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News > THROUGH THE DECADES > Jeff Ridgway has been looking back in Lockdown

Jeff Ridgway has been looking back in Lockdown

We catch up with Jeff (W 1958-62) on life in the US and he shares a rare glimpse of Walhampton in the 1950s
Homemade rafting on the lake
Homemade rafting on the lake

Jeff Ridgway gives us an update on life in America during Lockdown:

Not much to report from America...relieved to not be bombarded by Trump’s negative Tweets! And to have a real President in the White House. 

Last year was very different and interesting especially being trapped on a small island, Bequia, in the Caribbean for 5 months!! That took care of the first half of the year and then fishing...gardening and hibernating till now...vaccinations (Whoopi!) things are looking up! 

Holly and I have been blessed to be involved in a number of organizations...High Hopes Therapeutic Riding in Old Lyme, Connecticut for 40 some years now...our local YMCA camp and other organizations locally in Chester where we have lived for about 40 years. 

My wonderful crazy wife has made sure we have a very busy and interesting life with a great group of friends! In fact one of our older friends lives in Lymington and her two sons went to Walhampton...the Myatt’s! Our daughter is a therapist helping a lot of people and raising her own family not too far from us!

What have I learned, particularly from enjoy the to to build a good for dinner...being around horses...especially if they are wondering through the New Forest with Gypsy wagons! 

Life is a box of chocolates!! 

Interested in hearing from anyone in the ‘58 to ‘62 time frame...I was the tall skinny kid!

Here's Jeff's recollections of the scenes in the photos below:

George Bernard dressed as an American Indian!!   

On the lake: I seem to remember making this boat out of a canvas and ferns!

Boy scout camp…vague memories of possibly Dunlop farm but certainly someones home in the New Forest.

Cooking at camp! I do remember splashing burning oil on my leg!?!        

I don't remember the horses name but I’m mounted on him…when I left school the summer of 1962 I had grown to over 6 feet tall so the ponies were to small for my long legs. The only person taller than me at school was PL!!

The boilersuits we wore to play in were great protection from the BB gun pellets!

Whatever happened to the wonderful model train layout in the basement? It's still there Jeff and is an after school club!

I don’t remember us playing rugby, just soccer and cricket…and fishing…the Pike was a treat to catch!

Chicken pox - whole school was in quarantine and we had to go up the drive to collect the milk and bread delivery where they were left!

Guy Fawkes bonfire (seemed like 50ft tall!!) and fireworks were wonderful.

Christmas in the chapel by Candle light was amazing.

Model plastic WWII aero planes making them and then battles…conkers!

Making cider in flagons with screw tops and leaving them in my tuck box over half term!


His friend Paul Woodward adds in:

Here are a couple of memories of mine:

Cook accidentally substituting mayonnaise for custard!

The day all the boiled eggs contained dead chicks.

Turning hymn music pages for Mr. Lidell at the organ at Sunday service. 

PL sitting with me all night during the worst asthma attack I have ever had, before or since.


Thanks for the memories Jeff and Paul - please keep them coming!

Photo gallery

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