Charlotte Hall - collected by Irene Bell

Charlotte Hall was born in 1918 in Ossington, moved to Danethorpe Hill when she was 6yrs old, moving to Coddington when she was 12 years old. They moved into the centre one of three cottages on the corner of Main Street, where the Tysoe house is now. The house had been lived in by Charlotte's sister, the mother of John and Derick Kirton, before they moved into the farm.

John Smith owned the cottages and the land was subsequently bought by Charlotte's brother, Walter Hall.

The cottages on the other side of the road opposite Chapel Lane were knocked down and the land bought by Bob Price, where he built his bungalow.

Charlotte went to school in the village school, now the Scout Hall. There were just three classrooms. The Headmaster was Mr. Gibson who lived at Forge house Balderton Lane.

Charlotte left school at 14 and went to work at the corset factory, Scales, which was upstairs at premises on London Road near Beaumond Cross.

In 1939, she married Cyril Hackett and they had one daughter, Patricia. Cyril was a foundry man and worked at Nicholsons, Ransome and Marles, and finally at Worthington and Simpsons.

They moved to their present house at Morgans Close in the early 1950's. The land the houses were built on had been the Hollingworth's paddocks. The houses round the corner, Parkes Close, were built on Fred Parkes orchard.

Charlotte was very sad to see the old cottages being knocked down, it was a very traumatic time and in fact she picked up two bricks from her old cottage, which she still has.

However romantic the old cottages seem, there was no running water, it all had to be brought in, "clean water in, dirty water out". The lavatory was at the bottom of the garden, and you had to empty it yourselves!!!!!

Charlotte had been working at the filling station at the top of Beacon Hill and had planned to buy a bungalow next to the garage, but decided that she wanted to stay near family and friends in the village.

During the war Charlotte had a land girl staying with them, Joan Brewer who came from Liverpool. She was actually in a group called "Timber Corps" and she worked in the woods with Walter Hall. Walter fell in love with Joan, but sadly after the war she moved back to Liverpool and eventually they lost touch.

Charlotte's mother was a great character, known by everyone in the village as Granny Hall. She lived in the cottage with Walter, who never married, moving to Valley View and died just after the end of the war.

The Daybells were the biggest farmer landowners in the village, and Charlotte remembers George Daybell coming to school every pancake day and he gave every child an orange to put on their pancakes. This stopped as soon as George died. His wife was cricket mad and every summer when there was a match, no matter what was being done on the farm, she would get someone to take her to Trent Bridge and pick her up again at the end of the match.

Charlotte remembers William and Sam Lee who owned the windmill, and the farmers coming with their corn to be ground into cattle feed, or with the extra fine filter to be ground into flour for home made bread.

William lived in an old stone cottage on Balderton Lane, which is no longer there. There was no staircase, he went to bed up a stepladder. William married and had one daughter, Olive. Sam never married.

There were three cottages at the back of the mill. Sam lived in one, Joe Ward in the another. All now knocked down.

After the war there was not the same need for milling, and the windmill fell into disrepair and the sails came off. As William only had a daughter and Sam never married there was no one to pass it on to. It was turned into a dwelling.

Charlotte was very happy in the old days living in the old cottage, but there was not much entertainment in the village itself. There were regular whist drives 4 or 5 nights a week, but Charlotte did not go, as they were very keen players, Mrs Walster in particular, who would go mad if you played a wrong card!!!!

The Youth Club put on variety shows once a year, run by Jimmy Wright who was the star turn with his monologues and John Knott the baker. The shows were in the school and, once, was put on at the camp.

Colonel Teddy Tallent held a garden party every summer, this was originally for church funds, eventually for funds for the village hall.

Once a year there was a Methodist Feast. The Daybells brought a horse and trap and took the children riding through the village, and then took them to his home for tea.

There was also a Methodist Feast Outing. All the churches in the area would parade around the village in beautifully decorated carts, meeting in Newark. It was always held on a Thursday. One man who always went to this parade was "Coaly" Taylor (Christian name unknown) always known as Coaly. He was the coal man and also a lay preacher.

Mrs. Fryer, who lived in the square house in Beckingham Road, organised coach trips, to the seaside and to the pantomime.

The main entertainment was going to the pictures in Newark every Saturday night. There were three cinemas, The Palace, The Savoy and The Kinema, later called The Ritz.

One day during the war, a car stopped alongside Audrey Patterson, a friend of Charlotte's, who lived in Balderton and they asked for direction to get to Ransome and Marles, she was reluctant to answer, war time "Careless talk costs lives" etc. The driver saw her reluctance to answer and told her "This is Gracie Fields in the back of the car". Gracie was going to sing to the workers for Workers Playtime. Cyril who was a keen member of the Red Cross, worked there at the time, has a photograph of himself and Gracie Fields on a calendar.

Finally, Charlotte says life is better now with hot and cold running water, indoor plumbing and all the other improvements to our lives, but still looks back to the "good old days" where everyone in the village knew everyone else and it was a much friendlier place.