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ORAL HISTORY - CHRIS HICKS - THURSDAY 29 JANUARY 1998.

I visited Chris Hicks to take photographs of the remaining buildings on the old HQ Site. His father started farming on the HQ Site in 1962. All of the buildings on the site, with the exception of 5; 16; 19a to 19g; 20, and the air raid shelter, had been removed by Goldsmid using the grant given to him for this purpose.

The concrete bases were dug up by the late Mr Hicks senior, who came across 3 or 4 inch solid copper piping used as the main power cable; and great water mains and drains. The through concrete road remains as does the original gates on either end.

In 1962 the buildings were in good condition and had cast iron stoves inside. These have been thrown away over the years, and the doors to the buildings have been unhinged by cattle leaning and rubbing against the buildings, and these too have been discarded, although some lay on the ground gently rotting. Shed No.16 was knocked down to build the current open barn and the chimney stack at the end on Shed No.16 lays broken on the ground where it fell.

The centre roof of the Fire Station blew off in the 1987 gales and has not been repaired. The building was painted pink upon the instructions of Mrs.Goldsmid.

The two concrete static water tanks are still there and yet to be photographed and the overhead escape hatch on the air raid shelter can be removed so as to allow sufficient light to enter the shelter in order that the inside can be photographed. The stove is still 'in situ' in this building.

Chris also recalled the Italian gardens opposite Newhouse Farm House in the days when Goldsmid live there. Although the garden is derelict and overgrown now, in its hey day it was an ornate Italian garden maintained by an Italian and his wife. When Goldsmid moved out, they when back to Italy and the garden not touched since. I suspect that the husband was an Italian prisoner of war who married a local girl and took the moving of Goldsmid as an opportunity to return home.

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