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Banburyshire Family History

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go back to the last page you were on Scrumping in Aynhoe on July 24th 1891

Retold by Dawn Griffis, Ada Wrighton's grand-daughter

It was a hot day and two nine year old cousins, Ada Wrighton and Mabel Wrighton were hungry for fruit to eat. They both knew where the best supply could be had, because their grandfather David Wrighton was renowned for his fruit growing of all varieties, according to what was in season. He grew strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, red and black currants.

Ada lived in the last house on the left, at the top of Blacksmith Hill, on the edge of the village. She was the forth, of six children and eldest daughter of Edwin and Eliza (Robbins) Wrighton. Edwin was a Master hedger and water diviner; he could also read and write, which was unusual for men of his age in the village.

Mabel was the twelfth child of fifteen children of Edwin's older brother Henry and Julia (Borton) Wrighton. They lived at the station and Henry made bricks and operated the brick yard located there.

Ada and Mabel together, used to clean house for their grandfather and his daughter, Sarah each week. Sarah was born with a deformity of her arms, making it impossible for her to do more than just care for her own personal needs. Sarah was known to be very dogmatic, and very much a no nonsense person, most children and many adults were scared of her.

The Hill, Aynho

The Hill, Aynho

Ada thought that if they could get past Aunt Sarah, they could fill their pockets with a bumper crop of fruit that was just right for picking. The house, was the first house on the right, of the cottages known as Hill Cottages; there was a hedge that bordered the garden, and the path that led to all the other cottages on the hill. Ada thought if they could get to the hedge without being seen, they could crawl along low down beneath the window of the house that faced the garden; and make it to the fruit supply.

All went well, they filled their pockets to overflow, and were about to go back the same way when, Aunt Sarah's thunderous voice boomed over their heads. "You girls thought I couldn't see you, well I've been watching you the whole time from the window. Now you get right into the house and empty your pockets onto the table, then skid addle."

The girls went right into the house, knowing it was a waste of time to resist her. They emptied their pockets of all the fruit, and were about to leave when they noticed a curtain across the room that hadn't been there before.

Typically, curiosity got the better of them, and they went to look behind it. To be stopped in their tracks, when Aunt Sarah curtly told them, "You girls stay out of there; my Pa is lying back there dead, waiting to be buried." They just looked at each other and ran as if their lives depended on it.

Contributed by Dawn Griffis