Memories of Stanstead Abbotts

Recorded by Janet Dance on Monday 21st May 2012

Mrs Dolly Potton (Age 91)

Dolly remembers doing a milk round whilst she was still at school. Harwoods owned the milk round and they lived at Walford House in the High Street, Dolly had to get the horse from the field behind the house and help hitch it to the cart. Mr Hurford would then come out and put the milk churns on the cart.
Dolly and her brother Alf would then go to the houses with a jug to measure out the milk. She said the horse always knew where to stop at each of the house where they bought the milk.

Mrs Josie Patmore
Josie has lived in the village for 50 years – her husband was born in Marsh Lane.
Her husband and ‘Skipper Hitch’ did a lot of work to build the Scout hut in the village. Josie used to run the Brownies for approx 10 years – she still gets involved with her daughter/granddaughter’s pack in Hoddesdon when she cooks for them on Pack Holidays.
Josie remembers the floods coming up from the end of Marsh Lane in one direction and from the ditch along Roydon Road in the other direction.

Mrs Kathleen Baker (Age 91 years)
Kathleen has lived in the village since birth, her father, Frank Lawrance owned the coal and corn business situated near the bridge. Kath remembers standing on the bridge watching the ‘sparks’ go up during the Blitz in London. Kathleen attended St. Andrew’s School, her two brothers went to Longmores School in Hertford. Her mother was a member of the W.I.
Kathleen remembers the village being a hive of industry with 9 Pubs, 4 Butchers, 3 Bakers, 2 Fishmongers, Anderson’s Ironmongers, Mrs Russell who owned a Clothes shop at the corner of South Street, Andrews the Saddle maker where Butlers shop now is, Mr Butcher owned the Greengrocer and was also a fishmonger, Mr Sweeney being the other Fishmonger. There was also a village Blacksmith and a Mrs Imms owned a Newsagent near the bridge. Nat West and Barclays banks also had branches in the village. There was a Shoe shop owned by the Wilshere family which was  situated where Vintage Rock Hairdresser now is. Mr Jack Harwood, a Dairyman had a couple of petrol pumps outside the front of his house next door to the shoe shop.
Kath’s father was Captain of the Fire Service in the village. They had a horse drawn fire tender and he had to catch the horses from the field next to the fire station before attending any fire. In the County Fire Service competitions, Stanstead Abbotts always did very well.