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"A small boy aged between two and three years, looking like a little girl, wearing a dress and having long curly hair was sitting on a wooden horse in the backyard of a house in Station Road, Broughton Astley. I do not remember the photograph being taken. I was that small boy, Charles Eric Leach, who was born on Easter Sunday 1910."

"A memory of this period which stays with me is of Mr. Horton, a man who called weekly with a horse drawn van, selling hardware, vinegar, pots and pans, brushes, etc. He was a larger than life character, very tall with a deep voice and a large moustache that covered his upper lip and cheeks. His war cry was to ring a bell and shout in his very strong voice "I'm here. I'm here.", until the villagers came out to buy his wares."

"One day he hoisted me onto his shoulders and carried me off down the road, leaving Mother to follow and take me home. I still remember the smell of the man and his van, compounded from the merchandise that he sold, to say nothing of the smell of the horse."

"My father, Robert Leach, commonly called Bob was a Prudential Insurance Agent and was very well known and liked in the village. My mother was the daughter of Alice and Daniel Gunby, who had a farm called Cosby Lodge, situated at the Turnpike end of Scottage Lane."

"My sister Alice was born on 24th of March 1913. I went to stay with Mrs. Wormleighton, Auntie Gertie I called her, and when I returned home there was baby Alice. More distictly I remember the birth of my brother Dennis on 22nd of January 1915. Dad and I had gone to the morning service at the Sutton in the Elms Baptist Chapel and during the service Dr. Rogers came and fetched us away. Such was the kindness of the Family Doctor in those days that he drove us to the village of Countesthorpe to pick up Mrs. Haines, the midwife, and brought her back to Six Acres. This was the first time that I remember travelling in a motor car."

"When I was four years old, we had moved from Station Road to Sidney House in Six Acres, situated in the centre of the very long village. As usual in those days we had no bathroom. There was a good sized garden leading to open fields. It contained several apple trees, a cherry, a plum, and a damson tree. There were raspberry canes and beehives at the bottom of the garden. My father wired off a piece as a hen run. There was a large shed, a hand-pump for water supply, a coal house and lavatory, not a W.C. but it was emptied weekly."


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(Webmaster's Note: Sidney House is still there and so is Willow Cottage, in Main Street, as mentioned in Part 1.)

Copyright - John Peirson 2000