A History of the Village of Milton (written in 1927 by Lucy Davenport)

Introduction. By Paul Browning June 2016

 

b seary labelYou are about to read the text of a paper written in 1927 by Lucy Davenport, a Milton resident. A photocopy of the original document was recently given to me by Anne Cannon whose family has been in the village for over 100 years! 

Shortly after this I was also given a brown envelope, addressed as shown below, to B Seary at the "Admiral Benbow". B Seary was Albert (Bert) Seary who was landlord of the pub from 1953-69. This envelope was given to me by Ginny Seary, daughter-in-law of Albert Seary, who still lives in the High Street.

 

The envelope contained what appears to be a carbon copy of the original typed document, and was accompanied by the following short note written on headed stationery. The letter is dated Jan 4th, but sadly with no year. It is headed-up 'Milton NR Abingdon Berkshire', and note the telephone number Steventon 220!

The letter reads "At last I'm able to send you a copy of Milton History. My sister would have been so pleased to feel that a copy was appreciated"

It is signed with initials E.L.D.

This letter and its contents were sent to Albert Seary by Lucy Davenport's sister, presumably sometime after 1953. The Davenport sisters lived together in School Lane for many years. Ginny Seary is the wife of the late George Seary, son of Albert (Bert) Seary.

 

After reading this document I thought its contents should be preserved in some way, and therefore decided to transcribe the text and place it on-line for all to see. I have endeavoured to copy the text word for word, but have inserted some comments and footnotes (shown in red) which I hope will be helpful in understanding the places and events. I have also inserted some relevant photographs and images to break-up what is a lot of text, and also include the map below, dated 1897, to help with some of the place names. This map, which predates Milton Heights, stops just short of the railway line which reached Steventon in 1840.

Nearly 90 years have passed since this document was written, and some of the punctuation is unfamiliar, and some of the sentences are quite long and so a deep breath is sometimes needed. All the phrases you will encounter refer to 1927 or well before this date, and as such may be unusually phrased, but most will be familiar such as "we live now in fast changing times" - it is interesting to note that each generation sees itself at the forefront of progress.

The original paper by Lucy Davenport was entered into a Village Histories competition arranged by the
Berkshire Federation of Women's Institutes, and the Milton entry won the prize! At the time of writing this paper, Milton was part of Berkshire but has been part of Oxfordshire since 1971..

 

Happy reading! Paul Browning June 2016.Continue Reading