CHANGES IN THE VILLAGE FROM 1950

by Joan Newby 2007

There must have been a huge change in the village about the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the 20th, most of this had happened before I was born, the shift to the south when all the big stone houses in Compston road, Compston St, Kelsick Rd, Lake Rd, The Gale and I suppose on the main road. Our houses were built in the 1890's so that would signal a change at Waterhead. I wonder what the natives made of all these changes then? I suppose they would react in much the same way as we do today. After that everything much have more or less stood still until after the war.Loughrigg Avenue was built in the 30's, and Stonecroft also then, it was the first council estate.

We moved to Waterhead in 1949 and until 1968 everything stayed the same, then the leases on the Esplanade hotels expired and Pattinsons decided that either everyone should buy or they would take back the properties, as some of them would not buy it meant that we would lose all our good neighbours at one fell swoop. The properties were then turned into one big hotel with the exception of Lakelands that was owned by the Robsons. They had moved there in 1957 Ken mid Julie and their children Rachel and Nigel. They only stayed one year after the others had moved our and sold heir hotel to property developers who turned the building into flats and built an extension the full neight of the building onto the back tt^MHiei^rt ofthe bteiWmg and the walls of the yard were demolished to make way for parking changing for the first time all that side of the lane. Now that all the houses have changed hands except mine there have been many changes, walls knocked down for parking, extensions built on the back where we would not have even considered it.

The new big hotel did not work I don't know why and two years later it was sold to the Y.H.A. which had for some years been situated in the Queen's Hotel in the Market Place. Brian and Janet Martin were the wardens and we were able to live in complete harmony with them for many years with Bill having to chase recalcitrant hostellers out of the lane from time to time when they became too noisy In 1992 the Martins took early retirement knowing the alterations which were to take place in the hostel. Many many thousands must have been spent on the alterations and reftirbishments and it began to take on the look of an hotel, It now has 250 beds and the hostellers no longer do the chores they have a large staff and built a new house at the south end of our row to accommodate them, the wardens are now called managers and they also bought Wansfell View on our row and they now live there. Again everything is geared to the motor car, in previous years Hostellers had to travel on foot or bicycle or public transport but that is no longer the case and the irst casualty was Erica Scott's garden and orchard and later large slices were taken from the front lawn for the same purpose. Now large tables and huge umbrellas have appeared and all that was nice about the Esplanade has disappeared The time the hostel moved was a sad time for us as a great part of our way of life had changed. At least at that time we still were a community with the neighbours along our side of the lane but to jump ahead that has now all gone and I am the sole survivor amongst a row of students and holiday lets so the community spirit is no more.

The marina at Waterhead expanded beyond recognition in the 50's from being Keith McNaughton's hand cranked petrol pump with a shack and old deck chair to sit on to what it has become in the present day In 1953 it was sold to Mr Williams for £5000, the value of course was in the land and the pier, of course it was a prime position with the lake access a rare commodity. New pumps were installed a bungalow and showroom established and Don McLaren moved here to become the manager We all thought at that time that it would not take off we had no idea that pleasure boating and water skiing would become such big business. That is exactly what happened, but now after the speed limit came into force in 2005 that has now all gone.

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