The road from the church goes up hill and turns right to go to Whippingham C.E. School. On this corner one can cross a field to the high or top road. This is a short cut for the people of Barton Manor or even Osborne and it is known that the Queen very often drove this way in her little carriage.
Of course the top road was gravelled in those days and in the first part of the Twentieth Century this was still so. When the first cars began to arrive on the Island, even though they didn't run very fast, when the weather was dry they stirred up all the dust from the gravel and clouds of it billowed out behind them. So people who were walking had to stand well back in the hedge.
On Sunday morning, Father and the two boys would be walking along from Barton Manor to Church, when they would hear a car chugging along and had to run to get to the kissing gates (as they were called), and quickly get on the field path or their best clothes would be covered in the dust from the road. On wet days it was very slushy.
There is a little story too of a cow with its calf being taken from Norris Farm to Padmore Farm just beyond Whippingham Post Office and some school children were walking along the top road when the cow thinking they were going to harm her calf, tossed one of little girls into the fence which ran along from Barton to the Whippingham blacksmith corner. Fortunately she wasn't hurt too much, but never forgot it. Neither has my husband who was one of the children there. My husband said "The cow just put its horns under the girls arm pits and tossed her." The cow man helped her to get up and go on again.
Opposite Barton Lodge gate in a field belonging to the Woods and Forest, an isolation hospital was built in 1908, for the cadets at Osborne who were ill with infectious diseases. This now belong to The British Hovercraft Company and before the hovercrafts it was used as a training centre for the boys working at Saunders Roe at East Cowes.
t stands out in my memory, at the time of King George VI coming to the throne and Queen Elizabeth his wife. A tea to celebrate their coronation was given there. Mr. Rann collected money for the people of Whippingham to use to buy the eats etc., also the Rector of Whippingham gave out that everyone would be welcome. However, there were two sittings as so many people turned up. So the food ran-out before the rest of us could get any. It was a lovely warm sunny day, I had taken our two children, one of four the other of two and we had to walk home (about half an hour) without any tea after having to wait such a long time. My husband, who was gardening when we came up the road had a good laugh at us as he had had his tea long since, so that is my memory of the place all those years ago 1937.
There is a large house half way along the road to the school called Padmore House. This is now a hotel, but in those days a retired clergy man lived there named Jolliffe. He had three daughters and they lived there for some years and were very kind people giving out cans of soup and puddings to the sick and elderly.
Then when they had gone it was bought by Samuel Saunders Esq. the head of the Saunders Roe, now B.H.C. at East Cowes. There was a larg orchard there too in those days.
What can be said of Whippingham School that I haven't spoke of my first book on Whippingham and Wootton. It stands on the corner of th. road at the junction with Top Road. There was a lady head mistress whe my mother was there, but when my husband was there it was a head master. Then it changed back to a head mistress when our children we there and there still is a lady in charge.
One of the teachers was organist at the church in my mothers da and in my husbands it was the head master. This didn't carry on beyon, those two.
Cookery classes were held in the school house and the boys has gardens to do. When my husband was there the children could have cooked meal fora penny he said, " Only once a week."
As I've said before, when the Queen was at Osborne for Christmas she came to the school concerts. My mother would tell me of these and ho, the little children would recite nursery rhymes to her. They were the mos exciting times weren't they for the children of those days. Most of the children came from East Cowes so that they felt it was a Royal School they went to.
The other side to the story was in the days of the World War Two when air raid shelters had to be made in the school playground. 0 children were there then. There was a gun site in the fields opposite th, school and the guns fired over our houses when the planes came over Some of the families lost children in the raids so these were very sad tim for everyone.
Well I must press on and say a little about the blacksmith works on the corner just below the school and the little Post Office on the right corner leading to Newport. Mr. Jack Hawkins was the blacksmith and of course all this belonged to the Queen. Mrs. Grey was the Post Mistress at the little thatched Post Office.
Mrs. Greys husband worked with the blacksmith and they had two children. After they left, the Post Office was taken over by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Rann. Mr. Rann also took over the blacksmith's shop. It is worth mentioning that they had twelve children, nine boys and three girls. Some of the boys were killed in the Second World War. Mrs. Rann was a buxom lady and she told me she always gave the children a twelve months good nursing then they were O.K. One of their sons is the blacksmith today and he could tell you of all the changes that have happened there.
