Cosgrove Events 1950 - 1959

School play - Humpty Dumpty 1950
Left to right: Sue Coles, Sam Hickford, Gillian Markham, John Fitzgibbon

Fancy Dress c.1955

Left to right: John Mapley, (fairy) Judith Hefford, (pirate) Michael Chown, (cowboy) Maurice Castle, James Wray, Roger Kightley

Wolverton Express 10th February 1950

Fancy Dress Dance at Cosgrove

Several in fancy dress were at the most successful dance held on Saturday evening last in the new Victory Hall, Cosgrove, under the auspices of Cosgrove branch of the British Legion.  The effort was on behalf of the Benevolent Fund of the Branch. The Sentimentalist Band played music for old time and modern dances, and an enjoyable programme was carried through.

During an interval, fancy dress was judged for awards by Captain and Mrs. P Y Atkinson, the Hon. Mrs. Fermor-Hesketh, Mrs M E Jelley, Mrs. C R Whiting, Mrs. B Heap, and Mr W. Hurry, whose choice was announced as follows:

Ladies (bottle of port wine) Mrs. J. Johnson and Mrs. R. Longman (The Bisto Kids); 2 (hair brush) Mrs J Burrows (Spanish lady).  Gentlemen 1 (bottle of Sherry) Mrs. F. Franklin (The Departing Spirit – a ghost); 2 (scarf) Mr J. Johnson (Santa Claus), girls under 12, 1 (box of chocolates) R Hebson( British Legion Poppy girl), 2 (box of handkerchiefs) Brenda Goodridge (prince with a glass slipper).  Boys under 12, 1 (box of chocolates and fountain pen), M. Gascoyne (a cat), 2 (box of chocolates) Miss J Hebson (wounded soldier).

Refreshments were served by Mesdames W. Brockway, P. Lyman, H. Atkinson, and E. Stewart.

The committee responsible for the arrangements were Messrs. W Castle, R. Longman, S. Welch, A C Noble, J Pollard, A T Noble, and E R Brown, who had the very helpful assistance of Mr H. Atkinson, a Legion member.

The branch officials express their sincere thanks to all who assisted in the success of the effort, those kind people who gave prizes, and the ladies who provided such a fine selection of refreshments, and length who in any way gave their help and support.

Wolverton Express 17th March 1950

Cosgrove Victory Hall Dinner –

“Foster Friendship and Goodwill” - Major Hesketh

Committee “Had Really Done Things” - Mr. Macwhirter

Cosgrove Victory Hall Committee celebrated the first year of the erection of its spacious building with a dinner and smoking concert, and a distinguished company supported the function.  Mr. G S Macwhirter, who did great things for the provision of the Hall, is retiring from the responsible post of Secretary of the Northamptonshire Rural Community Council, and he was heartily thanked for his good offices.  Major Fermor-Hesketh, president, spoke of the advantage of such a hall and hoped the committee would go on doing their best to foster friendship and goodwill.

Supporting the president were Mrs Fermor Hesketh, Mr. F Hillyer, chairman of committee, Mr. and Mrs. R Whiting, Colonel and Mrs. P Y Atkinson, Mr. and Mrs. M E Jelley, Mr. and Mrs. W Crowder, the Rev. J S Benson (trustees), Mr. and Mrs. G S Macwhirter, and Mr. J Hebson, hon. Secretary.  The toast of “The President” was given by Col. Atkinson, who said they were fortunate in having such a good friend in the village.  Major Hesketh acknowledged with the remarks stated above.

The Secretary was called upon to give a resume of the social life of the village, and Mr. Hebson said it was 14 years ago that he had his first experience of Cosgrove and he wished to thank Mr. Malcolm Jelley for the opportunity he then gave him.  Since that time he had had several red letter days which culminated with the opening of the village hall last year.

“I have heard some people say”, said Mr. Hebson,” We’ve got the village hall, why bother to raise more funds?” Well in the first place we have to find at least £3 a week to meet the upkeep, secondly, to give satisfaction to all organisations, we require another building.  I should like to see - and I hope the committee are of the same mind - a building where young people can learn and play billiards and games, and a reading room for the older folk.”

Giving an indication of the full use that is being made of the hall, the Secretary said that at present the committee was restricted to one Tuesday a month for a meeting.  The British Legion, Women’s Institute and Pig Club, were forced to hold their committee meetings elsewhere, and they could not supply dates for a show required by the talented producer, Mr. L Feil.  Since the opening, eight months ago, the hall had become an essential part of Cosgrove, said Mr. Hebson.  It had fostered friendship, not only in the village but in the adjacent villages of Castlethorpe, Hanslope, and Yardley Gobion, whose organisations had availed themselves of the use of the hall.

“Trying to satisfy the needs and wishes of the village is a big task and there have been some misunderstandings on several occasions as to dates, otherwise everything has run smoothly,” said Mr. Hebson, who added thanks to the committee for their good work and cooperation.

Cosgrove “Indeed Fortunate” - Mr. Macwhirter

Referring to the loss Cosgrove Victory Hall committee would sustain by the retirement of Mr. Macwhirter, Secretary said they would be losing a very good friend.  He had helped them considerably and must have a soft spot for Cosgrove, because his advice and help during the early days was valuable and appreciated by them all.  He was sure they all wished him, his wife, and children every happiness in the future, and they hoped he would not forget where Cosgrove was on the map.  In submitting the toast of “The Victory Club and Hall”, the Secretary hoped it would be the means of making many new friends and keeping the old.

In reply, Mr. Macwhirter said that function was his last public engagement as Secretary of the organisation.  Cosgrove, he said, was indeed fortunate in having the first hall in Northamptonshire under the Rural Council Community Scheme, and only one more hall was to be erected in the County before the scheme was closed by the Government.  Cosgrove had a committee which had really done things; if every village had been so energetic, then his task would have been easier.  He would carry with him many happy memories of Cosgrove and hoped to visit them again.  He was more than pleased in the manner they were sharing their good fortune with other villages, and he had heard good reports of the advice they had given to other similar committees.  The most gratifying thing was that the hall was fulfilling a need for the social life of their village and others.

