Beguiled by Bibury
THE photograph of Arlington Row, Bibury, in your 120th anniversary issue (May 31) brought tears to my eyes. My father was born in Arlington Row in 1907 and the lady in the middle ground could well be my grandmother holding my father’s younger brother in her arms.
My father filled my childhood with tales of Bibury, pre 1914, and they weren’t stories of a bucolic idyll. He remembered grinding, rural poverty: a village in which the doctor from Burford took three weeks to attend his mother after his birth in December. The limpid stream often flooded through the cottages. My grandfather, a valued gardener at Bibury Court, drank most of his wages in the snug at the Swan Inn, now an expensive hotel.
However, my father loved the village as no other place on Earth and, although he’d moved with his mother and brothers to Swindon by 1918, when he died in 1997, I fulfilled his final wishes by scattering his ashes opposite his front door and in the tranquil stream.
Brenda Davies, Gloucestershire