by Ray George

In the Newsletter a year ago, Sandie Dixon told us of the Remount Depot finds in her garden, such as horseshoes. There must be many more discoveries to be made. Recently, while a garden fence was being installed in Binstead Close, the workers found what they think is a railway line. The plans of the Remount Depot do show a light railway network but this is the first evidence that it was built.
Unfortunately, there is a great lack of photographs and almost nothing appeared in the newspapers about the Remount Depot. This must be because of the secrecy imposed by an Order under the Defence of the Realm Regulations.

P.S. We still need financial contributions for the memorial sign. Email HCERA with your offer.

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Sue Merlow, Mob: 07789 407 402

for refurbishment of wooden windows; maintenance of wooden windows and doors that are damaged rotten or broken. She does all aspects of painting and decorating. She has worked on Herbert Collins houses for over 15 years and works to the required standards set out in the Design Guidance for the Conservation Area. She lives in Ethelburt Avenue herself.

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by John Green, Director

After what has been a rather protracted and tortuous process, the sale of the land being disposed of by Woodhill Properties Limited is about to be completed. Herbert Collins Estates Limited will then be the new owner of the freehold of all the properties subject to long leases and the freeholder of the privately maintained roads and greens, including the tennis courts, within the Conservation Area. We will be collecting the ground rents from 29th September 2019.

The Company will be contacting residents who agreed to make a contribution once we are clear about the total cost, including legal and land registration fees.

The aim of Herbert Collins Estates Limited is to manage the land in a manner that preserves or enhances the amenity of the Conservation Area and supports the activities of the Herbert Collins Estates Residents’ Association. We will now be working out how we are best able to implement this, but in the meantime the Company will adopt the policy of Woodhill Properties regarding applications for alterations. Enquiries should now be directed to the registered office of the Company at 75 Bassett Green Road, SO16 3DW. email.

As a reminder, if your property is leasehold, the terms of the lease require any proposed alterations to be notified and approved by Herbert Collins Estates Limited before any work is started. Where the freehold has been purchased there are also restrictive covenants (in largely similar terms to those in the leases) requiring approval for alterations in order to maintain the architectural character of the Estate. Company approval is of course in addition to the statutory requirements of the Government and Local Authority.

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by Peter Martin

Tuesday 14th May, 7.30-9.30 at 52 Ethelburt Avenue – An informal “Music from the Shows” evening for Christian Aid. Wine and Cake as well as music! All welcome!

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The memorial has been delivered.

Please email HCERA to offer a contribution to pay the bill of £2,328.

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There will be a litter-pick in the roads of the Conservation Area and surrounding roads on Saturday 11th May from 10.30 to 12.30.

The equipment is to be collected from 75 Bassett Green Road from 10.15. We hope you will
participate. Please email HCERA to volunteer

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by Julian Ball, Chair of Trees Subcommittee

Three Japanese double pink cherries (Prunus kanzan) have been recently planted in Ethelburt Avenue. These were sourced from Mayfield Nursery in Weston. We would be grateful if local householders could give the trees a bucket of water weekly during dry weather while the trees establish this summer.

The tree planting team would be interested in residents views about planting further cherry trees on the upward right-hand side of Ethelburt Avenue to create a complete avenue and to offer some protection of the grass verges. Please let us know what you think of this plan.

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Swaythling Lawn Tennis Club is a small friendly LTA affiliated tennis club with two well maintained grass courts located in the lower green in Ethelburt Avenue. We welcome beginners and juniors as well as more experienced players who are able to make use of the courts, take part in mix-ins with other members and play in friendly matches with other local clubs. Fees are £75 (£70 if paid before the end of May) for adults, £25 for juniors under the age of 18, and £150 (£140 if paid early) for families. As part of their membership, juniors are entitled to 6 free one hour coaching lessons with an LTA registered coach. Coaching can also be arranged for adult beginners and improvers.

The new season will start on Saturday 4th May, depending on the weather. Please come along to one of our miix-ins on Monday and Wednesday evenings, or Saturday afternoons. Further information can be found on our website or from our Chair, John Green on 80671016.

Swaythling Lawn Tennis Club Annual Plant and Cake Sale and Open Day
The tennis club welcomes you to our annual sale of plants and homemade cakes on Saturday 11th May at the club, starting at 12 noon.

On the same day, the club will be open during the afternoon for potential new members to try out our much admired grass courts. The Wimbledon experience at a fraction of the cost!

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by Michelle Fisher [Part 2]

What is your earliest memory of Ethelburt Avenue (continued)?
The hedges were much lower then and there weren’t many cars. It was impossible to walk down the road without bumping into neighbours. The garden fencing was all open trellis which was again sociable, although I was scared of the two Alsatians next door.

Where did you go after boarding school?
From 1946-49, I was at the Girls’ Grammar School in Southampton (now Richard Taunton College) and then I was at Cambridge University from 1949-52 studying Natural Sciences. After that, I completed a teacher training qualification and worked in Horsham and Maidstone teaching biology, before taking a Head of the Science Department position back at my old school in Southampton until I retired in 1989.

What was your father’s job?
He was a District Organiser for the Workers’ Education Association (providers of adult education). As he had to travel for work, we always had a car, a Morris 8, which fitted easily through the arch and into the garage.

He was Leader of the Labour Party on Southampton City Council. He was involved with Southampton University and Southampton Institute, which became Solent University. He was given Freedom of the City in 1958 for services to Southampton and was knighted in 1966. (You can read more about his work for Southampton in

There is a Solent University building named the Sir James Matthews building in the city centre (formerly Plummers Department Store).

What other memories do you have?
We had a Morrison air-raid shelter at home which was the indoor equivalent of an Anderson shelter. It was like a large tin table under which we could take cover.
Our house was struck by lightning in 1975, causing a fire and extensive damage. We were initially put up by neighbours in the road before staying with Quaker friends, whilst the repairs were completed.

What is special about living here?
The sense of neighbourliness. The Avenue is well designed and the greens make it easy to get to know people. We were always playing out as children and I remember the green space, where numbers 97-111 now stand (not built until after the war), as a wilderness of wild flowers and brambles where I would explore. I also remember playing in the fields on Bassett Green Road before the prefab housing was built there.

From a personal point of view, over the years we have valued so many of the older residents who lived in Ethelburt Avenue and their stories of life on the estate. We wish you well Margaret and will miss you. – Michelle Fisher

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