Letters: Happy Days – October 2019

Happy Days

The semi-detached dormer houses in Church Lane were built by Adkins and Shaw in the late 1960’s. After our wedding in 1967, Tony and I moved into No. 4 which was bought for the princely sum of £3,295. At that time most of the occupants of these houses were like us, newlyweds or not long married with young children. The land on which the houses were built had been owned by a Mr Potter whose widow lived at No. 3. The builders had not been able to develop the rest of the field because it was too low to support a sewer which is why the houses have long gardens.

At that time, the late Dennis Clarke who lived at the old bakery in Furnace Lane had a van from which he used to come round the village selling vegetables, fruit and fresh fish. He would park up in Church Lane and firstly visit Mrs Potter who was elderly and not able to walk too well. She in turn would have a cup of tea ready for him and so they would sit and chat and chat. In the meantime, all the potential customers were either waiting patiently or not so patiently for Dennis to appear. We became used to this routine and did not wait at the van unless we too wanted a chat but would keep checking to see if Dennis had appeared. But despite the wait, it was worth it just alone for the hand sized pieces of Plaice he sold, which were delicious steamed and loved by our children. Happy days indeed.

Maureen Wright


Dennis Bell

“I’ve still got the bell that Dennis used to ring when he parked up to start selling”

Trev Clarke

2 thoughts on “Letters: Happy Days – October 2019

  1. Maureen Wright who contrbuted a recent letter. Was she Maureen Holt of Bugbrooke? I grew up in Bugbrooke and had grandparents NICKOLLS in Lower Heyford. My father was Joe – related to Bill Nickolls and other family members. Tony and Barry Nickolls in photo of local teens are my cousins. The Nickolls – Collins and Haddon families are all part of my family who lived in Kislingbury – Bugbrooke or Heyford . Many other names were very familiar. The photos took me back to my childhood years of 40’s and 50’s . I have lived in South Africa since 1969 and lost track of this side of my family so it was amazing to see all this and would love to know more if anyone is interested. The Prattler is a really great newspaper and Nether Heyford looks a really friendly place to live. So glad the Village Green is still there. I wish you and all your readers a very happy and peaceful Christmas from the sunnier side of the world. Gill R.


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