpose built in the 1920s, with a clubroom attached for the use of the neighbouring golf club. The first tenant. W. Boniface, was in fact the club’s professional. In the garden are tables, children’s swings and a trampoline: the grounds of the Cricketer’s extend a long way behind the car park, reflecting the large land areas allocated to this and the three other houses built at the time in this area of the town – Shepherd’s Down, Fair View and Paddock Way – the other three have given way to more modern housing.

The Golf Club itself was founded in 1890 on land belonging to Sir Joseph Tichborne: the course was grazed by sheep until 1907. Charles Marks of Woking Golf Club was employed as the first professional greenkeeper, but he fell out with Sir Joseph and only stayed two years. The room at the Cricketer’s pub was used as the clubhouse until 1953, when a retired railway carriage was placed by the first tee and used as clubhouse for 16 years.

The above information is taken largely from Sally March’s book “A Taste of Alresford” published by Oxfam in 1985.

Comment on the Scouts and Cubs in Alresford

Comment from Bill Biggs on Len Strong’s Scouts and Cubs in Alresford story:
Several of the Boy Scouts in the picture later became members of the Alresford Football Club. Bill points to a picture which is shown on the Alresford Heritage website, and is borrowed from them here, showing the Football team in 1949. In the back row on the left is Eric Biggs (Bill’s Dad), Eric Lane and Alfred Pearce. Eric Biggs was, like many others, in the local Fire Service during the war.
Les Strong, actually the cousin of Len Strong, and currently still living in Alresford, is on the left in the middle row: he was also in the Alresford Fire Brigade for most of his working life. Alongside Les are Alan Trimmear and Douglas Cox.
In the front row we have Harry White, Ted Tate, John Hillary, Ronald Clavelly and Ken Nutley. (These team names were provided by the late Mr Harry White).
The picture was taken at Alrebury Park, where the car park now stands.

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Further pictures like this are available on the Alresford Heritage website – see the story on this blog, or go to http://www.AlresfordHeritage.co.uk