Page Eight

In reminiscing about their childhood, the ladies told us that in summer they swam at Woodside Bay, and that the family owned a 14ft. long-boat and dinghy, which were kept in a boat-house by the Creek. In winter they skated on the mill-pond when it frozen, and once played ice-hockey with the Fleming family on Ninham Pond. They used a child's brick as a puck.

They drove to Newport once a week in the dog-cart, and remember the farmers, carts lined up in the streets and in St. James Square. The family possessed various carriages, - victoria, a brougham and a large carriage which was seldom used. The last horse died in harness in 1916. Their father purchased One of the first cars on the Island, which was coloured red and had footstools in the back. They remember driving along the Undercliff in it.

Their parents entertained a great deal. The magic lantern was brought out for children's parties and they danced the Lancers in drawing room, ending up with hide- and seek all over the house. There were sing-songs as well.

The young ladies with their brother, played from time I time along the gutter of the roof of the mansion, access being obtained from the door of the tower, - the parapet was not more than 1' 6"' high! the There was a telescope placed at the top of the tower, from which local outdoor events could be viewed. Also on Sundays at mid-day, they used to observe a signal from Portmouth, giving the exact Greenwich time, where- upon someone hurried down to the Wootton Post to correct the clock. A rope hanging from the tower near the right-hand gatepost in the lane was used for hoisting the flag, which the girls operated from time to time. Also there were wild bees in the tower, and Miss. Brodie quoted the saying "When bees are in the house, no ill-luck will come to it". The bees disappeared in the mid-1930'.. Also she remembered the little bridges over the streams which ran through the grounds. It must have been her private delight to dance across them.

Douglas Gordon Brodie passed into the Artillery from Woolwich in World War I. He became seconded to the Royal Flying Corps for 4 years as a pilot and was a flying officer in No 13 Squadron.

He married Miss Jane McKercher, and their daughter Ann is married to Samuel Twining Esq., the son of Mrs F.E. Twining of Woolverton House. He is an export director of Messrs Twinings.

In World War II, Lieut. Col. Douglas Gordon Brodie was in charge of a Regiment 0f Artillery. On retiring from the Army he took over the Territorials, and finally became Island Commissioner for the Scouts. His hobby wes sailing, and he was an active member of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. He also helped in one of the organisation. for sail training for the young. He joined the Royal Naval Reserve and went out in minesweepers from time to time.

Irene Antoinette Brodie married John Anthony Dechering, Esq., farmer, from Holland. Their daughter married John L.M.Scott, Esq., civil engineer from Wales, and they now live with their family in Saskatchewan, Canada.

After a Canadian interlude, Mr. and Mrs. Dechering lived at Niton Manor Farm, and Mr. Dechering ran the local Home Guard during World War II. 0n retiring from farming he became a Councillor until his death in 1973.

Mrs Dechering was a member of the Guides movement and was Island Commissioner for 11 Years, until 1959. She Is County Organiser for the National Gardens Scheme and, in fact, she and Misses Brodie will be opening their gardens at Highfield Paddock, Niton Undercliff, on the 12th June, 1977, from 2 - 6 p.m.

Edith Joan Carden and Cicely Armstrong Brodie took up nursing and trained at King's College Hospital, London, after which they had various appointments.

Aileen Blanche Brodie helped with the guides and served with the A.T.S. during World War 11. She then spent 13 years working at the Cotswold Approved School with Mr. and Mrs. C.A.Joyce.

After the death of Charles Gordon Brodie, Esq. his widow, Antoinette Brodie and family moved to Bridge House in Wootton and in 1935, Fernhill was sold to the Fernhill Park Estates, Ltd. of Newport. They began to develop the estate and in, 1938 were engagedd in partitioning off the mansion into dwellings. It seemed that the proud old house thought otherwise, however, and to prevent such indignity allowed itself to be almost completely destroyed by fire. Below is a graphic account of the incident which was published in the in the Isle of Wight County Press at the time.