Godfrey Jellyman (born 1923)
The policeman, he did more or less the same rounds (as the postman – up from the Bourne and along through Bussage into Toadsmoor), he came from Brimscombe. He would walk it every day, but at the vicarage they had a porch and mornings he would have to sign in to say he had called. Eventually, they brought the telephone in so he then had to wait by the telephone and they would ring him up to make sure he was there. There was another policeman at Chalford, he used to come up Skaiteshill and do Chalford; there was also a Bisley policeman.
There was not a lot of crime. There were always a couple of people who were always in trouble. The policeman used to come round and talk to people, he would go into the post office.
The village policeman we all called Uncle Jack. I think he lived locally.
Grace Banyard (born 1930)
Mrs Mayo, who lived near the France Lynch Church, used to go round doors selling chitterlings once a week. Her husband was a very jealous man, watched her constantly and took all the money off her straight away. They had 2 daughters, very close in age and friends of Mildred. One day they rushed into our house to say their dad had killed their mother and then himself. I was about 6 so this must have happened in about 1936, but I still remember it!
Margaret Mills (born 1934)
As long as we got back in time for dinner and tea whatever, we could go into Ashmeads Woods and play, and in those days there were a lot of tramps walking around and they were fine and didn’t do us no harm. They used to come to the door of your house and we would give them something to eat. I suppose like the homeless people now. They liked the freedom. We didn’t have so many fears of anything and of letting children out to play.
They do say there was a murder along one road. Policemen walking round the village – yes we had one walking round. As kids we got to know him.
Hayden Hunt (born 1941)
(As children) it was quite safe. There were always blokes walking around, you know, all the time going o work or whatever, so they used to see us, you know. Jimmy Mason, he was always around somewhere. So you know, you were as safe as houses really. And err, if you are a country boy, you get to know if there is anybody a bit strange. If there was anything strange, you know, then you knew. But then there was a group of us sort of, half a dozen of us or so, we were quite safe.
Your imagination could run riot in the wood. You’d hear things. When I joined Girl Guides in the pleasure ground, Brantwood Road,… in the winter Gramp used to come and meet me by the bottom of the lane by station bridge, with the lamp. One day he said ‘I’ve got something for you wench’, and he gave me a torch. So he said ‘I won’t have to come down for you now’. I never used it! I didn’t want people to see where I was going! I did feel safe, I wasn’t worried about them, but I never used the torch. If the airmen saw where I was going and I yelled I was sure they would come. I wasn’t worried about them!