War Years

A Memory of Alconbury.

My name is Pamela Alston, nee Earley. I lived in Alconbury village from the age of 5 in 1943 till the age of 15 in 1953. I went to the village school and had an exellent education, much better than my college educated children. We lived at the Globe House and my father Walter Earley transported prisoners of war to work, I remember the Italian prisoners made lovely jewellery from plexi glass and all hand painted. I remember the convoys on the Great North Road, Mr Thompson's bakery, Last's shop, the post office and Constable Everett. I have loads of good memories, and would love to share them with other Alconburians.
Pam Alston.

Added 24 April 2009


Comments & Feedback

Hi, I lived at 4 Globe Lane (the Old Globe Inn) until 2 years ago and would love to find out any information regarding the history of the property and its occupants. Also any photos anyone may have. Many thanks
Mrs Joanne Ansell
Hej Pam,
Well, before PC Everett we had one who was known as the skating constable, PC Morton, renowned in the village for his skating on the ice when the Alconbury Brook froze over. I can also remember when my Dad was emergency driver when your Dad got his fingers in the way of a saw. I had never seen Dad as shaken up as when he returned from hospital after that journey. Your Dad and mine were quite a pair of cronies in those days and it hit him hard seeing his mate being injured like that.
I have not been in the village since 2007, and on that visit I was just able to recognise it, but there have been some truly radical changes since I left in 19960. Unfortunately there will not be any further visits, due to a combination of age and illness of the incurable kind. But I am actively engaged in producing as good a history of my years there as possible to pass on to my daughter, who spent time with her 'Farmor' (father's mother in Swedish) initially in Bell Lane, and later on Field Close where my mother had flat for her latter years.
I must say that, with regard to views of the village, the wooden footbridge built on the downstream side of the old stone bridge may be a convenience, but in my humble opinion it detracts from the aesthetic view of the bridge as seen from the green. The RAF and the USAAF did their best to knock the bridge down with their aircraft recovery vehicles, but it withstood all of their efforts - until a wooden footbridge completely spoilt its appearance.
I can still remember many of the names of villagers past from my days as Ganderton's butcher's boy, delivering the meat ration on Saturday mornings, and of leaving Mrs. Hubbard at the bottom of the village until last - for a reason. That reason being the small glass of wine put out for me as a reward every Saturday, with a paper label telling me what wine it was. (Home-made and strong - especially for a 12-13 year-old). Barber, Foster, Horner, Bream and many more.
But the 'Crown' is no longer, nor the one-time Post Office. The latter has returned to whence it came - well almost, at the foot of Bell lane where I remember it being run by Philip Birch and his wife. And of course, down at the bottom of the village was Bert Thompson's Bakery, and the shop run by his sister Lil. If you were lucky you could get a 'twist' baked from the left-over dough. Bert used to plait three strands of the dough to form a delicious small twist of bread - given to a favoured one who happened to be in the bakehouse whilst the loaves were being taken out of the oven, and if you happened to be the one 'helping remove the bread from the tins. Ah - the smell of that new bread! I guess Bert is baking for those on high today, may they enjoy his bread - and perhaps also his twists.
I was born in Brookside Cottage right opposite the green, gone now. I returned in 2016 and very surprised at the changes. I was able to find my grandfather's grave and hopefully we can get back this year.

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