Ridgmont and Brogborough today are commuter villages for Milton Keynes and London with little local industry, whereas during wartime the lifestyle was very simple, Most people worked either locally on the land for the Bedford Estate or in the brickworks. The Bedford Estate still employs some of the villagers but to a lesser extent and the brickworks no longer exist, the site now redeveloped as a large distribution centre.
Villagers working on the land (from the collection of John M Saunders)
People provided their own entertainment, went to the cinema in Ampthill or Cranfield or went to functions held at the YMCA in Ridgmont. Today, the inhabitants have to go to Milton Keynes, Bedford or even further afield. However, the range of amenities in the larger towns has changed a great deal - in Milton Keynes (just 15 minutes away) you can play tennis and swim outside on the same day as you can go skiing on real snow!
The Village Band (from the collection of John M Saunders)
Everyone, even the children, helped out at home. When Dad came home from work, he often spent the evening working in the family vegetable patch - an invaluable source of food during wartime. The children were also expected to give a helping hand chopping firewood and digging vegetables. They were also expected to work around the house, and for those lucky enough to work on the farm, a trip to the local blacksmith with the horses was a common occurrence.

Click here to hear an anecdote from Stan West, as a child, helping to pick potatoes from the garden. This audio clip may take some time to download (about 130K)

Sundays were seen as a family day, with everyone dressing up in their Sunday best and going to church or chapel together in the morning. After lunch, the whole family would then either go for a walk or visit relatives nearby for afternoon tea.

Click here to listen to an anecdote recalling family life on a Sunday.

This audio clip may take some time to download (about 170K)