Memories of Little Kingshill

Walking was the usual way of getting around, although on Saturdays a pony and trap ran through the village. This eventually led to a horse and brake which could carry seven people at a time. For private use one could hire a horse and brougham from the Nag's Head Inn. The noise of the horns and bugles could be heard in Little Kingshill when the stage coach passed through Great Missenden. The horses were changed at the White Lion. Little Kingshill was a small village but in many tvays self-sufficient with two shops (one was also the bakery, and the old bread ovens were pulled down in L973 to make way for more new houses), two public louses, a home laundry, a village hall, the old day school and also a private day and boarding school called St Christopher's. In a house near the common a bodger used to turn chair legs for the famous Windsor chairs made in High Wycombe and sent to London by horse and cart.
Those who were children early this century mostly remember the highlights of a year as May Day with the Maypole, Empire Day and other festivals. Sundays were also very important when everyone attended Church or Chapel in their best clothes, often twice a day. The Baptist Church in the village was always full upstairs and downstairs. Prizes were given for regular attendance. Little Kingshill formed a Women's Institute just after the first World War and the Cricket Club was also formed over sixty years ago.
Great Missenden was, we thought, a gay place. At the rear of the George Hotel was a cage in which the drunken men were kept overnight before they faced court in the morning.
The District Nurse lived in Great Missenden and she rode a bicycle before owning a car. As she had to be fetched by walking or cycling it could be quite a time before she reached the patient in any emergency. Cycling became a popular pastime and one notable always rode a penny-farthing.
There have never been any street lights in Little Kingshill but one member's father was the lamplighter in High Wycombe and lit every gas lamp with the long pole every night.

Members of Little Kingshill

Extracted from 'A Pattern of Hundreds'(1975) with the kind permission of the Buckinghamshire Federation of Women's Institutes