Thanks to the visitors were voiced by Mr. W Crowder and Mrs. M E Jelley.  An excellent concert programme was contributed to by Mr. Fred Dunleavy (baritone), Mr. Tommy Claridge, and party.

Wolverton Express 24th March 1950

Cosgrove Arrange “Over Seventies” Party

Cosgrove Women’s Institute met on 7 March in the Village Hall, with Mrs. W. Brockway presiding.  The monthly letter was read, and after business arising had been dealt with, the Over Seventies party was discussed, and members with spare points were asked to let either Mrs. Brockway or Mrs Jelley have them, so they could be lodged in the same manner as last year.  The party was arranged for 18 April.

Miss Makepeace was asked to give a talk on the County Library, of which she is librarian, and she gave an interesting account on how the Library is run.  She was thanked by Mrs. Proudfoot.  Miss Makepeace then judged the competition for not less than four lines of original verses on Cosgrove WI.  There were six entries, and each were awarded an equal number of points.

A beetle drive, run by Mrs. F W Castle, for the social half hour, at the following winners: Miss C. Tompkins and Mrs. N Crowder.  Tea hostesses were Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Johnson, and Miss Williams.

Wolverton Express 7th April 1950

Concert Party Visits Cosgrove

A successful concert was given in the Victory Hall, Cosgrove, on 28 March, arranged by the Women’s Institute in aid of the maintenance fund of the Northamptonshire Blind.  The programme was presented by the Follies Concert Party and a well filled Hall showed that Cosgrove people were willing to help the cause and also enjoy themselves.  The proceeds, amounting to £21, were handed to Mr. C Smith, produce and compere of the show.  Mr. Jackson, Secretary of the Northants Blind, was unable to be present owing to illness.  Mrs. Brockway, WI president, thanked the Follies for the entertaining evening they had provided.

Wolverton Express 19th May 1950

Coming of Age Party of Miss Cynthia Tompkins, Cosgrove

A party to celebrate the coming of age of their daughter, Cynthia, was given by Mr. and Mrs. A. Tompkins, of 10 Bridge Road, Cosgrove, in the Victory Hall, on 6 May.  A company numbering 70 was welcomed by Mr. Tompkins, and among the guests were Colonel and Mrs. Hedley, Grafton Regis, Major and Mrs. Salter, Wicken, Mr. and Mrs. J. Burnham, Stony Stratford, Mr. and Mrs. H F Keller, Wolverton, Mr. and Mrs. A H. Jones, New Bradwell, and Mr. A Smith.  Mrs. Tompkins is employed by “Donnies” Mr. and Mrs. Burnham, confectioners, and in charge of their Wolverton branch shop.

An excellent spread was served.  Mr. Tomkins was the recipient of nearly 40 presents, which included a handbag from Captain P Y and Mrs Atkinson, of Cosgrove Priory, her former employers, a gold wristlet watch from her parents, and a pink nylon mesh nightdress from Mr. and Mrs. Burnham.  The remainder of the evening was spent in dancing and games organized by Mr H. Jones and Mr J. Burnham.  Music was rendered by Ted Warren and his Alfresco Band.

Northampton Mercury - Friday 04 August 1950

Victory Club & Hall, Cosgrove.


To be held in the above Hall on


Commencing 6.30 a.m.

FERMOR HESKETH CUP and 15 Guineas in Prizes.

Cup be presented by Major The Hon. John Fermor-Hesketh. Team of Four Players. Entrance Fee 10s. per Team. Closing Date Wednesday, August 9. Send Entries to J Hebson, 7, Yardley-road. Cosgrove. Wolverton, Bucks Rules sent on request.

Wolverton Express 18th August 1950

Galleon Darts Team Win Hesketh Cup at Cosgrove Tournament

The Galleon Inn darts team, Old Wolverton won the Hesketh silver trophy at the first Darts tournament to be organised at Cosgrove by the Hall committee.  Nearly 100 spectators witnessed keen and sportingly contested games taken part in by 31 teams that hailed from Cosgrove, Stony Stratford, Silverstone, New Bradwell, Deanshanger, Potterspury, Yardley Gobion, Castlethorpe, Leckhamstead, Old Wolverton, and Stowmarket, near Ipswich!  The team from the last named place were not recompensed for their long journey by losing in the first round.

In the early rounds the games were for a straight 701 score, with semifinals the best of three 701 games, and the final 1001 best of three.

The Galleon reached the final by defeating the Four Aces, a Castlethorpe Carrington Arms team, by two straight legs, while their final opponents, Silverstone B defeated their own A team.  The old Wolverton team carried off the cup and 10 guineas by accounting for Silverstone by two legs to nil.  Losing finalists received a cash prize of four guineas.  The winning team, comprised Messrs. Vic Old, captain, Joe Brightman, Les Markham, and Frank Cross.

A prize of one guinea was offered to the highest individual score in one game and two players tied, and in the play-off Mr. W Savage, “Case is Altered”, Stony Stratford, scoring 172, beat Mr. B Bruce of Silverstone A.

Major the Hon. John Fermor-Hesketh and his wife witnessed some of the games, and the cup donor and made the presentations after being introduced and thanked by Mr. Jones, hon treasurer. Major Hesketh thanked all competitors and spectators for their contribution in making the event a success and hoped more teams would enter next year.  He thanked the officials for their excellent organisation.

Mr. Jack Hebson, Hon Secretary, expressed thanks to all concerned, especially Major and Mrs. Hesketh for their generosity, which had enabled Cosgrove to make many more friends.

Wolverton Express 22nd December 1950

Cosgrove United Sunday School - Scholars Organize Open and Conduct Bazaar

Cosgrove has a united Sunday School of scholars from the Parish Church and Mission Hall which is attached to Stony Stratford Baptist church.  On Tuesday, 12 December, the scholars organised the school’s first sale of work and the helpful sum of £18 was raised for a fund for providing badly needed new hymn books, also for Christmas prizes and party expenses.

