(March 1992) Sibford Ferris housing this century

From Dyers to Warmingtons and from Little London to Oddies, as children in the 1930’s, we knew who lived in every house in the village, and very few changes took place. Many of the cottages were rented and some must have been bursting at the seams. Most houses known by the name of the person living there, apart from some of the larger houses and Little London, which appears to have had that name for many years.

In this century, Home Close was built before the first world war, on the site of an old barn and cottage, and between the wars, Beech Cottage, The Small House and Richmond House were built; but it was after the second war that the real expansion took place.

There have been 28 council houses and bungalows replacing 5 previous dwellings, 5 barn conversions and 31 other new dwellings. The Old School (Manor), the New School and the Boys and Girls houses are not included in this tally, although they do have accommodation for single and married staff, but the school bungalows up Back Lane and the houses in Hillfield are included. In two or three cases, 2 or more cottages have been made into one, and in one or two cases a house has been divided into two, but 64 new dwellings in the second half of the century, with only 4 in the first half, is quite impressive, Two cottages near the entrance to Mannings Close and two at Rymell’s Corner (Hook Norton road corner) have gone altogether. Houses outside the immediate village, like Shortlands and Austins Ground have not been included.

There were about 44 dwellings occupied in my youth and Holly House was where the Doctor lived and was privately owned. This meant that the only access to the Hill was along the Back Lane and that was the way all building materials must have gone when it was built, as well as all the traffic for the next 20 years or so, (a safer exit than Holly House Drive!). Cows were regularly brought down the lane for milking in the buildings behind the Old House (now part of Lambs Croft).

With the increased changes in ownership and the greater number of houses, it is no wonder that our aging brains have difficulty in keeping up with all the names (of houses and occupiers!)

Ina Lamb.