sign Hempstead


Village Anecdotes
This page contains anecdotes and memories sent in by visitors to this website
and they're well worth reading!

Village Tales - Man About The Mouse

Mm. So, how did I come to be hopping semi-naked around the rotary dryer in our garden? I’ll tell you. After all, it could happen to you.

My partner Dangerous Doris and I have two cats, Monster and Munch. Monster and Munch are extremely efficient collectors of small furry creatures and love to deposit their live and wriggling booty into our Hempstead abode. 

It’s then our job as Cat Guardians to locate and remove the unwitting furry trespassers to a place of safety. This involves much squatting by skirting boards clutching an empty Ferrero Rocher box in readiness and waiting for the darned things to come out from under the fridge.

On one such occasion recently as I knelt in wait, poised, Ferrero box in hand; a brave little mouse made a break for it and scurried between my legs as - clamp, clamp, clamp - I wildly failed to capture it under the box. Meanwhile, my giggling partner Dangerous assured me she’d seen the mouse run through my legs and into the room behind me. We spent another ten minutes trying to find where it went but to no avail.

Half an hour after the fruitless search and the incident settling into recent memory, we were sat on separate chairs in the living room watching Bargain Hunt when I became aware of a warm lump about the size of a small sausage near my right hip just under the waistband of my Luxury Indoor Green Tartan Leisure Trouser.

I put my hand down by my side and felt the lump. ‘Oh, my God!’ I thought, ‘I’ve got a hernia!’

The lump was warm, slightly squishy, and it wriggled. ‘Do hernias move?’ I said out loud.

‘What? No, of course not,’ Dangerous replied absently, busy admiring Paul Laidlaw’s vintage extendable telescope.

‘Then I’ve got a mouse in my pants,’ I said.

‘Don’t be ridiculous!’ she snorted. (Yes, she snorts.)

I touched the lump again and it zipped off down my trouser leg.

‘It’s coming out!’ I said, panicking and starting to pull my trousers down.

‘Not in here! Not in here!’ she shouted, ‘Go outside, you nit!’

I hobbled as fast as I could through to the kitchen and out the back door into our small back garden, nervously clutching my waistband and trying not to feel any more movement down below. Accompanied by Dangerous's stifled hooting I tried pulling down the Luxury Leisure Pants but got my right foot caught in the left leg and started to hop round the garden. Anti-clockwise, I believe.

Dangerous continued to offer her support by bending double and laughing until she was nearly sick.

Eventually I managed to free my foot slip the trousers off and secure the release of a surprisingly subdued rodent.

‘It must be stunned,’ Dangerous offered, ‘What with being in there.’

Adopting an offended frown I carefully captured the unharmed mouse in the Ferrero box removed it from danger and released it in a safer place.

As I walked back across the garden our next-door neighbour Mrs Cresswell peered over the fence. In silence she lowered her eyes to my bare knees raised them up again twitched her eyebrows and continued staring. The silence grew louder.

I pulled myself upright, folded my Tartan Leisure Trousers over my arm, and marched back indoors. As I passed Dangerous in the doorway I stiffened slightly and said, ‘Dignity, dear; either you’ve got it, or you haven’t.’

Dangerous looked at me, then at my knees, and said nothing. But I’m sure I saw her smirk. 

Did I tell you she snorts? 

Chow, altergether...
Chris Sadler, Marlpit Lane - 6th July 2023

When I was a little boy about four years old, there was a water pit beyond the railway line and in front of the cottages on the Hempstead Road.
My brothers had a dozen ducks, every morning it was my job to take them to the water pit, also to collect them in the late afternoon. I was always accompanied by my huge ginger Tom cat, also know as Ginger.
It was summer time and the ducks were laying, I set off with the ducks alone that morning as Ginger had disappeared the night before, and was nowhere to be found!
In the afternoon a soldier came to buy eggs, he came from Cork Green
[Court_Green] Hempstead. I asked the soldier if he had seen my ginger cat, he replied one had appeared around the search light station at Hempstead.
The next morning I took the ducks to the pond, unbeknown to my mother or family I set off to find my cat, I had no shoes just a pair of shorts as it was very hot.
When I got to Hempstead_Mill, I had a drink out of the river, and then walked onwards to the soldiers and the search light where my cat had been seen.
My cat ran to me when he saw me, the soldiers treated me like a celebrity they gave me lunch and then showed me the search light and how it worked.
The soldier who had purchased the eggs was instructed to take me home.
Ginger and I were brought home in style in an army jeep.
My mother and sisters were greatly relieved as everyone had been hunting for me all day.
I didn’t get off lightly as my mother and twin sisters sat me on the table and set about scrubbing my legs and feet removing the tar stuck to them.
After this my sisters had to come with me, I was not allowed out on my own.

Chiffy - 22nd March 2023

We were allowed to have a packet of crisps on Saturdays but they weren’t like crisps you know now, they were sweepings off the floor, they were all crushed. That’s what we called it. We didn’t have much pocket money and they were only a ha’penny. No, they were in a packet. Riseboroughs were the name of the people in the pub. We used to go round the back on a Saturday morning and we were allowed a packet of crisps.
Meg Smith - 29th January 2022

There was an old boy, I don't know if he was a major or who he was, lived in a house up this road somewhere and he used to walk to the pub every day and he used to swear all the way down the road and we thought that was wonderful. We got behind the hedge just to hear the words and what he said.
Meg Smith - 29th January 2022

It was my grandfather who walked to the pub swearing !! He had painful feet and reckoned that the swearing helped. He was once shopping in Holt, walking on  the pavement swearing and a chap in front of him turned round and gave him a few unkind words as he thought Grandpa was swearing at him. ! !
G’pa was quite upset.

Name witheld - 4th February 2022

I was born and raised in Hempstead 1953 to 1975 when I left after getting married. I lived at number 11 council house at the bottom of Chapel Lane and was lucky that I had many relatives living in the village. Next door at number 10 was my uncle George Doy with his wife Iris (post lady) and cousin Charles. At number 9 was my uncle Leslie Doy with his wife Dolly and cousin Roger. Further up Chapel Road at number 4 was my uncle Fred Power with his wide Gladys, cousin Desmond, Malcolm, Maureen and Lily. Then at number 1 was my uncle Billy Doy with his wife Ruby. Elsewhere in the village in a small cottage on the way to Pond Hills was my uncle Dady Clarke with his wife Mabel and cousin Betty.
I was the local paper deliver boy from 1966 to 1969 after which I went off to Kings Lynn Technical College for a year before starting work.
I recall there being a youth club which ran each Tuesday in the village hall and there was a Monday evening salvation army youth school run at the old school down the lane towards the Old Rectory. Us boys in the village would often play in the woods surrounding the rectory after first getting permission from Colonel Shirley of course. Local freshwater fishing would take place at the Rookery pond after getting permission from Mr Harmer, the village farmer. My mother used to be a domestic for Mr Harmer when he first moved into the village. My Father was the local milkman working for Mr Seaman.

Andrew Green - 8th October 2020

If you have any memories, anecdotes or photos please let us know and we may be able to use them to update the site. Please or telephone 07836 675369

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