Villages

Changing Lanes 1

The 1970s to the Early 90s

Our Local roads gradually change over the years, and we soon forget how they used to be. These changes began to affect me when I started riding motorcycles in the 1970s; my first powered vehicles.

Living in Winslow meant I lived right in the middle of the North Bucks Wanderer’s area, though I didn’t know it at the time! Here’s just a few of the changes that have happened in North Bucks, from the 1970s to the early 90s.

 

Little Brickhill  BucksLittle Brickhill.

At first I rode a moped, but then I bought a much quicker 200cc Yamaha; I would go out on it just for the pleasure of riding. One favourite route took me North East from Winslow, across to Woburn and the woods. Even then I preferred the back roads, and saw little traffic until I reached Little Brickhill and the A5.

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The Distance Project 21

Social Distancing Project 173The three boys inspect the first display. No sweets at this one, but they liked this creepy figure of a builder.

Trick or Treat

This American tradition has taken off in the UK in a big way, and no wonder when there’s free sweets. But how could it go on this year under social distancing rules? This is how Little Horwood did it.

The village arranged things in advance. Householders put out pumpkins and other spooky decorations, and where they were, there was a good chance of sweets too. Children could tour the village looking for booty, but there would be no knocking on doors. Householders would stay inside and not meet the children.

I turned up just as dusk approached, and found three young brothers and their parents who were just about to tour the village. They let me follow them round.

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The Maid’s Church

St Edmunds  Maids Moreton

The Monday Photo

Why is this village, just North of Buckingham, known as Maids Moreton? It used to just be called Moreton, and it’s all to do with the church, completely rebuilt around the middle of the 15th Century.

Two sisters, the Maids, paid for the rebuilding work, and so the name of the village changed.

Some say the sisters were daughters of the Pevre family, but others say they could have been Alice and Edith de Moreton, who held part of the manor from 1393 to 1421.

The church was built in the perpendicular style, where advances in design meant that the windows could be made very large without compromising the strength of the walls. This means that St Edmund’s is a bright and airy church.

Another church built in this fine style is at Hillesden.

St Edmund’s was rebuilt around 1450, and I think this would be the completion date; it would have been a long process when everything was done by hand. It’s quite a large church for such a small village.

The chancel was first to be rebuilt, and we think this because there are clues in the way the stonework is jointed between the chancel and the nave.

The West doorway, at the bottom of the picture, is thought to be unique with its elaborate canopy supported by fan vaulting.

The big perpendicular window above has remnants of the original glass. Those long tall recesses with the louvres for the bells at the top are also unique.

This church is close to being unchanged since the 15th century. Perhaps that’s why although village churches are nearly all Grade 2 listed, this one is proudly listed Grade 1.

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The Distance Project 10

Social Distancing Project 84Gin in the garden at Little Horwood.

Gin O’clock at Little Horwood

It’s 5 pm, and the sun is shining. Chrissie Beckett, who doesn’t like to be photographed, (see last week) has put out chairs; it’s Saturday afternoon and it’s gin o’clock.

Women from the village walk into Chrissie’s front garden and sit down. They’ve brought their own drinks, but sometimes they can be tempted to try a different gin. Chrissie is out of shot to the right, in the first two photos.

Later on that day at the Shoulder of Mutton pub, the landlord Lewis Huntington is delivering meals that customers ordered earlier.

He’s been doing this for some weeks, and delivers beer too. The beer deliveries started when he was caught with lots of beer in the pub, at the start of lockdown.

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The Distance Project 9

Social Distancing Project 74Dave Beckett sits in his back garden. and his next door neighbour Roger Ash has come to visit, bringing his own cup of tea. We have met Dave Beckett before. He was very pleased to know I remembered his dad Cyril, who was the baker in Winslow when I was a boy.

Little Horwood

There’s a huge amount of community spirit in the small village of Little Horwood. The villagers have pulled together to make life as pleasant as possible under lockdown. I have more photos from the village, which I'll most likely show you next week.

You can see all the other Distance Project photos on the North Bucks Wanderer here. In the project I'm photographing what people are doing differently under lockdown.

 

Social Distancing Project 75Chrissie Beckett, wife of Dave, has put out chairs so that villagers can come and chat while remaining at a safe distance. This is Penny Davis (left) and Karen Jones (right) Chrissie has organised quite a bit for the village, but is too modest to be in any of my photographs.

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What’s in a (Place) Name?

Lillingstone LovellLillingstone Lovell.

There’s over 170 towns and villages in the North Bucks area, and each one has its own name. But what do these names all mean?

Nearly every one started off as a brief but clear description of a certain place, usually in the words of Old English, the ancient Anglo-Saxon language that was in use from the 5th Century until about about 1250 A.D.

There’s a dozen with ‘ford’ in their name, (this is an easy one to guess) but there’s 19 with ‘den’ or ‘don’, (both mean ‘hill’) and a massive 36 with ‘ton’ in the name. ‘Ton’ means a settlement or a farm, perhaps a village or an estate; a place with buildings.

Often somebody’s name would be part of the description; so Haddenham is Haeda’s village or homestead. ’Ham’ means nearly the same as ‘ton’.

Of all the places with ‘ford’ in their name, the ones with ‘Stratford’ in the name mean a ford where a Roman road or street crossed a river or brook. Fenny Stratford was a muddy or marshy crossing; Stony Stratford was a gravelly one.

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