This account was submitted by Jenny Odey. All images copyright Jenny Odey.
1Alf was born May 6th 1900 in Dorking, Surrey to George and Alice Stanford. George was a railway gateman at Dorking in 1900. The 1911 census has the family living at The Toll Gate, Langstone with father George,aged 42, as a Toll Collector. According to a newspaper report, he was one of the first toll collectors on Hayling Bridge, working there from 1908 to 1930. His wife was given as Martha at the time, suggesting that Alice might have been deceased.
1Back to his son Alf. Alf, at the recomendation of his school joined the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway (LBSCR). He was 13 at the time and worked as a Goods Porter in Havant Goods Yard. He was then transferred to South Hayling, as a railway porter/signalman. He married Mabel Crassweller in 1923.
During the 1939 – 45 war, he was one of a team of four working with Cecil Donavan Ewing at South Hayling Station.
Alf worked on the railway for 45 years and was presented with a gold watch on retirement which was enscribed –
In appreciation of
45 years service
I wonder how many can say they have stayed in the same job for so many years today?
Alf and Mabel lived at ‘Briarcroft’, North Hayling, where they took in lodgers. This enabled them to buy a piece of land , south of Gafsa House, Havant Road, which they paid £500 for in 1955.
Noel Pyecroft and his father built ‘Cherrycroft’ for Alf and Mabel. This was a detached bungalow with a detatched garage , at a cost of £1900 in 1956-57. ‘Cherrycroft’ was built with Pyecroft bricks.I wonder what this might have cost today? Maybe I will ask Noel.
1Alf died, in hospital, in February 1962 and so did not have many years in his new bungalow. Alf and Mabel did not have any children.
Mabel married again but was widowed once more in 1973.
She became very close to my father, Henry Crassweller. He was a postman at North Hayling for over 20years, and so was able to keep an eye on Mabel and make sure everything was OK.
Mabel’s garden was her pride and joy and that is where you would usually find her. She was very independant right up until she died in Nov 1994, aged 94.
‘Cherrycroft’ was left to my mum and dad in February 1995. Sadly my dad died 6 months later. My mum lived there until she died in 2002.
:1Further information was added by Langstonian.