I lived in Preston Bagot as a child with my grandparents at Mill Cottage. I believe we were the first family to live there after it was converted from a Mill. My grandparents were both members of Preston Bagot church, being in the choir. My grandfather was the Verger there for twenty years, he was also the Cellar Man at the Crab Mill Inn.
There was a wonderful community spirit in the village, my aunt and uncle lived just a few yards from us and everyone helped each other. Every bonfire night the village came together round a fire in a local field and villagers would serve soup, baked potatoes and sausages they had made. Sometimes the Rectory would hold a craft fayre, I remember it being called a sale of work, the family living there had a wonderful rocking horse in the entrance hall and we children would take turns riding on it. I also spent a lot of time at Manor House which was a farm at the time.
Junior school days
We local children all attended Preston Bagot junior school, which had just two classes. The headmistress lived only a few yards from the house and each morning one of us would keep watch by the school gate for when she left her house, we would then all run to meet her and walk with her to the school. She was much loved by us all. I left Preston Bagot in 1965 and shortly after the school closed, some children transferred to Henley in Arden junior school.
Happiest of memories
I still visit Preston Bagot although I have no family there now, but the happiest of memories. I believe there was another mill in the village but there is no evidence of it now. Also as a child I thought there was an underground passage from the rectory to the church, however that maybe childhood imagination.