Monday 28 December 2020

Edward Littleton Vaughan - Village Benefactor

Edward L Vaughan
An outstanding benefactor to Eton Wick village, Edward Littleton Vaughan known to everyone as 'Toddy' but not to his face, was an Eton College Classics master. He lived 89 years from 1852 to 1870 and was unmarried until he was 70 years old. He spent most of his life living at Eton, but it was to Eton Wick that he spent his money and constant support.

He was an Eton College boy in Oscar Browning's house between 1865 and 1870 before going to Balliol College, Oxford for 4 years. From there he went to Leipzig University, returning to Eton as a master after 2 years, the year was 1876 and apart from a small break he remained at Eton College until 1919, a spell of 43 years.

Long before this he had become involved with Eton Wick, but for the moment we will stay with `Toddy' at College. After 8 years as an Eton College master, when he was 33 years old, he became a House Master for 29 years, until 1913. In fact, he did not marry until 1921, two years after his retirement at 68 years. His Irish Bride was Miss Dorothea Waller and when he went on his honeymoon to France, he found time to bring back unusual little gifts to all the Eton Wick school children. My sister had a pen or pencil, through which it was possible to see an image of the Eiffel Tower when held to the light, certainly a novelty in 1921.

Willowbrook (off the Slough Road); Eton was his home for the latter years of his life, and it was built for him. From Willowbrook he served as Secretary to the Old Etonian Association; and after the Great War (WWI) he worked with immense industry to compile a record of Old Etonians killed in that war. You may think that is not a big deal; but when we recall that 5,610 Etonians served in the forces in 1914-18, that 1,124 lost their lives (20%) another 1,068 were wounded. 13 gained Victoria crosses; 554 Military Crosses, 407 DSO besides many other awards, we should perhaps pause to acknowledge the work that Toddy undertook in himself acknowledging the price the College paid in human life.

I am sure this is enough of the background of 'Toddy' except to speculate that as is generally believed, the College Masters make their money by being Housemaster; then perhaps Mr Vaughan was particularly blessed with having been a housemaster for 29 years.

His generosity to the village is certainly on record back into the 1880's when he was still quite young and only recently a housemaster. There is no evidence that he lived in the village house so long associated with him – Wheatbutts Cottage. He did however live in Boveney. This was reputably either 'Brookside' or 'Boveney Cottage', probably one and the same.

The year that Edward Littleton Vaughan became housemaster (1884) and was 33 years old, coincided with the immense change at Eton Wick. Until this time Eton Wick ended at and before this, only the Shepherds' Hut public house and two farm cottages in Bell Lane which in fact straddled the village boundary, i.e. in Boveney/Burnham

About this time Mr Vaughan acquired Wheatbutts Cottage and Paddock/Orchard on leasehold and in the following year used the property to benefit the village. It was suggested that he consider himself the Squire of the Wick. This was in 'Etoniana'. It is not really my view, but he earned the title. From 1894-1934 the village had its own Rural Council, and for the first 20 years he was its Chairman. Mostly meetings were held at the Wheatbutts, yet he never lived in the house, Special meetings were held at the new school, when the old ceased to serve as an Institute in 1903 due to redevelopment. The village rifle club met at the Wheatbutts regularly. The District Nurse lived in a Thatched Bungalow at the Wheatbutts field. Tenants of cottage included Teddy Watson, farmer and during WWII (after Toddy's death) David Niven.

In 1919 the owners—Eton Poor Estate—put the property up for sale"– Toddy then bought it.

When young we think everybody aged 50 is very old and cannot ever imagine them ever to have been young (or perhaps less miserable. I am sure that all who remember Mr Vaughan suffer from this; and my memory is of a shortish, smartly dressed man, lame with a stick and perhaps a little bit frightening.

What a terrible pity, because I now know that this short man stood taller than most of us . I was once told that a riding accident had caused the lameness, and although this is generally accepted, there was more to my informants’ story than I have proof of. As a young man, perhaps after his return to College in 1876, he liked to ride his horse over private jumps in the water meadow below Eton Wick Recreation ground of today. This land belonged to Boveney Court Farm and Mr Vaughan was told not to trespass. Being the determined character he always was, he ignored the cautions. One day both Mr Vaughan and his horse were brought down by chains suspended across the jumps. The year and the confirmation of this event I have not been able to prove.

The first mention of his help to the village that I have yet found is 1884, the year he became a housemaster. In March 1884 we read in the Parish Magazine; on Sunday Schools 2 Classes for children of trades people at 2.15 at the Eton Vicarage. At 2pm for young men under the Reverend Norris and at 3pm. For lads by Miss Vaughan ,4pm. For girls over 14 years by Miss Vaughan both held at Mr Vaughan's house in Eton College. Was there a connection here between the Vaughan’s?

 In 1888 the Old School was closed (on the site of Chantlers' Stores at the top of the Walk) after 48 years and a new school was opened in Sheepcote Road. The old building was made available as an Institute and Working Mens' Club the following year for £10 a year rent. It was opened with membership fee of one shilling and two pence or three pence a week charged. There were 46 members at the outset. Mr Vaughan gave a large wall map to the club. It is believed that Mr Vaughan was resolved to see Eton Wick and the Boveney (new one village in

Queen Victoria Jubilee Oak Tree
image courtesy of Google maps
all things. In 1898 he planted the oak tree on The Common to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. In 1904 the old school was purchased with intent to build a purpose shop on the site for Pratt of Eton for his son. Of course, this disrupted the successful Institute and a committee explored means of building a new premise. Mr Vaughan generously offered to take a long lease on Wheatbutts where an Institute could be built or give a site on his property in the N.E. corner. In October 1905 a meeting held in the school room agreed to the loss of Lammas Rights on the proposed plat next to the allotments. By this time (1905) he was giving annual treats at the school, with pupil entertainment, tea, cakes, crackers and presents all round, at the end Buns, oranges and chocolates.

He gave the land and the very fine Institute to the village, and being on the border of the two villages it was fittingly named Eton Wick and Boveney Institute — now of course , The Village Hall.

The things that he gave were ongoing — every year a Christmas tree; school treats etc. He once claimed to know all the school childrens' names. He was President of three football club and a vice-president of the cricket club. He provided the site for the Scouts but and took a major role in the formation of the scouts and wolf cubs. On occasions he motored the Cubs and Guides to camp and would pay for the poor to go. When the football club won a cup, he gave them all a dinner in the Three Horseshoes pub.

The Horticultural show was always held in his orchard (Wheatbutts) and he usually attended, made a speech, and presented the prizes. The creation of Eton Wick and Boveney Womens Institute and the Library were due to his efforts. Not once, but several times he created a Boy's Club here.

In the mid-1930's, despite being over 80 years he urged a Les Moreley and a Guards sergeant to form another Boy's Club. He often visited himself until in 1937 Les Moreley left to work at the newly built Slough Centre in the Farnham Road.

