Spring Lane

(Produced from presentations compiled by Allen Guille and Chris Humby in 2014, 2015 & 2016)

The old, thatched cottages on the corner of Spring Lane, and Church Road still grace the village thanks to the determination of Mrs Gubbins, who owned these cottages and Longmead House. Eastleigh Council wished for them to be demolished but as owner of the Longmead Estate, and a lady of influence, she steadfastly refused to agree.

The old cottage is still recognisable today, this picture was taken in the 1950s.

On the corner of West Drive and Spring Lane stood this delightful cottage. It was built as the Lodge to Longmead House, in the same Gothic style as the grand house, designed by George Edmund Street, the greatest British architect of his day. Demolished in the 1960s, it has been replaced by a non-descript block of flats.

Rowland Frederick Hill, butler to Mrs Gubbins at Longmead House had the privilege of living in “The Lodge”. In 1911 he lived here with his wife and three children (two daughters and a son). Unlike Longmead House their accommodation comprised just four rooms: two bedrooms, a living room, and a scullery. Rowland came to Bishopstoke in 1871, when he was just 6 months old, his father having become landlord of the Foresters Inn at Stoke Common. He started his employment at Longmead as a footman and, in September 1897, married Lillie Neville. Her father, Daniel Neville had been a dairyman on the Longmead estate. The Lodge acted as Gate House and controlled access to the drive that led to Longmead.

On the opposite corner of Spring Lane and the “Drive” is another cottage now known as “The Old Bakery”. Behind this cottage there is a large outbuilding, not the stable and barn pictured. The detached building at the rear of this house was at one time a laundry for the Longmead Estate, and possibly the other large houses in Bishopstoke. This may explain why the original windows in this outbuilding have been fitted with iron bars on the inside to discourage theft. It was not until later that it was used as a bakery by the Snelgrove family. This house was not part of the estate in 1904 when Mrs Gubbins bought Longmead. By then it was owned by Admiral Cummings, who lived a short distance away at Spring Grove in Church Road. This picture was taken in 1948 during an extensive survey of Bishopstoke.

The two cottages next door to the old bakery were owned by the Longmead Estate and once used to accommodate estate servants. The house was approached from Spring Lane by a set of narrow steps abutting a retaining wall, about ten feet high. Built into the retaining wall, to one side of the steps, past the work yard where horses could be tethered, was a blacksmith’s workshop. To the left-hand side of the steps, where there is now a driveway, was a stable which incorporated a wheelwright’s carpentry workshop. These cottages, when auctioned with Longmead House as part of the Longmead Estate in 1928 advised that: “One cottage is let to Mr Humby at four shillings per week, the lodge and the other cottage are occupied by estate servants, on service tenancies, rent free or at nominal rents of one shilling” per week. Pictured in 1910 are Frederick Lionel Humby, Ada Humby (nee Pope), William Humby (baby), and Frederick Charles Humby. The Humby family lived in one of these cottages for nearly 100 years and occupied both for over 40 years.

This picture, taken in the 1950s shows the front of where the Humby family lived. The bank to the left, past the telegraph pole is where the blacksmiths workshop was sited. In the 1880s, the front cottage was occupied by Mr Boyes, the blacksmith. 1883 was not a good year for Mr Boyes, in August of that year, Mr Thomas Boyes, blacksmith of Bishopstoke, was summoned before Southampton County Bench by the police for furious driving in Leigh Road. The police sergeant said that the man was driving at 12 mph and would not stop when he called out to him. Witnesses, in court, said he was not driving at more than 8 or 9 miles an hour. Thomas Boyes was found guilty and fined 10 shillings.

Slightly below where the blacksmith’s was located was an elevated footbridge crossing Spring Lane. This bridge was constructed to give direct access to the kitchen garden for the Longmead Estate, sometime after 1866, when Alfred Barton purchased part of the rectory garden from Dean Garnier.

The footbridge over Spring Lane was popular with photographers. The young lad on the right of the group of children is William Humby, who lived a few yards away on the far side of the bridge. When the Longmead Estate was sold in 1928, it was conditional that this bridge was to be demolished within six months of purchase.

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Pictures of Spring Lane in the 1950s and early 1960s. There was no pavement provided until mid 1960s when the earth bank on the east side of the road was reinforced to create a walkway.

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The Lodge, on the corner of Spring Lane and West Drive, was still standing when this picture was taken in the 1960s. A pavement and more modern electric street lighting had been installed. It is believed that Spring Lane was the last adopted road in Bishopstoke to have a pavement provided. On the left there is sand in the road from a badger set in the embankment. The badgers are still there.

The view looking down Spring Lane, probably 1950s. There is a gas lamp on the corner of Malden Close.

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Opposite Malden Close were two cottages, 53 and 55 Spring Lane, which were owned by the Longmead Estate and accommodated estate workers. On the right is a picture of the Brockhurst family. Arthur Brockhurst was employed by Mrs Gubbins as her Coachman. It has been suggested that this may be a family morbidity picture. It was not uncommon in Victorian and Edwardian times for families to have a picture taken with their dearly departed, particularly children. The young lady on the left has a distinctly unnatural appearance, but this could equably be attributed to early issues with photography.

