Chidham Lane looking south and shows “High Tide”. In the distance you can see the distinctive chimney of Eastlands. Unfortunately it is undated, but I think it must be circa 1925.

Thanks to Steve Tanner





Dated October 1937 this postcard shows the Church and the Manor House.

(note, Chidham Church, Hambrook!)

Thanks to Steve Tanner



Many, many years ago (c.1930) long before I was born, my mother lived for a while in a house along the top of Hambrook Hill. It was a detached house called Pontywyl. She told me there was a story about a housekeeper who had been murdered in the house by her employer. I do not know if the house is still there, or if the story is true.
I would welcome any information on this, or perhaps suggestions as to how I might obtain any from another source.
My mother was Vera Apps (nee Childs) and lived in The Avenue. I spent the first ten years of my life there. My grandparents, Charles and Dora Childs, lived in Scant Road.
Request for information (22/4/10)

My name is Carol-Mary Fraser and I have lived quite a few years in Ireland. I am sure Hambrook has changed beyond recognition, and I believe there is a big new road (A27?) which must cut Hambrook Hill in half. I wonder if the watercress beds are still there… I must say, I am impressed with your website, and would consider it a good example for some of the neighbouring villages to be following. I do hope you can assist me in my quest, and look forward to hearing from you. Thank you, Carol-Mary
if you can help, please contact the webmaster

John Reynolds
I was very interested to find your website and particularly to read the article on the history of Chidham.  My ancestor  John Reynolds married Mary Morley at Chidham Parish Church in 1746 and between 1747 and 1770 they baptised twelve children there.  When John died in 1800 he left a Will that he had made in 1798 in which he bequeathed to his son, also called John, his freehold cottage, garden and orchard in Chidham.

I know that the cottage will no longer be standing but I would love to find out where in Chidham it stood.  Do you know whether there are any old maps or documents relating to Chidham that could identify where John Reynolds lived?  In the village history article there is mentioned a map of 1812 listing all landowners south of the Turnpike Road and although this was after his death, it is possible his son might have still owned the property.

When my ancestor was buried at the church on 10 April 1800 the initials P.C. were put after his name.  It has been suggested to me that he may have been the Parish Clerk of the church but I am not sure if this can be proved.

I do hope you can point me in the right direction to find out more.  I am very envious of you living in Chidham as it is such a lovely place.

Diana Heffernan (Mrs)

From Geoff Bell :

I have been looking at your website which I find most interesting , and feel that it is the best local website in the area.

The articles about John Habin and Peter Baldwin were most interesting.
I knew Peter Baldwin as I started school with him at Chidham, but I never knew John Habin although I knew about him.

However, the main reason that I am writing to you is about Nutbourne Railway Station as I was employed there for some years and can remember the cottage being there.

The cottage was originally used to house the resident crossing keeper who would be on call at night. However as the traffic became more prolific the crossing was manned twenty-four hours a day, and so it was no longer need for it’s original purpose.

The last person to live there was a man named Challen. His real name was Walter. F. Challen but he was known as Jeff. He was a crossing keeper at one time but when he left the railway he became a self employed landscape gardener and used the large garden at the cottage to house his shrubs.

He was last noted in the electoral roll on 10th October 1964. The following year no person was mentioned as living there.

When the railway company decided to sell the cottage and land, there were only two bidder’s. Jeff, and Blockrete who had what is now Marshall’s establishment. As Jeff said to me at the time “My cheque book is not as strong as Blockrete’s” so he had to get out.

Blockrete decided to demolish the top half of the cottage probably to prevent squatters living there. A councillor by the name of Bob Holmes who lived in Vine Cottage opposite the Barleycorn said that it was an eyesore and soon after it was demolished completely. That would have been around 1965/6.
After that a lot of rubble was thrown down where the cottage had been and some time later some trees were planted and to my surprise they grew despite the unsuitable ground.

The land to the west of the cottage and garden was originally a brickfield which appears to have been opened in the late 1920’s. During the war it was closed and Blockrete purchased it just after the war and built the chimney which had their name on it. The present owners named Marshalls took over the site in the 1980’s.
Incidentally, the word “Halt” was removed from the names of the smaller stations in or around 1968. They were officially then known as stations. I do not know why.
The man in the photo of the station taken in or around 1906 was probably Luther Mitchell who appears to have been the resident there at that time.

Finally, I would like to know where I can get a good copy of the photograph of the station which appears on your website. At the exhibition which you had on 1st April I asked someone where they got the photo and they said from the county record office. However the people there do not seem to know about it. So could you tell me where it came from?

