All Saints, Fawley - Community & Heritage

Eric Pinchin

War memories

The Second World War was declared in September 1939 and I was born 1 month later in October, so not a good start.

My early memories of the war were of black out blinds on all of the windows and we were all issued with gas masks which as kids we used to use more as play things to look like monsters. I remember lots of soldiers in tents living on the land behind the garden with big field guns. They were probably getting ready for the D Day invasion of France.

We used to see lots of tanks and armoured vehicles going to and from Fawley Station up towards the village.

There was an underground shelter at the back of the garden and we also had what was called an Anderson shelter in our back room which was made up with bedding and where we would go to when the air raid siren went off. The nearest bombs to explode near us were in the church field opposite and the church also got bombed and was badly damaged.

I also remember many Barrage Balloons which were all over Southampton Water as well as the Sunderland Flying Boats which were quite noisy. Towards the end of the war we had some of VI doodlebug  bombs flying over the house which were quite, scary sounding like an old motor  bike flying over the house in the middle of the night. At that age we did not seem to fear any danger as we had not known anything else.

Village life

Fawley in those days was very different with lots of shops, which were as follows as far as I can remember.

Starting by the Jubilee Hall was –

   
Knights the Shoe Shop Haywards Garage
Paice  cigarettes and bike repairs  Betteridge the Butcher
Ken Wheeler Paper Shop    The Chocolate Box sweets and bank
Spacy  the Barber (Short back and sides cut only) The Falcon Hotel
Hagg the Grocer   National Provincial bank
Tyler the Ironmonger   Porters Post Office
Crossfield Clothes shop   Lloyds Bank
Haywood Fish Monger   Ivory the Cobbler 
Williamson and Tredgold Grocer  Mudge the photographer

                                       

In those days lots of things would be delivered to your door such as the milk, bread, meat and groceries, laundry, as well as paraffin and logs etc. The coal was delivered by Mr Major, by horse and cart which would often poo outside the gate and would be  quickly gathered for the garden. Where did it all go wrong?

Photos of the village and shops

Postcard of Fawley in the 1950s showing various views - from the church tower over houses (before the refinery expansion); Church Lane;  Fawley Schools; Ashlett Creek and the Square

Photograph copyright Waterside Heritage. Not to be used without permission. ""

Paice cigarettes and bike repairs (Spacey's is the next one along)

Photograph copyright Waterside Heritage. Not to be used without permission. ""

Image of W.Wheeler's shop in Fawley village

Photograph copyright Waterside Heritage. Not to be used without permission. ""

Tyler the Ironmongers - 1931 plus an old car parked outside

Photograph copyright Waterside Heritage. Not to be used without permission. ""
 

National Provincial Bank in Fawley - a cubist building.

Photograph copyright Waterside Heritage. Not to be used without permission. ""

Lloyds Bank, Porters (Post Office) and National Provincial Bank 1968

Photograph copyright Waterside Heritage. Not to be used without permission. ""

Fawley Garage 1968

Photograph copyright Waterside Heritage. Not to be used without permission. ""

Fawley Square 1956 - boys on bikes, old car and scooter

Photograph copyright Waterside Heritage. Not to be used without permission. ""

Fawley Square looking towards Jubilee Hall - 1956

Photograph copyright Waterside Heritage. Not to be used without permission. ""

When Dad was serving in Palestine he would send oranges and bananas which was a real treat especially if they had not gone rotten in the post. I remember that we all the kids got free orange juice  and cod liver oil. Only dried egg was available unless you had your own chickens.  We only ate chicken at Christmas which was the cockerel which we fattened up all year.

We all got good hot dinners at Fawley School as well as a bottle of free milk. At school we learnt useful things like gardening and woodwork for the boys and sewing and cooking for the girls. There were no computers or calculators back then. If you misbehaved you were made to either sit with your hands on your head or stand in the corner and if you were really annoying you would get the beaten with the cane.

After the war when the new oil refinery was being built we got rides on the big bulldozers and tractors which were clearing the site as well as building dens in the piles of the large tree stumps which were pilled in big heaps. We would also have races along inside of the large pipes which had been stacked ready for laying.

In short our childhood was spent climbing trees, fishing and swimming in Ashlett Creek and building carts out of sets of old pram wheels and speeding down the hill to the old Fawley Station.

Train at Fawley station 1925 (long before Eric was born!)