Organisers were Miss Mary Stewart and Mr. John Wootton, while Miss Pauline Pollard, the eldest girl, performed the opening ceremony, with Mr. Wootton as the chairman.  There were a number of stalls for flowers, Christmas greenery, rummage, miscellaneous, fancy goods, and books, and those in charge were: Pauline Pollard, Tony Pollard, Brenda Goodridge, Pat Bushell, Rodney Hickford, Keith Stubbs, Trevor and Philip Tustain, and June Smith.

A film programme followed, by Mr. Harold Wright of Mr. Fegan’s Home at Stony Stratford and this was most interesting, comprising scenes from the Jubilee and Coronation, the Royal Wedding and concluding with Mickey Mouse strips.

Wolverton Express 29th December 1950

Whist Drive and Dance at Cosgrove

A fur and feather whist drive in the Victory Hall, Cosgrove on Thursday, 21 December, was taken part in by 120 persons, and after expenses were paid the Hall committee raised £14.  The top school for both lady and gent carried with it a goose, and Mrs. Stebbings, Hanslope and Mr S. Welch, Castlethorpe were the winners.  Mr. P Swain was the MC assisted by Mr. and Mrs. A Loughrey and others.  Mrs. J. Johnson was the organiser.  On Saturday a successful and enjoyable old time dance was held in the Victory Hall by the British Legion.  The Lovesey Orchestra provided the music.

In 1951 Olive and Jack Johnson threw a party, mainly for children, in the Victory Hall.

Cosgrove Coronation Celebrations

The old King, George VI, died on 6 February 1952. Princess Elizabeth was travelling in Africa and returned to take up her duties as Queen.

By August of that year the residents of Cosgrove had realised that her Coronation would take place the following year and held a meeting in the Victory Hall to discuss the matter.

Friday 8 August 1952

At a public meeting in the Victory Hall, Cosgrove, called by the Parish Council on the above date at 8pm.

Chairman Mrs M Jelley

Clerk to the Parish Council Mr Tack

It was decided by vote to select from members present a committee to represent the village for the forthcoming celebrations to be held in June next. The following members were proposed, seconded and carried for the above:

Mr F Hillyer Chairman Mrs A Tompkins Vice Chairman
Mrs S Hebson Secretary Mr A Rickaby Treasurer
Mrs M Jelley Mrs J Johnson Mrs J Brockway
Mr H Ratcliffe Mr H Cummings Mrs G Loughrey
Mr J Johnson Mrs D Lavington Mrs S Hebson
Mr G Hickford Miss B Tompkins Mr A Tack
With powers to co-ot

It was proposed by Mrs Hebson (Sec) and Mr Higgins that the committee be elected en bloc. It was proposed and carried that expenses should be raised by voluntary subscription and a weekly house to house collection be made. The sum of 3d per person over 15 and under 65 being suggested. After a few minor suggestions the Chairman after asking the committee to meet on Wednesday August 13 closed the meeting.

S Hebson (Sec)     F Hillyer.

13th August 1952

The Chairman opened the meeting by asking the Secretary to read the minutes. It was proposed by Mrs Lavington and Mr Tompkins that they be passed as read.

The Secretary then read a letter received from Mrs A Rickaby to the Chairman repeating his inability to be present at committee meetings for family reasons. In the circumstances she asked the committee to accept her resignation. This was accepted respectfully. Mrs Jelley proposed that a reply be sent to Mrs Rickaby to that effect. It was proposed and carried that the following be asked to join the present committee:

Captain and Mrs PY Atkinson                   Mrs E Brown                            Mr and Mrs Betts

Mrs W Castle                                          K Longman

The Secretary was asked to write to these individually.

It was proposed by Mrs Jelley that the ladies on the committee combined with the Women’s Institute be placed in charge of Refreshments. This was carried unanimously. Also we should hire the New School for the purpose of meals for residents in the top half of the village.

It was proposed by Mrs Hebson (Sec) and Mr Rickaby that the following committee be elected for the purpose of Entertainments:

G Hickford                                             A Tompkins                             H Ratcliffe

J Johnson                                               R Brown                                  H Cummings

With powers to co-opt all help required,

The weekly collection was decided as follows:

New Buildings including shop – Mrs Lavington                  Aqueduct to Bridge Row – Mrs Johnson

Bridge Road – Miss B Tompkins and Miss C Loughrey      Yardley Road and Priory Lane – Mrs Hebson

Cross Roads to Dogs Mouth – Mrs Brockway

Money collected to be handed to Secretary each Monday evening.

This concluded the business for the evening. The Chairman declared the meeting closed.

S Hebson (Sec)     F Hillyer

26 September 1952

The Chairman opened the meeting and asked the Secretary to read the minutes of the meeting of 13th August. It was proposed by G Hickford and seconded by A Tompkins that these be passed as read. Mr Rickaby as Treasurer after checking the collection books informed the committee that the sum of £46 4s 9d had already been collected.

The Secretary suggested that certain foodstuffs be bought and stored but this was left over until the Catering committee could ascertain the quantities required. The collectors were asked to have a census of all adults on their books and let the committee know at the next meeting.

It was proposed by Mr Hickford and Mr Tompkins that the Secretary should write to Captain PY Atkinson asking for the loan of the field adjoining the [Victory] Hall for the purpose of Sports etc. The committee were in agreement.

After a short discussion the Chairman declared the meeting ended.

S Hebson (Sec)    F Hillyer

Friday 16 January 1953

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and passed. Collection books were left over owing to the absence of Mr Rickaby, Treasurer. The Secretary informed the meeting that the amount in hand was approximately £95.

The next item on the agenda was the forthcoming Dance to be held on 30 January for the Coronation Fund. The following Stewards volunteered to help:

Door    8-9 pm             Mrs Castle and Miss B Tompkins

            9-10 pm            Mrs Hebson and Mrs Longman

            10-12pm           Mr A Tompkins Sec

Mrs Johnson and Mrs Lavington were in charge of Refreshments.

