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Arbury Artefacts - Part 4

So, back to our examination of artefacts from the Arbury Estate and the Manor, Hall and Arbury Camp Farms of years ago. First up this week is Andy's old fifth year Manor School tie.

'All the boys had to wear ties,' says Andy. 'This was a nice option for the last year, a bit more adult and stylish. What did the Manor School badge contain? Andy: 'The badge wasn't to do with Manor Farm, from where the school got its name, but the crown represented the Royal Manor of Chesterton, William the Conqueror had taken a right royal fancy to the Manor of Chesterton, the axe was some sort of indication of Arbury's Roman links - I think it was part of the insignia carried around by Roman magistrates or something. The torches were the torches of learning, and the scroll was again related to the Royal Manor of Chesterton - the charter.'

Not even space for a cow or a bull, just a teensy weensy reminder of the farm? Oh well...

The second item is a postcard sent to Andy's great aunt, Lily Brett, at the Manor Farm on Arbury Road, from one Claude Skinner - date unknown. There was obviously a stamp collector somewhere in the family at some point! 'It's a bit poignant, really,' says Andy. 'Claude writes "I expect Alf is alright," but Alf, Lily's brother, was killed in the trenches in 1918.'

Ending on a happier note, we have the Arbury Gonk. He's something of a mascot of the Arbury Archivists and was made by Andy's cousin while she was a pupil at the Manor School in the 1970s. She gave it to him, and he kept it as a mascot. Made of felt, and stuffed with old tights and stockings, Arbury Gonk may be a bit moth eaten now, but he's still a cheerful presence.

Andy tells us he has often confided in the Arbury Gonk during troubled times in his life - apparently he's a wonderful listener.


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