1919 September

German Prisoners of War
taken July 1919
The Maltings, Green Lane
Prisoner of War camp during WW1

Clubs and organisations were getting more and more active with several reports of events throughout the month.

Ashwell WI held an extra meeting in the Bury grounds when girls over 15 were allowed to attend. A Senior Guide lecturer had been invited to speak about forming a Senior or Citizen Guide Group.

The various Ashwell football teams started off successfully. The Junior League’s first match at Letchworth was won by 5 goals. The senior team won their second game at Pirton by 4-1.

Wesleyan Chapel raised money from collections and a fruit & veg sale for their Trust Fund.

At the Women’s Institute regular meeting there was a discussion about fruit canning. Followed by a demonstration of spinning and weaving by Miss Coats, an Irish friend of Mr & Mrs Beresford of Ashwell End. The meeting finished with a sale of fruit when one penny in every shilling went into WI funds.

The effects of the War were still being dealt with in many ways.

The Ex-Servicemen Association made plans for an annual re-union dinner and monthly smoking concerts.

Soldiers from out of the village had been billeted here to guard the German prisoner camp in Green Lane. At least one, Private A Sparks, fraternised with the locals enough to marry Miss E Wilkins. The ceremony was carried out with a military guard of honour. Perhaps this was speeded up because he knew he would be leaving Ashwell. The last prisoners had already left and the camp, in the Maltings, Green Lane, was expected to close by 24th September.

To counter public concerns about the effects of disorganised trade and commodity shortages brought about by the War the Profiteering Act had just come into force and the Ashwell Rural District Council were quick off the mark holding a special meeting to appoint a Committee to deal with any allegations.  The act was set up to prevent anyone making an unreasonably large profit by the sale to one’s fellow citizens of an article that is in common use. At a local level this probably meant stopping shops and tradesmen blaming exorbitant prices on the current conditions. The newspaper takes up the theme of product sales, when prices must have been a constant worry, noting that apples have been sold at 3lbs for 2d – but I don’t know if this was good or bad.

The plans for new Rural District Council cottages were examined and approved. There was a unanimous demand for a bath and scullery to be fitted in each cottage. I am not sure which houses these refer to as I understood the first council houses in Ashwell were the ones in Station Road that were not built until the 1920’s.

Meanwhile the Parish Council decided to apply to the County Council for a 10mph speed limit through village. If that speed was enough then could we not be content with it today?

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