Incidentally I should mention that the house used asthe corner shop and post office in recent years is named Dashwood House. This is known to have had people named Dashwood living there. The field it stands in is also called Dashwood's, so obviously belonged to them. In the latter part of the Queen's time at Osborne though, Mr. John Hawkins the blacksmith lived there. After that the manager of the Barton Manor Farmer's son and his wife lived there for some years, their name was Gregson.
These days there is another hall (come school) opposite them and the houses and corner shop, all along Alverstone Road. There are houses and roads behind him in the fields which belonged to Barton Manor and where the gun site was during the war.
A lovely view is to be had on the corner and it looks over the River towards Newport, as the Post Office and Blacksmith stand at the top of a steep hill and the hill runs down to another hill to the valley below. By the side of the Post Office a lane leads down hill to the Folly Inn by the River Medina, and opposite the Post Office is Padmore Farm. It only had two farm cottages. The farmer also had the Norris Castle Farm, so he lived there.
But when Samuel Saunders bought Padmore he took over the farm and soon after built what was thought to be two farm cottages for the men, but they were made into one and his son lived there fora time. Then a Mr. Frank Thomas brought it in latter years.
Now going down the Next Hill the farm fields lead to the River. This part is very damp at times. This too belonged to the Queen. Across the road there is Alverstone farm and this also was the Queen's property. These farms and Kingston Farm have all been sold off now.
Coming to the valley and cross roads, one leads straight'on to Ryde and another to Newport and the left one back to Barton Manor and Brocks Copse.
From the cross roads and on the left side of the road to Newport there is the Queen's Brickyard and a copse behind that with three cottages and their large gardens . A little further along the road, a large field gate was by a cart track that lead behind the garden of the 1st. house which was the foreman of the brickyard's house.
The bricks formost if not all of the houses on the Queen's Estate were made there and they were very hard bricks too, very hard to break The foreman's name was Cooper. The brickyard house's were built there in, 1860, it was marked on a bedroom window ledge. I do know that because we lived there for some years.
Although it was a small stream running through the copse, one could wander there and standby the stream on a Summer evening and see and hear the nightingale on a bough over head, warbling, its little throat bubbling. A thing of the past I suppose, but it may still be there, I don't know ?
A path leads through the copse to a road gate on the Ryde Road. This was a short cut to our house for friends and relatives. Wild flowers grew here too and there were other birds and rabbits and also pheasants which came into our garden. There was a barn owl flying around too and of course the swallows were under the roof tops and in the sheds, which had slatted windows very high up.
I remember during the Second War that the men had to be out fire watching and we were up during the night too at times. When the planes came over and the Whippingham guns fired to drive them off or try to shoot them down, lots of fire bombs were dropped and other bombs were also dropped round about. During all this in the Summer, we would hear the cuckoo and the nightingale vie-ing with each other. One night and early morning he kept on, I could have thrown something at him.
The milkman lived next door to us and a farm worker the other end for some years.
There were two cottages on the Ryde Road which were for the workmen at Alverstone Farm and these were badly bombed. Six little children, who had been to tea with us one Saturday, were killed by the bomb and two people and a child in the other house were killed too. This saddened us for some time. The houses were demolished and now the new round-a-bout is there in place of them.
What The Country Around The Queen's Brickyard Area Was Like
There was quite a number of things to do (country-wise). In September one put on an old pair of shoes, crossed over several fields to the edge of the River Medina's estuary, where you could pick crab-apples from trees growing thereto make crab-apple j elly. These looked very pretty with their bright orange-red colouring when ripe. The jelly too was a clear bright red. There was also a wild pear tree with small, very sweet pears on it. They are all gone now, I expect - sixty years ago or more. There is a yachting marina in and around the inlet now, just a little way from the Folly Inn.
We also went mushrooming in September, very early in the morning. I went alone and only saw the cows for company at 4-5 a.m. You were safe in those days.
We went blackberrying, too. Then there were sloes - a kind of small plum or damson with its dark blue colour, and one could make sloe gin - a very potent wine.
Of course, further along the river on the Newport and Cowes side of the river, one would see the cement mills and its chimney belching out white dust, which covered all the hedges around its vicinity, so it was no good picking blackberries there. This has long since gone (bombed in the War). Its whistle in the mornings woke us up, too.
