Government rules in the Spring of 2020 placed severe restrictions on the mixing of the public in general in an effort to reduce the incidence of Covid-19, by limiting social distancing to 2.0m. The Tesco Express at Cross Court introduced a one-way system in the store and 2.0m pavement markings. Staff also limited the number people in the store.
The old Victorian Downley School took on a new lease of life when it opened as the new Downley Community Centre, growing steadily in popularity in the village. It is run by a small group of committed volunteers who meet regularly to develop and manage the facility on behalf of all local residents. The Centre is open seven days a week and is home to numerous local clubs, associations and the village community library.
Downley was originally within the 1890s civil parish of West Wycombe, however, in the 1930s West Wycombe village was incorporated into the Borough of High Wycombe and the remainder of the original civil West Wycombe Parish, which included Downley, became known as West Wycombe Rural Detached Parish. As a consequence of the reorganisation of Local Government in the 1980s West Wycombe Rural Detached Parish was split into the parish of Downley Parish, and the parish of Piddington & Wheeler End.
The end of the war was a cause for festivities across the country, and Downley was no exception with an evening of celebrations on the Common. Note the design of a number of the torches – tin cans fixed to staves – still used today for the torchlight procession to the bonfire on Guy Fawkes’ night.
By 1937 the building of houses along the triangle of Commonside, Littleworth Road and Plomer Green Lane meant that the individual hamlets of Downley, Littleworth and Plomer’s Green had merged to become Downley village. The middle cottage in the row adjacent to Hillside Garage in Littleworth Road still bears the plaque “Plomer Green cottages, 1821”.
Piped mains water cost £3 per household (equating to approximately £200 in 2018). Each household had 3 light fittings and two powerpoints installed free of charge. However extra lights cost 15s (equivalent to £50 in 2018).
The Hall was built by the inhabitants of Downley on a site donated by Sir John Dashwood. Work began in April 1923 with the laying of the stone by 85-year-old Mr George Giles, a Chapel Street resident who lost two sons in the war.There followed the laying of bricks by residents and visitors with each person contributing towards the building fund.The final cost of the Hall was “in the neighbourhood of £1200” (£70-100,000 at 2020 prices).
Mr Alfred Smith of Reliance Nurseries succeeded in raising, after more than four years’ effort, a beautifully shaded blue rose. Given the name of ‘Lady Coventry’, the rose on opening was vermilion shaded and veined with intense blue, which predominates and extends becoming the ruling colour.