images of Milton Past

Memory Lane

Several old copies of Milton Parish magazine, a forerunner of Milton Matters, have come to light in St Blaise Church. Here are a couple of adverts published in March 1937!

At that time Winston Grove’s family, GROVE & SONS, ran a bicycle & motor cycle shop from the old Potash Cottages located at the southern end of the High Street near to where Milton Stores is currently situated. As you can see, by 1937 they had branched out into those new-fangled wireless contraptions! Potash Cottages were demolished in 1972/73.

RANT & TOMBS ran general stores in our locality in Milton PO & Stores, Steventon and latterly Sutton Courtenay.


Things to note: (1) No telephone number of this advert. (2) The use of ‘&c’ which I assume was used to represent ‘etc’? From my schooldays I recall ‘and’ in French was ‘et’ so ‘&c’ would seem to be equivalent?


Since receiving the information and photos of Milton Post Office from Jeanette Cox we have had two more emails about Milton’s history.
One was from Michael Shorter who lived at Milton Heights with his parents and sister.
He had seen Paul’s chat with John Butters, who he remembered, along with John’s son David.
Mick played football for Milton’s 1st team with David.
He recalls sitting on the bridge trainspotting and asked if anyone remembered a little shop down the side of Potash Cottages, near the embankment.
He used to buy his Black Jacks from a little old lady who ran the shop. He would be very interested to see any photos of the shop.

Another Email was from Mary Pearce - My Nan and Gramp (Alice and Oliver Denton) lived at 21 Pembroke Lane, where they had 3 children (Olive, Reginald (my dad) and his twin brother George who died in the second world war and George's name is on a cenotaph in Milton.  I also noticed on the cenotaph that there is a name Herbert Denton who was killed in the first world war and I was wondering if he could be any relation to us.   My parents (who have now died), brother and sister and I use to visit Milton on a Sunday once a month (This would have been in or around the 1950's) and I would be grateful to know if those cottages are still in Pembroke Lane as we spent many a happy time there wandering in the fields, etc.  Alongside my Nan and Gramps' cottage was a pump where they used to fetch water from.  There was an outside loo in the garden.  My Gramps used to grow all his own vegetables and some flowers for my Gran.   I know that my Dad and his brother and sister went to school in Milton Village and also attended the Church there.  My Gramp went to work at a place behind corrugated fencing at the side of Pembroke Lane (perhaps something to do with the army, I am not sure).  I do remember that we had to walk up the lane from my Gran and Gramps cottage in the dark with a torch as there were no street lights to go and catch the bus home.  That was very eerie at the time.

If anyone has information that I can pass onto either Mick Shorter or Mary Pearce, please send it to me at Helen


Cox's Stores - (aka Milton Stores, The Post Office and now 56 High Street)

Jeanette Cox is doing a family history project and came across Jeanette says was nice to see the photo of Marge Ferris in the Milton stores. She remember's her well, Jeanette's parents Mr. & Mrs. Cox ran the shop from 1953 to 1967, at the time it was known as Cox's Stores.


Thank you to Jeanette for sending the images through. The one above is her mother outside Cox's stores - shows the 'proper' red phone box.

Below is her father in the store, and at the foot of this article is an image of the school children in 1953 coronation year.

If you can identify any person in the image email and the information will be added.

The Red Lion (now the Plum Pudding)


Milton's local hostelry was known as the Red Lion, before it was re-named The Admiral Benbow, then yet again retitled the Plum Pudding, when it was purchased from Greene King and became a free-house a few years back.

Milton Enclosure 1809













A map of the Parish of Milton in the County of Berks in 1809. As Divided and Allotted by an Act of Parliament passed in the year 1809.

Milton was a village in Berkshire. In 1974, significant alterations were made to the county's administrative boundaries although the traditional boundaries of Berkshire were not changed. The towns of Abingdon, Didcot and Wantage, along with surrounding villages, were transferred to Oxfordshire.

To find out who owned the land in Milton in 1809 click on the image to see a bigger version.

Milton Mill


original milton millTwo watermills in the parish are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 and again in a record from 1401. There is still a Milton Mill on Ginge Brook.


Milton Mill House II Mill house, now house. C17, possibly incorporating earlier structure, with C18 and C20 alterations. Red brick with random flared headers; plain-tile tile-hanging to first floor left and centre, probably on timber-framing; old plain-tile roof, hipped and catslide to right; brick end stack to left, ridge stack to right of centre, internal stack to right with 2 diagonally-set flues. 2-storey, 4-window range. C20 plank door to C20 projecting gabled porch at right of centre.


Irregular fenestration of 3-light casements with leaded lights. Interior; Queen-post roof, raised to rear, with some alterations to trusses. C20 dog-leg staircase to rear. Open fireplaces to ground floor left and centre.

Chamfered spine beams, some rooms having chamfered joists. Reputed to be partly of cruck construction.

Bicycle Shop

original milton mill





















WW1 (1914-18) many in many different ways, Milton was chosen as the site for a stores depot for the Royal Air Force in 1916. Fields were enclosed with high corrugated iron fences, innumerable sheds were erected and a wide asphalted road leading to Didcot. Men came in their hundreds from a wide district and find work there. They received high wages, and spent money for lodgings and transport, particularly in buying bicycles. One local family took the decision to sell fuel for the infulx of motor vehicles and repair bicycles.



Winston Groves, who passed away in the early 2000's, was for many years the main man at the bicycle/petrol store. Living in High Street Milton, with his wife Freda. He could be see around the village still sporting his blue overall's with the Castrol Oil logo on them, although the store has ceased business in the early 70's. And occasionally taking out his 1930's BSA motorbike, which was also covered in oil . . ." Don't want it to get rusty, do I !"


Winston is pictured with his sister Kathleen, in the photograph taken in 1924, when pupils at St. Blaise school.



RAF Depot - Now Milton Park


Two images taken in 1970 - showing the entrance to the RAF depot at the end of High Steet, and below a row of cottages which were demolished to create the entrance to Milton Parkoriginal milton mill













The Original Milton Post Office


Milton Village was served by one store and combined post office, now a residence with the post office situated in recent years on Milton Park. This was in many ways a focal point for the residents, a source of whatever they wanted to buy, and of course as with any village store. . . the font of local gossip!

b seary label





















The picture below, taken in 1965, shows the interior of the store in the day's before home freezers and hypermarkets.

Marge(ry) Ferris was the village shop assistant, and remains a resident of Little Lane, Milton