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Tollsworth Manor Youth Hostel, Near Chaldon, Surrey. 1946. Valentine's.
Comment 1

Douglas Tovey from Winchester posted this comment on Thursday 09 September 2010 22:31:00.

I took this photo of Tollsworth Manor Youth Hostel in 1939. The lady in the foreground is my wife Nesta who was the warden for a short time until the hostel closed on the outbreak of war.It was then used to house Czech refugees. I have the original photo.

Comment 2

Kate Ganley from Coulsdon posted this comment on Friday 05 November 2010 18:44:00.

Dear Douglas, I am absolutel delighted to find your comments and see your photo. My parents live at Tollsworth Manor and have done for the past 28 yrs. They moved there when I was 18yrs old and my brother 15 yrs old. As a family we adore this house. it is fascinatig to see what you have written about your wife as warden, briefly, and about the Czech refugees. My parents and family and friends have helped, over the years to restore the house to its original beauty. No tarting up - all in keeping with the 16th century! Still v v cold!! My parents are members of the NGS (National Garden Scheme) and open to the public once a year to raise money for Cancer charities. Again all family efforts - making and maintaining the garedne -a true labour of love. Would love to send you some photos of the house now - if you are interested. Currently my parents live there - with my 93 yr old grandmother in the LH side of the house. Wash rooms (from YHA days) converted into flat at back, where a young woman currently lodges! She is now a family friend! The house has that effect on people! Such a fabulous friendly place with a lovely atmosphere. Would love to learn more from you and hear your stories of the place. V best wishes, Kate

Comment 3

Douglas Tovey from Winchester posted this comment on Thursday 30 December 2010 13:22:00.

Thank you so much for your interesting reply. I remember Christmas 1938 in the house very clearly. We had to cook a turkey for a party of 25 hostellers. The only cooking facility other than primus stoves was a 3 burner oil stove with a small oven on the top. We decided to cook the turkey in the bread oven in the hall which was the main common room for the hostel. After a wood fire the ashes and embers were raked out and a slice of bacon used to test the temperature which was much too hot. So we removed the metal door to let it cool down. The turkey cooked perfectly and we had a very jolly Christmas dinner. The next day the oven was still hot enough to heat plates. There was no mains electricity so power for lighting was provided by an old petrol generator across the yard kept in working order by a YHA member with the necessary skills. Hostel rules of lights out at 10pm was simple- one just stopped the generator. As wardens we had good oil burning lamps so had light for longer. I would love to see the house and garden now- I'm a very keen gardener myself- but travel is a little difficult now that I am in my hundreth year! With very best wishes for 2011.

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