Remembering Ashtead Residents
Following on from my post yesterday about the children at St Giles' School I wanted to share a photo given to my Mum and Dad 20 years ago by a man who used to live in Ashtead. Meredith Worsfold lived in Rectory Lane in Ashtead and apart from a short spell living in Effingham, was born and spent his whole life in Ashtead. When my Dad and I wrote a book on Ashtead in 2000 Meredith was an enormous help. He had written a book himself called Ashtead The Street In The 1920s, which is a lovely book, full of anecdotes and information that only a person who had been there would be able to tell so beautifully. Not only did he have such interesting tales to tell about the local area, he was really good company. A genuinely kind man we greatly enjoyed the time spent in his company. He gave my Mum and Dad this lovely photo of his Mother, Alice Jackman, sitting at the window of their house when she was a little girl.
Meredith's mother Alice Maud Mary Jackman was born in 1892 in Totten Hampshire. Her father William, a railway porter at Lyndhurst, was tragically killed in an accident being hit by a train when Alice was only a few weeks old. Her Mother Fanny remarried Arthur Dibben a train driver, and the family moved to Rectory Lane Ashtead, Alice attended St Giles School Ashtead and was one of the pupils who took turns to sit in the window of West Lodge Ashtead Park and open the gates for approaching carriages. The headmaster of St Giles School made this agreement with Thomas Lucas, the owner of Ashtead Park in exchange for renting the lodge at the cost of £40 per annum.
Alice married a local man Jack Worsfold in 1920 and gave birth to two sons, Howard and Meredith. She lived locally all her life until her death in 1974 aged 82.
Meredith walked a mile every day until well into his 80s, to keep active after a hip operation, and regularly stopped on his walk to chat with my Mum and Dad. We were all so upset to hear he had died, aged 90, in October 2012. I have included this photo of him taken as a child, as I feel if Ashtead residents are being remembered he should certainly be included.
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