It was proposed that a parcel of groceries be collected from among members for the Raffle. Mrs Ebbs Band had been engaged and Mr F Gibbs was to be asked to MC. It was decided to advertise the Dance for one week in the Wolverton Express. Admission 2/-.

No more business was discussed. The next meeting was fixed for Friday 27 February at 7.30pm in the Hall. The Chairman then declared the meeting closed.

S Hebson Hon Sec

Tuesday 10 March

The Chairman opened the meeting by asking the Secretary to read the minutes. It was proposed by Mrs Jelley and seconded by Mrs Johnson that they should be passed as read.

A letter from Mrs Fiel was read. This contained a number of suggestions for the spending of money collected. The Secretary was asked to reply stating that the committee would review the points mentioned at a later date.

The Social arranged for Saturday 21 March was cancelled but it was proposed by Mr Tompkins and seconded by Miss Loughrey that a dance be held on Saturday 18 April with the Night Riders Band. This was carried. Mr Rickaby promised a bottle of whisky for the raffle.

Mr Hickford had been able to arrange subject to alteration a list of prizes for the Sports. £20 was to cover the cost. This was to include the prizes for the Fancy Dress and Best Decorated House.

Mrs Jelley agreed to visit Captain and Mrs PY Atkinson regarding the children’s tea, while Mrs Hebson and Mrs Brockway were to visit Mrs Fermor-Hesketh to ask for help with foodstuffs. The result of the visit of the Secretary Mr Tompkins and Mr Hickford to Major John Fermor-Hesketh [at Cosgrove Hall] was a gift of 72 gallons of beer to be supplied by Abingdon Brewery Co. Mr Rickaby was handed Major John’s letter anticipating same.

It was decided to send a report to the local paper as soon as possible.

The ladies were to arrange meetings to arrive at the approximate amount of food required for the catering and if possible give the committee some idea of the cost.

The next full committee meeting was arranged for Monday 23 March at 7.30pm. The Chairman then declared the meeting closed.

S Hebson (Hon Sec)    F R Hillyer

[No minutes in the book for Monday 23 March]

Sunday 6 April

The Chairman opened the meeting by asking the Secretary to read the minutes. It was proposed by Mr Tompkins and seconded by Mr Cummings that they be passed as read.

Arising from the minutes the following were proposed and carried:

Mrs Jelley to purchase [Coronation] mugs for the children – allowance £10 from funds (raised by the Youth Club)

The Sports programme together with other events decided upon at the special meeting for men was passed and it was proposed by Mr Cummings and seconded by the Secretary Mr Hickford that we purchase 500 copies to be distributed in the village.

The additional item on the programme was to be a display for the older children under the supervision of Mrs Betts. It was proposed by Mr Betts and seconded by Mrs Hebson that the sum of £20 be set aside for the purchase of fireworks, This was carried.

Mr Rickaby informed the committee that the amount in hand up to and including 6 April was £143 5s 9d. Our commitments did not leave much money for speculation and he thought it necessary to be careful with expenditure.

The Dance for 18 April was next on the agenda. The following details were arranged:

Admission 2/-  One advert in the Wolverton Express.

Door Stewards 8-9 Mrs Hebson and Mrs Longman. 9-10 Mrs Brockway.

Raffle tickets for the whisky to be 2d cash.

After the next meeting had been arranged for 20 April at 7.15 pm the meeting closed.

S Hebson (Hon Sec)    F R Hillyer

[No further committee meeting minutes appear. The final entry is the Men’s Meeting below]

Coronation Men’s’ Meeting

22 May 1953

Final arrangements for June 2nd was the purpose of the meeting. The following points were discussed and decided upon:

Beer should be on tap from 9 am. Two casks should be placed in the Sports field and supervised.

Mr Hickford was to arrange for steps etc.

Mr Betts kindly offered to supply ropes and stakes.

A temporary light was to be fixed over the steps at the rear of the hall.

Grass was to be cut and the running pitch mowed.

It was decided to start the bonfire and fireworks at 9.45pm. Fireworks to the value of £17.10.0 had been purchased.

The British Legion were to lend the committee 143 glasses on condition all breakages were paid for.

The following were to be asked for the loan of forms and tables: Mss Bushell. Eglesfield, Mr Burroughs and Mr G Williams.

The Secretary promised to ring the Waterways for permission to use the greasy pole across the canal.

Mr Betts and the Secretary were to try to borrow 200 yards of flex for the amplifier.

Working parties were wanted for every night until Coronation Day.

The British Legion were to bring all tables and forms on Sunday morning May 31st.

Mr Hickford was to supervise final details for the display of fireworks.

S Hebson              F R Hillyer

Cosgrove Coronation Celebration 1953

Half the village were invited to the Priory for tea and half went to the Village Hall. So there are two group photos. The two halves came together at night. Jack Hebson was in charge of the fireworks but they all went off together – it was a great display but short.

There was a greasy pole competition across the canal. Trevor Tustain won £1 and Phil Tustain won 10s.

Eyewitness memories – Trevor Tustain

At the Coronation Phil and I went in for the greasy pole competition – it was on the north side of the bridge over the canal, and the pole was higher one side than the other, so we had to climb uphill. I won the first prize (£1) and Phil was second and got 10s.

Celebrating the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in Cosgrove Victory Hall, 2 June 1953.

Back row, left to right: Dick Longman, Myrtle Hillyer. Rose Cummings, Ethel Barby, Harry Cummings, Fred Barby, Albert Tompkins, Don Chown.

Second row: Rob
Brown, Mrs Malcolm Jelley, Mrs Rickaby, Mrs Castle, Olive Eglesfield, Lil Longman, Annie Tompkins, Cynthia Tompkins,
Mrs Sid Ratledge, Edie Barby -?-, Ena Lavington,
Fred Tustain, Brenda Goodridge, Sylvia Whickham, Floss Lawson, Agnes Spence. Mrs George Noble.

