Newspaper Reports 1960 - 1969

Wolverton Express 22nd January 1960

To be Rector in South Northants

The Rev. Albert Edgar Bransby, Vicar of Saint George with Saint Andrews, Battersea, has been appointed to be Rector of Passenham with Deanshanger and Cosgrove.  He will succeed the Rev. J S Benson, who left the three villages last summer for a parish at Islington.

Mr. Bransby, who is 42 and married with three children - two girls and boys of school age - received his theological training at Tyndale Hall, Bristol, where he went shortly after being demobilised from the RAF.  He had intended to enter the Church earlier, but after war broke out he joined the Royal Air Force and served in Bomber Command for almost five years as a navigator bomber.  During that time he was on operational duties as well as periods of instructing.

Before the war he played soccer for Lowestoft Town and is at present Secretary of the Southwark Diocese Cricket Club.  He still continues to play cricket as wicketkeeper.  Mr. Bransby was ordained deacon in 1949 and priest the following year at Manchester.  For two years he was curate at Halliwell, near Bolton, followed by two years at Chorley Wood.  In 1953 he was appointed as Rector of Stokesby with Herringby, a rural parish in the diocese of Norwich and after two years there moved to Battersea.

Wolverton Express 29th January 1960

Mr. Percy Valentine Dies at Cosgrove

Four of a former Old Wolverton family of five have died within the last two years, two within the last week.  Mrs. Dora Feil, of Cosgrove, lost a sister and brother last week.  Mr. Percy Lesley Valentine, who was nearly 81, died at her home, 7 The Green, and her sister, Mrs. C. Phillips, who was 82, died at Kineton, Warwick.

Mr. Valentine was a native of Old Wolverton, where he was a member of the church choir until he left the village.  His father was gardener for the Rev. Henry Wood at Old Wolverton for many years and his mother was cook housekeeper for Mrs. Percival at Passenham Manor.  He was a butler for many years and after retiring went to Cosgrove during the last war to live with his sister.  He was found unconscious in his bedroom by his sister on January 17, and died two days later.

The funeral service was on January 21, at Cosgrove church, when Mrs. Feil has been people’s warden, and treasurer and Secretary for many years, and was conducted by the Rev. Paul Hoskin, Rector of Wicken.  Interment took place in the cemetery.

The family mourners were: Mrs. Dora Feil (sister); Miss Marie Feil, Mr. Gordon Feil, and Mr. Aubrey Phillips, Kineton (nieces and nephews).  Although a churchgoer, in recent years Mr. Valentine had not been able to walk very well and often listened to the service is taking place next door at the Mission Hall, from whose members a wreath was received.  Funeral arrangements were by Messrs. J S Cowley and Son.

Wolverton Express 5th February 1960


THE NORTHAMPONSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL propose to make an Order under the Road Traffic Act. 1930. as amended the effect of which will be that no person shall ride or cause to be ridden any cycle on the footpath from The Stocks under the canal to the Main Street, at Cosgrove.
The proposed Order and the plan showing the length of the footpath affected may be inspected at the offices of the Clerk to the Towcester Rural District Council, Town Hall, Towcester and at the offices of the undersigned.
Objections to the proposal must be sent by the 20th February, 1960.
Dated this fifth day of February, 1960.

Clerk of the County Council

County Hall,

Wolverton Express 25th March 1960

Playing Field for Cosgrove

Cosgrove children will soon have a playing field of their home, thanks to a generous gift by Mr. FA Hewson, son of a former Rector, the Rev. H N C Hewson.  This was made known at the annual parish meeting, when the resolution that the offer by excepted was carried by 12 votes to four.  The chairman, Mr. A Rickaby, also announced that Mr. Hewson had made a donation towards the cost of levelling the ground situated near the crossroads.  The village children had not had a playing field for at least 54 years.

The financial precept of £81 for Parish Council expenses and street lights on the Towcester RDC was submitted and approved.  An estimated to erect an additional street light near the Canal Bridge for £49 10s was also explained to the meeting and at the Parish Council meeting which followed it was agreed to carry out the work.  There was also some comment on the Whalley’s Apprenticing charity, which covers Stony Stratford and Cosgrove.  Benefits are to be obtained on application to Mr. E C Ray, clerk to the trustees.

Wolverton Express 1st April 1960

Cosgrove Parlour Fire

A short circuit in the house wiring was believed to have caused a fire in the parlour of the home of Mr. Arthur Noble, of 8 Canal Bank Cottages, Cosgrove, on Tuesday morning.  Wolverton Fire Brigade was called at 7.48 am and the damage was confined to a small area of the ceiling and floor boards.  The high tension electricity cable and the meter was also slightly affected.

