Memories of Bottesford
The Sutton Family
After World War 1 My father was gardener and chauffeur to Dr Martin, who lived atThe Thatch, High St, Bottesford. But he was a chauffeur with motor cycle and sidecar !
When I was about 5 or 6 years old my great uncle Johnny Sutton, who lived at 11 High St., would cycle round to our house every afternoon and shout through the door “Come on Mary, it’s time to feed the beast.” I would jump up on to the back axle of his tricycle and we would go to his two fields at Easthorpe, where he kept about 2 dozen bullocks.
We would go into the shed and tip some “cowcake” then go to the top field and shoot a rabbit for the pot, no myxomatosis in those days.
By then the animals were back in the field, we would close the shed and cycle home, an old gent in his seventies and a small girl. In all the months we did this there was never one mishap.
Johnny was a calm, kind-hearted man, very fond of his animals which was evident. He lived at number 13 High St. I believe it was at one time a butcher’s shop. When an attempt was made to modernise it, it was condemned, as a small culvert was found beneath the house.
Has anyone mentioned Waddy Bullimore? Waddy, the roadsweeper, lived in a shed. Next to the Rectory gates was a small yard with 3 stables. Waddy lived permanently in one, he had a scythe, brush and barrow and kept Bottesford village immaculate. Day after day, from dawn to dusk, he would be snipping and sweeping. I remember him because like Johnny his routine never altered.
His neighbours in Church Street were a number of prim and proper ladies.
Nellie and Beatrice James lived in Church St, had bee hives and kept hundreds of bees; the Geeson sisters had a shop opposite the back entrance to the Red Lion and although it was around 1940, still dressed beautifully in long black dresses, cameo broaches and pearls, and twirled their elaborate buns.
Then there were some ladies named Kettleborough who lived at the crossroads in what was once, I believe, a convalescent home; one of the ladies became a nun.
This is bringing back memories of summers spent swimming (self taught) in the Sandbanks at the top of Albert St, where it was a very deep stream, and walking for miles collecting flowers for the horticultural show. It was safer for children in those days, even though there was dozens of strangers building the aerodrome, men with WIMPEY printed on their duffle coats. They used to pass our house every night taking a short cut up Palmer’s Hills. We all used to take a sledge every winter to Mr Palmer’s fields, it was an annual event.
Here we go again, another memory. I used to take an enamel jug and buy a pint of milk straight from the cows. It was a picturesque old farm behind the church, cats, dogs and chickens all round the back door. It annoys me nowadays when they call it the Farming Industry, back then it was a way of life, and despite no strict hygiene rules my generation stayed fit and long lived. Which brings back one more item, an old man named Mr Samuels kept a shop near the Cross, he made “lemonade” in a bucket under the counter and would ladle it into bottles or jars and sell it.
My granddaughter Roxanne always wanted to be a vetinary nurse; she gained all the qualifications and was filmed briefly on the TV series Super Vets. She also got A levels in music playing clarinet in the school band, won prizes at the Oundle music festival and played in Peterborough Cathedral. We were all very surprised as we are not a clever family academically. She said it was no effort and something she felt compelled to do. I tell you this as it is proof that a family trait can surface even after a gap of a hundred years and 3 generations. In the past the Sutton family always had strong connections with music and animals. I hope these memories will add to the bigger picture of Bottesford in the past. It was a nice village.