One of my favourite stories was about a wonderful day that I spent in Chertsey a few years ago.
The Black Cherry Fair. 2019.
I lived in Chertsey from 1932 till 1959 but had never been to the Famous Black Cherry Fair.
I hopped on a train and stayed with my best friends, Alex and Sheila Lees, in their beautiful home in Ottershaw. I was excited to see them again as we now live far apart.
As usual we talked all about our yesterdays, and I told them that at last I had won something on the lottery, the first time since it started.
I have always loved our quirky little town, but this was something special, the work that must have gone into organising everything was so worth it. We sometimes forget, that it’s always the same little group of enthusiasts, giving up their spare time to make this happen.
Thankyou, everyone one, you made my day, and for all those crowds enjoying this special day.
We toured all around the places I remember, The Abbey Barn where I was first told to get lost by my future wife Ann. I met her again a year later at an Airscrew Dance. Alex had taken her there and been buying her Rum and Ribena all night, and as soon as his back was turned I asked her for the last waltz. Not only did she say yes to that, but also agreed to go to The Regal Cinema, in Walton the next day!
We walked round the Abbey to the sad little bridge over the Abbey river with the floating water lilies, looking for all the world like a Monet painting. Then Willow Walk, where Benny Beech was always willing to sell you a cotter pin for your bike, even though it was a Sunday. He had an enormous heap of nuts, bolts and anything to do with bikes on his bench, a lovely man.
There is no doubt that the place has changed, but at the top of the town, it can be seen what Chertsey used to be like when I was a child.
I remember being treated to my dinner in a café opposite the town hall, when I helped Bobby Salmon with his horse and cart to do his green grocery round in 1946. The dinner was delicious, sausage, egg and chips cost him one shilling! The sausage’s had real skins and the sausage meat inside would come out at each end and be lovely and crunchy, or even burnt—you don’t get that now, more’s the pity.
Now it was my turn to do the treating, I thought I would treat Alex and Sheila to a nice dinner.
Since my Lottery win, I felt in a very rare generous mood, we thought we would try the Thai Café in Windsor street, it was delicious.
Now, my meal in 1946 cost a shilling, and although the Thai meal was very reasonable, I soon realised that my winnings of £2:90 did not go very far.