Barry Lowe ‘s Childhood Memories in East Boldre

Barry Lowe (Baz) was born in East Boldre in 1945. He has lived in the village almost all his life. His grand parents owned a small holding in the village, producing their own butter and cheese. He went to school in East Boldre until he was 11, then to Brockenhurst School.
During the war, he and his parents looked after an Alsatian guard dog, owned by Max Muller (a German POW). You can see Barry with the German Sheppard Rex in the photo.

Barry was a friend of Ken Russell, and appeared in several of his films. He also writes country and western song lyrics. He has written several songs (tracks of East Boldre) about characters in the village (including the lady with the pram telling the story of Lillian Rostigina) and true events which took place in East Boldre (including the day we drank John Cuttler’s cider).




School Days


A Forest Childhood


Gran and Granfer


P.O.W. Max Muller


Lillian Rostigina


John Cutler’s Cider


How Dick Died


Cliff Harvey

Cliff Harvey was born in 1938 and has lived in the same lane in East Boldre all his life. His family has been heavily involved with commoning.



East Boldre Oral Histories (EBOH)


East Boldre Oral History project – EBOH has gathered and collated memories and social history from residents of the parish of East Boldre, who were born and brought up in the village. This research explores how the village has changed, from its origin as a squatter’s settlement to the present day.






Project aims:

  • Record memories and tales of an East Boldre as it was,
  • Install a sense of community and pride – giving a voice to the families who have lived there for generations who feel marginalised by fast changing community,
  • capture memories before they are lost,
  • re-install a sense of community that once existed, help people who move/stay in East Boldre recognise its history and character,
  • encourage people share time together to talk about heritage,
  • celebrate Gypsy Traveller and Commoning heritage.


EBOH will record and transcribe memories from residents and create interpretation linking the village together forming a community thread.  Interpretation will be sited in the adopted BT kiosks in the village, as well as the School Fields Trust Hall and Village Hall. The interpretation will include QR codes which link to a sound cloud where audio recordings will be available.  A listening station will also be sited in the Village Hall, where people can put on earphones and listen to the oral history recordings.

Extracts from these interview recordings are now available to listen to on the projects EBOH SoundCloud site.


Freda Smith’s memories of life in East Boldre

Freda Smith was born in 1923 and lived with her parents, grandmother and seven siblings in a pair of thatched cottages in Masseys Lane. She went to Beaulieu School as her father worked on the Beaulieu estate. At fourteen she went into service at a house in Beaulieu.



Josie House

Josie was born in Pilley in 1940, she moved to East Boldre when she got married to Harry House. Josie has three children, the youngest is Kevin who still lives in East Boldre

Kevin House

Kevin House was born in East Boldre in 1961 to Josie and Harry House.  He is very keen on sports and was a key member of the football club and also umpired for cricket matches.


Larry Abraham

Larry Abraham was born in East Boldre in 1929. He and his parents initially lived with his grandfather. His father then built a separate house on the same plot of land. He now lives in another house on the same piece of land.

He attended East Boldre school and then worked at British Power Boat in Hythe towards the end of WWII. After his time in National Service, he worked in Lymington, where he met his wife. After moving to the North of England for a brief period, he returned to East Boldre and has lived there since.

Liz Searle’s childhood memories

Elizabeth (Liz) was born in East Boldre on 2 March 1956 and has lived in the village for all of her life. She lived initially in Factory Cottages in Factory Lane. She attended Beaulieu School and went to the chapel with her grandmother. Her father worked in Hythe and her mother worked as a cleaner in the village hall for many years and also had a paper round.

Her grandparents (the Kitchers) lived at Fir Tree Cottage, where they kept animals, and her uncle Rol (Roland Kitcher) was particularly skilful with horses.