The news – 60 years ago

60 years ago! Where does the time go!

This is local news and concerns my then home village of Ifield and a children’s party in 1956.

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I don’t recognise me in the photo but I dare say I was amongst the 92 children present.

The event was organised by Ifield Association and my dad was heavily involved with that. Ifield had been a small village community but it had become a part of Crawley New Town and my dad was keen to get the new arrivals involved in community life. This was obviously a part of that process.

Little Deerswood School, where the tea was held, had been the village school, but with the influx of new arrivals it wasn’t big enough and new schools were built. Little Deerswood became a special school and is now a nursing home.

We youngsters were already well integrated at school. My friends were a mixed bunch and some lived in old Ifield but most were incomers. I had many good friends who were Londoners but I recall a lad from Birmingham and a Scottish lad from Arbroath who were good mates of mine.

I suppose it was inevitable that many old Ifield people resented the arrival of the new, with houses (not to mention shops, schools and even churches) built on the formerly open land. For me, though, the New Town provided opportunities in both friendship and education. During my student days there was never a shortage of holiday work so by and large it served me well.

Having said that, I much prefer the rural area I now live in in Wiltshire.

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