Personal history

How Winslow has Grown

Winslow development since 1950Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

The Monday Photo

Not a photo this week, but a map. But it does give you a picture of how much things have changed in the town I grew up in, since this map was published in the early 50s. It also shows you the centre of the North Bucks area, on the right side of the map, about half way up.

I’ve shaded areas where land was developed since the map was printed, and I’ve outlined in red areas that had been built as far as I know, by the time I came to Winslow a few years later. Here's a key to the numbers on the map.

I moved to the town as a baby (with much help from Mum and Dad) in 1959. We lived in Church Street until not long after I started at the now closed primary school (6) in Sheep Street.

The Winslow County Secondary School opened in the same year we moved to Winslow. It would be a long time, as the oldest of three boys, before I was even aware of it.

We moved to Demoram Close. I wasn’t impressed, as this meant it was too far away from the school for me to come home for lunch. But the house did have a fine big garden.

This part of the map dates the its surveying to 1950 or 51; the houses on the West side of Demoram Close are shown, but the ones on the East side, including the house we lived in hadn’t been built by then. By the way, some of my uncles were bricklayers employed on the building of the close.

I’m not sure when the bungalows nearby at Tinkers End were built, but I remember them as a boy so I’ve outlined them in red, too.

The Elmfields Estate was established by 1965.

The railway station closed on 30th December 1967. I do remember it, but only after it was closed. The new station is now being constructed in the shaded area just to the North of the railway.

My primary school closed in the 1980s, with a new school being built on the Magpie Farm estate, between (4) and (5) on this map.

When it's helpful I’ll be showing you a few more maps like this, including some older ones, from now on.


If you have any comments or questions about this post, please leave a comment below.
If you liked this post and want to find out more about the North Bucks area, please

A Fresh Look

Sleeping ginger tom

The Monday Photo

I’ve been away on a break, to Warwickshire. There I visited my brother and his family, arriving around teatime on Thursday and driving back yesterday afternoon, getting home not long before it got dark.

The cat, who seems to have spent most of that time on the bed, has been very glad to see me back home. So here he is in today’s photo, on that bed.

During my visit we went to some of the local attractions, which meant I did far more walking than I’m used to; I don't usually walk too far.

Most of you don’t know that I had an accident about 17 years ago. My left foot was badly damaged and now I have to wear orthotic shoes; it restricts how far I can walk. This means that I’m wary about walking too far; if I over do it, I’m not just tired, it hurts; for hours. Sometimes it can still hurt the next day.

But on Saturday we all walked about five miles, some of it on steep slopes, and I was fine. A bit tired because I’m unused to such a distance, but I didn’t hurt. I needed a cup of tea, (don’t I always!) but that’s about all.

I think that a lot of this increased range is because I’ve been on a diet. I’ve lost about 2st 4lbs so far, with about another 2 stone to go.

Losing weight has made all physical activity easier, but until now I hadn’t realised by how much.

But how is this relevant to the North Bucks Wanderer? You see, I’ve been avoiding places of interest that are a long way from roads, thinking they are out of my range. You may have noticed. Now I know my range has increased, I can look at these places again.

That’s the thing about going away; when you get home, you look at everything with a fresh eye. Now I wonder, with that eye, what I’ll find next for the NBW.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, please leave a comment below.
If you liked this post and want to find out more about the North Bucks area, please

Back on the Bike

Typepad is having technical problems after moving to a new server which means I cannot upload photos, so I am republishing posts from the NBW archives. This Photo is from August 2019, but it's a story of my early life from about 1962.

Boy on a Tricycle

Boy on a Tricycle  Summer 1962Summer 1962 in Church Street. Left is aunt Peggy's eldest, my cousin Jayne. Right is my brother Alan. I’m in the middle, on that tricycle. I was three.

My previous post about the MK Heritage Open Days for historical places in North Bucks reminded me about my life in Winslow, when I was a boy. At first we lived in Church Street, close to the Brownie and Guide Hall; it’s one of the Winslow buildings that’s having an open day.

Church Street is a cul-de-sac that rises quite sharply up to the churchyard. Cars were not often seen there in the early 1960s, so I was allowed to play in the street. I had a tricycle, and this is what I did with it…

I laboriously pedalled the tricycle up the slope. At the top I turned the little machine around and began to pedal downhill. I was soon moving at great speed, steering slightly left all the way down to follow the curve of the narrow street.

The end of my run, the much bigger Horn Street, came into view. I made ready for my last manouvre; it was coming up quickly now and I didn’t want to shoot across Horn Street at the bottom.

At the last moment I swerved skilfully left on to the footpath and came to a halt. I turned the tricycle around, and started back up the slope.

Our kitchen window didn’t look out on to Church Street, so Mum couldn’t see me as I shot past. But Aunt Peggy’s kitchen window looked out on to the street. She saw me hurtle past, and went straight round to knock on our front door. Mum opened the door.

“Vera, he’s doing it again” said Peggy. Mum came out straight away and confiscated my tricycle. I wept and promised to reform and never to do it again, and pleaded to keep the lovely machine. Still she took it away.

When my toddler brother Alan later asked me where the tricycle was I just tersely said, “It’s gone”. So he was surprised and pleased a few days later to spot it in the corner of our unused top floor bedroom.

He was up there helping Mum to hang up clothes for drying. He pointed at the tricycle again and again and tried to tell her he had found it, but was puzzled because Mum just didn't seem to see it there.

Eventually I got the tricycle back, but it wasn't too long before temptation struck again and I began to make my way to the top of the slope for another run.

You’ll not be surprised to know that I later became a biker.

Church Street  Winslow  Summer 1961Around Summer 1960. Too young then to ride a tricycle with pedals, but you can see how steep Church Street is.