Dorothea Vaughan

Unfortunately, most youngsters of this era were a bit intimidated by 'Toddy' and tried to avoid playing him at Shove-a‘ penny, Lexicon or draughts. He attended the village church services and always read the lessons. The services came to a halt while he hobbled back to his seat. Eton Wick and Eton College were his two loves until he married and then Dorothea was added to them. We owe him much, the village hall, the magnificent tree on the common, his many kindnesses throughout his adult life and above all his influence on the community.

Dorothea was herself an equally determine lady, and she played an important role in the village. After the war I wrote to her on behalf of the Youth Club — she was President — for permission to sell a vaulting horse and box and other gym items that were no longer used in the hall. Back came a strong letter saying "No" My husband equipped the hall for boys to use, I should see they use it, no excuses, and while I was at it I should use my influence with members to go home and educate younger brothers and sisters not to break fences (Wheatbutts) not to throw rubbish in the stream etc..

On one occasion she attended a meeting of the club (She was terribly deaf in old age) and I reported that I had been asked to represent the club at a National Boys Club meeting to be held at Aylesbury. I could not possibly attend; it was an afternoon in mid-week, and I was working on the Slough Trading estate. She made no indication of having heard a word but imagine my surprise a few weeks later when I was asked who was the frail old lady who found her way to the Aylesbury meeting and gave them all a dressing down for calling an inter club meeting at a time unsuitable for working representatives. She once said to me, I decided to buy all new chairs for the Hall, I told my husband and he replied, "Good I will tell you where to get them". She then said, "No you will not, I am paying, I am Irish and I will have them sent here from Ireland" Those two small examples give some indication of her strong nature. She was president of the Womens Institute at one time. Wheatbutts was left to Dorothea and eventually purchased by Eton College in 1953. Since then, Wheatbutts was occupied by a college master. The field was later sold as a building site around the early 1980's.

An article by Frank Bond

Monday 21 December 2020

Photographic History - Village Characters - Councillor Ronald Clibbon

Ron Clibbon cuts the ribbon on the seat presented to the village by the Eton Wick and Boveney Women's Institute to mark the Buckinghamshire Federation's 50th anniversary in 1970. The Institute members in the photograph are, from the left: Mrs Attride, Mrs Kohler, Mrs Willsher, Mrs Hessey, Miss Banister, Mrs Joan Jones, Mrs Wilson, two other people are hidden from the camera, Mr Clibbon, Mrs Wyeth, Mrs Leary and Mrs Paintin. 

Ron Clibbon first became a councillor with Eton Urban District Council in 1949/51, and again from 1953 until 1974 when the E.U.D.C. became the Eton Town Council. He served as a Buckinghamshire County Councillor from 1964 until 1975, and then a Berkshire County Councillor. He was Chairman of Finance from 1974 to 1977. He was also a Justice of the Peace from 1959 to 1987; a member of Berkshire Magistrates Courts Committee 1975/87, a member of Thames Valley Police Authority 1974/87 (Chairman 1977/85) and a member of the Police Council for the U.K. 1983/8. He was the Secretary and Treasurer of the Eton Wick Village Hall Committee 1964/72 and Chairman of the Royal Albert Institute Trust in 1983. He was appointed Deputy Lord Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire in 1982.

Tuesday 15 December 2020

World War 2 Eighty Years On - December 1940

Wednesday December 4th.

At about 8 pm. bombs fell on the G.W.R. goods yard at Windsor. Damage to coal wagons scattered timber, coal and trucks over a wide area. One wagon thrown into the air was propelled with its contents onto the roofs of the neighbouring buildings. Shops in the Goswells and Bridgewater Terrace, Windsor were damaged, also windows in Thames street were shattered by the blast. Two bombs fell on Eton College buildings, one on Savile House in Westons Yard, the home of the College Music and Choirmaster Dr. Henry Ley. The other bomb fell just outside the entrance to the Headmaster’s room. This bomb was of delayed action, its presence not being discovered until several hours later. The first bomb exploded on impact causing severe damage to Savile House, one of the finest college buildings. It was fortunate that Dr. Ley had been detained on some minor business which had delayed him going to dinner as the dining room was completely destroyed.  

Two residents of Eton Wick, Eva Bond, and Mr Cox were at the college during the evening. Frank Bond describing the bombing said his sister Eva was employed by Dr. Ley as a servant and was working at Savile House that evening. Several bombs had dropped around the district but on hearing of the Savile House bomb I cycled furiously to Eton only to be forbidden to venture past college corner. Unable to get any information as whether there were casualties, I return home to Eton Wick. Long after my returned Eva, covered in filthy brick and plaster dust with matted hair came home in a very disturbed state. Also in the house was a young girl evacuee who, fifty years on, wrote to Eva recalling memories of the night of near disaster (Frank Bond)

Reporting later on the bombing of Eton College said that a high explosive bomb had fallen in the front garden of Savile house, residence of Dr. Henry Ley, the College Presenter. Adjoining property was damaged and windows were broken in in the buildings in Westons Yard. Fire also broke out in Savile house. Sometime later a time bomb was discovered by Mr E. Bendell, the school clerk, outside his office in the colonnade. After the alarm was raised, staff salvaged many valuable papers, books, and important records. Everyone in the vicinity were evacuated. Later when the bomb exploded stained glass windows in the chapel were broken or damaged. Damage was also sustained to the school office, the roof, and an outside wall of Upper School. Upper School built in the reign of Charles II by Christopher Wren had the names of many Etonians carved on its walls and efforts were made to collect as many pieces as possible with the view to restoration later.

Mr Cox was doing fire watch duty that evening at Walpole House, where he witnessed the following incident involving a boy who had gone for extra tutoring to another house. Returning late from this tutorial after lock up, he found his House Master, H.K. Marsden, waiting in the boys’ entrance as he entered. Within Mr Cox's hearing, the boy was given a severe dressing down. He was covered in dust but just replied “I have just had a very bad shock, Sir”, which was putting it mildly for he was on his way back and just passing the Memorial Hall when the bomb fell in Westons Yard demolishing part of the Music Master’s house and school office near the Chapel. Needless to say that once it was realized what the boy had been through he was taken care of. Mr Cox said how much he admired the young boy for the way he handled his ordeal. (Daphne Cox.)

Chapel. Needless to say that once it was realized what the boy had been through he was taken care of; Mr Cox said how much he admired the young boy for the way he handled his ordeal. (Daphne Cox) 

Evacuated to Eton Wick, George White remembered vividly the night Eton College was bombed. "I was cycling home in the dark from the cinema at Slough; suddenly, when about a half a mile from Eton, the air raid siren sounded and within a very short space of time huge high explosive bombs fell in the direction of Eton. I threw myself into a ditch at the side of the road and after possibly a minute I looked around me and saw dozens, maybe hundreds, of incendiary fires from incendiary bombs all across the fields and in the roads etc. (George White) 

December 5th. 

