Shocking practices of Cippenham villagers

Cippenham Agriculture 1909/1910

Cippenham Villagers shocking up corn 1909/10. Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies D11/12/14

This image shows Cippenham villagers indulging in the long-forgotten practice of “shocking up”. Corn stalks were gathered into bundles, placed upright and bound up, so that they would dry out. The image is one from a delightful photograph album currently held by the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies. On the inside cover, the following inscription is written:

Cippenham Court Farm
Slough Bucks
in the years 1909; 1910; 1911

Ernest Headington was the farmer at this time. His sister, Edith married Frederic Bayley who was grandfather of Michael Bayley the owner of the original album of photographs from which these are copied.

A H Packe
July 1969

The photographs in the album capture many other agricultural practices of the past, such as hurdle making and the use of horses for ploughing and hoeing.

Returning to the “shocking” photograph above, it would be interesting to know where it was taken. The houses in the background, almost certainly gone now, could have been off Cippenham Lane near the village Centre. Cippenham Court farm was very extensive, however, not only covering a lot of Cippenham but spanning over Britwell and Salt Hill.

For the story of how Cippenham Court Farm’s land became The Slough Trading Estate, see here.



2 Responses to Shocking practices of Cippenham villagers

  1. Gillian Gillatt says:

    The houses in the background look like Millstream Lane in the village centre

    • Dreadnaught says:

      The provenance of this photograph is exceptionally good and it it is quite unlikely that it wasn’t taken in Cippenham between 1909 and 1911, although there’s always the chance when you think about it.

      I agree about the familiarity with Millstream Lane. I wonder if it could have been taken west of the Village Green e.g. around what is today Warner Close looking east (in the direction toward the village centre) with Millstream Lane occluding. The treeline looks familiar, even today. There would have certainly been a couple of smallhold dwellings on the south side of the Green close up to the end of Millstream Lane in this era. Some of the dwellings may have previously been a Coach House, of which Cippenham had a few in the stagecoach era. I can even remember, in the 60/70’s seeing the remains of one of these buildings, which at that time had an old orchard adjacent to it and the mill stream. I vaguely remember the remains of a decorative stone floor in red (or black) and white, which perhaps indicated status. The land at this spot would have been cornfield then, which the Village Green wouldn’t have been although you might have seen the odd cow grazing on it.

      Does anyone else recognise anything or have an old photograph that could help solve the puzzle of where this is?

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