Saturday, 3 April 2010

From the particularly active Soham High Street, I went on to the particularly inactive Burrough Green

From the particularly active Soham High Street, I went on to the particularly inactive Burrough Green. The only sign of serious Saturday afternoon activity in this delightfully quiet village was Mr Les Field cutting the famous green. I know Les of old and we reminisced about Thurlow Nunns and me being a 'man of straw,' as Prime Minister Ted Heath once described me. Mr Heath only meant his weak joke as a joke, for I well recall his huge shoulders heaving with laughter following the utterance of what was for him an undoubted 'bon mot.' Here is Mr Field doing his stuff.

At the rear may be seen the small and select Walnut Tree Cottages estate where Mr Field lives and where lived my old mate, Mr Barry Claydon, who now lives at Brinkley and is Sue's fourth cousin once removed through her Carsboult ancestry and the Claydons of Stetchworth and Six Mile Bottom. I had not remembered that another resident of Walnut Tree Cottages is a good family friend, Mr Timothy Arksey. Timothy lives there with his wife and two children and, despite some recent surgery, is obviously doing very well. He promised me two more votes and took one of my posters to display his consistent personal loyalty, which is greatly appreciated.

The picture just shows - to the right - the carefully taped-off cricket square. I was able to tell Mr Field something that he didn't know, namely, that I had played cricket on that green more than fifty years previously. The former head teacher of Burrough Green school, the late Mrs Nellie Bendall (who lived to the age of 99), had a husband by the name of Harry. Mr Harry Bendall, also sadly deceased, was actually a Bottisham boy. He was also a farming neighbour of ours at Bottisham and a cricket enthusiast. When Mr and Mrs Bendall moved to Burrough Green for Nellie to take up the headship, Harry was in cricketing heaven and one of the first things that he did was to organise an eleven to do battle with Burrough Green, always a strong side. I was enlisted as a member of 'Mr Bendall's XI.' I was hopeless at cricket and, when the time came for me to go 'in,' I was soon 'out.' I scored a 'duck.' Non-cricketing readers will have to bear with me as to what this means. It's very English and very complicated. It's 'Double Dutch' to some.

Sue has another family connection with Burrough Green. Her gggggg grandfather, Jeffry Dobito (1720 - 1791), was licensed as a victualler at 'The Bull' in 1778, 1779, 1780, 1781, 1782 and 1783, according to the register of licensees held at the Cambridgeshire County Record Office. This Mr Dobito was born at Kirtling and was also buried there, so we guess that he left his home village just for business reasons. (Pub-running seems to have been more rife in Sue's family than mine: thankfully, my wife is no more boozy than I am). I guess that the Bull has not changed much in  more than 200 years. Here's how it looked today.

I called at nearly every house in Burrough Green and again met many interesting and supportive electors. It all bodes well for the 6th of May.

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