Framfield Road Uckfield


As mentioned in the previous chapter, due to the increase in the number of children Frank and Nellie had and Gran living with them plus the children Nellie was now fostering, Fair View had now become too small. In March 1959 the family moved to Framfield Road in Uckfield. Frank and the family now lived in a town, quite different from a small village and "country life". "31" was a three storey semi-detached house with a cellar, it had six bedrooms and a total of five seperate flights of stairs albeit two with only three steps!. The garden was smaller than Fair View but still had a sizable vegetable patch. There was a purpose built Furniture Depository in the back garden that was part of the property. With a large family to feed and horticultural skills to call upon Frank put the rear garden and an additional allotment to good use. He spent much time after work tending both the garden and the allotment. The allotment was where the new Uckfield hospital now is further along Framfield Road..



The back garden at "31"; Dionne is sitting on the left of the picture, next to her is Gran Cottingham (Nellie's mum) Barbara is feeding baby Richard. The productive vegetable patch can be seen in the background.


Within a couple of weeks of moving Frank and Nellie started fostering Dionne who was to remain with them for many years. Shortly after Dionne came, Barbara was hospitalised with an unidentified  long term illness which was never clearly diagnosed. She remained in hospital during June and July of 1959. Richard was the next member of the family to arrive in April of 1960. Frank and Nellie did not have a phone at home. Barbara recalled that when Frank went to the phone box outside "31" to find out how the birth of Richard was progressing he returned to tell them that the box was out of order. He then went to the box at the railway station only to find that it was also not working. He then returned home yet again to report the situation! Eventually he got through using the box at the bus station. A different world from today when most people have got a mobile phone.



Above is a photo of Frank and his family outside the front door of "31". Newly born Richard is in Nellie's arms. Helen with David in the centre and Barbara right form the middle row. Michael is sitting in the front with Dionne on the right of the photo.


Shortly after moving to Uckfield Frank received the offer of a job (via his father Archibald) with Mr Preston. As this was easier to travel to, being in Uckfield, Frank started work at "Gormanston" in Snatts Road, he remained there until his retirement in July 1986. During the early years working at Gormanston Frank spent much time in looking after and developing the Blackcurrant crop. He also helped with the poultry and assissted with the Haying and Harvesting. Frank was responsible for all of the vegetable production for the house "Gormanston" as well as producing fruit in the hothouses and caring for all of the flowering plants in the conservatory; this also included bananas and grapes. The many lawns and flower gardens around the house were also tended by Frank. An annual responsibility was the taking part in the "beating"  for the shooting parties and plucking the birds after the shoot.


In May of 1960 Pastor J Pratt (Frank's Uncle) died. Pastor Pratt was a relative as well as being a formative element in Frank's earlier involvement in the Church. He also assisted in their wedding ceremony. See the page on Preaching.


Nellie's Mum, Gran died in 1961 after years of poor health. She had lived with Frank and the family for many years. Gran's room was initially turned into a family sitting room and the large upstairs family room became a bed-sitting room for lodgers. Frank and Nellie had a series of lodgers at Framfield Road over the years.


Frank's religious convictions continued unabated. Preaching constituted a large part of his time outside of his job and other gardening activities. He maintained his association with the Chapel at Halland. Cycling to Chapels in the surrounding area limited him in his ability to cover larger distances. Frank progressed to a moped allowing him to travel greater distances. The family continued to grow, fortunately many photos illustrate this continuum. In the picture below Frank's moped TPN 838 can be seen to the right of the family.





 Richard was the last of Frank's children to "Arrive". By 1964 Barbara, the first of the family to leave home moved from home to work in a live-in job looking after children at Hole Farm, Bodle Street. She did this for two years prior to starting her SRN Training. Helen left home in 1967 to get married. With the decrease in size of the family a further move was considered as less space was needed.


With finances improving slightly holidays away from home became possible. The first holiday was to Sandown on the Isle of Wight in 1963. Frank took his father, Archibald, Helen and Barbara with him. Other places included Lynton in Devon, Littlehampton in Sussex and Widecombe Devon in 1966. Due to financial constraints it was not usual for the whole family to all go at the same time.



The year that the family went to Littlehampton, days before the holiday the Reliant Robin LHC 391 three wheeler (see photo gallery) stalled while coming out of a junction and stopped in the path of an oncoming vehicle. That was the end of the Robin! Hasty arrangements had to be made for travel to Littlehampton, good old British Rail. 


The next vehicle that Frank bought was a light green and white Ford Anglia EAP 916 C the progress to four wheels had been made! Frank had been driving the Robin on a motorbike licence (at the time quite legal if the reverse gear was blocked off) Frank had to take his car driving test, Nellie, Helen and Barbara all passed their tests in 1965. 


Mr Preston, Frank's employer was developing Olives Meadow on the end of Grange Road Uckfield. Frank and Nellie were fortunate enough to purchase one of these houses. They moved to Grange Road in the early summer of 1968.


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