The Move to Ifield

We had lived in an utterly remote area near Wadhurst. Then, in 1949, the owner wanted his house empty and we had to move. The new home was in a village called Ifield.

I suspect my dad hated it. The house at Ifield may not have been much above 40 years old when we moved there, but it was run down and inconvenient in most respects. Worse, it had but a limited garden and the views from the house were restricted. From this house, which was called Crosshill, we looked across the road to other similar houses. Out the back we looked down our garden and behind it there was a wooden factory building. However, the chances are my mum was happier. From Beals Oak to Wadhurst had been a three mile walk so shopping was a major expedition. Here, the local shop was just across the road and it was only two miles to the local small town of Crawley. Had we needed them we could have visited the local pub – less than 100 yards away – and the petrol station which was even closer. But our family were not pub users and the idea of ordinary people owning cars was something that was well into the future.

The house had three bedrooms, inconveniently arranged with one room leading off another. There was no bathroom and the toilet was in an outhouse. I was but ten months old when we moved to this house which was to be my home for the rest of my childhood.

Ifield had a community association and in January 1950 they held a children’s party in Saint Margaret’s Hall, a couple of hundred yards up the road. I was too young to go to this – barely more than a year old – but Paula and Robin went and are captured in a press photo. I love this photo for it shows that in the bleak and austere days – there was still rationing – children could enjoy fun.

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Sister, Paula is the girl in the centre of this photo. Robin, my brother is half hidden on this side of her.

 

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