The two little cottages opposite the Talbot, which are still there - white painted cottages, were County-Council cottages in those days. The right-hand one was the police house, and the left-hand one housed the steam-roller attendant, a Mr. Johnson. It all seemed a little bit cockeyed that the steam-roller was in the yard of the policeman, and the driver was next door.
The village policeman knew everybody. I once remember falling off a bike quite late at night in that area, and the policeman came "out of the shadow". It was well known that the policeman stood in "the shadows".
The steam-roller man was a dear old man. The steam rollers were used by the County-Council for rolling stone on top of the tar, or rolling where the road needed patching. We used to love to watch it be shunted out of yard, the sparks going up in the air, and the old wheels turning round. As you well know people love to go to steam rallies in these modern times to see these old ancient things. But some of us have the privilege of saying we actually saw them when they were being used for the purpose that they were intended.
THE CO-OP SHOP
the Co-op sold almost everything in the food line. Huge cheeses at the back, which were cut with a cheese cutter - a wire with handles at either ends. Tate & Lyle's sugar came in 100 weight bags, and as a little boy, I "helped" with weighing and packing of the sugar. I used to get frightened when I watched the manager cutting up ham on his cutting machine. There were no guards as expected from health and safety in these modern times.
I remember the manager of the Co-op shop would stand in the front doorway with his long , white apron which went almost down to the floor. Once again personal respect, and respect for property is a very different thing today to what was sixty and seventy years ago.
I remember driving down the Watling Street, in the war-time, along with others, I had to go to Antree in Liverpool to pick up some new tanks which had just been shipped in from America. We drove through Loughton, and I could see the manager of the Co-op shop standing in the doorway, and I waved to him as I drove through. But we were in a convoy of tanks and I'm sure he didn't know who was waving to him.
Coming up the road towards the Fountain, was an Allotment field, which was eventually sold and is the Holt Trust Benefactory Fund. Allotments were always very much in demand many years ago.
The Plough seemed as a "lower-end-of-the-scale" public house, drinking place. It is now, I suppose a very "desirable residence"..