(John Gee the elder was among the Cumnor residents interviewed by Mais while he was working on his book 'Our Village Today' (Werner Laurie) in 1956. Gee bought the freehold of Denman's Farm in 1927 and developed a market garden on the higher land. In 2000 his son John works the farm and has acquired much additional land in the parish)
'John Gee, described to me as the village Hampden, told me that he farmed four hundred acres of the green belt at Denman's Farm. He represents the Village Ward on the Parish Council.
'I've got a large number of glass houses,' he said, ' seventy acres of market produce, forty acres of fruit, forty acres of woodland and the rest is arable and rotation leys.
'Like Frank Cheeseman I want to keep the village a village, not a museum piece, but a living entity. In the original old village all the classes used to meet and mix naturally. The trouble with the modem housing estates is that they tend to keep each class apart. We are trying to break that down by the establishment of different types of club. I'm particularly interested in the Farming Club, Farming mark you, not Farmers'. We've got eighty members, and the idea is to provide common ground for farmers and farm workers to meet socially. We use the village Hall and the Congregational Hall, both quite good.'
I asked him about the green belt.
'It is imperative that we should keep this break between Oxford and the Berkshire countryside for Oxford's sake as much as our own. There must be a breathing space, a way of escape from the town where you can find elbow-room, and on our side a quiet sanctuary where the old way of life can be carried on. Natural development, yes, but not development that will destroy the spirit of the village. Amenities will come in the course of time. The sewage problem ought to be solved in a few years, we still have no street lights and no shelters at the bus stops, but by way of compensation we are still a village, a very happy community.'