Posts Tagged ‘1921’

Ifield – Then and Now

April 5, 2016

This was the street on which I was brought up. My family moved to a house well down this street when I was less than a year old. It was still the 1940s!

This postcard has been seen before on this blog. It was posted in 1921 and I believe changes had been made between then and my earliest memories.


Most notably, the left hand side of the road as we look at it had a pavement. But other than that this was the street I knew from my earliest times. The road is called Ifield Green. The one heading off to the right is called Langley Lane. I’d have known most of the people who lived in any house that can be seen in that photo.

Now I still have relatives who live along that street so I still visit it. They live in a house that wasn’t built in my early memories. I remember it being built. On one of my visits (actually back in 2009 I took this photo.

image003There often seems to be much more in the way of greenery – trees and shrubs these days. Houses that used to be visible are now hidden. There are now pavements on both sides. There’s an ugly concrete street lamp.

The large house on the left is clearly the same and there is still a hedge on the left around allotments.  Speed humps have been put in the road and whilst it might still look quite quiet it is actually a busy road. Down at the far end of the picture there is still the village shop. There is also a pub not far past the big house. What was open land, just past Langley Lane, now has a row of large detached houses. They are set back a little and are hidden by hedge and trees.

I can just make out the bus stop shelter which I recall being built. It is near the white van.

As a child I could play in the street but that changed in the mid 1950s when the New Town of Crawley was being built and particularly when Gatwick Airport was under construction. That major project led to what seemed like an endless stream of lorries carrying spoil away from the site trundling along our little road.

You can see more of my village street by clicking here.

The Village where no bread is sold

September 17, 2015

My childhood street in an old postcard

We have seen my childhood street before. I still visit it because family still live there, albeit not in the same house so I have shown fairly recent photos and others from my childhood. This postcard is older for it was posted, I believe, in 1921.


It is captioned Ifield Village and Ifield is now rather subsumed into Crawley although something of a village atmosphere lingers on.

Despite being long before my birth, it looks familiar. The lane leading off on the right is Langley Lane and the gate opposite it on the left leads into allotments which are still there. The difference from my childhood days is that the left side of the road had a pavement all along it. Nowadays there are pavements on both sides and parked cars clog up the road.

The large house on the left still stands. I had a friend who lived there. My own house was at the far end of the street on the right hand side.


Yes, it is in amongst that group.

Actually, it is the back of the card, sent by and to people unknown to me, which adds interest.


It has two postmarks and neither of them are clear. But the message is one to savour, particularly this bit.


This is a view of a village where no bread is sold.

It wasn’t so in my childhood. We had a village shop and it sold bread!

Dad with Cousins?

April 19, 2014

Well I think it is Dad. The little lad in the front of this trio has a look of my father as a boy.


But all I have is a negative, so I can’t be certain.

The location, I am fairly sure, is At Great Aunt mercy’s house which was in Malthouse Road in Crawley and I imagine the girl and boy behind are two of her children. I’d guess at them being her youngest two. Ethel Ruth Edwards (known as Ruth) was born in 1911 and John Edwards was born in 1914. My dad was born in 1919.

The picture is full of the period. The clothes, of course, but also things like the galvanised wash bowl hanging on the fence and the galvanised dustbin. I know Mercy and her husband Ernest kept hens. Maybe the cage like structure next to the wash bowl was their night quarters – or perhaps they kept cage birds.

Ruth Edwards married Bert Barrett in 1931. They had three children.

John Edwards had a wife called Gladys and I think they had three children.

Great Aunt Mary

December 13, 2013

Back in 1919 – on December 23rd – Great Aunt Mary married Walter Pope. Although they both came from East Sussex the marriage took place in Fulham in London.

The following October, their first born arrived on the scene.


There’s Walter, Mary and Baby Reginald. The photo was taken in Sussex.

In 1921, the family, along with Walter’s mother, emigrated to Australia. It was the widowed Mrs Pope who kept a diary of the journey and here are a few extracts.

March 11th 1921

What a day this has been. We got, off beautifully, taxied, to meet the 8.30 at St.Pancras – Fred coming to the station with us. There we met Aunt Alice and Daisy but the train had to be run in duplicate. There was a crowd and quite 200 children. We went by the second train and (I) was very disappointed that none but passengers were allowed to travel by the special boat train. I need hardly say the last goodbyes were very painful for one and all had done their very best to give us a good time in every way and I shall always remember it as a bright spot in years to come. When we arrived at Tilbury, I can’t tell you how pleased I was to see Philip. It was nearer for Him to come there than go to St. Pancras and his was the last face I saw in leaving England. The Euripides was lying in mid-stream so we had to be taken off by tender, a very tedious business for we had to wait the doctor’s pleasure before we could board the boat. What a scramble it was with so many children. What a fine ship the Euripides is – and 1 hear is carrying 13 hundred passengers. It took us some time to get our luggage again, it had been sent on by the first train. I don’t know what I Should have done without Walter, but oh, the cabin. There are 6 bunks in mine and we are 3 adults and 4 children so you will know how happy I feel with this family, But Walter and Mary’s cabin is quite close and unless for sleeping I Shall spend much time with them when not on deck. So far the menu is splendid. As soon as possible we had dinner, pea soup, steak pie, beans and Potatoes and rice pudding and more than a hundred sat down at a time. The afternoon we spent on deck watching the land disappearing from our view. A very lonely feeling came over me but found refuge in my crochet until teatime. That too was well-served, soused herrings, buns, jam and bread and butter – plenty of good tea. Since then I have done what unpacking is necessary but I don’t feel a bit sick; neither does Mary or Walter. We must be making good headway, the engines are thrashing so! We left Tilbury at 2.30.

