Marston was a meadow and milking zone

Marston was a meadow and milking zone

Derrick Holt

Marston was a meadow and milking zone

First published in Memory Lane Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by

Derrick Holt remembers the days in the 1920s when the Marston district of Oxford was almost all countryside.

“After leaving the high wall that fronted the Magdalen College veritable garden, with its two gardeners’ cottages, the rest of the west side of Marston Road was open fields, college sports grounds or allotments.

“The east side had even less development, with only the five Tilehurst stone cottages fronting Carter’s brick yard along its entire route.

“In those days, Marston Road was little more than a country lane with its gravel paths and grass verges.”

Mr Holt’s family, who had been associated with Marston for generations, moved to a new house in Ferry Road in 1927.

“The road was a rough track and the only power in the street was gas – electricity and a made-up road came later.”

Families in the neighbouring Edgeway Road had to wait later for their road to be made up.

Mr Holt, who now lives in Fortnam Close, Headington, recalls spending many childhood hours in the Cherwell water meadows.

“The rivers and streams provided a chance to collect frogspawn and newts and catch minnows and, in the summer, to go for a swim.

“There were many footpaths from New Marston to Old Marston and places further north.

“I would sometimes visit Park Farm and bring the cows in for milking.

“This farm produced grade A milk – nothing like the stuff you get today.

“All the dairymen were clothed in white, from their wellingtons to their skull caps, which made it look more like a surgery than a farm.

“After milking, we would harness the horse to the float and take the milk, in churns, to the Co-op and Wigmore’s dairies in Oxford.”

More of Mr Holt’s memories soon.

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