Grace and Roy met during World War II; he was in the RAF, stationed at the nearby Bourn airfield. My granny must have had a time keeping her eye on four daughters during the war, with so many young soldiers nearby! My mother and two of her sisters ended up marrying these young men, and all three marriages survived so apparently the choices they made were good ones.
Julie is the family historian. She has done much research and has traced many lines of the family back as far as the 1600's. There is a mention of the name Hager (one spelling of my mother's maiden name) in the Domesday Book as living in Cambridgeshire, and it is possible, although not yet proven, that my family is connected to that line. Wouldn't that be something if it were true?There was also a Haggar who once owned Bourn Hall, once the largest estate in Cambridgeshire, but Julie has found no connection there yet either, so it is likely our family were simply farmer workers and labourers who lived by coincidence in the same region. Bourn Hall is now a medical facility, and the home of the first "test-tube" baby.
Eltisley to visit the church there, built by the Normans around 1100. The name, according to wikipedia, is Anglo-Saxon in origin and hints at woodland origins, which made me think of the Ents in the Tolkien books. As we pulled up, we saw a gentleman getting out of his car.
The inside of the church was hushed, quiet except for the noise we were making. One could imagine earlier times when handmade shoes shuffled across the floor and farming families took their places in the pews.
Tombs lined the walls and were under our feet in the floor. One showed the signs of Oliver Cromwell's campaign to rid England's churches of their graven images; often statuary was removed and destroyed, or in the case of this tomb, the head removed. What destruction of what would have been priceless treasures today.
St. Neots when we passed through on our way to our next desitnation and the town was full of people and bustle. I really like the market system in England. There are market towns that have markets open on specific days; the villages around the town come in to buy and sell anything and everything apparently. I saw flowers and plants, fruits and vegetables, clothing, shoes and other items for sale in the stalls at St. Neots. While we have active farmer's markets and flea markets in the US, I'd like to see them combined and held weekly on different days in different towns, as they are in England. People often travel to the different markets, making it a nice outing as they get their shopping done.
We'd only just begun our day's travels, and I have only begun to tell you about them. More, I hope, tomorrow.
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