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Village Life in the 1950s and 60s

The Village Hall committee carried on for several years, organising events and maintaining the buildings in good order. In 1959 the roof was re-thatched and there was discussion about the wisdom of changing from coal fired heating to oil stoves. Mr Shirley of Noke was asked to examine the roof where it leaked, put the lavatories in good repair, fix an outside light and mend sundry broken windows. His estimate of £10 was accepted and he was asked to do the work. The room was now costing £22 a year to run but the WI was concerned that the Village Hall committee was using their crockery. Mr Brown suggested that when the time came to replace the crockery, both organisations should pay half.

By 1963 the lack of regular bookings was making it difficult to run the building without drawing on reserves and their capital was decreasing. They agreed to have a yearly collection to supplement the takings from hire of the hall. They also increased the hiring charges to £1-5s for the whole hall and 12/6d for half. Weddings, where more electricity would be used, would incur an extra charge of two guineas. The idea of voluntary contributions was successful and raised £22, which included a donation of £10 from Mrs Lane, who had now succeeded Lady Tweedsmuir at the Manor.

The Village Hall continued organising events and looking after the school building until November 1967, when Mrs Buckingham reported that Christ Church was prepared to take the building back without claiming for dilapidation. Mr Hoyle proposed the tenancy be relinquished and this was seconded by Mrs Garson of Hill Farm. The building was subsequently pulled down.

The Cricket Club

Cricket was played in the field called Home Close.The cows had to be shooed off first and a hit to the boundary was deemed to be beyond the chestnut tree. The cricket team had been disbanded at the start of the war in 1939 but reconstituted in 1953. Mr Hays of Hill Farm, son-in-law of Mr W.F/G Watts who had sold a ram in thanks for the successful outcome of the Battle of Britain, was a member of the committee and farmed Home Close. He promised to wire off a suitable square to keep cattle out and 200 rolls of turf were bought for which the club paid £5. There was an old caravan which acted as a pavilion.

The annual subscription was ten shillings. Mr GJ Brown promised to give a cricket bat, as did Mr Howe. Miss Stace, the teacher, gave three cricket balls, Mr Hayes gave gloves while Mr E. Taylor gave stumps and bails. There were eighteen members.

The club seems to have started off with a great deal of support, but by 1955 it was noted that there was little likelihood of the boys in the village wanting to play so outsiders should be considered and members were asked to refer anyone they knew who might be interested to the secretary. Wednesday evenings was practice night and a get-together at the Cherwell pub was suggested before the season began.

The Home Close ground does not seem to have been good enough to play all the home matches on, and in 1955 these were played either on Sunnymeade recreation ground ,near Cutteslowe, or on Banbury Road North Sports ground. Fixtures were played throughout the summer against teams drawn from other villages such as Islip , Bladon, Sandford and suburbs of Oxford such as New Marston and Cowley. For away matches a coach was hired which transported not just the players, but supporters, wives, girl friends and children. Jill Dewhurst, nee Buckingham, remembers these outings as being very enjoyable events. If the team were playing at home Mrs Buckingham along with Mrs Everett and other wives made the teas in the Manor barn.


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