Crab apples and bare feet on Cowplain’s hippy trail

Horndean Light Railway staff in the Cowplain sheds and, below, choristers at St Wilfrid's Church, Cowplain, about 1950

Horndean Light Railway staff in the Cowplain sheds and, below, choristers at St Wilfrid's Church, Cowplain, about 1950

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Rosemary Wilson’s labour of love has finally come to fruition.

Years of painstaking research has resulted in a book charting the history and growth of Cowplain, near Waterlooville.

jpns-05-12-14-048 rw choir''St Wilfrid's choir, Cowplain, about 1950

jpns-05-12-14-048 rw choir''St Wilfrid's choir, Cowplain, about 1950

There are more than 100 photographs in the book interspersed with villagers’ recollections and the story of the growing area.

One intriguing memory comes from Gez Groom who recalls the events of a week of August 1969.

He says: ‘A long trail of hippies made their way on foot through Cowplain heading for the new Isle of Wight pop festival.

‘Some must have been walking for days, two were carrying a huge tarpaulin like a rolled-up carpet. One was munching on crab apples which must have tasted awful, so they definitely had no money, and another was in bare feet.’

n Memories of Cowplain by Rosemary Wilson is published by Tricorn Press at £14.95. It is on sale at Age Concern Cowplain and Waterlooville library and proceeds from its sale will go towards a war memorial in the grounds of the Age Concern Borrow Centre.

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