Church Street  Winslow  Summer 2019Here’s Church Street now. The nearest window is much smaller, front doors have been moved, and what used to be old boxed in thatched roofs are now tiled. The building on the right has been extended.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, please leave a comment below.
If you liked this post and want to find out more about the North Bucks area, please

Lighting the Way and Staying Closer

The Distance Project 37

Now it’s been over a year since the lockdown rules were almost completely relaxed, I’ve been returning to some previous subjects. There’s been a few changes...

This is the second post comparing things now and in lockdown; the previous one, How Have Things Changed After Lockdown? was just last week. Dates for older photos refer to the day the original post went live. The first few shots are from social calls in 2020, and the comparison shots from a few weeks ago. The earlier shots have their original captions.

The Rules Are Relaxed
The Distance Project 6 (4th June 2020)

I wrote in 2020:

Some restrictions were relaxed on Monday, so there’s been a few changes in behaviour. The more vulnerable are allowed to venture out, though there are still some curbs on what they can do. Visitors in the garden are now permitted.


Social Distancing Project 48(2020) My sister in law has been bringing “the boys”, my nephews, to see me nearly every week since they were babies; they are now 19 and 21. With the lockdown in place, this couldn’t happen. But with the changes to the restrictions, the whole family came to see me on Tuesday.
They brought camping chairs, biscuits and drinks. I sat at my garden table. It was great; nothing beats seeing the people you care about, face to face.


Social Distancing Project 266(2022) Two years later we are all sitting at the same garden table. My sister in law couldn’t make it, but here is my brother and the boys. Before, they couldn’t come in my house and we had to socialise in the garden. This time we chose to sit outside because the weather was nice. As soon as it was allowed in July 2021 we had started to socialise at close range again.

Continue reading "Lighting the Way and Staying Closer" »

If you have any comments or questions about this post, please leave a comment below.
If you liked this post and want to find out more about the North Bucks area, please

The House That Dad Built

Bell Walk  and The Walk  Winslow

The Monday Photo

Until about 1965, two old timber framed houses sat on this corner plot in Winslow. Over many years quite a few of the internal walls had been removed, to create bigger rooms. The two might have been knocked into one; I don't remember.

With the previous alterations in mind, the owner inspected a short piece of brick wall that was in the way, decided it couldn’t possibly be structural and took it down.

He went away for the weekend, and while he was away the house began to collapse. So many other walls had been taken out that the little bit of wall had been holding the middle of the house up.

The house had to be demolished, and this building erected on the site. My late father Victor Bradbury told me this story, which he knew about because he was the builder.

Cracked and Bulging

The previous house was of the same general shape as this one, though the nearest part had been several feet taller. It had a chimney against the end of the cottage on the left.

Photos from about 1965 show what would have been the wall facing us cracked and bulging, the chimney gone and piles of rubble on the ground. The road by the house had to be coned off in case more masonry fell.

I discussed the building of the new houses with my brother, Alan. Dad did most of it on his own and it took a while; we think in 1966 and 1967. I was seven or eight, Alan a year younger.

It didn’t all go smoothly. Alan remembers a hollow space being found, which meant Dad having to go deep for the foundations; more than six feet.

This might have been because there had been a cellar there, either for the previous house or an even earlier one. Dad swore when he realised he had to go so deep.

Blocked In

Further on in the build Dad ordered two lorry loads of blocks, one to be delivered right away, the second a month later.

But they both turned up on the same day and he had to take them. There’s no garden so all the blocks had to be stacked up on the floor slab, and they had to be piled very high to get them all in and still leave room to work. This made Dad swear too.

I don’t remember going to the house very much, but Alan did and once there he got little jobs to do. He painted a fence, pink being chosen, Dad told him, by the lady whose house it would be.

When Alan came back a few days later he was surprised to see the fence now in gloss white. Dad told him the lady had changed her mind. But really Alan had only been painting on the undercoat, and Dad had been telling him a tall tale.

Alan “helped” with one of the deliveries, and the driver gave him sixpence; the same as a week’s pocket money. At least once he was sent up to the site to light the red lanterns for the night. We believe this was while the footings were being dug.

I think of this as a new pair of houses because I remember them being built, but they are about 54 years old now. 1960s history!

I used a Sony A6000 and zoom lens just like this one for the photo in this post.

I make a small percentage from sales through Amazon links, no matter what you buy while you visit their site from here. This helps me but costs you nothing, so if you make a purchase via the NBW, thank you.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, please leave a comment below.
If you liked this post and want to find out more about the North Bucks area, please

Where’s Yer (Laundry) Bin?

Yes, where have I been?

For those who have been here in the last couple of weeks expecting to see new posts, um, well, there haven’t been any. My apologies! I’ve been doing some industrial electrical work, a skill from my time in the years BB; Before Blogging.

I haven’t been doing that all the time in the last fortnight, because I can’t. An injury from 15 years ago means that working in awkward spaces is very difficult and tiring, and it takes me a long time to recover. It was a whole week this time before I stopped limping.

But now I’m back on the case. The electrical work was at the Washetaria launderette in Stony Stratford, where three of the small 35 year old washing machines are to be taken out, making room for two brand new large machines.

It was great to do this sort of work again, but there’s not much room behind the machines and it’s half full of water pipes and power leads to the machines; the very definition of an awkward space.

Social Distancing Project 958 pm, 1st July 2020

I’ve been maintaining the washers and dryers at the Washetaria in Church Street for quite a while now, and during the lockdown I would come out to the shop after it had shut in the evening, so I could work undisturbed.

The photo was taken on the 1st of July last year. It seems to have been taken during opening hours because it was still light at eight, but today (on the last day of January) sunset was before five. It’s a shot from my photo project on the lockdown, The Distance Project.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, please leave a comment below.
If you liked this post and want to find out more about the North Bucks area, please