Aslockton within living memory

Margaret Auckland – September 2016

Margaret Auckland in conversation with Mrs. Beryl Wright – 2003
Beryl Wright (nee Birkin) lived 1925 until 1950 at Normanhurst (now the Vicarage) next to Aslockton Church. She lived with her mother Mrs. Florence Birkin (nee Baker) and grandmother Mrs. Harriet Baker (widow of Charles Baker who came from March in Cambridgeshire as a signalman on the railway and later become a farmer). Between 1950 and 1956 she lived with her mother at The Cottage on Abbey Lane, (which had been converted from a barn) until her marriage.
‘The biggest changes to Aslockton are the increases in housing (especially since the 1950s), population and traffic. Before the 1939 many houses still used oil lamps (and candles to go to bed) as they had neither gas or electricity. Water was drawn from wells and there was no main drainage which meant ‘earth-closets’ and cesspits. There were no street lights or pavements.
The only school in Aslockton was a very small ‘private’ one, run by Miss Keyworth in Abbey Lane (in one of three cottages – now Graylands). Most children attended school at Scarrington or Whatton, possibly going on to Senior school in Grantham, Nottingham or West Bridgford. There was another ‘private’ school at Scarrington in the White House. Children walked to school, even at the age of 5 years.
The main event for everyone was THE FEAST, an annual fair on the field at the side of the railway in front of Belvoir House (now built on – four houses and four bungalows). The fair consisted of roundabouts, swings, stalls and a cake-walk. Other events were the ANNIVERSARY at the Methodist Chapel (now flats) on Chapel Lane and village sports on Paylings Field (next to the Village Hall).
Before the 1939-45 war orders were taken and delivered by HARDSTAFF & BROWN in Bingham. Milk was either collected from the farm on Abbey Lane with your own container or delivered to some homes after afternoon milking. Most of the morning milking was collected in churns and taken to Nottingham.
With the reduction in agriculture and mechanisation, most young people in the village were forced to look for employment in Nottingham, Grantham and Bingham. When they married they often moved away.’