Geddington – A life in words and memories – July

This month’s diary extract reminds us of the close knit and relatively unchanging community that Geddington was. Yet despite its rural nature there were still plenty of visitors from further afield who came and enjoyed life in the village and recognised the contribution that individuals made to that life.


July 1st 1928
Kettering Feast Sunday

Cross and Star and Bus J“So many people seem part of our life at the Bungalow. Their voices and faces come up before me as I write. Here are a few of them!

Sarah, for instance, with ‘me pram’ who fetches the washing and returns it without fail on Saturday. What if it is a wee bit stiff or not as snowy as it might be, we like to see her smiling face and hear her retail the village gossip.

Sarah lives in the centre of our village, close by the cross where all the ‘Buses load and unload their burdens. She knows most of the happenings of the day does Sarah. There’s many a cabbage and bit of garden stuff finds its way to us hidden in Sarah’s pram!

There’s Aubrey too. He’s the milkman you know, who can always tell you what the weather is going to be. He is always complaining of the heat unless it is frost and snow. The cats all love him for he not only brings them their favourite diet but always fondles them and gives them a cheery word. Oh! yes, we are all pals with Aubrey

I must not forget the Fish Man and the Fruit Man. The former, with ‘Polly’ who is rather disobedient   ‘Whoa whee!! Stand still Polly!!   Yes Maam!    I’m got some lovely  ‘alibut! There’s this I will say about ‘alibut, its very nourishment’

‘No Maam ! I don’t ‘old with them days out, they corses too much fer me. I always takes the missus and the kids to Blackpool fer ten days’   Whee Polly!

The latter, very apologetic, always spick and span in shiny boots and leggings, brings me lettuce as soon after Xmas as he can. He knows I never say ‘No’.    I can’t.

‘Bread Miss Holding ‘  Thank You!   All correct!! That’s Albert with the voice!

I’ve told you of the Muffin Man who likes a cup of tea on the Garden Seat, Winter and Summer.

Butlin*, with the letters, who always makes rude remarks about the time we get up. She’s like Bindle, she has ‘various reins’, but a kind heart as well as a sharp tongue.

The paper boy; the poor young man in consumption who travels with the chicken corn; the smiling one who delivers it; my two grocers; one very quiet and shy, the other, well, not so; the toothless little oil man; the stickly, smiling Poker Row kiddies; are they not all our friends?

We miss them when we are away and love to see them on our return.

d054 Caroline Holding business cardThe dressmaking customers, old and new, have come up well.

We have enjoyed Nurse and Mollie and the little girl who sojourned here for a weekend only, from Poland. So bright and breezy; so pretty and petite; so homely and happy; she entertained us all with her doings. ‘Oh I’ve had such a lovely time. May I come again?’

Now we are looking forward to two of St Alban’s mistresses until the end of term. Fred and Nancy have visited us from Egypt and enjoyed our strawberries and cream.

While sitting on the garden seat on 17th July chatting with friends after a day of rush and turmoil, two heads appear over the garden gate. One, dark and curly, the other sleek and fair. Both faces sunburned and tanned, both are grinning with delight. It is our ‘Scotch Boys’!! With what delight we listen to their broad accent and recall the days they spent here with us last year.

I think they must have liked us to take the trouble to return on their first holiday.”


For Daisy and Carrie, both unmarried, the company of friends and villagers was clearly very important and their willingness to open their home to others brought them great respect and affection.

I wonder if the names and descriptions bring back memories or family stories for you?

* Butlin – unusually, this was difficult to decipher from the original text. Does anyone know if this is correct?