Titheridge Family Life by Val Grevitt

Val was a fellow genealogist, now sadlly deceased, who was descended from the Titheridges of Droxford. We are grateful to him for sharing his Droxford family tree. Below are two articles written by Val (whose full name was Valentine Frederick Loos Grevitt) about his early life and memories of the Titheridges. The articles were both written before 2000.

Val’s mother Hilda Grace Titheridge was the daughter of Noah John Titheridge and Amelia Gardener. She was born in Droxford in April 1895 and married her husband Albert Grevitt in February 1914.

My Earliest Memories by Val Grevitt

DSC06865Soon after my birth in 1916 my family moved to Shedfield, Hants near Portsmouth where I lived until 1927, so my earliest memories were of that period. I do not remember World War 1 but my father had very unpleasant memories and as a result of those experiences died in 1925. My mother, whose maiden name was Titheridge, was one of 14 children, of whom only one died; Titheridge was a common name in the area.

My grandfather Titheridge was a market gardener and one of his most popular crops was strawberries. Mother was usually called in to help pick the luscious fruit. My brother and I were often taken along to help, but the temptation to ‘taste’ the product frequently proved irresistible. My grandfather had also been the licensee of the “Black Dog” Inn at Waltham Chase before I was born. Every Christmas the Titheridge clan gathered at this hostelry and much boozing and singing took place, whilst we children stuffed ourselves with fruit and nuts and ginger pop in an unlicensed room made available to us by the publican.

Memoirs of Shedfield Feb 1916 to April 1927 by Val Grevitt

DSC06840Both my brother and I were born at Waltham Chase which was approximately one and a half miles along the Winchester Road from Shedfield, the place we had moved to when we were very young. My parents, Albert and Hilda, rented Sloane Cottage which was situated with the front facing the main village road and the rear overlooking the common land. Later, though how much later I have no idea, my mother’s youngest sister Gladys and her husband Cecil Vear moved in with us and eventually took over completely. Aunt Gladys was still there in 1984 but died in 1986. Uncle Cecil died on 5 March 1968 at the age of 74 years. They had eight children.

My grandfather, Noah John Titheridge, was a labourer when his son William Edwin was born in 1883 but by 1884 when his son Walter Charles came along he had become a publican and remained so at least until 1899 when Freda Flossie put in an appearance. By this time, however, he had also taken on the trade of thatcher and this was followed by market gardening the occupation he was involved in at the time of my earliest recollection of him. His inn keeping days were said to have been as Licensee of the “Black Dog” Inn Waltham Chase and his market gardening livelihood carried out right next door at premises known as “Arcadia”. He was still working on his farm when he met with a most unfortunate fatal accident at the ripe old age of 71. Whilst spreading hay on top of a cart an extra loud clap of thunder caused the horse to bolt and, not having anything to hold on to poor Grandad fell heavily to the ground and broke his neck.

DSC06867My memory associates the “Black Dog” with Christmas and “Arcadia” with strawberries. The former because it was a regular occurrence for the Titheridge clan to get together at the “Black Dog” at Christmas. Whilst the adults were soaking up the beer we children were stuffing ourselves with fruit and nuts and ginger pop in an unlicensed room made available to us by the publican. During the strawberry season it was customary for my mother to help her father gather the ripened fruit ready for onward transmission to the market place which, if my memory serves me correctly was mainly Fareham roughly five miles away in the direction of Portsmouth. Though we occasionally assisted not all of the luscious fruit found its way into the basket.

Grandma Amelia was a wonderful woman for, not only did she bear fourteen children and rear thirteen of them to become fully fledged adults she kept herself, her family and her home in immaculate condition. Although I did not visit all of my uncles and aunts frequently I saw enough to realise that most of them had followed in her footsteps by applying her policy of hard work and strict discipline, to their own homes. After grandfather died in 1929 Grandma gave up the marketing business and moved across the road to Poplar Cottage which was single storey set on land which was used mainly for growing tree fruit such as apples and plums. Even though she must have been at least 71 years of age when she moved into Poplar cottage her home was still kept in a spotless condition. Her only unmarried offspring Fred who had always lived at home helped her run the place. In her late seventies she became too frail to carry on so a place was found for the in the Cottage Hospital in Shirrell Heath, a neighbouring village, where she died just before her 82nd birthday on 5 March 1940.