Page 17 of 19
A Walk Through Hilton in the 1930s, continued
Each year, during the summer holiday, all the Hilton school children would be invited to have tea with the vicar at the Papworth St Agnes vicarage. Our transport was a farm wagon pulled by a shire horse, provided by one of the Hilton farmers. The vicarage was a large house with a large lawn and gardens. Trestle tables were set out on the lawn for our tea party and afterwards, various games were arranged to keep us amused. We had very few outings so this was one of the highlights of the year for us children. Having one vicar with two parishes, the Sunday evensong would be held in Hilton at 3pm one week and at 6pm the following week. These times would alternate with the services in Papworth St Agnes.
My mother was organist and my father sexton at the parish church and attended all services. When it was the afternoon service, which started at 3pm, they would be home by about 4.15pm and sometimes, if it was a nice summer’s day we would go for a picnic. We usually went to the Red Hill field because the flying club used to meet there most weekends and we could watch them doing their stunt flying while we were eating our picnic. Most of the planes were Tiger Moths and when they landed they would taxi to the side of the field. The pilots would gather in little groups for a chat, all wearing their Biggles type leather helmets.
Living in Grange Cottage was Percy Yates with his wife and son. Percy was a stockman and farm labourer who worked at Grange Farm. Between Grange Cottage and Wraggs Row was a meadow (Whispering Elms was built in this meadow in the mid twentieth century).
Wraggs Row was a row of three cottages which stood on the site now occupied by Clare Cottage. They were separated from the Green by the parish ditch. Recently a hedge has been planted on the Green by the bank, the ditch has been piped and filled in, and is now used as an extension to Clare Cottage car park.
The three Wraggs Row cottages were white washed and had red corrugated iron roofs, previously thatched. Access to the two nearest to Grange Cottage was by wooden footbridge over the ditch. The other cottage was by the side of a roadway leading to a field and the front door could be accessed from the roadway. All three cottages had long gardens and entry to the rear of the cottages was by a path from the roadway across their backs. This path was known as Wheelbarrow right of way.
In the cottage nearest the Grange lived Mr and Mrs Woodward and their two children. Mr Woodward was a farm labourer. In the centre cottage lived Fred Starling, a retired farm worker. He was a widower and also my great uncle. In the cottage nearest the roadway lived Ada Starling, my great aunt and Fred Starling’s cousin. She was also the daughter of my great grandfather, Richard Starling, who lived with her the last few years of his life.