The family were chapel goers. They all went to the Wesley Chapel at Bishops Itchington. Years ago there were three chapels as well as the church, but there were three pubs as well. Sometimes Tom used to go to the pub when he should have been shoeing horses – the pubs opened at six in the morning! The horses would be standing, snorting and stamping waiting to be shod.
A second-hand sailor suit
Jimmy had to go to chapel three times on Sundays; he had to wear a second-hand sailor suit. He would have rather been rabbiting with the men in the Itchington Holt, or down the river Itchen fishing (the river was very clean in those days and there was good fishing, it got worse when they started putting Gas Tar on the roads and the rain washed it into the rivers).
Jim’s sister Edie started a little shop in the ‘front room’ of the little house (two up and two down). Woodbines were five a penny, Cadbury’s chocolate 1d. a bar. When the preacher came to tea on Sundays they cleared the shop out and put it into a clean fowl-pen! When one of the sisters got married, Jim had to sleep on the sofa because the house was full. Then when he woke up in the middle of the night feeling hungry, he cut a big slice out of this sister wedding cake! His name was mud the next day, they had to cover the hole up with a bigger cake frill!
The horse called Prince got old and had to be put down, Jim had to take him to the hunt kennels a Kineton where they used to buy old horses to help feed the fox hounds. Jimmy loved Prince and when he rode back on his old bike, he started to cry, and he threw the few shillings he had got for the cob over the hedge.
The sheepdog, old Joe, got run over when young Tom was a baby. He was run over by a petrol tanker, so he must have been getting old. Jim loved him as well.
Originally written 02.05.1983. Digitised by Haidee Powell – October 2009
Harbury Heritage reference HM1304