Is it good to take a trip back in time? To take that journey to pastures old and revisit childhood haunts? Well yes it is if it’s Adderbury in Oxfordshire where your journey happens to take you.
My recent travels meant I had an hour in this village which I was pleased to see hadn’t changed. Parking by the green I could see The Red Lion where my parents had their wedding breakfast and also The Rookery a grand house where I believe Dr McCabe lived and who had the pleasure of delivering me at The Elms in Banbury. The story goes that my dad arrived home from a shift at Aynho signal box to find no one at home as my mum had been taken to hospital, he decided a few minutes more wouldn’t make much difference and stopped off to get some cigarettes….only to find when reaching the hospital I had just been born.
Home was in the High Street and we lived in the cottage either next to the Scott family (the cottage is now called Scott’s corner and this is where George and Elizabeth the children of the family lived) or next door to Halls the baker, sadly I can not remember which one?I would wait at the back gate which opened up on Parson’s Street for my Dad to come home on his scooter…I couldn’t find the back gate when I recently visited.
My grandparents were a few yards away at Hillside Cottage in Water Lane, my grandfather’s pride and joy the stained glass in the front door is gone but his parking space is still there next to the tithe barn and it was here a motorcyclist lost control and careered into my grandfather’s legs as he was bending into the back of his Triumph Herald estate. You could see where his knees had dented the bumper. Both legs were broken and as a four year old I would walk him round the village as part of his daily exercise. I always hoped that we would stop by Bennetts the sweet shop! In the same row of cottages was Mrs Brinklow, Granny Cook and Mrs Frogrett.
I know that St Mary’s graveyard is the resting place of William Adkins my great grandfather who died in 1954 and several of my grandmother’s babies that didn’t survive. But what I didn’t know was that my grandfather, his brother and several other members of the family (names include Basin, Paynton and Merry) are recognised as fighting in WW1 on a certificate on the church wall.
The school house next to my grandparent’s home was where my Mum attended but is now a private residence and following that was the Cook’s house and I believe Marjorie Cook (nee Basin) was a distant relative of my grandmother’s.
Just by the brook is the grand Sor Brook House and Lady Railton did a pencil and charcoal drawing of my grandfather which is now in my hallway, a fantastic reminder of him.
I do remember playing in the rec and buying ice cream at Clincards the postoffice.
It’s good to see there hasn’t been many changes and good to hear that it is still very much a community as confirmed to me by the landlord of the Coach and Horses where I enjoyed a very good value meal.
Notes – my grandparents were Cyril Raymond Adkins born 1893 in South Newington who worked for his father and grandfather Adkins the builders then later Alcocks of Banbury. My grandmother was Minnie Elizabeth Paynton born 1900 in a cottage in the grounds of The Leys, her father Maurice but known as Henry worked as an agricultural labourer.
I attended Christopher Rawlings school and I believe I was one of the first intake in the early sixties.