Saturday, July 02, 2011

Sandra Chapman | Memories of Shrubland Hall

An archived post from the (now-defunct) Shrubland Revisited website... 


Contributed on 28th November 2007
I accidentally discovered today that Shrubland Park had been sold, and I was so saddened by the news. I lived on the estate from about 1953 until 1962. My Father worked there as Maintenance Engineer, and was very much involved in transforming the Hall into the Clinic which it became. I remember often “babysitting” Louisa and the boys when they were about 2-3yrs old, impossible to believe they are now 50, and to discover that Louisa had died.
I noticed that the farewell party had assembled at the Sorrell Horse – in my time a “spit and sawdust” local frequented mainly by farm labourers but also by the cartoonist, Giles, who was a friend of my father. When we first moved to Shrubland, there was an out building behind the stable block where we lived, called the Studio, and it was full of paintings which I believe were done by the old Lords sister ( the old Lord lived in South Africa). There was also a skating rink there too! Now all long gone. At that time too, there was an old horse at the farm, related to the famous Foxhunter. I wonder if anyone remembers that. I also recall the time when a tractor was brought into the orchard to pull down some old trees, and it practically disappeared down a hole, which turned out to be an ice house that everyone had forgotten about.
There used to be a doctor who lived in the Russian Lodge – he was a Consutant at Ipswich Hospital I used to baby-sit for him too! What happened to the Forsdykes who had the Kitchen Gardens for so long, and the Goodings who practically ran the Hall? So many memories, and now it’s all gone.
When I left Shrubland, it was to train as a nurse, and when I went to say goodbye to “Madam” as she liked to be called, she offered me a job on the completion of my training in the clinic if I wanted it. However, things don’t always pan out as you expect them to, and other horizons opened up so of course it never happened. My father though, continued to work there until his death in 1968.
Sandra Chapman (nee Roadknight)

Sandra Chapman’s Photographs 
Click on a photo for a larger version

The view from the main hall at Shrubland Hall down towards the garden, also known as the One Hundred Steps, taken in 1978

Shrubland Hall conservatory, taken from a postcard published when the clinic first opened in the 1960s

Sandra Chapman, and Vanda Wright‘s mother Mary

Sandra Chapman in the courtyard at Shrubland Hall

A pre world war one (1909) postcard of Shrubland Hall