Doris and John Rowlinson have lived at Driftside, Lt. Thurlow for the past forty five years. Doris has lived in Thurlow for seventy years and Jack for seventy-six years. Doris was born at Beck Row, Mildenhall and came to Thurlow at the age of five when her father became village police constable. Jack was born in Sheffield and came to Thurlow at the age of two. Their daughter Margaret grew up here but now lives in London. Doris is a retired nursing sister and Jack a retired carpenter. They have been retired for thirteen years.
Gardening, reading and travel are their main leisure pursuits; Jack also likes fox hunting and they both enjoy the family and grandchildren. They really enjoy living at Driftside, and can’t imagine living anywhere other than Thurlow “it is very much home”.
The need for a car, the limited public transport these days, and the noise of traffic “which is a great nuisance” are the negative aspects of living here. During their lives in Thurlow they have seen many changes, including an increase in traYc and the disappearance of the daily bus service to London, which they made good use of (it even ran during the war).
They have many memories of Thurlow. Doris enjoyed growing up in Gt. Thurlow where she attended the voluntary school. She belonged to the girls friendly society, set up and run by Mrs. Ryder, where they learned dancing and country dancing among other activities. Self-entertainment was the normal way of enjoying oneself. The highlights of her young life were the concert parties held in the pub room of the Rose and Crown, Gt. Thurlow. Each year they went carol singing: Mrs. Ryder took them in her car and “many a time the car went up the bank she was rather a reckless driver”.
Jack was a member of the reading room which cost 6d. per week to play such games as darts and billiards. The senior members insisted on proper dress and good behaviour.
The Sunday school was very active at this time. Mrs. Senior ran the older class, Miss Dowsett the middle age group and Miss Page the juniors. Doris always went every week.
When visiting “The Cock” one evening Jack saw the gamekeeper Frank Bailey come in. He put 1d. in the barrel organ and a rat came up the pipe of the organ and looked at them through the window, “which made us all very happy”!
Thurlow Congregational Chapel was also used for afternoon services and Doris played the small organ. At the time of the Silver Jubilee Mrs. Pemberton Barnes presented all the organists with a silver cup and a bible as part of the celebration.
The Thurlow pageant held on July 9th 1938 was a highlight of family life. It was organised by Major Horn and funds from the pageant went towards the building of the village hall.