Towns

Tuesday at the Races

Schoolgirls get ready for the pancake race

If there are lots of children with frying pans, it just has to be Olney pancake race day; Shrove Tuesday. This year it was on the 1st of March.

So what we have here are young boys and girls taking part in an event that dates back to 1445; this is a live tradition.

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Half a House is Better Than None

2 Horn St  Winslow2 Horn Street is in the centre of the picture. The path is very narrow on the corner, to gain as much road width as possible. On the right is the short and narrow alley that takes you up into the square.

In 1902 Winslow Rural District Council bought 2 Horn Street in Winslow, just so they could knock half of it down.

It was a road widening scheme. Although the first part of Horn Street was very wide and still is, the entrance to the street was no more than nine feet wide between the pavements. That’s about as wide as the little lane, almost an alley, that takes you in to the modern Market Square.

But this corner, right on a junction, had been two way. It had been “a very sharp and dangerous corner.” said the Buckingham Advertiser and North Bucks Free Press, after the work had been completed in March 1903.

Market Square and Horn St. wideningMap of the junction. The fire station doesn’t seem to have a number, so I’ve marked it as being in Bell Walk. The Bell Hotel doesn’t seem to have a number either, but its address is Market Square, Winslow, so it might once have been 1 Market Square.

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A Stony Bank

Lloyds bank entranceThe main entrance to the bank is quite impressive with its different orders or concentric layers of arches, a little like a Norman doorway. The date plaques are either side of the arch.

Like Winslow’s TSB bank the Lloyds bank in Stony Stratford closed this year, just two of a large number lost across the country.

I hadn’t realised the Stony branch of Lloyds had gone until I tried to use their cashpoint last week, just round the corner from where I’d been working in Church Street.

Instead of the ATM I expected, I found myself looking at a stout piece of plywood bolted to the wall where the machine used to be. I glanced up and saw the estate agent's sign. This Grade 2 listed building is available for rent, not for sale.

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Banking on Bricks

Winslow’s bank in the Market Square is a fine example of a Victorian brick building, complete with terracotta detailing.

This is my second post about Winslow’s first bank. The first post, with the timeline of the bank (it closed for good in April after 180 years) was last Thursday.

I had so many interesting photos of the bank revealing details I’d never consciously noticed before that I decided to make a second post, with more photos.

I really should have seen these details before, as I spent the first 26 years of my life in Winslow. Oh well, on with the photos.

Old Lloyds bank  WinslowI happened to be in the Market Square one day and took this photo of the bank. When I began to research the story, I realised I had much more to write about than I thought; too much for a Monday photo. In the end I had enough photos for two complete posts.

Old photos of the bank show a low wall with railings above it, between the left hand brick column and the corner of the bank.

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Banked Corner

Market Square bank  winslowWinslow’s Victorian bank is up for sale. The chimney at rear right has been capped off and had its pots removed; you might just be able to see the vents inserted near the top. At top right of the photo, No. 21’s roof extends out from its rebuilt wall, and you can see the edge of the date plaque.

There’s been a bank here in Winslow’s Market Square for 180 years, but now the building, the last remaining bank in Winslow, is closed and up for sale. Here’s its timeline.

1841
The Bartlett, Parrott and Co. bank opens at 19 Market Square. This was in the old, probably 17th Century building that stood on part of the site where the Victorian bank is now.

Winslow is a good place to put a bank; it’s a market town, on a turnpike that’s part of a direct route between London and the West Midlands and Wales, bringing passing trade.

The post office is next door, another link with the rest of the country; communication was as important then as it is now.

Usefully, the new bank can be seen across the square from the front door of the Bell, the coaching inn we know today as the Bell Hotel. Some say the bank opened in 1844 not 1841, but it’s 1841 that is carved into the front of the bank.

The Market Hall on the square which might have blocked that view had been knocked down the year before.

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More Fuel (for) You

Motor engineerDave's stamp. 14A Horn Street is now a private house, and Dave cannot be reached at this number any more!

Here’s a few more of Dave Beckett’s 1971 invoices from his car repair business, following on from last week.

But all these cars needed fuel; where could they buy it in Winslow? In 1971 there were four places to buy petrol in the town, Dave told me. Petrol cost about 34 pence a gallon then; equivalent to a bit over eight quid per gallon today, just over £1.76 a litre.

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