Tenants at No 35

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Mrs. Rouse lived at No. 35 in the 1930’s/1940’s and probably beyond. In the small cottage with her lived her four daughters, one son, and later on a second husband! Her first husband died when her children were quite small and, with little money coming in, she had to find work. Rookes, the Wine Merchants, were the answer, and she was very successful in her work there, being asked to deal with the bar on cattle-market days. She was neat, smartly dressed and efficient, and brought up all her children to be neat, hard-working and efficient! One of her daughters unfortunately became a little too friendly with a G.I., so a little grandson was added to the household, but there was no lack of love for him. The whole family shared in the responsibility of bringing him up to be also neat, hard-working and efficient!

Tom, her son worked for Jack Steele – most probably with the horses, for when the time came for him to do his National Service, he joined the Horse-Guards along with Jack Huckvale. The only blunder he is known to have made is when he informed the Huckvale’s at No. 24 that Jack was taking some leave to come home and see a girl. The Huckvale’s at the time, had no idea their son had a girlfriend and certainly didn’t associate the young grand-daughter of the lady next door as being her. So Jack’s home-coming was a little tense!

Mr. Ryan, Mrs Rouse’s second husband – (and perhaps it would be better now to refer to her as Mrs. Ryan to save muddling her up with all the other Mrs. Rouse’s in the village) – worked at Long Marston Camp. Sometime after their marriage, the family moved to Stratford, and the house was then occupied by Mr.& Mrs. Cyril Rouse. Cyril was no connection at all to Mrs. Ryan! He was the son of a Mrs. Rouse who lived near to the village shop. When in 1952, most of the cottages in the village were sold, Cyril bought the village shop and moved in with his wife. The Malin sisters, who were the tenants of the shop, then moved into No. 35. It seemed to be an amicable switch-over! When Ellen, the older sister died, Clara Malins moved into a Nursing Home, and the house was sold to a Mrs. White. It was Mrs. White who started the renovations on the cottage to bring it up to modern standards. When she left, Bill Cross purchased it.

Bill taught French at KES. He was a tall thin man with a handsome sunburnt face, and always with a pipe to hand – which was unfortunate as it made his teeth very yellow! He was happy to talk to anyone who was willing to sit and listen. His speech was unhurried and thoughtful and, of course, intelligent! Occasionally he mentioned his daughter, though he never mentioned his wife who, we understood, was still alive. He loved to philosophise – especially on his humanist beliefs. Bowls and the Conservative Club were great passions of his, until other passions took over – gin and whisky! These last two passions took prominence in his later years when he would spend many hours at the Pub, sometimes barely able to walk home. When, eventually, he felt it was safer to stay and drink at home, he welcomed anyone in who called, even if it was just to collect his paper money! Once in, he would urge them to sit and, for as long as he could, persuade that person to stop. There would be a lengthy discussion, with Mr. Cross being the main speaker, on a large number of subjects. Whisky and gin eventually became so much a part of his life, there were times he had to be roused from a very heavy sleep to eat some food, and once he had to be roused from the bath in order to get dressed! There came a time when he had to be hospitalised and, although there were brief visits back, he died in hospital.