The reason that I am interested in obtaining a copy is because I am interested in local history and have quite a number of photographs of the area, and as you may know I was involved in the book titled “We Remember, Chidham, Hambrook & Nutbourne” with Olga Baldwin.

Geoffrey Willis : I recently attended a very enjoyable social evening in a marquee in the gardens of Mick and Edna Petter. Sitting next to a lady I mentioned that I had been born at Hambrook. A card of your website was produced with a request that I send you any recollections of that event which understandably are nil !

However, the point of making contact is to record that I was born in a house known as The Pines Scant Rd Hambrook on 24 May 1933 (Empire Day ! – if anyone remembers that such a day existed !) The house at that time was occupied by my Aunt and her husband and my Mother, living in London gave birth to me whilst on a visit.

My Aunt was married to Tommy Stoner who was the village police constable and the house was the Village Police House. I vaguely remember visiting the house on two or three occasions before he was transferred to Worthing in 1939. He used to have a bicycle to travel around on, and in his uniform.

I was baptised in Chidham Church but as usual cannot find the registration card although , as a great hoarder of useless documents, it still remains in my possession. I do have my birth certificate to hand however. Registration district of Westbourne , Registrar one G.Hotham.
Have just located my baptismal card – the Priest was the Rev Percy Leonards at St Wilfrids Church.

My parents subsequently moved to West Sussex and I attended Chichester High School from 1943-52 (in company with Mick Petter). I am currently President of the Old Boys Society and new members are welcome. Contact Graham Fielder who incidentally lives in Broad Road ! I now live in Jersey. C . I.

From Chris Evans :

May I just say what a pleasant surprise it was for me to find your website and what a trip down memory lane I had when I went through it.

I was born in Chidham, in 1964 and lived there until I was 19 years old. I now live in Newport in Gwent. I reminisced when I saw the pictures of Chidham Village Hall, as I went to nursery school there when I was 3 years old and to youth club at 12/13 years.I was surprised at the

changes in the place since I left, particularly in the amount of new homes that have been built. I was born in Southfields (picture – Southfields today), which was my Mums’ guest house through much of my childhood and stands on the main road opposite what used to be the Doe ‘s place. I can remember the sound of peacocks coming from their house on a late summer evening.There are so many nice memories that I have, both as a young child and a young man and Chidham will always be in my heart for all the right reasons.

Anyway the point of this e-mail was in answer to your question about where you could see a Kingfisher? When I was a small boy I used to go eel fishing under the bridge opposite Cutmill House. One day I was getting bored with the fishing and decided to have a little look around. I crossed over the road and looked over the other side of the bridge. I had my wellies on so I decided to see what it was like further up stream and as I was walking up, about 20yards from the bridge I saw a really colourful glint on the horizon ahead. As it came towards me I realised it was a Kingfisher. It saw me and suddenly darted in another direction. It all happened quickly but that moment always sticks in my head and I shall never forget because it was the first (of only twice), time I have ever seen one in its’ natural enviroment.
So I suggest you go get your wellies on!
All the best and well done on the website,

You may like these pictures for your Gallery.
Let me explain who I am.
My name is Sonia Burgess nee Howell. I was born back in 1943  in my Grandmother’s [ Annie Hewson’s] house which was in Drift Lane and the  house was called The Cottage, now called The Drovers.
I remember attending the event featured [ December 1950] in these pictures and thought that other people might like to see them or they might be in the pictures also.
Picture 1, was taken outside the hall and George Lane is handing over the key.
I am the little girl on the top right hand side of the picture with a scarf around my head.
Picture 2, was taken by the Chichester Observer and this is a paper cutting which my Mother had and passed onto another of my sisters.
Looking at the picture I am on the left of Father Christmas, my sister Sybil is on his immediate right, and on her right is another of my sisters called Sylvia.
I spoke to Mr Penny your P C  Chairman earlier in the year and he told me about your forth coming new web site.I found it most interesting and informative.
 I enjoyed seeing the picture of the school, as my Mother Doris Howell was Caretaker at the school for more than 25 years.During that time I was taken there with her when she was cleaning, and I helped clean the wash basins in the cloakrooms. My Mother had to collect coal from the old air raid shelter which was in the playground, and physically carry it in metal buckets to  each room that had a fire burner. They were very hard times compared with today with  central heating and modern appliances.
Is it possible for someone to take a photograph of the Tapestry which Mr Penny told me was in the hall , and post it into your Gallery. I would be most interested to see it.
I will keep looking at your web site particularly the Gallery to see what I can recognise.
I hope you find this of some interest.
it is good to go down memory lane every now and again.
Best Wishes to you all, Sonia Burgess [Mrs]