|Trumpington Local History Group
Growing Up on The Estate
Howard Slatter and Brenda Bass
The first family to move into 16 Foster Road on the Estate were Sidney
and Alice Jones and their five children. Two of those children were
present at the On the Street Where You Live meeting of the Local
History Group on 31 March 2011, one of whom, Brenda Bass, née
Jones, agreed to be interviewed. See also the introduction to The Estate.
|16 Foster Road, May 2011.
Photo: Andrew Roberts.
HS: Howard Slatter, BB: Brenda Bass
HS. When did you move into the new estate and where from?
BB. 27 December 1946. We came from 98 Riverside in Cambridge, where my mother and we
five children had been living in my cousin's house. We came over to see the new house in
Trumpington (I'd never even heard of the place before that) on the 115 bus.
HS. What was built at that point?
BB. The "brown houses" were complete, and the "white houses" along Foster Road and the
start of Paget Road were still going up. It really was a building site still. The winter of 1946-47
was a very severe one, and I can remember having lovely slides down snow-covered mounds of
building materials and on ice left by leaking taps.
HS. Do you know why your family moved from Riverside?
BB. My father came back to Cambridge after he was demobbed from the army, and my cousin
needed the house back, so we had to move out. We had been living before that in Great
Yarmouth, but we had moved to Cambridge in 1940 rather than the children being evacuated
and splitting up the family. It was either stay in Cambridge or move back to Yarmouth; as we
children were now in school in Cambridge that was where we stayed.
|The Jones family in the
1940s. Source: Brenda
HS. I think most of the families moving into the estate came from elsewhere in Cambridge
because of being overcrowded or living in poor housing. Can you tell us something about your
house in those early days?
BB. Upstairs it had four bedrooms, three of a good size, with a toilet and separate bathroom.
Downstairs the kitchen led into the lounge and the hall, with what we called the "front room" at
the back of the house, which we only used on special occasions such as at Christmas and other
holidays. There were two fireplaces, and the one in the lounge had a back boiler which gave us
hot water for the tank in the airing cupboard, where we also had an immersion heater. One of
the best things was having electric lights; that was a real novelty, as before we had been used to
HS. Where did you go to school and how did you get there?
B. I had already started at Coleridge that September - as we knew we were moving to
Trumpington I was allowed to go there rather than to Chesterton. It was a bus ride into town,
then another one out again. My younger sister started at the school in Church Lane and moved
to the hall at the Free Church in Alpha Terrace, which was turned into two school rooms
divided by a curtain. She was then one of the first pupils to go to the new Fawcett School. Mr
Walker, the head there, was married to a lady who had taught me at Brunswick School before I
moved to Coleridge.
HS. This newspaper photo shows coaches lined up in Paget Road for a trip out from the estate
in 1949. Can you tell us anything about this?
BB. I think this would have been organised by the Trumpington Estate Association. I remember
going to Wicksteed Park (in Kettering) with them, and there were also trips to the seaside,
possibly Hunstanton. They ran fetes on the green to raise money, with races, decorated bike
competitions (I won that one year!), fancy dress and so on.
|Trumpington tenants leaving for a day trip to Wicksteed, August 1949, with
the caption "Members and friends of the Trumpington Estate Tenants'
Association about to leave yesterday for an outing to Wicksteed Park, where a
very enjoyable time was had by 350 children and 150 adults. Both coaches
and tea were supplied free to the children. This was largely made possible by
the success of the Association's August Fete. The arrangements were made by
the Committee and the eleven coaches were supplied by Progressive." Source:
Cambridge Daily News, 19 August 1949, copy from Brenda Bass (née Brenda
Jones) and Val Burden (née Valerie Charge).