Marion and Jack Smith live at 10 Broad Road, Lt. Thurlow Green. Marion has lived all her life in the village, apart from two years in the west country where Jack comes from. They have two sons: Darius who is in the Army and Justin who is a carer for the mentally handicapped. Marion’s parents, grandparents and great grandparents also lived in the village, her mother being one of fifteen children.
The year 2000 is a very special year for them as Jack will retire then and they will celebrate their silver wedding.
Marion is a part-time cook and housekeeper, Jack a civil servant at Highpoint. Marion likes art work (especially scraper-board), swimming and gardening, whilst Jack enjoys his woodwork.
Marion remembers when Thurlow was an even closer community than today, with everybody knowing one another. She attended Gt. Thurlow School and was taught by Lily Arnold (who also taught her mother); she was well enough educated to equip her for Haverhill Secondary School (now Castle Manor). Sunday school was a must in those days, as was singing in the choir. All the village children in the choir received 6d (old pence) for each attendance and their names were taken by choir mistress Grace Page, an old fashioned spinster; pay-out was at Christmas. Rev. Barnes was a great influence on the children; as well as organising trips to the seaside for the Sunday school, he ran the youth club. On seaside trips each child was given half-a-crown and a bag of sweets. This was often the only chance village children got to go to the coast.
In the 50s children had more freedom to roam around the countryside. Marion would call for her friend Maureen Hale, whose father kept Lt. Thurlow shop at the corner of Temple End Road (still known as Hales corner) and cross the road to Tilbrooks Farm to watch the men carting hay. Spencer Tilbrook was the farmer a rotund man who always wore leather gaiters and carried a stick, maybe a shepherd’s crook. Marion who raised her boys in the village says it gives children a marvellous start although there is not much for teenagers to do which means a lot of taxi work for parents since buses are almost non-existent.