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Painting High Street. 

More Stan Clarks

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 capped over.

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 back?

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 eys 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 stone 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.)

Gilkes Yard 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 time).

Then Harold Chapman and family, who's children I went to school with. (Rita & John)

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 () 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.

(Namhat 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 D 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 pulled down. 

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 property.

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.

Mr Billingham 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 toe 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)

With artistic ence 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 illness.

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 whrked on Moores Farm.

(Bobbler's sister was my wife's great grandmother)?

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.

Beyond the 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 beh our old cottage.


Stanley Joseph Clark