Third row: 'Adgie', Rarcliffe, Wyn Harris. Doll Hebson. Doris Smith,
Doll Tustain, Clara Williams. Fourth row: Mrs Alf Smith (standing), Alf Smith, Charlie Hill, Dora Feil, Joan Eglesfield, Carol Prater, Vince Lovesey, Dick Clark, Fred Williams, Mrs Dick Clark, Arthur Noble.

Front row: Mona Hickford, Mim Eglesfield. Sue Eglesfield (baby). Gladys Loughrey. Mabel Castle, Beryl Tompkins, Audrey Smith, Ada Eglesfield, Dot Cadd, Doll Williams, Pearl Lawson, David Betts.

Children; John Fitzgibbon, Roy Giles, Jimmy Pack, Tony Hefford, Billy Pack, Douglas Hillyer, Roger Kightley, Janet Eglesfield.

The village was divided that day for photos - this is the second half, recently supplied by the Tustains and Lavingtons. Names are being recorded - if you can help, please contact us.

Back row L-R: Mr Rickaby, Doris Hill, Tubbin Brown, ? ,?

Joan Brockway, Kath Jones, Bob Jones, John Shervington, Rod Hickford, Les Lyman, Pete Brown, Mick Maycock, Mr Brewer

Sid Bushell, Tom Kightley, Dick Lavington, Dolly Williams, Mrs Brewer, Mrs Burrows

Vera Stewart, ?, Pauline Bushell, Jack Hebson, Alice Bushell, Dorrie Freestone, Irene Beasley (baby), Marion Beasley, Millie Wickham.

Mr Gascoigne, Barbara West, June Smith, Gerald Freestone, Gill Tustain, Madeleine Ratledge, Sheila Brown, Pat Bushell, Jo Hebson, Rosemary Hebson, Gill Hebson, Fred Tustain,

Nellie Whittaker, Else Ratcliffe, Mrs Gascoigne, Mrs Brown, Lizzie Stewart, Diane Stewart (child on lap), Phyl Loughrey, Elsie Tack, Stella Brown, Elsie Chown, Mrs Warwick, Mrs Hillyer, ?

Wendy Jones, ?, ?, Les Waite, Hazel Lavington, ?, Anna Rickaby, Michael Gascoigne, John Meakins, Colin Bushell, Pat Hickford,

Front row L-R: Gillian Markham, Carol Prater, Angela Markham, Sue Tustain, Bridget Cummings, Clifford Brewer (? Marlene Noble behind), James Horace Ray, Sam Hickford,
Tony Lavington, Alan Tustain,

Lying left :- Arthur Loughrey, lying right: Jack Johnson, bottom left : Roger Kightley






to celebrate the



Her Gracious Majesty

Queen Elizabeth II

Programme of Events
Slow Bicycle Race, 50 yds. (Open)
Potato Race (Open)
Three-legged Race, 80 yds. (Open)
Tug-of-War, Teams of 8 (Open)
(Winners to hold Tug-of War Cup)
Present Holders (Barge Inn) Cosgrove
Obstacle Race, 80 yds.
21 Men over 40 years, 100 yds. flat
22 Three-legged Race, 80 yds.
Wheelbarrow Race, 80 yds.
Ladies over 60 years., 60 yds.
Men over 60 years., 60 yds
Girls under 14 yrs, Best Dressed Cycle
Boys ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,
Ladies Dressed Cycle
Gents ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,
30 Girls, under 14 yrs., Fancy Dress
31 Boys ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,
32 Ladies Fancy Dress
33 Gents ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,
34 Climbing Greasy Pole (Open)
Best Decorated Houses
Bonfire and Fireworks in Hall Field at dusk
DANCING and Social Activities in the Victory Hall

Entries for all Sports to be made on filed.
Enttries for Cycle, Fancy Dress, must assemble at the Old School
before 1 p.m.
Judges for House Decorations and fancy Dress will be
Mr. and Mrs. W. Betts, Mr. and Mrs. Rickaby, Mr. and Mrs. C. Dunkley,
Miss wake, Mrs. P. Y. Atkinson, Mrs. Heap, Mr. F. W. Hurry

Judges for Sports:
Capt. and Mrs. P. Y. Atkinson, Mr. W. Betts, Mr. Rickaby, Mr. Dunkley,
Mr. F. W. Hurry
Starters and Handicappers:
Messrs. A. Tompkins, R. Brown, H. Cummings, J. Johnson.

All winners must report to the Sec., J. Hebson,
immediately after each event.

SERVICE IN PARISH CHURCH (Rev. J. Benson) 8-8.30 a.m.

Judging Decorated House between 9-11 a.m.


Interval between 11 a.m. - 12.45 p.m.
for Television or Wireless Programme


Cycle & Fancy Dress Parade. Assemble Old School 1 p.m.
Judging 1.15. p.m
After parade all will proceed to Capt. P. Y. Atkinson's Field
where following events will take place:-

Commencing 2 p.m
Girls under 8 yrs., 40 yds. flat
Boys under 8 yrs., 40 yds. flat
Egg & Spoon Race (Open)
Skipping Race, Girls under 8 yrs., 80 yds.
Three-legged Race, over 8 yrs., 80 yds.
Novelty Race
Three-legged Race, Boys over 8 yrs., 80 yds.
Sack Race, Boys over 8 yrs., 80 yds.,
Obstacle Race ,, ,, ,, 120 yds. (Open)
TEA for Children under 11 years at The Priory (Capt. P. Y. Atkinson)
at 4 p.m
TEA for Children, 11 years and over, at The Lodge (W. Betts, Esq.)
at 4 p.m
TEA for Parishioners in The Victory Hall at 4 p.m.

Two sittings - Times will be issued on tickets.
Will everyone please bring their own knife , fork and spoons

ADULT SPORTS & Square Dancing
commencing 5.30 p.m.
Ladies, Single
Thread the Needle Race, 80 yds.
Egg & Spoon Race, 80 yds.
Novelty Race, 80 yds.

