These are a series of articles which give more insight into the history of the Haslingfield Village Hall aka Pavilion and the recreating ground around it.
Before we start with the village hall we need to have a look at the recreation ground on which the hall was built. This ground was given as a legacy by Mr. Henry Badcock, who died on October 10th, 1921. He was a local Victorian figure, a reserved, kind man who farmed land at the bottom of Barrington Hill. He left some of his money in the hands of trustees with verbal instructions that the money was to be used for the specific purpose to buy a small piece of land which was to be used as a recreation ground for all the villagers to use.
The field that was purchased was running along river lane and was separated from another field by a long hedge running along its edge. This field was owned by the Chivers family, who gave it to the village on the condition that the two fields were made into one and used as a recreation ground in perpetuity. This is more or less the size and location of the current recreation ground.
Richard Cooper posted on the Haslingfield Facebook Page this photo of the Barrington Cement works when both chimneys were active. He thinks it was taken in the 1990s and no later than 1992. Anymore information would be greatly appreciated.
Barrington Cement Works c1990s
News items featuring the village in ‘The Cambridge Independent Press’, 1901-1920
Book compiled by John Beresford
£6 from Village Shop, Country Kitchen, Little Rose
and John, 01223 514849
Being in debt, and ill, was not a good state to be in in 1901. Thomas Purkin, or possibly Purkis, a 55-year-old labourer from Haslingfield, was committed to the County Gaol on September 27th. He was examined by the prison surgeon, and found to be suffering from “bonal disease of the thigh”. He was immediately sent to the hospital ward, and put on a special diet. He apparently knew of his serious condition, and said he was dying in greater comfort than he would have at home. He then developed pneumonia. Read more
At the beginning of the 20th century the school holidays in Cambridgeshire schools coincided with the period of harvest time, and many local pupils were employed to help bring it in. Percy Barnard was eleven in August 1918 when local farmer Mr. Watson employed him to lead the horses in one of his fields. Percy was leading a horse and cart loaded with corn down a slope when the horse bolted, and the cart seemingly ran over the boy. Dr. Young of Harston was summoned to the boy’s house immediately, but found no evidence of external injury. Sadly Percy had suffered severe internal injuries, and died the next day. A witness thought that the horse rather than the cart had inflicted the damage, and tragically the boy died the next day.
The coroner’s jury recorded a verdict of accidental death, with no blame attaching to anyone.
Every year, at the beginning of the last century, an annual flower show was held involving the villages of Great and Little Eversden, Harlton, Kingston, Comberton and Haslingfield (no Harston!). In July 1909 it was Haslingfield’s turn to host, and the show was held on Mrs. Wallis’ land. It was a splendid affair, with swing boats and roundabouts, a bowls tournament and a cricket match, where Haslingfield beat Comberton by 50 runs…. Read more
When conscription was introduced during the First World War, in 1916, those seeking exemption from military service were required to appear before local Tribunals, consisting of civilian as well as military personnel. For the inhabitants of Haslingfield, ‘local’ meant a trek to Chesterton.
The first of these cases was being heard in the summer of 1916. On June 9th Philip Watson, a local farmer of 430 acres as well as a meal dealer, was granted a conditional exemption, a Mr. Flack deeming it “a worthy case”. Read more
Mike Wickham was evacuated to Haslingfield in 1944, and this is some of his recollections of that time…
Aged 10, I was evacuated to Haslingfield during the Summer of 1944 from our home in Hornchurch, Essex, because of the menace of V-1’s and V-2’s. With my Mother and Sister (6) we stayed at 1 Scotts Yard, Haslingfield, which was a 2-up and 2-down cottage with an outside closet (earth or bucket – I cannot remember which) and no mains electricity, gas or water. I remember taking a pail to the village pump daily to get it filled with water. The lady we stayed with was Aunt Annie (King), who was noted for her Apple Pie making – so I was assured by my Dad. Click on Read More to continue reading Mike’s recollections…
In April 1917, at the height of World War I, a group of villagers embarked on what they termed “a bit of war work”. They organised a sale, presumably in the school rooms (although the press report does not mention a venue) in aid of the Red Cross. There was some disappointment when a Red Cross nurse failed to appear to open the sale, but the Head Teacher Mr. Royston stepped in… Read more
The Band of Hope was an organisation formed within the Methodist Church in Leeds in 1847 to promote temperance. It soon became a national movement, and indeed spread to New Zealand and the USA. It also spread to Haslingfield, which with its seven pubs in the early part of the twentieth century would have been regarded as a ripe recruitment area. The Band met regularly in the old Primitive Methodist Chapel which still stands just off the High Street, where it put on entertainments to attract the young to “sign the pledge”. One such entertainment took place on March 14th, 1913. Read more
From deep in the 19th century the Haslingfield United Charities had given annual scholarships to pupils at Haslingfield School who passed an exam to enter either to the Perse or the Cambridge and County High Schools …… Read more
I’ve started to transcribe news items relating to the village between 1901 and 1945, with a view to publishing a follow-up to ‘The Haslingfield Chronicle’ later this year. In the meantime I will try to find stories occurring in each of the months of the year. Read More below. Read more
The Cambridge Chronicle posted a reassuring view of life in the trenches:
“Tommy at War – They lie in the slush of the trench bottom and discuss the merits of football players at home and argue which is the better team, and make bets which club will be at the top of the League and – and then they have a shot at the Germans and the Germans have a shot at them”. (Please click ‘Read More’ below for more information). Read more
It is still a matter of some debate on how much the Great War impacted on life in a rural community like Haslingfield. John Beynon, in his ‘The Call to Arms’, outlines the impact on individual families whose menfolk either enlisted or who sought, through exemption, not to enlist. But was there a collective impact? Click Read More below for more info. Read more