Painting High Street.
A water colour painting by Stan Clark of Bugbrooke High Street as it was in the early 1930s.
By the 1950s a
main sewer would be lain in the village, by a firm called Millard's
this did away with the old bucket toilets, Thus making the horse and
cart along with the job for the man that used to empty them redundant.
At the same time
a firm by the name of Hickrnan's came and lain water pipes throughout
the village, giving everyone fresh clean drinking water, This did away
with all the wells in the village, and most of them were filled in or
At the same time New Houses were
being built along Johns Road up Butts Hill, and along two more new
roads called Levits Road and Chipsy Avenue.
The other big
change would be on the farming side, as all the lovely horses would
go, and tractors (War Time Lease Lend) would take their place, Many of
the lovely old farm carts and wagons were cut up for fire wood or left
to rot, Some of the old men kept all the horse tack intact and clean
for many years after, Thinking that the horse and its use would come
Many of the old
cottages in this painting were condemned and pulled down when I was a
young child, I was born and raised in a cottage opposite the Village
Hall that stood next to the Coop Shop.
It was a
three-story house, with a ground floor room, and small lean to with
the two other storeys being bedrooms, Mother Father and Sid moved into
this home from Kiln Yard.
Gwen Myra Myself (Stanley), Malcolm,
and Audrey, were born there.
And during my
early recollections of the time, and of things that went on while I
grew up in this part of the village, As well as information from my
elders, I have recorded for prosperity.
I well remember
when the first building on the left of the painting was the village
Post Office, Shop, And Bakery, run by Mr Fred and Emest Bames, the
aroma from this bakery filled the High Street every morning.
I used to love
to watch Mr Emest Bames mixing the doe and kneading it in a very long
trough, along with weighing it up and putting it into the baking tins
ready to go into the hot oven to bake.
On the very odd occasion when eating
this bread one would come across the odd mouse droppings or cigarette
ash in this bread as Emie regularly smoked while kneading the doe. But
it did us no harm and we were never ill from eating this bread. Today
the health and safety regulators would have a field day and would have
shut the bakery down.
We were the last
generation to witness the time when this bakery was up and running
along with seeing the folk carrying the roast and Yorkshire puddings
to be baked on a Sunday morning.
The second sandstone house on the
left was at the top of a yard called Gilkes Yard,
Mr Steve Billingham told me that the
Lovell family lived in this house at the turn of the century, and some
of the descendants from this family still live in Bugbrooke.
In my time I
remember Mr and Mrs Leedon living there, they had a fish and chip shop
on the site of where Turlands house once stood, Mr Leedon also
represented Kleen Easy, and he would be seen quite often going around
the villages doing his rounds with his suitcase selling his wares.
The next family
to move into this house was Mr and Mrs Jimmy Kyle, (Mrs Kyle's maiden
name was Bannard, who's brother was killed on the Normandy landings,)
(Grand children to Bragg Robbins.)
consisted of a row of ten red brick built cottages, that ran from this
sandstone house down a slope toward the brook, They all had a single
ground floor room with a scullery or pantry under the stairs, With one
bedroom and a small area come landing at the top of the stairs, The
washhouse and toilets were in a row of buildings or barns across the
yard, Also there were two wells for drinking water one at the top of
the yard, and the other half way down, One had to attach the bucket to
a pole and lower it down the well get a bucket of drinking water.
On the painting
is Chapmans horse and cart delivering milk at the top of Gilkes yard,
due to all the families that lived down in this yard, they sold quite
a large amount of milk, (Two pence a pint in those days,) The Chapman
family ran farm along with being a Blacksmith's shoeing horses ect.
The blacksmith shop and yard was next
door to Barnes's Bakery, this was run by Mr Freddie Chapman (Before my
Then Harold Chapman and family, who's
children I went to school with. (Rita &
From the bottom working our way up
the yard the following families lived.
The Gilkes family lived in the very
bottom two cottages, including Mr and Mrs Hewitt
Mr Hewitt was captured and taken
prisoner of war at Dunkerque and did not come home until the Second W
orId War was over.
In the next house up lived Mr and Mrs
Coos King and family (Brian) during the war years Mr King was away
serving in the army.
In the next house up lived an old man
named Len Clark. (Some relation way back)
A Mrs Polly Burt lived down the yard
also at one time. (Polly was Stan Gardeners wife's mother)
Also Mr and Mrs Cunningham he also
was away from home during the war serving in the forces.
They were a very big family to fit into such a small house. As when they were all at home Mr and Mrs Cunningham Doreen Eileen Betty Walter and the twins. John and Joy. (Roy was to be born when they moved up to Johns Road)
Next door to Cunningham's lived Mr and Mrs Bottoms (I remember Walter Cunningham cleaning Mr Bottoms Bicycle every week for some pocket money).
Also Lora Clark (Another relation).
She took in two evacuees William (Bill) French. And John Leach.
Also Ted Perkings and his family
lived down this yard (Ann Fitch)
Mable Gibson (Nee Jeffs) and her
husband also lived down there for a period.
Other names of people that have lived
down the yard or in this area of Bugbrooke have been mentioned to me
by elder folk. Like the Stibbard's. York's Jeffs. Boswells. Peasnell.
Belgrove. Ashby. Muscott.
(Names that folk
would joke about at the time Like Uncle Harry Abelliving near to a Mr
Kane (Kane and Abel Biblical) or (Aches and Pain) as the Hake's and
the Payne's family lived at the same time in this area of the village.
The third house along in the painting
once lived the Turland Family this is one of the oldest recorded
families that have lived in Bugbrooke.
When this house was demolished Mr Les
Leedon once had his Fish and Chip Shop?
