Mr.D.Malin of Bidford has proved over the years that he has a pretty wide knowledge of our part of south Warwickshire. He writes a note, following our report on the tollhouse at Haselor cross roads:
I was sad to read of the prospect of the old toll house being demolished to make way for a road. As a lad, I lived there for a short while and started my school life at Haselor just before the outbreak of war. It was a quaint little school and I think the teacher was a Miss Morris who delighted in making everyone a steaming hot cup of Horlicks at playtime.
I remember a little of the house, including an oak step from the living room to the bedroom and an outside toilet in which a later tenant found a dead tramp. A few other memories spring to mind: a very low-flying aircraft set the chimney ablaze: I remember heaping a terrible rushing noise, which turned out to be an aeroplane which crashed near Grafton school. I was looking through the front window one day and saw a real live elephant belonging to a circus, which, after performing at Alcester, was being led to Stratford for its own exercise. Another regular visitor was the 'Stop me and buy one' ice-cream man on his three-wheeler bike.
For many years I treasured a book given to me by a girl named Betty Ingram, who around 1939 left Rollswood Farm to get married at Alcester; if anyone knows what happened the young lady I would be interested to know.
Mr.Malin went on to ask about observations on local toll houses. In the early days of our society we published an Occasional Paper (No.8) on 'roads of the Alcester Area', wherein we described the turnpiking of the Alcester, Stratford road in 1753 and the toll houses built in connection with it. At Alcester the turnpike split into two, one to Bromsgrove one to Droitwich. the first turnpike road Act was passsed in 1663 but the movement gathered momentum in the 18th and early 19th centuries. the Haselor toll house was a late-comer, replacing: the one at Hoo Hill Corner around the mid 19th century
Autumn 1991 Index
© Alcester & District Local History Society 1991