On the 23rd November 2000 I went to interview a long standing resident of Old Bradwell Village her name is Muriel Lester, I asked her about her memories of the village, below is some of what she told me.

My name is Muriel Lester nee Bird, I was born in Vicarage Road in 1926 and I went to to school in the village which is on the corner of Primrose Road and Loughton Road until I was 8 years old and then we had to walk to New Bradwell School. I left there when I was 11 years old and went to Wolverton.(having won a scholarship - see postcard written in 1936 to a friend Eric although never sent).

I was an only child so I had to make friends from school, we used to play in the street , we played hop scotch and whip and top and hoops.

My grandfather was the local builder and undertaker, he built quite a lot of the council houses in Bradwell. My father was the carpenter of the firm and they used to hand-make the coffins. One Christmas we were having a party in Ivy House where my grandparents lived and in the kitchen there were 3 coffins with the varnish drying for a furneal in the New Year, you didn't worry about that.

When I was 16 I left school and became a nursery school attendant at Newport Pagnell after about 9 months I transferred to New Bradwell Nursery. I was there from 1942 until just before my first boy was born in 1948. While I was at the Nursery it was war time and paper was in short supply. My father being the local builder and decorator had the big books of wallpaper patterns. My father gave me 2 of these big books and we made paper chains for the nursery school. We did 2 long ones for the length of the room and 2 short ones to go across. We put these up and you should have seen the childrens faces they had never seen any thing like it. They were the wonder of the age. All the teachers from the infant school came across to see.

Before the war we had a Feast Sunday which was the nearest Sunday to the Feast of St Lawrence at the church which was about August 10th. We had a little fair come to the Memorial Hall where the mound is. There was about 6 stalls, there was hoopla and roll a penny, one that sold mint humbugs and such like and one that sold trinkets and I dont know what else.

One little roundabout, which had to be turned by hand was ran by a little old hunchback man and he came year after year probably up to the war. But the last time it came the children said 'where is the old man" but he had died.

Something else which was notable was for the Harvest Festival the Baker Mr Arthur Buckingham, he was a lovely man on the Monday after the festival he used to do baked potatoes and little square bread rolls and he would sell them to the children for 1 old penny. That was something we used to look forward to very much.

We used to have concerts in the Hall. I can remember in a concert from the little infant school in the village and I can remember being dressed in a little white frilly frock and had some sort of wings that were made of cotton and lots of cotton wool and I did a dance as a snowflake fairy. I can also remember 2 little songs that we sang at the infant school shall I sing them to you.

Old Bradwell village- circa 1936( can you see the little dog?)
Reverse of above postcard words by Mrs Lester to Eric(he was never surprised)!
May Day - 1950
Gift of TV - Mrs Lester is the lady on the far left.
The Station - Bradwell
Old Bradwell Vicarage - 1920
Song 1 - Forget-me-not
Song 2 - Convolvulus
I belonged to the Sunday school and we used to have an annual outing to Wickstead Park, that was a great event because there was no other way of getting there. If you weren't very well and coouldn't go you had to wait a whole year before you could go again and there was nothing at Wickstead park then but the big slide , very daring and the big wheel.

We had a street party for the Jubilee (King George the fifth in 1935) we had trestle tables from the Mermorial hall and I can remember a fancy dress parade. I was dressed as Brittania with a dress made of Union Jacks and a string of flags from different countries. I won first prize as Brittania.

When I was a child we had no bathroom at all we had to have a bath in front of the fire but when I got big it was just a wash in the kitchenand the toilet was just a walk up the garden. We had water from a pump and some of them had wells.Wehad milk from the farm and they brought it round in a little horse and cart and big cans and you took your jug and had it. The coal was delivered by horse and cart and also the meat came in an open cart with a big old horse from the Coop. We didn't have any wireless or television. I can remember when electricity came to the village, I did my first homework by lamplight when I was 11 it was 1938.

Mrs Lester was interviewed on the 23 November 2000 by Linda Sholl on behalf of the Bradwell Clutch club.