Just at the entrance to the river inlet there is a large cottage with its garden leading to the water. So very nice - a garden I would have loved too. The owner of the water mill, by the name of Roach, lived in the cottage and by the gate there was a stump of stone to help people get on to their horse. By the riverside, about a hundred yards away from the cottage, there was a building which was made in the 17th Century and was used as a barracks for prisoners ofwar during the time when the French soldiers invaded our Island. About twenty-two prisoners died of fever and are buried opposite the bell tower in the old part of St. Mildred's churchyard. The barracks was later turned into a water mill, which Mr. Roach took over. He was a churchwarden at St. Mildred's. The family came to church each Sunday in their pony and trap, as we used to call them. The miller delivered corn and meal to the farms and places around the Island in this horse and cart. When he died his son took over and we used to see him riding along our road on his bicycle. A tall big man, with a beard. He used to collect the money owed to him by the farmers and people who bought corn and meal from him.
Cars had come into being by then, also lorries to carry things in, so horses and carts were not used so much. From the mill to the main Ryde to Newport road there was a lane of about half a mile. It was gravelled, of course, and very rural in those days with lots of wild flowers. The blackberries, thought, were covered with the cement dust so were no good to pick. Just opposite the miller's cottage there were two mill cottages. There is a farm about half way along the lane called Binfield Farm. A nice quiet spot. The farmer, years ago, was a Harry Pirmick. He had two small cottages built. on the cornerby the main road. Into the red bricks of the side wall he had the letters H.P. put in yellow bricks. I always thought of these as HP sauce when I was young.
These cottages and the farm and miner's house are still there, but the mill cottages are pulled down. Some people name Phillips lived in one of them. One of their daughters married Uffa Fox. She was a beautiful gir with long golden hair which she plaited and wound round her head. I hav a photo of her which was taken by my aunt and uncle, photographers o Cowes at that time.
The farm cottages and, of course, the mill have all been pull down. All the square there has been changed out of recognition. The love country rural scene has gone - only a few of us today are here to remembe it as it was. We could walk by the riverside along the path to Newport Quay or along the dam path and along the river to the Folly Inn. Also on over the fields to Whippingham Church or along and up to Padmore Farm by Whippingham Post Office - the little old one, of course. So many nice walks I remember in 1932 we walked to the Rectory from my home at th Brickyard to have our banns put up. Then we took the path by the Church, downhill to the Folly Inn, where we refreshed ourselves with a drink. Then we walked along the river to Newport Quay - a long walk, but lovely. The shops were open till 9 p.m. then so we could buy a bedspread we saw, then we got the bus home. A lovely sunny evening in July. Such happy, memories.
Now, returning to the mill area, where today all is concreted and long last the road has been tarred, I believe after being rough these last f – years due to all the traffic . There are yachts in a marina and a boat wh w the mill was, called the Ryde Queen. Then there had been the pirate sh Oust fancy - in our little river inlet) but it has now moved to Newport Qu I hear. All the place changed with a lookout post and lots of other n things. Going over the dam I suppose and walking along to the Folly so different to the place in my early years. Uffa Fox started the change building his house in the field next to the woods near the Folly, somewhe during the thirties. Then he bought an old ferry bridge that had been u over East and West Cowes. He used this as a workshop.
The old bridge was made in the late 1800's and carried a coach four (which means four horses) -there were not then any cars. It was o a single storey bridge. The later ones had stairs and upper deck with around and seats, of course. The latest ones seem to have gone back to old style. The old bridge had a large wheel on the wall in the middle of which lowered or lifted the prow. It was a chain bridge, driven by a steam engine at each end and there was a chain with a bell connected to the engine room. When the man in charge wanted to stop the bridge, he gave one pull on the chain so that the engineer could restrict the speed a little, then he gave a second ring and the engineer would check it a bit more and on the third ring the bridge would stop. Then the man would turn the wheel and lower the prow. There was an anchor on a wall at one side for use if the chains holding the bridge broke. The fare was one halfpenny each way - in old currency of course!
