Thursday, August 30, 2007

Memories of Dunley - Richard Johnson

Photo from Richard Johnson, whose mother, Winifred Morgan, worked at Dunley. The names of those in the photo are Pam, (Florence peeping out), Hilda, Winnie, Peggy, Molly & Mary Morgan on the lawn at Dunley Manor circa 1940

"My mother too lived at '3 Dunley Cottages', just like Jackie Sopp! She has a photograph of her younger sisters sitting on the step outside. She does not recall Jackie but says a large number of evacuees were present over the WWII period. She does recall Nancy Seabrooke.

The tap across the road which Jackie refers to was a well in my mother's time, and a deep one at that. She recalls a barn with a number of individual coal sheds with the well at the end. All of which are long gone.

In the six cottages were: Bone/Fuller/Morgan/Randall/Vincent/Ted Munday.

She recalls how Crouch (who had an Irish wife) would call on the parents complaining that the children had let off his gin traps in the woods. She recalls 'Mondon's old horse' and how they would get out of the way for it. Monden may have been the dairy maid.

My mother remembers Fairfax (Fuff). She is not sure, but thinks that somebody's father was killed in Italy during the war? [this was Capt Michael Pugh, Annette's brother]. She recalls 'Crouch' who she thinks was 'the keeper' and MacKenzie, the parlour maid, who they would tease by throwing gravel at her door. She recalls a dairy maid with a name similar to 'Mondon'.

I am told that a worker was killed in the little pump house there and have been given a graphic account of it that I cannot verify. There is also a tale of a man shooting someone in the pond a 'little further up from Dunley towards Woodcott'. Again, I have no information on this other than a rumour.

I was able to rumble around Dunley Manor looking for cabling following a lightning strike last year. A tree behind the old dairy (now a flat) took a direct hit and it blew up all the phones nearby (Dairy, House, Cottages, Lodge etc.) Working out just how engineers of old had wired up Dunley Manor was a task and I finally found what I needed in a little cellar. My mother remembered it and put me on to it. At this time she told me there was a room with a 'stage' in it. The current elderly lady owner had the staff make me tea and chatted with me in the morning room. She was quite unaware of any of the previous owners"

Richard Johnson - extracted and abridged from various e-mails in February 2008.

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