1911. Army manoeuvres. The troops were en route from the feeding station at Church Path farm. There was an enlisting station based in the Bull Inn on London Street. They would receive 5/- for every man they enlisted, and as beer was only 2d a pint, they considered it a good bargain to spend up to 2/6 per man in their efforts to persuade men to enlist. The men were known as ‘Volunteers’ and they paraded through the town quite regularly. They were all keen riflemen and had their targets in a field at the end of Southampton Street, firing at these from the butts at the foot of Jasper’s Hill. Hence the naming of Butts Road, Butts Close and Volunteer Way.
1911. An early traffic jam in the Market Place. Lots of London taxis, those with a spare tyre on the roof, had brought many foreign military attaches to Faringdon to observe Army manoeuvres. The Prime Minister, Mr Asquith, accompanied by the Duke of Connaught (his car is the white one) and many others, watched the proceedings.
This event must have been quite a shock for the population of Faringdon when you consider that motor vehicles were only just becoming widely available and then only for the more wealthy classes, so very few had ever been seen on our streets before.
Extracted from: The Changing Faces of Faringdon and Surrounding Villages – Bk2 p40. By Rosemary Church, Jim Brown, Millie Bryan and Beryl Newman. Robert Boyd Publications.