Added July 2013

Moyra Overall (nee O'Grady)

Now Bishop Stortford

SHALFORD -----A Few of My Memories

My memories of Shalford are those of happy days.

I was born in Shalford over 66 years ago and lived there until I married in 1969. Shalford is my home village and I have wonderful memories of my childhood and teenage days.

I went to Shalford School where we had two teachers, Mrs Warwick the head and Miss Richardson and when she left it was Mrs Pendle. It was a small school, one class Infants & one Juniors. There are two memories that stick out most in my mind. The first is the small bottles of milk that we had to have every morning and in the winter they were put near the big heating pipes to either defrost them from being frozen outside or just to warm ( I hated it) but still had to drink it, no choice. Our heat was from a large coke boiler that stood at the end of the classroom. Memory two was the Sports Days which were held on the Playing Field, which seemed so much fun and a treat to be away from the school. It was fun to see all our mums run in the Parents Race. We also had a great treat once a year before the summer holidays and that was a trip to Walton on the Naze on Wiffens coaches and we were all given a whole 6 pence old money by Miss Hicks, I think we all thought we had a fortune and that we were travelling abroad.

I spent many happy hours with my friends Celia Tarbin, Janice Waring and Lorraine Crane playing at my grandfather & grandmother’s house which was “Sunray”. My grandfather was a seed grower for Carters Seeds and the field where “Barryfield” is now used to belong to him and was full of the most beautiful flowers (sweet peas, pansies, alyssum, salvia & aubrietia) to name just a few.

As children we would go to the river behind the church with jam jars with binders string tied to them and sit on the bridge and fish for tiddlers, until the string broke and then we would be back to mum for more.

As we grew up we all joined the Shalford Youth Club with all the others around our age, it was held at the Village Hall and run by Rev. Crossly and Mr Pendle. We had great fun making our own entertainment and listening to the latest 78rpm’s on the old wind-up gramophone.

Our weekends were spent either down Codham on Mr Brown’s boats, the boys playing their guitars and singing or playing tennis on the courts at the Village Hall, we had to get the key from Mr Marlton at the village shop. There was the cricket to watch, walks down to the ford at Rotten End or to Iron Bridge and up to the Woods, great times. It seemed as if you could just wander free. We were all taught the rules of the countryside by our parents & grandparents.

Another highlight of the year were the Shows that were put on for the Caravan Club that came to camp on the Playing Field once a year. The youth club always took part singing, playing guitars, sketches, anecdotes, and the odd fashion show from old to new clothes. Great fun to us.

The village Fete was held in the Vicarage garden (opposite the school) we had side shows, stalls of all types, ice creams, teas on the lawn and the Junior Class from school did Country Dancing to entertain the crowds!! There was a Skiffle Group that would play (Eddie Bloomfield, Ruben Suckling, Dusty Tharle and I think it was Dave Smith) on guitars, washboard and tea chests.

I hope everyone that lives in Shalford has as much fun and wonderful memories as I have.

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Still living in Shalford I have my mum, Irene O’Grady, my sister, Teresa Andrews and my auntie, Eileen Beatwell, they were also all born in Shalford.

Sadly one memory that has disappeared is the beautiful Jubilee Oak, I loved that tree and it looks so empty there now. I thought it would live for many 100’s of years and always be there for my generation and many more to come but I guess times moves on.

I hope you enjoyed my memories .


Moyra Overall (nee O’Grady)

26th July 2013