Wolverton Express 8th April 1960

The marriage was solemnised at SS Peter and Paul church, Cosgrove, on Saturday of Miss Sheila Ann Brown, the youngest daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Brown, of 29 Manor Close, Cosgrove, and Mr. Brian John Onan Read, the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. A J Onan Read, 2 Market Square, Stony Stratford.  The Rev. RG Richards, vicar of Potterspury, officiated and Mr. W Smith was the organist for hymns “Lead us heavenly Father” and “The King of love.”

Given away by her brother-in-law, Mr L. Reynolds, the bride wore a full length dress of lace over taffeta, with a tiara of diamante and pearls and circular tulle veil.  She carried a white prayer book with a spray of orchids.  The only attendant was Mrs. Yvonne Reynolds (brides niece), whose ballerina length dress was white nylon over lemon taffeta, decorated with rosebuds.  She had a coronet headdress of lily of the valley and rosebuds and carried a posy of anemones.  Mr. M Ward (bridegroom’s friend) was the best man.

The reception of more than 70 guests was held in the Victory Hall, music for dancing being provided by the Carlton Trio.  The honeymoon is being spent in London.  The bride is employed in the PO Dept of McCorquodale’s at Wolverton, and the bridegroom at Vauxhall Motors.  A large number of wedding gifts was received.  The flowers of the bride and bridesmaid were later placed on the grave of the bride’s parents.

Wolverton Express 6th May 1960

Cosgrove church was crowded on Friday evening for a service at which the Rev. Albert Edgar Bransby was inducted by the Bishop of Peterborough, Dr. Robert Stopford, as the new Rector.  Legally, however, he is not yet the incumbent and is only licensed to have the care of Cosgrove and Deanshanger with Passenham.  It is not quite so complicated as it sounds, and the Bishop did his best to explain all the legal niceties in his sermon.  They would have noticed in the following service, he said that several parts have been left out.  The new Rector had not put his hand on the church door, rung the bell, nor been placed in his stall.  That would be done later privately.  But until then Mrs Bansby was not their incumbent.

In the past the three parishes had been held in plurality.  The law of the Church was that no vicar could hold more than one parish unless he had received the Archbishop’s dispensation.  Unfortunately in this case the Archbishop’s legal advisers had found that the joint income was too large to be held by a dispensation and therefore he had had to initiate a scheme to get the consent of the Privy Council.  As with all legal matters it took a long time.  Mr. Bransby had been anxious to come to Cosgrove.  The parishioners had been anxious to have a new Rector, so it had been decided to take that course and license Mr. Bransby to have charge of the parishes.

Clergy in Procession

Clergy from many others surrounding parishes walked in procession from the Rectory to the Church, with Mr J. Lambert (People’s Warden Cosgrove) and Mr. LA Tompkins (Rector’s warden Deanshanger).  The clergy were the Rev. P H Allen, Rural Dean (Blisworth), the Rev. E D Goodman (Stoke Bruerne), the Rev. R G Richards (Potterspury), the Rev. H B Mather (Haversham), the Rev. L G Fothergill (Barton Seagrave), the Rev. H P Hoskin (Wicken), the Rev. J C Lewis (Paulerspury), and the Rev. L J Hutchins Rural Dean (Stony Stratford).  They were joined by two lay readers Mr J. Wootton and Mr. F C Elliott.

The organist at the service was Mr. W Smith, of Deanshanger.  The Rev. J T Lewis acted as Bishop’s Chaplain and the new Rector was conducted to the various stations in the church by the Rural Dean of the Preston Deanery, the Rev. P K Challen.

Before the service a quarter peal of Plain Bob Minor was rung by: treble K Tompkins, 2 E J Lambert, 3 J Chance, 4 A May, 5 H. Daniels, Tenor H. Edwards (conductor).

Afterwards refreshments were served in the Victory Hall.

Wolverton Express 13th May 1960

Wolverton Express 20th May 1960

Mention the Lamberts of Cosgrove anywhere in South Northants or North Bucks and it will be rare if someone has not heard of this famous family of church and hand bell ringers.  One of the best known and best liked ringers in the district was Mr. Ernest C. Lambert who came to Cosgrove from Kent in 1932.  He died suddenly 10 years ago and his place as Captain of the Cosgrove tower was taken by his son, Mr. E R Lambert.  Ted and his brother Jim not only made a name for themselves as campanologists, but formed a team of hand bell ringers which has given pleasure to many local people at old folk’s parties, fetes and similar functions.

