Villages

Post Round

Nether Winchendon church and postbox

The Monday Photo

Here are two listed buildings for the price of one! The parish church of St. Nicholas in Nether (sometimes called Lower) Winchendon is 13th Century and Grade 1, but this stone pillar with a Victorian postbox is 20th Century and Grade 2. The pillar is what we are looking at today.

The pillar was designed by the noted architect Philip Tilden, probably while he was handling the restoration of the village’s ancient Nether Winchendon House.

It was erected in the middle of the village in the 1920s, on a grass triangle in the middle of the road junction. Older photos don’t show a postbox on the triangle, but old maps seem to show a postbox on the edge of the junction, perhaps where this postbox previously sat.

This postbox dates from about 1861, and is cast iron. It was made by Smith & Hawkes of Birmingham, and their name is cast into the bottom of the box. Boxes like this are long lasting and still fairly common.

Next time you post a letter, take a look at the postbox; letters on the box will tell you under which monarch the box was installed. There’s usually a crown; either between the letters or above them. The R either stands for Regina (Queens), or Rex (Kings).

These are the letters you’ll see on postboxes, and the dates those monarch reigned, although the first boxes under Queen Victoria were not installed until 1853. Edward VIII boxes are very rare because he reigned for less than a year, and I’ve heard there’s just one example of those boxes in North Bucks.

VR                  1837 to 1901            Victoria 

ER VII            1901 to 1910            Edward VII

GR                  1910 to 1936            George V

ER VIII           1936 only                Edward VII

GR VII            1936 to 1952           George VI

ER II               1952 to date           Elizabeth II

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Secrets of Quainton

Quainton's cap millThe cap and fantail of Quainton's windmill.

The Green

Quainton is very well known for its many half timbered buildings. I can’t tell you about you about all of them, but when you see them around the village, just assume they are 17th Century; you’ll almost always be right.

This walk is three quarters of a mile long mile, or a mile and a half if you choose to do the long version with the views. You can usually park on the Green (See the map), and this walk starts on the lowest point of the triangular grass part of the Green.

At your feet is a manhole. It’s not very old, but it’s where one of a system of village pumps once stood. If you listen carefully, you may be able to hear running water. The pump on this spot was the second one in line; you’ll find the first one on Church Street.

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Secrets of Oving

Oving Hill  BucksOving Hill and Ammonite (squatter's) Cottage. You can see North Marston at the foot of the hill.

A "Secrets Of" Guided Walk

The village of Oving sits high on a hill above Aylesbury Vale. There’s a Roman road, two squatter’s cottages, and amazing views.

In this walk there’s a couple of sections you can choose not to take, but you’ll miss out on the views if you do. The whole walk is just over two miles, but without the two sections (see map) it’s under a mile.

There’s parking to the left of the early 17th Century Black Boy pub. From there, walk back past the pub to the junction.

On the right of the pub is a lane that leads to the Hossil, or horse hole; a pond that’s said never to dry up or freeze.

The Hossil is just a pond, but it’s fed by at least one of the springs on the hill top. Oving stands on the edge of two watersheds. To the North, water runs into the Wash via the Great Ouse. To the South, streams eventually feed the Thames. The springs were used until mains water came to the village in 1939.

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Milton Keynes is Just a Village

First World War memorialAt the bottom of the war memorial are the usual crosses and a wreath, but there’s pebbles painted with poppies, and for some reason, wooden spoons.

Until the late 60s, if you knew of Milton Keynes at all, you’d probably be a local. Before then it was just a tiny village on a side road three miles from Newport Pagnell, but with the passing of an Act of Parliament in 1967 this began to change.

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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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