Frank did not compile a detailed life history of his life after the war. He only made brief notes listing some of the main events of his life, these have been discussed with Nellie in an attempt to fill in some of the gaps.


Life at Fair View Halland



Frank with some of the Nursery staff at Halland.

Frank is wearing dark dungarees and cap


After returning from the war Frank was employed Mr Pryke's nursery. and later on at Mathew’s Nursery near Halland Chapel (a Calvinistic Independent Chapel) in Lewes Road, Halland. Nellie’s father who farmed at Halland Farm had already died, however she and her mother still lived at the farmhouse. Helen was born in February 1947 at the Farmhouse. Frank recalled in his notes that the night before Helen was born was an extremely cold night and that the midwife was very concerned that the water in her radiator would freeze so she asked him to drain the radiator which he did. Frank stayed down stairs playing Rummy with Nellie's mum until Helen arrived in the morning, he said he had never played cards so much in his life before or since!



Frank, (wearing one of his many hats!) teaching Helen to cycle.


After initially living with Nellie's mother at Halland Farm, the family moved to Fair View, Eastbourne Road, Halland. Nellie’s Mum continued to live at the Farm. Fair View was a small bungalow of mainly wood and asbestos construction which when they moved in on the 5th of November 1947 had no electricity!


Frank and the family initially worshiped at Hope Chapel, Blackboys. Archibald Thomas, Frank's father and Kate, Frank's mother are both burried at Hope Chapel. During Barbara’s early childhood they started worshiping at Halland Chapel. At about this time Frank started preaching at various local chapels.  His tan coloured “music case” containing his Bible and notes, hanging from the handlebars of his bike (see above) as he cycled to any one of a number of local chapels an everlasting memory. In later years Frank travelled throughout Sussex to undertake his preaching commitment, the increase in distance meant going by car. During all of his life Frank suffered badly from travel sickness even when only being driven a short distance. He did not let this interupt his preaching.



Fair View Halland


Barbara was born in July 1948 at Fair View. She was born in the room with the window on the right of the photo above. Shortly after Barbara was born Nellie’s mum moved to Fairview. Ada Cottingham (Nellie's mother) joined them at Fairview because of her failing health. She was not well enough to look after the children when Nellie was giving birth or in the immediate time after the birth. Home helps were provided during this period.


Life was very busy in Frank’s early married years. Frank worked at the nursery full time, he had an acre of garden with large vegetable and flower beds and also kept geese & chicken. The chicken provided eggs for the family with excess being sold at the gate. The geese were fattened and sold fully prepared for the table at Christmas time. Flowers were grown and sold at the gate they were also cut, prepared and boxed for sale commercially by shops. The vegetables were for family use again with excess ones sold at the gate, Light evenings were spent  cultivating sowing weeding and harvesting. If over £1 was taken on the gate in a day (to quote Nellie) "it felt like a thousand!" and was a very welcome addition to the weekly income.


Only one week during the summer and one in the winter was spent “on holiday” from his day job. Much of the holiday was spent working in the garden. Only very limited time was used to relax in. The day long Sunday School trip and a very occasional day outing constituted the year’s relaxation away from the garden. Frank personally taught all of his children to ride bikes, cycling was the family’s only method of transport.


Due to the increased size of the family and the arrival of mother-in-law it was decided that extra space was needed so an extension was built at the back of Fair View. This consisted of an extension to the kitchen, including the outside toilet in the main house, a double bedroom and Grans bed-sitting room. There was no bathroom at this stage. Some time later on the the original house was "bricked in" and pebble-dashed by Uncle Alec Berry. 


The photo shows part of the brick extension to Fair View and also a stack of flower boxes (to left of photo) waiting to be used.  In the forefront is Barbara holding her 5th birthday cake, the photo was taken in July 1953.


Frank (and the family) obtained their water from a well. The well was not always very full so the water was sometimes got from Mr Frances' well next door. The exact date of the laying on of mains water to the village is not clear but it was during the time Nellie was pregnant with David. On returning from an antenatal clinic Nellie slipped on the mud by a trench dug for pipe laying and hurt her back. Back problems were a feature of Nellie's life for many years to come. The cesspool also was of continuing concern to Frank as it kept filling-up. This was rectified by Eric Gould.  



Nellie's has written on the back of this photo of Fair View "Our 1st home Fair View at Halland, we moved into it Nov 5th 1947. (taken years later! we had the verandah built in enlarging the living room)". The original front of Fair View was flat, the "verandah" is the part protruding out of the middle of the building. 


David (Frank's third child) was born at Fair View in February 1950. Photos of him and proud parents are in the photo gallery



 Newly born David in his Mum's arms.


Frank went to the Calvin Hall at Eastgate Lewes to see the relayed broadcast of Billy Graham. This experience had a profound effect on Frank and intensified his religious feelings and increased his desire to preach. The visit reminded him of his mother's faith in prayer and belief during the last few months of her life when she received much comfort from this, she prayed often for Franks well being when she had gone.


Michael was born at Eastbourne Hospital in February 1955. during the Fair View time. Follow the above link for early photos. Nellie left hospital before Michael after he was born as he was kept in because of being unable to keep his food down.



The proud father and family pictured in the back garden of Fair View. Nellies mother is holding the recently born Michael in her arms. Left to right are Barbara, Helen and David.


Two years later Marion Frances was born in Eastbourne Hospital on the 2nd of November 1957. Marion very sadly died that same month on the 21st of November in Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital London. This traumatic and extremely emotional event had a lasting effect on both Frank, Nellie and the family. Shortly after this Frank and Nellie started what was to be many years of fostering children. Nellie recalled the sorrow of returning the small baby they had fostered. When accompanying the parents to the garden gate to say goodbye and watching the little baby leaving Nellie was in tears. A little later Frank discussed the merit to Nellie of only fostering older children in future as the loss of Marion was still very recent. The future 25 children were all older than "babies".




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