I’ve tried to avoid this but some of you have reminded me of how  good our childhood was, so here’s your chance to wallow in a bit of nostalgia.

Please tell me about any happy childhood  memories you have. I’ll only publish Christian names unless otherwise requested.

To get you started here are a few of mine.

Christmas and Harvest festival in the old St Luke’s church. Singing in the choir with Mum on the old harmonium . All that lovely wood panelling inside the church.

Playing up the ‘Back lane’ in the old hollow ‘oak’ tree and sitting at the top of the big ash tree near the pond where you could see all the way up the main road.

Collecting conkers in the old rectory grounds opposite Gran’s house in Mill Lane


Car spotting at the bottom of The Street, writing down the registrations. You’d have to be quick to do that now!

Playing ‘Hide and Seek’ under the village hall. I believe a few had their first kiss and cuddle there ;-) Not me, I was far too shy!

Bike rides with ‘The Gang’. All the way to Margate on one occasion! I wouldn’t want to do that in today’s traffic.

Watching the gliders and flying my model planes on the airfield.

Riding to School in  Cheriton and racing home to beat the bus to Pepin’s, though sometimes I waited for the girls at the bottom of Waterworks Hill so I could walk up with them

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Alan remembers the WAAF’s and that a few of  them  married local boys.

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Maggie reminded me that her Nan & Grandad had The Stores in The Street. Grandad Percy delivered groceries and paraffin on a bike. It was later taken over by Miss D. And her two little Scotty dogs.

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Freda remembers    Q Ice Cream, it was sold in the little cafe behind the post office, opposite Pepin's, the first ice cream I had after the war.     

A bag of chips to share from the chip shop by the village hall, after choir practise. Full of fat, but the best.      

Picking Bluebells in White Horse Woods, walking from Hawkinge, round Cowgate and Stombers Lane to the Alkham Valley, along the valley and back up White Horse Hill, and our parents letting us take picnics, with just the instruction to be home for tea, couldn't do it these days.

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Marion remembers    Ozzie Welch  the butcher by the White Horse.  (Mike was Saturday delivery boy!)    Her Granddads brother ..The Chimney Sweep, she knew him  as Uncle Char Shrubsole. The Jarvis family at The Cottage, Reindene Wood. Arthur Fidge at The White Horse. Pete and Chris Linkin’s Mum was cook at Hawkinge School..

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Elaine  remembers catching newts in the pond in the upper part of The Street, the field next to Peggy Lynch'’s previous shop.

Learning to ride my bicycle at the cricket ground; first on the carrier behind the saddle, then standing up and then, hey ho, sitting down. Oh the achievement!

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Here are a few photos that may help you reminisce.

I’m always happy to receive more!

Memories

Mick lived in Coombe Wood Lane. Here are a few things he remembers.


My godparents were Percy & Lily Pepin (I called them Uncle & Auntie) who had the newsagents/tobacconist opposite the Post Office and I remember Fred Bedding (the headmaster and church choirmaster) would come into whatever class I was in and give me half a crown with an instruction ‘Michael, run across the road to Uncle Percy’s and get me twenty Players please!’.  Imagine that - I was maybe 7, 8 or 9 “ run across the road and buy cigarettes!”  

As a baby boomer of course there were loads of us and there was an overspill classroom in the little hall behind the old tin church St Lukes.  I seem to recall a schoolmaster called Mr Boorman (could it have been Martin?) who took classes in there.  


Like Mike, I too was Ozzie’s delivery boy and would make sausages (people came from miles around for Ozzie’s pork bangers) and work in his slaughterhouse behind the butchers shop with Dennis Caister at Christmas time when we were preparing turkeys and pork.  One needed a strong stomach as the pigs were slaughtered by Ozzie and Dennis using the spike and sledgehammer ‘not a pretty sight!’


Christmas time was magical and carol singing around the village and trudging through the snow to St Michaels church was great fun.  Anyone remember ‘Beating the bounds’ where we would get turned upside down and our heads tapped against the milestones around the village -I think Fred Bedding resurrected that ancient  custom.

We were all members of the Church Guild and not only did we have our first ‘fumbles’ under the village hall but in the room to the right of the stage in the hall!!!

Dudley C and I were a couple of the youngest members of Hawkinge Cricket team in the late 50’s and early 60’s. Dudley was a decent fast bowler and I kept wicket when captain Den L retired.  

