|Trumpington Local History Group
My Recollections of Trumpington
|I was born in Trumpington in 1923, in Church Lane, in the cottage next to the school. It hasn’t
changed there much. It looks the same although the road is made up. We played tops, hoops
etc., out there in the road. The corner is now smarter; the paths have kerbs and there is lighting.
(The lamp lighter, Mr Chamberlain, used to go round on his bike and light the lamps.) Mr
George Foster was at Anstey Hall.
|Copyright © Trumpington Local History Group, 2017. Updated 24 March 2017.
Audrey King (née Rayner), one of the longest standing residents of
Trumpington, was interviewed by Sheila Glasswell in September 2015.
Audrey talked informally about her life in Trumpington, in the years
before and after her marriage to Eric Arthur King in 1949. Audrey kindly
allowed Howard Slatter to copy a number of her family photographs in
March 2017, some of which are incorporated in this page.
|Audrey Rayner, age 18, 1941. All photos:
Audrey King, copied by Howard Slatter, March
|Above: The Rayner family, at the back of 3 Stockton
Cottages, Church Lane. Andrey Rayer's Uncle George,
grandfather, father, Aunt Annie, Aunt Olive, grandmother,
Aunt Nell and Aunt Louie, about 1899.
Right: 3 Stockton Cottages, Church Lane, Nov 7th 1910 with
(probably) William and Olive Rayner.
|Left: Audrey Rayner's father,
Robert John Rayner, in his
military uniform, 1914-18.
Right: Audrey Rayner's uncle,
George Rayner, in his military
uniform, the Suffolks, December
1916 (brother of Robert John
|Left: Andrey Rayner's parents, Robert John Rayner and Lilian
May Walpole, on their wedding day, 1923.
Above: The King family home, Greenside, Trumpington High
Street, with Eric King and Amy, about 1922.
|You could cross from the school to Anstey Hall grounds to see the Meet. In the forecourt of
Anstey Hall we went to watch the horses and dogs. We watched from the front room window,
the peacocks going to bed in the big chestnut tree (I was about 4 then).
I went to school and cried to go home, when I was in Miss Marshall’s class, aged 4. There was
an old pump in the back of the cottage.
|Trumpington School class; Amy King fourth from left front row, so about 1922.
|Fancy Dress, Trumpington Hall, 1924. Eric King as a cat, Amy next to him (4th
|There was Sunday school here am and pm. Mr Pouncey played the organ. Not an electric organ.
I got 6d to pump the organ for an hour. Arthur Wilson, of Church Lane, also “blew” the organ. I
remember when I was very young, that we got milk from the Farm House just past the church.
Mr and Mrs Pryke’s cottage “Woodend” was just next to Byron’s Pool. I went to the farm to
collect the milk in a can. Then the Parsons came to live there with 3 children. Bob and Mary
Smith then lived at “Woodend”. Bob became a vicar, at Toft. Mary was a very good artist. She
painted some of the pictures in my house. Older people may remember her well.
|Left: Eric King age about 10.
Centre: Audrey Rayner, age 6?, in the garden of the house in Church Lane.
Right: Audrey Rayner age c. 8, in a dress made by Miss Kitty Willers.
|“A King driving a Prince”. Eric King’s father, Arthur Harry King, was chauffeur
to Professor Brown, seen here with the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII).
|Eric King’s father, Arthur King, driving a bus and with his
|Trumpington Church choir c. 1933. Front row: Mary Raeburn Smith, Joan
Freestone, Doreen Freestone, Eric King, ?, Rosie Newell. Back rows: ? Pamplin,
?, Martin Aves, ?, Mr Pouncey (choirmaster), Bob Smith (brother of Mary),
Amy King, ?? Arthur Wilson, ?? Mrs Pamplin.
|Empire Day, “Saluting the Flag”, standing near the school in Church Lane.
|There were a lot of “men of the road” around in my childhood. Mother used to make them a
sandwich. There was a workhouse in Cambridge and one in Royston. We were on the road
between them. We called them “old tramps,” but they never begged. Even when Eric was a
child, he remembered his mother gave the tramps a sandwich and a can of drink. They also used
to congregate around the war memorial. There was scrap land where the Brambles is now. The
tramps lived there at night.
