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Cirencester, 1934. | by Fray Bentos
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Cirencester, 1934.

My mother (right) with her friend Chrissie Goodfield, on their bicycles at Cirencester in 1934. I have only been once or twice to Cirencester and don't recognise the location. My mother would have been 17 at the time. She and Chrissie (I am not sure whether this was her full name or a diminutive) would have cycled from the suburbs of Bristol and back again. They quite often did this for a day's outing.

My mother was born in Pontypridd, but had by this time been domiciled at Downend, on the eastern rim of Bristol, for six years. Chrissie lived in a cottage near Pucklechurch, on the lane that went down to Parkfield Rank. I have indistinct recollections of being taken to visit her there on L-type buses from opposite Staple Hill police station. I recall a stone-flagged kitchen and a door which opened onto the stairs. I do not remember the privy at the bottom of the garden, of which my mother sometimes spoke. There was a wooden board with an aperture in the centre and what must have been a capacious receptacle beneath. It was emptied onto the garden every six months. Chrissie ("Auntie Chrissie" as she became to my sister and me) and my mother had become friends while they both worked at Carson's chocolate factory at Shortwood. She eventually married "Uncle Reg" and settled in a modern house at Coalpit Heath. I think she died in her 50s.

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Uploaded on May 25, 2009