The Lamberts have many relations who are ringers in Kent, and the family tradition is being carried on in other parts of England.  In Cosgrove eight year old Ian, Mr. ER Lambert son, is the latest ringing recruit.  With ten other younger village people he is a member of the most enthusiastic band of learners Cosgrove belfry has had for many years.  They all turned out for Easter day services and are eagerly looking forward to the time when they can start change ringing.

Ian is the youngest of the band, followed by Roger Kightley (10) and Michael Chown (11).  Other members are Bridget Cummings, Gwen Barnes, Jim Pack, Bill Pack, Tony Hefford, John Martin, Roger Pollard and Keith Stubbs.

Wolverton Express 28th May 1960

Tories Tipped for Next Election - South Northants Members Meet at Cosgrove

Chaff to in earlier speeches about his horse racing forecasts, Lord MacAndrew, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons in the last Parliament, gave local Conservatives at the Cosgrove branch annual dinner on Friday evening a red hot tip.  “Have a little bit on the Conservative Party at the next election”, he said.

…..  The dinner, held at the Victory Hall, was attended by nearly 100 Conservatives from Cosgrove, Yardley Gobion, and Grafton Regis.  The guests included Lady MacAndrew, Sir Reginald Manningham Buller, Attorney General, MP for South Northants, and Lady Mary Manningham Buller.  Captain P Y Atkinson (vice president) was the toastmaster.

….  The Attorney General was thanked by Mr A. Humphrey, and the toast to the visitors was given by the Branch Secretary, Mr. L E Prisley.  Dr. J F Hedley, of Grafton Regis, replied and wondered if it would be a good idea to hold the annual dinners at Cosgrove one year and Yardley Gobion the next.  The caterers were thanked by Mrs. Atkinson and Mrs. Taylor.

The dinner was organized by the Cosgrove Branch committee with Mrs. Atkinson. chairman, Mrs. A Rickaby, vice chairman, Mr. L E Prisley, Secretary, and Mr. A Rickaby, treasurer.  The president, Major the Hon. J Fermor-Hesketh, was unable to be at the dinner owing to business commitments in America.

Mrs. J. Johnson was responsible for their catering arrangements and was helped by Mesdames C Kightley, A R Kightley, D Chown, J Hefford, S Slaymaker, J Hebson, L E Prisley, G Goodridge, Miss Hillyer, and Miss Marlow.

Wolverton Express 17th June 1960

Street Football at Cosgrove

Courts playing football with a tennis ball in Stratford Road, Cosgrove, on April 12, four young men were each fined £1 at Towcester Magistrates’ court on Tuesday.  They are Howard Antony Foakes (19), a junior technician RAF station, Finningly, Leeds; Edward Booth (23) a fitter, of 13 Bullington Road, Castlethorpe; Victor George West (19), boiler maker, 30 The Chequers, Castlethorpe; and Kenneth Evans (20), coach painter, 13 Station Road, Castlethorpe.

Prosecuting, Chief Inspector N R Chambers explained that during the past few weeks there had been a number of complaints from residents in Cosgrove relating to that type of offence.  The defendants, he said, had all claims they did not know playing football on the highway was an offence.

Wolverton Express 28th July 1960

Wedding Bells at Cosgrove

The bells of SS Peter and Paul Church, Cosgrove were rung on Saturday, for the marriage of Miss Rosemary Hebson and Mr. David Michael Larner.  The bride was employed in the rotary department at McCorquodales and the bridegroom is at the Humber works at Coventry.  Their future home is at a Yarningdale Road, Willenhall, Coventry. The bride is the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J Hebson, of 22 Yardley Road, Cosgrove, and the bridegroom the youngest son of Mrs. V Larner, of 1 Jubilee Terrace, Stony Stratford, and the late Mr. G Larner.

Given away by her father, the bride wore a short dress of white lace, trimmed with mother of pearl and nylon.  Her coronet headdress was of pearls and a short circular veil, and she carried orchids.  Twin sisters of the bride, and Misses Josephine and Gillian Hebson were bridesmaids, wearing short dresses of lilac flock nylon with matching headdresses and white gloves.  Their bouquets were of mauve irises and miniature gladioli.  Mr. Peter Larner (bridegroom’s brother) was best man.

The Rector, the Rev. A E Bransby, officiated and the service included the hymn “O perfect love” and the 23rd psalm.  The reception of over 100 guests took place in the Victory Hall.  The honeymoon is at Babbacombe.

A gift was received from colleagues of the bride and reciprocal gifts exchanged were a wristwatch and a dressing gow. The bridesmaids’ presents from the bridegroom comprised a handbag and gloves.

