Recollections from the 1940's

We would always be glad to hear more details of Warmington's history or more personal memories of our village to share with all.

Thanks so much to Peter Pearse contacted us at the website with some recollections of Warmington during the 1940s:

I came from London to Warmington on a dark night on the 4th of October 1941 and, with many other confused children, was herded into the " The Hut " which served as the village centre. with my six year old brother ( I was nearly 14 at the time and a little older than most of my companions ) I clearly remember being escorted to our first digs in the wartime blackout. It was intensley dark that night and visibility was nil. Our escort held our hands and brought us to a small house near Big Green where the lady occupant stated quite categorically that she asked for Girls and did not want Boys !!!  This was my first welcome to the village of Warmington and I was somewhat frightened. The lady was persuaded to take us in for one night and the morning after I was moved into Ashdown Farm under the care of Mr Wade, the farmer and his wife. ( where my brother went I have no recollection ) My sister was billeted elsewhere with a Mrs Black
After spending all my life so far in a smokey city, my entry into the country side was a truly wonderful experience, and to this day I am enthusiastic about the natural environment, woodlands and wildlife.
I stayed on the farm for many months and went to school in Oundle as I was too old to go to the village school.
One day Mrs Wade died after a rather long illness and I was moved out to stay with Mrs Harbour, an exremely kind lady , for the rest of my two years as an evacuee.
I remember there were two ladies appointed to look after the well being of the childred billeted in the village. Miss Campbell  ( A nurse )and another lady whose name I cannot recall but who was mentioned in your earlier web site
There was at this time a gentleman known by one and all as " The General ".  he was almost my namesake as his name was Pearce with a C.  He lived in a fairly large cottage situated to the back of St Marys Church .  He was a grand old fellow, a prominent  entomologist who often invited me and my friends to see his vast collection of insects and butterflies. His house must surely still be there?
I can remember two friends in the village. Edgar Upex  ( an extended village family as I have since found out from the inscriptions on the war memorial which was featured on your earlier site ) and also Roy and Olgar Dexter  ( Olgar was my first " girl friend "  ) I have found some Dexters  on the war memorial too so this was possibly also a common village name
The village shop was run, I think ,by a Mr Woods.  He did not, of course sell sweets as these  were absolutely non existent until the time rationing was introduced. However, to satisfy our craving we used to buy a penny Oxo and suck it.  However , one lick was quite enough !
Cigarettes were, however,  some times available and somehow my mates and I got hold of a packet and smoked them in a telephone kiosk so nobody saw us.  We should have known better! We were duly reported and I remember being scolded by Mrs Harbour. who told me that as a a patrol leader in the Scouts , and school prefect ,I should set an example.
I think the woodland known as the" Fern" is still there . It was then private land but we used to go there and muck around until we were chased off by the gamekeeper
I visited Warmington only once after the war. It would have been in the mid sixties and went to Mrs Harbours house with my wife and two young children. When I knocked on the door I had to introduce myself as the lady did not recognise me ( although she did say my face was " familiar" When I introduced myself I was of course given a very surprised welcome. At the time of this visit the village changed not one iota. it was as I had left it in 1943.  Looking nowadays on Google street view I see that it has changed to an almost unrecognisable degree, except perhaps the very centre.  Far too young to drink but I remember the pubs for some reason. The Red Lion, The Angel Inn and the Hauboy and Fiddle.