THREEWAYS COTTAGE

As the earliest records involve transactions between the manor charters, the piece of land which is nearest to the Manor is the Orchard land shown on the earliest map available of the area. It can possibly be assumed therefore that what is now Threeways Cottage was lived in by the Biggs family, who had lived in Askett since the early seventeenth century. The first recorded is of Thomas, son of Johan Biggs, being buried in 1632. The men of the family were masons at the end of the eighteenth century and bricklayers by the beginning of the nineteenth. The family were small in number, elder brother James was a bricklayer, but by 1840 had taken over the Three Crowns. The two sisters came to live very different lives, as Sarah Biggs, 17, married Francis Bishop, farmer of quite a lot of land in 1838, while her sister, a year younger, remained a servant to the Eggeltons who bought the cottage and lands. Ann Eggelton married William Biggs and she was left the land and cottages, Threeways and Lilac, by her father in his will of 1844. (The last entry available shows the death of William Biggs in 1860).

"And I give, devise and bequeath unto my daughter, Ann Biggs, all those my three freehold cottages situate and being at Ascott aforesaid together with the Orchard, garden and appurtances thereto belonging and now in the occupation of Joseph Elsden, Widow Goodchild and William Baldwin".

In the first census available, Henry Baldwin, a young bricklayer, is registered as living, with others, in the cottage, on the Upper Green. It is probable that the other part of the cottage was occupied by the Joseph and Widow Goodchild, who kept an eye on young Henry! It was often a damp place to live, as when there had been a lot of rain, the pond at the back overflowed and water came into the cottage and ran down as far as Ham Road.

In 1920 Mr Edwards lived in the cottage nearest Askett House, and he was cowman to the Jersey cows owned by Mr Lavington at the House. His son, Bill Edwards carried on the job in the 1930's.

In the next cottage lived Martin Drury, the shepherd for the mixed flock of sheep owned by Askett House. He was half-brother to Mrs Lavington.

Jack Goodchild bought all the cottages after the war in 1945 and coverted them into one dwelling, before he moved to Whiteleaf. So the cottage which looked across Grubbin Lane to the Green Lane, and the Ham Road, was called 'Threeways' by new owners.

Vince Freeman, who lived in Vale Cottage opposite, remembers that in the cottages on the other side of Grubbins Lane (now known as Three Ways Cottage) lived the Goodchilds.  Vince became good friends with their son, Ian. Vince believes that the Goodchilds may have been something to do with the grocery trade as he remembers fresh lobster was a regular feature of their menu which was brought in from the coast by train. Although rationing was in force during the war, its effects were not as pronounced in the countryside as it was in the towns and cities. There was always a ready supply of eggs, and people dug for victory and produced their own vegetables. Vince remembers that his mother saved her bacon ration coupons until she was able to buy a gammon joint.  Vince suffered from hay fever, and had to walk to the doctor's surgery every day for a de sensitising injection. The doctor's surgery was out of the village, across the Aylesbury Road , and up Cadsden Lane , and before the golf course.

Ian Goodchild and Vince played in and around Askett village. One of his adventures was climbing up to and sitting on the ridge of Askett Barn! During his time in Askett Vince attended the “Dame school”. This was owned and run by the Howden family, who lived in the Wheelwright's cottage(this is now confusingly known as the Old Forge.  The old forge was, in fact next door at what is now Griff Cottage).The school building was what is now known as Sumach Cottage. Vince remembers classes of about 25 children.  One of the teachers was Miss Jackson, who lived in Crowbrook Road with her father.

 

 

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