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Our historical impression of a "Duckers cottage" in Aylesbury 1815

Our historical impression of a

Submitted by George Lait at 8:02am, 30th Jul 2015.

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George Lait writes "Our “Duckers” Cottage front garden Story is make believe but "Duckers" cottages did exist! The cottage is situated in a quiet leafy area of Aylesbury, with a population of around 3,186 residences, just a stone’s throw away from Friar’s passage and a short walk to the town centre. Located to the right of the cottage is a small wooded area, planted with a variety of woodland trees and wild flowers. On occasions wild deer can be seen close to the edge of the wood but rarely venture into the garden. The woodland acts as a natural boarder to the cottage and helps keep in the domestic animals as well as the chickens and ducks. Unfortunately the cottage has a public footbath along the front of the cottage but the footpath rarely gets used, due to the larger cart track only yards away going straight into the town centre and the local farmers market. The owners have taken advantage of this area and planted sympathetically showing an extended garden giving walkers the opportunity to stop and admire as they pass by. The cottage is carefully maintained, properly being one of the best in the area. The owners keep themselves to themselves. Keeping busy, with the garden and local jobs to make ends meet maintaining a good standard of living. Their main income is to take in Duck eggs for the local farmers around Aylesbury, hatch out and look after until the farmer collects and sells on at local markets in Aylesbury or beyond. This resulted in the cottage being given the name “Duckers Cottage”. This industry thrives around Aylesbury and is well rewarding in many ways. Not just the excitement of bringing life into the world but the benefits which go with it, cash in hand and the possibility of the feathers to use for mattresses and bedding later on in the year when the ducks are dispatched. Other animals at the cottage are the 2 Chickens providing fresh eggs and keeping the ducks company. Also, Bess, the trusty old sheep dog who although having a calm nature keeps every one under control, seeing that the other animals come to no harm from predators venturing into the garden from the wood or footbath. Bess enjoys free run of the house and gardens and particularly enjoys protecting the newly hatched ducks. George the old tabby cat who strolled into the cottage some years ago keeps his distance. He’s taken ownership of the front window sill and can be seen their most days, he sometimes ventures out, walks around the garden to ensure all is in order then goes back to his spot in the window. The location of the cottage does restrict the ability to grow many variations of flowers and vegetables, but the owners do their best maintaining a small vegetable garden for root vegetable, with a small plot of land on the edge of Aylesbury for growing more sun loving vegetable fruit trees and fruit bushes. Most crops are shared with wild life, rabbits can be seen most days coming in from the woods and fields, but that’s part of living in a beautiful place like this. The flower and herb garden again could benefit from more sun but the owners manage by putting as much colour as they can into the plot. Ivy was introduced to add character to the cooler areas of the garden and works well adding character to the white cottage walls. Modern times. With the 18th century in its 15th year modern times are with us. The old pump has been replaced with a modern well much nearer the front door. It was decided to let the old pump area go wild to reflect what was going on just over the boundary fence. This special area takes your eye away the outside toilet at the end of the cottage which can be a smelly place at times, especially when cleaning out or a hot day with the wind in the wrong direction The modern well is the envy of the neighbours who have to walk some distance to the local community well located down the track. The owners have a modern cottage and try to keep up with the times. Whilst out on walks seeing something different makes them want to have a go. For instance, whilst out some time ago they saw wood peckers coming out of holes in the trees, they came home and built bird boxes and put up around the garden, this idea will never catch on, especially the large one on the cottage wall. "

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