Memories of Mildred Tredwell & Ena Davis

Wartime in Finmere was much more rustic than it is today. Everyone grew their own vegetables, like the slogan "Dig for Victory".

Most people kept poultry and their own pig—what couldn't be eaten fresh was salted down. Rationing was very low! The roads were not cluttered up with cars and lorries, we walked cycled or drove in a pony and trap.

Milk in large churns was transported round the village by pony and float and measured into jugs or basins at each door. Children enjoyed a ride especially the evacuees who came from Edmonton, London. Many of these took up residence here after the war.

Our Air Raid Wardens were strict about black-out. We had many stray bombs around but on Valentines day 1940 at 9.30 pm. There were three dropped at the top of the village—one on the hard court at Cedar Lawn, one on the greenhouse, the third an unexploded one down Mere lane, which went off the next night at 9.30. Charlie Andrew and Tommy Paxton paraded warning residents about the unexploded bomb.

Shortly afterwards two bombs were dropped at the other end of the village, on Leppers Farm.

V.E. Day was celebrated by an enormous bonfire at the Cross Tree. Mr .Alf Lepper Senior kept piling on the branches, so eventually all the wires above were burnt—no telephone, no electricity.

Interview and text by Ian Hudson for the 50th Anniversary of V.E. Day