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More memories of 1930s Chadlington

The Editor has received correspondence from a website reader who was fostered in Chadlington as a boy before the Second World War. This gives a vivid first-hand picture of life in the village at the time. Ron Cuthbertson was fostered by Mr Ailsworth and Mrs Ellen (nee Holloway) Hitchcock, who lived near the Tite Inn at Mill End. Holloway is an old Chadlington village name and Ailsworth was born in Taston. They married at Chadlington Church in 1921.

Ron and his brothers, Nigel and Gordon, were fostered via the Waifs and Strays Society (now the Children’s Society) in 1933 for four years before being returned to their mother in London. She had remarried after their father’s death. Very sadly their return followed the death of the middle brother, Nigel, from meningitis in the Radcliffe Infirmary.

Ron has many happy memories of his time in Chadlington. He also remembers that there were quite a few fostered children at the village school. Perhaps this is associated with the existence of the National Children’s Homes in the village, for boys at College Farm and for girls at Ivy Dene. Ron had been in touch with Stanley Hobbs, who published the Chaldington History books and with a school Headmaster.

From this correspondence he found out that when he and his brothers were at the village school 15 of the 70 children on the register were fostered. He remembered Myrtle Cox, who appeared in a 1934 infants School picture with him in the Chadlington 60 years in Old Photographs book. It is also interesting that Alan Williams, who had contacted the website following the Chadlington Five story, had been evacuated with the Hitchcocks during the war.

In a letter to the Editor Ron recalls the following from his time in Chadlington:

“…Ailsworth was a carter who had at least one horse in an adjacent stable and kept bees and a pig or pigs. I can remember the slaughter of these being a party time. The pig’s bladder would be inflated and become a football and sides of bacon used to hang below the ceiling….

Meeting Ailsworth in a field where he had been working meant a return trip home on the back of a shire horse. We lived next to a pub, the Tite Inn, which took its name from an adjacent water trough…

“I remember singing in the choir. Choir and school outings and following the hounds. During this we would race to open the gates for the ‘lords and ladies’ in the pious hope that they would dispense largesse, receipt of which warranted a touch of one’s forelock.”

Ron also told the Editor of seeing a Sikh on a bicycle in the village with a large brown case containing goods for sale.

Do you have any memories or records of life in Chadlington at this time? Why not share them with others by posting them on the village website? Just contact the Editor via the ‘Contact Us’ bottom at the bottom of the page.

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