They were built by a Housemaster at Summerfield called Mr Emery, he bought the meadow which was called Artery Meadow and he had Randalls of Devizes to build the houses. When he advertised them in the Marlborough Times he stipulated it had to be ex-service men that had served in the First World War or that had families. When he died he left in his will that the existing tenants were not to be disturbed as long as they paid the rent and kept the gardens tidy. He left them to the college on trust to form a pension scheme for college servants.
Where I live now at Savernake Court that was originally a Coal yard. If you went further on it took you right through to Five Stiles and that was just fields right the way through.
Jimmy Duck and my father were cousins. He had a shop, a dairy, down the end of the town by St Peters Church and he also had a riding school. Ducks Meadow was his and there was a stable at the bottom of Granham Hill where he used to keep some of the horses and then let them out in the meadow.
I can remember cuckoo pen, there used to be a row of cottages in there down Coldharbour, they were demolished in the 1920s. You know why it is called cuckoo pen people used to put the cuckoo in there to stop him from flying away every year, they built a wall round him you see but they didn’t put a lid on the top and of course he flew away.
I was born at a place called High Walls and they were demolished in 1932, it was a row of cottages in the front of St Mary’s church and the reason was to widen the road. There was three floors and I think about four bedrooms and a sitting room, and a kitchen and a parlour, quite an old house, five of us boys slept in one bedroom and three of us slept in one bed and two in another bed. There were no bathrooms and of course in those days they used to use the old wash-hand basins and if they wanted hot water they had to use the kettle.
I can remember my uncle coming home from work and he worked on the railway, and he walked straight through the house and outside was a huge sink and he used to turn the tap on and used to strip to the waist and wash in cold water. I can remember that quite vividly.