Long Marston past and present

If the residents of Long Marston had been asked to isolate and not travel from their village less than 100 years ago, I don't think many lives would have been affected.

In the days before WW2 we had quite a selection of useful shops along the main street. Attached to the Rose and Crown pub on the bend near the church was a butcher’s shop, and opposite this a general store. Milk could be bought at John Chapman’s farm down Chapel Lane, and in the row of cottages by the crossroads a sweet shop could be found. Up Cheddington Lane there was a bakery with shop, and another butcher’s shop. Shoes could be mended by the local cobbler who worked from a shed nearby. Beyond the crossroads in Wheeler’s Yard there was another sweet shop and post office.

Any DIY problems could be sorted out by the village carpenter who had his workshop next to the general store, and there was a chimney sweep working from a cottage beyond Central Farm. A builder’s yard was on the land now occupied by Ravens Court.

Joby Green had a haircutting service near the crossroads and another barber was in business up Cheddington Lane. Where Forge Cottages now stand there was a garage. Bethels garage also had a forge and besides dispensing petrol they had a taxi service. Another forge was situated along Station Road in what is now Plough Cottage.

After a hard day’s work there was a choice of four pubs to take refreshment. Our present pub, the Queen’s Head, with the White Hart as a close neighbour, and at the other end of the village the Rose and Crown and the Boot.

With the coming of better transport and bus services the village facilities have dwindled over the years but it is rather nice to think of our village street bustling with people passing the time of day with each other as they did their daily shopping.

by Maggy Winship

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