The Weather

Unusual weather normally takes the form of heavy snow or high rainfall. But how about a tornado? Just such a thing happened on Sunday May 21st 1950. Trees were uprooted and many buildings had their roofs taken off. The noise was terrifying. A pony in it’s horsebox was lifted up to around 20ft, a arrived back down to earth unhurt. Chickens at Puttenham were not so lucky. 500 out of 700 of them were killed or went missing after the tornado picked up their hen house and transported it over a mile and a half, where it landed on another farm. Also in Puttenham a Dutch barn and a cowshed were demolished. It ploughed a total of 12 miles through Buckinghamshire. Following the tornado came hail and rainstorms. Some hailstones were up to six and a half inches round and lightning blew out the power in Long Marston.

Article written by the LM & P Horticultural Society.

Entertainment

Whist Drives and Bingo were very popular, and also Dominoes, Darts and Shuv’appeny were played a lot in the public houses. Before the war, ladies never used to go in pubs.

Carpet Bowls was a game, which was enjoyed by many of the older members of the family.

There used to be an Amateur Dramatics Group in the village, and performances were held either in the OLD Parish Hall or in the old school. There were also social dances held here: old-time Dancing Dances, Country Dances and Barn Dances. There were Fancy Dress Parties too.

There was a Youth Group and they together with other members of the village enjoyed playing cricket and football, which resulted in two more clubs forming. There used to be a Girl Guide Group, Scouts and Cubs for the youngsters.

There used to be a Local History Society, which was organised by Dick Gomm.

Back in the 1950’s people would walk along to Marston Station and travel to Aylesbury where the Market Square and Kingsbury Square were full of different shows.

There used to be a cinema in Tring, to which people liked to cycle, in fact cycling was a very popular mode of transport.

A Village Band marched through the village, and there was a Gymkhana to raise funds to build the Victory Hall, which was held in the summer and it had in it The Dagenham Girl Pipers.

The main sports that were enjoyed by many people were Hunting, Football and Cricket.

The New Hall opened in 1956 and has continued to host Shows, Quizzes, Discos, Parties and many of the clubs, like the Women’s Institute, the Dog Club and the Boys and Girls Brigade.

Article written by Catherine Severs.

“CATS END” – ASTROPE

In years past, if you had walked along the track that ran close to where the house ” Brookside” now stands, went over the bridge to the stream and headed a short way across the field, you would come to “Cats End” – three or four cottages either side of Green Lane with gardens. They would of stood in what is now the garden of “Brookside”, roughly in line with the field fence bordering the brook. Very little is known about the dwellings, except that folks would call there for their supply of sweets made by one of the residents. It was also used as a shortcut by the Puttenham children coming to Long Marston school who would pass by the cottages and come out into Astrope Lane.

Article written by Christine Rutter.

“PEBBLE ALLEY”

(Otherwise known as Piss-pot alley)
The Alley stood behind the old Forge and it’s garden (now a block of new houses known as The Forge), and alongside what is now No. 1 Astrope Lane. Why was it known as “Piss Pot Alley”? If the children made too much noise, one of the residents would throw the contents of the chamber pot out of the bedroom window. (A chamber pot is a pot that was kept under the bed for use during the night instead of the outside toilet. People did not generally have toilets inside the house)

At that time, No. 1 did not exist, but when the cottages were demolished, the back wall of one, or more, of the cottages formed the sidewall of the new No. 1. This evidence is visible with a small portion of the return wall showing to the front end, and the marking of the eaves on the upper wall. Part of an old chimney is still thought to exist.

Article written by Christine Rutter.

THE OLD SLAUGHTER-HOUSE – LONG MARSTON

During the 1800’s, the Gregory family lived in the Rose and Crown Inn in Long Marston (now the Rose and Crown cottage), and the far left-hand end of the building was used as a butchers shop, with the old wooden garages (as they are today) being used as the slaughterhouse).

However, a slaughterhouse had also been operational behind the Butchers Shop in Cheddington Lane. It formed part of a farm (having been through other family ownerships prior to this time) and was purchased by the Gregory family in the early 1900’s. The butchery business was then transferred from the Rose and Crown to Cheddington Lane.

As well as those reared on the farm, Drovers would bring in beasts from as far away as Watford. To pass their rest period after bringing the stock in, it would not be unusual for the Drovers to gather and take bets on the weight of the beasts. One could imagine that this could well have turned into quite a heated session! If the Drovers were fortunate, they would be able to make the return trip with another group of live animals, thereby gaining a fee for both journeys. Cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, etc., all ended their days at Long Marston prior to reaching the table.

Somewhere just after the turn of the century, the farm covered approximately 100 acres, and locally grown meat was always available in the shop. Cattle ready for slaughter would be brought into the collecting yard to rest, allowing the blood temperature to cool before slaughter. This made a difference to the look of the meat – if killed too hot, the meat would look very dark and unattractive to the potential customer. The carcasses would then be hung for 3 weeks to a month before being considered ready for sale.

In later years, with the gradual winding down of the farm and new hygiene regulations, the old-style slaughterhouse became unviable. To keep abreast with the new legislation it would of been necessary to fund the rebuilding of the slaughter house, and it was decided to concentrate on the shop, which is still very much in existence, and so, in the early 1960’s the slaughter-house was closed down, ending another era of village history.

Article written by Christine Rutter.