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Banburyshire Family History

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go back to the last page you were on A Dark Secret


A dark secret, and one of which I'm not particularly proud, is possession (sob) of a criminal record. Fortunately, family members have been prepared to overlook this blot on the escutcheon, and it has been successfully hidden from a succession of partners.

My first personal transport was a large black bicycle inherited from my mother. Optional extras included an extensive mudguard system, and a larger wicker basket suspended in front of the handle bars. There was no way that I could sit on the saddle and place a foot on the ground, but absence of a crossbar allowed me to develop a unique style of propulsion.

Standing between handle bars and saddle, step one was to push off and pedal furiously whilst maintaining a vertical stance. When speed and immediate route permitted, both feet were walked up the sloping frame to allow a brief respite whilst sitting on the saddle. Regaining possession of the pedals was another consideration.

The lighting system was a large lamp enclosing two batteries, which hooked on the front of the basket; a smaller and similar lamp, facing rear, being mounted below the saddle. These lamps were merely clipped into position were only affixed when required. The fascia arrangement was tastefully completed with a warning horn, operated by squeezing its large black rubber bulb.

The larger lamp was also used in the nightly exercise of projecting the head of a wolf or such beast on the bedroom wall, or reading in bed; so the batteries were rarely at full charge. Inevitably the day came when the return home from Grandma's was delayed, and the lighting system was absent. In this situation the standing instruction from Authority was to walk the bicycle home. (Hangs head).

The summons claimed the bicycle to have been ridden in a haphazard manner, whilst on the pavement; with no illumination after lighting-up time. Fine of five shillings and an admonishment from the Panel to 'watch your steps, young man'.

Contributed by Smokey

I can just imagine you getting the bike moving!

As a young child, we didn't have a car ..., mum and dad both had pushbikes, though dad was away for years at a time and it was only when he was home we went riding as a family - with me on what memory says was the tiniest little seat on his crossbar.

Mum used to walk to school with me, mind says she pushed with me sitting on her saddle .... not too sure if I remember right, but is a fun way to remember anyway.

We had a spaniel puppy for a few weeks, and when dad was home we went riding, with me on crossbar seat and puppy in basket on mums bike. Said puppy decided to bail out ... hanging by a lead ;o) Oooops!

Fortunately this all happened in a small country-ish town of Stubbington in UK .... not too many cars around back in the mid-60's.

I don't remember getting car rides to school until mid-70's....and even then, the car sat on the driveway almost all the time and I still had to walk in the rain and snow :o(

How life has changed!

There was a lady on TV this week in NZ, our oldest voter of 109 yrs ... gosh she has seen some changes ... the complete evolution of flight, for one thing - major stuff that seems so minor to modern day folks.

Off to work, have a great day....

Contributed by Carole

Hello Carole

We did not live far from the school but on a main road so I got put across the road and I was on my own meeting friends on the way, looking out for fag cards which were given away in cigarette packets which were thrown away.

We had a road sweeper at that time and he would save any that he picked up. The set consisted of 50 cards but there was always the odd one or two that were not to be found. It was possible to send away for an album but that way the information on the back of the card was lost. Some that I remember were tennis stars film stars and wild flowers. Kensitas gave away silk ones much sought after.

If we travelled further Mam had a seat for me on the back of her bike. I once got my foot jammed between the wheel and the front forks luckily Mam did not fall off and a man came and got me out.

Other times in season we would skip or whip our tops along the street. We always liked to get to school early so that we could have time to play before going into school. No-one was allowed into school before the bell rang no matter how cold or if it rained when we would all cram into the porch. When eventually the bell did ring we had to stand in lines and the Quick March would not be given until every child was standing perfectly still and of course no talking was allowed. From the early 1930s

Contributed by Rhoda