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Main Streets of Arbury: Carlton Way - Part 2

So, via Sara Payne's Down Your Street visit to Carlton Way in 1981, our own memories, and our (mostly previously unpublished) transcripts from the Arbury 1980 project, we're back in the original South Arbury's main street for a further look at its history.

Carlton Way did not, of course, arrive all at the same time. While Arbury School opened in 1956, the Carlton Arms public house wasn't built until the late 1950s, for instance. It opened in 1959 - complete with its cosy off licence.

Happy memories from years gone by of being taken to the Carlton Arms off licence to buy crisps and fizzy pop on summer evenings in the late 1960s, and also to return Gran and Grandad's Guinness bottles to get the deposit back for 'sweeties' a few years later, make one of our Arbury Archivists go 'all misty-eyed' over this picture.

The Carlton Terrace shops were a 1960s innovation. Looking back to the 1970s days of Dean's, Blackwell's, Yarrow's (Yarrer's) and Stops' (Stopsiz), various memories jostle. 

Mr Dean was a very courteous shop keeper, with a pristine white jacket (he was still there in the early 1990s); there were jolly butchers and sawdust on the floor at Blackwell's; next door was the narrow, two-aisled 'Yarrer's' - grocer and butcher's; and then there was the cheerful Mr Stops of 'Stopsiz' - who let us have a sneak preview of each week's comics before our pocket money day! He was perfectly aware that we were at the shelves reading away, but kindly turned a blind eye. Of course, finding out what happened to Dora of Follyfoot or The Tomorrow People in the Look-In comic serials was of world shattering importance to us back then!

In the case of Blackwell's, I seem to recall it was a business separate from the Blackwell family's butcher's shops in Akeman Street and Campkin Road, but I'm very uncertain about it, so if anybody has further knowledge, please leave a comment!

There were four shops in Carlton Terrace originally.

The demolition of Hall Farm in the early 1960s. The farm was also known locally as 'Pitts' Farm'.

The building of South Arbury meant the end for Hall Farm. In 1981, several locals spoke about the farm to Sara Payne:

Two people who were particularly sad to see Hall Farm go were the late George Dean, who was clerk to the magistrates in Cambridge for many years, and his wife, Hazel, who lives at 129 Gilbert Road, near Carlton Way.

Mrs Dean remembers the two farm labourers' cottages belonging to Hall Farm, which stood until they were demolished two [?] years ago, on land set back from Gilbert Road just north of the junction with Carlton Way.

'They were two little cottages. Mrs Haynes lived in one, her husband was a chimney sweep.'

The Hall Farm mulberry tree, seen here in 1981, survived for years.

Mrs Betty Simons, a part-time teacher at Arbury School, remembered Hall Farm from the late 1930s onwards:

'Carlton Way was just a cinder path with grass verges on either side. On the Gilbert Road corner was a long farmhouse garden. I can remember the lavender in that garden, it always smelt so beautiful. The farmhouse was grey brick with a slate roof. A very old mulberry tree stood just outside the farmhouse gate.'

Mrs Simons took Ms Payne to see the tree, which then stood in a front garden in Carlton Way. Ms Payne wrote:

You can recognise it by its spade shaped leaves. I wonder if it is feeding any silk worms at the moment?

Mrs Simons continued with her Hall Farm memories:

'Straight down the cinder track was a footpath round the back of the houses in Gilbert Road. There was a little wood. A spinney, but it was a big wood to me when I was a little girl and we used to play there.

'Passed where the bus shelter is now was a pond where we used to go fishing for tadpoles and newts. My father is 80 this year, and he can remember skating on it, but I can't remember there being enough water to skate on. It was all reeds and rushes.'

As we walked down the south side of Carlton Way in the direction of Gilbert Road Mrs Simons, who is really wedded to Arbury and wouldn't want to live anywhere else, pointed out the site of that pond - a damp patch in the pathway has always been the tell tale sign.

More of Mrs Simons memories can be found in the Arbury Is Where We Live! book - which is on this site.

And what of the Kingsway Flats? Well, these were another 1960s innovation. Back to the 1981 Down Your Street:

Mr Gordon Whitehead, of Tedder Way, who is rather an authority on Arbury, explained that for many years the builders, John and James Brignell, who were building the estate, used the site of the Kingsway Flats as their builders' yard. 'They had their huts on there and Carlton Way blended round into Roseford Road then. As the huts were right up against the road it was rather a dangerous bend.'

A late 1950s map showing 'the Arbury' - including the pre-Kingsway Carlton Way. South Arbury is blossoming, but Arbury Court has yet to arrive, and North Arbury is still the Manor Farm.


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