Compton Bassett People

Ethel Arrives in Compton Bassett 1950

Ethel Goodenough gets married

I was in the Women’s Land Army at Guildford when I was in a train crash; my father had told me to never sit at the rear of a train, only the middle part as it was safer. But my friends and I were late catching this train, getting on the last carriage and were standing in the corridor when another train came into the back of us. I was injured and after hospital I was sent to Torquay for convalescence as they had a rest home there for the Women’s Land Army. There I met Viola who was stationed at Manor Farm in Compton Bassett and living with Mr & Mrs Mathews in Streete Farm. Viola invited me to Compton Bassett for the weekend, which I did. Well of course they lent me a bicycle and it got a puncture, so they told me to take it to Goodenough’s Corner where Henry Goodenough, who had been in the Marines, would mend the puncture. This he did while we chatted away and, after he had finished, he asked me if I would like to go up to the pub for a drink later on. So that is how we met and after I went back to London we kept corresponding and then Henry came up to London for a weekend, or I would come down and stay at Goodenough’s Corner. Alan Lewis, a friend of Henry’s, came up with him one weekend. Eventually we got married at Mortlake, where I lived in London and a load of Compton Bassett villagers came up in a hired coach, on Easter Sunday in 1950. There was no honeymoon but I came straight down to live at Goodenough’s Corner with Henry and his mother, who was a lovely person.

Living at Goodenough’s Corner had its challenges. There was no electricity and no mains water, though we had a hand pump in the little back kitchen and you went from there into another little living room where we had an old fashioned black lead grate. Then you went into the hallway where, on your right, was a little lounge which to this day has a small cupboard with shelves. It’s changed an awful lot but the staircase is in the same place and up at the top is what they called a landing bedroom, which was an open bedroom. Then there were two which led into two further bedrooms. Another staircase led up to an attic which was the complete length of the whole house and was used as a playroom most of the time. It was basic really but you got used to it.

When Henry’s mother died, we attempted to buy the rented property, which Henry had been born in but the owner, who was not local, was not interested. It was sold nevertheless and we had to find somewhere else to live; fortunately, a house in Briar Leaze became vacant and we moved in during 1970.

Goodenough Corner, Compton Bassett