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Memories of Northamptonshire
Early Years at Farthingstone
I was born in 1950 and lived in Farthingstone until I was 3. There are many things I will never forget. My first haircut, with me sat on a wooden box at the bottom of someone's garden. "All things bright and beautiful" at the village church. Walking in the Joy Mead with family or friends. Looking over the garden wall at the cows in the farmyard and most of all how much I loved this peaceful, quiet village.
I have a picture somewhere of Blakesley Manor, which was demolished in about 1967 and replaced with a housing estate!!! My dad thought that he should have inherited it, but he found out that it was left to his grandparents (who were ordinary people, in service) with extensive repairs needed plus death duties, thus it went into chancery. I always remember the shock and sense of unfairness I felt, when I found out that it had been knocked down, when I had been staring at it only a year or so before.
I remember going into Cappels shop in the late 1970s and buying kali and liquourice. I also remember going down to Coach bridge, swimming with my friends, and a man called malcolm used to come over on his penny farthing, good times were had by all.
Home to my Family
I have lived most of my life in Nether Heyford, so did my mother and grandfather. When I went away, twice, it made me appreciate "home" amongst the people I grew up with, went to school with and kept in touch with. There were 3 classrooms at Bliss School from 1950 until the new secondary school opened in Duston in 56. Sunday school was a weekly occurrence. Bonfire night, the fair on the green and Christmas plays were annual. The worst crime was cherry knocking or scrumping, and the village bobby was regularly on his bike by the phone box. I was christened, confirmed and married in Heyford Church and have belonged to a variety of organisations over the years. Both my sons and their family have returned. My roots are deep in this village and I recommend village life to anyone.
Church Street, at the end of this my parent's shop, home until dad decided to retire to Badby. Next door the Roman Catholic church. Anyone else remember the processions down Church Street when it was Remembrance Sunday or the Church Fete with Rose Queen on the trailer surrounded by attendants. Running for the bus along there too, especially if you needed to get to Northampton in time for school as I did. Further up the street the cobbler's shop and Mr Gates coal merchants. Can you imagine we had 4 shops all in that one street in the 1950's, most villages are lucky to have one now!
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