Memories of giant haystacks

The Christmas haystack at Down Farm Field, Horndean

The Christmas haystack at Down Farm Field, Horndean

The fire-ravaged flat in Kent Road, Southsea, in which the pensioner died

Squalor: Mrs Perry and her five children  the youngest of whom was only five  spent their days and nights in the front half of their lounge (C4981-1)

Cats: Thanks to the kindness of Caroline and the charities which came to their rescue, a family of stray cats was saved from starvation (B4853-1) 

Flood: The pipe was plugged by Portsmouth Water Company workers after 30 minutes (B4928-1)

THIS WEEK IN 1989: Recluse killed in Southsea blaze

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Many of you will remember farmer Stan Wittcomb’s annual festive fairy tales for children with his Christmas haystack houses.

Each year Mr Wittcomb, of Old Blendworth, Horndean, created a magical scene with his life-size house complete with Father Christmas and other characters.

It became so well-known that a Christmas card from a boy in France addressed to Father Christmas, The Haystack, Horndean, made it to his farm.

Why don’t you share your memories with us? If you have your own story or pictures from days gone by that you would like featured on this page

please e-mail Chris Owen at or write to him at The News, The News Centre, Hilsea, Portsmouth,PO2 9SX

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