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Memories of Forest Hall by Nancy McQueen

Parcels for the station, thrown from passing trains, sometimes missed and ended up in our garden!

My name is Nancy McQueen and when I was a child I lived in Laurel Cottage, now Mayfield House.  Father worked as a bricklayer on Forest Hall Club, possibly in 1912.  When I was younger, Palmersville was still part of Davison’s Farm and there was an old coaching inn that used to be Clousden Hill Inn but is now known as the New Coach.

The station was a big part of life in Forest Hall.  I remember Mr Alexander the Station Master, who lived in Station House, where the Flying Scotsman pub is now (the platforms were adjacent).  Bob and Charlie were porters.  We used to go into the back yard of the station to entertain ourselves; the entry fee was a pin.

Later on, I lived in Wakes Buildings, next to the station.  Parcels etc. for the station were thrown from trains onto the platform but sometimes they missed and ended up in our garden.  The house had no water supply and you had to go to the end of the four houses to find the tap.  We also had gas mantle lighting.  We moved to the corner of Briar Edge, to the house where the Beer Off was and this had a water supply and electricity.  I remember the Beer Off had stables, the horse was used to deliver the beer.

Before the flyover was built there was a crossing and trains went by about every twenty minutes, when the gates would shut.  At night the crossing man would have a nap.  When this happened the traffic was held up at the closed gates and everyone around would be disturbed by the tooting of horns as drivers tried to attract his attention.

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