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A Clayhidon childhood 90 years ago

Mary Ridgeway's father,  Fred Northcott, ran the post office in Rosemary Lane in the 1920s. At the age of 96, confined to her bed in a Wellington nursing home, she got out her iPad and emailed this fascinating account of what it was like to grow up in Clayhidon between the two world wars.


I was born in Rose Cottage, Black Lane, Clayhidon on October 31st 1920 and I was named and christened as Mary Northcott. The first event that I can recall is when my sister was born on February 20th 1924. She was named Dorothy May but everyone called her Doss.

 I fell head first into the water tub which stood under the iron-handled pump over the well, our only source of water. My aunt Lizzie was there. I expect I had been staying with her at Knapp, and she would have come to Mother to deliver the baby.


By then we were living in Rosemary Lane in what used to be The Hare and Hounds pub. We had smallholding of nine acres of pasture land. I have no recollection of moving there. Aunt Lizzie, my Dad’s sister, thought the world of me. I have so many fond memories of her and used to spend time with her and Uncle Harry at their cottage, all of which I recollect so clearly.

Our only means of transport to go to market and shopping in my younger days was the horse and trap, before the days of the ca
r.

Read more of Mary's Clayhidon memories:
 - At school in Battle Street with a slate and no paper
- My working life begins at 14
- My wonderful dad: horse whisperer and first car owner in theparish
- No NHS, and I nearly die of a burst appendix
- How teenagers had fun in 1937
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