The Way We Were by John Taylor: Passing of an era

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Modern technology. What a pain. And yet such a boon, in the unlikely event of being tamed.

And, causing particular problems was transferring a set of local history photos to a digital file.

In fact so much so that even sacrificing a goat was contemplated. But the little bleaters proved rather scarce at 10pm in Fenny Stratford, and as a second option the dog had promptly done a runner. But by the lab chimp approach of pressing random buttons the mission was finally accomplished. From which comes this week’s offering, which shows Little Linford Hall.

Now demolished, this was for many years the home of the Knapp family, and it was in June 1900 that John, the eldest son of Mr M Knapp of Little Linford Hall, married Katherine Brownrigg at the House of Commons Church, Westminster. The couple subsequently took up residence at the Little Linford mansion and there they would reside for 24 years.

Both took an active interest in the administrative, political and social life of the district, and as county magistrates often sat together on the Bench at Newport Pagnell. In other public service Mrs Knapp was a staunch supporter of the Bucks Blind Association and a co-opted member on several county council committees. As a county councillor her husband served on the education committee, and in public life would fulfil many other appointments.

After his death Mrs Knapp moved to Denham but still retained an interest in the local district, to which she paid frequent and benevolent visits. Nowadays many mansions from the heyday of the gentry have been demolished, or converted into flats and hotels. And with the passing of that era has seemingly passed a generation to which public duty was a responsibility, to be assumed with dignity, integrity and a pleasing lack of self interest.

Unlike it seems the modern ‘aristocracy’ of the ‘nouvea riche,’ who increasingly appear to be a Mammon worshipping species of pop ‘stars’, blokes kicking footballs about, and in some cases even the odd barrow boy who by happy chance, got lucky.