Welcome to Great Hollands
It's hard to believe in January 2003, that back in 1953 the Nissen huts near South Lodge were still being used for accommodation and the housing complex that is Great Hollands did not exist. From the footbridge over the dual carriageway, which marks the line of the old road from Easthampstead Church to East Lodge, the bulk of Great Hollands lies within the boundaries of Easthampstead Park. What is now home to thousands of people was, barely fifty years ago, rolling parkland.
A small country lane also existed before the War, on a back way to Easthampstead, now dissected by today's rushing traffic on the A329M. The lane used to be from the Shoulder of Mutton Inn in Binfield, past the brickworks, across the railway level crossing at Amen Corner to Peacock Farm. Joining the Crowthorne Road, it made its way past woodland carpeted with wild primroses, bluebells and violets in springtime, to join the Easthampstead to Crowthorne Road near Mill Pond, as it used to be. As a boy, I spent many happy hours at Mill Pond at weekends and during the school holidays, with my friends among the wild rhododendrons. Seeing their reflections in the water - just relaxing and not up to any mischief, just fishing for tiddlers or listening to the birds and watching the occasional heron or moorhens and coots paddling on the water. This was a peaceful quiet country scene - no McDonald's or parked cars, nor the accompanying unsightly litter floating on the water.
Today the road from Peacock's Farm to Rowney's and the Fujitsu building, looks just the same as it did before the War, but is soon destined to change forever under new tarmac or concrete, when the Peacock Farm development goes ahead.