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Ron Vears

Ron Vears, Westfield, East Sussex

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Munday Family

16th June 2011

Ron Vears:

Hello Nicola,

I'm not sure what your interests are in Westfield, or if you are well acquainted with the village, so excuse what follows if it is off the mark.

I don't recall another Arthur Munday, but will see if my mother has any recollection of him living at Park View.

Here are some of my memories:

My maternal grandparents settled in Westfield around 1900.

Grandfather was Thomas Waters, originally from Ashburnham who married Rose Potter from Icklesham. They lived at the Moor before eventually moving to 7 Park View Terrace.

My mother, Gladys Waters was born in 1920 and is the youngest of their children (still going at 91).

Their first born, Frederick Waters, was killed during WW1, aged 19, and you will find his name recorded on the memorial at Westfield Church.

Thomas Waters was a wheelwright, but in latter years worked as carpenter on the Coghurst Estate (the stately house demolished many years ago).

My mother was in service (cook) at the start of WW2. My father, William Vears, from the Isle of Dogs (London) joined the army at the outbreak of WW2 and was eventually stationed in Westfield as part of a searchlight unit near the junction of Mill Lane/Westbrook Lane/Cottage Lane.

They married and I was born in September 1941 at 7 Park View Terrace and christened in October at St John the Baptist Church in Westfield.

It was a very different village then - virtually no traffic, apart from the occasional delivery van, the Maidstone & District No. 30 or Dengate busses).

Everybody knew one another (or were related), so I had complete freedom to wander where I pleased as a young child - my mother only had to ask if anyone had seen me - my usual haunt being Tubb's Garage (now Westfield Garage) where they were happy to let me 'service' my pedal car beside their mechanics.
In fact I was probably in more danger from marauding German aircraft than anything else.
Park View Terrace consisted of two rows of council houses with No. 7 at the end between the two rows (where Park View Road is now). There were no houses opposite - this land was farmed.

The house itself consisted of a 'front room' (reserved for special occasions), a small living room with a door to a very small bathroom.

Upstairs were two bedrooms, but grandfather had divided one of them. The toilet was outside, attached to a washroom where on Mondays my grandmother would light a fire under the copper to get ready to do her washing.

Many necessities were brought to the door. Gregory (from Sedlescome) delivered bread, Watsons delivered milk which was ladled into a jug at the doorstep, and on Saturdays, Paynes mobile shop brought non-food items such as soap, parrafin, Reckitts Blue or Zebra grate polish.

For groceries there was Eldridges shop at the end of New Cut, run by Mr Saunders (now a private house), or Henson's in the village (now 'The Village Store') and Archers butcher. Henson's store was set back further from the road than it is nowadays, and to the right was some sort of tea room.

The Post Office (next to Tubbs garage) was where we could also buy sweets (ration book permitting) or ice cream, and a room at the back also served as a surgery for the visiting doctor.

After WW2, when my father returned home, we moved to Nightingale Cottages at the end of New Cut (my grandparents remained at Park view Terrace) Soon afterwards I started my educatiion at the village school.

I hope that you find some of these memories of interest.



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Munday Family

15th June 2011

Ron Vears:

Hello Veronica,

I came across your message when looking for information about Westfield.

I have distant memories of your grandfather Arthur Munday.
I was born in Westfield during WW2 at 7 Park View Terrace (now demolished and replaced with modern housing).

When my father was demobbed from the army at the end of WW2 we went to live at 1 Nightingale Cottages - next door to your grandfather Arthur and his wife Elizabeth.

We remained there for about 4 years, but moved on to Battle after my father joined East Sussex Police.
Although a long time ago, I still have vivid memories of our cottage - very primitive by today's standards (no running water and a 'bucket lavatory' outside).

I can still picture your grandfather - boots with leather spats up to his knees, a wooden yoke across his shoulders with buckets of chicken feed suspended from it.

Our cottage was the end of terrace, and there was an open space between it, the toilets and your grandfather's shed. It was here that I remember him showing my father how to wring our chickens' necks when needed for the table (my father was a Londoner and new to the ways of the countryside).
I'm sorry that I do not have more information, but do remember him. I'm happy to send you more of my ramblings about life in Westfield and Nightingale Cottages if you wish.

Ron Vears

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