Ladies, Married
Thread the Needle Race, 80 yds.
Egg & Spoon Race, 80 yds.
Novelty Race, 80 yds.

Ladies sack race
Left to right: Alice Fitzgibbon (standing) , Vera (Joan) Kightley, Lou Castle

The Wolverton Express June 5th 1953

The sports and the bonfire were postponed at Cosgrove,
but the 400 residents had two sittings for their tea in the Victory Hall.

Cosgrove Have Celebrations Still to Come

Cosgrove decided to postpone their sports programme. bon­fire. and fireworks until Saturday.

A service in the Parish Church, conducted by the Rector (the Rev. J. S. Benson), commenced the day. Judges of the best decorated houses and fancy dress were Mr. and Mrs. W. Betts. Mr. and Mrs. A. Rickaby, Mr. and Mrs. C. Dunkley, and Mr. F. W. Hurry.

They awarded first prize in the houses competition to Mrs. Gallop, of 2 Bridge Road, 2 Mrs. Lavingdon. 30 Main Street, and 3 Mrs. Fred Williams, 22 Bridge Road.

Fancy dress results were: under 8, 1 Wendy Markham, 2 Susan Coles, 3 Raymond Wilson; under 14 (girls), 1 Pat Bushell. 2 Gillian Markham; boys, 1 John Fitzgibbon, 2 (equal) Colin Busheil, Ivor Hickford, Tony Lavingdon, Tony Flack; ladies. 1 Mrs. Loughrey, 2 Miss M Hitchcock, 3 Miss B. Goodridge; gentlemen, 1 Mr. Hickford. 2 Mr. J. Loughrey; cycles (girls), 1 Julia Longman, 2 Gillian Hebson; (boys), 1 Dennis Wilson, 2 Maurice Castle; (adults). 1 Mrs. Johnson, 2 Cynthia Tomkins, 3 Bob Jones.

About 300 parishioners had tea in the Victory Hall in two sittings, and children under 11 were entertained at The Priory by Capt. and Mrs. P. Y. Atkinson, and those 11 and over by Mr. and Mrs. W. Betts, at the Lodge.

Later there was square dancing in the hall, with Mrs. W. Betts as leader, and a dance and social.

Mr. F. Hillier was chairman of the village committee, with Mr. J. Hebson as secretary and Mr. A. Rickaby treasurer. About £190 had been raised by collections, etc.

Hazel Lavington, Tony Lavington
Parties were held all over the village, as here at the New Buildings and in Suet Alley, for the Coronation 1953.

A Coronation Play was put on in the Rectory garden. Each child holds a letter spelling out "God Save the Queen."

Cosgrove Children at the Priory holding their Coronation mugs

Northampton Mercury - Friday 08 October 1954


A Deanery Missionary Festival was held at Cosgrove. Tea was provided in the Victory Hall; and a film show, Flower of Tibet was given. The preacher was the Right Rev. F Houghton, a former Bishop in West China.

Cosgrove School Fete 1955

School Fete and Rose Queen crowning. All the children dressed as stall holders in appropriate fancy dress.

L-R; John Fitzgibbon, ?, ?, ?, ?, Wendy Jones, Robin Course?, Tony Hefford, Roger Pollard, Carol Lovesey?, , Sylvia Meakins, Wendy Markham Gillian Markham, Susan Tustain, Julie Longman, ?, ?, Linda Thomas, Roger Kightley, Christine Lewis, Diane Lewis, Susan Coles, ?, John Martin

Back row left to right: Roger Pollard, Carol Prater?, Sylvia Meakins, (Rose Queen) Gillian Markham, Sue Tustain, Julia Longman, Mrs. Course

Front row left to right: Wendy Markham, Janet Bailey

Mrs Course made all the costumes herself.


Wolverton Express 3rd July 1955

Rose Queen Crowned at Cosgrove

Cosgrove school’s first fete, held on Saturday last, was a great success.  There was a crowning ceremony of their Rose Queen, Gillian Markham, who had as attendance Carol Praeter, Sylvia Meakins, Julia Longman, Susan Tustain, with trained bearers Wendy Markham and Janet Bailey.  The fete was opened by Miss Atkinson of Paulerspury and formerly of Cosgrove Priory.  A bouquet was handed to her by Roger Kightley.

Stalls and sideshows were manned by parents and friends as follows: refreshments were supervised by Mrs. Johnson, helpers Mrs. Longman, Mrs. Bushell, Mr. Brockway; sweets Mrs. Markham, Mrs. Pollard; grocery, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Kightley; fruit and vegetables, Mrs. Beasley and Mrs. Freestone; miscellaneous, Mrs. Ratledge and Mrs. Mapley; needlework and knitting, Mrs. Chown Sr. and Mrs. Chown Jr.; Books, Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Mead; spinning Jenny, Mrs. Whittaker; Bran tub, Mrs. Fitzgibbon; hidden treasure, Mrs. W Castle; skittles, Mr. Hefford; darts, Mr. Hickford; sport for adults supervised by Mr. Tustain, helpers Mr. Longman and Mr. Tack; photography by Mr. V Lovesey.  The doll given by Mrs. Atkinson and named Mabel was won by Mrs. F. Williams.  The cricket bat given by and cricketers name chosen by Mrs. A Rickaby was won by Mr. Crowder who kindly gave it back to the school for the boys to use.  A parcel containing a coconut and made up by Mrs. N Horton and a teacher at the school was won by Mrs. A. Wootton of New Bradwell.  Wines presented by Major Fermor-Hesketh, were won by Mr. S Bushell, R Pollard, Mrs. Tack and Mr D. Tompkins.  A cake made and presented by Mrs. Barton and Mrs. Stubbs was won by Mrs. A Castle of Leighton Buzzard, weight 5lb 12oz.  The hidden treasure, prize a chicken given by Mrs. Mapley, was won by Mrs. C Hill.  Mister A. Tompkins was gatekeeper and Mrs. M Castle collected with the doll.  Mrs. Kightley collected with the bat.

