Memories of Clifton 1940-45.  John Bowler aged 8-13.

1.  Living in Boulderdyke. Large, very old, thatched house, probably dating back to 14th century. Well in kitchen. Fireplaces in some rooms, no central heating, 5 external doors and large cellar. Snow came in under the doors for about 18 inches.

2.  Very cold winters, River Cherwell usually flooded and the fields then froze. Skating. House very cold, little coal. Solution at night to take off vest, shirt and sweater as one unit so it could be put on in the morning in one movement.

3.  Bomber pilots billeted on us. A tragic sad death of one of them who had just got married.

4.  London burning lit up the dusk sky.

5.  Fishing in the canal, putting pennies on the railway line and searching for them after the train had flattened them, playing ‘Pitch and Toss’, playing cricket on the field in front of the house as I was the only one with a full set of equipment.  Searching for the ball in hedges.

6.  Cycling to Aynho in all weathers to be taken to school in Brackley, the long and steep Aynho hill.

7.  Lying amongst the strawberries underneath the net with the sun shining, magnificent flavours.

8.  Young Drinkwater had an air rifle. Firing and hitting the bottom of the man collecting the milk as he bent to lift the churn. His shout of anger cheered us for many days.

9.  My father emptying a jug of water over the Vicar and carol singers just before Christmas in the belief it was jovial farmer Garrett, then his expensive apologies.

10.  Catching minnows in the mill race at the bottom of Clifton hill.

11.  Early morning gathering mushrooms, collecting/eating walnuts.