The unexploded bomb (UBX) which fell in the College Colonnade caused several difficulties necessitating parts of College to be evacuated and the main road to Slough closed to traffic. Later in the evening the bomb exploded causing much damage to Upper School fortunately there were no casualties. Following the bombing of Eton a letter to A.A. Command from the College Provost expressed the view that the method of A.A. defence was unskilful. There was anxiety that College buildings would be destroyed by the Anti-aircraft guns firing at enemy raiders that were merely passing over head and he was sure that falling shrapnel would cause damage to the buildings as well as being dangerous. It was of no importance where the guns were positioned as long as they did not fire, as the firing of the guns could scare the German pilots into dropping bombs on Windsor and Eton. 

Throughout December the bombing onslaught continued on London and other towns and cities throughout Britain. Whenever enemy aircraft ventured over the district came within range the anti-aircraft guns at Datchet, Burnham, Windsor Great Park and Dorney went into action. The barrage of exploding shells and occasionally exploding bombs drove some household pets and farm animals wild. Mrs Miles recalled having to take her dog to the vet to get tranquilizers for him as he would tear madly around the house madly when the guns on the common were firing. Village residents had a fear of shrapnel from the exploding shells causing casualties as well as damage to their homes, but none were ever reported from this source. 

21st. December

During the evening of the 21st. December two high explosive (H.E.) and one delayed action bomb dropped on Kinross's farm in the Windsor road Eton, causing no damage or casualties. The bombs had dropped close to the College tennis courts, one of which exploded leaving a crater 22 yards across; this was filled in with rubble by Alf Cook and Amy Armstrong, the College carters also included from previous bomb damage, utensils from the boys bedrooms. The second H.E. bomb failed to detonate and was listed as an U.X.B. (unexploded bomb). This bomb became the subject of a request from the army to the farm foreman to pull it out with the tractor. His reply in no uncertain terms, told the Army what they might do with it, and for all that is known, it might be still be there - future golfers might get a surprise!. An incendiary device also burnt out the rick yard (Jim Kinross)

A legacy from the late Sir Sydney Herbert, an old Etonian, enabled Eton College to purchase Manor Farm at Eton Wick with all its buildings, including the rights of the Manor of Eton including the Manor and its lands. This completed the package of lands bought by the college in 1929 with the help of the Eton Land Fund. Lands of the farm are scattered over South Meadow, Athens fields near the river and land near to the railway arches. With the requirement of Manor farm and the ownership of the other lands there about, it was professed that the amenities of the surrounding district would be preserved the history of the Manorial Rights and Customs of Eton gives protection as to the use of the Little Common and the Large Common that stretches from Common Road to Eton Wick. A number of fields, including the Eton College playing fields of Mesopotamia, Racket Court Field and South Meadow are subject to Lammas Rights. This gives the right to those freeholders and tenants to graze their cattle on those fields from 1st. August to the 31st. October.

Under the emergency powers given to the County War Agricultural Committees some of the common and lammas lands were taken for arable crops. The demand for food production on the home front became urgent as an increasing number of merchant ships bringing food supplies were lost to attacks by German U-Boats. Conscription and membership of the Territorial Army had taken some farm labourers from the land before it became a reserved occupation. Land Army Girls, Prisoners of War, Service personnel, Eton College boys and other volunteers were employed or gave help on local farms and horticulture holdings in the drive to produce more home-grown food.

Towards the end of the year 262 Battery left Dorney Common to be replaced by another battery and the relieving troops were probably from the London Scottish Territorial A.A. Regiment as the skirl of Bagpipes through the early morning mist is a memory of Peter Morris whilst picking mushrooms on the common.

The pipers were a complete contrast to the Burglar of 262 battery whose reveille awoke those living near to the camp. The change to the so-called skirl of the pipes had Daphne Cox as a child, asking what the horrible noise was. On occasions a column of troops from the camp with the pipers in the lead would march through the village en route to Windsor.

The tented troop accommodation of the Dorney Camp was being replaced with more permanent buildings in the form of Nissen Huts enabling the resident battery to invite the village children to a grand Christmas party. This was due to the kindness of the Commanding Officer, Major Highton, and Captain Sawyer. The party was organised with military precision, each child having a label attached to their coat and arm. The battery chefs laid on a tremendous feast. One child on seeing all the good things to eat declared to the Major, "Sir, I can hardly wait". The N.C.O.s, Officers’ wives and other lady helpers became the waiters for the feast that had been laid out on two large tables. A decorated Christmas tree, Punch and Judy Show and singing with musical accompaniment entertained the young guest. To the sound of Bugles everyone left the hut to greet Father Christmas who arrived by army lorry accompanied by the blackest clown playing a banjo and the children all received a present and a silver coin from Father Christmas.     

Air raids on British cities culminated in a heavy incendiary attack on London on December 29th. 1940 and these fires in the City area lit the sky with a red glow that was visible from Slough. The damage wrought to the buildings by the firebombs during this raid brought a Defence Order for men of 16 to 60 years to register for fire watching amounting to forty-eight hours a month. All factories, shops and offices were to station firewatchers to combat the serious threat from incendiary bombs. Men from the village working on the Trading estate were expected to do fire watching at their place of employment. Firewatchers and plane spotters were also stationed on the roof of factories to ensure that as little interference to production as possible occurred during air raid alerts. Warning to take shelter being given to those working when danger seemed imminent. Married men often entices the young single men to do their turn of night fire watching with an inducement of three shillings (15p).

This is an extract from Round and About Eton Wick: 1939 - 1945. The book was researched, written and published in 2001 by John Denham. 

Monday 7 December 2020

The Eton Wick Newsletter - April 2008 - `Our Village' Magazine - OUR NEW PLAYGROUNDS

Our children's play areas, in Stockdales Road and Haywards Mead, are being completely renovated and upgraded, thanks to a huge community effort by the Eton & Eton Wick Partnership, who have raised £110,000, and £90,000 of that goes to the village, with the remainder going to the playground in Meadow Lane at Eton. 

Eton Town Council set up the Partnership in 2004 to tackle the anti-social behaviour problems in the village centre. Thames Valley Police, the Royal Borough, Windsor Housing, Eton College and others joined them to work together, and saw the problem pretty well disappear, but they went on to do other things to help, like arranging for the extra lighting in Haywards Mead and the car park, more staffing and projects for the Youth Club, the new CCTV camera, closing the rat run at Bellsfield Court and the drinking den in the recreation ground. In all twelve separate initiatives were undertaken. 

And then came the big one. The survey undertaken in 2006 —remember - showed that our rather tired playgrounds were a big issue for many of us, with lots of Mums and Dads taking their children to newer and better playgrounds in Datchet, Windsor and beyond. So the Partnership consulted the community, particularly the schools, playgroups, child minders and the youth club and then set about raising the necessary cash. The government's South East England Development Agency matched the Partnership's efforts pound for pound, and £110,000 has been raised altogether. 

These new facilities will benefit local children, helping their problem solving, improving confidence, and providing more social opportunities for them and for the rest of us as well. Initiatives from within our community of which we can all be proud. 

