My name is Clive Hughes...I was at NCH Alverstoke circa 1947-1952. Myself and a dozen or so other kids were housed in a large house opposite Alverstoke Church - not sure what the house
name was but I remember it was covered in ivy and very old. The garden behind the house was approx 2.5acres [plenty of room for us kids to have adventures in]. As well as open lawn areas there was woodland and
ancient icehouse [possibly Georgian] and a thatched ban at the far end of the property, down by the creek, which was rented out to a guy who kept goats. The main body of NCH Alverstoke was on the other side of
the creek and closer to Stokes Bay - we seldom went there because we had our own life where we were. I also went to Stone Lane Junior School [the school is still there by the way - at least it was in c1982
when I last visited Gosport]. Sorry to say I do not have any photos from that period of my life and only have now vague memories of the layout of the village of Alverstoke.
My mob, about a dozen of us, left NCH Alverstoke in 1952, sometime after the Queen's coronation and moved to a branch of NCH at St.Leonards-on-sea [HASTINGS] East
Sussex. There we had a better life - Hastings and St.Leonards-on-sea being then famous Sussex resorts at the height of their fame - before we all discovered Viva Espana in the 1970's. At Hastings I joined
the Sea Cadets but the Navy was not my calling and I joined the Army [Royal Signals] as a boy soldier [Junior Leader] in 1957 aged 15. During my nearly nine years in the Army I saw postings to Cyprus and then
Germany and managed in between to see Malta and most of Libya during various military exercises. Out of the Army in 1965 [aged 24] and fully trained up as a telegraph operator I found work in London as a
telegraphist with the Commerical Cable Company. Hard to believe now, what with e-mail, mobile phones and the internet etc that people [businesses] still sent messages across the Atlantic in the form of
telegrams - that was forty years ago.
Back to Alverstoke - I remember the Methodist church, I think located on the road leading from the village to Stokes Bay with the statue of St.Francis outside and a small
fish pond - we went mostly to the larger Methodist church in Gosport, cannot remember its exact location, but somewhere on the way towards the Gosport ferry for Portsmouth.
When we travelled across from
Gosport to Portsmouth on the ferry - there always seemed to be lots of near naked boys down in the mud on the Portsmouth side - they would root around and dive in the mud for pennies thrown to them by ferry
passengers. These boys were referred to as 'the mud-larks' - what else. We used to go to Portsmouth for such as Navy Days, which then were big because the RN was still very massive - not like the three
corvettes and a rowing boat we've got today.
Christmas at NCH Alverstoke looking back was a wonderful event and as you experienced yourself a pillowcase full of goodies welcomed us on Christmas morn'.
The contents of our pillowcases had been donated by the good folk of Gosport and beyond [Rotary Clubs etc]. The most important event for us kids [boys especially] was the Christmas party laid on at HMS Haslar.
The sailors [matelots] always dressed as pirates, often wearing real RN cutlasses - which natrually you were allowed to look at but not actually touch. The movie Walt Disney's 'Treasure Island'
came out in 1949 - we all saw that - so naturally everyone wanted to be a pirate from then on. Shiver me timbers Jim lad...Harrrrrr, etc.
Now that I am focused on Alverstoke, Gosport and Portsmouth - I can
remember a huge amount about my life there . The only teacher's name I can remember at Stone Lane was a guy called Mr Framton - he probably got dragged out of retirement during the war and was still
teaching probably into his 70's because there was a shortage. Mr Framton was the games master [PE Teacher of today]. My intro to soccer at Stone Lane was a heavy leather ball being thrown into the middle
of a muddy field populated by about sixty yelling kids dressed not for sport but wearing ordinary shoes and jackets - no one that I recall had sports kit - blimey. Well of course you could not even get near
the ball and only occasionally saw it when it got kicked high in the air. I think this game is best described as murder-ball - more akin to olde English village [middle ages] footerball and not really related
to soccer. It was the same game once described by Sam Johnson as fit only for a rude mob.Â Nothing changes then except the date.
There's lots more if you want it...Regards Clive