William Haines, the peripatetic barber of the parish, came in whilst I was talking to Joe Messenger and his wife. Haines said that a Shenington man who came here to the Primrose League Meeting asked him “as he allers does when he sees ma’, whether I’d got any squitch i’ my ‘lotment, as your gentleman at Sibbard, when he preached the Club sermon at Shenington 15 years ago, said as us ought’n’t to have”.
“What gentleman did he mean, Barber?”
“He meant you, sir.”
“Well, I should think he must be mistaken if he thinks (as Barber seemed to imply) that I remarked on the Shenington men cultivating their allotments badly, because I don’t know anything about them. I know some Sibford men are fond of squitch and we now have 2 acres of Charity land at the heath which we cannot let because it is in such a foul condition and we have had almost the same state of things at Sibford Gower. And yet some of the worst farmers among the labourers are crying out for more land.”
“Let ‘em do what they have got is what I says,” replied the Barber.