This is the other place I grew up in, back in the 1950s.  Some of the photographs I have inherited from my father.  He originally took these photographs in the 1950s, in the form of colour slides and have now been digitalised.  The others I took last May on a rather damp and wet day. Compton Valence is a hamlet situated in West Dorset roughly 6 or 7 miles from Dorchester and 2 or 3 miles from Maiden Newton. This one my father took either late 50s or very early 60s.  The cottage over there with the green roof  is where we lived on Tout Hill on the side of it anyway.  To get to it we had to go up a lane, which we referred to as the lane, but having looked at web site for Compton is in fact Tout Lane. The house with the red roof was our neighbours Mr and Mrs Savage, Graham and Deborah, who lived in the right hand side, while on the left for a few months Mrs Sheppard.  When we first came there a Mr and Mrs Clark, Janet & John lived on the left hand side. This is what is looks like to today behind that cottage with the green roof. Here’s a picture of what it looked like in the 1950s This next also taken by my father, shows the same garden above in the 1950s.  I would guess he must have been standing where the blue car is at the moment, approximately, and looking the other way. When we first moved in, that lawn was a potato patch grown by Mr Edwards who was a butcher;  I think he had a shop in Dorchester he may have even delivered meat;  they used to do that in those days.   The tree over there was an old apple tree, can’t remember the variety but I think that tree gave me my first love of sour apples. Very exposed to the elements in those days. The next one was taken in the other direction, but from the same spot, more or less. Cold, but beautiful.   Beyond that gate there was a small path going to right that lead back to the lane and small, very small, quarry.  My father used to get stone from that quarry to build a rockery in the garden.  You can also just see that the path runs down to the left, joining the lane that carries on down the Savages.  Just to the right of that path is bank that used to be just full of primroses and other wild flowers.  Can’t see it any more, it is just full of conifers.  The wood up there appears to be much the same as when we left it. You can see Mr Battrick’s somewhat snow covered garden or part of it. Here is another part of it,  as it is today. Mr and Mrs Battrick had two cats, Jeffery and Trixie.  Mrs Battrick used to keep them tied up in the garden, but they didn’t seem to mind.  She was a somewhat embittered woman, due to tragedy and died not long after we came.  Mr Battrick continued to live there keeping very much to himself and was still there when we left the village.  He used to give us kids pennies, you could get a lot for a penny in those days like liquorish sticks, chewing gum and bubble gum, although I think bubble gum cost 2d. This one was also taken by my father at the very top of  Tout Hill.  You couldn’t take this picture today; it is full of tall dark conifers, planted sometime in the 1960s.  In fact half the village seems to be planted with conifers.  now don’t get me wrong, I love trees including conifers, in the right place;  like Scotland perhaps. This is my uncle, my father’s brother, sadly no longer with us.  Jenny, if you ever happen see this, I will remove it if you want.  He his standing just about in the centre at the top of Tout Hill.  In the first picture it is just behind the cottage with the green roof.   As you can see it is unspoilt, never cut and full of wild flowers and no access as far as farming land goes, which is why it was planted with conifers I guess.   Not a place to go if you suffered from hayfever. Here is a picture of the Church.  My father was standing at the far end of Tout Hill when he took this.   Behind those hills one could walk to Frampton. According to the web site, the Church is dedicated to St Thomas a Becket.  In all my dealings with the Church when I was 14, I never new that.  I used to ring those four bells every Sunday, but I will get to that later. As I said at the beginning, I returned there last May on a somewhat damp and chilly day trip with my mother and sister. There’s that cottage with the green roof again.  In those days it was semi detached.  We lived in that part with the rockery and marigolds, while Mr and Mrs Battrick lived in left side.  Down at the bottom left, our water supply.  That tree was a sycamore and towards the end our time there my father threw an aerial over one of boughs so we could receive shortwave radio and hence Radio Luxembourgh.   For those of you old enough do remember Dan Dare and those adverts for horlix. This I’m afraid is the closest I could get to it.  Well, the green roof has gone and it has been tiled.  I believe it is now one house.  I can see just the top of the porch, that doesn’t appear to have changed.  Just look at all those conifers, that is Tout Hill behind. I am now walking back down Tout Lane.  A little blurred, a bit like my memory everything seems so different from what I remember. Ah, that’s better.  I think the lane was just a rough track in those days. This is a trifle blurred as well.  We coming down to the bottom the hill where around the corner there was a pond and a stream that was full of watercress.  How true is it, that old saying you can only eat watercress when there is an ‘ r’ in the month? Well, there it is.  