Stories my grandfather told me by John Lewis
My grandfather was born in Norley Wood in the year 1903 and spent his whole life in the area bar his last 4 years. This is his words.

1) Before the 1st world war a toff had a workshop at
East Boldre  (which is now the garage) building stringbags (early airplanes) which did not have any brakes on so the local young men where paid to hang on to the wings until enough propeller speed was reached then they released the wings for take off. This was the New Forest Flying School. On out break of the war the Royal Flying Corp took over the airstrip as many people know with village hall being the last building surviving.
2) Another story told to me was there is a car park at
Norley Wood crossroads this was always called gypsy row as when everything was drawn by horses this was a pull in place the gypsies used. At the start of the 1st world war my grandfather was cycling past a gypsy encampment and being from a carter family he always had his eye out looking at horses and noticed a big white horse. Next day went past the camp again and there was a lovely bay horse there instead. Not saying anything he cycled home. Then a couple days later the local police called in to see his father (my great grandfather) asking if he had been offered a white horse as it had been stolen from the army. The gypsies had dyed the horse overnight and changed a white to bay and that was done before you had a pound shop to buy the ingredients not bad for a nights work.
My grandfather's name was Ernest Drodge and my great grandfather was Joe Drodge.