I first saw coloured people when I was at school. Betty and Eileen Quartie lived on Shelford
Road. They were my age.
When I left school I worked in the GPO and then in 1939 the Civil Service, Post Office
Telephones in the centre of Cambridge. I had to train for it, doing many different jobs. I got 7/6
a week as a probationer, when I started. When the War started, they let people work from 16.
When I married Eric King in 1949, we lived in Twickenham for two years, as my husband
worked at St. Thomas’ Hospital. Then we moved to Mill Road, Cambridge, where my daughter
was born, 64 years ago. We lived opposite the maternity hospital. When I had Alison, I stayed in
the hospital as was normal for a week. We came to Trumpington when Alison was two years old.
|Audrey Rayner, age 18, 1941.
Eric King and Audrey Rayner
on their wedding day 1949.
|This house, 'Greenside', Trumpington High Street, has had a 'King' living in it since it was built
in 1922! Eric was two then and he lived here with his family. In 1954, we came here and lived
with Eric's father, Arthur Harry King, until he died, and we stayed on. Our landlord was Sir
Patrick Browne, son of Professor and Mrs Browne, who had this house built for their chauffeur
and head gardener. They lived in one of the large houses, 'Firwood', on Trumpington Road,
between Newton and Bentley Roads. These houses are taken by St. Faith’s School. Sir Patrick
was a high court judge. There were no houses in front of us until the 1980s.
|Greenside, Trumpington High Street, above
left, c. 1954; above right: in snow; left: c. 1990.
|Living in Trumpington
The local doctors, Dr Robson and Dr Drake, both lived in Shelford (Dr Robson was our doctor,
whose surgery was the little cottage next to the Tally Ho!). We would wait in the kitchen at the
back of the cottage. When I was 5, I had my adenoids and tonsils out in the Victoria Ward at
Old Addenbrooke's. In 1948 the NHS started, Dr Drake retired and Dr Pembury took over from
him. Later there were also doctors at St. Mary’s House. One was Dr Tom Stockley, who died at
a young age.
Mr Harry Newell had cars for hire. Mr Day was the baker, in one of the cottages next to the
Blacksmiths. He had facilities at the back. He built the house which became the Co-op, later the
Model Shop and now the Estate Agents. He went round in a horse and cart delivering buns and
bread that he’d made. He also sold Royal Seal tobacco at 11½d an ounce, which my father
bought and gave us the ½d change. We would buy aniseed balls for 1d. There was no butcher,
so we bought bacon from Mr Day and other meat from Sainsbury’s in Cambridge (where Austin
Reeds now is). Mr Saunders had the Post Office in the second cottage, which moved to Lime
Cottage. A disabled child could be seen from the front door of the third cottage. Mr Facer was
the rat catcher. They lived on Hauxton Road, in the shepherd’s cottage on the right side, near the
Prisoner of War camp, beyond the railway bridge, at the bottom of the mound. Mrs Harvey sold
sweets and haberdashery odds and ends, in what is now the Granite Transformations shop. She
had a son Stan Harvey, who was a friend of my father. Laurie’s the Greengrocer moved into the
original baker’s shop. Manor Farm was next to Trumpington Village Hall. Opposite the Unicorn
pub (now the Lord Byron pub) was Mr Burbridge’s Fish and Chip Shop. What is now a car park
for the pub, used to be the Village Bowling Green, where my father played. We used to have 4
or 5 sweet shops here. Mrs Richardson had a sweet shop on Bishop's Road where the present
dentist is. A great event was when my great aunt Sally called. She was a companion and
housekeeper and she would leave us with a 2d Crunchie bar! Milky Way was 1d, also a great
treat. At weekends an ice cream man Eldorado, was at the entrance of Byron’s Pool. On a
tricycle, he sold ice-cream in cones or a tub. There were allotments at the top of Church Lane.
