The Carpenters Of Boxford

A Memory of Boxford

I would like to add a memory of Boxford, no, wonderful memories that I have of Boxford 65 years ago.
As a child of four, I was evacuated with my grandmother Mary Jane Farthing, nee Carpenter, to Boxford to stay with her parents, my great Grandmother Mary and Grandfather Charles Carpenter at Tinywent Corner - a little cottage with a well and a toilet way up the end of the garden.
The start of this adventure suddenly went haywire when the train stopped at Marks Tey, and we had to walk the rest of the way to Boxford.
Looking up Swan Street, the school I attended would have been behind me, and also the village hall. This was our meeting place on a Saturday morning to see the silent black and white pictures with somebody playing the piano.
Moving up Swan Street, the first house on the right was rented out to my great uncle Eddy and great aunt Flo. (Her Yorkshire pudding and gravy, cooked on paraffin stove was delicious.)
Further up the street on the left was the butcher who used to stop selling meat at midday on a Saturday, and then become the barber. He only used to cut the sides in a style known as the basin cut, leaving the top quite long.
Further on were some small old peoples' dwellings where my great Grand parents spent their last days.
Just past this was the church,, which I had to attend twice on Sundays, I believe it was Methodist.
Keeping going past the road to Tidywent Corner, and up the hill was the public house called, I believe The Fox.
This was managed by my Great Uncle Olly and Great Aunt Sybil. He was some character, with an artificial leg, which he used to stand in the corner with his collar and tie attached.
Many a time I walked across the fields from Tidywent to get a bottle of beer for my Great Grandad. A frightening thing to do in Autumn and Winter.
Carrying on past the Fox was a field with a broken mulberry tree, when ripe we all made ourselves sick, but they were gorgeous.
Next on the right was Rose Cottage within was my Great Aunt Beatrice. I hope it still stands, because it was so beautiful.
And now to Tidywent Corner. As the road turns at the top to the right, a pond sat next to a “modern” cottage wherein were two of my mates, a boy and girl, their names I cannot remember. Legend had it there was a horse and cart sunken in the pond, and we believed it! Next to it and opposite my cottage was a Molten, a long building for keeping hay etc, with below it a rifle range. I don’t think I ever heard a noise from it.
Further up on the left was (to us) the Manor house. Once, when scrumping grapes, I was caught by the local bobby who clumped me round the ear and sent me home, to get another one from Great Grandpa!
I mentioned the well earlier. This was directly outside the kitchen door, and quite deep. It was, for a long time our only source of water.
Before going to school, it became my job to wind up a few buckets to see us through the day.
The toilet was a tin hutted contraption with just a hole in the ground, and a wooden seat.
Built under a plum tree I think, when ripe they sounded like bombs when hitting the roof.
Although blind, my grandpa kept singing birds in a brick shed by the side entrance.
He had a cat, which was vicious, and would only go to him; I just kept out of its way.
One day the cat never came home, until that is, whilst I was pulling up the water, the cat was in the bucket.
I dropped it and ran into Granny who picked it up and buried it. I think to his dying day great grandfather thought I had thrown it down the well.
I used to help the milkman deliver the milk, just in the Tidywent corner that is. He had a horse and a cart like a Roman chariot, without the swords. The jugs were left by the door, with cash of 2 pence or more covered with a saucer.
My daughter is carrying out a family tree, and we would love to hear from anyone in the family.
She has compiled a list of the Carpenters (see below) a large family as you can see, but there is one name not on the list.
I was often teased by ‘Una’ a land army girl whom I am sure was a relative; I would dearly like to meet her again.
I sincerely hope this little memory will stir someone’s interest, and hopefully they will get in touch with us.

Many thanks

By email to

Or by snail mail to

Alan Lloyd
12 Britannia view
PE15 9QT

Family tree of carpenters.
Earnest married Leslie Fairs
Edgar married Elsie Herbert
Oliver married Sybil Hunt
Elsie married Percy Gant
Beatrice married Albert Tricker
Mary Jane married Charles Farthing

A memory shared by Alan Lloyd , on Aug 9th, 2006.

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