Friends reunited through Oxmoor Facebook group

11:22 21 April 2014

Mark Bartlett now and how he looked growing up on the Oxmoor.

Mark Bartlett now and how he looked growing up on the Oxmoor.

Archant

Friends who set up an online group to share memories about living on a Huntingdon estate have been staggered by its popularity which has spread across the world.

Greg Wills, of Ambury Hill, Huntingdon, founded the “We grew up on The Oxmoor” Facebook group at the end of last month with the intention of inviting a few pals to swap stories about when they were younger.

Just three days later, the number of members had shot up to 400 and after a fortnight there were more than 2,000. Now there’s even talk of a mass reunion.

“It’s gone crazy,” said Mr Wills. “It’s opened my eyes to what people think about having grown up there.

“Photos which have been in cardboard boxes in the loft are being posted and there are videos that we would never have seen otherwise.”

Among the first to join was Mark Bartlett, of Coxons Close, Huntingdon, who now monitors the posts along with Greg’s partner Anne Priestman. “Greg invited me and about 20 other friends who grew up on The Oxmoor to share stories,” he said. “This was on the Thursday and by the Sunday we had 400 people, which was staggering for a place as small as Huntingdon.

“Two-and-a-half weeks since it started and it’s gone over 2,400. There’s people on there from Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, the States.”

Hundreds of photos have been posted - from school pics to parties - as people have raided their family albums for snaps of their Oxmoor days.

The trip down memory lane also includes newspaper cuttings - including many from the Hunts Post - and requests for information about the area’s characters, as well as reminders about what it was like living there, from when it was built in the 1950s onwards.

“One of the biggest things is the BRJ Club,” continued Mr Bartlett, who moved onto the estate with his parents in 1970. “It held a lot of charity events where they raised money for things like wheelchairs for people.

“When you read through some posts, Oxmoor had its down side, but the community spirit is massive. I don’t think you would get it anywhere else.”

One of the most satisfying elements of the group, said Mr Bartlett, had been its success in reuniting people.

“There are countless stories of people who have got back in touch with others they have not spoken to for 30 or 40 years.”

INFORMATION: To find out more, visit Facebook and search for “We grew up on The Oxmoor”.

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