Janet Bardswell (1914-2010)
Janet Bardswell (born 1914) took part in the Walkern Memories: 935 Years project and exhibition, having her memories of Walkern recorded by Janet Woodall and her photo taken by local photographer Rod Shone, in May 2007.
I started life in Walkern at the other end of the village, at the Croft, and moved here [The Grange] up near the church in 1975
The Croft was burnt down in the 1920s. They tried to get the water up from the river. The Croft was burnt then they re-did the top floor. It was a Doctor that lived there then – the tennis people, the Slazenger?s, lived at the Croft at one point too you know. There was a well which must have been really quite deep. The Doctor was quite a character. I remember he kept goats. The Croft housed his surgery. He had a bell arrangement that you had to pull, then he?d stick his head out of a window and ask what was wrong with you. The room at the back end was the surgery? the kitchen part originally. Because it was a Doctor?s surgery there were all these strange ways into the house at the back, and waiting rooms and surgeries. We never really wanted that top storey. It was an extraordinary place, a big barn of a house, but marvellously well built. We never spent a penny on the building. Mr Canning [builder and owner of Canning?s wood yard] used to look after it.
We arrived very much at the end of an era: there was Mr Canning who did the building, Roger Green the Undertaker, Mr Richardson who ran the shop and Mr Cannon with the shoes, Mr Boorman with the bicycles, and we had the top shop, but in a few years they were gone. The baker produced lovely bread and his boy used to drop it around to us ? he?d lift up the bread bin to see what you needed then left it. I used to wonder at times about their cat. They had a lovely cat and every time you went into the bread shop the cat was asleep there. Mr Hardwick, I think that was his name, had the glasshouses along Froghall Lane where he used to grow all the carnations.
I can remember Ms Cotton Brown. She was very fierce