The Story of Heyford (Extra): VH 60th “Happiness is … A can of hot tea” – Sheila Masters

Happiness is … A can of hot tea

It was a Sunday afternoon some 35 years ago and I was coming home from Church along the Green (in those days the Baptists had afternoon services) battling with the wind and trying to keep my umbrella up against a nasty thin rain. It was cold and wet and thoroughly miserable and as I passed the embryonic Village Hall, my heart went out to the volunteers slogging away inside without any home comforts.

Full of Christian charity I thought, ‘Poor Souls! They must be fed up to the teeth. I’ll pop in and cheer them up. I wonder if they’d like a flask of hot tea?’

I needn’t have worried. Work was progressing steadily, with paintbrush and hammer, drill and screwdriver; someone was singing “Granada”, someone was whistling ,”Roll out the barrel”. Jokes and chaff flew back and forth. Cold, wet and miserable, it may have been outdoors, indoors they were warm, dry and happy. And to put the final touch to their contentment, as I stood there, Freddy Partridge arrived with a large steaming tea-can. I slunk away feeling decidedly de trop, and reflecting that, for keeping the chaps entertained, and out of mischief and the wife’s way, Heyford Village Hall project was the best thing since the Home Guard.

Sheila Masters

Reprinted from The Prattler April 1995 Edition

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