Archive for the ‘Taste of Alresford’ Category

1980s Taste of Alresford – 3: Fish dishes

……………………..From residents of the time

 

taste of alreThe following are descriptions by Alresford families of their houses/homes, and their lives in the early 1980s, provided to the charity recipe book ‘A Taste of Alresford’, published by Sally March, on behalf of Oxfam. There have already been several extracts from this book published in stories on this website. Most are listed under the “Taste of Alresford” tag, but they include stories about the Hobby Horse, Beresford House, The Cricketer’s Pub and the Golf Course, Fulling Mill, and Anderson’s green-grocers.

The introduction to the book was written by John Arlott, which is also featured in one story, and his life here in the old Sun Inn is described in another AlresfordMemories story.

The authors and their recipes for Fish dishes are as follows – all written in the early 1980s: TO GET THE RECIPES YOU NEED TO BUY THE BOOK!

 

Isabel Sanderson, Country-woman and Historian

…….Also authoress of the “Dwellings in Alresford” booklets.

‘When I was seven, we moved from a farm in Suffolk to Abbotstone Farm, some 2.5 miles from Alresford, and here, with a sister and four brothers, I was brought up. The farmhouse was my home – apart from spells of teaching in Kent and Yorkshire – until 1956. A large rambling farmhouse; a weeping ash tree on the front lawn whose long, trailing branches formed a shadowy green ‘tent’ where many meals were eaten in Summer; a large, walled-in garden where much fruit and vegetables were grown; and a stream that flowed through the farm buildings where we used to paddle and bathe, and where John used to ‘tickle’ trout. Long and tiring days for little legs in the harvest field. All of us at various times used to take the horse and carts to and from the men in the fields, loading sheaves of corn, and unloading at the stack being built in a corner of the field. Masses of food and tea, picnic fashion, where everyone, – men, women, children and often dogs – congregated at the stack for tea. Such was my upbringing.

In 1956, mother and I left the farmhouse and came to live in one of the farm cottages where we made a garden – still a source of much interest and hard work. Later, I started my researches into the history of the surrounding countryside and its dwellings. For the past ten years my researches have been confined to the old market town of New Alresford, and these have been published in a series called ‘Dwellings in Alresford’.

[Editor’s note: and what a fantastic legacy Isabel left in her series of ten volumes, each covering up to 10 dwellings, intricately researched and illustrated, with careful line drawings. I can honestly say Isabel’s collection was one of the things that sparked my interest in photographing the houses of Alresford, which also led to this website]

Recipe: Smoked Haddock – The Abbotstone Way

 

Sandra Hart, Andersons (Fish) shop, 8 West St

Andersons – poultry and game, fishmonger and greengrocer. Some years ago the shop changed hands, but Alresford was so accustomed to ‘Andersons’ that the present tenant, Mr Phillip Gay, reverted to the old name. They stock a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, including exotic cumquats and mangoes, lychees and limes. Even better the watercress is fresh from its ‘bed’, the cream from its farm and the trout from Mr Gay’s own ‘stew’. There is local game, hare and rabbit, partridge, pheasant and pigeon, teal and mallard.

The building still belongs to Mrs Rita Blundell of Ropley, the grand-daughter of Mr and Mrs Henry Batchelor, who came to Alresford in 1915 and lived over the shop. Their daughter, Mrs Cecil Turner, later managed Crook’s Restaurant, which is now the greengrocery side of the present shop, and her husband ran the other side, called ‘Eureka Fish’ (try saying it to yourself). After the Second World War, rations and regulations made the catering so difficult that the Turners changed the Restaurant into a greengrocers.

Recipes: Herring Pie, and Seasoned Fish Rolls

 

Isabel Liddiard, Copper Coin, 33 Grange Road

Mrs Liddiard has two sons, both of whom are competitive fishermen. They occasionally bring pike home. Pike is a rather dry, and very bony fish, ‘but as pheasant is to chicken, so is pike to cod’. Her two recipes, therefore, are for boned and flaked fish.

[My son Nick (www.catchafish.net) even aged 8 or 9, also used to bring pike home in the 1980s, after fishing trips to the Arle. He told us they were protecting the other fish in the river, and helping the trout fishermen, by removing these big predators. Some were almost as big as he was!]

