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Reminiscence events bring the past to life
MEMORIES of the good old days play a powerful part in the lives of older people.
And for the past two years, villagers have been attending workshops aimed at helping unlock their distant memories through tales and displays of objects from the past.
The Kidlington Reminiscences events are run for people 55 and over by Banbury Museum with Age UK at Kidlington Baptist Church.
Everything from Player’s Cigarettes to £1 notes and even broadsheet-sized editions of the Oxford Mail are among the items on show.
The sessions take place on the last Thursday of the month and each covers a topic such as Morris Motors, well-known streets and going shopping with mum.
Among the regulars is Anne Kinghorn, 73, who has been to most of the £2-a-time sessions since they began in January 2011.
She said: “They are very interesting. It jogs your memory when people bring up things. It is very interesting.
“One of the best ones we have had recently was the Morris Motors one to celebrate the centenary.
“We had some old cars and quite a lot of people came and discussed working at the (Cowley, Oxford) works.”
Having lived in the same Hazel Crescent, Kidlington home for 65 years, Mrs Kinghorn is well-placed to talk about the changes in the village.
She said: “It takes you back. It gets a bit sad at times when you remember things.”
Cutting margarine and weighing sugar while shopping the old fashioned way were among memories she shared with others.
Mrs Kinghorn said: “It gives you a sense of satisfaction you are living in this age with more money and better food – better everything. The good old days – I don’t think there was such a thing.
“We didn’t have much but we were happy. Everybody was in the same boat.
“You didn’t crave for things because you knew you didn’t have money to get them.”
Bassett Way resident Justine High, 82, said: “They are most interesting. We have different memories of different things.
“I have seen people there I haven’t seen since school.
“I remember the school in School Road in Kidlington.
“We had a teacher, Miss Matthews, who always used to make jugs of Horlicks and I have liked Horlicks ever since.”
Former primary school teacher Ruth Masters has regaled others with stories including how her mother left a fish cake in the pantry, only for it to be consumed by ants.
She said: “She couldn’t bear to throw the cake away, so she scraped off the jam and we had it is trifle.”
The war and the “weird food” in a the time of rationing are popular topics, she said.
- The next meeting is on Thursday, September 26, from 2pm to 4pm with the theme of Food, Glorious Food. Entry costs £2 and booking is not required.