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Where is Saint Hill UK Canteen ?.

Discussion in 'Europe' started by michaelangelo, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. michaelangelo

    michaelangelo Gold Meritorious Patron

    When I was in the S O in the seventies and early 80's the Saint Hill canteen was in a small building that resembled a large shed. On the left hand side of the road before you got to Ron's house AKA Saint Hill Manor.
    I live about a fifty minute drive from Saint Hill and one day last summer I went with my wife for a drive to the Ashdown Forrest.
    I decided to drive into Saint Hill to have a peek at how Saint Hill looks now. We only got as far as the car park and it gave me a bit of an eerie feeling being back there. We left after about ten minutes.
    In the old days you could walk down to the canteen and spend some time there. I beleive that canteen got blown away by a hurricane in 1987. When I was well out of scio and had just moved to Brighton.
    Does anyone know where the canteen is situated now ?. I may make a journey there to see how things are and maybe I won't be spotted in the canteen or at least not recognised. Though I suspect there won't be anyone around that I know.
  2. UnifiedField

    UnifiedField Patron

    The canteen is in the castle now. If you go down the drive to the roundabout and look at the castle the reception is in the centre and there's a left wing and a right wing. The canteen is half-way along the left wing. It's a bit of an improvement on the old 'shed':clap:
  3. Lesolee (Sith Lord)

    Lesolee (Sith Lord) Patron Meritorious

    I googled for a map of the place and found a virtual tour instead.

    This is a bit confusing. You download a .MOV file and it apparently doesn't "play". It is an interactive virtual reality thing like google street view. You can click and drag the view around with your mouse.

    Alternatively, see below.

  4. xseaorguk

    xseaorguk Patron Meritorious

    I remember that canteen, where they sold overpriced tea and coffee to SO members in polystyrene cups, and a sort of healthy sesame seed bars, which I liked but could not really afford.
    The canteen was often staffed by wealthy (non Sea Org) GO members children, and I can still remember what that one girl looked like who worked there in 1980 when I was there. :yes:
  5. Lesolee (Sith Lord)

    Lesolee (Sith Lord) Patron Meritorious

    Re: Where is Saint Hill UK Canteen?

    Ah, so you are remembering the old canteen which apparently blew down according to the OP. All before my time.

    When I first started there the "canteen" consisted a burger van where you could get stale bread rolls :angry:

    When the new canteen in the castle was set up life got a lot better at meal times (for public like me). Staff/SO were not allowed in that canteen and probably couldn't have afforded it anyway.

    When I was there 3 (?) years ago it was unstaffed after the initial student surge at 6pm (on a Sunday). The food was ok but it seemed pretty much in decline - helping yourself and putting the money into a box. :no: Even the amount of space allocated to eaters had shrunk.
  6. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    I poked my nose in the "new" canteen when I visited around 2002. The place stunk of stale cigarette smoke, quite a shock compared to public eating places in California. Dunno what it is like now.

  7. LongTimeGone

    LongTimeGone Silver Meritorious Patron

    Old timers comparing notes:

    "I remember the great wind of '87; blew the canteen right into the castle it did."

    "Yep, yep, yep, beans will give you that sort of wind; jammed the thing in there so hard, they never re-opened it."

  8. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    I thought a tree fell on it at that time.

  9. Kookaburra

    Kookaburra Gold Meritorious Patron

    That building/shed/garage was in four sections. The canteen was the first section on your left as you faced the building. The tree landed on the third section and smashed it into kindling size pieces. I don't remember if the canteen was closed immediately...I don't think so...but the building would have had to be majorly rebuilt or demolished. I would have remembered if there had been nowhere to get coffee in the mornings! It was bad enough not having electricity or heat for three days while a team worked on getting that rusty old generator working.
  10. Pooks


    I was at Saint in in 75. There was a huge Oak tree to the right of the canteen as you were facing it. Do you know if it was that big Oak the fell. It was a beautiful tree.

