Hi, so pleased to find this site.
I was born in Widdington in 1942 in the other village pub
"William The Conqueror"
I went to the village school (and had access to the air raid shelter).
I had a lot of good pals who I havnt seen since about 1950s.
My grandfather Fred Fair was the publican,he later moved to
the cottages nearMole Hall and worked on Connells Farm and in
fact died in the cottage in about 1963.
I have lots of fond memories of the pub and the American Pilot
Officers and German Prisoners who lived with us. SO glad to have
found your site and more power to your elbow, keep it going.
I sent the bit about the old pub The William the Conqueror
As you are aware it was sold by the brewers to be used as a
private dwelling house and looks very similar today as it did then.
To the right of the pub was a builders yard known as Chipperfields
yard, this was owned by Joe Chipperfield who lived in the cottages
opposite the Conk (as we knew it) He had an elevated work shop
reached by stairs situated right against the side wall of the pub.
As well as being a builder Mr Chipperfield was the local carpenter
and in fact was the coffin maker...
Behind Chipperfields cottages was Hoys farm. I was sent there as a
had to collect egg powder, which we were, obliged to use instead of
real eggs due to wartime shortages. Mr Hoy was pressed into service
on many occasion to take me to school on his tractor. (I was a very
difficult boy to get to school!)
Hoys also ran Widdington Taxis they had a couple of Austin Big
Sixes and we used them on numerous occasions.
Our pub had accommodation upstairs even though the room dividing
walls were only hair and tarpaper. We had two U.S. Pilots lived
up there when not actually on duty or at RAF Debden. Also strange
as it may seem we had two German prisoners living up there who left
every morning to work on a farm up the lane. I can remember them
crying at the end of the war, they didn't want to go back to the
divided Germany to the Eastern Zone.
Part of the demise of the pub was that the Flue (Fleur de Lis) had
a flush toilet installed people came from miles to see it. The only
one in the village we all had bucket and chuck it (Elsons).
We used to go to the Flue on Sundays for a pint Fred was good
pals with the publican.
That’s enough for now. I only have pictures of me in the garden
aged about 3 working the water pump (I wonder if its still there,
I would love to have it now) and of one of the US pilots MGs with
RAF roundels on it coming out of the barn in the garden. I can
still remember every detail of the pub rooms and bar. And some of
the old regulars like Bill Canning and Bill Braybrook also the
village poacher Pa Salmon who kept us in meat during the war.
Write more soon Fred Fairson