A lady called Jo Lewis wrote recently to the Wychwoods History Society to say that her mother-in-law, who died last December aged 100, had in her possession a wedding photograph of a friend she had made while living in the Wychwoods during the Second World War.
She wished to know whether any of the relatives of the bride or groom might be still living in the area and might like a copy of the photograph.
The mother-in-law’s maiden name was Joan Nesta Mills. She worked with a Shipton girl called Ivy Slatter in Cowley Oxford where they were both engaged in welding to repair spitfires and other damaged aircraft probably at the Metal and Produce Recovery Centre established there (or possibly at Witney where similar work was undertaken).
From the WLHS archives, it appears that Ivy had worked in the drapers, Hathaway’s, before the War and lived in one of the cottages behind the Red Horse Inn. There is also a Private G J Slatter shown on a photograph of the members of the Shipton Home Guard, who may have been a brother of Ivy’s.
Joan returned to Bristol where her mother was ill and became a fire watcher. Ivy married Raymond Burden in June 1943 and sent her friend a photograph of the wedding. Raymond died in 1972 aged 54.
Rod Blackman, who lives in Milton and who is a member of the WLHS, relates that his mother, whose maiden name was Higbee, also worked at the recovery centre during the war and may have known these two ladies. She is fortunately still with us at 98.
If anybody knows of any relatives of either Raymond or Ivy still living in the Wychwoods perhaps they could get in touch and we would be pleased to send them a copy of the photograph.
AWV February 2022