The Little Hut In The Park
During the war a small concrete office was built in the Park for the Air Ministry Works Department, and Mrs. Irene (Taffy) Johnson worked there as a civilian clerk, doing the paperwork entailed for the Air Ministry buildings in the Park and in the surrounding area. As her husband, Dick, was away on active duty in Scotland, it was decided that Taffy should 'live on the job' so the little hut became her home until the end of the war. Taffy was befriended by the Head Gamekeeper, Mr. Tom Turner, and his wife Ann, who lived in the Headkeeper's Lodge nearby, and Taffy would visit them to have a 'chat' and as the little hut had no bathroom facilities, at that time, to use the bathroom at the Lodge.
After the war, following their marriage, the little building became the first home of Harry and Isobel Skipper; they lived there happily for a year before moving to Summerpit Cottages, and thence to the Cross Roads.
Later the Little Hut had another occupant, Mr. Tom Gallagher, an Irishman and a farm worker on the Estate. When poor old Tom had to go into hospital it was proposed that the then Youth Club members should go in and clean and decorate his small dwelling. Tom was delighted when he arrived home to see what the youngsters had done, and declared several times in his strong Irish brogue that it looked 'just like a hotel' and gave his great bellow of laughter. Sadly, Tom, a great character and the little hut have gone now, but they remain in our thoughts.
©2000 Gillian Turner
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