Philip Highy - Mayor 

Sue Warner - Partnership Chairman 

This article was first published in the first edition of the Eton Wick Newsletter in April 2008 and is republished here with the kind permission of the publishers, the Eton Wick Village Hall committee.

There are several articles about the history of the Eton Wick Recreation Grounds that can be found on this website by clicking on this link.

The images that illustrate this article are used with the courtesy of Google Maps.

Monday 30 November 2020

Lammas Land at Eton by Robert Weatherall

Lammas. The Name comes down to us from Saxon times about a thousand years ago, Originally, it meant a
special religious feast the hlof maesse, or loaf mass, to celebrate the first fruits of the harvest. Experts disagree as to which day in the year that would be; some say August 1st., others, the 12th. Both of these probably meant the same day before the calendar was reformed in 1752. For centuries now, with us, the date has been August 1st. It is a pity that religious observances connected with the occasion have not been maintained.

With us, too, Lammas day has now lost its connection with the harvest. It is not very often that crops are ripe by August 1st.; and the feast must have been associated with some crop suitable for making into bread or cakes. That now would mean wheat: in Times past it probably meant rye, a crop which in these parts might well ripen early enough to be cut and threshed' before the end of July. One rarely sees rye growing here in these days, and never for making into bread.

At Eton, every freeholder, tenant, householder and cottager, living within the old parish boundaries possesses rights of grazing cattle on the Lammas lands. At first these rights may have extended over the grassland alone. We have to realise that in times past more land here was under the plough. Apart from small enclosures round the houses, the "in-ground", reserved for private use, the only land for grazing during the Summer was the Great and Little Commons. There were, of course, not so many cattle -then, although there would be more sheep, since sheep were needed for wool, to be spun and woven at home. Cotton was almost unknown.

Other grassland had to be cut for hay. That was how South Meadow got its name. Besides it, the low-lying Meads and Slads were used as meadows, along with other smaller patches most liable to flood. This land reserved for hay was most probably divided into strips belonging to the separate villagers, marked only by pegs in the ground. The strips of grass would be cut with scythe or sickle. What more natural than that after the hay had been carried homer the cattle and sheep, which had been grazing on the commons, should now be allowed to eat the aftermath? They were looked after by the Hayward. Notice the name; he was there to guard the hay.

How Lammas rights came to include the arable land we do not know. At Eton the rights run from August 1st. to October 31st. During the first half of this period much of the plough land is covered with corn crops, either still standing or cut and waiting to be carted home. There has never been any suggestion that the animals should wander over the fields before they have been cleared. The only exception might have been land left in fallow In many parts of the country it was the custom to let sheep graze over the fallow fields. Curiously enough, however, at Eton there is very little mention of this type of farming practice.

Similarly, Lammas rights might well have been a hindrance to the introduction of new crops, such as roots and clover, which are still in the ground in the autumn. It seems as if it was the Court Baron of 1871 which first allowed the farmers to grow turnips, and there is nothing now to prevent them growing clover. More than that, in post-war years we have seen considerable areas used for growing market garden produce, and many fruit trees and bushes have been planted, There must be some people still alive who can remember when Lammas land was first allowed to be used for allotments, as well as for the recreation Grounds, both at Eton and Eton Wick. That shows how ancient institutions can be adapted so suit modern needs.

Nevertheless, down the centuries these Lammas rights have had a great influence on the development of the parish. Thanks to them, much of the land has been kept free from building. Otherwise, the river bank might now be covered with bungalows, while Eton and Eton Wick might have become joined into one big residential district.

For a long time the only building possible was on land not subject to Lammas, chiefly on the small enclosures around the houses. That explains the compact nature of the two village centres: It also explains how difficult it has been to find new sites for the natural growth of Eton town as well as of the College, Eton Wick has been fortunate in being able to expand on to land which once belonged to Boveney, and not subject to Lammas.

Thinking along these lines one wonders how some areas are now free from Lammas. The Brocas, apparently; was always free It has a history of its own, for in Norman times it was owned by people living in Clewer. Something similar may be true of the land at Clewer Point. Perhaps at one time it was an island in the river.

The cedar tree in the Sanatorium grounds shows how long the land there has been free from Lammas; and for many years there has been an orchard at Crown Farm, much as Mr. R. Tarrant has it to-day. Along with these we must include the land on which two Eton boarding houses now stand. We do not know how these areas became free. We can guess, however, that the line of buildings along the west side of the lower part of Keate's Lane, which were once in private ownership, and the houses near the "Willow Tree" first originated in the good old English way of "squatting".

Examples of how with time and ingenuity one can get round the strict letter of the law come from the Eton town allotments. When they were first begun it was laid down that no erection should be more than eighteen inches high. Since then we have seen full-sized sheds appear, along with chicken runs and pig styes, complete with concrete floors. One plot, builder J. Platt, a stonemason, dug downwards and constructed a store place underground made of old stones from Windsor Castle and Eton College. Another plot holder, A. Dore, a wheelwright, went even further, he dug out a workplace, and for quite a time pursued his trade of making wheelbarrows and even ladders, unmolested by ancient customs.

Yet while Lammas rights have hindered building development, they have not prevented it altogether, it can be seen from the changes which have taken place in recent decades. The Church, school and churchyard at Eton Wick exist on land which almost certainly at one time was subject to Lammas. On this point, however, the records are not precise. We have clearer facts about the Pumping Station and Village Hall, and in more recent years, about the council houses at Broken Furlong and along Somerville Road. In these cases, building took place after proposals had been discussed at public meetings and proper resolutions had been passed.

The case of Bell Farm is interesting. Just before his death Mr. Robert Nason told me that the land  was at one time subject to Lammas, but when it became a sewage farm the Lammas rights were abolished the understanding that for the future no such rights should be exercised on behalf of Bell Farm in other parts of the parish.

This indicates one way in which these rights might be completely abolished. That they have continued at Eton so long while disappearing in most other parts of the country is due chiefly to the fact that no Enclosure Act was ever carried through here. All the time they have been controlled by the Eton Court Baron, under the old manorial system what land was Laminas and what was not depended on custom and the living memory of the people at the time. No old map of these areas seems to exist.

About ten years ago there was an informal, meeting arranged by J. H. Sayner, the town-planning officer, at which H. Dunce, a farmer of Eton Wick, and G. Gosling, a road-sweeper of Eton, both members of the 1908 CourtBaron, went over the map field by field saying what was and what was not subject to Lammas. This information was then embodied in the town-planning proposals and formally adopted; so now we have official regulations reinforcing the ancient rights in influencing the development of the parish.

All this may make alterations of lammas rights somewhat more difficult, but it would be a pity if customs originating, centuries ago should stultify the present life of the people. Cases in point are the two Recreation Grounds, now subject to Lammas. The question of freeing them arose as far back as 1898, when separate meetings of the parishioners of Eton Wick, the Eton Wick Parish Council and the Eton Town Council all passed resolutions in favour of the change being made, Why these resolutions were not acted upon still remains a mystery. There is no reason why the Recreation Grounds should continue under Lammas in perpetuity; and, although the problem of freeing them may seem complicated and difficult, it might well become a useful object for communal aims and action in this Festival Year. The same result, however, would be achieved if, as during last summer, the farmers were to refrain from exercising their rights on these areas, That would redound to their good sense and public spirit while producing a solution both traditional and typically British. 

