Tag Archives: Gill Hoare

Continuing with Gill’s Memories of Bourne End

Here is Gill’s latest jottings of her memories in & around Bourne End… enjoy!

Right! Ready to continue our walk around Bourne End? Let’s go!

Furlong Road was the last walk and having gone past the well remembered Jacksons Mill…wait…where is the bus shelter that sat on the roughly triangular green…where and when did that go? Across the road, now an Antiques Shop, was The Crossing Stores, sweets, groceries all things useful, presided over by a lady called Joan, a must go to from Jacksons office.

Next the railway line…cut no doubt by Dr Beeching…always busy between Bourne End and Wycombe, the big gates that were closed manually when a train was due to pass, by the railway man in the little hut and opened again when all was clear. So across we go and on the right New Road. Just up New road on the left hand side was the Red Cross Hut. I remember joining and on Saturday afternoon we used to meet – had great fun bandaging people up and each November a very important date was Remembrance Sunday and, dressed in our Red Cross Uniform, we marched to Wooburn Green to take part in the service at the Cenotaph.

A few steps along the main road was a fish and chip shop (Harley’s) very convenient for a bag of chips following a visit to the Cinema, it later morphed into Bourne House Restaurant and right next door the Telephone Exchange.

The Telephone Exchange always ways seemed a huge, imposing building and a great mystery. I guess back in the ’50’s not too many folk had a telephone – so what a joy when I worked at Jacksons and I learned to operate the switchboard! A 10 + 50 which meant ten outside lines to the exchange and 50 internal extensions, vast in those days and back then not automated – people picked up the phone and asked me to get a company, I had to look up the number, ask the exchange to get the number wait on the line till the call was answered, get the right person on the line, then announce to my caller. How things have improved since then!

I loved it and so enjoyed working the break times, lunch hour cover and Saturday mornings on the switchboard. I remember a few people from the office were invited over to the Telephone Exchange some time in the early ’60’s to see life from the other side of the fence. That was brilliant meeting the “number please ladies” and understanding how the next stage worked. I have never forgotten it!

Highfield Road next on the right some of the original houses in Bourne End. The left hand side of the road was allotments and railway land before a very few private houses. On the left hand corner where Penny’s Corner is now was a row of old cottages.

Where St.Dunstans Church now stands, the Community Centre and the Library was all spare land….it has all been there many years but not as the Bourne End when we were children. That area plus the bungalows for the older people and the vast area that is filled with Council Housing was all “The Field” used once or twice a year for when the fair came to Bourne End or for Bonfire Night with an enormous bonfire!

The now defunct Lloyds Bank building stood on the corner (I wonder what that will become?)

Next was the small Parade of shops including Louise Ladies Hairdresser where the lovely Jean Peasley worked, Babette the shop for ladies needs, Edward Gray Estate Agents. A Dry Cleaners, Donald’s the sweet shop and the very important Royalty Cinema (beloved by teenagers in Bourne End,)

Now the Royalty Cinema, I could write a book ……..but perhaps not now. The Cinema closed in 1959. Used to go there in the front three rows. – reserved for kids – on a Saturday afternoon, where, for your nine pence (9d) you’ve got a big film, small film, Pathe News and any number of advertisements…good value eh?

I forget at what age the admission went up to one shilling and sixpence but being old enough to pay that, at about 13, also meant we could change to Friday nights, still in the front three rows but it did mean we were also old enough to have a boyfriend to sit and hold hands with during the film – it gave the usherettes extra work to do keeping order! Then when the film was over we all went to the chip shop to finish the evening!!

Such a shame when the Cinema closed there was not much else to do in Bourne End and certainly not many of us had televisions to watch. The Cinema then became Townsends Furniture Shop so, funny really, we who spent so many hours in the Cinema came back to spend our money in the furniture shop to set up home….the wheels turn!

Across from the Cinema Bourne End Motors and behind that The Regent Cafe, oh joy! Complete with a juke box, the first one in Bourne End, we learned to make a drink last for hours to listen to the latest hits!

Then “The Field” right along to where Tesco is now where the Police Station was. Yes Bourne End had a police station with P.C Dennis and P.C. Claridge very much in control of what went on!

So good people of Bourne End that completes my tour around the village from a few years ago….people come and go, shops change, but memories stay with us and how good it is to be able to think about life as it was back then.

Gill Hoare

Advertisements

Gill Hoare Shares More Memories – Furlong Road

We are very lucky recently with people recalling their memories of the area…..Gill Hoare has sent in some more of her Bourne End memories, this time in the Furlong Road area as she does a mental walk through the village.

“Where were we with our walk through Bourne End?….Oh yes we have just visited Bourne End School and are turning into Furlong Road. So on the left hand side the School Masters House then the school playground while across Furlong Road is a small parade of shops.

