Memories of Muriel (known as Lu by family and friends) Podmore

Taken from an interview with Gill Cox in 1979



“Lu was born in the cottages in Mount Pleasant in 1917, after which the family moved to Lane End cottages. She lived there with her mother and father and her three sisters the youngest born in 1920. The family then moved up to Billington Bank when Lou was 9 years old. These cottages had no water supply and the water was carried from Lane End farm. As a child she was sent to Blue Cross Farm for the milk. A trip into Stafford was over the fields and they pushed the baby in the pram the same way. 1951 Lu moved back into Derrington to Brookside Cottage, at that time she was married with two sons and a daughter. Her mother Mrs Craig was the first tenant in the new flats which were built in 1956. According to a Newsletter article regarding the Rural District Council’s first flats built at Derrington, the keys were handed over to Mrs Craig who was born in Derrington and was at the time living with her daughter Lou. The rent for the flat was 17 shillings a week, compared to 25 shillings a week for council houses. 


This was where Mr Ward lived with Miss Cantrell 


Rose Cottage which is still in Mount Pleasant, and Allandale at the rear of the cottage was demolished and the land sold to make way for the large detached house in Badgers Croft called The Heathers. The late Cyril Dodd lived in Rose Cottage and a Mrs Lester lived in Allandale where she had a large collection of brasses which were her mother’s. She had over 60 items from an Oriental paper knife to a brass watering can; the brasses were used in 1959 to decorate the harvest festival in the village church. The church was decorated with flickering oil lamps and each pew had its own candle. It had become the custom to take the produce from the festival to be distributed to the Martin Noel Almshouses residents in Stafford. Mrs Lester stayed in the half-timbered house until she died. 


There was a thatched cottage here and Mr Fred Clay and Lucy lived there. He was a churchwarden at the village church and they had twins named Wilf and Bernard. CHURCH LANE There was no property along this road, just a rubbish tip opposite the two detached bungalows and there was another tip at the side of the church. Towards the bottom of Church Lane was a stream and a ford and the railway bridge was there leading into fields. The village playing field was just a farmer’s field but there was another little bridge somewhere alongside the fields going towards Aston Hall. A stile was at the side of the church and another through the fields leading towards Ruskin Cottage and on towards Blue Cross Farm. The path also lead towards the site of the first village hall in St Matthews Drive and where there was an old culvert under the railway line which is now called THE DELL.


The row of cottages was occupied by the Dodds family and the end cottage by someone named Wilbraham, who committed suicide. As a child Lou would go to buy sweets from the shop (Miss Hodson lived there, and after her was a Mrs. Foden) and 1p would last her all week. A lady called Mynor Doughty lived in the other cottage and she had 3 children. 


Bill Sylvester and Annie lived here but they moved to Gnosall and John Meason kept the farm after them. 


Ida and Charlie Hodson kept this and he committed suicide down on the railway line near to Crossing Cottage. Frosts then moved into the farm and Charlie Hodgson’s sister lived in the cottage next to the farm. Nellie Dix moved into the cottage after her. 


Mrs Bailey lived in the first one and had daughters Hilda, Nancy and Eddie. In the second cottage were Olive and Arnold Clay who moved into the flats after a while. The third cottage was Mr and Mrs Ballance after them was Ivy Clay, (this was the Post Office for years) 


This was the pub where Mr and Mrs Pierce lived and next to them was Mr and Mrs Elmsmore.


Mr and Mrs Foden were the landlords and there was an empty cottage next door which the Fodens moved into when Albert Dix took over the pub. “


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