Torworth Memories of Margaret Bowles

I am the adopted daughter of Harry Bowles who lived at Primrose Cottage , his brother George lived at Maltkin Farm. His cousins the 'Kings' worked at Moat Farm.

The previous owner of Primrose Cottage was a smallholder nicknamed Piggy Newstead. There was a cobbler's and butchers shop part of our outer buildings at the front of the property facing on to Low Road, which no longer exists......also when the original out houses were pulled down 'monks holes' were found where they hid when Olivier Cromwell rampaged through the area. Sadly a lot of the cottages had the dates they were built etched on the outside now all covered over.

The blacksmiths I knew was located on the corner of low road near the 'The Walnuts' Mr. Fitchett was the blacksmith...he had a son called Alan which I believe has an antique shop in Brighton. Maybe the original one was where the family named Foxes lived.

I attended Torworth school and the first picture on the village web site; History 2, I remember many names and faces....Jennifer Hoole, Anne Edwards, Vicki Spurden (deceased) Linda Hartley (emigrated to Australia) Paul Siddle, Ronald Hill (deceased) Susan Wilson, Sandra Gill (daughter of the then landlord of The Huntsman), me, Margaret Bowles, then another Margaret (forget surname), Linda Newton, Audrey Marshall, Anglea Hill, Elizabeth Hammond her father Mr. Hammond also in the picture, the local Headmaster and I think Miss Lee was the other teacher...not sure...

Just before Mr Hammond took on his position we all had ink wells in our desks and were taught to write in italics....just the faintest memory then the marvelous fountain pens was introduced and all our handwriting changed....i was 4 years old when i first started to attend...

Stephanie Peel who appears in the last photogtaph...many of her relatives remain in the village, some related to the Tinkers.

The old farmhouses had a sense of mystery around them. I had the good grace to have discovered them..... The Cottams, The Graves etc...
All magical in there own way...the smells sights and sounds are still with me. Mr. Cottam bringing his cows home for milking each evening.

Opposite the school there was a plot of land where two brothers lived like hermits in a funny old shed...

There was a row of cottages alongside Primrose Cottage, an old man named Gilbert Harding lived in the one closest to our cottage .

Mr. Braithwaite lived alongside always to be seen with his greyhound.

I was two weeks old when adopted, more than that the whole village did, I felt loved and embraced by's a small community which I had the privilege to be part of. It gave me a deep sense of roots a connection that I think only people born there in those times could possibly experience....I have bumped into friends and villagers whom I haven't seen for 30 odd years and the welcome is like I saw them's a remarkable community....

I remember the hollow tree in one of your fields which was struck down by lightening
It remained there for years a joy for many children who'd have lovely times happily tucked away in it's innards.

What is now called Daneshill, was referred locally as the pools, not landscaped just an oasis in summer time for a dip....there was an abandoned steam train, still with crockery and furnishings inside, another adventure after a hard day fishing for sticklebacks in the various ponds....and yes the Flying Scotsman passed by...I could hear from my bedroom window in the distance...puff puff the steam cried out...

The lanes running from Low Road to North Road were generally named after the people who lived there...I.e. Hall's Lane, Tinker's Lane, Ashes Lane, Helliwell's lane, Billy Button Lane...the gypsies used to camp on the corner, brightly coloured vans pulled by horses, they came round the village selling pegs, paper flowers and lace.

Mr. King (no relation to former Kings) was a bee keeper on the corner of the North Road and Bourke Lane....There were so many characters around i've just touched the surface...

There is a saying that it takes a village to bring up a child, that was my experience.

Hopefully the above may evoke someone eles's memories.

Margaret Bowles

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