Village Advent Celebrations 2019. December 5th. 8 Spinners Cottages, Magpie Road.

For the early evening party goers of the village the Christmas Season is now well under way. These little “get togethers” are of short duration and form a sort of “aperitif” to later evening activities (the mulled wine helps!) Above all they present an ideal opportunity for those newer to the village to mix with longer term residents in a very informal way.

More pictures on the next page (Click on “Read the rest of this entry”)











Oooh er! The big moment has arrived……


……here we go……


…..and all is well!









Until the early 1950s there was no public water supply in the village. Rain water from roofs was carefully saved for washing purposes. Drinking water was obtained from wells  or even straight from streams, such as the one at the bottom of the hill out of the village towards Helmdon. Sanitary arrangements are best left to the imagination. Some houses had wells in their gardens. Those without this facility carried their buckets to street hand pumps. That for the residents of Spinners Cottages was situated in a little alcove as shown on this map:


The handsome man using the pump in 1945 is Sandy Munro who was a navigator on a Lancaster bomber briefly stationed at nearby Chipping Warden airfield. When not on flying duty he lodged at No 5 Spinners Cottages. The second world war came to an end in that year and Sandy married my cousin Kathleen and continued to live in the village until his death in 2006. I am sure that those who remember him will agree with me that he was universally loved and respected and much missed when he passed away. I had the honour to prepare and deliver the Tribute at his funeral, which can be seen here.

The current residents of Spinners Cottages may be surprised to learn that fun fairs were once regularly held on the village green around the old stocks, as can be seen from this extract from the village website:


In the early 1950s a funfair was an annual three or four day event on the village green. There were roundabouts, swing-boats, coconut shies, shooting booths and a helter-skelter. The two copper beeches which now dominate the green were still quite small 58 years ago and the various amusements were grouped around the stocks with the showpeople’s caravans and lorries behind. This was quite a major event in the village and it was not unknown for young men to use it as an excuse for a Saturday lunchtime drink or two more than was usual. The challenge thereafter was to keep pulling vigorously on the swingboat ropes to prevent the showman bringing the “boat” to rest with the long bar that rested on his shoulder!

Ann and Olivia Wootton pushed by their mother Margaret.

Olivia Wootton

L to R ? Broughton, Ann Wootton, Barbara Goodwin,
Olivia Wootton, Patricia Golby

Ann Wootton on the tricycle with Ronnie Wintersgill behind.

Finally, newer residents of Spinners Cottages may be interested in this extract from “The Chronicles of a Country Parish” (a village appraisal published in 1995):

Spinners Cottages were built in three stages, which accounts for the rather confusing number sequence. Numbers 1 to 8, of brick with pebble dash finish, and tiled roofs, were put up in 1921; numbers 9 to 14, brick-built, in 1935-6; and finally the two flats 1A and 1B in 1960, pebble-dashed with leaded-light windows. Most of the cottages were renovated in 1990 and now have plastic-framed casement windows. The interesting name is derived from the fact that nearby was the site of a rope-walk, where ropes for church-bells and other purposes were spun.

See here for the actual Chronicles.


3 Responses to “Village Advent Celebrations 2019. December 5th. 8 Spinners Cottages, Magpie Road.”

  1. Lindsay says:

    Yes I remember Sandy, a lovely man. Their daughter lived nextdoor to me in Helmdon Road.

  2. Digby Lewis says:

    What a wonderful bit of history. Well done Colin! Your add-ons at the end of each window opening make fascinating reading. Please keep them coming. It would be wonderful to have the annual funfair back – though I am not so sure about the hand-pump.

  3. Ingram says:

    Well, I never knew about the funfair, it just shows how quickly trees grow, we think they have been there for ever!
    Great that newcommers to the village join in so wholeheartedly, thank you so much. Another great eveing

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