The Story of Heyford (Extra): Dear Diary – June 1954

June 1954

Dear Diary,

There are lots of new homes going up in Hillside Road and Hillside Crescent and new families moving in, including my friend Jane who used to live at Novelty Farm on the A5. It’ll be great having her so near, although we’ll miss our games in the hay bales and with the animals. Apparently her new next door neighbour is to be presented with the “key of the door” to mark the 100th Council house to be completed and the newspaper reporters will be there to take photographs, how exciting is that?

The old cottages nearest the green in Close Road have been pulled down. At the other end of the road there is a five-barred gate close to a little stream that comes down from the hills. The water then goes under the road and comes up again to flow along in front of The Peak, along Hillside Road, down the side of the green and again underground as far as Watery Lane, which is how it got its name. It then finds its way to the river. We have so much water around the village with the river and the canal and all these little streams in between. Let’s hope it all stays on course.

The old Jubilee Hall is to be pulled down because it’s no longer safe. They are only leaving the little wall at the front. Where will everyone meet now? Maybe in The Foresters Arms, I’m sure Mr. Rolfe would be pleased to have them. I don’t think the couple at The Old Sun would have them. I sit in their kitchen sometimes while mum and dad go into the pub and they bring me a bottle of pop, Dandelion and Burdock is my favourite.

Our new Headmaster, Mr. Warr, and his wife have settled in nicely, Mrs. Hazel has left and Mrs. Whatton or Madam as we are to call her, has started, so some changes have been made. This afternoon we are getting ready for Sports Day on the village green. I’m not very good at sports so I shall try for the Sack Race or The Egg & Spoon Race. I know I won’t win either but I better show willing. At last the school has toilets inside the building so no traipsing up the yard next winter.

I’m going to dress as Maureen ‘Little Mo’ Connolly at the church fete Fancy Dress competition next weekend. At 16 she was the youngest tennis player to win at the US Open tournament. I love the church fete with stalls, games and tea on the lawn. Most of the villagers turn out for it.

Because it was warm yesterday me and my cousin played a game in the chicken house. We got covered in fleas so mum got the tin bath out of the barn, put it on the back lawn, filled it with warm water and made us have a strip wash to get rid of them before we went indoors. We did giggle. So much for our chicken army. We’ll pester the pigs next time, they’re cleaner.


Letter published in The Prattler – June 2020