Beryl Smith (who used to live at Wheatsheaf Cottage) showed me that the work table where the coffins were assembled is still there. An elderly neighbour of ours, Sydney Ware, lived opposite Wheatsheaf Cottage as a boy and used to go up to the workshop to watch the work, and then try out any new coffin by lying in it! 

I believe that the pump in the Wheatsheaf garden was one of perhaps five main water supply places for the village before mains water arrived. Sydney Ware remembers Albert Bates, who lived in Thornbury Cottage at the bottom of the Common, walking up every day to the pump from his cottage, and returning with two pails of water carried on his yoke.

C H Wege (c.2003)

 


 

The following letter was sent to the Rector recently, and eventually printed in the Village Newsletter.

Dear Mr Harper,

I had the pleasure of looking inside Coleshill Church earlier today for the first time since 1946. Although I have visited the village from time to time since then, All Saints' had always been locked. I must say that it looks well used and well loved.

As a six-year-old I joined the choir in 1940, and I remember my first service clearly: processing from the choir vestry (which my father built) and turning nervously into the choir stalls, I was terrified. Not because I did not know the hymns, but because I couldn't read the words of the Psalm quickly enough to keep up with the chant! The organist, Fred Stubbings, was very kind. My mother had sung The Crucifixion under him at Coleshill in the early 1930s, when she was teaching at the village school. I still have her score. I also have several lovely pen and ink sketches he made of the village in 1934.

My father, Henry George Muckley, was born in 1859 at the Fleur de Lys (now Forge Cottage) where his family had been licensees from time immemorial. He served his apprenticeship as a cabinet maker in High Wycombe and eventually bought the house known as View Mount (now Wheatsheaf Cottage) and where his workshop still stands. I must say I had never heard that his bricklayer was something of a drunkard, but I remember that it was his wish to be buried in the shadow of the vestry he was so proud of. His assistant was Mr Fred Shrimpton, who wrote of his memories of Coleshill in the Amersham Parish Magazine of December 1967. My parents moved to London in 1934, when my father retired, but returned to live at the Old Parsonage and elsewhere during the war. My mother returned to teach at the school and I began my education there.

I doubt if there is anyone left in the village who remembers a fair haired young boy during the wartime, or his parents during the 1920s and 30s, but if so, please give them my good wishes. And to the parish of course. Looking at all those Books of Common Prayer and Hymns Ancient and Modern, to say nothing of the King James Bible on the lectern, nothing seems to have changed - in the church, that is!

With best wishes,

Tom Muckley
 Petersfield,
 Hants.
(End of letter).