The bellringers, who rang 720 Bob Doubles, were Messrs H. Cummings, D. Taylor, K. Stubbs, J. Lambert, R Keeves (conductor), and E Noble.

Wolverton Express 7th October 1960

Three Festivals for Rector

The Rev. A E Bransby conducted harvest festival services for the first time in each of the three churches under his charge, Cosgrove, Passenham and Deanshanger recently.  In each village the services were exceptionally well attended.

At Passenham on Sunday afternoon the historic St Guthlac’s church was packed to capacity.  The lessons were read by Mr. A D A Lawson, and the collection amounted to almost £10.

Also on Sunday the Rector conducted the morning and evening services at SS Peter and Paul Church, Cosgrove.  Mr. John Wootton, lay reader, conducted a children’s gift service in the afternoon.  At the evening’s service lay readers Mr J. Wootton and Mr. Clifford Elliott assisted the rector and Mr. Keith Stubbs read the lessons.  Collections amounted to £17 5s and the sales of produce on Monday evening in the Victory Hall, conducted by Mrs. J. Johnson, brought in just over £20.

Harvest festival services at Holy Trinity Church, Deanshanger, were held on the previous Sunday, both the evening service and the children’s gift service being exceptionally well attended.  Collections amounted to £12 10s and the sale of produce on the following evening brought in almost £20. 

Wolverton Express 11th November 1960

Remembrance at Cosgrove

The first of the remembrance service is to be held in the district took place at SS Peter and Paul church, Cosgrove on Sunday morning.  The service was brought forward by one week from Remembrance Sunday as the president of the British Legion branch, Captain P Y Atkinson, will be away from the village this weekend.

The parade of British Legion members was held before the service, which was conducted by the Rector the Rev. A E Bransby.  The lesson was read by Mr K. Stubbs.  The colour passing of the British legion comprised Messrs. A long run, Hillyer and ever had.  A wreath was laid on the memorial tablet in the church by Captain Atkinson.  The connection was for Earl Haig’s fund.

Wolverton Express 24th November 1960

"Viatores' " search for country's past.

Miles of dead straight, in unmapped highways are being discovered every week in the South-East Midlands by a group of nine men, known as the Viatores, or "Roman travellers." All amateur historians with a common interest in ancient roads, they have now unearthed over 500 miles of Roman roads. The one local member is 65-year-old Mr. Charles Green. 23, Victoria Street. Wolverton, who has been engaged in archaeological work in North Bucks for ten years.


Mr. Green explained that the Viatores were started by a Hertfordshire archaeologist. Mr. Richard Bagshawe, four years ago. He was anxious to collect and co-ordinate the work of the principal archaeologists, in his area who were interested in Roman remains, and in particular Roman roads. Discovered roads were to be confirmed, and new roads sought. The results of this research are to be published next year in a book. Areas of operation were allotted to each member, and Mr. Green, took charge of North Bucks. For years he has played a prominent part in the Roman villa excavations around Wolverton. Finest Among others, he has worked on the Cosgrove villa, which is said to be one of the finest examples of a Roman bath house in the country. But, added Mr. Green, it is very difficult to draw a distinction between villa and road work. If you find a villa then sooner or later you will come across a road, and vice versa. The two are complementary. The work is strenuous, involving digging and cross-country trekking. "We have got some Viatores who plod 20 miles a day, but I stick at ten," he said. Mr. Bagshawe, he continued, was interested in the Watling Street because he had found that in some places it did not conform with the modern A5.

Wolverton Express 2nd December 1960

Canal Versus Railway – A Bridge Built - and Demolished

The first railway bridge over the canal at Wolverton - built 126 years ago this month - went up under cover of stealth and was finished by noon on Christmas day.  But four days later the infuriated canal men attacked and pull the bridge down.  This story of one of the trials of the railway builders is told in “George and Robert Stevenson” by L T C Rolt published by Longmans, a copy of which is in the County Library at Wolverton.

The book reveals that at Wolverton, in December 1834 Robert Stevenson ran into trouble.  To form the long embankment across the Ouse valley north of the town he proposed carrying soil from the deep cuttings at the Blue Bridge and Loughton to the south, but to do this meant building a temporary timber bridge over the Grand Junction canal.

The canal company, who for obvious reasons were not disposed to be co-operative, disputed Stevenson’s right to construct such a bridge, which involved driving piles into the canal banks.

Festivities Were Approaching

Acting on the principle that possession is nine points of the law, Robert Stephenson decided to take advantage of the approaching Christmas festivities to catch his enemy unawares.  On the night of December 23, he concentrated a strong force of engineers and navvies at Wolverton and began building the bridge by torchlight.  All through Christmas Eve the work went on until, at noon on Christmas day, the bridge was finished.

