Memories of apprentice days

First published in Letters

Sir – D Willis’s letter about memories of old Witney (Gazette, November 14) reminded me of buildings I worked on as an apprenticed plumber for Pethers of Burford.

My first job was in the kiosk at the petrol station forecourt at the Windrush Inn, now gone.

And fitting flush toilets into the Chequers, Corn Street, revamping the Marlborough Hotel by turning the then-snooker clubroom into the kitchen, etc.

Building a new house in New Yate Road for Dr Tomlinson, putting guttering around the County Archive Store, which was in the Farm Mill, on Langdale.

A new house, Rack Piece, in Puck Lane, now gone and the dye house at Early’s Mill, now gone, and a very large spinning shed in Dark Lane – now gone. A new house and bungalow and outbuildings at Maggots Grove for a mink farm (animal rights would have a field-day).

As a footnote to this letter, most tradesmen would get their new tools from Hickman’s, in Market Square, all ex-War Department, brand new.

Alan Clarke, Quarry Road, Witney

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