My First memories of living in Bow Cottages were from the age of around five years old (1958). We lived with my Grandad who had worked for the brewery Whitbread and we lived in a tied cottage. I remember shelling peas and broad beans outside the scullery with my Grandad, going to watch horse racing on TV at the local shop, the Handy Stores owned by Mrs Austin, just round the corner in Bow Road. Not many people had a TV in 1958 in the village.
My next door neighbours were Jim and Glad Smith and their boys Roger and Peter. One memory is Jim won a Pig at the local fete in bowl a pig which he kept at the top of the garden, I remember collecting acorns on the way home from school to feed to it, I am not sure what happened to the pig! This was where I took a drag of the one and only fag I have ever been near, when Peter made me take a drag of his roll up, never would I touch one again.
As a kid I remember so much fruit was grown all around us, from the gate in the back garden it went straight into a plum orchard which lead directly into a Bramley apple orchard. From that across the main road and also in Red Hill were Cherry orchards, across Bow Road there were Pear and eating apple orchards and of course there were hop fields all around. My Grandad used to have an apple orchard to pick, not sure if he rented it or was just paid to pick the apples, he seemed to be the only person picking. The orchard was in Bow Road directly below what were the Police houses and opposite the brewery entrance now Phoenix Close.