Born in Yorkshire, René Sargent has lived in Thurlow sixty two years, the latter part being spent at Brookside, Lt. Thurlow. She was part of the Ryder household and commuted with the family between Yorkshire and Thurlow. She met her future husband on one of these visits to Thurlow.
Her father-in-law, E. J. Sargent, was the local builder and undertaker before her husband Fred took over.
The builders yard which employed ten men was closed in the late 1970s. Before it was a builders yard cattle were kept on what is now the ground of “Ascham House”. René remembers a pump on Pound Green and water being brought in by tanks when the well dried up. There were allotments in Church End, a village dump opposite the church, and oil lamps and candles were the only means of light.
She says there are fewer vermin these days. She can remember the blacksmiths with the wheelwrights next to it, and when she came to Little Thurlow it had its own bakers, post office and grocery shop.
Her main hobby now is her large garden. She is a founder member of Thurlow W.I. and still enjoys village life.