Chandler's Ford History

"If my memory serves me correctly ......." Welcome to our Chandler's Ford Local History Blog. Our aim is to collect and record memories of Chandler's Ford, in Hampshire, and make them available to all. We shall also share old reports, maps and photographs where there is no copyright problem. Do help us by adding your photos and memories. Even if you can't quite remember what happened, write your version of events and encourage others to add theirs. Look forward to hearing from you. Chris

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Chandler's Ford Dateline

1588 Hiltonbury Farm appears on the map.
1847 The Railway arrived with a halt at Chandler's Ford.
1860 Thomas Chamberlayne acquired the Manor situated in Cranbury Park, including the Chandler’s Ford area
and Northern part of Eastleigh.
1883-5 Horseracing in Chandler's Ford.
1841 Population 170
1870s One of the largest brickworks in England was established between the railway and Castle Lane. The brickworks produced the 35 million bricks used for the London Law Courts.
1883-5 Horse racing in Chandler's Ford (see EDLHS paper).
1889 The first contract for the Carriage and Wagon works at Eastleigh was drawn up.
1890s Portions of the vast Hursley estate owned since 1718 by the Heathcote family, were sold off. The Ford and Hiltingbury portion (Hiltingbury/Hocombe triange), was bought by estate developer, Wallis. Plans were made for the land to be divided up for development, with roads names.

1892 Mary Wallis bought Brownhill Estate from the trustees of the late William Heathcote of Hursley.
1894 King's Court built for the Wallis's.
1897 Chandler’s Ford was made into a separate civil parish.
1898 Station Hotel built.
1900 Hursley Union Workhouse built in Hiltingbury (1921 TB Sanatorium, later still Leigh House, demolished in ?2001 for housing).
1901 Population 1085
1902 New school built.
1906 Albert Dean started coal, coke, corn and seed merchants.
1910 Chandler's Ford became a separate ecclesiastical parish.
1912 Isolation Hospital built (see EDHHS paper).
1914 Richie Hall built in memory of Dr Richie.
1923 New bridge built across Leigh Road "splash" ie ford.
1931 Population 3,148
1932 By a local government act Hursley Rural District Council ceased to be a separate entity, its lack of industry having led to depopulation. Chandler’s Ford had been under this civic administration, but now became part of Eastleigh Municipality as Eastleigh Borough.
1944 10,000 troops based in Hiltingbury woods and along CFord roads for several months in preparation for the D-Day invasions.
1945 Polish Dependents camp set up. By 1967 many Polish immigrants were living on the Velmore Housing Estate.
Postwar Rapid housing development.
? date Central precint built.
1960s Fryern Archade and Safeway supermarket built.
1965 Beeching report led to the contraction of the railway works at Eastleigh. To offset this the Borough Council encouraged private enterprise to develop an industrial estate which was built on the disused brickfields in south Chandler’s Ford. This was being completed in 1967. (see press release entitled, “Loss of Craftsmen Threatened”).
1967 The Buchanan South Hampshire study recommended a Solent City, to Extend to and include Chandler’s Ford, but this didn’t happen.
1974 Carrefour built one of first hypermarkets in Britain in CFord (now Asda).
1977 Nuffield hospital opened.
1983 The Mall and library opened.
2005 Population of SO53 27,000
Please let us know if you can add to it or if there are any inaccuracies.
Sources: Dissertation by Patricia Coward nee Marshall (1967) & Barbara Hillier's books (see publications section).


Blogger peter said...

Although no children at King's Road School were killed or injured during the war by German air attacks, there was nevertheless a tragedy which affected the school. A small boy of about 7 years old called Brian Gilbert (who was in my class) was killed by an army lorry as he crossed Bournemouth Road near the main shopping area. It was very sad, and we all gave a few pennies for a small heart-shaped memorial plaque on his grave in the old Chandler's Ford cemetery in Pine Road, with the words "To Brian from his Friends at Kings Road School". The plaque was on his grave for many years afterwards. However, unlike today, there was no counselling for school children or teachers or parents grieving the death of a child, and we all just had to get on with our wartime lives.

In the months and weeks before D-Day on 6 June 1944, as well as being on a main route for the many military movements by road and by rail, parts of Chandler's Ford filled up with very large numbers of American and Canadian troops, vehicles and equipment, mainly in the Hiltingbury area (it was highly secret at the time that these events were part of the preparations for D-Day, but everybody guessed that something big was going to happen). The main military area had restricted entry, and residents and tradesmen had to have a pass to go in and out. One evening my mother was cycling back from visiting her parents when she saw King George VI and Winston Churchill talking with soldiers at the corner of Brownhill Road and Park Road, which were just outside the military restricted area at Hiltingbury . In many parts of Chandler’s Ford, military vehicles were parked all along the pavements which had been covered in gravel and clinker (ashes) to protect them from damage, or simply along the roadsides where there were no pavements; also, all junctions and crossroads had been re-inforced with concrete to facilitate turning by tanks and tracked armoured personnel carriers.

It may seem incredible now that the King and the Prime Minister could be seen by a member of the public in such circumstances, but throughout the war they were often out and about meeting members of the armed services, emergency services and the public, although unannounced beforehand for security reasons. In Chandler's Ford in particular it would have been essential not to draw attention to the enormous concentration of troops and military equipment in the area. There was usually publicity afterwards (although not for the visit to Chandler's Ford as it was just before D-Day), and these visits were a tremendous morale booster for those troubled times and much appreciated by everybody.

For local children, the arrival of the American and Canadian troops in Chandler’s Ford brought a bonanza - food from military kitchens, visits to cinema shows and other entertainment provided for the troops in tents and requisitioned large houses; and always army rations and chocolate of which the American troops seemed to have limitless quantities. My friend and I often went into the restricted military area after school to eat in a military canteen and then watch an early film or a show. I particularly remember a very good conjuror. We got in through a small gap in the barbed wire, but we were never challenged; the soldiers had more important things on their minds. Then, quite soon after D-Day, all the troops left for France, but now, almost as a last gesture of defiance, the Germans started to use their V1 and V2 rockets over much of southern England, although this menace soon ceased as the allied troops quickly overran and destroyed the missile launching sites in France, Belgium and Holland. However, before the launch sites were neutralised, several V1 doodlebugs landed in Chandler's Ford, including one which destroyed a house in Pine Road near its junction with Hiltingbury Road, killing two of the family living there, and badly damaging several nearby houses.

Some indications of the temporary military occupation remained for years afterwards, for example the large water tower built in Sherwood Road to supply the troops.There was also some military equipment left behind, such as petrol cans, tools, life jackets, torches, washroom facilities and kitchen utensils, but never guns or other weapons.

4:58 PM  

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