Wedding Bells

Posted: January 24, 2016 in Uncategorized

My mother, Kay Manton, must have cut out articles from the Wokingham Times for me when I was serving in the Army in the 60s and 70s. She also kept a scrapbook or two with some Crowthorne news articles pasted in them. Here are three wedding photos of people I went to school with – Peter Hawkins, Ruth Caplan and Richard Elliott. I wonder if they are still living in the area. Peter played for Wokingham Town and then joined the RAF. Click on the first image and then scroll through them.


Edgbarrow exercise book

Posted: January 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

Recognise this? I can remember queueing outside the Stationery Cupboard, waiting for Deputy Head, Mrs Walker to open up and start interrogating us as to why we wanted a particular piece of stationery. She was really strict about exercise books and pencils, I remember!


1937 Coronation Programme

Posted: January 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

I found a box with some newspaper cuttings and odds and ends. Especially pleasing to find was this Souvenir Programme of the Coronation of King George V and Queen Elizabeth. The programme for Crowthorne’s celebration included Broadmoor, Owlsmoor and St. Sebatians.



Version 3

Here is my father, Eric Manton loading a delivery of turf into his wheelbarrow before wheeling it round the side of the house to the back garden.  Beyond, looking on is Mrs Goss whose family was living next door in our other house, ‘Derna’, which we let to the Army as a temporary hiring married quarter. Mrs Goss had a beautiful voice and was a former member of Ivy Benson’s Swing Band. I once heard her sing Ave Maria and it was spellbinding. The photograph was taken in the early 1960s, I think. Addiscombe Road is the busiest I have ever seen it.

Woodside was built before the First World War for the Boyde Family. My parents rented it from Miss Boyde who lived upstairs. She reserved the right to walk through our lounge and kitchen to access the outside lavatory. Every morning she would walk through carrying her chamber pot which she covered with a cloth. She lost two or three brothers during the war. She used to break up bits of coal for her open fire upstairs. She wore large leather gauntlets which, she once told me, were worn by her brother who served in the Royal Flying Corps. When Miss Boyde died, my parents bought the house and sold Derna, the house next door.

I remember Miss Boyde had an elderly friend called Nellie who came to tea. My Yorkshire Terrier used to start growling when Nellie was about a hundred yards away. Nellie, sadly, wasn’t very hygenic and smelt strongly. If you saw her in the street, she was distinctively dressed in a long housecoat, zip-up fur-lined boots and wore a tea cosy on her head. Her face was very dirty. I think she used to be a servant, once and was very lonely. Miss Boyde, I gather, was the only woman willing to entertain Nellie. If anyone knows anything about Nellie and her life, I’d appreciate hearing from them.

There’s a magnificent looking car parked next to the shops in Station Road. It looks like the driver has trapped his coat in the door!

The postcard was posted in the late 1930s and it is likely the sender was a young scholar from Wellington College, although his knowledge of history [and cars] is sadly lacking . . .

Sent to Mrs Lipstadt at Booth Cottage, Cadeby, Doncaster, Yorkshire, it reads:

My very dear All,

This is a view of a part of Crowthorne in some point of the last Century, I should imagine.

Having a wizzard [sic] time, All my love, La’ XXX


First Day at School 1955

Posted: December 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

The Author pictured as a Young Man circa 1955. I am really pleased to have found this photograph of my Mother [Kay Manton] and I on the occasion of my first day at school. I was about to walk up the road to Broadmoor County Primary School. Note the school badges on my blazer and cap. I don’t know what possessed my Mother to send me to school in pin-striped short trousers!

It was a great little school. My teachers, in order, were Miss Foster, Mr Nelmes, Miss Rich and the Headmaster, Mr Hall. Happy Days!

Version 2

Wellington Hotel

Posted: November 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

This is a very early postcard view of the Wellington Hotel. It later had a very large conservatory like extension built to the left which was used for dances and wedding receptions. In the years after the Second World War, it fell upon hard times and it was demolished in 1969.$_57-6