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My vicarage lessons with a four-year-old Theresa May by Detlev J. Piltz

Features | September Issue


In 1961, Detlev J. Piltz, a German teenager, was thrilled to stay with a vicar’s family in the Cotswolds. He learnt about English tea rituals, cricket and class with their little daughter

I first visited England in summer 1961 at the age of sixteen, during the school holidays. It was quite common at the time for English families, ideally with children, to take in youngsters from Germany and other foreign countries for a few weeks, as paying guests.  My host family comprised a vicar and his wife, with their young daughter who was coming up for five years old. They lived in an idyllic Cotswolds village, Church Enstone, in Oxfordshire. The four weeks I spent there enriched my life. Not only did I improve my schoolboy English and become more fluent, but the family took me with them on their shopping trips in their plush Morris Minor, usually to Chipping Norton.  On Sundays, the family and I attended the village church together. We all went to watch the motor racing at Silverstone, picnicked in the country, and the vicar showed me Oxford University...

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