Iris and Derrick Eley live at 13 Pound Green, Lt. Thurlow, with their youngest son Simon. They have three older children who, like Simon, went to the village school at Gt. Thurlow (now the Thurlow Estate Office) then on to the new school at Lt. Thurlow which opened in 1967. From there they attended Castle Manor in Haverhill, moving at eleven years of age. Rachel is now in sales and marketing at Anglo-Italian in Haverhill; David is specialised works manager for the builders Bovis Elliot in London and Claire was among the first group to go to Parkway at nine years of age, as the Chalkstone school which was the original middle school was overcrowded. She followed on to Castle Manor at thirteen and from there attended the City of London Polytechnic where she was awarded a B A Hons. Degree in Economics. After working in a managerial position at the Prudential in London, she is now working on a second degree. Iris can claim to have had four generations of her family living in Lt. Thurlow and Derrick at least three.
Simon is one of the few young people still working in the village. He is a general maintenance worker on the Thurlow estate.
Iris is news reporter for the Village Link and the local newspaper (the Echo), and she is history recorder for the two Thurlows. As a member of Thurlow W.I. she reports their events in the W.I. news. She is also secretary of St. Peter’s Parochial Church Council and a keen family historian. Her other interests are swimming, keep-fit classes and handicrafts.
Derrick plays bowls, is groundsman for Thurlow, plays indoor bowls at Haverhill and carpet bowls in Thurlow village hall. His great love is football. As a player he captained Thurlow for many years and now enjoys watching the games on T.V. He also played cricket for many years. Derrick remembers riding around the village on the butcher’s bike delivering meat from Les Risings’ shop in Gt. Thurlow (Red House Garage). One of the customers at the Almshouses was a Ted Tipper who when offered his ration would not accept it if it was not the exact price. One penny over the one shilling and twopence-worth allowance would cause Ted to demand its return.
One day whilst cycling on this bike to Lt. Bradley via the long meadows Derrick had a collision with Captain Frink at the corner of the cemetery, with Derrick landing in the hedge and Captain Frink almost in the river. Evidence of this crash was plainly seen as the wicker basket on Captain Frink’s bike bore the marks of the butcher’s bike frame for the rest of its time.
Derrick also delivered papers before school, getting as far as The Old Post Office. The rest of the customers had to wait until the lunch hour when he completed his round. This was all during the war years and Derrick was also leading horses in the harvest field for Tilbrooks where he eventually started full time work in 1945 at fourteen years of age.
Both Iris and Derrick are keen gardeners, Derrick with the vegetables, fuchsias and baskets, and Iris concentrating on the flowers.
Simon plays cricket, squash and pool. Derrick regrets that there is not a team of local lads playing football and cricket. In sixty seven years they have seen many changes here, the biggest being that people no longer work in what was once a self-supporting village.
Although they have seen both piped water and electricity arrive they have witnessed the loss of most other amenities. Lt. Thurlow has lost a village shop, post office, blacksmiths, harness maker and shoe mender, bakery, builders yard and undertakers, district nurse, doctor’s surgery and wheelwrights. Most of the ponds and allotments have disappeared and the small farms, of which we once had four, have been swallowed up into the estate.
There are not many vegetable gardens now and most are grassed over. Many people also kept pigs and chickens fifty years ago. We have lost a few houses some knocked down and some converted from two homes into one. We once had nine almshouses, which are now one house. Lots of thatch has been lost, and we have seen the Red Lion close. The new school opened in 1967 and is just for children up to nine years old, whereas our old school at Gt.Thurlow was the only one we attended, leaving for work at fourteen. The population changes much quicker now as homes are let on short leases.