Robert Weatherall

Note. It is unknown where this article was first published or when. The mention of "this Festival Year" seems to suggest 1951 as a likely date. Robert Weatherall was an Air Raid Warden during WW2 and the 1939 Register recorded that he was live at  Sanatorium Cottage at beginning of the war. He was born in 1899.

Monday 23 November 2020

Eton Wick History Group Meeting - 'PAST MANUFACTURERS AND TRADERS AND CRAFTSMEN OF ETON given on 14th July 1999

During the 1990's the Parish Magazine of Eton, Eton wick and Boveney reported on the meetings of the Eton Wick History Group. A member of the audience took shorthand notes in the darkened hall. 

History Group Meeting held on 14th July 1999

The History group audience were welcomed by Mr. Frank Bond, who was able to give news of three members who were in hospital : Mrs. Mary Gyngell had had another knee operation and was making good progress; Fred Hunt had unfortunately had a stroke; Bill Welford, too, was in hospital - we wish them well. 

Mr.Bond confirmed that the November walk would celebrate the 1849 arrival of the railways to Windsor; and he dispelled doubts caused by reference elsewhere to the date being 1848. The railway archivists would not loan their picture of the original wooden viaduct, but it is hoped that they will let it be photographed. Subscriptions for that particular evening's meeting will have to increase to £1 or perhaps £1.20. 

Mr. Bond reported the sad loss of James Kinross. Mr. Kinross had been very generous to the History Group, thus enabling the award of Eton Wick History Group Certificates and books to children at Eton Wick School. The children prepare books illustrating their impressions of Eton Wick; winners receive the Kinross Award. 

Next year's programme is under discussion and ideas for subjects would be welcomed. 

Mr. John Denham's topic for that evening's talk was 'PAST MANUFACTURERS AND TRADERS AND CRAFTSMEN OF ETON'; and it spanned the period from the mid 18th Century to the present day. 

He illustrated how, initially, trade in Eton and Eton Wick was mainly in response to the servicing demands for the College and the Castle, enhanced perhaps by Eton's proximity to London and the need to cater for visitors to the area - so, the earlier traders ran boot and shoe shops, they were tailors, butchers, hatters and milliners, watch and clock makers and cricket bat makers; they sold clay pipes and guns and sewing machines - sewing machines having been invented in Britain but developed in America. Eton High Street, from the College to the Windsor Bridge, measures just under 800 yards and in this small area trades and businesses flourished between the 15th and 20th centuries. In 1798 there were twenty-six shoe-makers (or cordwainers as they were then known) and that excluded those who dressed and tanned the leather; the 'clickers' who cut the hide were highly skilled and many went on to become merchants in their own right. Ladies, too, had their own sets of shoe-making tools. (And, did you know that when shoe buckles changed from being a fastening to a decoration, the Birmingham manufacturers had to make 20,000 employees redundant!). Mr. Denham was able to trace, with both dates and addresses, the progress of the various Eton traders and their families. To give some examples towards the end of the last century Gane's shoe shop was run by a Mr. Howard and Mr. Hunt, and their 'clicker' had space in the courtyard at the back (the courtyard also contained a waterbutt - into which a small, cheeky apprentice was dropped as a punishment); all the shop's rooms were connected with old-fashioned speaking tubes blow 3 times for Room 3 and the occupier of Room 3 would answer. Gane's provided shoes and boots for College boys and these boys often became lifelong customers, with Gane's employees attending on them at their London clubs. 

There are records of many clay pipe-makers in Eton from 1706 to 1899. (Pipe-smoking itself is referred to as early as 1573 "taking smoke from an Indian herb called tobacco" - it was very strong then and very expensive). Between 1830 and 1939 there were twenty-six tailoring businesses, seven dressmaking and millinery businesses and, of course, hat makers, hosiers, and stay-makers (ladies' corsets), etc. At 30 High Street (above the chemists) whilst the wife made hats and bonnets, the husband made barometers. 

Dressmakers started to lose trade when in 1873, Butterrick's paper patterns came from America and more ladies began to make their own clothes. The main tailor in Eton has been Tom Brown; the company was founded in 1784 and initially worked from Keate's Lane, subsequently moving to I High Street and then taking over No. 2 from Alfred Holdemess, a baker. 

15 High Street was a hosier and hatters, W V Brown - he had two employees a Mr. New and Miss Lingwood, who in 1865 decided to set up in opposition -hence 'New and Lingwood'. An employee of W V Brown and then New and Lingwood, for 60 years, was Solomon (i.e. John Thomas Harris), a 'lusher' of top hats he ironed silk top hats in a little den in the shop! 19 High Street was a hairdresser's (Henry Jeffries) in 1890 and still operates as a hairdressers today Murrays of Eton). Then, of course, there was Willis and Son at the cycle depot but that, as Mr. Denham said "is another story for another day," 

Eton trades index

The following  talk, on 29th September 1999, was on 'THE FIRES AND RESTORATION OF WINDSOR CASTLE' with Sheila and Patrick Rooney. 

The list of talks arranged by the Eton Wick History Group can be found by clicking on the Programme of Talks tab at the top of this page.

Monday 16 November 2020

World War 2 Eighty Years On - November 1940


Several well-known public figures came to live in the district during the war, among them film actors Wilfred Hyde White and David Niven took residence in Dorney. David Niven, recently married and serving in the army, lived at Flaxford, Dorney, moving later into the Wheatbutts, Eton Wick with his young family.

Friday November 8th.     

During the night, bombs dropped in Windsor Great Park damaged one of the lodges and killing a young boy.

Friday November 15th. 

A heavy night raid on London brought German aircraft approaching from the west over Windsor. Intense anti-aircraft fire resulted in the enemy dropping 400 incendiary bombs which rained down on Clarence Road, Arthur Road, The Goswells and Riverway area of the town. Thirty two fires were started and some injuries inflicted. Fires were started at Eton College when fire bombs fell on the roofs of Warre School and Drill Hall Schools. The outbreaks were initially dealt with by Etonians and wardens with stirrup pumps until the arrival of the A.F.S.. Enemy bombers commencing their bombing run west of London encountered a hostile reception from the locally sited guns. Residents of Windsor and Eton reported damage to the roofs of houses and the wrecking of several greenhouses due to shrapnel falling from the exploding shells.   

Monday 9 November 2020

Photographic History - Village Characters - Harry Cook and Bill Sharp

Harry (left) and Bill were both very keen gardeners and accustomed to being on the winner's rostrum. Here they are pictured as Allotment Holders Prize Winners c1970. Harry ran a small general building and decorating business from his premises in Alma Road. He was a very keen cricketer and was the regular wicket keeper for Eton Wick Cricket Club. He was also an untiring worker for the Methodist Chapel. Both men were very popular in the community. 

