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Up 'At Hollands’ corner’

Peartree Cottages are left in this photograph, the Hollands cottage on the left corner. Ovingdean Grange can be seen to the right, and Ovingdean Hall can be seen in the background.
Private collection of Jennifer Drury

I was born in Ovingdean village, in one of the farm cottages in 1911.  Father came to live in Ovingdean because he got a job at the farm driving the engine for the threshing on the farm.  The family was my mother and father, my brother Percy, my sister Vera, and I had a little brother who died with paralysis.  We lived in the cottages on the corner by the farm but of course they were knocked down. Our cottage was the one right on the corner, and if people wanted to go up the road they would say ‘At Hollands’ corner’.

Wearing our Sunday best

We used to go to St Wulfran’s church every Sunday when we were small; Mother used to say, ‘You must be good and you must be quiet’. We used to wear our best clothes for church, but sometimes we used to put our best things on in the week but Father couldn’t bear it – he used to like us to keep them special for going out anywhere, or if we were asked out to a party.  The rector then was Mr. Anderson, he was a stout chap. I remember going up for the Sunday school treat we used to have in the field in the summer.  At Christmas we used to have a party in the big dining room at the Rectory.  It was the same down at Grange Farm, they always used to give the children a Christmas party with games like ‘Postman’s Knock’.

On Mother’s knee with a bun

The church had a ‘Mother’s Union’ – I remember going with Mother and sitting on her knee. It was run by Mrs. Field, the widow of a clergyman who lived in what was the Vienna hut. Of course it wasn’t called the Vienna then but it had been the teacher’s house. It was built for the village teacher but there weren’t enough children to go there and so the school closed.  So Mrs. Field and her daughter came to live there, she was a widow.  I remember one of her songs was ‘Tell me the old old story’ and I remember sitting on Mother’s knee and eating a bun and having a cup of tea.  She also used to take us for Sunday school tea and I always remember at Harvestime she loved us to sing ‘Fair wave the golden corn’.

Comments about this page

  • It is such a pleasure to come across this memory. Thank you for sharing it.

    By Sarah E. (06/05/2021)
  • I am currently tracing my Nan’s ancestry. Her name was Ethel Parker and she had a twin, Gertrude Parker. They were born in Crockerton, Warminster, Wiltshire. Their Mother Rosina Parker met and married William Hollands. Rosina and William left behind Ethel to live with her grandparents and took Getrude back with them to Rottingdean. Rosina also had another child in Crockerton called Nora Parker, 3 years after the twins. She was brought up by a family that were not relatives. William adopted Gertude when she was about 9. As mentioned in the article with Laurie Hollands, Rosina went on to have 4 more children. Finding these articles are very exciting. There is still a question as to what happened to Gertrude Parker/Hollands. I am visiting a cousin in Brighton in October 2021 who I contacted through our DNA. He is Percy’s grandson. Percy being my Nan Ethel’s half brother.

    By Lesley Ball (13/09/2021)

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