Local History Society

 Memories - Harold Ravenscroft




Harold Ravenscroft occupied and farmed Hyde End Farm in Shinfield in the 1920’s.

 In 1931 he moved to Bartletts Farm in the Swallowfield Road, where he lived with his wife Irene and their three children, Robert (Bob), Richard (Dick) and Joan. Members of his family recall that he took his workers to the “Black Boy” public house and luckily his pony knew the way home! Later Harold took his workers on an annual trip to Goodwood in his car.

Tom and Hilda Brown who lived in the village, further up the Swallowfield Road, worked for the Ravenscrofts during this period, Tom as a cowman and his wife as housekeeper at the farmhouse; they had three sons, David, Peter and Rodney. It is recalled that on November 5th , Bartletts Farm held a bonfire for the village in the farmyard. People used to dress up and carry tar torches down the road with which to set the bonfire alight.

Harold died in 1939 and his wife, daughter and granddaughter moved up to Arborfield village where they lived in a two up, two down cottage opposite “The Swan” public house and next to Mrs. Edwards (a teacher), which was thought to have been owned by Mrs. Johnny Simonds. One memory of this time was of “Granny Cook”, who lived opposite “The Bull” public house and who had a goat that she kept in the garden of her bungalow, along with the loose chickens.

The Ravenscroft family left the Arborfield village in 1945, when they moved to Yateley.

With thanks to members of the Ravenscroft family for their photographs and memories.

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