122a The Street

For the past twenty eight years Valerie and Doug Bush have lived at 122a The Street, Lt. Thurlow. Both are now retired; Valerie worked as a fore-court manager, Doug as a buyer.

Valerie was born in Hertfordshire and Doug in Surrey. They have many interests, including gardening and pets (two dogs and two cats). Valerie enjoys line dancing, dolls’ houses and helping mentally handicapped people. Doug enjoys woodwork.

Val and Doug love the pace of life in Thurlow, “one step slower than anywhere else”. Crossing the road straight into open fields is another positive aspect of living here.

The neighbourliness of the past has gone. Many of the older people have left, to be replaced by “transients on six-month lets”. There has been a terrific increase in traYc volume and the size of lorries. When still a toddler their son was able to play football in the road and a passing harvester was a spectacle everyone went out to look at.

Doug misses the wonderful broad Suffolk dialect, when “little old boy” could be a man of 78 years, and “on the huu” meant anything crooked.

The doctor’s surgery was the centre point of village life when everyone gathered to learn more about the people rather than obtain medical advice. Thurlow having a doctor’s surgery is still a positive aspect in village life.

Val and Doug remember a bad winter when nothing could get through. Mr. Vestey sent a tractor with milk churns round and everyone took jugs for free milk. They remember how well Mr. Vestey looked after “his people”; walking round the village regularly, and anything he spotted needing attention was seen to immediately. Mr. Vestey wore a hearing aid which used to scream in church, when the resonance upset the volume control.

When Val and Doug’s daughter was married in Gt. Thurlow church it had been decorated by Lady Mowbray for a previous occasion, which they were proud to boast about. Their daughter drove to church in a carriage pulled by two horses. Some of the harness was missing, and had to be collected making her very late at the church. Archdeacon Childs rushed through the wedding service in seven minutes, then at the reception was soon enjoying a whisky. Someone asked the Archdeacon why he wore such long vestments and was told, “they are ideal for poaching”.

In the early 70s a charity provided a loaf of bread for each member of the family. They only needed two loaves because their son was only two, but it was insisted they take four. This practice died out when people started coming in their Volvos and Daimlers to collect the bread!

When the steam engine rally was held in Thurlow and later in Gt. Bradley and at Weston Colville airfield, it really belonged to Thurlow. At that time Thurlow fayre was a true country fayre with “guess the weight of the bull”, “welly throwing”, and “catching eggs”. The dog show was for fun, not a race to collect rosettes. Sally their elderly sheep dog once won.