Memories of Medmenham

My parents and I came to Buckinghamshire in 1921.

On our way we observed four cottages. In large white-washed lettering were the words 'I BE TO LET', on the next cottage 'SO BE I', on the next 'I BAINT' and on the fourth cottage, 'NOR BAIN'T I'. We thought this highly amusing, but as time went on we found this was typical Buckinghamshire dialect. At school I could not understand when there were arguments amongst the children, some would say •Letter B', meaning 'Let 'er be'.
For many years there was a bib factory in Marlow. Round about 1917 there was a fire which damaged the factory but all who worked there managed to carry on, including my husband's cousin Bella who used to make bibs for twopence a dozen. There were bibs for the rich and bibs for the poor, the best bibs were made of silk and satin and were made for sixpence a dozen.

In 1925 my mother joined Medmenham WI where she learnt to make her own soap and to cure rabbit skins. When the skins were completed they were made into gloves for my sister and me.

Mary Mitchell, Medmenham

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

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