Clent Clarion out now: My Early Life in Clent – Derek Hookway

Derek Hookway on a Horse

Derek Hookway as a boy

Clent Clarion no. 23, edited by Carole Hodgson, is now available from the society and offers a fascinating read to anyone interested in the local history of Clent.

Derek Hookway

Derek Hookway

This edition features Derek Hookway’s own account of his time in Clent. Derek’s mother worked at Sunfield School (Sunfield Children’s Home then) and along with her job came a tied cottage. This was Jasmine Cottage on Adam’s Hill, a cottage with a castle outside the back gate; every child’s dream. In those days the castle (folly) was not closed off to the public and it was just part of Derek’s playground on the hills. He writes much about Sunfield and the way it was organised in those early days. It was very much part of his life as both parents eventually worked there and he would go to work with his mother.

Derek writes very fondly of his 21 years in Clent. (1934-1955) He speaks of the freedom he enjoyed and independence which was encouraged. Between the ages of 5 & 7 he walked by himself down to the Woodman Hotel (now The French Hen) to catch the bus to school in Stourbridge.

When Derek later attended Clent School the pupils, as in many other schools, were taught the value of  saving money each week and actively encouraged in this by being awarded a certificate when they had saved 15 shillings!

So many wonderfully bright details emerge, relating to many different aspects of life in Clent at that time including Derek’s tale of the ghostly Lady Gattica. Who she was and where she was I will not say. Derek tells it best…

A highly recommended read.

Jasmine Cottage is the first house on the left up Adams Hill just past the Fountain Inn, and opposite what was the Spring Tavern. It was modernised for my family to move into. … I was told we were the first of the housese on Adams Hill to get electricity.

Priced at £2.20, please Contact Us if you would like to purchase a copy.

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