This article was first published in A Pictorial History of Eton Wick & Eton.

Monday 2 November 2020

The Eton Wick Newsletter - December 2018 - `Our Village' Magazine - Frank Bond's Last Article

As the year of 2018 draws to a close we are left to reflect on the many reminders we have had of it being the Centenary of the end of the Great War of 1914 - 1918. and the many times we have heard We Shall Remember Them' when of course no living person could possibly remember those who made the supreme sacrifice of that war. In actual tact there are not many alive today who can remember those who came back from that war. Perhaps more correctly we should say We Commemorate their Endeavours'. It was not just the fighting; but the conditions under which they fought and endured that fostered the belief there would never be another world war. What a sad delusion: as of course there was 21 years later. There are now few survivors of the armed forces of that Second World War. In the year 2005 over fifty ex-servicemen and women of Eton Wick attended a very memorable Dinner and Celebration in the Village Hall to mark the 60th Anniversary of the end of WW2. Now at this time of writing. in Spring of 2018. there are only five of that gathering still living among us, and three of those are unable to get about unaided. 

All wars are very different and, by the nature of things commanded by men who gained their position by very creditable service in an earlier conflict. Many senior officers of the Great War (1914 - 1918) had been cavalry officers during the late 19th century African wars and found little opportunity in the present static. entrenched and muddy terrain of Flanders. WW2 had none of this. and largely depended on tanks and great fleets of aircraft. Life in Eton Wick and elsewhere changed considerably after these wars. Before 1914 it is doubtful if many local people had ever seen the sea or had a holiday away from home. Probably the majority had never been in a motor vehicle of any description, given that Eton Wick's first car was in 1907 and the first village bus in 1922. Those who did have a holiday would very likely have stayed with relatives or at a bed and breakfast guest house. It would seem that hotels were not considered for working people, probably beyond their means and above their station. Apart from the Hi Di Hi Butlin's Camps it was not until after WW2 that package holidays and air travel became possible for all. 

Undoubtedly the necessary wartime advances of aviation opened up this mode of travel to places undreamed of just a few years earlier. Until the late 1920's an annual Sunday School outing for children locally meant going to Burnham Beeches by horse and cart. Although it must have required considerable cleaning. coal merchant carts were much preferred: as the platforms were appreciably lower and larger than other trader's vehicles. Not only were the horses and carts generously provided. but the traders themselves were obliged to give their lime driving to and fro. In many ways neighbourly generosity was more readily given at times when all the villagers knew each other. The slowness of the procession of carts determined the destination; and only after the early 1930's, when motor coaches replaced the horses, was it possible to go to sea resorts. 

Pubs also had annual coach outings and usually chose horse race meetings or the seaside; having a half-way roadside stop for a customary drink or Iwo. My father. I think. never did have a holiday or see the sea. He once told me he took time away from his village greengrocery round to go to Sussex to meet his future in-laws. The occasion was too much for him. and he suffered a raging toothache until he returned to Eton Wick. 

This period between the World Wars. 1918 —1939, was probably the time most enjoyed by the proliferation of clubs, associations and general participation. Every village had its pub and often more than it needed. Every pub and hall had its piano and every church its choir and bell ringer. Now TVs have ousted the pianos and general car ownership has contributed to the decline of village sports teams, variety groups etc. Rarely does a church bell ring, and if it did I am sure the hum of traffic and the aircraft overhead would dim the 'ding dong'. Sadly, few churches have choirs and Sunday Schools, and yet I still get asked by villagers "have there been any changes?" 

I was serving on an RAF station as the Second World War was drawing to a close and, probably as a well intentional scheme to prepare us for the return to civilian life, we had compulsory weekly discussion groups related to appropriate topics. At one meeting we were told there would be more cars and that they would not all be black but of almost any practical colour. What rubbish we all thought, cars, like cycles, had to be black. At another meeting we were told about the new material of plastic: how that too would be any colour, and that even doors and window frames may well be made of plastic. Never, never we mused. One talk involved an officer asking us what we planned to do as civilians; When he asked me I said I thought of going to Australia to forge a new life. The officer bawled me out saying we all had a duty to rebuild our own country. To me it was enough that we had all spent our youth in uniform for the past five years: never thinking that I would return to my birthplace and be content to stay there. 

Most of the old ways were about to go, and electricity brought in its wake TV's. music centres. washing machines. refrigerators. tumble driers, central heating and so much more that pre-war women had never dreamed of. Even the simple ball pen. jeans and nylon are all post WW2 products. However, there is usually a price exacted for the gains we enjoy, and surely the biggest price is yet to be felt, as ever more of our younger citizens turn to social media and their mobile phone, in preference to face to face conversing. 

Many wartime service men and women actually appreciated amenities never experienced in their old rural homes; shower baths, bathrooms and flush toilets were all new to me and became 'must haves' after the service years. Of course active service and some overseas postings were at best primitive, but now better forgotten. 

Certainly, after WW2 and despite its many long-lasting shortages the local emphasis was on home building, and the Eton Wick population more than doubled as the years passed by. 

Much of this drive I credit to ex-servicemen who were not necessarily pre-war Wickers' but who came here with a job to do. This must include Jim Ireland who went on to build many of the privately owned houses, as distinct from the Council Estates of Boveney New Road. Colenorton Crescent, Stockdales and Haywards Mead. Council built homes were not entirely a new idea. but on the cease of post WW2 certainly were for Eton and Eton Wick. The first Council houses for Eton Wick (1924) were the eight houses we know as South View immediately west of the relief road bridge. They were allocated to families of ex-servicemen of the 1914 -1918 war. Apart from the Somerville Road houses built for Eton Town in the mid 1920's I cannot think of any more Council homes for the village until 1939 when houses and bungalows were built at Vaughan Gardens and in 1945 the last year of WW2 when twelve prefabricated bungalow dwellings were erected alongside Vaughan Gardens. This now being the site of the shop parade that includes the Pet Shop and Bellsfield Court flats. 

Frank Bond 

A note from Joan Neighbour, the editor of Our Village;

Dear Frank Bond was always one or two articles ahead of me, and this is the last one he had written before he passed away in April 2018.

Monday 26 October 2020

Neolithic Crop Marking on South Field, Eton Wick.

South Field - Courtesy of Google Map

In 1984 an archaeological dig and field walk led by Steven Ford was undertaken to investigate an area of crop markings that became visible in Eton Wick's South Field on aerial photographs taken in May 1976. These crop markings are currently visible on Google Maps satellite view.

The summary of the report about the excavation that was published in the Berkshire Archeological Journal, Volume 74, 1991-3 states;

Six trial trenches were excavated across various cropmarks in 1984-5. A ditch terminal of a Neolithic causewayed enclosure, Late Bronze Age ditches, and a probable Late Iron Age enclosure were identified, along with another enclosure of prehistoric date. 

 Site map courtesy of the Berkshire Archeological Journal

Artefacts recovered included pottery shards, flints and animal bones including an antler comb.

