A GLIMPSE OF ONE SMALL PART OF ENGLAND IN PICTURE AND PROSE
FARINGDON AND DISTRICT IN THE COUNTY OF BERKSHIRE 1953
Raymond H. Hutt
This collection was presented in an album of black & white photographs mounted on about 100 black paper pages by Raymond before he passed away in 2002. The photos are interspersed with poetry and prose written in capital letters using white ink. I have tried to emulate the same layout here in the following presentation. Copies of each photograph and photocopies of the album pages are stored in the society archives, the original album remains with the family.
A photographic tour around Faringdon and beyond. The tour takes us around Faringdon and also out to the River Thames at Lechlade and the ancient White Horse on the Berkshire Downs above Uffington; then back along the railway line.
What was living in Faringdon like around 1953? The streets of Faringdon were lined with the houses that mostly we see there now. There were none of today’s sprawling housing estates filling in the fields behind. The population had remained around 3000 for more than a hundred years, at least a third of what it is today. The streets of Faringdon were still lit by gas lamps. In most homes there would have been electric lighting but few plug-in electrical goods now considered essential like a vacuum cleaner, fridge, washing machine, or television. Most homes would have had a wireless (radio) that quite likely had to be plugged into a ceiling light socket after removing the bulb. There was no A420 bypass, only one in ten UK households owned a car, and horses were still a very common sight on the streets. The town was full of shops selling everything you could possibly need or dream of. Faringdon had a railway station, about 20 public houses, and a friendly local policeman could be seen pounding his beat every day. There also seems to be a continuous supply of cows out grazing on this tour, not so common a sight today! How times have changed.