The Slaugham Archives

Eddie and Laura Boxall at the Royal Oak, Handcross
The Slaugham Archive
Eddie and Laura Boxall at the Royal Oak, Handcross

Respected landlord of the Royal Oak in Handcross during many of the post-war years was Eddie Boxall. Always welcoming, he and his wife, Laura, would often have a pot of rabbit stew, or eels from the Hyde lakes bubbling away on the old-style round stove in the bar. Not that they served food to the customers it was simply that the stove in the bar provided a ready and convenient place to do the family cooking.
In about 1965 Laura died but Eddie soldiered on until he died in the early 1970s. That was the end of an era in that when the pub re-opened in the late 1970s it had been converted into a modern one-bar pub serving food and a wide range of drinks.

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Picture added on 01 June 2013 at 09:56
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Pubs - Handcross
Comments:
I came to Handcross in 1971. My recollections may not be correct but I recall that Eddie at 84 years of age was the oldest and perhaps the longest-serving licensee of a Whitbread pub at the time of his death.
I used to sit in the public bar where the stove was situated and I remember Joe Sayers being regularly barred for some reason or another, but always being allowed back. Sid Evans and Sid Wright were also regulars.
He had a Springer Spaniel that used to catch an old penny when thrown and run behind the bar and deposit it at Eddie's feet.
When offered a drink, Eddie would grab a bottle from under the counter and pour himself a tot. I wonder exactly what was in that bottle.
After Eddie died it was run by his nephew for a short period before closure. I think that it went on the market for £17,200 but could not find a buyer. The premises were then unlicensed and I must assume that the price dropped. It was purchased by Tom Wilson of Southern Tree Surgeons who gutted the building and totally restructured it after getting permission to re-licence it.
Its footprint, as designed by Tom, remains to this day.

Added by David Pearce on 02 June 2013
Bernie Miles has now supplied a better quality picture of Eddie and Laura Boxall and I have replaced the original.
The Large Version is also now available for a close up.
Added by Barry Ray on 10 December 2015
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