Crockham Hill September 2023 Newsletter - Flipbook - Page 8
rain coat and all his belongings in a small suitcase like those young
evacuees during the war.
One of the first things we did outside the house, which was in very
poor condition, was to erect a fence. It seemed a shame to limit
access because the Hostel had been in the public domain for years
and the garden was enjoyed by many – it was also enjoyed by many
dogs with their output. We had moved with our 4 years old twins
from Fulham to end high stepping over dog mess every day.
Being a Youth Hostel, it was marked with a Y on Ordnance Survey
maps – remember the joy of using a map before Google Maps and
satnav took over our lives? This long-lasting record was further
underlined when Lorna, who used to live in one of the Royal Oak
cottages, produced a guide of local pubs – combining walking with
real ales I recall. She wrote about the Royal Oak adding “you can be
sure of a warm welcome at the local Youth Hostel…..….”!
To this day we still have people turn up and ask to stay because of
the Y on the map and Lorna’s handbook and some just to look round
as they had stayed in the Hostel many years ago. Some examples
are cyclists, often from The Netherlands, who call in late afternoon
as their first stop on the way from Dover. As we disappointed them,
we would lift the bikes onto the newly acquired roof rack and drive
them over to Kemsing which had a YH until a few years ago
There was a lovely couple walking from Lewisham to Newhaven to
celebrate their Golden wedding anniversary. Lindy apologised and
took them to a B&B in Brasted. The following morning, we found a
sweet bouquet of handpicked flowers on the doorstep as a thank
you. One more unusual visit was from a Belgian couple and their
141#4 −year old daughter sitting sulkily in the back seat of their car.
“Can we look round? We wanted to show our daughter where we
stayed 15 years ago ….….” The girl’s sulk turned to horror.
As well as visitors, people would call to try to book beds. My
favourites, and it did happen several times, were calls from abroad
“We are two Swedish students who would like to sleep with you for
three nights….” Lindy stopped me answering the phone after a
Should we offer accommodation? Why, when the best B&B in the
world is just down the road in Hurst Farm and Victoria knows how
to host people.