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Coldham's Common OS map 1927

White Path (Barnwell Road)

History of the White Path

The White Path does not seem to have been marked on OS maps but from the following description seems to have been the local name for what is now the continuation of Barnwell Road to the junction with Coldham’s Lane.

Mrs J Adams recounted to ‘Memories of Abbey and East Barnwell’: My memories of the White Path are mostly very pleasant. I think I am going back about 52 years. When I was married and lived in Ditton Walk we would spend many hours walking down ‘the white path.’ In summer we would collect wild flowers, cornflowers, dog daisies, buttercups, daisies and little yellow flowers we called ‘Tom Thumb,’ and sometimes a find would be bee-orchids. Pretty grasses, feathers, stones and leaves, in fact we would have a box-full in the pram when we came back. Any nature project – the white path was there. There were also many skylarks, which sadly seem to have disappeared now. It was quiet, no traffic, we hated it when all the houses and shops were built and of course the road. There werew also, of course, the odd ‘strange men’ about, but I think we had a local bobby then. Our children were not allowed to go across there when it was dark. There was a little bridhe right at the end near Coldham’s Lane, which tempted the children to jump in the stream below. I also took the children to the paddling pool in the summer with lemonade and sandwiches. I can remember walking from my mother’s house to the Church, and it was just fields, the railway line, cows and horses. Next to Proctors was a farm; I think it was the White Farm. It had a big white gate to it. Now it’s the Nursery School, work units and Wadloes Road with many more houses. 


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