Page 5 of 19
A Walk Through Hilton in the 1930s, continued
Opposite these cottages was the blacksmith’s shop. The blacksmith was Tom Rule, affectionately known as “Clanker”, his main source of income was shoeing horses. He also repaired or made new parts for farm machinery. There was an area of flat concrete in front of his shop with a recess in the centre, allowing a cart wheel to be laid down flat with the hub in the recess. He would then make a new rim for the wheel, get it red hot and with a couple of helpers it would be placed over the wheel. It would then be quickly dowsed in water causing the rim to shrink tightly around the wheel. He lived in Blacksmith Cottage with his wife, three sons and two daughters.
The small bungalow to the left of Blacksmith Cottage was the home of Bob Smith his wife and son. To the other side of the blacksmith’s lived the Beck family and about twenty yards down the Potton Road were two semi-detached cottages, the Darlow family lived in one and Mrs Jennings (a widow) lived in the other.
Opposite these cottages was a grass field with a pond in the centre. In the far left corner of the field were two semi-detached thatched cottages, called Tythe Cottages. Mrs Ada Lovel lived in one and Chris Hardy, his wife, two sons, Robert and William and his daughter Alice, lived in the other. Chris Hardy was a carpenter and worked for a firm of Agricultural Engineers, where I served my apprenticeship. He would repair the woodwork on the thrashing drums, corn dressers etc.
The crescent of four pairs of semi-detached houses was built by the Alen brothers in the early nineteen twenties. They lived in Hemingford and the three of them cycled to Hilton each day.
Hubert Brickwood, his wife and two sons lived in the first one, George Tyler, his wife and two sons lived in the adjoining house. Wally Martin, his wife, son and three daughters lived in the next house, then Harry Childs, his wife, son and daughter.
In the next house lived Mrs Darlow and Charlie Martin, his wife and two sons lived in the adjoining house. Mr Carter, his son and daughter and their aunt, Miss Fishpool lived in the next and Mr Hammond lived in the last house with his wife, who was the village school governess.
The Methodist Chapel was built in the eighteen eighties. The left one of the pair of houses facing the Chapel was the home of Casey Hurst a carpenter and undertaker. Annie Hurst who taught infants in the village school lived with him. In the adjoining cottage lived Mrs Burton her son and two daughters. Next to the Chapel was a track leading to Tythe Lane and then the White House Public House run by Pat Mulligan who used to tether his goats down Church Lane. There were no houses down Church Lane, just a path and a wide grass verge. Adjoining the back of the White Horse was a small cottage, where Teddy Elwood lived with his sister Martha.
On the opposite side of the road in the bungalow lived Harry Lee, his wife and three sons. He owned two buses, which he housed in a garage next to his bungalow. He also had a Nissen type garage on the opposite side of the Road.
The landlord of the Prince of Wales Public House was Harry Hurst, his wife Nellie and daughter Ivy, lived with him. They had two lodgers Jack King and a middle aged man, Jerrie. I haven’t known him by any other name. There was a large black barn at the back of the Prince of Wales car park, identical in size and position to the one that is there now. It was a two storey building, the top storey was Casey Hurst’s workshop, underneath was hovels, open to the rear.