In the 1950s, the cottages to the west of Spring Lane were condemned and demolished as part of an urban regeneration project. These cottages were built in the late 1800s to house workers for the newly constructed Carriage Works. The cottages and those in Portal Road, Hamilton Road, Scotter Road, and houses in Guest Road formed what was then referred to as “New Bishopstoke”. This picture has been colour washed from a black and white image.

More cottages in Spring Lane. These cottages were opposite the junction with Hamilton Road.

Some of the cottages on the east side of Spring Lane, opposite Portal Road converted their downstairs front room into shops. This is a picture of Thomas Mullock, outside the shop at 32 Spring Lane in the 1930s or 1940s, with his daughter Hilda. What seems ironic for a cobbler is that he had a wooden leg. Kelly’s directory lists a shoe repair shop here from 1907 to 1964.

Turners sweet shop on the corner of Hamilton Road and Spring Lane early 1900s. The open ground from where the picture was taken was developed for the Eastleigh and District Industrial Co-Operative Society in 1926, when they moved from their shop on the corner of Scotter Road.

The Co-op became Moody’s Hardware Store in 1970 and retained its name through a succession of owners.

Dennis Bodman (left) and Jim Waterman (owner) outside the shop shortly before closure. Whilst Jim had managed the shop for 23 years, Dennis started work for Dave Moody as a Saturday boy whilst still at school at the original shop at No 1, Riverside. He must have been aged around 13 or 14. Dennis Bodman spent the whole of his working life serving our community in Moody’s and retired when it ceased trading in 2006. Dennis, is testament to old fashioned values of dedication and customer care, spending the whole of his working life serving the people of Bishopstoke

The corner of Hamilton Road and Spring Lane today, where the Co-op and Moody’s Hardware Store once was.

William Frederick Palmer established a bakery at 12 Spring Lane in 1907 and remained in business there until the mid 1920s. The shop is still there and is now a hairdresser. The horse and bakers’ cart are standing in what is now the approach to Springhill Car Repairs.

The premises at No 12 Spring Lane became a bicycle shop in the 1930s. Thomas Scrivener took over in the 1950s and the business remained as a cycle shop until the 1970s. It is rumoured that Tom would ensure that customers who did not settle their bill had their name and debt written on a notice and placed in the shop window. Simple and surprisingly effective!

Next door, at Nos 10 and 8 Spring Lane were two cottages known as “The Hollies”. Bishopstoke Working Men’s Social Club acquired the cottages which opened in September 1912. Pictured are the steward, Tom Scullard, with his wife.

An attractive picture of “The Hollies”, probably taken around 1920 shows that “The Club” was a popular meeting place. Tom Scullard is pictured at the rear of the group.

Bishopstoke Working Men’s Social Club in 2020. Sadly, the façade lacks any of the character from its Victorian heritage.

Another picture of Spring Lane from around 1920 showing Palmer’s Bakery, The Hollies and the “Tin Chapel”, as it was known. The “Tin Chapel” was built in 1897 to serve the needs of the residents in “New Bishopstoke”. William Pope was a member of the Bible Christian Church Committee that approved the decision and raised the funding. In 1912 he was living next door at 8, Spring Lane. It must have been particularly frustrating for him, as a Bible Christian and supporter of the Temperance Movement, aged in their 70s, he and his wife had to vacate their home so it could become a drinking establishment.

The Post Office on the right was built in 1906, this picture must have been taken soon after that date. Spring Lane is a narrow muddy track with an open gutter. It does not take much imagination to realise why it was originally called Back Lane.

The Post Office at No 2, Spring Lane was first occupied by William George Maffey, Grocer and sub-postmaster, who had moved from the old Post Office, almost opposite, in Riverside.

At the time this picture was taken the area adjacent to the post office was a cleared site and the notice is an estate agent hoarding inviting enquiries for developing shops, offices, or warehouses. Both the above pictures provide a glimpse of the cottages behind that used to form Montague Terrace.

Building sites were for many generations a magnet for children to play, and this parcel of land was no exception when this picture was taken.

The site was developed around 1907 as a house, and what we know today as Wainwright’s Chemist in Riverside.

The junction of Spring Lane and Riverside, outside the new Post Office was traditionally one of the meeting areas for social gatherings and village celebrations. This location conveniently connected with Riverside and the recreation ground for larger gatherings.

Until the urban development of Bishopstoke in the 1950s, this junction served as the centre of our village. Before the arrival of the Carriage Works in 1890, Bishopstoke comprised two roads. Riverside/Winchester Road, later called Church Road, and Back Lane. Middle Street connected with the village of Fair Oak, which had been part of the old Manor of Bishopstoke and was so named because the road ran through the middle of the Manor.