It was the December of 1962, and my husband, two sons and I had been living in Alveston since September at the Baraset farm. This particular winter was a difficult one, everything was frozen, even Bancroft. I remember how silent this winter was, since the roads were covered in ice, the traffic was non-existent. The water had all froze over from the December to the March on the farm. We tried everything, including burning things on the concrete to heat it, but nothing would help melt it. We had to carry water from the cottage to the farm, it was extremely hard work.
A knock on the door
Our cottage was directly opposite Alveston Youth Hostel. On Christmas Eve of 62, there was a knock on the door; it was three men asking if we knew when this hostel opened. As we were new to the area, we didn’t know anything about it, but we did invite these three men inside for a hot drink on this freezing cold night. They were polite, well dressed gentleman, and so we offered them a place to sleep for the night. This Christmas was a memorable one as on the morning of the 25th, our pregnant Dalmatian gave birth to a healthy litter of nine puppies. This was an amazing experience, and the three gentleman definitely thought so as well. That day the men got on their way and walked to Stratford, thanking us for our hospitality.
A few months later
A few months later, the winter still cold, we received a package on our doorstep. It was a square box, and inside it we found bundles of books for us all, my sons were delighted! This package was off the three men we’d taken in that Christmas, as a small token of their gratitude and appreciation.