Ballinger & South Heath

Standing on the hills above Great Missenden are the pleasantly rural villages of Ballinger and South Heath. The small village church of St Marys at Ballinger is very quaint and old and has been carefully looked after through the many years by devoted villagers.
The Ballinger War Memorial Hall gives quite a lot of entertainment, as this is the meeting place of many societies. This hall has given much pleasure to many of us who have lived in the community all our lives. As children we were very lucky as Ballinger Grange was a large Boarding School and the teachers would give up their Saturday afternoons to teach us to dance and take part in plays which were held in the Memorial Hall, as were the most wonderful Christmas parties.

We have had many good craftsmen in the locality. Some of the most fascinating were those that laid hedges and thatched haystacks. Fortunately the craft of hedge-laying seems to be returning, and together with the new wild life conservation these hedges are giving our wild birds more cover.

Ballinger also had a very good blacksmith, and in South Heath we had one of the early lace-makers. This craft again is reviving with various groups locally.
We had wonderful cherry orchards, especially in Ballinger, and the crops were excellent. As children we used to go and get baskets full for preserving and making the famous Black Cherry Pies. These were the boast of the local housewives. Now sadly just a few skeleton trees remain.

A ghostly story of South Heath is told that on a certain night a coach and four horses drives from behind Bury Farm in Potter Row down the driveway across the road and disappears into the mists of the field beyond.

Article written by members of the Buckinghamshire Federation of Women's Institutes for the publication "The Buckinghamshire Village Book" (1987) and reproduced here with their permission

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