The staff of Cosgrove School wish to extend grateful thanks to all kind helpers and to all who sent gifts to the school. The amount taken was £62 9s.

Wolverton Express 6th January 1956

Cosgrove Legion Fete Raised £100


COSGROVE Hall grounds were an ideal venue for the fete last Saturday organised by the village branch of the British Legion. The residents gave their full support with many visitors enjoying the amenities of the well-appointed grounds. There were numerous attractions and the day proved most enjoyable and financially successful, the sum of £100 being raised.

Commander D. Lawson of Passenham Manor was introduced by an American visitor to Cosgrove Hall. and also present were the Hon. Mrs D. Lawson, the Hon Major John Fermor Hesketh, Capt P. Y. Atkinson (Branch President), and vice-presidents Capt. F G. Purser and Major-General W. A Scott. CB. CBE. Commander Lawson in declaring the fete open said one felt very proud to be in the British Legion because it existed to foster fellowship and comradeship. Those who had been in battle knew just what those works meant, but most of them could not define the words other than to say that it drew people together. The Legion was doing a great work and all members of the community recognised that it was a great service to ex-Service men and their dependants.

Many Crack Shots

Many Crack shots competed for the cash prize of £7 7s in the clay pigeon contest and this eventually went to game-keeper Mr. C J. Spademan of Wicken. In charge were Mr. A Tompkins and Mr. D. Tompkins.

There were many competitors for the beauty contest for which a Silver cup valued at £25 became the proud possession of 15 year old Margaret Smith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs Tom Smith of 11 Warren Road, Yardley Gobion. Mrs Steel was reputed to have the best shapely ankles for which the prize was a pair of nylons. Other prize-winners were: skittles Mr. D. Cannings (pin of beer): darts. Mr. R Hickford (bottle of port); stepping the chain, Mr. J. Martin (10s): treasure hunt, Mrs D. Hillyer (£1); bowling for pig (given by Mr. Maycock), winner Miss B Cummings Cosgrove: ladder contest. Mrs Hillyer (basket of fruit).

Mr W. Coles and Mr. P. Lyman (bowling for pig); Miss J Hefford (pony rides). A competition for giving the name to a doll was run by Mrs Horton on behalf of the Cosgrove Parent-Teachers' Association. A licensed bar was run by Mr. Den Horne of the Watts Inn, Hanslope, who was assisted by Mr. H Smith, Mr. Jones and Mr. J. Pollard. Music during the proceedings was arranged by Mr. J Boss of Hanslope Park. Gate stewards were Mr. F. W. Castle and Mr. O. Smith. The secretarial duties were ably discharged by Mr. E R Brown, with Mr. P. Long (chairman), Mr P. Lyman (vice-chairman), Mr. J. Pollard (treasurer) and Mr. R. Longman (Welfare Officer), assisted by the committee previously named, also Mr. A. T. Noble. Thanks of the committee are extended to all who generously supported the effort, the result of which will enable the Legion work to be carried silently in the village.

Wolverton Express Spring 1956

Spring Fayre at Cosgrove for Hall Funds

Cosgrove resident rallied round the trustees and officers of the Victory Hall in an effort to raise funds to provide new curtains and the cost of decorating the hall when a Spring Fayre was held last Saturday. The helpful sum of £65 was raised.

Mrs P. Y. Atkinson of the Priory introduced and welcomed Lady Hesketh, who performed the opening ceremony. Lady Hesketh said as it was a good thing for a village to possess a nice hall like that at Cosgrove where the residents could meet for sociaI occasions. She was sure many villages would like to have such a hall. A bouquet was handed to Lady Hesketh by Wendy Markham and thanks were voiced by Mr. J. Hebson (Hall chairman)

The Helpers

Stalls and workers: Mr. J. Hefford (skittles). Mr. L Lynham and Mr. D. Cannings (darts). Mr. and Mrs A. Rickaby (Tombola). Mrs. M Jelley, Mrs. N. Castle. Mrs Longman, Mrs J. Brockway and Mrs. Beasley (Womens Institute stall), Mrs. K. Jones, Mrs. J. Hebson and Mrs. J. Hefford (Jumble). Mrs. Lavington. Mrs. G. Hickford andd Mrs Chown (refreshments), Julia Longman and Bridget Cummings (soaps and handkerchiefs). Hazel Lavington and Sue Tustain (spinning Jenny), Mrs. T. Kightley and Mrs. J. Hebson (produce) Mr. L. Priestley and Mr. Gallop (ground skittles). Mrs Whittaker and Mrs. W. Castle (boots and clothing). Mr. Hebson and Mrs. Beasley (hidden treasure). Mr. A Noble was door steward. There were competitions for champagne given by Mr Wheatley, Stony Stratford and Chocolates by Mrs. Jelley and port and sherry by Major Hesketh. Mrs. B. J Rudd, Stony Stratford gave the bouquet.

A whist drive was held in  the evening. Mrs. J. Johnson took a large share in organising the effort. The Hall officers are Mr. J. Hebson (chairman). Mr. J. Hefford (secretary) and Mr Rickaby (treasurer).

Wolverton Express July 1956

Many Attractions At Cosgrove Fete

The large crowd at Cosgrove Conservative Association fete last Saturday, held in the well-appointed Cosgrove Hall grounds, the home of Major the Hon. John Fermor Hesketh and Mrs. Hesketh, had plenty in which to entertain themselves. Lady Markham, wife of the North Bucks Member, opened the proceedings, and during the afternoon Sir Reginald Manningham Buller, Member for South Northants, gave an address.

Lady Markham said that in North Bucks they thought they had a grimmer fight than in South Northants, and they were thankful for all the help they could get. She brought the best wishes of her husband and members of the Bucking-ham Conservative Association. She continued, "Your Conservative Government has done very well in the time they have been in, in keeping up your standard of living and in •helping in every way they can. But they have a very grim task before them, as we go forward into this nuclear age with nuclear problems".

