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Banburyshire Family History

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go back to the last page you were on Memories of the 40s : A Magical World


The relieving cavalry troop galloped furiously towards the beleaguered fort. An illusion achieved by slapping one's own backside whilst running. Once inside the fort the attack is repulsed with skilful shots from a length of coppice, each shot bringing down one of the bloodthirsty savages. Lying beside the hero, Ringlets is almost as accurate in her shooting. <Almost>

Some fifteen yards from the hay bales the Hall Brook meanders through the fields; with covering fire it is just possible to collect liquid supplies for the valiant defenders. Hunger pains are assuaged with condensed milk sandwiches previously obtained from the parental chuck wagon.

This magical world of blue skies and warm weather lay beyond a wooden boundary fence at the end of the street. Many a summer hour was spent, lying on one's back, watching the clouds, chewing grass and pondering the meaning of life. With the world apparently so full of butterflies, why did they all die within hours of being placed into jam jars; despite pierced lids and plenty of the choicest leaves?

What was the world record for daisy chains? It was a known fact that in early morning a mirror could be created if enough spider webs were collected with a loop of flexible twig. Somehow this was never achieved. Frequent checks under the chin with buttercups confirmed our choice of butter over margarine.

The location of every nest in surrounding hedges was known, and any enclosed eggs identified; but the idea of removing any to form a collection never occurred to us. Every expedition to empty the brook of sticklebacks and transfer them into jam jars failed, as there seemed an endless supply.

One early lesson was that Authority did not welcome gifts of captured water creatures, frogspawn, or interesting corpses. The corner pool, where Strange Alice sometimes went swimming, held bigger fish but capture of these required proper equipment and the absence of enthusiastic volunteer assistants.

The brook that gave its name to the district has disappeared into culverts and the fields are now the site of a housing estate. Black-faced miners no longer walk the fields home from the pit; that has gone too.

You may also like to read Muriels' response: "Magic Times!"

Written by Smokey