The Matthews family memories

Photo:Tim Matthews at the hut camp

Tim Matthews at the hut camp

Courtesy of Tim Matthews

Photo:Lily and Gweny Matthews

Lily and Gweny Matthews

Courtesy Tim Matthews

Photo:Linda and Vera Matthews at their new Council house

Linda and Vera Matthews at their new Council house

Courtesy of Tim Matthews

Photo:Timmy and Linda Matthews with their friends Nelson and Sammy Fuller

Timmy and Linda Matthews with their friends Nelson and Sammy Fuller

Thanks to Tim Matthews

Photo:Eddie Matthews at the Council house

Eddie Matthews at the Council house

Courtesy of Tim Matthews

From huts to Council House

By Tim Matthews


I would like to share some pictures and memories for the Hothfield Exhibition. My name is Tim Matthews and I was born in the Nissen Huts in Hothfield common in 1950. I lived there for three to four years with my family, Mum Vera and Dad Eddie, and us children oldest sister Gweny, sister Lilly, brother Stevie, then me Tim, and finally my youngest sister Linda. My oldest sisters have told me they were very excited when they moved to the Nissen Huts. We were a travelling family, and had been living in tents in the woods, what was named the Flat Top Woods, just outside Hothfield. My oldest sister Gweny use to tell me how lucky we were to have such a luxury accommodation, although looking back, the huts were basic yet were very warm and cosy when we all sat around the buster stove, where I have fond family memories.

In 1954, we were allocated a newly built Council House and we moved into 30 The Street, Hothfield. My mum was so pleased to be allocated the house, we could not believe it, having an indoor bathroom and toilet, 3 bedrooms, a kitchen with a rayburn, and our first garden. We lived in a closed knit community, with families helping everyone out. Mr Foreman, the shop keeper would always let us have tick, Mr Bullen was the village mechanic, Mr Sainsbury Shop would be where we would all gather outside as kids of an evening in the shop porch. Opposite was the Thanet Arms, with Dick and Eilleen the landlords, they were very strict who they served, although round the back there was a small off licence, where you could get the Dick and Eilleen's best cheese and tomato roll ever and a bottle of vimto! My Dad Eddie, well known as the woodman provided a lot of work for the young village boys.
My sister Lilly and her friend Jennifer would organise the village dance at the village hall, which was a popular gathering for all the youngsters.
My brother and I were in the church lad brigades, we are both in the picture which John Roders has sent in for the exhibition. As for education we all attended the local village school.

I hope this has given you an insight into village life, I could go on for longer. However I have enclosed some photographs of my family and I, which I would be delighted if you could exhibit in the exhibition. I hope it is not too late, please contact me for any further information,

Kind Regards,

Tim Matthews

This page was added by Chris Rogers on 20/10/2013.

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