“I’ll Have That One First……..”


Elizabeth brought Mum over for lunch and dinner on this her actual birthday. Jackie laid on an especially super spinach soup to accompany some of yesterday’s surplus sandwiches.

Afterwards Elizabeth drove us all to Holmsley Old Station Tea Rooms, so we could introduce our mother to remnants of the pre-Beeching era that she remembers so well.

House building 1

The Hordle Lane housing development is coming on apace. The first row of buildings now has its roofs;

House building 2

and other rows are rapidly rising.

Signal arm

From the old station car park, with a signal arm behind it,

Booking Office

and the Booking Office in front,

To The Trains

we passed the To The Trains sign to enter the tea rooms.

The Evening News

In ‘Holmsley Revisited’ I wrote of Dr Beeching’s decimation of our railways system. This newspaper framed in the foyer was a London Evening News & Star issue from 27th March 1963. This publishing amalgamation represents two of the publications featured in ‘Starnoozenstanna’.

The Evening News and suitcases

Beneath this page are stacked two leather suitcases of the period.

Mum and meringues 1

The Tea Rooms meringue confections are sheer indulgence. We thought we might be able to share two between the four of us. They were placed on the table within Mum’s range. She carefully moved her water glass aside,

Mum and meringues 2

so she could examine the offerings more carefully. “I’ll have that one first. Then I’ll have that one”, she exclaimed. With the joke over, she made quite good progress with her half of one.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s tasty cottage pie, carrots and runner beans. Elizabeth and I drank Parra Alta malbec 2016, while the others were happy with sparkling water.




  1. Oh good on mum! Still got her appetite AND her sense of humour. I’m curious though, there were left over sandwiches from the day before – but none of those cakes and slices that were weighing the table down??

  2. The train down the memory lane must have set a train of thoughts for your mother. No wonder she feels invigorated to have a hearty meal! The station is a well preserved museum, frozen immaculately by your able fingers. The signal arm and the suitcase —my father’s prized possession— brought back memories of my own childhood to me.

  3. The meringues do look good. I am glad your mother still has an appetite and a sense of humor. She looks wonderful! So much love and good times in your family!

  4. You left out and Stratford Express;
    At Becontree Station on the District Line in 1950/51 when coming home from work, I’d hear the newspaper seller, up near the ticket office, calling out ‘Starnoozenstannastratfordexpress’, every night, so obviously you have missed a most important part of his message.
    Getting slack there Derrick

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