Page 6 of 19
A Walk Through Hilton in the 1930s, continued
The two semi-detached houses opposite were occupied by Frank Starling and his wife Naomi (my grandparents). They had a lodger, Bobby Knights, a small retired gentleman who walked to St Ives almost every day. They lived in the house nearest to the White Horse. A Mr Fuller lived in the other one. The house next to the Prince of Wales, which is now the village shop, was the home of Christopher Britten, his wife Mabel and son George. They were farmers and behind the house was their farm with stables and milking parlour. Mill Hill, Rutland Green etc were the grazing meadows.
Mr Fred Rule lived in the farmhouse at New Farm with his wife, son and four daughters. Living in the two semi-detached New Farm Cottages were the Hinson and Lock families
Mr Asplin lived in one of the thatched cottages at Church End, Bob Davies, his wife and son lived in the other. On the opposite side of the road were two small semi-detached cottages. Fred Neil lived in one with his wife and daughter and Mrs Semark (a widow) lived in the other. On the right between the fords where the house “Cross Brook” stands, was a small farm with a dovecot, called Church Farm. The farmhouse, which was the home of the Windell family, was burned down in the early nineteen twenties.
Oaktree Farm was owned by Jim Roberson a farmer, his wife and four daughters lived with him and his mother and father lived in one end of the house (the end nearest to the church).
The Village School was where I was educated. It was a Church of England school; I believe that at one time it was founded by the Church. Children started school when they were five years old and were taught by a Mrs Hurst in the small classroom. At seven years old they moved into the large standard room to be taught by Mrs Hammond, a strict but fair teacher. She would teach children from the age of seven until they left school at fourteen. All subjects were taught: Maths (it was called arithmetic in those days) English, History, Geography, Music etc.
The only heating was a large slow combustion stove. If the wind was in a certain direction it would belch out clouds of smoke and very little heat. In really cold weather, we would be allowed to keep our coats on.
The school would be used for many social events. Whist drives were very popular as were dances. The floor of the school was constructed of softwood timber and over the years the areas between the knots became well worn, leaving the knots half and inch or more proud of the rest of the floor, so this did not lend itself to any fancy footwork. The music was provided by George Tyler on the piano. There was no electricity in the school; hanging paraffin lamps provided the lighting.