MILE OAK

REVISITED

EVEN MORE REMINISCENCES

OF

MILE OAK

I remember.......

The Downlands surrounding Mile Oak were the best playing fields in the whole world.  Safe and miles to run and keep fit.  Why did we ever want to leave such a small part of paradise??.....

Remember playing cricket up on the top of Southwick Hill

Memories of walking up to the Waterworks and then up onto the hill with the dew pond and the reservoir nearby surrounded in a tall metal fence. To the left of the dew pond was a bank with sweet smelling grass surrounded by yellow flowered extremely prickly gorse bushes. There were wild strawberries to be picked and there was the lovely fresh air. Much of the grass was kept short by the large number of rabbits living in the area.

The view of Mile Oak from there brought tears to my eyes......

I remember with other boys finding a large coil of wire rope in the chalk pit, dragging it to the top after much heaving and pushing - uncoiling it and stretching it across the chalk pit. We securely anchored it at the top end (don’t remember how) and at the bottom end we fixed to an old iron bedstead. Once it was securely fixed we all took turns in sliding across on old bucket handles etc.  These days children are not allowed to enjoy themselves and take risks like we did.

The small hamlet of Mile Oak, with roads named after the horse connection of the stables - Beechers and Foxhunters.

The bus stop in Mile Oak Road called the ‘Hole in the Wall’.

The small row of shops, enough for the whole neighbourhood during the 40’s and 50’s

I recall one icy winters day watching the bus back up into Chrisdory Road, apply its breaks, then slide back on the ice into the middle of Mile Oak Road.....

All the girls in Chrisdory Road/top of Stanley Avenue skipping with a long skipping rope which reached from one side of the road to the other.  All jumping in and singing “all in together girls”.  When Dr. Portas came up the road on his rounds (his was the only car in those days) we had to jump to one side and let him pass.....

Mr Coombs who owned the Off Licence/Grocers was the Government Agent for the supply of gas masks for all the people of Mile Oak. The war was coming and we had to go to him for our masks.

I remember having a Mickey Mouse gas mask.

The old Mile Oak Garage, a huge black wooden building with one petrol pump at the entrance.  One had to walk down the slope off of Mile Oak Road on the left going north. Inside the building was a central office area where my father went to chat with Mr  Butcher........

Yet more reminiscences Again more reminiscences