Historical Photographs


hist-schoolThe school was built in the 1870s. In 1913 the School Inspector’s report deplored the fact that this dirty horse-pond was the only washing facility the school children had. This photo was taken during the winter when Main Road became a mud track.
The children have been called out of school to have their photograph taken. Note the mischievous boys on the school wall. All the children wear hats. The girls wear white smocks and the boys have neat white collars. The vehicle behind the children is reputedly the first motorised vehicle to be seen in the village. The thatched building behind the school no longer exists.
Photography was a rare thing in the village in the 1920s, but Reverend David Sheppard, who was the Baptist Minister from 1920-1924, had a camera and was responsible for recording many scenes during these years.

hist-streetDominating this photograph on the left hand side is The Ewe and Lamb public house, now a private dwelling. This pub had also been known as The Jug and Bottle, perhaps because it was licensed to sell only beer to take away. The door to the cellar where the beer was kept can be seen on the end wall. Set back, to the left of the Ewe and Lamb, is a building, now demolished, in which horse-drawn wagons were kept. The photograph is believed to date from the early 1920s. On the right of the photo is the tip of the garden belonging to The Lodge. The Lodge was built in the 1850s by the Willisons who owned Prospect Farm and who kept a herd of cows in London. The post and chain fence was put up by their successors, the Curnicks. Prior to this fence being erected, the land had been open to use by the villagers. Further up the road, on the right, is the Horse and Jockey public house, now converted to a private dwelling.

hist-pumpThe pump outside the “Little Rec” was known as the “bottom pump”. A few metres away, close to the entrance to the present day recreation ground car park, was the “top pump”. These pumps replaced the well after somebody “drowned hisself” in it. Even today, after heavy rain, water can be seen bubbling in the ditch where the pump once stood. The Horse and Jockey public house sign is visible behind the thatched barn and house that are now both demolished. On the right are 48 Main Road and Chestnut Cottage which were then four cottages. The photograph dates from the 1920s.

hist-omchapelThis chapel on Main Road was built in 1912 by Cannons of Whitchurch who went bankrupt shortly afterwards. The chapel cost far more than the original quotation. However the church elders insisted on sticking to this first quotation so the builders found themselves in financial difficulties.
The chapel congregation dwindled in the 1960s and 70s and in 1984 the chapel was sold and converted to a private dwelling. A second floor was added to create four double bedrooms and two bathrooms. Some of the interior furniture, such as the pulpit and the pews, were sold to villagers.
Primitive Methodism was a major movement in English Methodism from about 1810 until the Methodist Union in 1932. The Primitives were more radical than the Wesleyans and less in tune with bourgeois attitudes. The leader of the movement disagreed with alcohol altogether and thought of himself as the father of the teetotal movement. Primitive Methodism was a religion of popular culture.

hist-horseshoesThis public house was built by Robert Spooner in the 1850s on the site of an earlier inn of the same name. At the time of this photograph (1907) the pub supplied the “celebrated ales” of Aylesbury Brewery Company. Evidence of the original arched entrance to the back of the Three Horseshoes is clearly visible on this photo, as are traces of the exterior steps that had once led up to the first floor. The wooden door led to a room where local youths were allowed to play table tennis in the 20th century. This room was also used for the Home Guard to meet and train during World War II. The chequerboard brickwork is now covered by white plaster but it is typical of the brickwork of the village. This same patterning can today be seen on the end wall of the nearby Old Bakehouse, behind the War Memorial. The open door at the right hand side of the picture led to an area where the Three Horseshoes kept its carts.  The house at the far left of this photo was Frederick Hounslow’s smithy. At the other end of the terrace was Joseph Bates’ shoe-mender’s shop. The sloping roof (now demolished) housed the cobbler’s shop. Village men liked to gather there to chat. The children would go there to beg “nibs” (the metal studs people wore in the soles of their shoes) to fix onto the bottom of their wooden spinning tops. There was also a butcher’s shop in this row. At the far left hand end of the terrace, behind the trees, were village allotments.

hist-princeThe arrow points to The Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VIII. He later abdicated in order to marry Mrs Simpson and then became The Duke of Windsor. The Whaddon Hunt continued to meet in Drayton until the 1960s. To the right is Hill Cottage built by James Squires. It is now painted white and is known as White Cottage. The substantial barn beyond it has gone, and two houses, Tamara and Rivington, built in the 1980s, now stand on the site.

hist-warmemHere is the War Memorial in its original position. Names of those who lost their lives in The Second World War were added at a later date, but these are far fewer in number than those who died in The Great War. Behind, are the old barns of Kingsland Farm owned by the North family whose farmhouse was then half way up Church End. In 1985 a new Kingsland Farm was built at the end of New Road. The original farm in Church End is no longer a farmhouse, but it is still known as Kingsland Farm House. The barn area in this photo was known as Mr North’s Rickyard. Sheep dipping took place here each year. Three houses, constructed in 1984, now stand in place of the rickyard: Kingsdene, and numbers 2 and 4 Chapel Lane. Church End used to be called Hog End. The pigsties were across the road in Chapel Lane, close to where the bungalow built in the late 1990s now stands. The blackened brick wall around the corner of Church End and Chapel Lane was demolished in 1996 when a new brick wall was constructed around Kingsdene.

hist-hillThis photograph is taken looking down The Hill before there were any houses between the cottages and the school. There were then fields on each side of the Main Road. Notice the Post Office sign above the terraced house. The post office was in the room where the bicycle is parked. There had previously been a post office in the thatched cottage at the top of Church End. The exterior of these cottages, with its decorative brickwork has changed very little over the years. The War Memorial had only been recently erected at the time of this photograph, taken in the 1920s by Reverend David Sheppard. 

These photographs are from the collection of Isobel Smith-Cresswell.