Along this part there were little inlets of water with little bridges, a bit rickety to walk over, so in one of these Uffa could park his bridge. Two caravans were parked in the field and now the whole place is filled with them with roads winding round. It's quite a built up area. The fields next to that are very damp. They go right back to the main East Cowes Road and are next to Heathfield Farm with Four Cottage Hill the other end. In the winter when there is frost and fog, this stretch of land is very damp and chilly at night. When we used to walk home from our relatives in the evening one always felt the extra cold chill air just there.
Of course, Saunders Roe, as BHC was called then, built their factory SARO Laminated works on the left side of the path going uphill from the Folly Inn sometime in the 1920's and before that the flying boat hangars were there where Uffa's bridge was in an inlet. This was 1911-12 or so.
Samual Saunders, head of Saunders Roe, created wood for making boats called consuta wood. This was different thin woods sewn together with copper wire. He used this wood to make the flying boats. It was an ordinary boat with an engine with a propeller attached and wings. There was only room for the pilot and one passenger. There was no cover, they were in the open air. This was developed more and was later called the Walrus. The Navy then took them over. The well known aviator, Mr. Hawker (an Australian), used to fly the boats and my husband saw him there many times at the Folly. My brother in law, too, took his girl friend fora walk there. They wrote their names on the wings, so he told us -so very romantic, wasn't it?
My husband saw the Wright Brothers. They were the designers of sea planes. Some were made at Saunders Roe, some J. S. Whites of Cowes. Tommy Sopwith, too, came there - they raced at Cowes for many years. He also had a share in the building of sea planes. A large flying boat called The Princess was built. Later on though this never succeeded in getting to any successful outcome. We did see it fly round once or twice. A couple them were cocooned along the Southampton waterside. The path up by the SARO works was eventually made into a road. The path by the Folly Inn went up across the field and comes out by the side of Whippingham Churchyard wall. This is a favourite walk - also the works people came that way. A bus was laid on for the Folly road.
When my husband was a boy, Mr. Bob Savage of the Folly Inn taught the schoolboys to swim. The boys' nicknames are interesting - one was called Bogy Bright, another Cunning Cooper, one Bunny Cooper, another was Hissy Hendy, Spider Ide, Spadger Snow, Anner Snow, Jarlow Snow, Mad Hoss Galton, Powder Jolliffe, Itchy Jolliffe, Twitter Jolliffe, Merle Morris and others, of course, not remembered now.
Years ago, before Bob Savage was the Folly Licensee, an aunt of my father's was there. Her name was Polly Mead. I don't know how long she was the licensee as my people died early on, so I did not hear so much about it. Some years ago the little daughter of the then licensee was burned to death while her parents had gone shopping. She got her clothes caught in the electric fire, poor little girl.
We spent happy times thereby the river. In September there wo if be the Folly Regatta when all boating and swimming enthusiasts took part. Some swimmers did a race from East Cowes and, of course, if they want --k to go to the Regatta they could come along in their boats. I expect I did very well, too. So this made a nice day's outing. The weath was mostly very kind and a lot of people on holiday hereon the Island t - 1, to miss the little side road attractions and rush by in their cars. What a pity to miss some of our Island beauty spots, isn't it?
The legend of the Folly Inn is that it is supposed to have been built over the wreck of a sunken barge - it was folly to do so, hence the Folly. If it is a legend, then it is only a story so is not true.
Lots of wild flowers and birds abounded there years ago, but tod. some of the flowers have disappeared. Mostly the sea birds are still the like the curlew and cormorant and seagull species. There are no woods fi, the nightingale though, or perhaps the cuckoo.
When we lived at the Brickyard we would often see a large whi barn owl flying low over the field where there was a large rubbish tip, b I expect this is a thing of the past. Horses and carts travelled the roads those days, whereas today lorries are used. When the owls flew around was said a new baby would soon be on the way so one had to look out.
I will return to the Queens Brickyard again now as I have he. lately about the country cottages of years ago having large gardens. • - when we had a Victorian Service in Whippingham Church about fiftee years ago the Rector was talking of Prince Albert, the Consort, desi-!j the Osborne Estate. The cottages there, he said, had all mod cons. It is true these cottages had nice rooms, but the toilet situations were not in my opinion modern. Having come from where WC 's did have an up to date lavatory it was like going back in time to me, as we only had earth closets at the brickyard houses. We did have a large brown stone sink in the kitchen, also a copper in one corner and a kitchen range; a large pantry too, then the living room was a large room with two diamond-shaped glass windows and a fireplace with an oven at one side. Three very good bedrooms with stairs and hall. Some of the houses on the Osborne Estate had these diamond-paned windows as did the point cottages, bombed in the War, by the roundabout.
