A grandfather’s memories

MANY of us will have fond memories of visiting grandparents when we were young.

Peeps correspondent Michael Collyer can recall going to see his maternal grandfather, George Holloway, who lived in an old cottage in Knaphill. The first time was as far back as 1936 – and times were certainly different then.

LONG GONE – The Barley Mow pub at the corner of Chobham Road and Barley Mow Lane on the outskirts of Knaphill, and George Holloway. The caption on the 1900s postcard incorrectly locates the pub at Bisley

His grandfather was born in Alton, Hampshire, and had been a publican. It appears he moved around a bit because on the 1901 census he and his wife Ellen and their seven children were living in Slough. His occupation is listed as a beer retailer.

Some of their children, including Michael’s mother, Sarah, were born in Chiswick, one of the siblings was born in Maidenhead, and the youngest was born in Slough.

At a date unknown, George Holloway came to the Knaphill area and ran the Barley Mow pub that was at the corner of Chobham Road and Barley Mow Lane. The building is now a house.

Peeps correspondent Michael Collyer’s grandfather George Holloway

Michael says that his father met his mother at the pub in about 1920 and they married in 1925. It appears last orders were called at the Barley Mow in 1929.

There are some details on the internet that suggest the building dates to the 16th century, and that it closed after there was a murder there!

Michael takes up his memories of his grandfather: “It seems my grandfather had a brother in America who had a lot of money and left it to him. But the cottage in which he lived [in or near Barley Mow Lane] when we visited had very low ceilings, no electricity or gas, although there was a mains water supply.

“It was lit by paraffin lamps and the only heating was from the kitchen range. The toilet was out in the garden about 12 yards from the house.

“My grandad was a lovely man. He looked after himself and was always smartly dressed, often wearing his celluloid collar and tie.

“We cycled there from our home in Maybury and when we arrived he would always say ‘Just in time for a cup of tea’, and I remember him saying to me: ‘Go and get some milk, boy.’

“With a jug that held a pint’s worth off I went along Barley Mow Lane, crossing over Anchor Hill Road and into Barnby Road. There was a large white building on the left and then an opening that led to a shed with straw on the floor and in which there was a cow.

The Barley Mow Pub as it was during George Holloway’s tenure

“A man shouted: ‘Have you come for some milk?’ I replied that I had and that my grandfather Mr Holloway had sent me. The man took the jug from me, sat down on a stool and invited me to watch him milk the cow.

“I watched in wonder and when he handed me back the jug I remember the milk felt quite warm. Even then I thought it strange that milk was available straight from a cow as our pasteurised school milk in third-of-a-pint bottles was much more hygienic.”

Michael can still recall the cycle ride back home to Arnold Road in Maybury for tea at about 5 o’clock.

He adds: “Sadly, my grandfather died in 1948, aged 86. But he is still with me when I attend his grave in Horsell churchyard, and I try to keep that tidy.”

If  you have some memories or old pictures relating to the Woking area, call David Rose on 01483 838960, or drop a line to the News & Mail.

David Rose is a local historian and writer who specialises in what he calls “the history within living memory” of people, places and events in the west Surrey area covering towns such as Woking and Guildford. He collects old photos and memorabilia relating to the area and the subject, and regularly gives illustrated local history talks to groups and societies. For enquiries and bookings please phone or email him at: davidrosemedia@gmail.com

Recommended For You

About the Author: Editorial Team