Part 4 Memories and Chronicles

Memories of arriving at Lavender Cottage


Major and Mrs. Bartholomew lived at Little Thurlow Park. Major Bartholomew was chairman of the Almshouse Trustees and involved in the exchange of the old almshouses for the new ones in The Square. He attended Little Thurlow Church and always sat in the Soames Chapel pew.

Brigadier and Mrs. Frink lived in the Grange. Brigadier Frink had lived all his life in the village, except when serving in the army, and was a good friend and confidant to most people in the village. Most mornings he could be found in The Cock, then run by Sid and Rene Rowlinson.

Most of the other houses in the village belonged to Mr. R. A. Vestey at that time, and were generally occupied by farm and estate workers or pensioners.

Mr. Spencer Tilbrook was the tenant of Manor Farm. He lived there with his two sisters and was a marvellous example of an old fashioned tenant farmer. He was invariably dressed in breeches and gaiters and went round his farm on a bicycle. All the harvest was cut with a binder and brought into the farmyard, for threshing during the winter. He had a large staff of farm workers, all of whom had been with him from their schooldays.

Mr. and Mrs. Alec Sadler ran the Post Office. Besides sorting and delivering the mail, they also ran the telephone exchange and all calls were dealt with personally by one of them.

Mr. Spider Webb ran the pub at Little Thurlow Green, now the home of Mr. and Mrs. Len Robinson. He had been there a long time and I remember he still called Brigadier Frink “Master Ralph”, though he must have been about 65 years old!


One of the first cars in the village

Pat Alexander lived in The Square and he was the road sweeper. I think that his patch was just Great and Little Thurlow, so the verges were well maintained.

Grace Page lived at 120 The Street, and she helped Miss Dowsett run the Great Thurlow village shop and played the organ at Great Thurlow Church. Tony Smith played at Little Thurlow. Grace later became the postlady, and was to be seen delivering mail on a very old, upright bicycle.

Mr. Hale ran a village shop at Corner Cottage, Little Thurlow, but this closed soon after my arrival.

There was no main sewerage in the village so a lot of the houses had no “facilities”. Baths and lavatories were added to the houses shortly after.

Mr. and Mrs. Sargent lived at Brook Cottage. He did nearly all the building work on the Thurlow Estate.

Major and Mrs. K. Horn lived at Mill Cottage. He had been one of the original pilots in the R.A.F. and prewar was a racing motorist at Brooklands.

Another of my memories was to see Billy Crooks and Pauline Edge walk every evening up the village street closely entwined!

Up to the time we arrived at Lavender Cottage, the garages had been used as the Doctor’s surgery.


The Street by Lavender Cottage