Wootton Holiday Camp 1937-1975
This is the correct name for the place that many of the older villagers call 'Rafters'; the site was sold to London Borough Council in 1975 to allow a housing development for their retired employees and is now known as Church Close.
The camp started life in 1937 with the first owners being listed as the Piggott Bros. & Co. Ltd., however very little is known about this period.
During 1939-45 war it would appear that the camp was requisitioned by the army and it is known that the 11th (Royal Militia Island of Jersey) Battalion, The Hampshire Regiment formed 28 June 1940 by expansion of Jersey Coy. in 50th Btn upon volunteering for overseas service. All 11 officers and 193 other ranks left the Island of Jersey in the potato ship S.S. Hodder.
The battalion headquarters were in a house called Meadow Croft, which was on the corner of the High Street and Palmers Road facing Harwoods Garage.
Later the American 'Seabees' were stationed in the camp [one assumes prior to 'D' day].
In 1951 Roy Holland became the proprietor and an extract from a publication by Doreen Gazey entitled "Church and Parish", gives a description of a Harvest Supper that took place at the camp in November 1959. "It records that 140 guests consumed 65 1/2 lbs pork, 17 pheasants, 5 gallons each of cider and beer, in addition to apple pies, cheese, trifles, minerals and teas, this was followed by a social and a dance. Numbers attending over the years rising to in 1967 a maximum of 160 people at five shillings per head'. Children's parties were also held at the camp.
In 1961 the camp was bought by Gerry Cave a Canadian who operated the site until its closure in 1975.
In the 1960/70s Wootton Horticultural Society held their annual shows there.This page was last edited on: 4th March, 2015 06:17:20