Long before the days when everyone had a TV and many IT toys and gadgets, the WI Christmas Party was much enjoyed my many children. This group photo was taken 1956 at a Christmas party given by the WI.
The Malt Shovel Inn was in Lavender Square and sold Belcher and Habgood's noted Ales & Stout. They also kept pigs and sold sausages and bacon and also vinegar from a barrel. Still called the Malt Shovel it is now a private dwelling with great care taken to make sure the frontage is a delight to see in all seasons.
The Malt Shovel had a malthouse probably by the mid 18th century when it was owned by the maltster John Minchin, and passed later to John Ward, maltster, and to Ward's son-in-law Richard Hambidge, maltster and spirit merchant, before becoming a public house in the 1870s. (from Victoria County History)
The pub in the High Street named The Morris Clown (as at 2018) began life as The George. Steve the present landlord found the ancient wooden name board in the cellar but it fell to dust when he tried to lift it. A long time ago it became the New Inn as seen in the first photograph which is at least pre 1920 because the cottage at the est end of the Market Square is still standing and that was pulled down to make way for the War Memorial. Over the door can be seen a sign which says Clinch's Entire Eagle Brewery, Witney. There is another line underneath which sadly is not readable. The lower board says Commercial Inn, Lila Clack and two more lines of text which I can't read. The opposite side of the road is the department store owned by T. W. Pembrey which ran the length of present day No7 High Street, Lesta House, Strawberry Cottage and across Bushey Row, then called New Inn Street the shop on the corner. On the end wall of the New Inn on the third picture text can be seen which in part says Commercial something and Posting House. A little of this lettering can still be seen in 2018. What was Pembrey's is now Busby's department store. Note the thatched hay rick camera side of Lime Tree House. Thatching hay ricks kept the hay in good condition and shed the rain off; rick thatching was a specialist job and in Bampton Ben Tanner and his brother were particularly skilled and Reg Rouse was also.
Mummering has taken place in Bampton for at least 134 which is when Rev Giles mentions it in his book about Bampton. Don Rouse has written a far more up-to-date account which you'll find after the photographs.
Over the spring Bank Holiday weekend the members of the Flower Guild of St Mary's put on a wonderful Flower Festival in the church. They also work very hard all day on the Monday offering sandwiches, quiche, cakes, orange squash, tea and coffee
This is the YouTube address for the filmed interview we did with Patrick about his working life. His training for being a butcher and where it was done are really interesting and I don't know if it is still available today. Patrick ran the butchers shop in Bridge Street for many years and really enjoyed it. He won prizes for his sausages