FEVER TO SOCIAL: Alan Brown passed away the other day. He was a well-respected man who spent his life living on the Nevill estate. He was one of the first people to help convert St Mary’s from the Fever Hospital to the Community Hall we all know. It will be a great relief to a lot of local people to know that the idea of building houses on the land has been shelved for now.

CHRIST CHURCH: We were pleased to welcome nearly 70 people of all ages to our Messy Church last Friday. Everyone enjoyed all the activities on offer and celebrated at the end with a lunch. The next Messy Church will be on April 8 during the Easter Holidays. Worship on Sunday at 10.30am will be led by Rev John Gordon.

SAD NEWS: I have a sad heart but want you to know that a great local personage Alan Brown of Highdown Road has passed away suddenly at home last Thursday. To say he will be deeply missed is an understatement, he was one of the kindest and most interesting community members on the Nevill, he had lived there since its very beginnings, literally born on the Nevill when his father bought a house for a minuscule amount over 80 years ago. It was a young Alan that ran to get help when his dad was working on his allotment and got hit by shrapnel from a German bomb the army exploded down at the bottom of Offham Road. His tales of local life during the war years were worth writing down and it is a shame he didn’t write that history of the Neville Estate. Alan was a stalwart of the bonfire and has left three sons, the Brown boys (also bonfire boys), and a legacy of outstanding horticultural practice. He won so many prizes on so many occasions at St Marys’ Gardening Club and they are introducing a new category this year as Alan produced such a wonderful example of Parsnips grown to exhibition standard. No one could believe how staggeringly beautiful his exhibition standard sweet peas and delphiniums were every year, parties literally got side-tracked and left the open gardens trail to wonder at his display on his Highdown allotment. Having served his country in Korea, becoming an Army boxing champion and besting the best of the Marine contenders, Alan came home to work locally and as a hobby, grew prize winning Chrysanthemums at national level before moving on to show sweet peas and delphiniums. Dear Alan could recall every change on the Nevill over the last 70 odd years from concrete air raid shelters to remembering the stream that used to run behind his house. A great contributor to local life, with an amazing collection of photos of local life, and an amateur historian of the ‘Nev’, he was truly beloved and will be sadly missed. (Heather Evans).

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