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The original Duttons shop

  • BCA - 2021.2552
  • Item
  • c1880-1960

This is the original Duttons shop in Bridge Street somewhere about 1880. Note at this time there were just two windows, not four that are there today.

In the second picture you can see George Dutton on the left and the 15 year old boy is William Mathews who a few years later bought the shop from George. George was not brilliant at running a shop but the Midland Bank established a counter within it which George ran and he was very good at figures. When the bank took over the premises next door to the butcher, he moved to be the fulltime teller and that's when he sold the shop to William.

The third picture was taken in 1960. Note the cycle rack stand. Dr Bullen's wife is on the left of the picture.

Bampton Community Archive

The Old Forge and neighbouring properties

  • BCA - 2019.1970
  • Item
  • 1970 2017

To the right of Cromwell House as seen from the road is The Old Forge, which was as its name suggests the site of a forge at one time but is now a private house, partly in Cheapside and partly in Church Street.

Bampton Community Archive

The Morris Clown, previously The New Inn and originally The George

  • BCA - 2018.1443
  • Item
  • late C19th early C20th

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.

Nik Stanbridge

The Lew Estate 1914

  • BCA - 2020.2396
  • Item
  • 1914

This map was produce for the sale of the Lew Estate in 1914.
There used to be a Post Office and a school in Lew, both shown on this map between University Farm and Holy Trinity Church on the main road.

Bampton Community Archive

The Demolition of Market Square Garage & the building of Thornberry Flats (Nov 1998 to 2000)

  • BCA - 2017.586
  • Item
  • 1998 to 2000

Adrian Simmonds had the general store on the west side of Market Square and was wonderfully placed to record the demolition of the Market Square Garage and the building of Thornberry Flats for the over 55s.

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The demolition of Market Square Garage and the building of “THORNBERRY” Flats

The Demolition of the Garage and Proposed Development of Flats

A meeting was called by the parish council, because there was a lot of opposition to the proposed development and the loss of the garage. On the evening of the meeting the hall opened with the parish council seated at a table in front of the stage, but the hall very quickly filled with interested villagers, so that the council had to retreat to the comparative safety on the stage. The hall by this time had filled up with very interested and angry villagers, so much so that the windows were all opened so that the people who could not get in, could hear and see what was going on from outside. Opinions were voiced. The meeting went on for a long time. The view was that the village was against the development. The result of course stands in the square for all to see, but Democracy had to been seen to be done. The then chairman of the Parish Council shortly afterwards emigrated to Australia.

This small exhibition shows a brief period of around thirty months in the late Twentieth Century which altered the character of the Market Square completely. I have included some earlier photographs of the Square for those of you that did not know it before the flats were built. The picture of the pub [with the two children outside] was The Lamb Public house, and the building on the end was at one time a Fish and Chip shop. It was demolished in the 1950s in order to build the Market Square Garage, which in turn was demolished in 1998/1999 for the erection of the Flats. These were offered for sale on the 30th June 2001.

After the garage was demolished there was a period of several months, when the soil was tested regularly because of contamination by oil and other garage waste from the previous 50 plus years. During this period, over forty large lorry loads of contaminated soil were removed and replaced with clean soil. The site was then passed as suitable for the building to start.

After the holes were drilled, each one had a frame work of reinforcing rods {which were welded together on site} lowered into it. Then cement was poured into the holes up to footings level. Then, of course, the footings were laid and the main structure was started.
After the pre-made floor of the first storey was installed, the building was taken up to the next level, and the same procedure was repeated for the top floor.

The Flats were offered for Sale 30th June 2001. As a small point of interest, the first occupier of the front ground floor flat was a member of a local business family, who had at one time a grocery shop in the premises which is now known as The Romany hotel. The wife of the second occupier of the same flat was the daughter of the landlord of The Lamb which stood on the site up until the 1950s.

The Flats and Skateboards
Shortly after the flats were in full occupancy, it was decided to add a pair of gates to the front of the arch, because of teenagers using the entrance to skateboard through the archway and across the small garden in order to jump onto the footpath at the rear of the property. This was before the skateboard ramp was built in the sports field.

These pictures show the work and expertise in building the flats (Thornberry). I also included some earlier photographs to illustrate the appearance of the square in the past. With all the changes that have taken place the square is still the centre and heart of the village. It is a meeting place for countless people and is used for special occasions such as the Golden and Diamond jubilee celebrations, and of course for the finishing post for the annual shirt race which always attracts a large crowd. The Morris dancers use it every Whit Monday. The annual fair comes every August, and of course Remembrance Day in November, and the lighting of the Christmas tree in December also take place in the Market Square.

Postscript.
Those of you that know me would have probably noticed that my surname was incorrectly spelt, on the posters. This is a common error as there are so many ways of spelling “Simmonds”. My grandfather left Reading in the 1920s with two M’s to his name leaving behind an H. G. Simonds with only one M, and a Brewery and a fortune! I still have only two Ms in my name, which prompts me to recall a situation in my shop.
Some years ago, I had an American lady who was a regular customer. After a few months she said to me would I take a cheque? To which I replied, “of course”. She made her purchases and proceeded to write the cheque asking me how I spelt my surname? I told her, and she said to me, “That’s interesting, I have five great uncles, back in the states all named Simmonds but all spelt differently. When they arrived in New York from Eastern Europe they embarked at Ellis Island and each went to an immigration officer to give their details and each officer spelt their name differently, so it ended up with five brothers with the same name, all spelt differently.”

The were first available to buy in 2002 and people have to be at least 55 years old to purchase them. The lane is Bell Lane, known by all long-time locals as 'back of the Bell' because the Bell Inn used to be where the Village Hall is today. The Village Hall was initially the WI Hall straight after the Bell closed before becoming the Village Hall when the cost of upkeep was just too much for the WI.

Bampton Community Archive

The bistro in The Market Square, 2012

  • BCA - 2021.2527
  • Item
  • 2012

Many people in Bampton has a lovely meal in Bix Gooddy's bistro at Wheelgate House in the Market Square and were sorry when she felt she had to close it and revert to simply offering bed and breakfast.

Bampton Community Archive

Some adverts from the July 2012 issue of The Bampton Beam

  • BCA - 2021.2536
  • Item
  • July 2012

These are just five of the adverts in the July 2012 issue of The Bampton Beam and are for

Little Westbrook self catering in Bridge Street
A personal trainer
Prestige Buildings
Bampton Garage
S J Cooper, builder

Bampton Community Archive

Report on the Survey & Plan of Bampton by M W Robinson, County Planning Officer October 1966

  • BCA - 2017.532
  • Item
  • 1966

This report on the Survey & Plan of Bampton was done under the guidance of M W Robinson FRICS MTPI in October 1966. It makes very interesting reading and the conclusions are as relevant today as they were then. The topics covered are 1. Population 2. Situation 3. Character 4. The people 5. Shopping 6. Principal road connections 7. Schools 8. Open spaces 9. Social facilities, Public Services etc 10. Surface water drainage 11. Sewage disposal 12. Water supply and much more. It makes a very interesting read particularly in the light of all the dwellings that have been built here since October 1966, all those being built now (Jan 2017) and those being proposed when considering the access into Bampton has not been improved yet in 1966 one of the conclusions states was that Bampton could not take further development, a by-pass was not possible and no further space for parking other than possibly in Church Street could be made. Houses have since been built on the land in Church Street

Nik Stanbridge

Patrick Strainge, butcher in Bampton late twentieth century

  • BCA - 2017.903
  • Item
  • 1990s

https://youtu.be/F9LPFGflOew

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

Nik Stanbridge

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