Memories of Hanslope

I was born in Hanslope and I remember so well the Hanslope growing of corn by all the allotment holders. My father worked in the Railway Works at Wolverton. About the month of August when the corn was ready, he used to have to go straight from work to the allotments where my two sisters and I met him with his tea so that he could start right away to cut the corn with a sickle. This was a slow job, and we children used to have to help tie up the corn. But the event that pleased us was when the corn was thrashed on a Saturday with the old thrashing engine. All the children gathered in the field and we had an exciting day with all our fathers, finishing the day with their own sacks of corn.
As my father worked in the Railway Works he had a railway pass, so we could afford to visit relatives in Derbyshire. But the exciting start to the holiday was riding to Castlethorpe station in an open landau, hired from a man in the village.

Emily Mary Reeves, Hanslope

I remember the celebrations that took place on Empire Day, 24 May, at school. After the calling of the register we assembled in the playground where the Union Jack was hoisted. We then had a good singsong of patriotic songs such as 'British Grenadiers', 'Hearts of Oak', 'Rule Britannia', 'God Bless the Prince of Wales'.
Lessons would continue. After dinner we went to school dressed in our second-best clothes. The school choir gave a special recital and we had country dancing. The high light of the day was the presentation of the Empire Day medals.
A 'Nobility' of the village was asked to make the presentations and these medals were given to the boys and girls who had come top in their classroom exams. These medals were made of what looked like aluminium, slotted at the top to hold a ribbon of red, white and blue colour. For Class 6 there was a bronze medal.
Children who had won medals in previous years wore them with great pride.

Evelyn Cadwell, Hanslope


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