Woodford Halse photos
Displaying the first of 14 old photos of Woodford Halse. View all Woodford Halse photos
Woodford Halse maps
Historic maps of Woodford Halse and the local area, hand-drawn by Ordnance Survey and Samuel Lewis. View all Woodford Halse maps
Woodford Halse area books
Displaying 1 of 10 books about Woodford Halse and the local area. View all books for this area
Memories of Woodford Halse
A Short But Happy Time
Although I only lived in Woodford for a couple of years at most I was happy there. We lived at 17 High St, which I suppose might be called a cottage these days. It was a 2 up 2 down place with a strange sort of tiny extension built on the back which my mother called the kitchenette! There was a brick built coal store and toilet across the yard, no bathroom! Our next door neighbours were Mr and Mrs Pain; he worked on the railway I believe as did most men in Woodford at that time. They had grandchildren called Patrick, Geoffrey, Jonathan and Lisa Hinton - I hope that's correct. I went to the village school which was next to the Church and remember a couple of school trips; one to Bourton on the Water and the other to Verulanium, the Roman remains at St Albans. We also did country dancing which took place in a hall across the road from the school, that was quite enjoyable. The... Read more
Fishing For Tiddlers as A Small Boy in A Stream in Woodford
I remember as if it was yesterday, walking from 7 Manor Road, the house I was born in. My grandad and granma, the Peasnells, lived there for some time. I used to walk with my cousin John, he was a few years older than me, down the road to stone bridge, just before the tunnel, which lead to platforms up the wide stone steps which have now been bricked up. Anyway, I use to fish that little stream (it was big to me in those days) with a cane and a length of cotton and bent pin, with a worm on the end. I was as happy as Larry, catching sticklebacks and bullheads. I have now become an avid fly fisherman at 58 years old. Woodford Halse has many happy memories for me, it's sad that it had to change. I remember the smell of coal and smoke from the steam engines, my grandad was an engine driver there. Happy, happy days.
The Gorse BR Staff Association Club
My mother and father (Charles and Lilian) ran the Club from 1954-1957 approx. We lived in just one part with a large living room, a kitchen which led to the back area of stables and grass and 4 bedrooms. Most of the upstairs rooms in the rest of the Gorse were unused except for the Billiard room, but as an eleven year old, I spent many hours just wandering from room to room - I really don't know how many there were but probably in the region of 20 - all empty. There were old-time dances there and rock n' roll nights and because the railway was so important in those years, the place was very much an integral part of the community. Many happy memories from those years.
To School From Manor Road
Each day my journey either was via the cinder track (there was the old reservoir running alongside and the iron railway bridge stood in those days, the railway was still operating I think or in the stages of being dismantled) or we walked over a somewhat ricketty wooden bridge at the bottom of Castle Hill, there were a few hens scratting round just before the bridge. The hill was so steep when you were a kid, and doubtless when you are an OAP. At the top was the electricity shop and the post office and we went round to the school, the old cinema being used for indoor dancing and lunch. Testa's garage with the hairdresses just along and Northrop the butcher was next door. Going home via the shops down Station Road, Nobby Brown the greengrocers, Mace (run by the Edwards family, my mum worked there for a while), Wickens, the Co op across the road, Faulkners shoes, Le Bonne Marche, Sargeants butchers, Bank, unknown corner shop with net curtains, Lancasters,... Read more
My father was the village policeman until 1958 and we lived in the Police House which doubled as a Police Station (there was a counter for public use at the front of the house). We left for Corby in 1958 when I was 6.
My memories are of the blacksmith's forge (opposite the secondary school), Nobby Brown's dairy (next to the railway station), the picture house, Northrop's butcher's shop, the Fleur De Lys pub (landlady Jean Shrimpton), black topped bread from the bakery, the Fox and Hounds pub, bus journeys on a Bedford OB bus, Saturday shopping trips to Banbury on the train, cricket at Preston Capes and the village primary school.
Other names I can recall are John Kingston (dairy farmer), Francis Cross (farmer from Preston Capes), Len Summers (or Somers), Dennis Raines (who drove railway shunters), John Moore (the vicar) and Les Northrop (the butcher).
My early memories of Woodford, were being taken by bus, from Byfield Primary School, to the Moravian church, in Parsons Street, for the polio injection, also of going to the cinema, which was opposite the Post Office, to see the Big Country.
Some of my relatives, worked on the railway, I spent a lot of happy times, watching the comings and goings, to the sheds, watching the Master Cutler and the Yorkshireman, the two high speed mainline trains, at that time.
My memories of Byfield, where I lived on the brand new council estate, in Lovett Road, are idyllic. I was there from age 6 to 10, then we moved to York.
We children had to walk what seemed like miles, in all weathers, to the village school which was on the opposite side of the village. Passing the sweet shop on Dolls Hill, where halfpenny chews, sherbert dips and gobstoppers were the treat of the week, we would race down the hill to the stream at the bottom,over the bridge, then through the centre of the old village which had an Inn on either side of the road. One of these, The Rose & Crown(?) used to be the meeting place for the Hunt, an incredibly exciting and glamorous event...I was lucky enough to get "blooded" one year, much to the horror of my Mother.
The smell of fresh bread coming from Mr. Smith's used to slow us down, and we used to peer through the door at the very... Read more