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Memories of Berkshire
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Doing family history. Found out that The Boot Inn was run by my great grandfather from approx, 1865-1901. Am now trying to find out if there is a local newspaper that may have some more info re the Boot Inn during this period.
Great-Grandad Samuel George Marlow Lived at Bradfield
Great-Grandad Samuel George Marlow's family lived at Bradfield and he was born there in 1858. I think he may have been a twin. Sadly I have been unable to learn anything at all about him but I am looking forward to visitng Bradfield and walking around the same place he must have seen all those years ago.
The Hiding Place
When I was ten years old this old tree was a delight. Ancient and hollow inside, we children were able to crawl inside while mother did her shopping. We watched people pass on their way to and from the blacksmith, the grocer or the butcher, firmly believing they had no idea we were there. If we were lucky we would have been bought an ice lolly or a sweet to eat in the tree. It was often thought by visitors that it was an oak because of the eponymous pub in the Square. It was, I think, an elm.
Now the tree is long gone, replaced by something small but with nice seats around on a paved area where villagers can rest in the shade.
The Well House
This was where everyone waited for the buses that took us east to Pangbourne and Reading or west to Newbury, our main shopping town. Newbury had a thriving market twice a week and buses were frequent, eight per day.
The Well House did indeed have a well beneath it and following a tragedy at the Royal Oak pub in which our next door neighbour was killed, the building was renovated.
Originally it was an open wooden structure supported on a low brick wall but after the deep well had been filled it had the sides bricked in. Whilst this is less drafty when waiting for a bus it meant that we couldn't see it coming nor see who else was in The Square - important for villagers, who always want to know who is about. It has recently (2006) been rebuilt following an accident but happily is basically unchanged.
Just obscured by the Well House is the cottage we first lived in on arrival in the village in... Read more
The Royal Oak
'The Oak' is the only pub and hotel in the village and in the fifties our next door neighbour was the cleaner there. She would cycle to the village from the farm on a heavy green bicycle in a slow and ponderous manner that has stayed with me to this day. I must have been about nine when the awful event happened that haunted me for years. Police came to the village school one day to ask our neighbour's daughter where her mum was going that morning as she was not at work. The doors in the porch of the pub had been sticking for some months and the cleaner had complained and asked for something to be done, to no avail. While cleaning that day, the floor had opened up beneath her and she fell into a well that had been unused for decades and not properly capped. Our friend was not found for several days. She had died more or less instantly, crushed by falling cookers, fridges, masonry... Read more
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