|AEROPLANES HOVERING OVER THE FOUNTAIN
The rich clients, who wished to come to the Fountain to partake in their cuisine and drink, would come out to the country for a few hours in their aeroplanes. The aeroplane would circle the Fountain three times, quite low down over the Fountain and land in the field at Shenley Brook End. The owner of the Fountain(Captain Harrison) had rented a field between Shenley Brook End and Old Bletchley. The chauffeur would jump in his big car and go up to this field, pick up the people from the aeroplane and bring them to the Fountain. Then he had to go back to cover up the plane(to keep from getting wet). It might even have been his job to fill it up with petrol.
NEON SIGN - "IT'S DIFFERENT"
Getting back to Withdene, eventually my father who owned it, when we moved, for some reason or another, which I can't say because children at 5 years old were seen but not heard, decided not to sell it, but to rent it. It was rented to the Fountain for some years - where the staff lived. Over the top, between the two chimneys was a huge neon sign with an arrow at the bottom pointing to the Fountain opposite which said "IT'S DIFFERENT". This caused quite a commotion in the village. It was quite a "wonder" but also quite "common". But that was what the owner of the Fountain wanted. He was a very "go-ahead-man".
Going back to when the Bodley Family owned the Fountain, or possibly before that, there used to be a slaughter house at the back. They used to kill pigs, primarily because so many local people, even the very poorest farm-labourers, kept a pig. Probably fed it on scraps, and being farm- labourers, were able to pick up certain amount of corn and chaff cheaply from the farmers they worked for. The Bodleys actually had a butcher shop next door - where the local shop is now. My father used to tell the story when they were children, they used to like to go and watch the pigs being killed. It sound terribly crude in these modern times! My father used to talk about the buckets of blood. He did say that if you were a naughty boy, you were threatened with having your head dipped in the blood. He also told stories about when they sometimes killed larger cattle there, two or three of the naughty boys used to swing on the cow's tails - also sounds terribly crude. The practice stopped once when a little boy had the cow perform it's duties over the top of him.
THE "SPRING" OUTSIDE THE FOUNTAIN
Whatever the weather, whatever the draught, there was always water in the "Spring". The gentleman who owned the Fountain between the wars (Captain Harrison), introduced gold-fish into the spring. Many a person walked past, used to love and stand and watch the goldfish in the pond.
Question - What about the spark from the traction-engine setting fire to a thatch near the Fountain?
Answer - I don't know much about that.
Question - Can you tell us about playing on London Road as a child?
Answer - I can't say that I played much. But my sister who was 7 years older than me used to talk about how they used play with their hoops and whips and tops. Cars were few and far between prior to the 1920's.