It looks rather different than from what I can remember. A trifle blurred.   Looks as if they have established some walk ways amongst the trees over there. Up there,  that is  if I am facing the right direction, the old vicarage or was it the rectory.  By the 1950s the house had ceased in that particular function and the Walker’s lived there.  In the early 1950s Colonel Walker used to organize cricket matches;  he roped my father in to play.  Unfortunately, I believe soon after that match Colonel Walker died and so did the cricket matches.  They had a somewhat unruly pack of hounds, actually I think they were springer spaniels  They used to make awful noise if we went anywhere near them, so we always gave the Walker’s land a wide berth.  Once they escaped and killed all our ducks and  geese, most of them.  Actually I think my family and Walkers were quite friendly, I remember Mrs Walker gave my mother a tree peony as a going away present when we left. I carry on walking along the lane until we come up to the slope that leads up to the church. and there it is. The church didn’t appear to changed much in 50 years.  We would have liked to have gone inside, but it was locked.  A sad reflection of our times.  Has it still got that organ with the handle that had to be pumped up and down every Sunday. Associated with this Church, at least for a few months was Mrs Sheppard. Here she is again in one of her more jovial moods. But seriously, she brought the community together and the Church to focus more in our lives at that time.  She was also a great friend and mentor to my mother in times of adversity. Mrs Sheppard, who lived next door to Mr and Mrs Savage, organised us children in the village to form a choir and so we found ourselves going to choir practice on Friday evenings, along with my mother who played the organ, ready for the Sunday afternoon service. The choir outnumbered the congregation.  Sadly it only lasted a few months and disbanded when Mrs Sheppard left the village.  Meanwhile I went to confirmation classes under the Reverend Evans who was the incumbent at that time.  He was ordained in the village, but he had several parishes and didn’t live in the village. After I was confirmed I went to holy communion and the Rev’d Evans let me ring the bells.  I also had the duty of lighting the heaters in a somewhat vain attempt to get the Church warm.  I also had to pump up and down that handle to keep the organ going. Down the Road Down there is the Burts house or used to be when we were there.  Opposite over the road there used to be quite a large cider apple orchard, but I see they have managed to turn that into conifers.  Sadly I see one of the Burts, Terry, has a headstone in the Church Yard.  He was quite young. when he died. Here we are.  I see it has been done up since we left back in 1961.  I believe the Burts left soon after we did.  Right at end, when we came in 1952 there was an old lady living next to the Burts;  I think her name was Mrs Baggs or was it Maggs (remember Mrs Dales Diary). Passing by the Burt’s house a few yards down, the road branches to the left and leads up to the dairy. It was just here that we waited for the school bus.  Up there was or is the dairy;  don’t know if it still is a dairy or not, although the sign says Lower Dairy. It doesn’t look much like a dairy now does it.  Mr and Mrs Tett used to run the dairy back then.  I remember that during school holidays at 4 o’clock, my sister and I had to go up to the dairy with a milk can, where it was filled with four pints of milk and then we had to carry it all the way back home.  It was lovely milk, it wasn’t pasteurised back then and was very creamy.  We drank that milk for 9 years and we didn’t get TB or anything.   I also remember they had a golden labrador called Rex that used to travel for miles when a female dog was on heat.  We used to see him in Dorchester sometimes. Well here we are at the top. It looks a bit like private property, although there appears to be a yellow sign on that gate over there that may indicate a footpath.  It was through here that we, with Mrs Clark, Janet and John walked through those hill to Frampton and back.   We did a lot a walking in those days.  In any case its too wet to go marching through fields. I think Dad has got a photo of what this spot used to look like, hang on a moment. Ah, here it is. Impressive looking storm, unfortunately it didn’t come our way.  A muddy farm track, with the dairy stretching to the left of us and behind us, but that gate must be approximately where the far gate is in the picture above this one. We had better turn round and go back down to the road. Down there you will notice the tarmac branching to the right. Up here there used to be a path that ran past the Gales house, in fact that house on the right may have been the Gales house.  Any way, the path ran in between the Church and the Burts paddock down to the road, but it looks as if it has been closed off.  There was a path that ran up past the Gales house and round the corner another house.  When we first came there that house was the village shop and post office.  It was run by Mrs Trickey.  I believe her son was a policeman somewhere in Dorset.  Old Mr Battrick used to give us old pennies to go and by sweets in that shop;  in those days you could get a lot a penny.