Monday March 21st

Yesterday, Palm Sunday, really my first Sunday on deck for I was not well enough to leave my bunk last Sunday. 3 years since dear Harry was killed. There was Holy Communion in the first class Lounge, quite 70 of us was partakers. And then the middle deck was cleared for a 10.30 service. I shall never forget it; 5 or 6 hundred people singing well known hymns. What a volume of sound there was and what an impression it must have made on many there. And although we have 4 clergy on board that 1 have seen, the Captain-took the service. We had quite a Xmas fare for dinner, roast pork; plum pudding and oranges after. I should have said there was soup but it is too hot for me to take soup. Then there was a children’s service at 3. 300 children I should think singing the hymns that you have all sung to me. One little thing jumped up and asked for ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ and I think everyone beside joined in the singing. Well, the first bell rang for tea. I think I have mentioned I go to the second sitting. I went to the side of the ship to get a little cool before going down and saw the flag being hoisted half-mast. Almost directly a part of the deck was roped off and a very {mournful?} sight presented itself. An old Bishop travelling to Africa had died at 2 o’clock suddenly and was to be buried. It was covered with the flag but I saw it slipped into the water, The corpse was sown up in canvas to quite its natural form but must have been weighted for it went with a splash, I did not feel much like tea after that, but we had another nice service at night and it was given out that all those who liked could sleep on deck – the women on the upper deck and the men on the middle one. I believe many availed themselves of the chance. And thus ended one of the most eventful Sundays of my life. Through all this the ship steals on, hardly noticeable to us but it has) done in 24 hours 57 minutes, 323 knots,

Saturday April 2nd

Friday was a very exciting day. I stayed the night with Mrs Abernethy where I enjoyed the nice bed and the comforts I had there. Walter and Mary left about 8 the evening before and came again on Friday morning and after lunch we went for a 13 miles ride on a tram that goes all around the Table Mountain and the lovely coast, Mary left baby who slept all the while we were gone, He has been such a good child all the journey. They provided a good day for us and after a cup of tea Mr and Mrs Abernethy came with us to the boat for we had to be on board at 4. We left a short time after our only consolation for leaving so soon being one day nearer the end.

Friday April 15th

How excited everyone is. We are due at Albany tomorrow at 7 o’clock when we are all to be on deck for a medical inspection by the Inspector who will come on board. We do not put in port. A Tender comes and takes off the passengers and luggage. A baby was born in the night. First class passengers collected £32 for it

Saturday 23rd

I was woke up about 4 o’clock by the slowing down of the engines. We had got to the entrance of the harbour but it was too dark to see anything. I got up soon after and got my packing done so that I could go on deck when it was light enough. I can quite endorse all I have heard about the beauties of the harbour, it was like fairyland and quite impossible to describe. Only my brother’s wife met us for we came 5 days before time and Phebe only heard by wire from friends at Sydney that the boat was in before time. We had a very tedious time waiting to pass the Customs with having so many packages. We found Aunt Sissie very pleased to see us. I must leave all else till I write home again which will be after the mail from England comes in. This ends a chapter and begins a new page in a long life.


I think this is the whole family, including the diary writer, after arrival in Australia – in about 1923. They made their home at Murwillumbar

Granny’s Auntie Ellen

April 28, 2013

If Ellen was my gran’s aunt then she must be my great great aunt. Needless to say, I never knew her but I did know she was a favourite of my gran.

Ellen’s birth goes back a long time. She was born on 7th September 1840, in Blythburgh in Suffolk. This was a couple of months before her parents married. Her parents were James Crosby and Mary Ann Smith. This begs the question of whether Ellen was a Crosby or a Smith – but it goes deeper than that. Her Mother, Mary Ann was a Smith – also born before her mother married a Cullingford, so young Mary Ann became known as Mary Ann Cullingford. So just possibly Ellen was a Cullingford. What with these possibilities and the fact that Helen and Ellen were interchangeable names, it’s no wonder I haven’t yet found Ellen in the official birth records. However, she was baptised at Blythburgh Church on 25th October 1840.

For the 1841 census Elenor Crosby lived with her parents in Blythburgh. By 1851 they had moved to Butley, further south in Suffolk. They had arrived there in about 1848 after a stay in Tunstall also in Suffolk.

In 1861 Ellen was a servant in Marylebone London.

Before 1871 Ellen married. The 1871 census shows Ellen as Ellen Snowden and her husbands as William Snowden from Capel St Andrew which is very close to Butley. But the couple had moved to Sussex – to Isfield in fact and William who had been a shepherd in Suffolk was now a game keeper in Sussex.

Once again, records rather have me beaten. I cannot trace a marriage although a William Snowling married an Ellen Smith in the Uckfield district in 1862. Isfield is in the Uckfield district.

William died in 1881 – before the census was taken – so that year we find Ellen as a widow. She was working as housekeeper to George Huntley – a young widower. This situation continued in 1891. But in December of that year Ellen became Mrs George Huntley.

And that’s where we find Ellen in 1901 and again in 1911.

In about 1912 Ellen probably accompanied her niece and great nephew to Lewes where they had Sticky Back photos taken. Ellen was now in her 70s.


Ellen died in 1921. George joined her in 1924. They are buried at Isfield and have a stone.