Wilmir, Twynhams Hill, Shirrell Heath
Wilmir, Twynhams Hill, Shirrell Heath, Southampton. Now demolished and a new property built after Bill and Miriam died.

I was born in Wilmir, Twynhams Hill, Shirrell Heath, lived in Waltham Chase most of my adult life, and now live in Shedfield near to where I went to school, christened my children and buried some of those closest to me.

Path to Frith Farm
Path to Frith Farm, at the back of Wilmir.
View from the front room of Wilmir, looking up at Grandma Smith’s land that Bill used to work.

My family came to the Parish of Shedfield in the early 1900’s when my Great Uncle Charlie moved from Bramshaw in the New Forest to Shirrell Heath. He rented a property when he gained a position as cowman for Watson’s Dairy in Hospital Road, Shirrell Heath. When he was killed in WW1, my Grandmother, Ellen (Nellie) Smith nee Fry, moved into the cottage and shortly thereafter, gave birth to my mother, Miriam Chinn nee Smith.

The well where milk was kept before refrigerators – it was lowered in a bucket into the well where it was cool.

Rumour has it that she was the first child to be born in the cottage.  Following Miriam’s birth, came more children – Arthur, Grace and Margaret Smith. At some point, Nellie must have bought Chase Cottage.

Chinn family - Bill and Miriam's 60th wedding Anniversary
Bill and Miriam’s 60th wedding Anniversary l to r: Arthur, Sheila, Miriam, Bill, Barbara, Rosemary and my daughter, Kelly, at the front

When my mother married William Boothby Chinn, they lived in a caravan at Pricketts Hill in Shedfield until the house at the bottom of Nelly Smith’s drive was auctioned, and Miriam and William bought it for £800. Later on they named it WilMir. They made this their home for the rest of their married life and set up their own market gardening business in the surrounding fields. This is where I was born and grew up, as were my siblings, Rosemary, Arthur and Barbara.

My two children

My children, Lee Henry and Kelly Henry, were also brought up in Shirrell Heath and Waltham Chase. Lee is now in America with wife Carina and my grandchildren, Patrick and Jack, and Kelly lives in Waltham Chase with my other two grandchildren, Georgia and Sam.

Sheila Chinn's grandchildren and neice and nephew (Tilly and Josh)
l to r: Georgia Dobbyn, TIlly Jeffery, Josh Hughes, Sam Henry Dobbyn, Patrick Henry and in the front, Jack Henry

The picture taken in 2014 shows all four grandchildren and my sister, Rosemary’s, two grandchildren, Tilly and Josh.

At Highclere Castle with Kelly and Carina. Brilliant day in 2014
AC Cobra – on our way to a Beaulieu Car Event

My partner is Malcolm Seward . Out hobbies  are cars – mainly our AC Cobra, and travelling to Florida to see my son, Lee Henry, and family.



My first means of independent travel – a Vespa scoote








I learnt to drive in my Mum’s Mini






My first car in 1967: 1939 Austin 10 Cambridge with my yellow Triumph Herald in the background, my next acquisition.





And now it’s a bit more up-to-date and great on sunny days – an A.C. Cobra



The purpose of this website is to remember our ancestors and the environment where we grew up so that my grandchildren know where their family came from.

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