Sunday, 18 November 2007

George Robinson's memories of life in Comberbach during the 1930s and 1940s

Some of the houses in Comberbach were thatched cottages.
George's Mother had two girls with her first husband and five children with her second husband. The family lived in a house on the Moss. There was no running water. There was only cold water and no electricity. Sometimes the family had rabbit pie to eat. Times were hard. George was born in the house on the Moss in 1927.
In those days you went to the village school until you were eight and then to Winnington, Great Budworth, Barnton, Rudheath or Antrobus which became popular in later years. George walked to Winnington, past the Anderton Lift and over the swing bridge, to school, every day.
In the 1930s there was a really bad depression. Jobs were scarce. George used to run errands such as collecting paraffin oil. The radio ran on a battery and George would get a wet battery accumulator from Cyril Johnson.
The War started in 1939 and in 1940 George's father died. Three of the children were still at school so George got a job delivering milk to supplement the family income. Holly Bush Farm was where the British Telecom Exchange is now. He delivered milk before going to school to Anderton Post Office and the village and again in the evening to the village.
Mr Cox had 30 to 40 pupils at the school. George used to go home for his dinner, as there were no school dinners in those days.
Milk was 2 1/2d a bottle. In the summer holidays George enjoyed rides on the horse drawn carts to and from the cornfields on Woodcocks Farm. Actual holidays were non-existent. The seaside was only seen on Sunday school outings. Lots of horses were shoed at the Smithy.
In 1935 the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary was celebrated and in 1937 the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
Before the war Marbury Estate was beautiful. There was a fence right round the perimeter. Lots of village folk worked there. George's Grandma was a maid and his Grandfather was a groom to Lord Barrymore. He would drive Lord Barrymore in his trap to Hartford station to catch the train to London.
George and his friends knew the story of the Marbury Lady. His Grandma never saw the ghost despite coming home very late after balls and other social events. His Grandfather thought he did, once.
Some of the chaps from the village used to go and play cards with the men who lived in the bothies at Marbury Hall. George's uncle was there one night when the clock in the courtyard struck twelve midnight and a lady walked past. They all said, "Goodnight" but she did not reply. One of the uncle's friends said he'd catch up with the lady and see her safely home. He never did catch up with her so they all decided it must have been the ghost of The Marbury Lady.
George's Auntie Lena knew where the 'mummy' was. The supposed Egyptian Princess who had been rejected as a bride by one of the Barrymore family swore that she would never leave Marbury until 'holly wasn't green'. When she died she was buried at Great Budworth. Such strange things happened at Marbury Hall that the body was brought back to Marbury and buried in the rose garden.
One of George's pals was coming home in his car through Marbury Hollows one night and saw a lady in evening dress. He stopped and turned the headlights off and the lady was not there. Stuart Hubbard thought he saw the ghost once but it could have been someone playing a joke. It wasn't unknown for the locals to dress up and pretend to be The Marbury Lady.
To be continued..........

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