Ninety-year-old reflects on Woodbury of old
POTENTIAL first-time buyers may cringe when reading this article. Bob Miller, a 90-year-old former soldier from Woodbury, is testament to how society can dramatically change as years move on – particularly where property prices are concerned. Speaking to
POTENTIAL first-time buyers may cringe when reading this article.
Bob Miller, a 90-year-old former soldier from Woodbury, is testament to how society can dramatically change as years move on - particularly where property prices are concerned.
Speaking to the Journal as part of a nostalgia series, Bob said he could have bought his home, Thorns Cottage, near Greenway, for �600 in 1945.
The husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, said he didn't have enough money at the time to secure such an investment.
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But, still a contrast to today's house market, saturated with six figure sums, he added: "We bought the cottages for �22,000 around 1987."
Bob, who has lived in the village all his life and was born near St Swithun's Church, said the area had changed quite a lot throughout the years.
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"It's not the same as what it used to be. There are not many Woodbury people of old still left here now. The houses on Fulford Way, for instance, weren't around when I got married."
Bob joined the Woodbury branch of the Territorial Army when he was aged 16 and the Royal Artillery in 1939 before the war broke out.
Reflecting on his military days when he said he would have to listen to weaponry noises on a regular basis, Bob, who struggles to hear, joked: "That is why I've gone blinking deaf you see!
"My wife, Nora, then travelled around with me while the invasion scare was going off."
The former self-employed painter and decorator attended Woodbury school in the early years of his life and played for a number of sports teams in the area.
"Skittles, darts and cricket clubs - I used to be in them all.
"I was involved with the cricket team until I was 50, when they used to play at Globe Hill, and captained them for many years."
When asked if he would consider himself as an equivalent to England's Ashes star Andrew Flintoff, Bob said: "I used to be a fast bowler. I took ten wicket for nine runs on one occasion and 129 wickets in a season.
"Cricket runs in the family because our son plays, and great grandson, Matthew, has just started.