Fun and games at Croydon Lane

The swing in the garden at Croydon Lane was built in the early 1930s. Using logs from larch trees sawn down in the grounds of neighbouring Fairlawn House, my father, Edgar Phillips constructed the swing with help from one of his brothers-in-law. Here, they are both trying it out, sharing the fun - with Edgar at the rear.

After doing military service in WW1, Edgar had been eligible to rent a smallholding from the Surrey County Council. Here, he started up a poultry farm, having learnt the trade by working as assistant on a farm in Kenley, Surrey.

He married Helen in the autumn of 1922 and they moved into no. 22, Croydon Lane straight away. From then on, he regularly took photographs of the family, showing fun and games in the garden.

Many toys were home-made, making use of whatever came to hand, as, for example the see-saw where his daughter Marian (b.1924) and son, Noel (b.1926) are seated to the right, facing their cousin Colin.

By the mid 1930s, a chestnut tree, planted by one of Edgar's brothers,
had grown large enough to provide conkers for a friendly match.

During sunnier days, Marian played shuttlecock with two visiting aunts.

Uncles and aunts were frequent visitors.

A sporty uncle introduced new games and handstands.

Marian practices handstands with her friend Daphne Winyard, nearest camera.
In the background can be seen a row of trees where work had already begun
on developing the area which became Fairlawn Grove.

In 1937, Basque refugee children were housed in outbuildings at
nearby Oaks Park. Many of them came to no. 22 to play games such
as darts. Other popular games were deck tennis and French cricket.

Blind Man's Buff with Noel, here blindfolded. Toddler Wendy also joins in.
The row of newly-built houses in Fairlawn Grove is seen in the background.

Many a snowman came into being, one of them
seen here with the swing in the background.

In 1938, aunts, uncles and cousins joined in one of the last garden parties before the start of WW2.
The swing, seen here in the background, lasted a few more years.

In 1953 the family leaves Croydon Lane. Only one pole of the old swing
remains standing when Wendy bids farewell to no. 22.

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