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Kingston and Southmoor Village memories.

Violet E. Soden.

I have spent most of my life here – starting off as a very small child (aged about two years) at Fyfield Wick.

My father was groom for the farmer who lived there at that time (Mr Bob Weaving).

When we were old enough my sister, brother and myself walked to Kingston School, quite a distance for a small child (no bus in those days). This was the old school, now used by the Longworth Scouts.

Horses were still very much in evidence at that time. Mr Ballard the blacksmith was kept very busy shoeing not only carthorses but cab-horses and hunters too, as in those days we had the kennels at Kingston. I well remember the smell of the hounds’ food cooking and when the wind was in the the right direction it could be smelt in Southmoor too.

As children the top part of the field known as West Hayes was used by lots of us to play cricket and football in; as you know it is now full of rather nice houses.

Possibly the people of this generation would not appreciate how quiet and peaceful these two villages were then. No need to accompany children to school as there was hardly any traffic – maybe the odd rich man’s bull-nosed Morris with its dicky seat at the back. I was once privileged to ride in one of these and felt like a queen.

There was also Mrs Palmer’s lovely sweet shop where we used to spend our pennies on the way to school. For one old penny we could get enough sweets to last all day.

Source: Village memories from Mrs Violet E.Soden Pt I. Excerpt from July 86 KBS News.