Mr Cheek the Greengrocer, who my good friend David Birch who lived at that time in Brookfield Road in Wooburn, tells me, he remembers an incident when Mr Cheek drove his ancient open back truck which boasted a steering wheel not on the right hand side or the left hand side of the truck but slap bang in the middle and it was used as a mobile shop around the villages – one day on the steep Brookfield Road the vans brakes failed and the van careered down the road, over the main road, and into the River Wye shedding apples and potatoes etc to float down the river – gives a whole new twist to apple bobbing!!

Alex Television Shop…although back in the early ’50’s not too many homes sported a television, radio was the thing in the mornings “Workers Play Time, afternoons “Listen with Mother” and “Mrs Dales Diary” (she was alway worried about Jim!) Evenings were spent gathered around the radio listening to “Journey into Space” staring Lemmy and Co. Where on earth did I dig all that up from??!! However a lot of folk sported a tele when it was the Coronation in 1953. We didn’t have a television till many years later – always felt deprived!!

Next was Woodbridge the Ironmongers and Hard Ware shop, a mainstay of the village, if they didn’t sell it – it did not exist!

Next – if I remember rightly – was Mr Gray the men’s outfitters – and I could never work out why – but on the wall outside was a Chewing Gum Machine needing one old penny to get the gum, very handy for using a penny from the Sunday School collection money before going into the Methodist Chapel!

I remember a “Ladies Wear” shop called Lilla Palmer – was it run or owned by Mrs Bocock?

Macphersons was a grocery shop then a Co-op. Then a separate large building was the main Post Office run by the Voiseys and in more recent years it is an Aquarium.

On the left hand side was the School Canteen at the side of the school playground and next along was the Methodist Chapel (I remember going to Sunday School and the Sunday evening Service…..you will remember we didn’t have a television!!

Across the road a row of houses then Wilks the Nurseries with a lot of land for green houses. More houses to take you up to Recreation Road – the park was used by the school games and sports days.

Back to the left hand side where my grandparents lived at 2 Ingledale Villas one of a row of semi detached houses (which I notice are still standing) before the family moved to Chalklands in 1938. Long before my time I hasten to add!!

After the row of semi – detached houses was some waste land later used as a car park for Jacksons employees opposite the Mill site.

More houses filled the right hand side of the road up to the many buildings that formed Jacksons Millboard and Fibre Company with the two mighty chimneys, an important part of Bourne End with employment for over 800 people from the surrounding villages.
Fond memories of the Mill where I started work in the accounts office in 1959 getting £3 a week…..before deductions!! A lot of Bourne End people worked in the offices – some travelled from Marlow on the Marlow Donkey and some long distance from Wycombe!!

The payroll was huge about 850 people working in the various departments of the Mill and everyone was paid, every week, in cash. The payroll was processed in the Book Keeping Department once all the information had been made up and checked from the Time Keeping Office, the Bonus Section where calculations were done on slide rules, and all checked in the Comptometer Office. The vast payrolls were completed and checked and passed to the Wages Office. The cash was ordered from the local Lloyds Bank and collected from there and made up into Pay envelopes. One very memorable Friday morning staff arrived to find the safe where the pay packets were stored was open and empty the robbers had arrived overnight and taken the lot! The television people arrived and one of the Directors was filmed revealing the empty safe…..all that was seen on the News that evening was an arm pulling back the safe door…no instant stardom there!! Lloyds Bank was “done” the very same night. The village bussed with the happenings! Everyone got paid as usual thanks to a lot of speedy work!! As an after thought the Wages Office was moved upstairs!!!

Jacksons offered a huge sports ground so there was football, cricket, bowls and tennis the large canteen saw dances, Children’s Christmas Parties and served on Saturday evenings as a Bingo Hall. There was a Social Club which doubled as a Cricket Tea Room An annual Mill trip to the Sea Side with a fleet of 50 odd Coaches for mill workers and their families to enjoy the day.

It had all finished by the early ’70’s the Mill buildings and the chimneys gone I believe it is an industrial estate now and the lovely, vast sports ground is now a housing development”.

Well that was Furlong Road in days passed…..I hope you enjoy it!! More to come!

Gill’s Bourne End Village Memories Continued

Gill Hoare’s last description of Bourne End Village as it was when she was a child, went down enormously well. Below, Gill has very kindly sent in another  taking us a little further around the village. Thank you Gill, I know this will be of great interest just as your first article was.

Well Bourne End people…are you all ready to continue our jaunt around the village?

We got as far as the old Doctors Surgery, which, my long time friend David Birch reminds me, was called St Edmunds. I cannot remember there being any buildings past there – a lot of gardens lurked behind big hedges along the road till the corner where the Chemist is, and always has been a Chemist in my memory. The adjoining building, now the estate agents has always been an office of some kind.

Cross over Wharf Lane and heading in the direction of Bourne End Station a lot of high hedges hid a dwelling, all dark and mysterious..the sort of place you ran past very quickly! Of course it might well not have been as scary as it seemed!