Recipes: Pike and Prawn au Gratin, and Pike Fish Cakes

 

Mrs Mimi Gedye, c/o Derek Gedye, 5 Broad St

Mr Gedye’s electrical shop is a family business, established over 20 years ago. They sell and repair all domestic appliances, and Mr Gedye’s son, Simon, is an expert on television, video and hi-fi equipment.

Recipe: Salmon Mousse

 

Elizabeth Gore-Langton, Pleasant House, West St

Mrs Gore-Langton’s recipe comes from her home in Orkney. The house was named ‘Skaill’ from the Norse ‘skali’, meaning a hall.

Recipe: Skaill Scallops

 

Joy Brown, 31 Broad Street

Mr Brown is a dental surgeon, President of the Alresford Conservative Association and Chairman of the town’s Twinning Association with Brique Bec in Normandy. He and his wife, Joy, live in one of the lovely Georgian houses in Broad Street, where they cultivate not only a large flower and vegetable garden, but also a vineyard. He writes:

A small walled garden in the centre of a country town in Hampshire proved to bean ideal situation for the planting of fifty vines. The climate is not always the most suitable for wine production in England, and after careful selection, a Huxel Rebe vine grafted to anti Phylloxera was chosen.

After 12 years the vines have become well established and last year’s vendange produced 200lbs of grapes. They require the minimum of care and attention and seem to thrive on chalky soil. Careful pruning in January, a cold and thankless task for which few volunteers ever appear, is generally undertaken in freezing conditions, and a double guyot system of training ensures a neat looking vineyard throughout the year.

An early or late Spring, wet or dry, seems to make little difference, but a hot Summer with plenty of sunshine, extending well into September or October is essential to produce an acceptable and attractive wine. Vines will find their own moisture supply, some roots penetrating to a depth of forty feet, but sun, and plenty of it, makes all the difference.

The grapes must ripen sufficiently to produce a high sugar content and thus a satisfactory level of alcohol. The vendange usually takes place in early November and, contrary to public opinion, treading the grapes is not normally done, although it was a most efficient method of crushing the grapes to break the skin prior to the normal pressing.

The use of a small hand press produces the ‘must’ which is taken to the cellar in demi-johns, and a hock type yeast soon produces a violent fermentation. The wine is racked off and if necessary treated to reduce acidity. ‘Chaptilising’ the wine is optional but is a good excuse for frequent visits to the cellar for the purpose of testing and tasting. A small corking machine simplifies the bottling process, and as a final touch, a well-designed label with the alcohol content, year of growth and name and address of the Vigneron adds a touch of professionalism to the hobby.

Recipe: Salmon Fish Pie

 

John Wootten, The Bodega, Broad Street

The Inyanga mountains are in Zimbabwe on the Mozambique border, and are very like the Scottish Highlands, clear and cool after the hot plains with fast running streams where trout are found. Bright yellow patches of wattle brighten the dark firs and bare hillsides.

However Alresford trout are just as fresh and firm, and this dish would enhance a wedding buffet. Terrines or pates cannot only be prepared 2 or 3 days in advance, but their flavour improves with keeping.

Chef and cookery writer John Wootten and his wife Helen lived for some time in Salisbury Rhodesia (now called Harare in Zimbabwe, hence the name of Inyanga Trout. Another favourite from Mozambique, often served in Zimbabwe, is Piri-Piri, a very hot fish dish which John some rimes cooks for the Bodega restaurant.

This pretty wine bar, in a Queen Anne setting in Broad Street, offers a good cross section of wines, from house wines to vintage clarets and German, French, Italian and Portuguese whites. A favourite is the Chateau Haut Batailley 1976.

Light meals are served in the bar, while conferences, weddings and private functions may be held in the Seville Suite.

Recipe: Terrine of Trout and Salmon

 

Julie Henman, Alresford Young Farmers’ Club

The aims of the YFC are partly to educate and partly to do a certain amount for the community by organising numerous fund-raising events. And, of course, it is largely a social club.

Education in the form of farm visits and talks includes – animal diseases, applying Rentokil on rodents, calf-rearing, First Aid (courtesy of the Red Cross) fly-fishing and the life of a private investigator! The club secretary is Jane Gray.

