KINGSDOWN MEMORIES

PART SEVEN

The Salmon's to Totney Corner

Just past Mrs. Salmon's house was a lovely spring of water where all the folk went with their buckets to fetch water for cooking etc.  That spring of water was called Cleves and always an endless supply of water.  Now to the next cottage two hundred yards from Mrs. Salmon's cottage and a grand lady lived and her name was Mrs. Brokenbrow and a grandson always lived with her and his name was Jack Hull quite ten years older than me and was a groom at Ashley Grove and when the 1914 war came Jack Hull joined up to become a very smart young man of the Marines and I remember seeing him home on leave and staying with the lovely lady, Jack's grandmother. This cottage of Mrs. Brokenbrow became the home of the retired sheep farmer of Ashley Farm, Box, a Mr. George Pritchard that lots of people would, of course, remember for there was a lovely large garden and Farmer Pritchard was always first in digging out lovely young potatoes and folk around Kingsdown ran to buy them, but everyone was told how to cook them and start them off in cold water.  

Now to the very next cottage called Plum cottage and the lady living there sell any boy twenty ripe plums for just one penny, but not every day that a boy would have a penny so no plums.  Not many more yards from Plum Cottage and there was the Box Church Mission Hall and a Church service was held for grown up people every second Sunday in the evening time by the Vicar of Box church.  Mr. Tommy Hancock, Ted and Herb's father was caretaker of the Hall and Mr. Tommy Hancock had a wonderful singing voice to lead the hymns.  But only after a few years this Mission Hall was taken down for most people of Kingsdown went to the Chapel Services 3pm till 4pm and 6pm till 7.15pm.

Now come the next cottage and that was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Britton Ford for this was the cottage called West View where they had moved to on leaving Jessamine Cottage, Mrs. Ford set up a little shop at West View and sold handy Little things, also sold sweets and Mr. Ford sold the paraffin that everyone on Kingsdown needed.

Behind West View was a wide gateway and cart track down to a cottage that was built in a field that was the home of a Mr. and Mrs. Jack West that had a small holding of a few fields and young cattle, one horse and cart that Mr. West drove down to Bath City on a Wednesday, that was cattle market day and it was often they say Mr. Jack West fell off to sleep up in the cart and it was the horse that brought him home safe and sound.  Now just near is a lovely old house and with lots of ground in front and back and this was the home of some very nice people and they were Mr. and Mrs. Kilbister and they had one son, Ted who worked for Mr. Brookes on leaving school for many years taking the bread on the rounds with horse and cart.  Mrs. Kilbister and Mrs. Jack West were sisters so rather nice that their houses were very close.  It was on the land of the Kilbisters where The Old Golf Club House stood for so many, many years and Mrs. Ki1bister catered for the members.

When Ted Kilbister was bread roundsman for Mr. Brookes and I was only a small boy of four years Ted would often take me with him up in the driving seat.  I would sit by Ted and I was very safe from falling out, Ted saw to that.  I often went on the long rounds with Ted that was right up to Bannerdown and Shockerwick. When 1914 came and war had begun with Germany, Ted in time was called up to serve, so in the army with thousands more Ted went.  It might have been rather hard on Ted in a way for Ted's father was German born and had to report to the police each week, though Mr. Kilbister had been a British soldier himself and fought in South Africa in 1900.  In 1917 my own father was invalided out of the Army himself and not being able to get about did buy a donkey and a nice little governess cart that held four people, it was round with a little door and step to get up in at the back.  Now Mr. and Mrs. Kilbister often got my Dad to lend them this donkey outfit to do their shopping in Bath and they asked for me to go with them to be with the donkey while they were shopping, mostly food shops were their interest.  It was through these donkey trips to Bath that I got to know Mr. and Mrs. Kilbister so well and they were really very nice people.  Well now, a few more years passed away and war is over and everyone trying to build up their lives again and finding a living for thousands of men who were out of a job. A new Golf Club house was built on the side of the road by Kingsdown fairdown so the Old Golf Club house on Mrs. Kilbister's ground was pulled down and Mrs. Kilbister really missed the job of catering and cooking lovely meals for those Golf Club members over the many years and all the members thought so much of Mrs. Kilbister for looking after them so well.  Ted Kilbister had married a real nice lady that was an expert in making Wedding and Birthday cakes also Christmas cakes and they set up their home at Bathford.  Mr Kilbister, Ted's father, passed away leaving Mrs Kilbister a rather lonely life other than Mrs. West, her sister, living so near made life a little more brighter for Mrs. Kilbister.  Then out of the blue came romance for Mrs. Kilbister.  There was a younger man that was asking for her hand.  It was understood that Mrs. Kilbister did marry this man and it was only a very short time later that, the word got around to say that this well known lady of Kingsdown had passed away, and everyone around really felt sad and later to find out that her house and home and the large grounds had all been made over to this man who lost no time in selling the whole lot. A Mr. and Mrs. Bliss came there to live and stayed many years. Mrs. Bliss also set up a little shop just for little things.  No one ever tried to take Kingsdown shop trade away from Mr. and Mrs. Brookes, no way.  A little story Ted Kilbister told me himself and that was how Ted went to his mother's old home at Kingsdown very soon  after getting to know there was nothing being left to Ted  in any way and to let the fellow that robbed them know that Ted did not  like the dirty way it had been carried out,  caught hold of a loaded eating apple tree and Ted shook and shook the tree until every apple was on  the ground and then  Ted walked back to his wife at Bathford feeling more content.