The discovery of a Neolithic community near the north bank of the River Thames revealed that Eton Wick has a history that dates back over 5,500 years!

The full report can be read on the Archaeology Data Service website. 

Historic England's PastScape website also has information on the causewayed enclosure at Eton Wick.

Towards a New Stone Age: aspects of the Neolithic in south-east England. This book places the site at South Field, Eton Wick in a broader context was published by the Council for British Archaeology in 2004 edited by Jonathan Cotton and David Field.

Thursday 22 October 2020

World War 2 Eighty Years On - October 1940

Air activity during September increased the frequency of daytime alerts for the district followed by an increased number of high explosive bombs being dropped.

Parents were concerned for the safety of their children and complained bitterly to the Eton UDC about the provision of shelters for the school. The Council made another strong   appeal to the Bucks Education authority, also to the Secretary for Education to remedy the situation. Both authorities replied that it was impossible to provide shelters for Eton Wick schools at this time, but it would be done as soon as possible. With the view to erecting air raid shelters an architect surveyed the school building but months were to elapse before shelters in the Wick were sanctioned and completed.

A canvas of Eton Wick householders resulted in 57 applications for Anderson or Morrison shelters. Eventually the Surveyor reported that sanction had been obtained from the Ministry for the erection of 48 and 24-person communal shelters at the following sites.

Sheepcote Road                                             one for 24 persons

The Walk                                                         one for 48 persons, one for 24 persons

Common Road                                                one for 48 persons

Leeson Gardens                                              one for 24 persons

Alma Road                                                       four for 24 persons

Northfield Road                                                two for 24 persons

Air raid shelters for Eton were located at:-

The College Arms public house                       80 persons

Barnes Pool                                                    100 persons

Eton College Boat House                                 75 persons

Newlands, High Street, Eton.                           25 persons

Arches of the railway viaduct                           50 persons

The railway viaduct, a half mile from Eton Wick, was not thought to be practicable and was never used by the village school. One hundred and seventeen applications were received by the Eton UDC for help with domestic air raid precautions. Materials were supplied in 58 cases and work was carried out in another 23. At Broken Furlong and Vaughan Gardens it was advised to use the archways through the houses as a communal shelter in each block.

A substantial underground shelter was constructed at Bell Farm, Eton Wick.

Sunday October 6th.

About 4.30 p.m. a German twin engine bomber dived out of the clouds near the Slough Trading Estate and machined-gunned the town in several places. Light ack-ack (40mm Bofors) batteries opened fire as the enemy flying through driving rain South of the Bath Road, passed unharmed through the Balloon Barrage to drop several bombs causing damage to property. There had been several small raids during the day to bomb airfields in Southern England and the intended target was possibly the Hawker Aircraft factory at Langley.

Sunday October 13th.   

Five elderly residents lost their lives and several were injured when two high explosive bombsfell on Brook Path, Cippenham, demolishing cottages for Aged People.

A clear moonlight night after the fog and rain of the weekend brought 400 German aircraft to bomb London. Enemy aircraft passing over the village drew fire from the surrounding anti-aircraft batteries lasting into the early hours. At 8.30am the sirens again sounded the alert, the all clear sounding at 9.25 am.

Tuesday October 22nd. 

During the evening several bombs fell on Windsor in the vicinity of Peascod Street and the back of W.H. Smith in Thames Street. Later a single bomb fell outside the Princess Christians Nursing Home, Clarence Road causing some   damage. Others fell in the Castle grounds, damaging the Golf course and Cricket ground but no casualties were reported. Manning the guns in defence of the Castle from low flying attack was 121 Independent light ack - ack (LAA) equipped with 40mm Bofors guns. A few of these were mounted on forty-foot-high concrete towers, one of which was located on the Brocas, at Eton. This site quickly saw night action proceeding to shoot down enemy flares dropping over Windsor Castle.  The noise and vibrations from this quick firing gun sent people scurrying to their air raid shelters or under the stairs. Gunner Witt serving on the Brocas site recalled the plight of an elderly lady living close by in Brocas Street, who being very ill, had taken to her bed. The family was virtually waiting for the sad end of the dear lady's life but gunners of 121 battery   apparently applied a better means for a cure than the doctor. The family was virtually waiting for the sad end of the dear lady's life but gunners of 121 battery apparently applied a better means for a cure than the doctor.  On hearing the rapid fire and the commotion that shook the house, the dear lady jumped from her bed and grabbing a bottle of gin, took herself to shelter under the stairs.  A miraculous recovery followed much to the distress of some of her family who evidently found the aged person a trial.

The last days of the month brought less enemy activity over the area due to cloud, rain and fog. Under the cover of bad weather, a lone raider dropped bombs on Dennis Way, Cippenham killing two people, also on the private polo ground of Dedworth Manor killing a pony. Warnings of enemy activity disrupted the Eton Wick school day on nine occasions during October which made the teachers anxious for the safety of the children. There had been no sign of work commencing on shelters so the children stilled practiced the usual precaution of taking shelter under their desk.

Thursday October 31st.

The official end of the Battle of Britain, which lasted 114 days, cost the German losses of 1,733 planes and 3,893 men with RAF Losses of 828 planes and 1007 men. The end of the battle did not solve the social difficulties of the evacuated families; sharing a home with strangers whilst one’s children were billeted elsewhere was a problem. To help with the   situation a centre was set up at the Church Hall, Eton, to give evacuated families somewhere to meet and also give householders a chance to have their home to themselves for a short time. Those who were able, helped with knitting comforts for evacuee and service personnel. Wool was purchased with the money earned from the sale of salvage. The salvage of waste, conducted by Mr Chew with the help of young volunteers, around the village had gone well with the sale of scrap iron, paper, rags and any other commodity worth salvaging realizing a handsome profit. A suggestion of Mrs Chew to use this money to buy wool with which to knit garments for men and women from the village serving in the forces was readily adopted.   A display of posters in the village shops asking for volunteer knitters was organized by Mrs Mead.  Forty-five volunteers   including three Eton Boys signed up to whom £15 was initially allocated to purchase wool. Once a week the Methodist Hall jumped from her bed and grabbing a bottle of gin, took herself to shelter under the stairs. A miraculous recovery followed much to the distress of some of her family who evidently found the aged person a trial. was loaned free of charge for the issue of wool and collection of finished articles. Within the first few months many knitted items were produced and about 100 items, such as scarves, mittens and socks sent to over fifty servicemen in the first few months.  