Recipe: Smoked Trout Cakes and Herb-baked Trout

 

Mrs Elizabeth Davis (nee Stiles), J S Stiles (Ironmongers) Ltd, 11 Broad Street

‘Stiles’ is an old-established County ironmongers, with a wide frontage in an attractive setting in Broad Street. They sell everything for the kitchen and garden – pots and pans, seeds and fertilisers, paint and wallpaper, and all that a handyman needs. Next door there is a china and glass department. They are noted for their wide range of stock, but also for their friendly helpfulness. In rooms above the shop, old exposed beams can still be seen, blackened and burnt in the Great Fire of 1689.

Recipe: Trout with Cream and Chives

 

Jo Gilbertson, 4 Pound Hill

Mr and Mrs Glenn Gilbertson are both dental surgeons. Their surgery at the bottom of Pound Hill was an old cottage and there are still small rooms and narrow staircases leading off narrow corridors. [This would not have been a problem for Jo, not so sure about how Glenn managed – Ed]

Recipe: Celery and Seafood Pancakes

 

The recipes on offer in Part 4 will introduce Meat, Poultry and Game courses

 

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1980s Taste of Alresford – 1: Starter dishes

……From residents of the time

taste of alre

A well used copy of the 1985 Oxfam recipe book

The following are descriptions by Alresford families of their houses/homes, and their lives in the early 1980s, provided to the charity recipe book published by Sally March, on behalf of Oxfam. There have already been several extracts from this book published in stories on this website. Most are listed under the “Taste of Alresford” tag: they include stories about the Hobby Horse, Beresford House, The Cricketer’s Pub and the Golf Course, Fulling Mill, and Anderson’s green-grocers.

The introduction to the book was written by John Arlott, which is also featured in one story, and his life here in the old Sun Inn is described in another AlresfordMemories story.

The authors and their recipe subjects for Starters are as follows – all written in the early 1980s: TO GET THE RECIPES YOU NEED TO BUY THE BOOK!

 

Marjorie Fuller, Villa Kedros, 11 Dover Close

“Mrs Fuller is secretary of the Alresford branch of the Townswomen’s Guild, whose aim is to “Advance the education of women”, and to encourage them to contribute to their own community. Joining TG is a very good way of making friends. There are handicrafts and cookery classes, play-readings and outings, interesting and educational talks.”

Recipe provided: Jellied Hors D’Oeuvres

 

Kitchen Elegance, 34 West Street

Kitchen Elegance specialises in planning, designing and installing fitted kitchens. They are agents for Commodore Kitchens and AEG Kitchen and Laundry Appliances.

Recipe provided: Cheesy Fish Starter

 

Glenys Brundish, 2 Shepherd’s Down

Glenys Brundish’s husband Keith is manager of the Alresford branch of Barclays Bank.

Recipe provided: Mixed Fish Patés

 

Sue Clark, Studley House, Rosebery Road

Mrs Clark is a Research Nursing Sister at Alresford surgery looking into blood pressure. She is married to one of the Group Surgery doctors.

Recipe provided: Fish Paté

 

Ann Wadman, Chestnut House, Dorian Grove

Mrs Wadman is secretary of the Alresford Art Society, which welcomes anyone who is interested to talks on all aspects of the visual arts. Painting, enamelling, book binding and calligraphy are some of the subjects in this present season. Outings to places of interest and theatres are arranged regularly. The society meets on the first Friday of each month.

Recipe provided: Chicken Liver Paté

 

Jo Newbury, The Globe Inn, the Soke

Recipe provided: Stilton Paté

 

Hampshire Watercress Ltd

Mr Raymond Isaac began growing watercress on one acre of land in the 1940s. Today his company, Hampshire Watercress Ltd, with its trade name Vitacress, cultivates more then 50 acres, and is the biggest grower in the UK and possibly the world. They supply most major supermarkets.

Watercress has long been regarded as a natural source of important nutrients, and contains vitamins A and B and Riboflavin, plus mineral salts such as calcium and iron. It is ideal for diets, having only 4 calories per ounce.

If bought as a bunch, wash thoroughly and trim as required, shake off excess water and put in a closed polythene bag, or a container from which air has been excluded. Keep it, and pre-packed cress, in a refrigerator.

