Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jack Smith Butcher 1958.

Cookham High Street 1958.
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From photos of the late 1800's up to today, a great deal of the village has changed very little. Where changes have been allowed to take place, the structures stand out like a sore thumb.
Another item in this photo is the Morris Station wagon car. In that period British made cars were in full production with a good export market. Harry Ferguson had made a hit with the British farming community and being produced for him by the Standard Motor Company. His revolutionary hydraulic system on these tractors were way ahead of his time and lead to a big legal battle with Henry Ford, which in the end he won.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Foggy 1870's day in Cookham

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A Foggy 1870's day in Cookham.
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We now take a look at the village high street looking towards the east in the 1870's on what appears to be a foggy day. The barn at the left of the photo is where my grandfather use to hold his famous smoking parties with his friends around a barrel of local beer and also entertain each other with country folk songs. From what I was told one of the men would keep an eye on the farmhouse door through at knot hole in the barn to see when my grandmother was walking across the farmyard to find out what was going on. I gather she took a dim view of these gatherings.


On the right is The Kings Arms Hotel of which my great grandfather was once the landlord. At the far end of the village is Wisteria Cottage, which my grandmother moved to after she sold Ovey's Farm in 1915 after the death of my grandfather.



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lost Spencer Landscape

Widbrook Stream 1934.
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Somewhere in this world is a missing landscape painting by the late Sir Stanley Spencer. The photo above is showing the same scene of the painting, except there would be leaves on the willow trees. As he often called them one of his "Pot Boilers." who were then sold on by Dudley Tooth his agent at that time.

Why do I know so much about this painting. I am the only person still living that remembers Stanley painting this particular landscape, as it was only located about 200 yards from my old home at Widbrook.

Stanley grew up with my father and his sisters, living just across the road from my grandfather's Ovey's Farm in the village high street. Quite often he would visit my Aunt Amy Field on a Sunday afternoon for tea, where a lot of reminiscing of old village life would take place.

If someone knows where this oil painting is today, please let the Spencer Gallery in Cookham know, so that they may update a hole in their records.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The old Butcher's (Circa 1870).
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We now have the opportunity to go back into the village high street around 1870 and take a look at one of two butcher’s shops that existed in the village at that time. For the more recent residents and visitors to the village, it is now called “The Old Butcher’s Wine Cellar.”
If you look closely at the picture you will notice a black and white dog by the door, eying a leg of lamb hanging on the door frame just out of reach.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Her Majesty Mary, Queen Consort.

Her Majesty Mary, Queen Consort.
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I was looking back to the 1930's recently and another Jubilee, that of King George V and his Consort, Queen Mary. I came across this photo, which bares a remarkable resemblance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as she celebrates her Diamond Jubilee.

I remember very well that Her Majesty use to refer to her grandfather as "Grandpa England."