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Post Info TOPIC: Lifting the Latch by Sheila Stewart


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RE: Lifting the Latch by Sheila Stewart
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Thanks for that information Shane.  I am not with the Main Library in Town,  but with a small Library in Prettygate.  I will pop in and order it the next time I am at the precinct and the Library is open. (They have just reduced their opening hours/days because of cutbacks).

 

Irene



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Looks like copies do exist in your area Irene from scanning the Essex Libraries catalogue:

http://aquabrowser.essexcc.gov.uk/ABL/

Seem to be reserved though, perhaps its you and you've got there already!

Thanks
Shane



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Hi Irene:

I don't know if it would be allowed these days...especially in front of children! Thanks also for clearing up the mystery of the memorial bench. It's good to hear that Dorothy (author) Calcutt is still going strong.

I hope you manage to get a copy of Sheila Stewart's book to read. It will be interesting to see if it is as readily available in East Anglia as it is in Saskatchewan.

I hope your fine weather continues. We have had our second "substantial" snow fall, and I had to spend most of Friday morning clearing the driveway. Luckily it was the light, fluffy stuff so was easy to shovel. At least I know I won't have to cut the grass again this year!

Barb





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Hi,

Must try and get that book.  I remember Henry Hawtin with affection.  He was a smashing chap. His son was in my year at Chippy.  I well remember travelling to school across the high road between Chadlington and the Burford Road. The bus would halt and Henry would get out of the cab with his cudgel in his hand. Off he would go into the bushes and after a quick whack another poor rabbit would be put out of its misery.  Myxomatosis was rife in those days and it was terrible to see all those rabbits dying with that disease.  Would that type of `quick death` be allowed these  days?

 

Irene

 



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Hi all,

Sorry I missed the previous messages, just caching up on things.  It is harder as you get older!!!

Regarding Dorothy Calcutt - bench in memory of.  That Dorothy Calcutt was the sister-in-law (or as near to as possible) of the author Dorothy Calcutt.

One Dorothy married Frank, one Dorothy married Sydney (brothers).

I have just written my Xmas card to Dorothy (author) Calcutt - I hope she is still at the same address!!!

Take care all of you in this very unseasonal weather, you could get heatstroke.  We are drought stricken, here in East Anglia and have just been told not to waste water over the winter months.

Irene

 

 



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Glad to hear that this brought back happy memories for you.  I'm still amazed that this book is available in Canada - and I wonder how many of those who have borrowed that copy have roots in Oxfordshire and how many, like you, have family who knew Mont and the other wonderful characters in his book. 

Bye for now - Linda



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I've just finished reading Lifting the Latch by Sheila Stewart and it was like spending a week in Stwunsfull with my Gran and Grampy. Mont Abbot worked for Taffy Hughes for many years, and so did my Grampy. In fact my Mum said that Mont often biked over from "our Enstone" to have a "cuppa tay" with Grampy. She remembers seeing him and was surprised that I didn't remember him (I would have been about 2-3 years old at the time!). There be also a paragraph or two about 'enry 'awtin. 'e drove the school bus to Chippy for years, and "var like" Irene will remember him too.

At the beginning of Chapter 6 "there be talk about" Frank Packer, from Chipping Norton, who cycled "...with his tripod and tackle all over the district photographing the picturesque and peculiar." I wonder, Shane, if he be the one who took the photo of Edward working out in the fields? I reckon that be more peculiar than picturesque (but a gem to all of his direct descendants).

There is also mention of Mont's sister Dora who went into service when she was thirteen and worked at "...a big house near Oxford. She had her photo tooked soon after she left home, at Norman Taylor's Day and Electric Studios in Oxford." (p.94) I wonder if that is the same place my Gran had her photo taken when she was in service.

The book is wonderful. Sheila Stewart has definitely captured the era and the dialect. Thanks so much Linda for mentioning it on this website.

Barb

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That book sound interesting Linda, by way of another family link to the Fulwell area, I know that my own Great-Grandfather Frank Oliver and his family spent time living in Fulwell, about 1930s/1940's I think, and I think Frank worked at Ditchley Park at the time.

There is a thread on this website messageboard about Frank Halls book, titled New Book from Stonesfield Resident Frank Hall, I bought my copy from the shop in Stonesfield a couple of years back, £10 I think - He is also linked to the Oliver family too, through Barb's line.

frankhall.jpg

And finally, re: Dorothy Calcutt, we were walking through Combe and across the Cricket pitch a few weeks back when I noticed the following on a memorial bench outside the pavillion:

calcutt.jpg

I assume this is the same Dorothy Calcutt who wrote the books The Salt of the Earth, Born in a Stable, My Three Hats and I Love Life (?), but honestly, I thought she was still alive today.

Thanks,
Shane



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Hello Barb

That's fantastic that you have this book available in your libraries in Canada.  I know you will enjoy reading it.  You may even know of some of the people mentioned in the book.  In one of the chapters there is a piece about my Dad's family (not the Oliver side of my family).  They were the Beckett family and worked for the Oxford Steam Ploughing Company.  You can imagine my delight when I came across this piece - I suddenly realised I was reading about my Grandfather and Great Grandfather.  My Dad never knew his Dad because he died when he was very young and my Dad also died when he was in his late forties so my knowledge of this side of the family is very limited.

I've read Dorothy Calcutt's books but I've not heard of the one by Frank Hall.  I'll look out for that one.

Bye for now from a very wet day in Oxfordshire - Linda



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Hi Linda:

I was quite surprised to find that there is a copy of Lifting the Latch in a library here in Saskatchewan, Canada and have requested a copy to be brought to "my" library for me. The nearest copy of Ramlin Rose is in Ontario, but I have requested a copy of that too.

I really enjoyed reading the books by Dorothy Calcutt (I went to Chippy School with her daughter Madge), and the one by Frank Hall which was published a couple of years ago. It all helps to keep me in touch with Oxfordshire in general and Stonesfield in particular.

Thanks for mentioning these books, Linda.

Barb

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On Radio 4's A Good Read last week Rich Stein's choice of book was Lifting the Latch by Sheila Stewart and this prompted me to get my copy off the shelf again.   A friend recommended this book to me many years ago and I was captivated from the beginning.  It's the life story of Mont Abbott who lived and worked in Fulwell and the area surrounding Enstone from the early 1900's.  It brings this part of Oxfordshire and its wonderful dialect to life.

It's a delightful book and, if you haven't read it already, like Rick Stein I can recommend it as a 'good read'.

I can also recommend another book by Sheila Stewart - Ramlin Rose - a story about a family living and working on the canal boats.



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