Frank's Story - In His Own Words

The Crossroads

Introduction to London Road Introduction
Time Line Time Line
Residents of Loughton Residents
London Road Landmarks Landmarks
The Crossroads

[Int - were there many accidents?]
Quite a few along that stretch. Where the roundabout is by the fire station was quite a dip, and with the turning into the cafe there were quite a few accidents. There were accidents all along the road. The crossroads by The Talbot was renowned for accidents.

[Int - was there a policeman killed there?]
Not that I'm aware. there was one policeman killed but that was at Crownhill.

The policeman - after the war, at the start of Silverstone motorbike races, a policeman who lived in the cottage opposite The Talbot, he came out on a Saturday morning to direct the traffic, the bikes came hurtling down from The Fountain, they just didn't see him, went either side of him so he gave up.

Policeman that was killed was from Crownhill - I met his grandson or great grandson once. He (the grandson) went to school at Stony Stratford and he came on similar project - I can't remember his name.

The houses opposite The Talbot were built by Bucks County Council for employees. The policeman had one and a steamroller driver had the other - the county steamroller - and he had a caravan behind it and a water tank on the back of that. If he was away - Aylesbury for example - he would stay away. For more local jobs he would come home in the evening. Leave the 'stuff' in a convenient gateway perhaps. Used the ashes to fill in ruts in gateway. Pleased the farmers.

Steamroller had a sort of a peck on the back to tear up road surface -they would probably put that in some farmer's gateway or other - then they would lay new tarmac or whatever needed doing to the road.

The other thing that happened, it was so busy a crossroads that the AA man who lived on Bradwell Road did point duty at times - daytime, mostly. Policeman was on point duty at other times. There was lots of traffic -if you needed to get onto A5 - you couldn't do it without AA or police. A police house was later built right up near Hillcrest - it had a little office, porch, phone to contact the station if the policeman wasn't there. He covered Loughton, Shenley, Shenley Brook End.

There were always breakdowns up there, nothing unusual for a lorry to catch fire. If you see old photographs of that stretch, where the Co-op was, the telegraph poles were in pairs, always went through villages on the south side. That telephone pole was hit quite regularly. There was a sharp curve - it is accentuated into a chicane now - if you came straight down the hill you had to turn a slight turn and a lot of them didn't realise. The policeman often found a lorry in his doorway!

The actual crossroads used to be called the Arch. Never knew why. May have been because the brook went underground there. "The Arch" meant the crossroads, not The Talbot.
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