Remembering Ullenhall – Mrs Madge Sharratt nee Lenton
I was born on the 24th November 1913 and lived at the Winged Spur with my Grandfather, uncle and mother. My father was a sergeant in the army so I did not see much of him. The house was quite primitive with outside toilets, kitchen and bedroom accommodation. My father was a saddler and worked at Henley-in-Arden. My mother helped look after the Winged Spur. My Grandfather was Walter Walker and all my family are buried at the Old Chapel.
There was a cottage next to the Spur where the Clayton family lived but was demolished to make way for a car park.
The village was very similar as today though the fields have now been built on for houses. The people who lived in the village were very friendly.
I left in 1934.
I started to go across to the school when I was 3 years of age as I lived at the Winged Spur, & Miss Crookes had taught my mother & uncle. I left when I was 11.
The School was a brick building with two classrooms, a playground and outside toilets. The classrooms were just furnished with desks and chairs – Teacher’s desk and piano in main classroom, just table, desk and chairs in smaller classroom. The playground was a fenced area adjoining the school with a rough surface. Boys weren’t separated from girls.
Many subjects were taught – Maths, R.E., English, Mental Arithmetic, Spelling, Geography & History. My favourite was maths. At playtime we played ball games, skipping and tops. I went home for dinner. The Vicar visited the school and we took part in Church services. We rarely went on school trips but occasionally we did school plays. The cane and standing in the corner were the punishments used.
Miss Crookes – Very tall, thin, angular & severe, always wore a trilby type hat & very strict. She was quick to punish, able to keep control in the classroom, a bit scary.
Miss Albrighton – In the days of Miss Crookes they both lived at the School House. Very kind & taught me to play the piano. She played for songs & hymns. She was quite buxom. She was very nice and homely, and kept control in the classroom.
Miss Seal – Very small & grim, hardly ever smiled. Also very strict. She was quick to punish especially if she took a dislike to anyone. Small in stature but didn’t like to use the cane – bottoms for boys & hands for girls. She also lived at the School House.
Mrs Mahoney – Don’t seem to remember her much. When I was 11 I passed the exam to go to Henley.
Mrs Barrett – Very kind, but again it was after I left. She lived at a Farm.
Mrs Friend – Also did not have much contact with Mrs Friend, but a very kind teacher & easy to get on with. She was able to keep control in a nice way.
It was a lovely house with a circular entrance with all rooms leading off. The main room had a French window and overlooked the field and tennis court. It had quite a long drive from the main street. A lovely family house.
My best recollection is of the Rev. Pelton, tall, and when he was preparing his sermon used to keep walking round the tennis court at the vicarage with a handkerchief hanging from the back of his hat. Not very approachable. Yes he did have a family and his wife used to hold Mother’s meetings at the Vicarage & while sewing etc was going on she used to read to them most interesting books.
I went to Church and sang in the choir. The Sunday School was held at the Day School and Mrs Pelton, the vicar’s wife, was in charge of our Religious instruction, & I played the piano for the hymns from when I was 6 years old.
COFFEE HOUSE/VILLAGE INSTITUTE
I remember this from when I was quite young. We did hold social evenings there, and also played croquet on the lawn outside.
I had used to visit Barrells Hall occasionally. My Grandfather was Butler there & my uncle Head Gardener. I have only vague recollections of my Grandfather working at Barrells Hall, but I do remember my uncle. He was very happy in his work there and occasionally would bring me a few flowers out of the Garden.
It was a sad day for the village when Squire Newton vacated the Hall, they had St Mary’s Church & the School built.
I vaguely remember it being burned down, it was a lovely house with extensive grounds and in the winter we used to skate on the pool.
SHOPS & SERVICES
The Bakery was kept by the Allcott family at the bottom of the Village opposite the Institute. It also sold groceries.
The Stores was Jones General Stores in the centre of the Village.
The Post Office was by the Memorial & the Post Master was Mr. W. Richards, helped by his daughter Mrs E. Sparrow. It also sold groceries.
The Blacksmith was open & the farm people used to bring horses to be shoed & we children liked to work the bellows for the fire.