A TOUCH OF HISTORY
Southern Parishes Conservative Club is lucky to be located within a charming 19th-century building with a whole lot of history. The building, as we know, was built circa 1890 for Mr Green, of Southampton’s famous Tyrell and Green, which later became John Lewis. The building was then bought in 1938 by Isabel Saunders and Dr Charles Saunders who founded the Children’s Hospital in Southampton.
During the Second World War, the building was used to billet the Canadian soldiers. It was also used by RAF personnel, including Spitfire test pilots, from Hamble, Eastleigh, Boscombe Down and Tangmere airfields.
The most notable figures during this time were the likes of Geoffrey Quill, who was the chief test pilot for De Haviland Aircraft Company, as well as Douglas Bader and Melanie Hindmarsh. Melanie was Bader’s driver, who he referred to as his ‘little Joanna’. During this time, the building became home to evacuees in the upstairs accommodation. They were a self-sufficient household with their own livestock, including cows and pigs, in addition to vegetable gardens and greenhouses.
It was the cook and housekeep, Edie, who ran the house, coupled with George and Dot, who lived in ‘Hill Lodge’. There were 9 people living within the house. They had their own tennis courts and putting green.
After the war, the building became a family home. Evacuees stayed for a while, before being given prefabs in St Johns Road. In 1976 the building was sold to the Conservative Association. Sir Leslie Loader was SPCC’s founder and the club was opened by Margaret Thatcher. Since then, the club has been visited by many Conservative Leaders.