The school crossing patrolman  Reg W (lived in Canterbury Road near Brisley’s garage) was our umpire would get quite tipsy in the after match get together. We visited lots of cricket grounds around Kent including Sibton Park, Elham, Selsted, Hythe, Woodchurch, Tenterden, Stowting and the list goes on.  Half shandies and a pickled egg in some of the quaintest Fremlins & Shepherd Neame pubs Kent had to offer.  

I also remember Dudley & I catching the No. 16 bus to Canterbury on Saturday morning the 6th May 1961 when I bought a copy of Blue Moon/   Goodbye to Love by the Marcels which was No. 1 and which I still have in its sleeve with the date and where I bought it written on it!  

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Peter Cromwell has many memories from between 1937 and 1965, some tragic, some amusing and others frightening. Here are a few:

The year 1941 I was about four, the war had begun in earnest and we spent much time in an Anderson shelter dug in the ground of our front garden, or under a Morrison shelter indoors. The sound of the bofors gun being fired on the opposite side of the road (I never thought many years later I would maintain them) made all around shudder and wait for the dog fight above us to follow.

I started school September 1941, by then Hawkinge School had closed and the young went to Acrise School. I joined the school bus at the bottom of The Street, a green and cream Bedford bus owned by Newman.  Lessons were often interrupted by the sound of the air raid siren and we all rushed to the brick built shelters, one of the teachers tried to keep us amused by leading us in singing. I remember during that time learning the words of “Land of hope and glory”

My father arriving home in tears after work on 12th August 1940. During a raid on the air field , a bomb had landed on one of the hangers; he escaped others were not so lucky.

The Americans camped in the field opposite the chapel, much gum and cookies for us children, nylons for the bigger girls.

Bright blue clear sky with white handkerchiefs (parachutes) falling to the ground. For a young boy a wonderful sight, in reality tragic.

I spent a couple days with the Crapps family; friends of my parents at Denton (they lived in the village before the war, next door to the Wont family, Peter, Bob, Margaret and their parents), my bedroom at Denton was in the attic, and I recall looking out the window one night and seeing the sky in the distance bright red with lights shooting skywards. Again a wonderful sight for a young boy, it was not until the morning that it was explained to me what really happened, Canterbury was bombed.

After the war Hawkinge school was reopened under the Head mistress Miss Jackson. Mrs Creighton, Mrs Marshall and others whose names I can’t recall..

My school years at Hawkinge were uneventful but not forgetful. I am still in contact with and see many old school friends on visits back to Hawkinge to this day. To name a few, David Santry, David Pepin, Frank and Pat Glazer, Daphne and Richard Amos, , Brian Brisley, Roy Brisley and his siblings, plus many others that lived in the village at that time. Remember it was a small community we knew most people who lived there.

I first played football for the village team at the age of 14, it was not because of my ability, someone did not turn up and I had my football boots with me. Dennis Lamb took me under his wing as he did with many over the years, a gentle giant if I ever saw one; it was the start of many happy football years to follow. That year the team played on a pitch at Pay Street belonging to Eric Prescott.

A number of different grounds were used; the RAF pitch on the airfield springs to mind, where an annual Boxing Day match was played in pyjamas against a team from the Black Horse pub in the morning, followed by a darts match at the pub. Players at that time included; -   Jack Cross, John Godden Dennis Lamb, Ron Lamb, Ernie Kennett, Arthur Green. Can anyone add some names?

The winter of 1947 was one I shall always remember, deep snow, cold frosty nights, electric and telephone cables occasionally touching the ground under the weight of snow and ice, following the thaw; floods at the corner of aerodrome road and Canterbury Road, allowed the gallant men to carry the women across the road.

I also have fond memories of the boy’s brigade run by ??? Gates we met in the Chapel  vestry, we had a reasonable cricket team; I have a scar over my left eye obtained whilst batting trying to head a ball to the boundary bowled by Jimmy Hood playing for Alkham (forgot I had a bat in my hand).

The Cubs run by Vera Brisley, we met in the wooden hut, on the left of Coach Road going towards School Road cross roads.

I also remember many pleasant evenings playing darts and Shove Ha’penny with the odd drink in the White horse under the watchful eye of Arthur Fidge, some names I remember, Bert Smith playing the Ukulele, Jack Jarvis, Frank Peel, Jack Godden (Alkam valley) Arthur Green and many more.

We had two policemen in the village that I remember well, more for their name, PC W Boot (Wellington) and PC Wood. Both great characters. Who put a large potato up the exhaust pipe of the latter’s motor bike? (Not me), it was funny at the time and other than for a loud bang; no harm done.

Finally, I must also remember I married Freda in 1958 at St Michael’s Church, had the reception in the village hall and continued to live in the village until 1965 when we moved to Hampshire.

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