Most of the members of the Rodbourne Community History Group will have seen the metal bollards that have been installed in front of the Post Office and other shops on Rodbourne Road but some years ago there were wooden ones. It transpires that my Uncle Frank (who lived in Morris Street) and his mate (who lived in Hawkins Street), having spent the evening in the Dolphin partaking in drinking Arkell’s falling down brown liquid(beer) were staggering home along Rodbourne Road and in the dark managed to walk into the last remaining wooden post. After picking themselves up they went home and getting a saw from the shed they proceeded to saw the post down and carried it home, where it stayed for several weeks under the stairs.
Afterwards, Gran was so worried and expected a visit from the boys in blue, until Gramp removed the evidence by chopping it up for firewood. Gran related this tale to Mrs. Gealer who owned the Greengrocers. She had heard the commotion but had not bothered to look out of her window.
As a boy I attended Ferndale School but on Fridays our class would walk to Even Swindon school for wood working classes with Ken Kitchen in the old hut in the school playground. Mr Kitchen had his own dance band and after a late night playing he would arrive late for classes in the morning , peddling furiously down Rodbourne Road on his bike.
I remember him as a good shot with a piece of chalk which he would throw at you for the slightest inattention on your part. He was also very hand with the cane for which he would select a piece of dowel from the wood rack and give you two whacks on the hand.
I still have the teapot stand that was made for our first project and is still useable after 60 years so I suppose he must have taught us something!