Villages

Gin and Precautions

The Distance Project 38
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, but some things have stayed the same...

Some of us are still taking precautions. But many are more or less back to normal, in our approach to the world. I think it will be a long while before lockdown, Covid, and the drastic changes to our lives stop affecting us completely.

But some things have changed for the better. In June and July 2020 I had been going to Little Horwood to photograph lockdown life there. Let's take a look.

Social Distancing Project 269(2022) Fabric World in Bletchley has kept their perspex screen at the counter, and they use it to display the masks they still sell.

Continue reading "Gin and Precautions" »

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
Subscribe


Village Life

Little Horwood fete

The Monday Photo

It’s Saturday. A village field, some stalls, a brass band in a marquee. It’s Little Horwood’s annual fete.

Village fetes are one of the great English traditions, and Little Horwood’s fete takes place in the field behind St Nicholas’s church.

I turned up early because I wanted to visit the church. (it’ll be the subject of a post soon) Parking for the fete was in the next field along, accessed by driving through the pub car park and out the back.

I spent 90 minutes in the church and got the fete about half an hour after it had started. On the field I tried the golf game; not one of my strengths, but I did well at the used book stall next to it, and took home half a dozen volumes.


I bought this book, not from book stall at the fete, but brand new. It is the reference guide to buildings and I'll be using it to write this blog.

In the jumble sale I found an old exposure meter from the mid 1950s, similar to the one I used at school in the early 70s. It works well, and doesn’t use a battery.

I also bought an old digital camera from 2006; it’s a lost cause with a dead battery, but at least the village got a bit more money from me. I think the takings are going towards the church.

I avoided the welly wanging as the last time I saw one a badly aimed boot bounced off my head. Even 40 years later I’m still wary!

The classic car show had a couple of cars from the 1930s, a few motorcycles, and some tractors. I correctly identified the one on the end as a diesel engined little grey Ferguson; I’ve driven one similar.

Tea, squash, and a huge variety of cakes and sandwiches were set out in the pavilion. I had ham and cheese and a tea.

I haven’t been to a fete in years; it was great.

This post's photo was taken with a Pentax camera and lens.

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
Subscribe


A Retired General in WW2

Bletchley's old police station and courthouseThe nearest part of this range, with the three upstairs windows, was the old Bletchley Police Station. Here were the headquarters of A Company, Bletchley Home Guard.

By Guest writer John Taylor (Not John O'Hara as previously stated; sorry John Taylor)

This is part two of three. Part one was two weeks ago; A Naval Man in Buckinghamshire.

It was 1939. In September, six months after General Harold Blount had retired, war with Germany had been declared. Harold Blount was then sharing Woughton House in Woughton on the Green with his brother Oswald.

Their domestic staff comprised of a cook, two housemaids, a parlour maid, and a kitchen maid. The house also accommodated, for Bletchley Park or one of the other secret organisations now in North Bucks, two secretaries, ‘Civilian Admiralty NI’. That is, Naval Intelligence.

Continue reading "A Retired General in WW2" »

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
Subscribe


A Higher Plain

Church of St Nicholas  Cublington

The Monday Photo

In the middle of the 14th Century, the Medieval village of Cublington finally ceased to exist.

The village had long suffered from sodden and unworkable land, brought on by a change in the climate; it was now destitute and nearly deserted.

It’s thought that the Great Pestilence of 1348-50 killed off the few villagers that were left, and so Cublington was abandoned. You might know the pestilence better as the Black Death.

Entering the country through Weymouth in Dorset, this plague killed between 30 and 50% of the population. It’s common to be told that the many deserted Medieval villages in the UK were lost because of plague, but villages were abandoned for many other reasons too.

With a much reduced English population it’s no wonder Cublington remained deserted for nearly sixty years, until the church of St Nicholas was built in about 1400, on higher, dryer ground at the top of the hill. The new village grew up around the church.

St Nicholas’ was built using materials from the old church, and orange-red roof tiles, placed in groups in place of stone blocks, can be seen in the external walls all around the church; you can see some in the photo.

In the vestry is a parish chest from the old church, believed to have been made in the 12th or 13th Century.

Though restored, the church still retains its original simple layout, but with the addition of a 19th Century South porch. There’s a North porch too, (used as a vestry) but I don’t know when it was built. I like the elegant proportions of the tower.

The church is generally locked, but you’ll find that two keyholders are listed on a sign on the South porch. Worth a visit.

I used a Sony A6000 and zoom lens for this photo.

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
Subscribe


A Beacon for the Queen

At Mill Hill  Quainton for the Jubilee BeaconLocals gather on Mill Hill high above the village to see the Jubilee Beacon lit. In the middle distance you can see the windmill and church.

There were beacons lit for the Platinum Jubilee on Thursday evening, all over the UK and the Commonwealth. This is what I saw at Quainton.

Waiting for the Jubilee Beacon  QuaintonInside the temporary fence, these men wait to light the beacon.

Continue reading "A Beacon for the Queen" »

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
Subscribe


A Box of Books

 

Phone box library  Chilton  Bucks

The Monday Photo

This phone box library is in the small village of Chilton, on a bend opposite the entrance to Chilton House and the Gatehouse.

This phone box (or kiosk) is a type K6. Introduced in 1936, 60,000 had been installed by the time a new design, the K8, was introduced in 1968. About 11,700 K6 boxes are still in place.

The completed box weighs about three quarters of a ton, not surprising when you know that the sides and top are cast iron, and the door is made of teak. This one is a listed building, but many are not.

Communities or registered charities can adopt a phone box from British Telecom and it costs just £1. Over 5,000 have been adopted already, and there’s another 5,000 still available.

They are boxes that BT no longer wants to use on their network. Some are made into mini libraries like this one, some house defibrillators.

The only other phone box library in North Bucks, as far as I know, is in Gawcott. An original phone box for the village in a different spot had previously been removed, so the village bought a complete used phone box and had it installed in Main Street.

This cost them a lot more than £1. I don’t know how long it’s been there, but it wasn’t there last time Google Streetview toured the village. You’ll find it opposite Old Barn Close.

If you know of any more phone box libraries in North Bucks, please leave a comment.

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
Subscribe