             Recipes provided: Tangy Starter, Slimmer’s Special, Stuffed Tomatoes,                 and Egg and Watercress Mousse

 

Jill Shackleton, 24 Arle Gardens

Jill Shackleton is Clerk to New Alresford Parish Council. As its only paid officer she is secretary and archivist, keeping all plans, deeds records, letters, writings etc, and carrying out all functions and duties imposed by statute, regulation or order.

The council’s duties are to provide public open spaces, recreational facilities, street lighting, bus shelters, litter bins, and seats, and to make byelaws. Possibly its most important role, however, is to bring local matters to the notice of the District Council and the Hampshire County Council.

Recipe provided: Stuffed Mushrooms

 

Jane Long, Linnets Cottage, Tichborne Down

Alresford Golf Club (the course is opposite her cottage) was founded in 1890 on downland owned by Sir Joseph Tichborne (of the family of the Greta Tichborne Inheritance case fame), the course was grazed by sheep until 1907.Charles Marks, of Woking Golf Club, was then employed as the first professional greenkeeper, but unfortunately he fell out with Sir Joseph and only stayed for two years.

golf club railway carriage

Thatched and wood clad, this was the Golf course Clubhouse, based round a railway carriage: picture from alresfordheritage.co.uk, and “The History of Alresford Golf Club” by ER Hedges, 1990.

A room at the ‘Cricketer’s’ served as a clubhouse at first (no ladies permitted of course); later, in 1953, a retired railway carriage was placed by the first tee, and used for 16 years. The present Clubhouse on the Cheriton road now serves a membership of over 400 and is a social and sporting centre.

Recipes provided: Mushrooms Provencales, and also Savoury Toasts

 

June Gregory, Grasshoppers, Grange Road

June Gregory has worked hard for Oxfam for many years. Her husband Peter is a partner in a firm of Solicitors whose offices in Broad Street were formerly part of the Old George [Inn]. This In was owned by Winchester College and built for them in about 1420. Twenty years later, in 1439, it was burnt down in one of Alresford’s Great Fires, and not rebuilt until a lease was granted in 1460.

In 424 it was referred to as the ‘St George’. Presumably it was then known colloquially as ‘the Old George’ and that gradually became its proper name.

The Inn was sold by the college to a brewery in 1914. It was then closed on 1st September 1927, after more than 500 years of innkeeping.

Recipe provided: Mushroom Savouries (‘Mock Snails’)

 

Vasanti Rogers, Chalk Hill, New Farm Road

Born of Indian parents in the city of Lucknow, where she spent her childhood, Vasanti studied Manipuri dance at the Vidyodaya School in Madras and was a student at Wellesley Collegeand Columbia University in the USA. She teaches yoga in Alresford and Winchester.

Vasanti is part-owner, with her husband Tom, of the antique shop ‘Rogers of Alresford’. They deal in English pottery, furniture and works of art. They also exhibit at major antiques fairs.

Recipe provided: Indian Spiced Meatballs (Kofra Balls)

Part 2 of 1980s Alresford, covering people who gave recipes for Soups, will follow!

 

 

 

Hidden messages from the past.

There are many messages left in hidden crevices, or in bottles thrown into the sea, and maybe some are still waiting to be discovered. Even in Alresford! First we have a Happy New Year message from January in 1860.

25 Broad Street, with 27 on the right, pictured in 1985. In about 1900 Charles Baker, a Draper, brought both houses together in one large dwelling.

25 Broad Street, with 27 on the right, pictured in 1985. In about 1900 Charles Baker, a Draper, brought both houses together in one large dwelling. (Making “Tottenham House”? See footnote)

Back in 1955, at 25 Broad Street, builders doing some alterations to the house found a message hidden in a bottle, left in a wall cavity. A vintage photocopy of this message was passed to the Alresford Museum recently by George Watson, now living in Makins Court. The message was from earlier builders, who were working on the shutters at the house, and sealed the bottle in, possibly behind those shutters, on 13th January 1860 (according to a note added at the top of the paper) with a message to future generations, wishing them a Happy New Year.

scan484The message seems to be written on a sheet of paper that was a bill, or receipt, that has the following printed heading – possibly relating to the business conducted there in 1860:

Bought of S. Dixon

Successor to James Calvert

Linen & Woollen Draper, Silk Mercer

who offered the following:

Ready Made Clothes, Warehouseman, Undertaker etc

Family Mourning

Tailoring in all its Branches

(M)antles, Bonnets, Silks, Flowers etc

Linens, Moreens, Chintz Furniture, Blankets, Counterpanes etc.

