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by Abi Stubbs
Lots of people have memories of Troopers Hill and the surrounding area. Many people have said they enjoyed playing there as children. Some say with a smile that they used to go there when they were 'courting'. We are very pleased to be able to post some of these memories via this website.
First is a document written by Tom Fry who was born in 1902 and used to live on Air Balloon Rd. This document was hand written and included several sketches, it was lent to us by Raymond Holland. One of our members kindly typed the document up for us and Tom's family have said that they are happy for the document to be published being sure that that is what Tom would have wanted. The document can be downloaded below:
Memories of Troopers Hill, Crews Hole, Conham & Hanham by Tom Fry (3MB)
A second set of memories is from David Hurt who used to live in St George. Extracts from his account 'Bristol as I knew it' can also be downloaded.
Extracts from 'Bristol as I knew it' by David Hurt
Keith James who now works a Gingell's butchers shared his memories in the Spring 2014 edition of 'The Hill' our Newsletter.
The Hill Spring 2014 - Memories of Troopers Hill - Keith James (see p3)
Another inhabitant of the area who recorded her memories was Elizabeth Emra, or 'Little Elizabeth', who was the author of 'Scenes in our
Parish' the first part of which was published in 1830 and the second in 1832. Her father was
John Emra, vicar at St George Church and she described herself as 'A Country Parson's Daughter'. You can read a brief description of her life and some quotes from her book via the link below:
You can now read the 1833 American edition of this wonderful book on Google books via this link: tinyurl.com/emra1833
Google books also has a scanned copy of a second book by Elizabeth Emra called 'Realities of Life' which was published in 1838 and also has some references to St George; this can be found at: tinyurl.com/emra1838
The People of Troopers Hill, Crews Hole & St George
As people tell us their memories we are gradually finding out more and more about the people who used to live and work around Troopers Hill. Many of the same surnames keep comming up, these are the surnames of the inhabitants of Crews Hole and Conham
listed in the 1881 Census.
Until the 1960s the area around the hill was much less built up that it is now. Crews Hole village was centred around the Lamb Inn until it closed in about 1956 and there were scattered cottages on the hillside above the Avon. The various chapels and churches formed a focus point for the community. One of the chapels was the Methodist Chapel near the corner of Crews Hole Road and Troopers Hill Road - it has now been converted into flats.
One of our members gave us a copy of a photograph of the congregation taken in 1953. We printed the photo in the Summer 2008 edition of 'The Hill' and have been putting together the list of names of those who were there:
Until the 1950s some people lived in cottages imediately adjacent to the hill; there were four cottages forming Stone's Rank where the nursary on Crews Hole Road now stands and up a track on the west side of the hill was Rosary Cottage and Hillside Cottage the locations can be seen here:
We are lucky enough to have been contacted by people who's families lived in all these cottages and all have allowed us to post photographs which can be seen below - many thanks. Perhaps the most remarkable are those taken at Hillside Cottage. The surname of the family who lived there in the 1930s and 40s was 'Friend' they truely were the Friends of Troopers Hill.