22nd December 2014. The twenty-second contribution to the Village Advent Calendar Windows, at Southland Cottage, Helmdon Road.
More pictures on the next page.
I took this picture of my cousin Des Wootton on Coronation Day, 2nd June 1953. We no doubt thought it very clever to take pictures of each other taking pictures of each other, when we might have been better employed recording the village for future generations (had we known that pictures of our scruffy old village might be valued half a century later). As can be seen in the picture, Southland Cottage was thatched at that time and like most of the many thatched cottages in the village, the roof was greatly in need of repair or renewal. If I remember correctly, the repaired section of Helmdon Road covered the recently installed main sewer pipe. This innovation had brought civilisation a step closer to the village. For example, the little building seen by the telephone pole in front of Southland Cottage contained the, shall we say, somewhat primitive toilet facilities of Coombe Cottage on the other side of the road. This involved an interesting journey to attend to emergencies in the middle of a cold winter’s night!
At that time, Southland Cottage was lived in by “Teddy” Isham, his wife and only daughter, Ann. She can be seen in the above photograph taken during a “Clipping the Church” ceremony in about 1948 (photographer unknown). Ann married an American serviceman from a nearby base and eventually made her life in the States.