Michael Teesdale's memories of Hothfield

Photo:Peter Krauss (aka Knowles) and Alan Rayson

Peter Krauss (aka Knowles) and Alan Rayson

their cart was made from bits from Great Chart dump

Photo:Mike with his Uncle Jack Stafford

Mike with his Uncle Jack Stafford

at Waterfall Lake in the 1950s

Photo:Mike, his Mum Gladys and sister Yvonne

Mike, his Mum Gladys and sister Yvonne

The family's Morris 8 is in the background

Photo:Mrs Teesdale and Mrs Dawson

Mrs Teesdale and Mrs Dawson

resting on the step of 15 Beech Drive

Huts camp, good neighbours and a long-lost sweetheart

By Mike Teesdale and Annette (Allman)

I was born in my Gran’s house in Shadoxhurst. When I was a few months old my Mum (Gladys) and I moved to my Father’s homeland (South Wales)

Family circumstances meant that over the next few years we spent a lot of time back at my Gran’s.  It was during one of these visits that my Gran received the long awaited letter confirming she had been granted a council house. So in 1954 we moved to 15 Beech Drive, Hothfield.  My Gran’s first brand new house and with the paint still wet when we arrived.  Here began a wonderful time in my life. What a place to live and grow up. Freedom to explore the Common, the woods, the waterfall and the lakes. It seemed like heaven to us youngsters.

During these early days my friends included Ercole Esposito and Robin Miles. We spent a lot of time in Robin’s house with the lovely Mrs Miles. When denim jeans became popular she would taper ours on her electric sewing machine. Next door to Robin lived Michael Spragg and his Mum. Just around the corner from my house lived Alan Rayson and Peter Krauss (also known as Peter Knowles). Next door to us lived the Beaney family who were always good neighbours to my Gran. Graham Dawson and sister Patricia lived opposite.

During these years, one of my uncles (George Stafford) married a girl from Coach Drive (Phyllis Pincrole).

I too recall the outings the children of the village were treated to, including one where a mistake booking found us in a theatre expecting a pantomime, only to find ourselves being ushered out when the ladies on stage started removing their clothes!

I joined the church choir and remember pulling a truck around the village collecting newspapers for charity. These were stored in sheds by the walled garden. Our family used to visit Kempton Manor swimming pool where the biggest challenge seemed to be keeping our knitted trunks up.

Annette Allman moved from Minster to Thanet Terrace with her Mum, Dad and brother Chris when her father got a job at Ashford REME in 1958. We became what I suppose you would call ‘childhood sweethearts’, spending our evenings walking around the village and in Sainsbury’s doorway, buying Vimto and crisps from the back window of the Thanet Arms. We were young and after a while drifted off to spend time with other friends. Annette joined the WRAF in 1966

My best friends at this time included Ercole Esposito, Robin Murrell , Steve Matthews and David Higgs. John Roders had gone to Canada and Jimmy Fuller had moved from the village. A few years later Michael, Acky and I rode our bikes through Godington Park to work each morning.

Nearly 40 years later I saw Annette’s name on the internet site ‘Friends Reunited’. The rest, as they say, is history. After many e-mails and numerous visits to each other we became sweethearts again. We’ve been happy together now for the last 12 years. We’ve also been reunited with Acky, Robin, Steve and their families and more recently with Jimmy Bishop. John Roders and sister Karen have visited from Canada to see us all.

My son Michael lives in Ashford with his family, Annette’s Dad (now 93) lives in Maidstone and her brother Chris in nearby Kingswood. So with family and friends still in Kent, we visit quite regularly. We never miss a little drive around Hothfield a place that will always hold such wonderful memories for us.

Yours

Mike Teesdale & Annette

This page was added by Chris Rogers on 17/02/2014.
Comments about this page

It's is so nice to go onto this site and catch up on old stories. We emigrated to Canada in 1961. Full of tears that I was leaving my best friend Dawn. But over the years we have remain friends near on 60 years. We have had some wonderful holidays to gather here in Canada and England and many other part of eroupe. And all so got to see some of our old friends while in Kent. Recently with Mike Annette and some of my brother old friends. Really enjoy reading Mikes letter. Hothfield we always have a special place in my heart. 

By Karen Roders
On 27/07/2014

The David Higgs you speak of is my uncle and he now lives in Pennsylvania USA. He still speaks fondly of Hothfield. I moved away with my mother Patricia Higgs in 1977 to move to Canada. 

By Keith Palmer
On 16/02/2015

Hi my name is pat Campbell I used to live at tutt hill But knew many people from hothfield village. I was a pupil at hothfield primary for a short time.  These are just a few names of who I can remember bill bean, Eddie Mathews, border Holden, Steve Nickles, niecy smith, and Janet beany.

By Pat Campbell
On 16/03/2015

I enjoyed looking at Michael's pictures and reading his memories of Hothfield.  I certainly recognise some of the people from the village he mentions. Erole Esposito was called 'Accey' when I knew him and years later he married a girl called Christine from Pluckley. They went on to run a pub in Egerton.  Keith Palmer lived next door to our shop.  I was at The South School, Ashford with his mum, Patricia. I wonder what happened to Peter Krauss? - Madeline Usherwood

By Madeline Foreman (Usherwood)
On 26/07/2015

The Peter Krauss that Madeline mentioned was my next door neighbour. I believe his father was German and his mother Swiss. We played together as kids but then he went to the North school and I went to the South and we lost contact. Like so many others from that era I too wonder what happened to them.

By Mike Teesdale
On 07/08/2015

My grandparents betty and Leslie chapman lived in a hut, it would be great to find out if you knew them

By Lucie Beer
On 05/01/2017

it was lovely reading all about life in Hothfield as my grandparents owned the old post office in West Street Nellie and John  Wiltshier. My mother Jean aunt Betty and Bob lived here also. Does anyone remember them? My mother and father unfortunately died very young so I only have photos and no stories to pass on 

By Debbie Lowe
On 14/07/2017

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