Via this website, we have been contacted by Margaret Tasker, whose father…….I’ll let her explain.
“My father was with the Godman family and was their chaffeur for many years. He was born in 1881, and was in the first world war. I do know if he was with them before the war,maybe after he came back from this war. He lived in a house in Burgate Lane with his first wife and daughter. This is on the way up to Burgate house.
My mother was in service at park hatch, when she was 13-14yrs old, she came from Co.Durham. I am not aware of the details, you know how these family details were kept secret!!! My mother and father obviously knew each other then, 1925 or there about. My father’s first wife died at 47yrs old, and somehow my mother and him kept in touch, as she returned to the North to become a nurse. He would drive up to the estate in Inverness which the Godmans owned, and would meet in Newcastle. Or so the story goes?!!
Anyway they did marry in 1937 in Guildford and lived in a flat over the garage, which I believe was the stables before. I was born there, and now I believe it is the coach house. I did go in there many years ago on one of my trips back.
He stayed with the Godmans until the 2nd world war, then it was taken over I think by the air-force, but anyway they never lived in it again. We moved down to one of the houses in New Road, and that was where we remained until his death in 1948. Years later we moved to Binhams Meadow in Dunsfold.
My childhood memories are of always going into the Park, and over into the garden of Park hatch and picking primroses in the huge garden. The corner cottage at the crossroads to Cranleigh and Dunsfold, lived the head gardener Mr Markwell, so I was always allowed to collect the flowers.
When I was a baby my mother had a bad car accident in New Road, and the people who lived in the Lodge towards Loxhill, each side was a separate house, their name was Hampshire. Well they looked after me for quite a long time, as my father was working.
I clearly remember the large pond, and the kitchen garden, which had greenhouses attached to one of the long walls to the big house. I would often go up with Mr.Markwell to help water this.
I suppose I thought it all belonged to us as it was on the doorstep, and a wonderful playground.
The photos I have of the house, I have the originals, but are framed on the wall of our house. Also many black and white photos of my father with the car he drove, some in the snow, which was higher than the car.
I will be coming to the UK in September this year again, and staying with friends in Godalming, so maybe could help you with any details, if I remember of course?
I always think these stories are worth recording for history,and my childhood is very clear to me.
The couple who lived in the coach house some years ago, and I cannot remember their name,her name was Geraldine, were doing some research on the house, and did have lots of photos, and I let her have copies of a couple of mine. I know she now lives in Bosham, and with my friends from Dunsfold maybe able to locate her?
Please let me know if you would like more information, if any. Thank you for contacting me, I was thrilled to get your email. Living on the other side of the world, very nice.
Margaret Gregory Tasker.”