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Farningham and Eynsford Local History Society
Publication Review
An Eynsford Boyhood 1931-1950 (2006)
Brian Hussey
£3.00   A4 with card covers, 18 pages, 15 b&w illustrations and 1 sketch map

Based on a talk given by the author to The Farningham & Eynsford Local History Society in February 2005 these recollections of growing up in a village in Kent are written in graphic detail, often with an impish sense of humour, about events back in distant childhood, but most impressively remembering the names of countless other residents, young and old, many of whom must have left Eynsford in one way or another several decades ago. He writes about earlier generations of his family: his mother and her parents had been part of a mass-migration of paper-mill workers who had moved from Alton in Hampshire to Eynsford in 1909. Situated on the river Darent, Eynsford's own paper-mill was a significant local employer when Brian was a boy, and his father was employed there for many years as an engineer. Brian recalls that during off-duty hours several of his relatives manned the horse-drawn Eynsford volunteer fire brigade.

Although he writes in depth about other local characters, young Brian must have been something of a character himself. By his own admission, at the tender age of four he "shopped my own mother" to the Water Board for using what he judged to be excessive amounts (of water) when preparing vegetables. Whilst attending the local primary school he became an "Ovaltiney", listening in to Radio Luxemburg every Sunday teatime and "promising to do all sorts of virtuous things" while consuming copious quantities of Ovaltine. At the age of eleven he graduated to Sevenoaks School - and as a teenager enjoyed productive holidays fruit picking and hop picking. In March 1950 a more mature Master Hussey left Sevenoaks for National Service with the RAF.

His many adventures, on numerous occasions involving other young residents of the village, remind us today how lucky children were to be free from the restraints of today's 'safe' society and he concludes by saying "I was very fortunate to have such a beautiful setting in which to grow up, and Eynsford will, quite simply, always be a part of me."

Adapted from The Beckenham Historian, October 2006