    I've been into trees for a long time. My dad and I used to go into the woods with tree books and ID them.
  11. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    It was? I thought it was one building, on a concrete slab about 6 feet above the level of the driveway, accessed by steps. To the right, on the driveway, were several garages, that housed (when I was there, 1972-86) things like piles of mimeo returns, the stuffing machine, mimeo, and metal-plate addresso early on before it moved up to another shed and then to the castle basement when Don (Michaelangelo) was Addresso Officer.

  12. Panda Termint

    Panda Termint Cabal Of One

    Yes, Paul, that's how I remember it too.
    BTW, do you know what became of Robert Springhall (sp?) ?
    (I think he was Supercargo in '74/75)
  13. Kookaburra

    Kookaburra Gold Meritorious Patron

    I think that you might be thinking of that huge Lebanon Cedar right across from the manor. It was a magnificent tree and it survived the hurricane. The reason I think that it stayed was that it was on a hill so had very good drainage. Prior to the hurricane there was a lot of rain and the ground was saturated. The wind uprooted almost every huge tree in the south of England and pulled them out of the ground with enormous rootballs the size of 2 or 3 SUVs.

    The one that fell on the sheds I think was on the other side of the driveway. It was lying right in the middle of the building with the left and right sides of the building intact.
  14. Kookaburra

    Kookaburra Gold Meritorious Patron

    I'm trying to remember. I remember that you entered the canteen from the left facing it.
    The garages were full of old files and so on. They were only storage in '87 to my recollection.
    I'm not absolutely sure if the canteen was part of the garage structure or if it was separate and right beside it. I do vaguely recall some damage to the canteen itself.
  15. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

  16. Panda Termint

    Panda Termint Cabal Of One

    Thanks, mate!
    Now, why didn't I think of doing that?
    Never mind, I'll remember in future.
    It looks like Robert finally got his "Class VIII wish", I wish him well. :)
  17. xseaorguk

    xseaorguk Patron Meritorious

    the garages were definitely another construction and on ground level. The canteen was slightly higher up as far as I remember and had quite a low ceiling, whereas the garages had high ceilings.

    I remember Michaelangelo working there too.
    He was always funny and made me laugh and did as he pleased most of the
    Glad you got out fella, and we did have some laughs didn't we:eyeroll:

    I actually have quite fond memories of being on the EPF, raking leaves in Autumn on the drive, the air and the scenery was stunning, and I still remember the smell of the damp autumn air. That is my favourite time of the year anyway :yes:
    Then there was a little shed where the EPF storage of materials were.
    I was elected as the EPF leader for a while and at one point we had about 4-5 people on it together.
    Maggie (yorkshire lass), Tony ?? a 20 year old lad from Manchster (anybody know where he is?) was on it, then Christine Buttery joined about 2 months after me, so she was also 'under' me, but I remember doing 'havingness' one morning with the 'mottley crew' and had the idea to run down to the lake and back, which Christine just laughed at and refused.
    I think she went and lit up another fag ,as her and Peter Buttery were pretty heavy smokers at the time.
    I really liked Christine, a bright cooky and within no time she had finished her staff status thingies and was above me on the Org Board, then ordering me around...suppose she got her revenge, but I do forgive you Christine, if you happen to read this, and I did hear that Peter Buttery (at that time NOTS CS) came to a terrible and tragic death, and even back then he alweays looked quite stressed out, pale and not as though he was enjoying himself.

    Getting back to the canteen that wasdestroyed by the tree.
    I wanted to ask if anybody knew what was said at the time about why this had happened.
    Did they come up with some idea like:
    "they pulled it in"?
    "it was out ethics to sell such expensive coffeee to SO members:yes:"?

    I'm sure there were rumours....!
    Paul, you usually know this kind of thing...come on...tell us!!:blush:
  18. Panda Termint

    Panda Termint Cabal Of One

  19. DartSmohen

    DartSmohen Silver Meritorious Patron

    I remember an American named Charles who used to cut people's hair there, including Hubbard.

    Later the canteen was run by the Gaiman family, his mother, kids and Rhoda (Sheila's sister) and her daughters.

    Some of the GO used to "moonlight" and supplement their wages by making burritos and selling them there. Most of the time it was tea, coffee, sandwiches, cake and sweets.
  20. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    Lovely burritos. Todd Fifield or something, wasn't it? And Bob Heldt's delicious brownies.