My mum Rene (Alice Irene Flitney née Harding) died in 1999. When my brother, sister and I went through her things we found an envelope full of old newspaper clippings and other bits and pieces. We looked through the papers and put the envelope away, but those yellowing pieces of paper keep whispering of half-forgotten times and places. Places like Butlers Cross, Stoke Mandeville, Aylesbury, West Wycombe, Little Kimble, Wendover, Ellesborough, Southcourt and Princes Risborough.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

A Walk in Winslow

Winslow is a market town and civil parish in the Aylesbury Vale district of North Buckinghamshire. The town was first recorded in the charter by which King Offa granted it to St Albans Abbey in 792/3 as Wineshauue, which translated into modern English means Wine's Burial Mound. In the Domesday Book of 1086, it was recorded as Weneslai.

My association with Winslow came about through visits to my paternal grandmother Daisy Clara Flitney. I don’t know when granny moved to Winslow, but I feel sure she was there during the 1950s and 60s.  Most of my memories of those visits stem from around the time of my 10th birthday in 1958. 

I have no recollection of my brother Tony or my sister Sue visiting granny with us. There is an age gap of approximately ten years between the three of us, so Tony might have been married by that stage and Sue was probably working. That would explain why I recall long walks around Winslow with my dad without either of my siblings. I loved being with dad and to have him all to myself was a real treat.  Mum and granny were always pleased to have us “out from under their feet” while they chatted about the latest “goings on” in the family. Don’t ask me what those “goings on” were but trust me when I tell you they spent a lot of time discussing them.

Our walks always followed the same route.  Exit via the back door, three turns around the bird bath (me not dad!) a quick dash through the garden to catch up and out through the gate at the end. Turn right on to the footpath, right again past the cricket pitch. Continue along the footpath before turning right once more onto the high street.  Stop at the sweet shop for a sherbet fountain (sherbet with a liquorice dip) or a quarter of cough candy for me and a sugar mouse for dad. These were to be enjoyed as we took a leisurely stroll around the market square and the churchyard before eventually returning home.

In July of this year (2014), Terry and I visited Winslow. We expected to find the footpath gone, and a housing estate where the cricket pitch used to be, but we were pleasantly surprised. The photographs that follow are a record of our visit.
This is such a well remembered view.  As a child, I was always looking out for the pub at the end of the road because that meant we had arrived!  Dad would turn right in front of the pub and park at the back of a row of houses, and that’s exactly what Terry and I did this time.

The footpath still runs along the back of the houses, but I remember trees on both sides, and I don’t think there was a car park back then.

The sports field with the cricket pitch in the background.

Winslow Market Square and George Hotel 2014
July 2014, The Market Square and The George Hotel, Winslow

Winslow Market Square and George Hotel c1930s

and as it once looked

Buckinghamshire; Winslow Market Square and George Hotel

July 2014, St Laurence Parish Church, Winslow

St Laurence Parish Church as I remember it in the 1950s

Sadly, the visitors’ book in the church only goes back to September, 1989.  I was hoping to find an older one as I feel sure we would have signed it.

Shop in the Market Square, Winslow
Fancy T-hat
A colourful shop in the Market Square

even brighter inside.

Houses close to the Market Square, Winslow, Bucks.
One of the streets close to the market square.

The High Street now

and as it once looked.

A Sugar Mouse for Dad
The old sweet shop has gone but the new ‘retro’ one sold sugar mice, so I bought one in memory of dad.

A walk along the high street and back to the house.
High Street Winslow, Bucks.
I couldn't remember the address but thanks to Cousin John and Google maps we found it. The only new additions are the vintage signs otherwise it looks exactly as it did even down to the colour of the paint!

High Street Winslow, Bucks.
The carriage entrance at the side of the house was a source of delight to me as a child. The little door in the centre of the large door was endlessly fascinating. 

Daisy Flitney with Denis Flitney In the garden at Winslow
Granny Daisy and dad in the back garden at Winslow

Daisy, Barbara and Rene Flitney Winslow, Bucks in the 1960s
Granny, me, and mum in the back garden at Winslow

High Street, Winslow, Buckinghamshire
Granny always stood on the pavement to wave us off, dabbing her eyes with a hankie as we drove away.
This time it was me shedding a tear.

If you would like to read more about the history of Winslow there is a very good site here.


  1. Tony and I used to visit before and after you were born. We used to have to sit in the parlour and read the nature books that Granny bought regularly. Each of these books had an inscription in the front and some of them were"for Susan when I die". I never did get a book, but guess they were worn out by the time Granny died

    1. Hi Sue, it's really odd I just can't picture you or Tony there! I think probably because I’m remembering the visits after you stopped going. I guess by the time I was 10 you would have been ‘going out’ with Bob and Tony would have been married? The walks with dad were pretty special so maybe those memories have swamped the others. Perhaps I will remember more as the years go past. I've got a couple of books that say "for Denis when I die" but none with your name in.xx

  2. Hello Barbara and Sue,
    Another interesting read with some familiar scenes. So beautifully presented too....

    1. Hi John, so pleased you enjoyed it. Your turn next week!

  3. Looking forward to the next installment,it looks like a lovely placeXXX

    1. Hi Paula, I recommend a visit to Winslow if you are ever in the area. It was really nice to go back because it lived up to my memories.

  4. Replies
    1. Hi John, comments have to be approved before they are published on the blog, so there is always a time delay.
      I like the picture. It's nice to see the person I'm 'talking' to. I hope you are enjoying the weekend. Barbara


I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara x

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