Memories of Chackmore

Chackmore is a little village off Stowe Avenue. In its centre is an elm tree, of which this saying has been handed down for generations:— 'if no baby is born in the village during a year the tree will fall down'. It still stands! In my childhood the village had a carrier who set out on a Saturday morning with his four-wheeled cart, pulled by a fine chestnut horse, for Dadford, three miles away. He collected shopping orders and sometimes passengers from both villages, journeyed back to Chackmore and on to Buckingham to pick up the shopping which he delivered from house to house in the afternoon.
At Whitsun we looked forward to the gipsies invading a farmer's field with roundabouts and all the fun of the fair.
The annual Harvest Supper was a great event. My mother cooked a huge ham in her copper, and salt beef in the big boiler on the old black grate. Barrels of beer were rolled up to the farmyard from the Queen's Head inn. Then dancing followed in the gaily decorated barn.
On Boxing Day we always greeted the arrival of 'the Mummers' with the dancing bear and moneybox.
On a Saturday morning children walked the three miles to a Stowe farm to purchase half a gallon of skim milk for twopence to make the Sunday milk puddings.

F.M. Fricker, Dadford

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