Not Many Wise

Category: Earith historic 1930s to 1960s – a schoolboys outlook

The Earith village surroundings:

Earith village is situated between the River Ouse and ‘Bedford’ rivers in the county of Cambridgeshire, UK.
Being in the fens it is very low lying and the hand-dug New Bedford River has earth banks above roof height.
Near this river is the earth remains of a Roman fort and by that a metal dome relic from WW2.
This was one of the Earith Homeguard defences where a small number of men could fix a Bren machine gun to fight off Nazi paratroopers.

See an after-school’s club that used to run in Earith Primary School called Earith Storykeepers.

Bren gun emplacement at Earth village, Cambridgeshire.

The real-life story of the 1930s onwards in Earith village:

All the following articles were written by John Wales at various stages of his life and describe his school days and farming life in Earith village.
Discover the games that were played out on the playground, the school routine, and a look at the old original metal bridges.
Take a walk around the 1930s roads in Earith and learn about the different buildings…

John Wales’ grave 1925-2013 at St Mary’s Church, Bluntisham. By Peter Reason licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Here are the articles in this category:

  • [1] 1930s Earith National Fishing attraction

    [1] 1930s Earith National Fishing attraction

    Earith National fishing attraction: Every year they’d ring direct to mother because they lived well with us, you know, home cooked ham and eggs for breakfast, mainly from the North- Lancashire people. Coach loads used to come to Earith from places like Nottingham and Sheffield to do fishing…

  • [2] Old bridges at Earith

    [2] Old bridges at Earith

    Here is a picture of the Earith Suspension Bridge – known then as the Earith High Bridge… Below is the old Seven Holes Bridge at Earith where there were seven sluices. The modern sluice now stands at the same location…

  • [3] Remembering 1930s Chapel Road Earith

    [3] Remembering 1930s Chapel Road Earith

    This used to be a lovely kitchen garden at Earith, Cambridgeshire belonged to Miss Parren the big house on the front. We used to go and play croquet there. Very old red brick wall — hand made. Threw stones at pear tree and cut the pear off – just like that!…

  • [4] 1930s Pubs in Earith an evocative walk

    [4] 1930s Pubs in Earith an evocative walk

    1930’s Pubs in Earith, there was a lot! Earith was well served with Public Houses. Beer was brewed on the premises and many people supplied their own tankard, which was kept at their preferred public house. ‘The Anchor’ (situated near the pond) was kept by Walter and Violet Broughton…

  • [5] 1930s Bridge End and Earith High Street

    [5] 1930s Bridge End and Earith High Street

    The cows used to walk through Earith High Street, here to the Washes. These good ladies complained bitterly about the mess on their doorsteps. Mrs. Harradine used to ride a tricycle and she would hold on to a cow’s tail to be pulled along. Pledgers and Darbys cowherds as well as our own all used…

  • [6] 1930s St. Mary’s Bluntisham cum Earith Church graveyard

    [6] 1930s St. Mary’s Bluntisham cum Earith Church graveyard

    On my evocative Earith walk I remember Derek Broughton’s 8 year old brother got knocked over by the only car in the village, broke his leg and went to hospital and then died with Meningitis whilst still in there. I can remember standing on George’s corner and Lew provided his lorry. It was covered in…

  • [7] Skating at Earith in the 1930s

    [7] Skating at Earith in the 1930s

    Earith skating: Her father said; “Come on, get your skates on we will skate over to see Uncle so and so at Houghton (skating all the way on the river). The river was frozen and they could do in those days. So they skated all the way from here (Earith) and got to St Ives…

  • [8] Earith Bonfire and fireworks – before health and safety!

    [8] Earith Bonfire and fireworks – before health and safety!

    Arthur Thoday who had three young men, sons still at home, he was very keen, he always made the Guy to put on top of the Earith bonfire and Mr. Russell also had three sons kept the shop that sold fireworks and he was a bigger kid than all of us he was always trying…

  • [9] Flooding in Earith in the 1930s

    [9] Flooding in Earith in the 1930s

    As children we used to have a great time down there (Earith flooding: the Causeway) when the water was only about, say, a foot deep and the cars used to try and get through and they’d get stuck…

  • [10] At school in 1930s Earith

    [10] At school in 1930s Earith

    Lessons with ‘Gandhi’ at school in 1930’s Earith. Before each day’s school the bell on the roof was rung by an older boy and we all lined up in the playground under our respective teachers and filed quietly in. When I was in Standard two we had ink pens to write with…

  • [11] 1930s school playground

    [11] 1930s school playground

    1930’s school memories: I remember when I was in the infants class Mr Jewson, who lived nearly opposite the playground in the house called ‘Cavendish’ used to go to Mickey Day’s sweet shop and buy a large paper bag full of liquorice Allsorts. He then came to the playground railing and threw the sweets out…

  • [12] Earith parades 1936 to 1960

    [12] Earith parades 1936 to 1960

    George V Jubilee Day 1936 at Earith. Recreation Field, Earith circa 1938-1939 Conservative Parade circa 1950-60

  • [13] Earith farming in the 1930s and 1940s

    [13] Earith farming in the 1930s and 1940s

    Jewson’s gave casual work to many villagers, portering wood from barges to their yard. But farming was the biggest Industry (around the Earith area) and with the busy weekly market in St Ives livestock was put on the local train to Somersham and then distributed to local farms by pony and trap…

  • [14] Huntingdon Grammar School days

    [14] Huntingdon Grammar School days

    Being in the third form of Huntingdon Grammar School we have a fair amount of homework. We have Physical Education twice a week and a games period on Friday afternoons. We play football in the winter, cricket in the summer and in between these two we have cross country runs. In the Physical Education period…

  • [15] Earith WW2 and evacuees

    [15] Earith WW2 and evacuees

    Jack’s father and his father before him were calf dealers, and along with many others in the Earith area, they would keep four or five cows in a small holding on the fen, to supplement their meagre agricultural earnings…