Mark Elsotn remembers Froyle
Almost as soon as we posted the complete gallery, Mark Elston, who, as you will read below, used to live in Froyle, contacted us from Norway, as the gallery had triggered his memories of the village.
He has allowed us to include these below - they are based on the original order of pictures before they were split into Upper & Lower Froyle, so please bear that in mind.

What a wonderful collection of photos! They bring back many memories, especially as they are taken from the period when I lived in Lower Froyle (1960-1977); I was 2 when my family moved to Froyle from The Bourne, near Frensham.

Your Gallery begins with The Anchor, which looks more charming in the 70s than it does now, I think. The landlord, Jack Stroud, in the 70s had a granddaughter, Gabrielle Stroud, who was sometimes visiting her grandfather. I remember that Barry Cousins & I would groom ourselves before cycling down to see her, (we were 13/14 at the time).
So to Hussey’s Pond as we called it, where I saw my first Kingfisher whilst exploring; I remember we had great respect for the pond, as there were stories that someone had drowned in the pond long ago, and that there lay a car in the depths! I can’t remember building of the culvert, however.
I remember a Hungarian who had fought for the allies in WW2 lived in “Bamber Cottage”; a Mr Bem, who had a son, John who was about 4 years older than me.
We used to pass “Blundens” on the way to-and-from primary school in Upper Froyle, a beautiful house.
Back to Lower Froyle and Brocas Farm, lovely buildings,between the old butchers shop and the Anchor. I’m not sure about Coquet House, but could it be the house more or less opposite the old butchers shop?
Elm Cottage I believe lay also in the same area. Highway Cottages are another example of the varied architecture of the village. Your photos lead us onwards past Ovington Cottage opposite the Anchor, towards the grand buildings at Coldrey, which was always a sort of in-between place for us; not really Froyle, but not Bentley either. I would often cycle past on the way to Dockenfield to see my grandparents.
Also, in the same area, but across from the A31 was Isington Mill (and Froyle Mill). I remember cycling past here to Binsted and meeting probably our most famous citizen, Field Marshall Montgomery, who liked to keep himself to himself, but had the time to talk to a young 11 year old. Yes in those days, it didn’t seem so dangerous to cycle! We thought nothing of the return trip to Dockenfield, total 14 miles.
Back to Upper Froyle and what in my time was Lord Mayor Treloars College for boys. The College was for disabled children and youths. As an eight year old I had my tonsils removed in Treloars Hospital, Alton. I was placed in a ward otherwise full of patients older than me, in all different forms of traction. I became friends with one of the boys, but I was of course only on a short stay. Some three or so years later I met the same boy at the College, unfortunately he had broken his back and was in a wheelchair, but the boys there seemed happy. The College even had a football team! I was asked to play for the team, and thought it a privilege. It was a great lesson in how to respect others, however different they may be.
So you have found some photos of Highway House; a seldom sight as the house was hidden from public view by high walls. My father managed the gardens there for a short period, but I can’t remember going inside the gates myself, and I can’t remember who lived there, either.
Limit bungalow and Limit cottages are not familiar, perhaps they are in Husseys Lane, which was part of the village we teenagers didn’t often frequent. I remember that the Cray and Gilbert families lived there, though. From the photos it appears that I missed out on some very interesting and charming buildings in Husseys Lane.
The photos then take us to more familiar tracts; Blue Cottage, where my friend Rupert Spira lived, together with his sisters, one the same age as me, Melanie, mother Miriam and stepfather Willem. Miriam was a lovely lady who always welcomed us warmly. Rupert was a student at Eton, and got quite embarrassed one Sunday when I met him in Windsor as he was not used to his neighbours seeing him in his Eton clothes. I got a guided tour of (some of) the college, I remember, quite interesting. I haven’t seen Rupert since those days, but I understand he is a very successful artist now. His career started in a small pottery the family built at the side of Blue Cottage.
No1 and 2 Bamber Down were quite new when I was a child, and two Watkins families lived there. John and Marie lived in no 2 and had a daughter Carole the same age as me. They were a very sociable family and many would congregate for a game of cards there on a Saturday.
The next photo is of Barns End, a house I knew very well, as it was the last house my family lived in before we left the village. I see too that my father’s Audi 100 is sitting outside, a top model in those days!
Two doors further down the road is Beech Cottage, where the Brownjohns had lived for several generations, I believe.
Brecklands Cottage, Brecklands and Church Cottage illustrate three different eras, Brecklands Cottage being quite new in the 60s, my sisters piano teacher Miss Clegg, lived there. The next picture shows one of the bungalows, and is our first house in Froyle, Meadow View.
Chapel Cottage housed the Fry family, Vincent, Edwin (born a day after me) and Beverly were schoolfriends at the Primary School.
Copse Hill Farm is a memory of a wonderful summer helping Mr Woodcock harvesting the corn. He was a fantastic Irishman that I have good memories of. Lady Allen was the farm owner and would drive out to us in the fields with iced-tea, it was thirsty work. Coxes Meadow was one of the finer new houses to be built in the 60s, whilst Crabtree Cottage housed the village’s builder Mr Goodyear’s daughter’s family.
Crest Hill farm was at the top of Well Lane (the steepest hill in the village). We considered this to be the northern border of Froyle, and the Mustchin family lived on the border (before they emigrated to Australia). The woods around Crest Hill were full of wildlife, and made our tin, can, kettle games special.
The photo of the cricket pavilion must have been taken very late in the seventies, as I don’t remember the Village Hall extension, as seen in the background. Although called the cricket pavilion, in my time this building was mostly used as changing rooms for the village and pub (Prince of Wales) football teams; I played for both, and both teams had a very good reputation in the area. Otherwise, the pavilion was used as a meeting place for the village’s children and youths between homework and bed-times. Much different to nowadays where it’s maybe not ‘cool’ to play with other younger children, we would play cricket, rounders and football, boys and girls, between 10 and 17. Challenging for the small!
Other notable houses in Lower Froyle, especially Ewelme (I’m still not sure how to pronounce it), where there lived an older man, George Cherill and his sister. What an interesting building, I hope it’s still there. Please tell me where Highwood bungalow and cottage were.
I lived opposite Hodges for about 10 years at Barns End and Bambers Mead, and can remember emptying corn into the grain hopper just off photo at Hodges Barn. Sylrock is also a little special; there lived two sisters, Ena Westbrook was one of them, and she had a fine old car, a black Jowett in pristine condition (then). Always working, she was, and kept chickens; we used to buy eggs from her. So many beautiful houses, and surprisingly many that I can’t place. Thank you for this trip, it was fun. I could have written a memory for all that I recall.
You have a picture of Bambers Mead (our house no 2 of 3 in Froyle) with my first car parked in the drive; a lovely Wolseley Hornet, a rarity even in 1975. I think you may have the only photo of my car in existence; I certainly haven’t got one! Now I think about it, there probably weren’t many that have lived in three different houses in Lower Froyle, and you may be in possession of the “set”.

Mark Elston, January 2011