To raise money for war weapons, great publicity was given to National Savings, a campaign vigorously supported by Eton Wick. The school had a flourishing savings group run by the Head Teacher, Miss Plumridge, which was well supported by the mothers. The Women’s Institute also had a group amongst its members but their committee felt more could be done in the village, so every house was canvassed. Two groups were formed, one run by the Methodist Church and the other by the Women’s Institute.  A third group made up of the school and supported by the evacuated L.C.C. School gave total enrolment of over 300 savers.  Volunteer collectors, braving the winter weather and blackout, called on savers each week with saving stamps, their combined collection averaging of £28 each week.  The school, encouraging pupils and parents to save, collected £10 in the first week and £30 during the following six weeks. Many schemes would materialize to raise money before the conflict was over such as "Wings for Victory" and "War Weapons Week". Introduction of a purchase tax on household goods and clothes at the end of October made little difference to the goods sold by village traders. Other shortages however did effect village trade, namely an acute shortage of coal. The increasing demands of factories for power produced a shortage of supplies to the householder which became evident during the winter months of 1940-41. To help overcome the fuel crisis, men conscripted for military service, were selected by ballot, and sent to work in the coal mines. They became known as Bevin Boys. Coal merchants Albert Dear, Brocas Street, Eton, - William Parrot. 1 Clifton Cottages and Albert Hood, Tilstone Avenue, Eton Wick had difficulty in obtaining supplies and rationed their customers accordingly. When Albert, who went into the army his business was acquired by R. Bond and Sons.

This is an extract from Round and About Eton Wick: 1939 - 1945. The book was researched, written and published in 2001 by John Denham. 

Monday 12 October 2020

Photographic History - Eton Wick Youth Club

The photograph is of the Club's 1948 outing to Margate. In the back row left to right is the Windsorian driver (name unknown), then Harry Wakefield (secretary), Frank Bond and Harry Pearce (committee members), Des Russell, Mrs Pearce, 'Chub' Bennett, Mrs Wakefield, Dennis Phillips, Bill Ingram, Mrs Hall, Ann Bright, Ray Haverly, Sheila Robertson and Sheila Spiers, ?, and Cecil Thorn (committee member). In the front are Alan Smith, 'Cooie' Barton, Mike Thorn, Bob Snaichel, Peter Frost, Phil Harding, John Newport, Eileen Bolton, Vic Merkett and Ray Mumford. The two young girls on the left are unidentified, the two on the right are Monica Pearce and Julie Wakefield. 

Eton Wick Youth Club members cutting logs for the aged in 1956. Sawing logs: Geoff Pardoe, Mike Knight, and sitting on the timber is John Alder. The axeman is Bill Critchell. 

From 1955, club boys chopped logs and delivered them to the aged. In 1956 alone over 11,000 logs were delivered. Trees available for logging were notified to the club by the Council and Eton College. Club girls supplied the loggers with refreshments. For its services the club was awarded the Hospital Saturday Fund Cup, received a written commendation from the Buckinghamshire County Council Chief Education Officer and was featured in the National Boys Clubs press (see picture). The Club age range at the time was 14 to 21 years. By the end of the 20th century, the age range had reduced considerably, partly by the introduction of a junior club in the 1960s, and partly as a reflections of nationwide social changes. 

The campers are at the back, left to right: Des Russell, Frank Bond, Mick Phillips, Andy Lewis, Terry Harman, Les Hood, John Jeffries, Don Middleton, Cecil Thorn, and George Lund. In the centre row: Tony Clibbon, Ron Branwhite, `Mo' (Maurice) Nicholls, Jacquie Hodge, Val Bailey, Norah Sumner, Joyce Russell, Margaret Wilson, Tony Johnson and Conway Sutton. In the front: Geoff Pardoe, Richard Jordan, Tony Gallop, Terry O'Flaherty and Ian Lewis. 

Eton Wick Youth Club Camp, St Ives 1958. For many years the Youth Club held an annual two week summer camp in Cornwall. The club worked hard to raise funds to buy camping equipment. In these days the cost to the members varied according to age and was typically (rail and coach fares inclusive) from £8 for 15 year olds, rising to £16 for 18 year olds and adult helpers. 

Eton Wick Youth Club Camp 1962 In the back row from the left: Derek Harrison, Ray Emery, Ted Turner*, John Stacey, John Betterton, Richard Jordan, Les Emery, Arthur Gittens, John Newell, Ian Wilson*. John Lee, unidentified*. Centre row Peter Tarrant, unidentified, Colin Harrison, Barry Alder, John Alder, Fraser Hatch, John Durbin, Jim Alder, Frank Ormond, Willy Welford, unidentified*, unidentified*, John Gittens, Frank Bond, Mick Bell. Seated in the front: Nancy Sharp, Christine Drewett, Susan Miller, Carol Cullum, Caroline Miller, Susan Jordan, Jennifer Paintin, Margaret Wilson, Joyce and Des Russell with their son Ian. 

The photograph opposite was taken at the popular club camp site on John and Kitty Roger's 'Hellesveor' Farm, St Ives, Cornwall. Although only four years after the 1958 club camp photograph shown elsewhere, there is virtually a new 'generation' of members. Those marked with an asterisk * are members of Denham Youth Club, who joined in several annual camps as for a time, Frank Bond was also the Club Leader at Denham. A few years after this photo, Derek Harrison with his family ran a restaurant and fish and chip bar at the sea front in nearby Perranporth; elder brother Colin emigrated to South Africa. 

Eton Wickers may remember Ian Wilson and Ted Turner (Denham members), Ian worked in the Bond's greengrocery shop in Eton Wick, subsequently becoming manager of one of their other shops; Ted became owner of KBG Engineering in Alma Road. Richard Jordan and sister Susan emigrated to New Zealand, and John Gittens to Canada. 

Christine Drewett and Les Emery, John Betterton and Nancy Sharp, and Colin Harrison and Margaret Wilson (daughter of Councillor Ivy Wilson, no relation to Ian Wilson) subsequently became partners in marriage. 

It is noticeable how many Eton and Eton Wick family names of the 19th century are still represented in this 1962 photograph. (There are seven surnames that appear in the 19th century census records and three in the 1901 and 1911 census or the 1939 Register)

Many of the village's former teenagers from the 1950s onwards will have happy memories of their days as members of the Youth Club. The club also attracted members from surrounding towns and villages. Quite a number of members in fact went on to marry their fellow club members. In this picture, Frank Bond, club leader from 1950 to 1961 and chairman for many years after that, receives a presentation to mark his retirement as chairman from Chris Foreman and Val Chamberlain (to become future married partners). In the centre is Mike Newlands, former leader and new chairman. To the right of Frank is Patron and former chairman Jim Ireland and club member turned leader, Geoff Low. 

From left to right are Frank Bond, Richard and Carol, Mike Newland, John Lovell, Geoff Low and on the right, the then current leader, by this time paid and appointed by the County. 

There are six leaders or former leaders of Eton Wick Youth Club in this photograph, taken c1987 at a reunion when former club members, ex-leader and marriage partners Richard and Carol (née Chamberlain) Jordan returned from New Zealand for a holiday. After being a club member in the 1950s, Richard took on the leadership of the club and later became a full time youth worker at the Hook, Chessington Youth Club before emigrating to New Zealand in the 1970s where he initially continued with his full time youth work. 

This article was first published in A Pictorial History of Eton Wick & Eton.

You can find other articles on Eton Wick History that mention the Youth Club by clicking on this link.

If you were a member of the Eton Wick Youth Club please share your memories in the comment box below.