Some memories of a summer in the 1920s
Extract from Baldock Voices edited by Maureen Maddren, Egon Publishing 1991
By Fiona O'connor
We used to have Sunday School treats in the field on Weston Way where the fire station is now and I remember one year Mr. and Mrs. Blanks had a stall up there selling ripe red gooseberries and if we won a penny or ha’penny on the races then we’d aim for the gooseberries. This was the Methodist Sunday School – Dad was a lay preacher there – they used to call them local preachers then.
I remember the Flower Shows, they were lovely; they were run by Michael Sands and Johnny Booth, on August Monday, it was always a nice day. The show was held where the caravan park is now, up Limekiln Lane. There used to be a big field at the top there and they were always held in that. There were all the prizes for vegetables and flowers and flower arrangements and things like that. There was also a prize for the best collection of wild flowers and we came third with our wild flowers one year. I can remember the smell of the flowers in that marquee now, beautiful, and with all the girls in their summer dresses it was lovely. They also had a fancy dress competition – my sister and I went as Jack and Jill one year. Yes, it was always a fine day, August Bank Holiday Monday, it never rained.
We always went in the procession, all dressed up; the first one I can remember going in, my mother dressed me up as an advertisement for Primrose soap which was a well known make at that time. She sent off to the firm for things to put on the dress and back they came. I had a purple hat and little white socks and a poster of the soap to carry on a card. My sister went as a dolly in a box and she was carrying a little dolly in her hands, dressed just the same as she was. She won first prize and I got a ‘Highly Comended’ because they said you couldn’t have two prize winners in one family. But my mother sent a photo of me up to the Primrose Soap people and we got the most gorgeous box of soaps back, as many different kinds of fancy soaps as you can imagine.
We used to go to the Sunday School treats in Morris’s Meadow. Fish Paste sandwiches, slab cake and bring your own mug. We used to think it was wonderful – it WAS wonderful!