The hand written section then lists the team responsible for the message, and then there follow several separate comments – some not quite understandable! It seems to say:

“6th January 1860.

Mrs Dirford own idea, executed by:

Mrs W. Hunt Jnr Architect

John Fowler Builder

Harvey Bricklayer

Pewsey Plumber Painter”

——————————

“Mrs Jas. Calvert Jnr, and John Baker (Tailors)

Thos Field, N.M. Girling, Jas. Hall – assistants doing a flourishing trade”

——————————

scan485“Lady Ashburton has just given an order for 1200 yards of fla___ (Flannel?) at one price which we were able to supply from stock. 4000 yards of stuff given away by her Ladyship this Christmas. “She’s a brick! And no mistake””

——————————

“Mrs Harding conducts a singing class in the town which we all attend and enjoy.”

——————————

“Whosoever can look upon this document and realizing the past without weeping cannot be in a right state of mind. Where we are no one knows, perhaps we see you now, so take care and not desecrate this sacred thing.”

—————————–

“Can you work like this (John Baker asks) as we have done in 1859 – and wonders whether you are doing as much as we did. Hopes you are living in as great a harmony as we have done during the alteration which was begun in August last year and is not likely to be entirely finished till August next year. Fare well friends we all wish you a happy new year.”

Footnote: An advertisement for H.C.Baker in the 1898 and 1899 Alresford Parish magazine advises that: “H.C.Baker has a lot of Bedsteads, Bedding and Bedroom furniture, besides many handsome pieces of furniture suitable for Reception Rooms, purchased at the sale of the late Canon Poole, West Meon Rectory” – address for viewing quoted as Tottenham House, Alresford.

 


 

Another hidden message….. from 19A Broad Street

The Recipe Book “A Taste of Alresford” was published by Sally March in Alresford in 1985, on behalf of Oxfam. One of the recipes was provided by Maggie Roper of Broad Street – it dealt with Braised Partridge and Cabbage. The book records that David and Maggie Roper lived at 19A Broad Street,  reached by a long narrow passageway opening onto the street. Overlooking the street on the first floor are high, airy, well-proportioned rooms, while behind them the original cottage has small low-ceilinged, cosy rooms. In restoring the sitting room in the cottage the Ropers found a message on paper fastened to the old chimney breast.

scan487Reading from picture of the message in the Recipe book, it seems to be dated as “Alresford 1830” and use headed paper “To W.H. Moody”, who from the pictures alongside was a boot and shoe maker. Or was he? The message reads:

“This Chimney Piece was Altered in the month of August by the Above Named Person Who is now no doubt numbered with the dead (He was right so far!) And such Reader will thy Lot be ere long——–Prepare to meet thy God.”

Not a happy, friendly sort of message!

The book also comments that because Broad Street was originally wider than it is now, in the passage way could be seen the cobbled, old road, and the line where the old house bricks began.

Andersons – poultry and game, fishmonger and greengrocer.

In the Oxfam book “A Taste of Alresford”, by Sally March, published in 1985, Sandra Hart, manageress of the Anderson Fish shop at 8 West Street, writes:

“Some years ago the shop changed hands, but Alresford was so accustomed to calling the shop ‘Andersons’ that the present tenant, Mr Phillip Gay, reverted to the old name. The shop stocks a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, including exotic cumquats and mangoes, lychees and limes. Even better, the watercress is fresh from its ‘bed’, the cream from its farm and the  trout from Mr Gay’s own ‘stewponds’ [at the trout farm in Drove Lane].

“The building still belongs to Mrs Rita Blundell of Ropley, the granddaughter of Mr and Mrs Henry Batchelor, who came to Alresford in 1915, and lived over the shop. Their daughter, Mrs Cecil Turner, later managed Crook’s Restaurant, which is now the greengrocery side of the present shop, and her husband ran the other side, the fish shop, called ‘Eureka Fish’ (try saying it to yourself). After the Second World War, rations and regulations made the catering so difficult that the Turners changed the restaurant into a greengrocer’s.”

