Oxhill News

www.oxhill.com / www.oxhill.org.uk

South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

May 2012

This months News



Who else watched the Coronation on Television?

Bert Bloxham, at 95, can look back on a long life spent first as a boy in Tysoe, and then in Oxhill after his marriage in 1944.  Bert has had a recent spell in hospital, but is home again now, and in going over his old memories, he has set me a challenge.  He would like to find out how many people in the village were able to watch the Queen’s Coronation on their own television in 1953!  Bert and Joy had one of the earliest sets in the village: it had cost £34, and had a nine inch screen.  They had a roomful of people in to watch it on the great day, including, so Bert tells me, a Polish girl then working at the Manor, indicating the likelihood that there was not then a set there.  Televisions were scarce at that date.  My own family drove from Hertfordshire to Worcester in order to watch the Coronation on an uncle’s newly acquired TV.  Bert would like to enlist the help of readers of the Oxhill News to help answer his query.  Can any of our older residents please help?

His thought has of course been prompted by the forthcoming celebrations for the Queen’s Jubilee.  Thinking over the other royal celebrations he has taken part in, Bert says that the one he enjoyed best was the Jubilee of George V in 1935, when he was a young man in Tysoe. The Tysoe villages (Upper, Middle and Lower) all joined together for sports in the old football field behind the Fire Station.  (Bert does not like to call it the Old Fire Station: to him that name belongs to the original Fire Station opposite the butchers’.)  In the evening there were two bonfires – one on the top of Sunrising, and one at the Windmill, to which the villagers of Winderton were invited. Two of the Tysoe girls then walked on from the Windmill to Winderton, but later found that the homeward journey, in the dark and after midnight, was none too easy!

The Oxhill Parish Minute book for 1935 records that Oxhill’s celebrations cost in total £20 6s 6½d.  (The average agricultural labourer’s weekly wage was then £1 11s 5½:  Peter says on this basis the sum raised would equate to £2,750 - £3,000, so it was a substantial amount.)  To commemorate the occasion, a copper beech tree was planted in Beech Road at a cost of 10 shillings.

The Parish Meeting had agreed that if the soil were carefully prepared and the leaves stripped, the tree would have a better chance of surviving its first winter, even though not planted at the proper time of year.  This plan seems to have worked, and the tree flourished.

Things did not go so well two years later in 1937, when a red chestnut was planted at the top of Rouse Lane to commemorate the Coronation of George VI.  It died in the following winter, and a new tree had to replace it in 1938.  Sadly ill fortune had befallen this one too, (after more than three score years and ten), and it has succumbed to disease. It is good news to hear that an oak tree commemorating the Diamond Jubilee has been proposed to take its place.

Ann Hale

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Last modified: April 27, 2012