THE PAST IN COLOUR

Evergreen - - Spring 2016 -

The year is 1938. All is peace­ful with not a car in sight, a far cry from to­day be­cause this is now a well- known com­muter town 27 miles to the north- west of Lon­don, to which it has ex­cel­lent rail con­nec­tions. How­ever, this is the older part of town, si­t­u­ated in the Misbourne Val­ley, not to be con­fused with the higher mod­ern area which grew up around the sta­tion in the heart of John Bet­je­man’s Metroland.

The Grade 1 listed church is St. Mary’s whose Vic­to­rian fa­cade hides arte­facts and ar­chi­tec­ture dat­ing back to the 13th cen­tury. The other build­ings all have tim­ber- framed win­dows and doors typ­i­cal of pre- war Bri­tain.

The small boy is ex­am­in­ing sweets in the to­bac­conist’s win­dow which is also dis­play­ing ad­verts for Player’s Please, Wills’s Wood­bines and Star cig­a­rettes plus Dig­ger and Gold Flake to­bacco. The solid front door says “open” while out­side is a green lamp post with cross pieces for the old lamp lighter who once leant his lad­der there be­fore ig­nit­ing the gas man­tle at dusk. There are also two fin­ger posts, one of which points to the sta­tion, plus a clock with no­tices un­der­neath, pos­si­bly re­lat­ing to a coach­ing stop.

Don’t try chat­ting in the road with your neigh­bour to­day, how­ever, be­cause this is Old Amer­sham in Buck­ing­hamshire, ad­ja­cent to Amer­sham- on- the- Hill.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.