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Local quotes

by | Apr 10, 2020 | Village Folk | 0 comments


Some local quotes

The following extract comes from a newspaper article of 10 August 1962. The article was written for the Royston Crow which at that time appears to have been called the Herts and Ca(mbridge Observer?) and Royston Crow – I only have part of the newspaper title!

The article was written by Irene Cranwell and contains some rather lovely quotes from local villagers. To be able to read their words again here really does bring them more to life. I have linked the quotes to other information about them on this website where it exists.

A history of Chrishall. Its links with nobility. Quotes from Parish records by Irene Cranwell.

Some quaint sayings.

When the true countryman makes what in present day parlance is known as a ‘wisecrack”, there is usually a profound truth underlying the utterance. We have had in Chrishall several observations made by rustic philosophers, whose humour and shrewd wit seem too good to be lost to Posterity.

Peter FlackWho can better the advice given by the late Mr Peter Flack (picture left) to his son, about to begin his apprenticeship? – “Now, boy – keep your ears an’ eyes open – an’ yar mouth SHUT!”.

And the observation by the late Mr Walter Goode, when told he had made a mistake, retorted. “Yes, Master, p’rhaps I hev. ‘Tis they as does the work as makes the mistakes. They as never does any, never makes any.” – And how true a thrust is that!

The late Mr Albert Rogers was well known for his epigrammatic sayings. When he heard a mother complain about her sons wearing out their shoes, murmured, “Better to wear out shoes than sheets.” The same sage was strongly against anyone jumping to hasty conclusions. He would observe, “You’ve got to winter and summer a man before you know him.”

In slightly different vein comes a piece of advice given by one beater to another. It was told to me by the late Mr Lewis Kent, about a conversation he overheard while shooting one day at Chrishall Grange. Over the hedge were the beaters. Said one, “Don’t get too close to Mr Kent.” “Why?” asked the other. “D’ye think he’ll shoot me?” “No”, said the first, “He won’t shoot you, but he’ll shoot everything else – and you’ll have to carry it!”

I am indebted to the late Mrs Doris Pitches for the following story:- There once lived at No. 1 Brick Row, an old man named Mr James Guiver, who grew exceedingly annoyed at people who left his garden gate open. To counteract this, this resourceful “do-it-yourself” gentleman took his gate down, and put up a stile in its place. Any visitor had to negotiate the stile before getting to the door – and he didn’t leave the gate open!

The late Mr Stephen Slater had very definite ideas on many subjects. Like most cottagers, the Slater family kept a pig. When it was time for pig-killing it was always arranged for it to be done while the moon was “growing” (i.e. waxing). It was firmly believed that there would not be as much meat on the pig if it was killed while the moon was “dying” (waning). Many country folks shared this firm belief.

William Cranwell 1899One old lady who used to live in the house occupied by Mr and Mrs Raymond Cranwell, used to stop her clocks on Sundays saying that they needed a rest as well as we. Three brothers of this considerate lady used to play musical instruments in Chrishall Church before the installation of the first church organ, to accompany the singing. The clarinet, played by William Cranwell (picture right), is still in the possession of Miss Margaret Pitches, of Great Chishill, who has treasured it for many years. Incidentally to Miss Pitches I owe the information that a granddaughter of the old lady mentioned above, a Miss Dorothy Searly, went to Ceylon. There she married – in the late 1920s – a Mr Reginald de la Pole, whose ancestry can be traced back to the 14th century. He was a collateral descendant of the de la Poles who were great land owners….


There I’m afraid the newspaper article is torn but I think we just miss the last few words of the article.




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