The speaker went on to thank other villages and towns who were helping with the fete. A bouquet was handed to Lady Markham by Julia Elder. Lady Markham had been welcomed by Mrs. Fermor Hesketh, who said her husband sent his good wishes from America. There were numerous side-shows, and entertainment during the afternoon included clay pigeon shooting bowling for a pig walking the greasy pole, and a comic dog show.

Fancy-Dress Winners Winners of the fancy-dress competition, judged by Lady Markham and Mrs. Fermor Hesketh, were: under 8 years, 1 Linda Pollard (Hawaiian girl), 2 Roger Kightley (Do it yourself); over 8, 1 Rodney Whatton (robot), 2 Lesley Kightley (witch). During the late afternoon Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller, Q.C., Member for the Division, addressed the gathering on current affairs. Stallholders were : Mesdames G. Goodridge, M. Ratledge, P. Loughrey (white elephant); Miss J. S. Messinger, Mesdames A. A. Greaves, W. Hefford, D. ISmith (cakes); Mesdames D. Gascoyne. A. Tompkins, and W. Betts (vegetables and pro-duce); Mesdames A. Rickaby, P. Millward, E. F. Maltby, C. R. Whiting, M. Holmes, S. Hinch, Bridge, and H. Dickens (tombola); Mesdames W. Brockway, F. Chown. D. Chown, and Dunkley (needle-work); Mesdames A. G. Cold-well, Wincott, Guy Watson, and Bignall (lucky parcel): Mr. J. C. Barton (treasure hunt); Mesdames Taylor, F. Marchant. Freemantle, Rosemary Tompkins. Miss Celia Freemantle. and Mr. Arthur Townsend (bottle stall); Mrs. P. Y. Atkinson (See Yourself as Others See You); Mr. J. Hebson (skittles); H. J. Smith, D. Chown (darts); Mr. Tomp-kins, Mr. Goodridge (bowling for pig); Mesdames 0. Johnson. J. Hebson. J. Kightley, Miss Marlow, Miss Hillyer (re-freshments): Mr. Hickford (greasy pole). Mr. D. Tompkins was in charge of dancing in the evening. Gate stewards were Mr. W. Brockway and Mr. J. Higgins. Comic Dog Show The comic dog show proved an interesting diversion from sideshows and this section was organized by the Hon. Mrs. D. Lawson, of Passenham Manor, and Mrs. J. McNeil. Winners were : Dog with cleverest trick, Miss Wake: most handsome dog, Mrs. Richards: dog most like its owner, Mrs. Fermor Hesketh; largest dog with shortest tail, Miss K. McNeil; smallest dog with longest tail, Mrs. Fermor Hesketh; dog with the prettiest owner. Caroline Lawson; dog and owner race, Miss Kay McNeil.

Farmers and gun enthusiasts came from a wide area to compete for the cash prizes for clay pigeon shooting. There was a continual stream of contestants and it was after 8 p.m. when the competition closed. Winner of the £10 prize was Mr. C. J. Spademan of Wood-newton, near Peterborough, a brother of Mr. S. J. Spademan, keeper at Wicken. Mr. Miles was the runner-up. The shoot was organized by Capt. P. Y. Atkinson and Col. E. F Maltby, C.B.E., with Mr. Jack Glenfield, the trapper, and the Misses Atkinson (scorers). Winner of bowling for a pig was Mr. Preston; darts winner for a pin of ale was Mr. Sid Ratledge; and table skittles (10s.), Mr. J. Skevington. At the close Capt. Guy Watson (Divisional Agent) thanked helpers and supporters for making the fete most successful. The organization was fortunate in having the energetic services of Mr. C. F. Dunkley, who discharged the secretarial duties most efficiently.

L – R Alan Tustain, Tony Lavington, Colin Bushell, Ivor (Sam) Hickford, Tony Hefford & Tony Flack

Hazel Canvin (Lavington) said “Trips were organised by Sunday School, but no way were those 14/15 year old boys part of Sunday School. I would imagine they helped fill the coach. This would have been the Mission Hall Sunday School.”

Sue Morley (Tustain) said “This was probably the Sunday school outing we used to go every year in Basfords coaches from Greens Norton”

Sue Levitt (Eglesfield) said “I remember the Sunday school outings to Wicksteed Park. I remember Naomi Benson falling in the lily pond, near where we had our tea”

Wolverton Express 20th September 1957


160 Attend Dance at Cosgrove

The Cosgrove Parent-Teacher Association began their winter season entertainment with the first of a monthly series of Rock Roll dances on Friday last. Close on 160 danced from 8 pm. until 1 am. to the music of Terry Carrot and his Rockets. As the attendance was so great, and the dancers so obviously enjoying themselves, the committee made a snap decision to extend the time until 1 a.m.

Rock `n Roll enthusiasts were in attendance from the surrounding district, and among the dancers were girls who had cycled from as far afield as Tingewick, Finmere, Akeley and Leckhampstead, evidence indeed of the growing popularity of this modern method of dancing.

The committee, comprising Mesdames J. Hefford, G. Beesley, D. Chown, E. Lambert, N. Castle, N. Horton, Messrs. A. Course, L. Reynolds, J. Hefford, N. Castle, under the chairman-ship of Messrs. A. Course, put in much work in the organisation and sale of refreshments, and thanked everyone who attended and helped to make this first effort such a success.

Wolverton Express 4th December 1959


The annual Christmas Bazaar of Cosgrove Church was held in the Victory Hall last Friday evening and raised £80 for Church funds. Mrs C R Whiting of Old Wolverton opened the bazaar and was thanked by Capt P Y Atkinson. Miss Diane Stewart presented flowers to Mrs Whiting, who was introduced by Mr P Lambert, people’s warden.

Stallholders and helpers were Mesdames P Y Atkinson, F Hillyer, Hickford, W Brodkway, C Brockway, D Chown, Beasley, E Lambert, Harris, Hebson, G Feil, Stubbs and Barton, Misses Marlow, Hillyer and M Feil, Mr G Feil, Mr E Lambert and Mr J Wootton (treasurer) and Mr K Stubbs (secretary).