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Dare to Be a Daniel - Tony Benn

"Mrs Hipsey had a cottage where she took in washing"
Here, as in London, Father was always making 'improvements' with the help of a local joiner. For example, all the rooms at Stansgate interconnected — so that you could enter the bathrooms from both ends, which was not always altogether comfortable! The nearest village was Steeple, with the Star Inn and the Crown and Anchor, a little church and two chapels, one being established for a dissenting sect called the Peculiar People and the other Congregational. There my grandmother had paid for a notice board on which it was announced that marriages could be `Solomonized' — an innocent misprint that conveyed the wrong impression of the sanctity of monogamous marriage.

Also in Steeple was Mr Harrington, the cobbler, who worked in a little thatched shed and would cut our hair for sixpence, which seemed a lot at the time.

Mrs Hipsey had a cottage where she took in washing, and in 1945 we collected from her the laundry we had left there to be washed in 1939 — and it had all been done and kept carefully.

Along the street was Mr Dash, who had a horse and cart and advertised his work with the simple words painted on the shed next door: 'DASH 1868', which remained there for many years.

Further away was Southminster and occasionally we would go to Maldon, or even Chelmsford, which seemed like a teeming metropolis compared to Steeple.