Tag Archives: memories

Now & Then ~ The Rose & Crown Public House

This is the Rose & Crown once it became a restaurant but still looking pretty much the as when I used to go in there in the 80’s/90’s

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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

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!

Memories of Flackwell Heath by Barbara Murfin – Cherrypicking with Annie Lorry

Please go to the page “Articles of Local Interest” to see the full story which will be 83 pages when I have added them all! Thankyou so much Barbara.

 

Cherrypicking with Annie Lorry.

A Family living in Flackwell Heath in the 1930’s 1940’s 1950’s 1960’s and a tiny bit of the 1970’s.
” Hello, my name is Barbara Annie Murfin. The year is 2018. I live in the north of Staffordshire within the Market Town of Leek. The town of Leek nestles at the bottom of the Pennine Chain. Over the tops, local speak, on the other side of the hill is the Victorian Spa Town of Buxton. Just beyond Leek are the wild heather clad Staffordshire Moorlands, rugged fields, bleak in winter full of wild life in summer. There was a time wallabies, escaped ones, roamed the moorlands but sadly no sightings have been seen for years. Leek like most towns grew as a staging post, for changing horses. Leek being between Manchester and Derby. Most of the older, larger pubs had stabling attached. The Potteries, Stoke on Trent just 10 miles south on the A53, famous throughout the world for it household pottery items. Down the same road, and another great transport invention the Trent and Mersey Canal. Thanks to Josiah Wedgwood and friends. Josiah needed a safe bump free way of transporting his fragile pottery, in the days of pot holes and turn pikes. Stoke on Trent is built on red clay and coal. A “ pothole” was made by an artisan potter just digging up available clay from outside his door.

Leek has the River Churnet running around it’s outskirts. The Churnet eventually joining the River Trent. In Victorian times till within recent memory, silk was spun and dyed in Leek. The waters of the River Churnet dying silk Raven Black. Not blue / black or nearly black, Raven Black. When Queen Victoria’s Husband Prince Albert died, Victoria declared full morning dress. Leek was at full stretch to dye all the silk the Royal Court required.

I have lived in Leek since 1973 and think it’s a pretty good place to be. In 2015 I came down to Flackwell Heath to walk around the village with Sally Scargill, from the History Group. There were so many changes since 1973 I asked would it be ok if I wrote my memories down. The answer was yes. So here they are.

At school I had a dreadful problem with writing anything down. So I tried writing very quickly, getting to the end of a piece as soon as possible. Spellings were hopeless, and many words were missed out. The teachers could not read it very well, but I could, and saw no problem. It was not until I taught my self how to use a computer that I realized I am dyslexic. Thank you, thank you Bill Gates, and now as this is written on an iPad Steve Jobs and spell check. So the only way I can record my 60 + years of remembering is to chat to you. Please don’t expect any fancy grammatically correct sentences or clever words, they are beyond me. As I was considered intelligent but thick (!) at school I was channeled towards cooking. It sounds a bit like Downton Abby days, if you were a little slow or thick then you were sent to work in the big kitchens. Of course by the time you became cook your mathematical skills, working out quantities, portion control, and time schedules, writing (ordering), timing, hand eye coordination, and delegation skills were second to none. So as you can see I am, as they say now, way, way out of my comfort zone. Ask me to put on a sumptuous buffet for 300 people, that would be no trouble at all.”
Here we go.

Going south on the A 40 Oxford to London Road turn right at Loudwater. To narrow it down a little, after High Wycombe and it’s way before Beaconsfield. Follow your nose for about half a mile. When the road goes a hard left and follows the river Wye and on to Wooburn, you need to take the lane to the right, going up the hill. Between the Church, St. Peter’s Loudwater, and The Happy Union Pub. Treadaway Hill. Past the station yard over the railway line up the winding, dark steep hill to Flackwell Heath. Near the top by the pond the hill branches into two. Left to the group of cottages called The Common, on the right the main road leading to the main T junction at the village school, and Methodist Chapel. The Centre of the village, Chapel Lane eventually became large enough to make it a cross-road, now I believe it’s a roundabout.

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