Section Menu

An Incomer's view of her life in the Village.

Mrs Joyce Holloway(Southmoor) 2000

Coming to the village

I was born in Lincolnshire and I first came to the village in 1946 just after I got married. At first my husband had a job at James’ Dairy at Buckland, but we needed a bigger house as my father and mother–in-law came to live with us. So after six months he began working for Guy Weaving and we moved into one of the tied cottages – the one nearest the lane down Bullockspits Lane. Mrs Stringer lived next door. We lived there for nine and a half years. The children loved it down there.

The tin huts and the move to Latton Close

One day my husband was laid off and he went to work for Ameys so we had to get out of the tied cottage and we moved to the tin huts on East Copse. We were there for two years. It was very cramped with two girls and two boys. There were two bedrooms and a sitting room in each nissen hut. They started building Latton Close in 1948 and when I walked the kids up to school I used to say “Oh I would love one of those houses”. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever live there. Someone said to me “Why don’t you go and see Miss Raphael”. I did and not long after that, with Mr Rivers the rent collector and housing officer’s help we moved in in 1957. I had rejected a house in Faringdon. You were allowed to reject two but had to accept the third. I had had a council house offered in Longworth too and after we had got everything ready the occupier of that house came the day before to say he wasn’t moving. But I’m glad I didn’t go to Longworth or Faringdon. I moved in here a couple of months later and I was so glad, and I’ve been here for 46 years - 34 years alone since my husband died. I was next door to Mrs Bowman and lots of others I knew. Nearly everyone came from the tin huts. It probably took a couple of years to empty the huts. There were huts everywhere. Most people stayed in the village.

The hop gardens

I started work in the hop gardens – hop training in the spring (April/May) for Blanchards. My youngest was two and a half and I took her with me. The others were at school and it fitted in well and I used to love it. The workers were mostly local women. We went picking hops too. You had to take your own refreshments.

Kingfeast Turkeys

We processed turkeys so that they were oven-ready. I can’t remember when it first started. I did all sorts including plucking. It was all done by machine. KT went on for a long time after I left.

Work as a postlady

Then I went to work for the post office. There was a place out the back where we sorted the post. You could get everything in the post office shop – children’s school clothes, wellingtons – all sorts now it’s not big enough for anything. They should have made it bigger. Ruth Garrett offered me a job and my brother encouraged me to take it. I earned twice the pay with shorter hours compared to turkey processing. I did this from 1966-1975. I enjoyed it but in the first winter I said I couldn’t stick it but the summer came round and I enjoyed it. Mrs Baines who used to live next door to the Soden’s farm came to help me out once the estate was being built. She also did the main road and I did the rest in Southmoor and up to Kingston Bagpuize and along the Abingdon Road and down to Little London all on my bike. I started at 7am with sorting at the Post Office and finished when I’d done. David (current postman???) showed me and helped me out – he’s still there now. It was good because you got to know everybody and everybody knew you. People in Norwood said they could set their clock by me. The Post Office said one day that the round needed to be done using vans as the village had grown so much. I didn’t mind stopping but I missed it. By then two of my children were married and a third was in the services and the third was at home.

Apple picking

I picked for Ken Maclean. At the same time I used to go to Westfield on a Tuesday and Friday to help out. I carried on in the orchard after Mrs Maclean left Westfield. I packed and graded in the packing sheds behind the Hinds Head by Kennel Cottage. It’s changed enormously there now. I finished there when they sold up and I went to Millets.

Millets

That’s changed. There was a little old shed which got bigger and bigger. One day after about 12 years I stopped. This was about 1987. Now I do what I like.

The family

My husband went to Ameys after he’d finished on the land. He finished up at the weighbridge at Sutton Courteney. He had his own lorry. He died in 1966 aged 47. The children went to old Kingston Bagpuize school and then Matthew Arnold. None of them stayed in the village or had any contact with the land. One son is a long distance lorry driver, another son works at Hartford motors in the office. One daughter worked at the co-op and the other worked at Cooper’s Marmalade in Botley for a while.

Freddie Palmer

He was a character. He seemed to spend half the night in his shed.

Has the village changed?

There were no street lights and no footpaths. I had a light stuck in my coat. There wasn't much traffic. Down in Bullockspits there was no electric and no water – only the well. Southmoor has grown such a lot but Kingston hasn’t changed so much. Nowadays everyone is in such a hurry. No-one has any time any more. You don’t know half the village any more. People just walk past you. We want a nice butchers here. Three years ago I walked down to Millets with a neighbour – I wish I hadn’t - never again. There’s no footpath and too much traffic. I go on the Tesco bus on a Monday. There are 8 of us who do it regularly on a Monday. On Friday I go to Abingdon on the Heyfordian bus. I hate Oxford. I’d rather go to Swindon any day. You can’t find anything in Oxford and the big shops are too far apart. I go to Oxford only twice a year to the optician’s or dentist. I go to Faringdon to the doctors. I’d like to see a decent chemist but it doesn’t worry me as prescriptions are brought to the village. Lee (Stopps) is very good. To go to the doctors I catch the 9 o’clock bus and I have a nephew who works in the teashop so I go and see him until it’s time for the bus back. The roads want repairing and the path in Latton Close. Good thing I didn’t go to live in Longworth there are only three buses a day and no shop. There have been a few changes of residents in Latton Close but most people have been here a long time. Most of the houses are now privately owned. There are very few children here. You used to have football and cricket out here but there’s none of that now.

Holidays

I still have contacts with Lincolnshire because my son lives there and I visit regularly. The outside life has suited me and I’m very fit. ARC (Ameys) have a social club and they run coaches for holidays twice a year.

Leisure in the village

In the week I go to Good Companions and to Friendship Club. It gets you out for a couple of hours. I walk in the village a great deal. There are plenty of lovely walks. I get down to Longworth and other places – often I go for a two and a half hour walk. I still bike too but the roads are in bad repair and too busy.