Some cottages were made of stone and these had windows with panes of glass about 15 inches long and 12 inches wide. Alverstone Lodge had a large box-shaped bay window upstairs and down.
At Dairy Mead the cottages had flush lavatories put in when King Edward took over in 1902. These were supplied by well water and had to be drawn from a tap by the shed as they had no water indoors. Our house did have water laid on when we were there. I don't know for how long that had been as there was a well in the garden. The cottage, like others, had these large gardens. Then there were the outhouses -three: a large wood and coal shed with the earth closet in for each shed then a large building in the middle in which there was a large oven and a row of wooden bowls erected under the wide diamond paned windows for making bread, of course. Each one had to take turns but I suppose could work together. The kitchen floor was done with hexagonal (six sided) brown tiles, just laid on the earth - very uneven. The front of the house was covered with Virginia creeper and in this the starlings built their nests. They made such a noise, whistling and clucking about in the mornings. Swallows built their nests in the sheds andwould swoop in the window with half a pane of glass gone as easy as you liked, from the rooftops - they never missed. It was only a small half diamond shaped pane.
The garden on two sides was enclosed by woods as I have said before, so was very rural. Pheasants came in the garden at times. The little boy next door would run to mummy to get some salt to put on its tail, supposedly to catch them. By the time he got back they were gone.
When, after twenty years orso, because ofthe houses atPointbeing bombed during the War, our house was taken over by the farmer at Alverstone who had the Point cottages for his workers. We were offered a cottage in Old Road, East Cowes, which had been built on Prince Albert's design. The windows opened inwards, in German style and the panes are oblong though much easier to clean than the diamond shaped small panes. Here, too, we have large gardens. The sheds and lavatories are all situated on our side of the gardens, too and this is very awkward as our garden is not so private to us as it should be. There is a wash house shed in the middle with a copper, also a sink with a pump which draws water from the well in our part of the garden. The well has been covered now and we don't know just where it is as it was done before we moved here, 42 years ago. The water people have been several times to try and find it but they cannot do so. The overflow pipe is there, that is all. Till the year 1954 (when the properties which belonged to the Crown were taken over by the Council) we had to go half way up the garden to go to the lavatory (which then had flush lavatory, but in the beginning also had earth closets). In 1954 a piece was built on to our house with bathroom and lavatory attached so we have been in clover as the saying goes, since then. The gardens are lovely to grow all our food in so helping our money go round. Some people had chickens, too, but we never have, nor did we keep pigs, but there was a pigsty at the top of our garden when we came here, so some one must have done so earlier on.
The Queen's Estate ended at Palmers Brook where the path goes through to Brocks Copse. A house stands inside the large gates there.
King George and Queen Mary gave up Barton Manor in 1921. Then Barton Manor and Barton Farm were put up for sale together. The late Mr. Frederick Tillet, a retired ship owner from Penarth in Wales bought both places. He had the Manor renovated by Hampton of London. He and his family came there to live in September 1922. He didn't live many years there. He died in November 1926 at the age of 48. His son Ivor was not old enough to take over just then, so he went to learn farming at a college on the mainland till he became of age. Mr. Frank Andrews took over the farm. Mrs. Tillet went away to live and Sir Peter MacDonald, the Island M.P. came to live at Barton Manor. He lived at Bouldner near Yarmouth till then. His chauffeur was my cousin, so they moved to Dairymead Cottages (now called King's Cottages) the home latterly of my husbands' parents.
During the Second World War, German prisoners were billeted at Barton as they also were at Osborne.
Then after the war, Mr. Ivor Tillet married and came back to live at the Manor fora few more years. Ivor's sister Mary married Captain Edward Collins. He was killed in the war, sadly.
In 1953, Mrs. Ivor Tillet gave up the estate, it was sold in 28 lots. Farms and houses were sold off separately which was about 700 acres.. So Barton Manor Estate, a part of Queen Victoria's Osborne Estate, has never been the same since. The Manor too has changed hands several times since then and is now a vineyard owned by a Mr. Goddard. The Barton Manor Wine too has become renowned for its quality.