Then some flats were built. Mr Moore was the chemist, with the shop below the flats. Mr
Newell had a shop selling petrol, oil, etc. He also repaired bicycles. There was the picture gallery
in the thatched house next door. The Gentles once lived there – a deaf family. Mr Kitson was
the sweep, who traded from the High Street just opposite the War Memorial, next to the Red
Lion. His brother lived at the Lodge in the park. When the Post Office moved, it went across the
road to Lime Cottage, opposite the Lodge Gates. This cottage has now gone. Mr Noble ran a
sweet shop but from a wooden hut. He also sold cigarettes and newspapers. There was a
recreation ground where the present shops are now. “Tubby” Edwards lived at Cedar Villa,
where the Villa Garage was built. His house had tall iron railings which came down during the
war. He kept lovely Dalmatian dogs. I think he owned one side of Alpha Terrace. Every
Monday Tubby collected rents from the houses beyond Alpha Terrace Chapel. Stan Harvey,
Tubby Edwards, Bob my cousin and my father and others, about 6 of them had card parties
several times a year. Mum would leave sandwiches for them. My father never drank or went
inside a pub. At the back of the Trumpington Village Hall was the Men’s Institute. Father was
secretary of the Institute for a long time. I remember Fawcett School being built and all the
houses around it.
When I was young we had Sunday best clothes for Sundays, not during the week. We had new
clothes for Easter. We never went to church without a hat! We had velour and panama hats for
secondary schools, and we changed from winter clothes to summer clothes on May Day! We
also had to wear gloves. It was quite an event to have new shoes, bought for you at Eaden
Lilley's, often as a Christmas present! We cycled to school and always came home for lunch.
We wore big navy knickers for gym and games. Mother paid into a clothing club run by Mr
Robinson at the school. The savings were withdrawn in the summer holiday to buy my school
uniform or household goods and spent in Eaden Lilley’s and Heyworth's (this was near the
present day Lakeland). Heyworth's was a big store which sold clothes, second-hand some of
them, and there was often bargaining to be done! Both of these shops are now gone. I saw my
first trouser suit in 1947. It was very unusual. I first wore trousers in the early 1960s, in a drama,
but women first started to wear trousers in the early 1970s. They would have a zip at the side.
We wore silk stockings, then nylons, and in the mid 1960s, tights.
Wash days were always Mondays. We had a copper to boil clothes and sheets. We used a
mangle to remove a lot of water. We first had a gas copper in the house in 1953, so we had
electricity put in as we had electric appliances from our days in London. Previously there were
gas points all over the house. (Mother used to have a coal copper in the yard. There was no
electricity for a washing machine or bath heating.) Our first water heating here was an Ascot.
You needed a certain amount of water pressure to light it. In 1964, Eric put in hot water, to
We had a gas cooker, kitchen cabinet, sink, cupboard and walk-in pantry in the house. There
was a marble top and shelf in the pantry, also a safe with wire front, to stop flies. It didn’t keep
things cold enough though. A joint might last a few days, if kept on the marble. It was built in the
coldest part of the house.
The first picture I saw was a western but I was more interested in the advertisements. I was
about 7. It was in black and white.
I played with my cousins Arthur, Bert, Bob and Joan Medhurst in Alpha Terrace. We had
wonderful toys which were handed down; a lovely dolls’ house, bikes, Wilfred a rabbit, a very
nice train set my brother was given (my brother swapped it for something and my dad was
furious!), a rocking horse and fairy cycle. People were very generous, especially at Christmas.
Maurice’s Toy Shop was right opposite the Post Office.
There were Saturday night hops during the war at the Trumpington Village Hall. We had parties,
played games of Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, and my cousin played the piano. We didn’t have
one. Mr and Mrs Peters next door had one and I tried playing it. I could play “The Isle of
Capri”, and “When I grow too old to dream” over and over again. There was sheet music in the
News of the World. I saw Gracie Fields films; we loved her! We also loved the Eric Coates
“Knightsbridge March”. I envied my cousin Joan Medhurst who had piano lessons. She played
“Heykens Serenade” really well. Miss Pamplin in Alpha Terrace taught piano. I remember our
first radio, a Marconi. It stood in the kitchen/eating room in Church Lane. We didn’t get a
television until our daughter said we were the only family in her class without one! We got a
music centre first. We liked listening to Gilbert and Sullivan on record.