Sandi Porter kindly offered her memories of Number 71:
Seventy-one Greville Road is the house where I spent the first 22 years of my life with my Mum, Florence (Pat), my Dad, Alan, and older brothers Paul and Christopher.
My mother and first husband, Richard (Dick) Culpin, bought the house shortly after it was built in 1936. Dick took time out from his job with the Gas Board – and encouraged by a friend – joined the RAF and learned how to fly Spitfires in order to train new pilots in the 2nd World War. Sadly, during one of his training flights with a new pilot, the plane crashed and Dick was killed outright.
My Mum had a nervous breakdown and could not bring herself to even think about celebrating VE Day at the end of the war even though Greville Road’s street party was right outside her door. She struggled to bring up her two sons and pay a mortgage and took in lodgers to help pay the bills.
Mum met my Dad in 1953 at a dance at the Rex Ballroom and married him in 1954 and I came on the scene in October 1955.
Life in Greville Road was a lot quieter than now. There were few cars and certainly no parking on the verges! Dad’s first car was an Austin 7 which had its moments with the starting handle on occasion – yes it was that old!!
It was a very neighbourly road and people kept an eye out for each other. If there was a light on in a house after 11pm, the local bobby (policeman) would knock on the door to make sure all was well.
We always had family round at Christmas and Nana often stayed with us during the year. It was a house that loved to celebrate Christmas and the neighbours used to come on New Year’s Eve to play cards and have a snowball drink, or beer for the men.
The railway tracks were right up to Rustat Road and Charles Street. I had a friend whose father was an engine driver and we would often walk up to the track to see him on his engine. No ‘elf and safety’ in those days.
The cattle market used to be where Clifton Road Industrial area and leisure park are now and Monday was market day. On school holidays I would go with friends and see cows, pigs, sheep, ferrets, rabbits as well as fruit and veg stalls. We would hang around when it closed at 4pm when we could help ourselves to any leftover fruit that had not been sold.
Lots of farm machinery was stored on the land adjacent to Rustat Road and that was a great place to play on the pick-up trucks (again, very not allowed), make dens and pinch people’s peas, beans and carrots from the allotments.
Coleridge Rec was the place to expend your energy after school and in the holidays and we would cycle or roller skate there and play on the equipment and make games on the green.
School was a short walk down the road to Sedley Infant and Romsey Junior, both now housing.
There was always a corner shop ay the bottom of Greville Road and Charles Street, the first owner I knew was Mr Johnston, then Mr and Mrs Tanner, David and Jane, who also lived in Greville Road at Number 74 and then the Northrops. You could buy sweets with your pocket money and I was often sent over to get groceries by my Mum.
My Mum live in Greville Road for 72 years until sadly she developed dementia and I had to sell the house to fund her stay in a residential home. It was a very sad time to say goodbye to the home she loved and all the memories and fun that I had there. There was still a rose bush in the garden when it was sold that had been planted there in the first year she had lived in the house. I believe it was an anniversary gift from Dick.
I kept in touch with Edna who lived opposite Mum up until she passed away in 2016 and now there are few of the older generation of Greville Road with us but there are still the newer neighbours that I came to know and will keep in touch with. My memories of Greville Road will always remain with me.
it is a wonderful Road full of history and some very special people have lived there over the years.