Geoff Gibson, born 1930s
Jennings Field was pasture land where they grazed sheep, cattle and, at one time, pigs. There used to be a footpath across it to the Green Dragon pub but it’s been re-routed
now round the estate. It went past the old bungalow which Bill Jennings had, where the large houses are now behind the metal gate. Bill Jennings had an orchard at the back
of the field that went right out to the Green Dragon and he built a bowling green there and the Dragon played on it but then it got built on. Jennings Field was probably
the last bit of farmland to go.
Roy Jennings was in a wheelchair but he had a great brain, he knew so many languages that he taught languages to people who came from far and wide. He was also a keen
football supporter and Flackwell Heath had the best junior side round here. I’d go and watch it every Saturday, on the playing field (the recreation ground) before they
had the swings there.
Roy Jennings got into turkey farming and where the school is now was a turkey farm. When I was a nipper I used to go and look after the turkeys, there were hundreds of
them, and in the winter we had to pluck them.
I’m the third generation of my family to live in this house at 90 Straight Bit. Most of the houses when I was a child had Anderson shelters, a lot of them had them in the
Our cottage was two up and two down with a toilet down the garden. There was a huge vegetable garden and an orchard down the side and another big orchard which the
school have now for their nature study area. Jennings owned all the land round here except our part. We grew all manner of fruit – plums, cherries, apples, pears.
All of it went up to Covent Garden. A lorry would come and go all round all the local farms and orchards, pick up the fruit and you got so much money for a sieve.
They had cherry blossom Sunday and people came from miles around just to see the blossom and the air was full of it, the scent of all the blossom was fantastic.