Most peoples daily transport was the bicycle

Most peoples daily transport was the bicycle, and those cyclists that frequented Welsh road most of all were Dorothy and her sister Mary Hope. Mrs Jenkins who went every day to Bascote Heath to see her dad Mr Bennett, Miss May Green who cycled every day from Bascote and back, come rain or shine, to look after the young Blyth boys, Bruce and John.

They living at the farm on the right of the Deppers Bridge road, Mr Jack Rawlings, who was a brick layer for Mr Cyril Watson, young Mr Bourton who worked for Eddy Berry, and some of the Thomas family, who lived close to Halsford bridge, at the gate house to Stoneythorpe Hall. This being built, after one of the Stoneythorpe Hall ‘s Chamberlayn family, fell of a horse when trying to open the gate whilst still mounted, and was badly injured. So the gate house was built for a gate keeper to be on hand, when the gate needed to be opened. 

It’s perhaps worthy of a mention, that the nearest bomb to drop on Southam during the last war was close to the Welsh road and drive way to Ford farm. Rumour at the time had it that a German aircraft on a bombing run to Coventry during the black out, saw a light there and decided to get rid of his bombs, early and head for home. The light the bomber crew had spotted, was said to be coming from the farmer, Mr David Shaw’s hurricane oil lamp.

Lambing was in progress so he was doing his nightly walk around, to see all of his sheep with lambs, animals and poultry, were safely shut up for the night. The hole in the ground that the bomb made, when it just missed the farm house and buildings, is visible today as a pond. What motor transport that did use the road was mostly delivering good and services to Mr Walter Scott’s farm, prior to him being there as previously mentioned, was Mr Shaw (this farm now run by one of the Kennedy boys,) plus flour and stock feed, including stock feed potatoes, for dad’s pigs. These potatoes were from a company called Mcness (or MacNess or McNess) and were dyed with a purple dye, so that they could not be used for human consumption.

However after being in the steamer for some time, the skins were easily removed, and so if Alan Phil or myself ever felt peckish ,we skinned and ate the pigs potatoes, and were glad to do so. We having no such things as crisps twiglets, or any snacks of this that and tother. Early on, our delivery from Robin’s and Powers, millers of Coventry was by Sentinel steam lorry. Other suppliers to dad, who by then had moved to petrol transport were Kenche’s, Millers at Warwick, Edmunds and Kench Millers at Banbury and C Lucy and nephew of Stratford on Avon. Many local folk would come to dad for animal feed for their hens, chickens, rabbits, goats etc, and after seeing it weighed and some times paid for  would either take it home on their back, in an old pram, or on a sack cart. Mr Berty Holder would come up from the Dwellings for Dolly’s food, with Dolly the pony and trap, and Mr Bruce Blyth with his very old Vauxhall car. He would drape a sack of corn or pig meal over each front mud guard of the Vauxhall to take home.

Mr.Bruce was a man who always struck us as a family, as fearing nothing, nothing ever excited him. he being cool calm and collected even when disaster struck. On one occasion he had just picked up two bags of grist and when he went to start his car, the engine went up in a sheet of flame. Quite casually he got out of the car. lifted the bonnet, beat out the flames with his hat, returned to the car, started it and went home. When he next called, dad said about the incident, and Bruce said quite casually. Oh it’s happened a number of times and thus was almost part of the routine of starting what was, even by standards then, a very dilapidated car. I think the most frequent motor car user of the road past the mill, was without doubt Mr Bob Middlemiss, father of Mrs Mary Williams, who now resides on Park Lane. Mr Bob was responsible for the good folk of Southam’s supply of drinking water, so was back and forth a number of times during the day. Monitoring the supply to, and operating of the Holly Well pumping station, plus the Tomwell water pump, and the under ground water reservoir just off the Stockton Road. They like old family members and friends, now long gone. 

Early this month  I became aware of the passing of one of my  old school friends, Gerald Hall, this as a result of  something that almost terminated my own life in 1989, Cancer. At Gerald’s funeral, I was very moved by the dignity of his family at their  sad loss. It's perhaps a funny thing to say, but in a very strange way not only was Gerald fortunate to have such a wonderful family, but  they are  equally lucky to be the descendants of such a wonderful man. I think out of courtesy and respect for the Hall family, I should give a mention to Geralds dad, Mr Phil Hall. He at the time Gerald and I were at school ran the office of  Mr Brewster, of Brewster's Corner fame. Mr Phils  office window looking  over and on to our  school playground. Mr Phil and Mr Dencer were good  British Legion friends, and when Mr Hall who then ran the local branch, had letters to be delivered to  members, he came over with and handed them to headmaster Dencer. He then called the names out on the letters, and whatever boy lived closest to the man in question, was designated a British Legion  mail delivery boy. Thus saving the cost of postage. So, all the boy's were well aware that as well as  being under the watchful eyes of our teachers Mr Dencer, Mr Kelly  and Mrs Ruth Bates  our play ground antics were also being observed by Mr Hall and Mr Brewster.

I hope through my writing  I can tell someone dear to me as well as those such as yourselves, who take the trouble to read my articles. A little of  Southam as seen through my eyes, and things that were told to me etc, everything I write about really did happen, or was told to me by folk with the same integrity as I. Although primarily my articles are of Southam and its past, events in my own life tend  as you can see, to impinge upon my writing. For those that should consider this a blatant irrelevance, I would remind them that I am a man born here, as was my great, great grandfather. I am as much a part of Southam, as Southam is to me!

Next time I will start by telling you my very first recollection of life at the mill, an event that has nothing to do with milling etc, but was the foundation stone to my career as an aircraft engineer.


This article has been kindly written by Bill Griffin

> Return to articles

Previous Articles Published before 2010
Article Name Author
> Twentieth Century Defences in Warwickshire Nimrod
> Warwickshire Murders District Advertisers
> Clerical activities Mary Rock
> The bake house oven Bill Griff
> Warwickshire county links Mary Rock
> Hot Oil, the drive that followed steam Bill Griff
> How can I get a quality tenant in the shortest possible time Jordans Rentals
> The fifty five rung ladder Bill Griff
> The poor are always with us Mary Rock
> Ensure the garden can cope with the heat of summer Farnborough Garden Centre
> It can be very pleasant to walk along the towpath Mary Rock
> With muscle power and a big hammer Bill Griffin
> July, a time to relax and enjoy your garden. Farnborough Garden Centre
> Most peoples daily transport was the bicycle Bill Griffin
> Not a Liberty Mary Rock
> May: the garden approaching its most exciting period Farnborough Garden Centre
> Farms in Southam in the 1900's Irene Cardali
> A few facts about Southam’s past Mary Rock
> April is one of the most exciting months for gardeners Farnborough Garden Centre
> Remembering the Warneford Irene Cardall
> Notable events in our vacinity during the last war Bill Griff
> Where is Southam or the Country Heading? Peter Crosby
> Christmas seems top fly past so quickly District Advertisers
> Christmas has changed little since the pre-war days Bill Griff
> Midwinter in the garden: January Farnborough Garden Centre
> Going to the post Irene Cardall

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