When 1950’s Vicars’ rode Triumph Speed Twin Motor Bike’s

An unusual beginning to David Wood’s story this week because it starts at the church with Father Craig riding his twin speed bike, which shook the establishment back in the 50’s. David’s story continues like this.

1950's Triumph Speed Twin Motorcycle

Reverend Bowdler, the Church of England vicar of St John’s, was a very nice man, short in stature but great in character and benevolence. Father Craig took over from him and rode his Triumph Speed Twin motor bike, that shook the establishment quite a bit I can tell you, especially when he called in the Duke for a pint.

I can recall reading the lesson from the Bible in St John’s church when the school sponsor, Captain Potts was visiting.  A couple of years ago I went into the church and stood by the lectern, it occurred to me that I must have stood on a box or stool to be able to see over the top of it.  Father Walsh, was the parish priest at St Joseph’s and Reverend Baxendale and Reverend Crouch were the Methodist ministers.

The Co op delivered their bread by horse and cart and the horse was stabled behind the shop. If you were a young lad you could go to the back of the Co op and ask for the cane rings off the butter barrels to use as hoops for wheeling around the streets. Pea shooters could be bought for a few pennies and your ammunition, maple peas, could be bought from Crawshaw’s shop. We made catapults from tree branches and elastic bands but we didn’t fire them at people or windows.

Frank Dale delivered his milk in a three wheeled van which was basically a motor bike with body work on the back. He actually moved my grand parent’s furniture from Woodstock to Burnaby Road in it in 1956. When at my granny’s at Woodstock, we bought and drank un-pasteurised milk from Burgess’s farm straight from the cow, never caught anything untoward from it though.

At less than 11 years old we went unsupervised from Church School to the senior school canteen for lunch and back again, 5 days a week. The ice cream was delivered by hand cart and so was Mr Poole’s milk, his dairy was at Snow Hill by the swings.

On the very tight bend at Latebrook just passed the old Baptist chapel, stood a sweet shop owned by Mrs Rowlands, her brother lived in the wooden bungalow next to the pub. Our grandmother used to take us to the shop for our sweets which were still on ration then. The chapel and the pub are still there, the houses are long gone.

My grandparent’s cottage was further along the lane on the right, just past the derelict farmhouse, the area is called Woodstock Bower. The old foundry chimney is still standing, I used to crawl in there and look up at the sky.

So until next time from looking up at the sky from the old foundry chimney, we will be going down memory lane for more of David Wood’s interesting recollections of time gone by.

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