Saturday, October 30, 2010

Nicholsons' Brewery.

Nicholsons' Brewery.
I know some will say what has Nicholsons' Brewery in Maidenhead High Street got to do with Cookham?

Well as a matter of fact quite a lot. You would find that both Budgen's and the International Stores carried the whole range of their beers.

At Haymaking and Harvest every farmer in the village would have a barrel of beer on hand for the workers to quench their thirst. Even the Astor's provided beer at White Place.

What actually got me thinking about this beer, was in my last post and my mothers Christmas Puddings. Due to the fact that a couple of pints of Nicholsons' Brown Ale went into the mixture!

I still remember their company slogan on their logo.
"Best in the long run."

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Washing Copper.

The Washing Copper.

Seventy odd years ago I can remember that the wood fired washing copper was quite well known in village and most families had one to be able to boil the whites in on a Monday morning, which by tradition was called wash day. Of course some of the big houses sent their wash to Thistle Hand Laundry, which was located next to the Pinder Hall. Or on the other hand it would be sent to the Maidenhead and District Laundry, which located in Furze Platt.

What actually triggered my mind about the Wash Day Copper, was the fact that in October my mother would make her Christmas Puddings, usually 12 to 14 in total. The whole mixture being stirred in a large china wash hand basin. The mixture was made and the white china pudding basins were filled with wax paper over the top and a cloth with butchers string around the rim and then tied back over the top to make a handle.

The copper fire was lit at 5.00 a.m. and would be boiling by six. The puddings were then put into the copper and the water topped of from a boiling kettle from the kitchen. This topping off of water went on all day, and so did the stoking of the fire.

The puddings were deemed to by well cooked by 10.00 P.M. The fire was allowed to burn out and the puddings were removed and set on the bench by the copper to cool. The next morning the puddings were put away in the cupboard to mature ready for Christmas.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Widbrook Common Ice Rink.

The Widbrook Common
Ice Rink.
There seems to be a lot of talk about an artificial ice rink at Windsor right now. I remember when the villagers were treated to at least two natural ice rinks each winter.

The one on Widbrook Common the depression of which can be seen from space on Google, was always flooded every winter and with a cold snap it did not take long to freeze solid. As it was easy to reach both villagers and people from Maidenhead Court area would come and enjoy Saturday and Sunday afternoon skating.

The other which was a little harder to reach was on Cockmarsh, and as compensation was somewhat larger for those who adapted field hockey sticks and a tennis ball to play a makeshift game of ice hockey.

On Widbrook I remember seeing young ladies cuting beautiful figure of eights. Also pairs skating as if waltzing their way around the pond.

Just think all of this was free for all to enjoy. Ah! I guess I can say those were the days!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Boys Brigade Drum and Bugle Corps.

Drum and Bugle Corps
of 1937.
When the Plymouth Boys Brigade arrived at Cookham Station, not only did they have to unload their kit bags but, all their drums and bugles as well. After the farm cattle lorry was loaded, the boys lined up on the station approach with their band at the head of the column.

Can you imagine today a column of nearly 90 boys with a band marching with drums beating and bugles blowing all the way through the Pound across the Moor, through School Lane to Sutton Road and all the way to White Place Farm? Luckily in those days cars were very few and did pull over to let the boys pass.

A couple of Sunday's they did march with the band to the 11 o'clock Matins at other times the vicar Rev. B.H. Hayward-Browne would hold a service for them in the camp Mess Tent.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Boys Brigade Camp of 1937.

The Boys Brigade Camp, 1937.
on White Place Farm.
During the month of August 1937, some 90 members of the Plymouth Boys Brigade were camp guests of Lord and Lady Astor, who at that time Lord Mayor Lady Mayoress plus as sitting member of parliament for Plymouth.

Two days before their arrival one could see the preparations being made as Edwards Tent Works of Maidenhead moved on to the field and started erecting the army bell tents, ridge tents and marquees. They also screened and prepared the ground for latrines as well. The estate woodmen brought in a supply of dry wood for cooking and the campfires. R.H. Whites mineral water supplies from Slough brought in a whole load of lemonade and Corona drinks as well.

The map above has been laid out as I remember the field structure at that time:

1.   Was an orchard the my great grandfather had planted with beautiful Cox's Orange Pipens, Blenheim Orange Apples and the good old Bramley Seedling Cooking apples. There were Bartlett Pears, Victoria Plums, Damsons and even a couple of Quince trees.

2.    Was a double fenced cart track so cattle could be moved from pasture to pasture.

3.   Was the farm dairy where the boys could fill their churn with fresh milk every day.

4.   Water trough with tap that was the source of fresh water.

5.   Was the Mess tent that doubled as chapel on Sunday's, also where they use to entertain with shadow plays I remember.

6.   This was the cook marquee kitchen and stores area.

7.   Was where the evening camp fires and sing songs were held

8.   The four ridge tents were for the six leaders and one was reserved for a hospital tent. Which was used by one boy who was suffering from bad sunburn.

9.   Were the Latrines that were moved to a different spot every week.

10.   Were the army bell tents that housed the 90 boys. All general commands were given by the use of a bugle. For wake up, meals, and lights out at night. 

I can still remember the name of their senior leader, he was a Mr. Alfred J. Lamb. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Church Rood Screen.

The Rood Screen.
The second weekend in October in Canada is always known as "Thanksgiving." This got me casting my mind back to when Holy Trinity in Cookham use to have a beautiful hand carved oak Rood Screen, which had been in the church for a good many years.

At Harvest Festival the church was always  well decorated with garden produce and also baked goods, especially loaves of bread. All of which on the Monday was collected and given to the local hospitals in Maidenhead.

Local farmers would supply the traditional sheaves of wheat, oats and barley, which would be placed along the Rood Screen, the Font and either side of the Church Porch.

Again it was one of the reasons that included the recipe at this time for The English Cottage Loaf is included. There was always a very large one that sat pride of place on the Alter.