The next house is the Old Rectory (my mother could well remember it when it was the home of the village priest. She learned to play the piano by Mrs Souper, wife of The Reverend Souper. The Soupers were a very tragic family; one son was killed in the Great War, another was killed mountaineering, one daughter committed suicide and another daughter married Wilson, who perished with Scott at the South Pole.)
When I was growing up it was Mr and Mrs Atter who lived in The Old Rectory. Mr Atter was a sales rep for Simplex Fire Extinguishers and would visit farms and businesses demonstrating his product and obtaining orders. His wife used to keep Angora rabbits. They were housed in hutches around their garages and she would regularly comb them and collect their wool. I do not know if she spun the wool herself or sold it to a spinner in bulk. They did employ a woman and her brother; the woman was house maid and her brother, Bert, was gardener and handyman.
There were two grass fields attached to the house, each an acre in size in which they kept chickens and would also graze their two cows. There were “common rights” with their house which entitled them to graze their cows on The Green during the summer; it was Bert’s job to milk the cows. Bert was a good worker but was a little backward; he had an obsession on counting and would come round to talk to my father saying “do you know how many times I turned my spade over today?” or “do you know how many times I pulled those cows tits?” and so forth!
Mr Atter also used to go otter hunting he kept a pack of about eight hounds. They are much like foxhounds but smaller. They used to hunt the banks of the river at St Ives and he would wade in the river with his dogs. In later life he suffered with severe rheumatism and could only walk with the aid of two sticks. I think that his condition was due to him wading in the cold river!
Mr Wilfred Furniss lived in The Limes with his wife 3 daughters and son. He was a farmer butcher; his farm was Grange Farm (his family home) and his butcher’s shop was also there. He captained the village cricket club for many years. He was knocked down and killed at Kisby’s Hut when crossing the road delivering meat.
Johnny White owned and lived at Park Villa now called the Old Bakehouse. He was the village baker; the oven was at the back of the house and heated by a coke fire that was never allowed to go out. Quite a few of the cottages in the village had very small ovens and several of the occupants would bring their Sunday roasts to be cooked at the bake house. Johnny sold his house to Mr Fred Britten and moved into the house next door, now called Manor Cottage.
In those days Manor Cottage was two cottages; Johnny and his wife lived in the largest part and the small “one up and one down” at the Manor Farm end was occupied by Miss MacKenzie Smith, a retired school teacher and deeply religious.