Reader's Feedback

The website has readers spread across the globe and below are a selection of emails we have received so far - if you would like to get in touch with any of these people, or would like to leave your feedback on this page, please send an email to editors@brockham.org

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Congratulations per initiative with Web page.
 
I came to Brockham to stay as an Evacuee on the eve of the 1939-45 War and stayed till the end of 1940, subsequently tranferred to Westott in continuation of education. Happy whilst I suppose stressfull days.
 
Our London primary School was in East Dulwich, 'Friern Road' and located at Peckham Rye, and we came as a group complete with teachers, and were taught initially in the Village Hall across the Green to the north-east of Christchurch. I sang in the choir at the Church, the priest I recollect as the Rev'd Oldham, and balancing this steady recollection was that of a weeks secondment from classes to assist the sergeant of the new formed L.D.V. in unpacking, cleaning and 'pulling through' a batch of Canadian Ross rifles, deemed unsuitable for first line troops in having non standard bore at 0.300".
 
My 'home' was with Mr and Mrs Money at 11 Barley Mow Gardens adjacent the then gravel pit south of the Reigate Road and opposite the North Downs Chalk pits. They had no children of their own at that time, Mrs Money was dominant as personality and kindness personified. Speciality of the house were salmon fishcakes and pear pie, rememberances of which in recall frustrated both my own mother and wife.
 
A host of other memories, some bleak per a drowning of a fellow evacuee in the gravel pit, and I believe death in a bombing incident of two young friends, the Thorley brothers. This obscured in memory.
 
I trust the above may  be of interest as  a view from the past.
 
My question ralates to the following. In the early days in the village a Professional film crew appeared on an 'Evacuation' theme with much filming. My personal recolllection embraced two highlights. I was portrayed in happy acceptance into the family of the famously photogenic cottage adjacent the Church, contrary to the real life experience as a billeting officers nightmare hawked around the village to its outskirts. Underlining an obvious improvement in  appearance I was central to a 'thumbs up' group of happy youngsters at the blacksmiths across from the village school in the closing sequences.
 
The film happened and it featured at the Embassy Cinema, Dorking, as advertised per the Dorking Advertiser of Decemer 1st 1939. I and friends were there. With the spate of recollections in recent years it has, to the best of my knowledge failed to turn up. Anything known locally ?

Regards,

Peter Stokes 

peterstokes@hotmail.co.uk Tel. 0208 953 2430

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I am writing to congratulate you on your very interesting website and in particular Len Jordon and Alex Street's most informative recollections. Having lived in Reigate for over twenty years, I now live in Beulah a little village in a beautiful part of Mid Wales, but I shall always have a special place in my heart for Brockham and the special people I met there. I grew up in Christchurch, Dorset (originally Hampshire before boundary changes) and my mother and I used to spend holidays in Brockham staying at the Duke's Head with Auntie Flo (Beryl) and Uncle Doug. This was back in the 60s and the Duke's Head was very different from how it is today. No meals were served, it didn't have a dining area but I can remember Auntie Flo making sandwiches when asked for them. There was a snug and a lounge bar but the public bar was the busiest with a dart board on the wall where I would throw a few arrows (badly) when the pub was closed. There was a large wooden table where pub games would be played, such as Dominoes etc. I can't remember any women being in the public bar, and definitely no children, it was the men's domain. At this time I was in my teens and Auntie Flo let me behind the bar. I couldn't serve drinks but I was allowed to wash up the glasses and chat to the customers. It was the first and only time I've pulled a pint, under the watchful eye of Auntie Flo and to the laughter of the lads in the bar. The pub always had a lovely, happy, lively atmosphere.

When the pub closed after lunchtime we went for long walks with Auntie Flo and her dog through the beautiful surrounding Brockham countryside.

Other memories were the stuffed animals in glass cages in our bedroom. At night in the darkness, I found them a bit eerie (their glass eyes would shine), so we would try and cover them up. Uncle Doug was a real countryman and would dispatch what I thought were pet rabbits that he kept, for our dinner. I felt a bit squeamish about it at the time especially as I had a pet rabbit at home.

Mum and I watched one of Brockham's famous bonfire nights from an upstairs window the fireworks were loud but exciting, though I do remember the glass in the window feeling hot to the touch from the heat of the bonfire.

I remember cricket matches on the green and recognize some faces in your picture gallery on the Brockham website.

It was fascinating to learn from Len's recollections that there had been an earlier Duke's Head destroyed by fire in 1899. I didn't have any knowledge of this, so was very interested to see the picture of it.

Yes holidays in Brockham will always remain as special memories of past times and people.

Yours sincerely

Janet Morley

 

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Dear editors, creators and contributors of this superb site,

As an ex resident of beautiful Brockham I was thrilled to be told of brockham.org by another ex resident now residing in New Zealand.
I grew up (supposedly) in Brockham and lived there until I was nineteen when I headed down under to the land of Aus. During my eight years here I have returned to the village yearly to see my parents Bernard and Barbara, many long term friends and even bringing my Australian partner along for the ride. He too instantly became fond of our little south easterly village. I still hold great affection for Brockham and continue to call it home.

Being so far away, in such a contrasting country, I find it very difficult to describe where I am from to my friends here. Also, there are moments when I miss 'home' greatly, so to find your detailed and informative site was an answer to both these problems and of course a real thrill!

During the two hours I spent browsing (yes, I said two hours), the highlights for me were being able to hear what is happening currently in the village whether the activities are new or of tradition. Having the chance to "step in to" Brockham school which I myself attended was a real flashback. It was wonderful to find some familiar names including my headmaster Mr. Starkie. I hope that is correctly spelt else I shall be in terrible trouble!  Finally the cream of the crop is most definitely the photo gallery. Do you know how hard it is to describe the bonfire and the familiarly flooded bridge to Australians who have never seen such things? Well let me tell you it is not easy without photographic evidence!!
Thanks to your superb photographers of whom I must mention Syd Huggett who requested that I pass on my excitement about Brockham.org I can now bring a little of my old world to my new!

I must also congratulate the photographers for catching a glimpse of my dear friends the Lindsay sisters. A rare achievement - well done!

So, after much waffling I leave you with great thanks and congratulations for your efforts and success in producing an excellent website which I will continue to re visit. Keep going please!!!

Yours sincerely,
Rachel Hawkins.

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Hi.


Interesting website, the village looks charming. My Father worked in the National Provincial Bank, in Dorking. He and my mum married in your village church in February 1959, and I was christened there in 1961! We lived on Box Hill.


Must come and visit sometime.

Jerry

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