Jane Pevley's memories

Peter Griffin

Hut on wheels (2009) | (Deacon)
Hut on wheels (2009)

Family background

Jane’s father Eliot Chapman, apprenticed as a Carpenter and Joiner to Arthur Negus & Son, built “The Green Hut” in the back garden of No 43 High St ready for him and his bride to live in after they were married in 1934. It was subsequently given the postal address of 45 High Street. Jane (B:1942) and her brothers Clive and Roger were all born in The Green Hut. The family called it The Green Hut because of the green paint with which Eliot painted the Hut. The Hut was built without wheels, but with a kitchen on a concrete slab, at right angles to the right. After it was built, some of the villagers complained to the Council about its position. Eliot overcame these objections by putting the main part, the Hut, on wheels. It was never intended that the Hut be moved!

Eliot’s father, Claude, was the son-in-law of Mr William Jude who had owned No 43, known then as “The Old Home” before he sold it to Claude. Claude later sold No 43 to Mr Swan on 28.08.1950, and moved to 2 Haslingfield Road. Claude was a baker at Badcock’s bakery in Royston Road. Claude was the father of Eliot Chapman, who is thought to have been in a row of cottages which were then where No 24 Church St is now.

After Jane’s father Eliot returned from WWII, he applied for a council house – there were now the parents and three children living in the Hut, although the children frequently slept in their grandparents’ home at No 43. The family were allocated and moved to 15 Church Street in 1947, where Jane’s sister Jill was born (1947). This allocation was conditional on Eliot renting the Hut; Mrs Burnett (a local post lady) took the tenancy.

After Jane’s marriage in 1961/2 to Michael Pevley, they moved to Meldreth; from here she moved in 1963 to one of the line of cottages which then stood at right angles to Church Street where Nos 68/70 now stand. In 1966 she moved to her present home at 11 Queen’s Close. They have two children Andrew (dob 1962) and Keren (dob 1965).

Dairy deliveries

In the early 1950’s, Jane helped Jack Ship to deliver milk from Baggot Hall Farm with a horse and cart; she remembers delivering to No 6 Green Man Lane (Eli Northrop, village road sweeper) and No 8 Green Man Lane (Mrs How, grandmother of Gerald and John Ives). At this time, Gerald Ives was delivering milk to the northern end of the village. She also remembers that Jack would take the horse for shoeing to the Lawrance smithy in the High Street near the school; Jack would ask her to collect the horse, but when she reached the smithy she would often find that the smithy had “sent” the horse home to the Farm!

Other village memories

There were several rows of old cottages in Church St- the ones already mentioned to east of Beech Farm where No 24 now is, “Pantiles” (12 Church St) in 1948 was two cottages, as was “Dormer Cottage” (5 Church St) in the 1950’s. Between what is now Nos 12 and 16 was a line of cottages, at right angles to the road.

“Fountain Farm”, 41 Church St, was still a working farm in 1947. Its original barn was knocked down when a tree fell on it! Adjacent, Trevor Hopkins’ parents lived in No 39, with his grandparents living in No 37. When the grandparents died, the two cottages were converted into one dwelling.

At 1 Church St was Harrison’s Bakery & Grocers. The left hand portion (sloping roof) was the shop; the centre section was the home; the right hand section was the bakery.

At 2 Station Rd was a driveway to Trigg farm, previously wider than it is now. Some way down it, on the right, were some railway carriages where Margaret, Sylvia, and Ron Thompson were born.

When Harston Stores was at 29 High St, Pask the butcher had a shop to the right. This then became Mr Collins’ shop, selling painting and decorating supplies. About 1970, Mr Collins left and that shop became a toy shop, proprietor unknown. To the left of Harston Stores, Miss Jackson had a wooden hairdressing shop, in place about 1966.

During WWII, the company PYE used the previous Oddfellows Hall (building to the rear, on the right of 49 High St), the workers accessing the building via an entrance to the right. In the late 1940’s, the right side of the main building of No 49 was a sweet shop; Miss Mumford had her shop there before that. Next door, at 51 High St, Mr Knight had a green grocer’s shop in a “prefab” building some time after 1961; he and his wife lived behind the shop in a caravan.

At 59 High St, Mary Law’s husband was a mechanic for Premier Travel; they lived in Castle Cottage, which was in front of the Premier Travel garage at the rear of the plot. Mary later moved to 31 High St. Charlie Rogers lived in 33 High St – and then moved to 122 High St.

Jack O’Lantern’s Pit was reached by the Public Footpath to Barrington, on the left of the Haslingfield Road just past the road bridge over the River Rhee. It is thought to have been used to dig for sulphur/coprolite, and reported to glow in the dark when its water level was low.
Queen’s Close was built in the late 1940’s, with Meadow Way being built much later in the 1970’s.

This page was added on 15/08/2017.

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