Memories of Lacey Green

Mrs Adams was born in Lacey Green eighty-five years ago and still lives in the house the family moved to when she was three years old. Her father was a travelling chair-man, journeying far to obtain orders for chairs, but he died when his daughter was not much over eight years of age. In order not to accept the Parish Charity and be known as a pauper, she and her mother made lace or did beadwork so as to pay their way. Lace makers earned ½d  or ¾d per hour and supplied the cottons, but beadwork paid more, and Mrs Adams can remember sitting up all night with three others round a table, all working on one dress which was required for a particular time for the theatre. A very small needle was used for bead work, made of steel but called a 'straw needle'. When young she used to suffer from toothache and found that if she stuck a needle into the tooth it used to ease the pain. Eventually she went to the dentist and had the tooth removed and the dentist showed her the tooth with half a beading needle still in it.

F.H. Adams, Loosley Row & Lacey Green

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