ABOUT JERICHO - HISTORY

Memories from a resident of Jericho

Posted - October 04, 1983

Interview with 'Annie'

I shall call her Annie, although this is not her real name.

I went to see Annie to talk to her about her childhood memories of Jericho. I knew her family had lived for generations in the area, and that she had many interesting stories to tell. She told me that Jericho had changed vastly over the years. She remembers a shop on every corner, and a couple of pubs in every street!!!! Also a ferry at Ferry (now renamed Combe) Road.

Religion had played a solid part in the lives of many of the residents, and as a child Annie sometimes went to church three times on a Sunday. Aside from St. Barnabas Church, the Baptist Chapel and the Synagogue, it was possible to go to the “Band of Hope”, which met on Thursdays. This was for teetotallers, and was an opportunity to talk about God and Jesus, in sociable surroundings. Annie’s grandfather was twenty-nine when the last part of St. Barnabas Church was put up in 1869. She herself was only six when building work was commenced on St. George’s Chapel - this was built on to St. Barnabas Church to commemorate the victory of the First World War.

Annie remembers her childhood with great affection. Coming from a large family of six children she had a great deal of fun. She says the games children played then were seasonal, the main winter game being “hoops”. Chasing the hoops kept the blood circulating and helped to keep the children warm. The girls’ hoops were made of wood and the boys’ of iron, and they were sold in the toy-shop for 6d each. Different sizes of hoops were fixed to the ceiling.  On May-Day the children decorated their hoops with flowers, such as buttercups,  kingcups and daisies, often picking them in the University Parks, which was a favourite visiting place, as it still is today.

I spent a very enjoyable couple of hours with Annie, and before I left she sprung a surprise on me. She told me that her interest in history had prompted her to take up a hobby of making dolls in period costume. She showed me her collection of beautiful dolls, each one immaculate and concocted with great attention to detail. She was in the middle of completing a set of Henry VIII’s wives!

Author: Sue Hearne

Did you know?

Margaret Thatcher used to live here?

In her Oxford days, she lived at 12 Richmond Road. It is alleged she shared the house with two red-hot communists who lived on a diet of sausages. This may account for her later views on socialists and known dislike of sausages.

Cranham Street used to be a blot on the city

Before Grantham House was built, the site became notoriously derelict, making Cranham Street according to the local press a ‘blot on the city’ – wrecked by local children, and a refuge for rats and for ‘layabouts sleeping off the drink’ who were repeatedly evicted by the police.