Bread making in Nettlebed

My Dad, Baker Reg Sparrowhawk, came to Nettlebed in 1927 at 18 years old. He came from Aston in West Oxon to work for Mr Cave Saunders in the bakery. The hours were long and hard having to start each morning at 3.30 to make the bread and afterwards go with a horse and cart around the villages delivering it. Then at six in the evening back to work to make the dough for the following day.         In those days doughs had to prove for 8 hours before being weighed up according to the size. He had a set of scales but not really needed as he could cut off a piece of the right weight from years of experience. Following that each piece of dough was moulded and tinned, all by hand, and baked for half hour and ten! Never 40 minutes, always ‘alf hour and ten. The ovens were coal fired and stoked from a furnace. These very...
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Old Cuttings from the Henley Standard & Kinch’s Henley Advertiser

FEB 20TH 1970  After 43 years in the bakery trade Mr R Sparrowhawk has been forced to retire from his Nettlebed business owing to ill-health. He came to the village from Aston, West Oxfordshire in 1927 to work for the Saunders family and in 1950 he took over the business himself. During this time he served Nettlebed and surrounding villages with bread baked in the original coal-fired ovens which were built in 1909 and are almost a rarity nowadays. His customers will regret that the bakery has now become obsolete. FEB 3RD 1961 Nettlebed and district has suffered a great loss by the death on Monday last at Peppard Chest Hospital of Mr Sydney Smith of The Corner House, Nettlebed. Mr Smith, who was 70, was a native of Chalgrove and he was a Cornet player in the brass band there and played for the village football team. In 1914 he joined the Royal Horse Artillery and served for seven years with the colours and...
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A Brief History Of The Nettlebed Cricket Club c1870 – 1981

A Brief History Of The Nettlebed Cricket Club c1870 - 1981 CRICKET AT NETTLEBED We decided to celebrate our centenary in 1981 because tradition in the village has it that the Club was founded in 1881. However, research has now shown that we are older than we thought: the earliest match of which we have been able to find a record was played in July 1870. Moreover, it is clear that cricket was already well established in Nettlebed at that date; so we can say with confidence that the age of the Club is 111 +. Thus we are celebrating in the knowledge that cricket has been played in the village for well over a century. And yet, oddly enough, if one subtracts the years not completed or lost on account of the two world wars - five in the first and six in the second - one arrives at the fact that 1981 is Nettlebed's 100th recorded season, The first known match...
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The Godwin Family During the Second World War

The Godwin Family During the Second World War The Godwin’s can be traced back to the 1600s in Nettlebed Church records. During the war years (1939-45) my family lived in the property next to Stable Cottage at Joyce Grove. My father Tim had worked for the Fleming family and stayed on as Caretaker when the Grove was passed on to St Marys Hospital Paddington around the end of the 1930s. My Sister Betty worked there for a time too. They originally lived in one of the houses at the bottom of the lane but then moved nearer to the House. Tim was not deemed fit enough to be a fighting man because of an injury he sustained as a young man in an accident, so he joined the Home Guard but as the war progressed he joined up and served as a batman for an Officer in the Army. My eldest brother Leslie lied about his age, he was not quite 16 when he...
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Nettlebed in 1871

Kellys Directory Of Oxfordshire 1871 NETTLEBED is a parish and village and a polling place for the county, pleasantly situated on an eminence, 5 miles north-west of Henley and 6 from Watlington, on the high road from London to Oxford, in the hundred of Ewelme, union and county court district of Henley, rural deanery of Nettlebed, archdeaconry and Dioces of Oxford. The houses are well built, and the principal street has a remarkably clean and neat appearance. The church of St.Bartholomew was rebuilt 1846: the expenses were defrayed by subscriptions towards which the Incorporated Society for Building Churches and Chapels granted £200. The register dates from the year 1653. The living is a vicarage, yearly value £212, in the gift of the representatives of the late incumbent the Rev.Thomas Leigh Bennett, and held by the Hon. and Rev.Henry Bligh of Christ Church, Oxford. Here is a parochial school. The Independents have a chapel here. A fair is held here on the...
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Snippets from Parish Council Minutes March 1911 – 1956

Interesting Snippets From Nettlebed Parish Council  Minutes March 1911 – 1956 1911 –March. Plans made for celebrating the coronation of George V and Queen Mary. 1912 –Revd Armitage complains about dumping of rubbish outside Crocker End House            Complaints about motor vehicles speeding through the village – a hazard to horses, reported to A.A. and Motor Union“Danger” signs erected on roads entering the village.           Street lights damaged by youths throwing stones.           Query about trees planted on Crocker End Common. Lord of the Manor,MrMcKenzie states he gave permission and that the land is a green and not common land. It was part of Soundess Farm, dating back 200 years. 1914 –Complaints about nightsoil being carried through the street to the dump in daytime.            Call for Special Constables aged 19 to 35 - 18 men volunteered. 1916 –Government’s Wartime Agricultural Committee request to parish councils to destroy sparrows which are eating...
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Nettlebed Congregational Church

Nettlebed Congregational Church – early services were held in a tent on The Common. The Rev. Robert Bolton, an American born in Savannah, Georgia, in the United States of America, became pastor of Henley Congregational Church in 1824. He came from a long family line of non-conformists who, originally from the cotton trade in Bolton, Lancashire, had emigrated to the American Colonies in the early eighteenth century. Clearly an energetic man, when he came to Henley Robert set about spreading non-conformist beliefs in the outlying villages. When the Rev. Bolton received Mr Joseph Fletcher into Henley Church membership on 1st June, 1831, he encouraged him to lead the Christian work in the neighbourhood. One Sunday afternoon in 1832 Fletcher was delivering tracts on Nettlebed Common. A number of youths were then playing cricket. He invited them to come into a nearby cottage and hear a book read. Two young men followed him, with the result that they became Christians. Regular meetings were then held in the cottage until...
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