(July 1999) History Corner – a few pieces from the archives


“Sometimes we calls it sparrer-ketching. We goes at night with a dark lantern and opens it to dazzle ’em. Used to catch no end of sparrers, thrushes, blackbirds, sometimes a nice fat pigeon. You wouldn’t find that number nowadays, reckon it’s these pesticides.”

“Used to make pocket-money that way. Mr. Gaydon the farmer, he gives us I think it were three-‘apence a sparrer… Yes, 1s.6d. a dozen. We called it the sparrer club. And Dan’l Sabin at Woodway Farm, he’d got ivy a-growing up the walls and one night four or five on us, we shook it with our net and l can’t tell you how many comes a-fluttering out – leastways I can, because we counted and it were 99, and old Dan’l sez ‘Damn it, get yer century?’ so we had another go, and it were 104.”


Copy of an original letter to the Gower Post Office

27 Nov 1896

Mrs Inns, Sibford Gower

On and from 1st Dec your bags will be conveyed by mail cart instead of by Rural Postman and the following changes will be made:- viz

  • The mail cart will be due at your office at 7.15am
  • The present allowance for delivery to Gallows Hill @ 2/- will cease
  • The following duties will have to be provided for and allowances for some will commence
    1. Delivery at Burdrop, Sibford Ferris, The School, Dr Rouths, Sibford Elm, P.O. Hook Norton road, Woodway House, Temple Mills, The Colony and a collection at night from Sibford Ferris S.O. 4.55pm, Burdrop WB 5 pm due at your office 5.15pm. Wages 5/- (H Elley to be employed)
    2. Delivery Sibford Gower village (except the part on the way to Rye Hill beyond the Vicarage or Green) Handywater, Tyne Hill and Blenheim. Wages 3/-
    3. Delivery in Sibford Gower beyond Green and to Rye Hill and Coombeslade. Wages 1/6
  • The sealed bag for Sibford Ferris will arrive at your office enclosed in your bag.


Your box will be cleared at 5.15pm the Mail cart being due to arrive at 5.25pm. Endeavour to prevent delaying the cart on either journey. The letters collected by Elley from Burdrop box to be stamped and dealt with as if posted in your box.

The Sibford Ferris S.O. bag to be handed to the Mail driver loose, that is not enclosed in your bag.

Instructions for clearing the box are herewith. You will see that a tablet is brought in each day as evidence that the box has been duly cleared. Send them back on Monday and Tuesday. Small bag for that purpose on Monday. The key of the Burdrop Wall Box shall be sent to you on Monday night. Elley must always use a pouch when clearing the box and the key returned to you nightly. It would be well if Elley went with Barrett and saw the box cleared one night he would then understand the lock.

J Davenport