The two large trees seen here on Campkin Road (opposite Arbury Town Park) were planted in the Manor Farmhouse garden circa the 1930s. There were three of them until recent times. The Manor Farm covered 245 acres of North Arbury. One of the farm fields were called 'Arbury' and another 'Arbury Field' - which may account for the fact that Arbury Road was known by locals back then as 'Arbury Meadow Road'.
As 2021 marks the 40th anniversary of the Arbury Is Where We Live! book - which followed the highly successful Arbury 1980 schools' project, we thought it would be good to revisit the book on the blog - and will be featuring the whole publication during the coming weeks in the run-up to Christmas.
The Arbury 1980 project was participated in by all the Arbury primary schools - including Arbury, The Grove, and King's Hedges - and culminated in an exhibition of pupils' work at the Manor School on Arbury Road.
The idea behind the project was to put the Arbury Estate properly on the map and encourage a sense of community - already quite vibrant with the Voice of Arbury newsletter, the Arbury Carnival, Arbury Community Centre, and the Arbury Adventure Playground.
Arbury Is Where We Live! took us from the beginnings of Arbury history at Arbury Camp in ancient times - and the arrival of the Romans, to the Arbury Community Centre and Arbury Town Park in Campkin Road and the Arbury Adventure Playground in Wagstaff Close; the book whirled us through around two thousand years of history as local children wrote fascinating and imaginative prose about the ancient times, life at the Manor and Hall Farms, and in (then) modern day Arbury.
Local people visited the schools and spoke to the children, sharing their memories of the early years of Arbury Estate and the days of the old farms in oral history sessions, transcribed by local teachers for posterity.
One of the main creative forces behind Arbury Is Where We Live! was the late Sallie Purkis - a wonderful person - who believed in Arbury as a location - and the importance of recording its history.
She was very encouraging of my own work on the subject and very informative. I remember her fondly and with gratitude.
So, watch this space...