1 Aug 2011

Posted by DMC on 2 August 2011 in Diary |

Chloe and the grandchildren returned yesterday from a splendid holiday in Corfu. They stayed in her first cousins beach side house. Apparently, beautifully finished and fitted out complete the cook, maid and gardener so it was a real holiday for my dear daughter. Barrister husband Karl, unfortunately, was unable to join them due to 6 week trial in which he is in the middle.

Miles and Kimberly are also on the move today. There are off to our cottage in North Wales where there is no guarantee of sunshine but that is less likely to worry them than the grandchildren who apparently spent almost all of their time in the swimming pool when in Corfu.

This fourth day of the test match against India certainly went England’s way. I was expecting them to perhaps bat on for an hour and then declare. Instead they batted right through to 20 min before lunch when they were all out for 544 leaving India an impossible 484 runs to win.

I was disappointed that England decided to bat through to the end and not give themselves more time to take a couple of wickets before lunch. However the gods smiled favourably on the English side and Broad, got the wicket of Dravid for 6 just before lunch putting England in a strong position to win this match. When India were 107 Anderson once more took Tendulkar’s wicket. The Indian side were then seven wickets down and they were all out for 158, a magnificent win by England by 319 runs.

Joy Barrow, a longtime neighbour from across the road, dropped in this afternoon with a little Book of Remembrance for Fred Sam ford, a great local character who died recently, aged 88. Fred, came with other village worthies, to Chloe’s wedding, – Chloe was born in our present house, went to primary school, sang in the church choir – which we held in our garden, almost 17 years to the day (31 July)

Fred had a hard life and was fostered out to a local family at two weeks old, apparently because his own family could not afford to feed him. However the new family with whom he was fostered also seems to have had problems as they lived on, what was called in those days, the Parish Allowance. 7/6d (37 ½.p) split three ways to cover clothing, food and everything else. As Fred said, when he was being interviewed for this book “Times were very, very hard. I have been hungry hundreds of times and I mean hungry” he goes on to describe what life was like in the Thirties, as he says “it was tough”

The book is full of fascinating anecdotes, for example. “The butcher, when we used to have a little bit of meat on a Saturday, would hide a beef sausage under that piece of meat for me, and I would run to meet him and hug him for it. And I’d cut back into three or four pieces and eat it with a piece of bread and save the fat to put on toast for another day”. The stories go on and on, Fred remembers the saddle maker, the wheelwright and a blacksmith, all essential trades in villages in those days. Fred himself worked in farming, catering and decorating but is best remembered for the last 22 years when he was the caretaker in the Village Hall.

This Is the Third Volume in the Clavering Remembered series, part of the Clavering oral history project series.. Such a good idea to recall so many interesting historical facts which would be so easily forgotten if they were not written down.

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