Now here we are at Mr. and Mrs. Tiley's house, a very small built house standing alone all on its own. There was a pathway down to Mr. and Mrs. Jack West's house on the side of Tiley Cottage.  Mr. and Mrs. Tiley were well known by everyone around Kingsdown and Box for, I believe, they had lived at Kingsdown all their lives and had married and brought up two daughters who had in my young days left home but were sometimes at home for holidays.  Mrs. Tiley used to take the Coal Club money for all the people living on Kingsdown.  By joining the Coal Club one had a penny knocked off every hundred weight of coal when coal was brought up to your house a week or so before Christmas Day.  Two of Box 's coal merchants ran Coal Clubs for Christmas. The Mr. Milsom that Mrs. Tiley collected for in which my mother paid her club money for Mr. Milsom's coal, but other people had their coal from Mr. Pepler, just a matter of choice, everyone got their coal.  Mr. Joe Tiley had lost a leg in his lifetime but seemed to get about quite well.  He did go for a drink at the Swan Inn of a Saturday night and he could walk with his peg leg quite well, but Mr. Joe Tiley had a horse and cart to get to work and back on Norbin Farm near the New Jockey.

  The next three cottages to Mr. and Mrs. Tiley were built on very sloping ground.  All their windows, up and down, faced towards Mr. and Mrs. Joe Tiley's cottage and no windows whatsoever at the back of any of the cottages and yet each cottage had a nice sized garden on the blind side, also Mr. and Mrs. Joe Tiley had a garden and a stable and cartshed on top side of this land.  Behind the cottages was a large gate for Mr. Joe Tiley to take his horse and cart to and fro also the track down through was a public right of way to Bannerdown and Shockerwick for people walking.  The two top cottages of the three seem to have many changes of people that came and went fairly often.  But the third cottage at the low end was Mr. and Mrs. Hancock's that lived in the same cottage for many years after Mr. Tommy Hancock returned from being a carter on Gridiron Farm of the then farmer, William Ford.  Mr. and Mrs. Hancock were the parents of Ted and Herbert Hancock who lived in two cottages on the well-known Totney Corner.  Ted lived in the cottage of Stiles and Herbert built next door to Ted about 1920.

Now 1eaving Mr. and Mrs. Joe Tiley's and those three cottages was a little slope in the road of about 50yards and on the left hand side was a lovely field of about ten acres and Mr. Fred Butt used to keep his milking cows of about 8 or 10, and there was a very large shed built there for three cows.  The field reached down to the Wormcliffe lane where there were two cottages with tin roofs and got called Tin Town. Oh yes; now the very best sight on Kingsdown was the big pool of lovely clear water.  It seemed that it was always well looked after for that lovely water fed Sheylors Farm that was then farmed by a Farmer Matthews and then the well known Farmer Sully and their ­sons of four Leonard and Jim and Harold and Jack Sully, only daughter was Mary.  From the Big Pool was a very rough old stone lane down to Wormcliffe Lane and on to Ashley and then Box railway station.  Many people did use this Big Pool Lane to do shopping at Box village, and many people did think the name Big Pool could have been the lane Big Pull.

Walking now on to Totney Corner from the lovely Big Pool was a lovely view right up to Colerne over the lovely farmland and one could see Middle Hill Tunnel and trains of steam, a wonderful sight.  Walking on to Totney Corner there was a very sharp bend in the road making it blind to anyone coming towards you and it was on that very bend in the bank on the 1ow side of the road was a lovely spring of drinking water that ran into a stone trough and a strong wooden door to keep tree leaves from blowing in the trough.  There was the one and only cottage quite near built on the lower side of the road and this lovely spring of water was there for their use daily.  The people living there were Mr. and Mrs. Stiles.  Mr. Stiles worked down at Box.  Mrs. Stiles was a midwife for many mothers around Kingsdown and district.

Growing up in Kingsdown.

The Down to Maisie Gay's

The Fletcher's to Granny Hawkins's

The Petty's

The Petty's to the Chapel

The Chapel to the Salmon's

Totney Corner to Kingsdown House