Tenants at No 32

From Clifford Chambers
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Nos. 29 to 37 had to share a pump and it was a lovely meeting place for a chat. No 32 being the last in the row of houses, had the privilege of the washhouse attached to it. Consequently Mrs Agnes Batsford who lived at No 32, felt she had first right to both the pump and the washhouse, and wouldn’t let any of the other tenants in until she had finished her washing. She was a tarter and would accept no reasons for giving way. Even the fact that one of the families along the row had several children, thus producing an extra amount of washing, made no difference to her. Her washing came first as she was the tenant of the washhouse! Bob Batsford, her husband, was a character. He was a little man who was often seen with a truck and shovel, collecting the horse manure off the road, for his garden. Lawrence Salmon gave him quite a dance when in his pram. As soon as he saw Mr. Batsford walking along the road, he would dive into the well of his pram, pull out all the toys he could find, and hurl them onto the road. Then he would innocently watch Mr. Batsford pick them up and put them back in the pram and this, I understand was a daily occurrence.

Bob would then walk up to the shop to buy his newspaper which he did every morning. By the time he walked back to his home, he had read all the important parts of the paper. All through the War it was always the same. He would stop, with his newspaper in hand and talk to anyone he met. “”If so be we could do ….this or that..... things would be much better. But there – we can't – so it don't matter” and then walk on. And that constant comment always amused Martin Bailey.

Bob died in 1948 and, to keep her company, Agnes had her two grand-daughters come to live with her, Joyce and Kath. Kath worked for Tibor at the Mill. Joyce caught the eye of Vic Radbourne, so that was a good reason for her staying for somewhile with Granny!

One of the Batsford sons Tom, married the daughter of Clerk Lively. Fred, the other son, was left a widower with 2 little girls, when his wife Maggie died from appendicitis. Agnes died in 1955

John and Maisie Wilks moved in sometime later and made their home there for the rest of their lives.