Memories of Langley

I was born in Langley, Bucks, in March 1924 and have lived in Bucks the best part of my life. We used to walk through fields and over the farm land which stretched for miles around and wander along the stream running into Datchet. Over the last few years many houses and new housing estates have been built
£ and all farms and fields done away with. In the village there was a blacksmith in a tiny row of houses, now turned into a block of modern houses, and also a home-made bakery which was there for years. It was run by Mr and Mrs Rymes and family. They are quite old now.
Nearby was a quaint cottage and some old-fashioned public houses, one called the Plough. Also in the village were a sweet shop, food shop and a greengrocer which have now been furnished with more modern fronts. The old police station has been done away with and a modern one put up in the main High Street. On the whole the village of Langley has become more than a village and some of the Langley residents who have lived there all their lives have seen many changes. We have a Free Church in the village and also a really old church, called St Mary's. On the Langley Road, there was a big childrens' orphanage which has now been demolished. Nearby was the Research Station. The cobbler is still there, the business passed on to son from father.

In the village stood a very big house and estate belonging to the late Mr and Mrs Hillier, and every year there was a big fete and sports in the grounds. It has been made into a big convent, with very high walls around.

Now we have a big oil depot at Langley station. The big Hawker airfield has been turned into a Ford's motor factory and recently the new Hotel Inn has gone up on what used to be farm land. On the whole we are now a very modern village with six foster homes on the LCC estate, three in Blandford Road and three in Langley High Street run by the Hammersmith Borough. In each home are seven children of different age groups up to eighteen years old. We have many big modern schools and the area is really built up. But we still have a good many old Langley residents and a few familiar things left in our village.

M.W. Holding, Langley Marish

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