- Antiquities and Peculiarities
- of Normandy
- Normandy Riding Club
Normandy Riding Club was formed in 1936 by CW 'Paddy' Johnston and his
wife Beryl to encourage the sport of horsemanship in its many forms - show
jumping, hunter trials, etc. A practice ring was provided for those who
did not have one of their own. The annual subscription was £1 1s (£1
5p) from the start and was still the same in 1959. It entitled members to
free use of the ring and jumps at any time as well as entry for Club shows
at a reduced fee of 50%. All the shows were open to non-members. The Club
laid down a comprehensive set of rules, fault points, etc. for its shows.
Paddy Johnston had been a racing motorcyclist and during the war he was
leader of the local Home Guard dispatch riders section, and towards the
end of the war he and fellow riders formed Normandy Motorcycle Club. After
the war Paddy and Beryl moved from Wyke Heath Farm to 2 The Oaks Pirbright
Road, which ceased as a nursery and they converted the land for equestrian
- 2 The Oaks
- Pirbright Road
By 1950 Paddy Johnston had been running the Riding Club for many years
and organised a gymkhana four times a year. After Paddy died in the 1960s
Beryl continued to run the Club and held pony club meetings at The Oaks
which were very popular and three other shows each year including the annual
Ragwort Horse Show held at Normandy Hill. The annual Easter Monday show
ran until at least 1974.
The Club took part in shows at many grounds in the area, including several
in Normandy - Sandpits Farm in 1957 and 1960, East Wyke Farm in 1959, Westwood
Lane in 1959 and their own premises at The Oaks. The programmes of some
of the events that the Club organised or took part in give a good impression
of their activities -
A horse show and gymkhana held at Sandpits Farm (near Wyke church)
by kind permission of John Wallace Esq (the proprietor) on Saturday 7th
September 1957 at 10am in aid of the St John Ambulance Brigade. The judges
were Brig. Allen, Lt Col P G Idle and Major L A Scragg. Admission was one
shilling, six pence for children and three shillings for ringside cars.
Refreshments were available on the field. There were 17 events including
Best Rider, Trotting, Jumping, Racing and 'Musical Poles'.
Worplesdon gymkhana and dog show on 30th Aug 1958 at Russell Farm,
Pirbright pony show on Pirbright village green on Aug 7th (year unknown).
Gymkhana at Shawfields recreation ground, Ash on April 25th 1959.
Horse show and pony gymkhana at East Wyke Farm on 16th May 1959, presented
by 'The Lads of the Village, Aldershot' (a charitable organisation who
raised money for sick, aged and infirm in the area) with a refreshment
tent, barbecue and licenced bar.
Horse show and gymkhana at Westwood Lane Normandy by kind permission
of Mrs Coussmaker and E Sherwood Esq in aid of Wyke church on May 30th
1959. Judges were Col P C Idle, Major W M Quinn and Mr & Mrs Parfitt.
The Committee was Capt Cradock, C W Johnson and W A Ryan, Secretary C W
Johnson of 2 The Oaks Pirbright Road, tel. Ash Vale 3269. Field secretaries
were Miss M Coussmaker and Mrs Mitchell.
St Johns Ambulance horse show and gymkhana at Mytchett Park on June
Ragwort horse show and gymkhana at Ash Hill Road (near Dover Arms)
on 13th Aug 1960.
Sandpits Farm horse show and gymkhana at Sandpits Farm (near Wyke church)
by kind permission of John Wallace Esq on 20th Aug 1960.
Lads of the Village Aldershot horse show and gymkhana at Tweseldown
Racecourse, Aldershot on 20th May 1961.
Ragwort little horse show at Ash Hill Road fields on 7th Oct 1961.
Avenue Farm championship day, show jumping and gymkhana on 22nd Sept
Ash Green hunter trials at Sunny Brook Farm, Green Lane, Ash Green
on 27th Sept 1964.
from information provided by Madeline Buttner
and in the Century of Normandy book by Normandy Historians.
- Antiquities and Peculiarities
- Back to Index
- © Copyright by Normandy Historians
All Rights Reserved.