Oxhill News

www.oxhill.com / www.oxhill.org.uk

South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

October 2008

This months News



Village History - Parish Meeting Minute Books

Before the advent of the Parish Councils, The Annual Parish Meeting was once the only opportunity for villagers to air matters of common interest.  The Minutes of these meetings which start in 1896, and are recorded in three notebooks, are held by the Parish Council.  The first entries are in the copperplate hand of John Henry Summerton, a clockmaker and repairer, (although his granddaughter, Evelyn Colyer, told me that in practice “he did as little as possible”, and preferred to spend time with his books and other interests.)

A constant refrain was the matter of drainage, and various smelly ditches – the one opposite the Rectory being of particular concern to the Rector in 1931!  Mains drainage did not come until 1968.

Water came from wells and from the brook, where there were “lading places” (lade = to ladle or scoop).  Concrete steps were provided to the place at the bottom of Mr T. Heritage’s homestead in 1927.  There was much discussion about the provision of a better water supply, and in the 1930s this was finally achieved, and standpipes set up along the village street.  It was still sometime before each house was connected.

The standpipes caused different problems.  In 1932 flooding was reported by the tap at the bottom end of the village; also the one by the Peacock needed repair.  In 1936 a request was made to relocate the tap near Mr Heritage’s house, where it was surrounded by mud to below Mr Heritage’s yard door “so that the cows do not have to pass by it.”  (From the description, I think this refers to Mr Stephen Heritage, then farming at Brooklands, rather than Mr Thomas Heritage at Church Farm).  The standpipes had made the wells largely redundant, and in 1952 there was a discussion about the covering over of wells in the village.

Our village trees too have a history. In 1935 the copper beech tree at the junction of Beech Road and Blackford Way was planted in honour of George V’s Jubilee, and in 1937 a red chestnut tree was planted at the top of Rouse Lane to mark the Coronation of George VI.  (This died and had to be replaced in 1938; sadly this one too is now looking none too well.)

I hope to have another browse through the Minutes in another issue.

They are full of interesting detail.  For instance, does anyone know of the whereabouts of the Plaque received from the War Savings Committee in 1944?

Ann Hale

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Last modified: September 29, 2008