Rural life in Liphook has changed since the arrival of the motor car. Once, carriages carrying royalty passed through the village and the occupants would often stay overnight at the Royal Anchor Hotel.
At the present time, community life in Liphook could possibly be stronger than it was in the 1800s. There is a thriving, caring attitude amongst most of the residents and the Bohunt School helps to provide recreational facilities and further education for adults and children alike.
Six roads converge on the Square and in the early days of the 20th century there were hardly any houses along them. Now there are blocks of flats tucked into every conceivable corner.
On the northern boundary the river Wey winds through water meadows, which in olden days were flooded regularly in order to provide a second cereal crop. This area has now been restored to parkland, which serves as a much needed recreational facility for the residents of the village.
Sadly a connection with the Navy was lost when the King George's Sanatorium for Sailors closed down. The building served the community for many years as a local hospital and was renowned for its yearly Fete.
The village carnival, which takes place in October each year, started life as an 'Old Boys' Bonfire Club', which celebrated the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot. In the beginning it was simply a bonfire made from wood cut and collected by 'the boys' of the community, but it evolved into pranks being played upon other residents and gradually the Carnival came into being. When a chimney sweep by the name of Stacy entered a float depicting a model of his cottage, which sported an advertisement and had a brush sticking out of the chimney, the character of the procession changed. Today the event attracts floats from all sections of the community.
Sanitation has changed only during the past 50 years and the earth closet has gone, but so too has the fresh well water. This water had an icy coldness and a taste completely different to the tap water of today.
Unfortunately many of the picturesque cottages which had their own wells have now disappeared but the Square, which is dominated by the Royal Anchor Hotel, is a designated conservation area and some of the old houses and shops are still there, even if the smithy is not. People who need to have their horses shod rely on travelling blacksmiths, who set up their equipment wherever it is required, usually in the open fields.
Liphook boasts of having Flora Thompson, the authoress of Lark Rise to Candleford, as one of its celebrities. She was the wife of the local postmaster (John William Thompson). The Post office was once housed in a building completely on its own. It is now only a counter in a local supermarket.
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