Interviews

June Murdoch, born 1930

What is your first memory of the village and of your home there?
I lived in Lane houses. There was an open range with an oven and most of the family’s cooking was done on it.
Can you describe where you lived in the village?  Lane Houses first, then 8 The Green and then 11 Horseshoe Lane.

Memories of village school?  It was very crowded. It was a very happy school. Miss Carter and Miss Halford were the teachers.

Do you remember any particular characters in the village?  Miss Frances Bowyer ran the post office and was our Sunday School teacher.

What pastimes do you remember having as a child?  Fetching the milk in cans from Mrs Long at Pound Farm.

Where were your favourite places to play in the area as a child/teenager?  In the garden at home.

Are there any events you particularly remember – eg. fetes celebrations.  The evacuees arriving from London with their gas masks in boxes. Children had to wait to be selected which was very traumatic for the children.

What was life as  teenager growing up?  Not very stimulating – there were no youth clubs.

Do you remember going out in Cambridge? Yes, to the Dorothy and Rex ballroom – we went by bus and had to leave early as last bus home was at 10.30pm!  Also to Lyons, on the corner of Petty Cury.

What was/is your favourite part of the village?  Church End – the church in particular and the cricket meadow and cricket matches – my brothers used to play and I used to love watching them.

Where did your mother Olive Taylor live?  She was born in Town Houses, then Lane Houses and then 8 The Green.

What were/are the main changes you’ve seen?  There are no pubs now(there were two at one time) and no village shop. The people have changed.

What do you hope for the future of the village?  Recently there seems to have been an improvement in activities – playgroup, summer fetes, etc. I haven’t lived in the village for over 30 years now but kept a close link with it through visiting my Mother, Olive Taylor.

Kate Murdoch, born 1959
First memories: walking to school, playing amongst the hay bales at the bottom of the garden, fishing with jam jars on string.
Can you describe where you lived in the village? At 11 Horseshoe Lane, next to the Rose family who emigrated to Australia. Then Rosemary Westley moved in.

What do you remember about the village school? The teachers, Mrs Weir in particular, who was Scottish and loved to chat with my dad, also Scottish.
Do you remember any characters in the village as you grew up there? Fred Mingy who drove a very old, battered motorbike. Mr Bigmore who drove a big blue grocer’s van.
What pastimes do you remember having as a child? Playing rounders and cricket in the meadow. Brownies and Guides and sewing and reading.
Where were your favourite places to play? In the cricket meadow and by the river at the bottom of the garden.
Are there any events you particularly remember? Roger Heath digging up the cricket pitch late at night. Village fayres in the Reading Room, when Carol, my cousin, won the fairy doll for me. Bonfire night, Christmas at Nana’s. Mrs Jenkinson’s shows.
What was life like as a teenager growing up? Quite boring in the village and so went to Cambridge quite a lot.
What is you favourite part of the village? Church End – the churchyard in particular.
What are the main changes you have seen in the village?  Nothing much physically, but the lack of facilities – no shop, no pub, no WI, no over 60s, no proper church services on a regular basis.
What do you hope for the future of the village? That the links between people continue to grow and that a feeling of there being a warm and inclusive community develops and is made to last.

Patricia Murdoch, born 1955
First memories : The cricket meadow, playing rounders until it was dark. Catching sticklebacks and frogspawn in the stream at the back of my house.  Visiting Mayfield’s farm to look at the piglets and calves.  Falling in a ditch full of stinging nettles.  Disappearing for hours at a time in the woods and meadows.  Having so much freedom to roam away from home.
What do you remember about the village school? One teacher, one room, one class for all children 5-11 years. Very limited, narrow curriculum. One bookcase with ancient books that were never replaced.  One moment that stands out was when an outside teacher came to do a project on Helen of Troy.  We made a model of the wooden horse and lots of figures.
What pastimes do you remember? Playing rounders, fishing, tracking, picking cowslips and bluebells.
What were your favourite places to play in the area as a child?  Bluebell woods, cricket meadow, stream at end of Horseshoe Lane.
What was life like as a teenager growing up? The last bus into the village was at 6pm so we had to rely on Dad!  Girl guides in Balsham.   We didn’t have a phone at home so spent hours in the phone box at the top of Horseshoe Lane talking to school friends I’d just spent the whole day with (so what’s changed except now it’s mobiles!)
What is your favourite part of the village?  The churchyard. Outskirts of the village, overlooking the fields.
The main changes in the village? School closed, pub closed, shop closed.
What do you hope for the future of the village? that it doesn’t die completely and just become a dormitory village. That people socialise and interact with each other. That it is inclusive.


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