My brother, John found the Comberbach website and he recognised the mystery girl in Ian Iossons archive. The one with his two sisters. It brought back many happy memories of our time in the village in the 1950s and early 60s.
We lived next door to the Iossons at Lyndwood on Marbury Road. Our parents, Muriel and Charles Lamb had met in the village outside the chapel when they were teenagers. Dad’s mum was the postmistress at the shop on the Moss. In those days there was a stable behind the business for the pony and trap that was used to deliver telegrams although my father was allowed a pushbike. My mothers’ family were running a “sort of” chip shop next to the chapel. I remember my post-war childhood as idyllic. We used to play in the woods at the back of the house, Charlie’s Rough, all day because of course it only rained at night in those days. I hope the starlings are still magnificent. The swimming pool at Marbury was a treat if Sheena would take me. There was the choir at the chapel with Mr Cowup and the Busy Bees sewing group in the Sunday School on a Friday night. Then there was the fete. Mrs Nurden (she had a Princess Leia hairstyle long before Star Wars) spent many hours teaching us to be flower girls to the strains of the Trumpet Voluntary played on an old portable gramophone. Even today, when I hear the opening bars they always bring on an urge to scatter rose petals. I seemed to spend my formative years dressed up for various village activities. There was the Coronation of course and for some reason, there are photos of me as a Welsh Girl. My brother (who was and still is, 6 years younger) also endured years of fancy dress competitions and being taken to The Red Rec to get slide burns on his legs. Happy days!
We both attended the village primary school with Miss Johnson as headmistress. It should have been preserved as a model of care and education. I’m sure that many people of our age remember the big fires in the winter and the drying wellies and the milk so cold it hurt your eyes to drink it.
I suppose we were at the end of an era. There was a wheelwright who constructed the most beautiful working carts and vehicles; there was a man on a bike who looked after the verges; the bowling green; the hunt would ride through; there were few cars. I know that because when I was clearly getting under my mum’s feet I was sent to sit on the wall outside the house and gather car numbers. Such excitement.
As I get older and hopefully wiser I feel privileged to have had my childhood in such a safe and happy village and I’m really pleased that the community spirit is still strong.
We moved up to Sevenoaks House in Antrobus when I was about 12 and I now live in Stoke-on-Trent but you can take the girl out of Comberbach but you can’t take Comberbach out of the girl. Oh...and my name was Susan Lamb.