Note: Rita Blundell is quoted widely on the photo website http://www.alresfordheritage.co.uk!

The Fulling Mill

“A Taste of Alresford”, by Sally March, published in 1985, advises:

When Bryan and Elinor Gush bought and restored the derelict Fulling Mill, standing astride the lovely River Alre, they little realized that in thirty-odd years it would attract visitors from all over the world.

In the 13th century, the English wool staple was at Winchester, where wool was sorted and graded. The Fulling Mill probably dates from then, soon after Bishop de Lucy had built his Great Weir, and where the River Alre now ran purposefully along its new path. The mill was built above the water, with a smooth slope down to it, where the woollen cloth could be washed and laid out to be dressed with powdered chalk (there being no Fuller’s Earth in the district). It was then trodden or beaten to rid it of excess oil, and to shrink and concentrate the loosely woven cloth. The industry declined when the staple was moved to ‘English’ Calais some time before 1452.

The Old Mill, almost surrounded by running water, has the most beautiful garden designed and cared for by Mr and Mrs Gush. They have also developed a small nursery alongside the river, where the old open swimming pool used to be. By selling its produce to passing visitors, they have raised £27,000 for charity since 1974.

_______

In 2013 the footnote to this is that Mr and Mrs Gush eventually retired to live in the Churchyard cottages in Alresford. The new owners restored the pond where the nursery garden had been created, and although this was stocked with fish these did not survive the attentions of the growing populations of otters in the area. Pictures of the thatched Fulling Mill itself feature on most Hampshire and local calendars, and tea towels, so that it is indeed known worldwide.

________________

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.

The Old School House and St Joan’s

The Old School House, at the lower end of West Street on the corner of the Dean, is the original home of Perin’s Free Grammar School (later to become Perins Community School). One of the pupils there was Robert Boyes, who became the schoolmaster there from 1723 to 1782, and who wrote most of the early history texts that describe Alresford. In 1774, Boyes wrote that “The school was founded in 1698 by Christopher Perin ‘for educating 19 poor men’s sons in the Latin tongue, writing accounts etc. Every scholar was to pay one shilling a year for his admission and one shilling a year towards providing rods and brooms to be used in the school.” [So it was not quite free! – Ed]

The School House is described as a plain, strong building standing at the bottom of West Street. But the actual school room, and some of the accommodation for the pupils, was at numbers 56 and 58 West Street. These two current buildings at that time were joined together to provide one large and very lofty school-room, adjoining the School master’s house. This school continued in operation until 1932, when the school moved to the current site at the top of Pound Hill.

In 1971 the corner building was recorded as being Mr Howarth’s cafe, in a town survey conducted by Sun Hill Junior School students. In 1985 it was the home of the chef-proprietors of the Old School House Restaurant, the catering business run there by Terry and Sara McTurk. In 2013 it is now an Indian restaurant, known as the Shapla.

The shops created out of the school room have had many uses. Number 56, now Oakleaf Stationers, in 1971 was Wilstead’s, a chemist in a 1971 Sun Hill Junior School Survey: this then became Mr Goode, the chemist, in a 1985 survey. Next door at 58 there was a newsagents known as Perins in 1971, and was still a newsagent in 1985: in 2013 this is a hairdresser.

Diagonally across the cross roads outside the Old School House, and next to the Fire Station, is the house known as St Joan’s. Many years ago St Joan’s was a convent, and also later functioned as a boarding house for the Old Perin’s school. At an earlier time apparently a Quaker Meeting House stood next to it. But in 1985, when the Oxfam book “A Taste of Alresford” was published, this house had been renamed Ferndale House, by the owners Julia and Brian Champion. Brian Champion ran a photographic studio from there: originally the business had been established in Shepperton, but they visited Alresford one day and decided it was the place they wanted to live. They started in a shop in West Street, but later moved down the road to St Joan’s, which at that time was rather derelict. It took two years to rebuild the house how they wanted. Brian Champion was also involved both in international power boat racing, and pheasant shooting, but not at the same time.