The fourth house
at one time was shared by my Grandfather father aunt Zilla (Elsie)
Aunt Olive and Aunt Emily and her husband uncle Harry Able. Along with
Dolly her first child whose father was killed on the Somme during the
First World War. (He was one of the Tibbs families they never did have
the chance to get married.)
Aunt Emily and uncle Harry were to
have three children between them Fredrick who was to lose his life in
Belgium just after the Normandy Landings during the Second World War.
(Uncle Harry Abel taught at Northampton School of Music) (Violin)
Joseph who was to become a regular soldier and served all through the
second world war he did seven landings and was wounded several times
one was very severe but he survived. He continued serving after the
war for several years.
Jack the youngest boy was to loose
his life through illness he and his mother aunt Emily died sometime
before the second world war within two weeks of one another.
The fifth house along on the painting
that stands on the corner to Church Lane lived the Williams family
(Ann Bird (Nee Danson) is a descendant of this family.
On now what is a
Green area with a bus shelter and a few trees on opposite the old
school once stood the wagon and horses public house and several
building and work shops.
These were pulled down when I was a young child along with many of the other buildings that once stood on this area of the village.
Mr Oliver Bubb was one of the men
that helped to pull all these old buildings down and amongst the
timber from the roof of the Wagon and Horses were found a pair of
village stocks. My father had purchased the wood for fire lighting and
heating the house. Mr Campion the farmer did a swap for these stocks
for some iron girders and sheets of tin to build an Air Raid Shelter
for us in our garden just in case.
The Stocks stood in the front ofMr
Campion's home for many years after.
Down Church lane
on the left opposite this green stood two cottages next to Mr Loo Mead
and Mrs Pool. In one lived old Mr King and the other a family called
Quarteman. (Jean who worked in the Coop shop) These cottages were also
A Mr George
Carpenter was once the landlord of the Wagon and horse's and a Mr Tom
Bennett lived next door and behind these two houses stood a workshop
of the Surridge family who made and repaired bicycles.
And at one time
they tried to widen the road that ran between the Coop house and the
Wagon and Horses but the scheme came to a halt when reaching Adam's
The next buildings on the painting
across the road from the Wagon and Horses public house what was to
become (The Coop Shop).
According to Mr Billingham the Elliot
Family lived in this house at the turn of the century. The descendants
of this family live in Kislingbury (Elliot the butchers). Another
descendant lived and farmed at the wharf along the Heyford road.
After the Elliot family a Mr J.B.E.
Campion moved into this house followed by Phillip Campion.
At one time this
building along with what was to become the village hall was a boot and
shoe factory run by Mr William Higgingbottom. He in later years was to
marry my aunt Zilla (Elsie) and in later years had a small workshop
down Great Lane.
When the Coop Society started up they
were to purchase this building and turn it into a large shop.
was to become the manager of this store and live in this house most of
his working life and for some time after he retired before moving to
Harpole into an Old Age Persons bungalow with his wife Eve.
Behind the old
Coop building on the painting is part of the village hall and the end
to a house where at one time a Richard Ratlidge builder lived followed
by Mr Eric Cockerel a Farmer in the village.
(This was the opposite side of the
road to our cottage.)
During the war years when dances were
held in this hall the sounds from it could be heard in our old
cottage. It was very hard to get to sleep at times.
Names of people that lived near to us
at the time were. Next-door lived Mr and Mrs Hadley followed by Mr and
Mrs Heygate the Mill owner.
Mr (Pap) Jeffs. Ashby's later Miss Campion.
The Quinn's who
owned a very large paint factory at Regents Square in Northampton lived
in the large house on the corner opposite to Home Farm and behind us
lived the Cattell family, Buxey family, the Love's, Carpenter's, And Mr
and Mrs Evans.
Other names of folk that lived in the
same area. Holt. Grant. Barford. Langley, Jeffs.
On the right hand side of the
painting is part of the retaining wall to Adams the farmers property.
The red brick pillars at the time was
the home of Mr and Mrs Smart (Farmer) nick named (Stupper)
licence 1 have old Mr Bragg Robbins walking along past this wall with
his wheelbarrow, he was to take me all over the village, while he dug
allotments and graves down the Church Yard, this was during the period
when Myra and Sid had Diphtheria, Myra was to lose her life with this
Before the sandstone building on the
right was an opening or narrow road that led up to the School Close.
Part of the sandstone house on the
right lived the Surridge family and out of sight up the roadway leading
to the Close lived the Bubb family.
Along the front lived Mr (Bobbler)
Gardener. And the Hakes family and nearest to the School lived another
Mr Gardener who worked on Moores Farm.
(Bobbler's sister was my wife's great
Mr Billingham, who once managed the Coop Shop, was to help me with the names of the people that once lived in this area of Bugbrooke.
Behind out of sight is the school Mr
Frank Wright was headmaster in my fathers day his daughter Kate taught
me when 1 started there in 1944 1 well remember her hitting me on the
back of my hands with a ruler on my first day at school. From then on 1
dreaded going to school and 1 was told it was quite a task to get me
there at any time? Mr Oliver was headmaster then followed by Mr Jones
then Mr Lantsbery. (1 left in
1954.) To go and work for Mr Harold
Ward the Ladder Maker and Undertaker.
school at the top of the yard lived Mr and Mrs Ward and Family Terry and
Jill.and old Mrs Ambler. At the bottom of this yard on the left lived
Nobby Clark a very small man in build. (Relation).
Opposite the Coop the very large
sandstone house lived Mrs Hazel (Teacher Nee Gilkes).
Then the roadway between Mr Heygates (Stonehouse) to the houses up the yard to the houses that stood behind our old cottage.
Stanley Joseph Clark