(July 1985) Shoppers’ paradise

It was surprising how many shops there were in Sibford in the early 1900’s.

In Sibford Gower there used to be a Co-op opposite our school. It sold groceries, parrafin and coal. A sweet shop had its place in front of what is now Wyatt’s Close. That was owned by Miss Wyatt, hence the name. The Old Post Office was once the Post Office, owned by Mr Inns. Another sweet shop was in Bond’s End Lane. Mrs Stow owned this one and used to sell sweets costing one farthing (¼ of ½ a penny).

In Burdrop there was a shoe-menders that sold milk as well and was owned by Mr Ward.

In Sibford Ferris there were many shops. An old lady named Mrs Long owned the Bakehouse (now the Old Bakehouse), and baked the bread. On Sundays before Church people brought their beef and Yorkshire pudding to the bakehouse and she would bake it for 6d (2½p).

At Sunnybank there was a Post Office and shop. This was owned by Miss Green and that is where the name of Green’s Shop came from. Dame Anne’s house had a small grocers shop and drapers in it. In Little Thatch there was a wool shop. It then moved to Maria’s House. The wool shop was owned by a Mrs Gibbins.

When you needed meat the butcher called. After the bakehouse closed down, bread came from the baker in Epwell, Tysoe or Hook Norton.

To get water in Sibford you had to draw it from a well. There was one outside Valley View, and one at the Burdrop end of Mannings Hill by the seat up to the Church Field. There was a coal depot in Sibford where Home Farm Close now stands. There were two stone quarries in Sibford Ferris, one at Temple Mill and one at Belle Isle Farm.

A Sibford Club kept Sibford going. This was an insurance club for sickness and special club days were arranged for all the village.

In Sibford Manor lived a man called Frank Lascelles. He looked after all the farm machinery in a big barn at the back of the Manor. Most of Sibford’s farm machinery was kept here for there wasn’t much.

When there were no cars it took a whole day to get to Banbury and back in a cart for the horses had to pull up all the hills. A carrier’s cart went back and fro once a day. The Carrier took orders from anyone in Sibford, and then went and got all the orders and brought them back. For instance, if you wanted a pair of shoes you could go to Banhury on the cart if there was room, or you could tell the carrier what kind of shoes you wanted and he would go to the shoe shop in Banbury and get a selection of shoes and bring them home for you to try on , and next day take back the ones you didn’t want. In about 1918 the first bus ran from Sibford.

Rebecca Moir helped in her researches by Mrs Frances Bason