The Early Days.
Well, where does one start?
I suppose the best place is the beginning and my earliest recollections of Newport Pagnell from around 1959, Yikes that’s the last century and the last millennium!! As far as I can recall the first real experience of Newport Pagnell in the flesh so to speak was the first time I took the , “Wesleys Picture bus,’’ from Olney to Newport Pagnell on a Friday ( or it may have been Saturday I can’t remember exactly ). The bus service was operated by , ‘’Wesleys Buses,’’ from Stoke Goldington and was, as I recall a Crossley double decker with the rules and regulations posted prominently at the front of the passenger saloon downstairs stipulating that , “ No spitting or smoking allowed.” When one ventured to the upstairs passenger saloon the notice again prominently fixed at the front of the upper saloon announced in bold letters that, “Spitting and smoking were allowed.” Oh those were the days on non P.C. I seem to remember the bus conductors nickname was , “Tipper Evans,’’ his nickname was due to the fact that he always seemed to have the sparse remains of a, “roll up” attached to his upper lip no matter what time of day or night it was. Tipper as I recall lived in Ravenstone and was the father of a boy of around my age who I think had an older sister, whose names I can’t remember now. Time distorts ones memory so if any one can shed some light on that matter I would indeed appreciate it.
I had experience of Newport Pagnell prior to this but is was a place one passed through when my father drove us on our way to see relatives in London as I t was the shortest way it seemed to the old A.5. At times the traffic was horrendous as in those days there was no Canon roundabout but a set of traffic lights that regulated the traffic flow which they did for many a year with their own set of built in chaos programmes until the Canon roundabout was implemented to ease the then heavy traffic flow.
I certainly remember the construction of the M.1 and the chaos that caused when the Wolverton road bridge was being constructed and of course the chaos caused when Junction fourteen was being constructed too.
Let’s return to Newport Pagnell proper. Those were the days when Taylors Mineral Water factory along with Taylors Mustard (indeed a fine mustard too) were in full production. Freddy Friday had a shop selling all sorts sweets and pops and whatever just about opposite Leaths the ironmongers and of course the fire station was sited there in the side street next to the cemetery and the Library I may be wrong but I seem to recall the doctors surgery was there too. The officiating doctors were, ‘’Doctor Clay and Dr Cockings possibly others too but the memory is cloudy concerning the full facts. Odells the ironmongers was in full flow in those days with a young Ralph Mazzone working in there. Or Ralph may have been working in Bob Leaths shop, again the memory plays tricks on one after all these years’. That’s it for the time being but I assure you more is coming within the next week or two.