Memories

St James Church Girls Club

St James Church Girls Club by kind permission of Phyllis Drinkwater.

St James Church Girls Club

I was so pleased to read in the Council’s newsletter of the various activities arranged in the locality for young people.

60 years ago I ran a Girls Club for St. James Church. We met once a week in the church hall, doing embroidery, knitting and country dancing. We entertained at church parties to the delight of the people, doing Scottish Reels and invited them to join in.

St. James Church Girls Club Badge

St James Church  Club Badge

St James Church Girl’s Club Badge

We had a badge which was a gold cross embroidered on a blue felt background which the girls made themselves. In the winter evenings they brought 0xo cubes -and we had hot drinks and biscuits. In the summer we played Netball in the school yard ( well our version of it) competing with one another to see who could get the ball in the net the most times. Surprisingly enough it wasn’t always the tallest girl that won. It was great fun and kept us all actively engrossed.

Some evenings we went for a ramble across the fields and took sandwiches and bottles of ‘Tizer’,a drink which was very popular with the young in those days. All without a care in the world.

As I see it, it is so good for like-minded youngsters to meet together and enjoy one anothers company in pleasant pursuits. It is the simple things in life that give the greatest happiness.

I am now in my eighties, so the girls who belonged to the club must now be around 60 plus and possibly ‘Grandmothers’. Many are doing good work supporting various organisations in the community. I guess they often recall those happy days. I know I do.
Phyllis Drinkwater (nee Garrett)

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62, High Sreet, New Bradwell

62, High Sreet, New Bradwell by kind permission of Sharon Thrift

I used to live at the side of the school at 62 High Street, from 1965 to 1971 when I emigrated to Australia with my brother and parents. I started school in New Bradwell and my cousins were christened in the Church there so I am familiar with both buildings.

My grandparents (Mick and Eva Wilmott) also lived in New Bradwell from about 1944 to about 1974, mostly at 79 Spencer Street, now 23 Spencer Street I believe, when they moved to Wolverton. Some of my mum’s siblings were born in either Spencer Street or Bridge Street so we have a long connection with New Bradwell.

We lived next door to Dr Love, I vaguely remember him because he diagnosed food poisoning in my Dad and I, after another Doctor had said that I had chicken pox! He also gave me a jelly bean after he gave me my smallpox inoculation before we came to Australia, it didn’t stop it stinging though and I still yelled my head off!

I also remember the band playing outside our house, I’ve attached a photo of them doing just that, looks like it might have been summer time, can’t see any rain or snow! My brother Gary is the little blonde boy on the bike on the path.

I think your website is terrific, I haven’t had the opportunity to return to England so I was amazed to see what High Street looks like without the houses opposite our old house, can’t say I like it much because I remember it the way it used to be but I suppose that’s progress. I’m glad that my grandparents house has been saved though.
Kind regards,
Sharon Thrift (nee Mote) Warnbro, Western Australia.

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My early years were spent growing up in Haversham but my earliest memory of New Bradwell was visiting the Dr.’s surgery. Dr. Marjorie Fildes had her surgery at 109, Newport Road opposite the recreation ground. It was always a major exercise as there were no buses and we had to walk up the steep hill from Haversham, past the Drill Hall, then down the other side into New Bradwell. If I had behaved myself at Dr. Marjorie’s then my mother allowed some time for a trip to the rec. and a play on the swings! New Bradwell had a variety of shops but we always bought our shoes from Wheelers in St James Street. The walls packed with boxes of shoes, it was difficult to choose which we liked the best.
Jennifer Cooper (nee Bull)

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When Mum, Dad & myself moved to New Bradwell from Newport Pagnell, I was about 12 yrs. so it would have been about 1954. Dad had finally been allowed to change his job. Prior to the war he was an agricultural worker and it was a protected occupation, trying to ensure we didn’t starve, so he had to stay on the farm until the war was well over.

It was with great delight he had got a job in Wolverton railway Works and the move to ‘Bradell’, as it was commonly called, meant he didn’t have to get up so early to bike to work. One week being 6.00am-2.00pm and the next, 2.00pm-10.00pm. Mum had the task of finding us somewhere to live, a 4 bed house, no bathroom; toilet at end of yard (no light or heat). Rent a £1 a week! on the corner of School Street. The landlord kindly ‘modernised’ it for us, (he had elecctric light and sockets fitted) before we moved in.

You could get practically all you wanted in the High Street, at one time the shop that is now the bookies (Corals) was a general store & cafe, on the opposite corner was the Library. The Post Office (with pay phone inside) and fruit & veg shop attached next door. The Co-op food store with their butcher’s shop next door and I’m sure there was another fruit and veg shop. We also had Strickland’s, who sold fabric, wool, needles etc. another small general store and sweet shop and Varney’s butchers on the Corner (now ?). Across on the other corner, which was the last Post Office, was Miss Clark’s small food shop with hand-sliced bacon and biscuits that you bought by the pound (weight, not money) from big tins with clear lids that you could see the contents through. On the corner of Glyn Street (now flats) was Faithfull’s Bakery. Oh the delightful smells and lovely to just have to cross the road for the lovely fresh bread & cakes, all done on the premises.

The Black Horse bridge on the Newport Road was still a small hump-back brick built. The bridge up to the New Inn on Bradwell Road was also still a small hump-back before becoming as it is now and ‘Nobby Newport’ was still running as well. How I loved going to Newport or Wolverton on that train.

The three streets of Railway houses, High Street, Spencer Street & Bridge Street went the full length of the High Street from Bradwell Road to Bounty Street and were much sought after. Although again only basic, the Railway kept them in fair repair. Still no bathrooms & toilet outside! You had to go on a waiting list and could only get one if you worked for the Railway. They also had houses in Wolverton where part of McConnell Drive is.

The chemist in New Bradwell was in the same place as now. Where the men’s hairdresser is now was another small food & sweet shop. A couple of doors down was Wheelers shoe shop and a bit further down past the chemist was an Ironmongers. (now a Funeral Directors).

I know there are still some more that I’ve not included, and for that I apologise. Perhaps someone else can carry on but you see what a nice thriving little community we were. Oh, and I’ve just remembered the ladies hairdressers in the old  Post Office in the High St. where it still is today!! The Chinese takeaway in Bradwell Rd. was yet another general food store.

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