Sunday, 18 November 2007

More of George Robinson's Memories

More of George Robinson's Memories

The Marbury Estate was sold in 1932. The sales brochure shows that there was only one farm left. Tom Walker was the occupant of Ivy Lodge Farm and the rent was £26 per annum.
The population of the village in the 1930s was about 300. The village bobby was called Constable Bligh and he lived where Mrs Iosson lives now. (Lavernock, Marbury Road)

On Armistice Day, which was always November 11th, the schoolchildren all stood at the windows as the service took place at the war memorial. Bill Acton (Edith Fuller's uncle) would play 'The Last Post' on his bugle.

Mrs Cox was the only teacher and she lived in the schoolhouse.

In 1933 Marbury Hall became a country club and was opened by Lord Delamere. Lots of cars came through the village which was very exciting for all the young boys as there weren't that many cars then. There was an airstrip at Marbury and people would fly in to go to the country club. The local boys got 2/6 a round, caddying on the country club golf course.

During the war troops arrived straight from Dunkirk. The men asked where they were, as they had no idea. They jumped naked into the swimming pool and gave chocolate to the local lads.

In the 1940s Marbury became a training camp. When people were called up they came to Marbury and did 'square-bashing' on the roads. They had no uniforms - just gas masks. In the field opposite Home Farm you can see the zigzags where the troops dug trenches.

The soldiers fired mortar bombs into the mere. The Fleet Air Arm at Appleton had a target in the middle of the mere and George and his pals used to love watching them.

A special centre was built near Ideal Gardens to house the Italian prisoners of war. They cycled to work. The village boys used to collect willow for them to make into baskets.

In 1941 the air raids got worse. There was an air-raid shelter just outside the Memorial Hall and although several bombs fell on the village none went off. There may still be one up Cogshall Lane somewhere!

When George was young times were hard. His dad was unemployed and there was a means test for the dole. The rent for the house on the Moss where he was born was 3/- a week. There was no water and no electricity in the house and the toilet was 15 yards away. They used to go in pairs with a candle! They ate meat only once a week and a rabbit pie would be a special treat.

During the war George delivered milk twice a day for Yearsleys at Hollybush Farm. He was about eleven or twelve.

In the 1950s when George lived at 32 Mather Drive there was a bad thunderstorm and the Goosebrook flooded. He waded in to rescue a rabbit!

George's brother in law was in the police force and he was the first member of the family to have a radio.

In 1921 Lord Barrymore donated land for the Bowling Green, Memorial Hall and Recreation Field. We had one team in The Mid-Cheshire League in 1936. Now we have three. The Bowls Pavilion used to be a storage hut. It cost £16-17-6. Lord Crichton Stuart and Roscoe Brunner of Belmont Hall were Vice-Presidents and Roscoe Brunner gave £100 to the Bowls Club.

The opening ceremony was on August 27th 1922. Lord Barrymore opened the Recreation Field and Roscoe Brunner the War Memorial.

During the war the bowling green was neglected. The grass was about a foot high! Horses were used to mow it later and now it is one of the best in the district.

Maurice Jones used to visit George's sister. Maurice was once playing with Jimmy Gill, an evacuee (he lived at Smithy House where Coxeys live now) down at Marbury Mill. The brook was dammed and Maurice fell in. Jimmy pulled him out.

Mrs White lived at Marbury Mill then. Threshing machines would come round to each farm; the corn would be stored and then taken to the mill.

Most of the evacuees in the village came from Liverpool.

The present Post Office was a chip shop. It was coal fired. You could wait for two hours. When the Americans came they would buy £1 worth of chips. The average wage was £3 a week in those days! There was a supper bar and you could eat inside. Chips were 3d a portion.
One of George's friends cut off all the prongs on the forks. He used to make pliers in Warrington! The actual shop was where the post box is now.

Pimblott's cottage was next to Hollybush farm. George used to be called 'Spud' like Spud Pimblott.

Mount Pleasant (now Jenny Underwoods) was the Tailors Shop.

There was a Cobbler's alongside Comberbach Hall, next to Percival's Garage.

Lily Millington's shop was a wooden shop on the corner of Senna Lane and Warrington Road. Called Top of Town it was a focal point as it was light. The boys used to swap cigarette cards there and it was always busy, especially in summer when the cycle clubs would call. The cyclists would sit on the grass and drink pop from the shop which you bought by the glass. Lily took the money home in an Oxo tin.

Lily knew everyone. George's brother John went into the shop one day and drank from a pop bottle. It was vinegar! There were wasps but no one ever killed them. 'If you kill one wasp three will come to its funeral,' was the saying.

George lived in Cogshall Lane later on. He got the 10 past 8 bus to Barnton.

During the war the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV) were known as 'Look, Duck and Vanish' to the local lads. The ARP was irreverently referred to as 'Arsin' round Pubs'. There used to be someone on duty at Mulberry House in a room at the back of the house, up some steps.

There used to be a dentist in the village. He took out Frank Jones' teeth (Edna's husband) in a bucket and then moved to Betwys y Coed, sending the teeth on.

Bert Evans, who was killed in the war, had a bomb dropped on his garden. He went to the ARP warden and knocked on his door only to be told, "I'm not on duty tonight. You'd better go and see Mr - - - -."

The doctor lived at Hawthorn Cottage (now White's). He was the first person in the village to have a TV.

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