The first part of Station Road on the right hand side was, as Roger Taplin (an ex Chalklands man) reminds me, a stable yard which was immediately before The Firefly which in a former life was named The Railway Hotel.

The Firefly could tell a few tales! I worked in Jacksons Office in Furlong Road and the pub was the nearest hostelry and it would have seen a vast number of celebrations of Jacksons staff – especially the much enjoyed Christmas Eve celebrations! Enough said!

Opposite the Firefly were some small shops. The first a Newsagent, then Websters the coal office and a tiny, tiny shop next to the railway line Mrs Dunhams Wool Shop where ardent knitters could choose a pattern for a jumper, or whatever, and the kind lady would keep the wool to be bought as and when needed or indeed be afforded.

Over the railway lines…that was when the train journeyed from Bourne End to High Wycombe…yes Bourne End was well catered for with travel to High Wycombe and Marlow – courtesy of the Marlow Donkey and to Maidenhead, and a single decker bus between Bourne End and Marlow. Bourne End was a central hub with trains and buses to the three main places. I used the train to Marlow when I was courting my husband and the Station Master, who’s name escapes me, had a hobby of making wedding cakes, and, yes, he made a three tier wedding cake for John and I in 1967!!!

Next to the Station was a sweet shop and opposite in the tiny place which was later an antique shop, was Mr Dabbs the greengrocer. Then where the Orchard Surgery is now was the home of Dr Selborne Bailey and next to that St Marks Church.

Opposite St Marks was Hall and North the grocers and wine shop. Roger Taplin tells me his Dad was Manager there at some point. I can not think the Wine Shop had a lot of business in those days but the grocery section was well used my Mum used to go there each Monday afternoon to place an order and pay for same at the cash desk! In later years when my brother and I had left school and gone to work she worked there! I remember her telling us that one afternoon a very well dressed gentleman went into the wine shop, he was so polite and purchased any amount of bottles which my Mum carried out to his car for him while he wrote a cheque for his purchases. Guess what..the cheque bounced and he was never seen again!! Who would have thought it??!!

Where Alfred Court is now was the Bourne End School. It had been there long enough for both my Grandfather and later on my Mum to have been there and then it was my turn!

I started there at five and my teacher was Miss Dodds the building was very old and as such boasted an outside block of bucket toilets! This was replaced by a new toilet block and even rows of wash basins built during the summer break one year..great rejoicing!!

Year two class presided over by Mrs Beeson had a huge open fire in the classroom – no Health and Safety back then – and in the winter the regulation daily bottles of milk were put to warm in front of the blazing fire – the very thought still makes me shudder!!

Each day morning break time was not complete without a currant bun. Children brought into school one penny and whoever was “bun monitor” collected the coins and went across the road to Spindlers the bakers to order the buns. I loved being “bun monitor” quite an important job!! Back then we left the junior school at 11 to go to senior school. In previous years in my Grandfathers time, they left school aged 12 to start work.

Mr GJ Drewett was the Headmaster and he used to read out loud from a book..but I always remember it being the same book “Rikki Tikki Tavi by Rudyard Kipling and he used to fall asleep whilst reading – not that the class took advantage of course!!

All good things to reflect on, tales to tell, school friends well remembered and some friendships still strong today.

Directly opposite the School was a Garage, and next to it the Spindlers Bakery with Ruth in charge of the shop. How sad that some of the lovely shops disappear.

Gill Hoare

 

 

Read About Gill’s Memories of Bourne End, 60 years Ago.

Gill Hoare has kindly written a glimpse into her memories of the village when she was a child, around 60 years ago.

Thankyou Gill, I know people will enjoy the read.

Take a walk with me to remember (or, for the new Bourne Enders, to find out) exactly how the village used to look some 60 odd years ago, who were the main players, and just where all the shops were and how the village worked!

Let us start on the Marlow Road at the bottom of Blind Lane where Cressington Place Estate is built – much to the horror of villagers – on The Water Cress Beds – the ever gurgling and bubbling beds that had been there goodness know how long.

The garage is a newish acquisition – the “new build” office block was home to a Solicitors office and others but no longer around. The new retirement complex seems to be where both the Billinghursts Builders yard and the Billinghurst family home were.

The new Co-op on the corner replaced Mr Whites “Corner Shop” selling ice cream, fizzy pop, sweets etc. Sundays in the summer was not complete without a block of vanilla ice cream for pudding – it used to be my task to go and buy it (for 1/-, 5 pence in today’s money) just before the Sunday lunch was served as not many people had a fridge in those days! The ice cream was indeed a treat and always looked forward to on a Sunday! I remember getting into trouble one day while on the ice cream run – on the way home clutching the ice cream, I met a boy who I got talking to for rather longer than I should, and on arriving home clutching a sodden mass found my lunch, cold, on the table and no one talking to me as the pudding was ruined!! Read more…