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Bellamy Close, Southmoor.

Hilary & Derek Clements

We moved into Bellamy Close in July 1986. We had seen the estate being built in the late sixties as we drove through the village on our way to the West Country, little imagining that we would be residents twenty years later! Our first house in Southmoor was in Hayes Avenue, bought when Derek joined the staff at John Blandy School in 1971.

As we had only moved along the road, we already knew many of our new neighbours, and we soon found out who everyone else was when we received a comprehensive list from the Bellamy and Norwood Residents Association. In 1986 the “service” homes were occupied by American airmen stationed at Fairford and Upper Heyford. A coach came each day to take their children to their American schools in the area. Before the Americans came, the houses were used by RAF personnel. Some of these families decided to stay in the village when they left the forces and bought houses on this estate or elsewhere in the village. Now the “service” houses are occupied by Army families. We do not know what will happen to the houses when Dalton Barracks closes.

Bellamy Close from Faringdon Road

In 1987 the Residents Association organized a barbecue on the green under the oak tree to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the first residents moving in. Many of them were still here. In our early years here, the residents got together a team for the annual Blandy Boffins Quiz.

When John and Ruth Garret retired from running the village bakery and Post Office, they had a bungalow built on land behind Bellamy Close, "Stonehaven". The next change came when Norwood Avenue was extended onto land formerly known as Cox’s Yard. Now Southmoor House, the retirement home, has been demolished, and a group of retirement houses are being built on the land. Many of the people who live in the privately owned houses in Bellamy Close and Norwood Avenue have been here for many years and have built up a strong sense of community.