The infuriated canal company, however, was not prepared to take this defeat lying down.  On December 30, their engineer, Lake, marched on Wolverton at the head of an even stronger body of canal employees who proceeded to pull up the piles and demolish the bridge completely.

The third and last round in this drama was felt that in January in the court of chancery whether railway company sought an injunction to restrain the canal company from “putting down taking up or destroying” any of their works.  Robert Stevenson sat through the long hearing and was highly delighted when the injunction was granted.

Final Defeat

For the canal company it was the final defeat in a long and costly campaign to stay their new and deadly rival.  But this was not the end of the trouble at Wolverton.  There was a serious trip on the embankment on the south side of the Ouse viaduct, while another section of the same embankment caught fire.  These mishaps involved months of work before they will remedied.  The fire was an extraordinary disaster which could not have been foreseen, being due to the presence of alum shale containing sulphuret of iron which ignited spontaneously.

The book records that the “astonished locals” had a different explanation: they were convinced that the fire was the result of some new subtle roguery on the part of the canal company.

Wolverton Express 2nd December 1960

Christmas Sale Raises £96 for Cosgrove Church

The necessity for preserving our ancient churches was emphasized by the hon. Mrs. D. Lawson, of Passenham Manor, when she opened the Christmas sale held by SS Peter and Paul Church, Cosgrove, in the Victory Hall last Friday evening.  Mrs. Lawson said that although such preservation could seem to be a burden at times it was imperative that such links with the past should not be overlooked.

The Rector, the Rev. A E Bransby, in introducing the hon. Mrs. Lawson, said that although the finances of the church on the normal level were not unhealthy they would no doubt have to face considerable expense when the report of the architect’s inspection of the building was presented.

Mrs. Lawson was presented with a bouquet of carnations by the Rector’s younger daughter Rosabel.  Mr E. Lambert, people’s warden, proposed a vote of thanks.

The sale was well supported by the residents despite the bad weather.  These annual event is always held on a Friday evening and the support forthcoming makes the organizers think that an evening sale is often more preferable to its supporters than a similar function held on a Saturday afternoon.  The excellent response meant that sale brought in the net amount of about £96.

Wolverton Express 6th January 1961

Buckingham Athletic found a certain amount of difficulty in team raising, and under the circumstances did extremely well only to lose at home against Cosgrove by the odd goal in seven.  F Hill (2), the Peter’s skipper and B. Webb (2), scored for the winners.

Wolverton Express 13th January 1961


The Rev. A E Bransby, Rector of Cosgrove-cum-Deanshanger, was given a very hearty welcome on the occasion of his first visit as speaker at the Wolverton Brotherhood meeting on Thursday of last week.  He gave an inspiring and interesting address on “The message of the Epiphany and the Three Wise Men.”

Prayers were conducted by the Rev. W S Griffiths (President). The Bible reading was given by Mr. Walter Speaks.  Mrs. T. Kingsley, of Stony Stratford, entertained with vocal solos and Mr. A Aspray was pianist.  Thanks were addressed by Mr J. Jones.

Wolverton Express 20th January 1961

When members of the BBC Midland Region feature programme “Fisherman’s Forum” visited the Navigation Inn at Cosgrove on Sunday morning, they made a surprise visit to the riverside at Old Stratford where a match of the Stony Stratford WM Club angling section was taking place.

On Monday evening when the programme was broadcast, Mrs. Heard Mr. Bill prize at Deanshanger weighing in his winning catch of 6lb 2oz, which included a chub weighing 3lb 7oz.

Both Mr. Price and Mr. Harold Bush, the chairman of the North Bucks Angling Federation, paid tribute to the work of the River Board in cleaning up the river, with a resultant improvement in the fishing.  Mr. Bush commented: “It’s the best thing that has happened to us,” and added that they now had a lovely green river which only needed good stocking.

Members of the panel taking part in the forum were Mr. Norman MacKenzie, the fisheries officer of the Great Ouse River Board, Mr. Fred Groom, Secretary of the Leighton Buzzard Angling Club, Dr. Richard Bainbridge, a biologist from Cambridge, and Mr. Fred Taylor from Oxford, with BBC’s Bill Latto as chairman.

A well-known local angler, Mr. Jack Jones of Wolverton, recorded his views on canal fishing in winter.  The producer of the programme was Colonel H. Saunders Jacobs, of the BBC Midland region.

Wolverton Express 10th February 1961

Holiday by Cruiser

A holiday with the difference is planned for about 15 young people aged from 13 to 16 who belong to the Young People’s Fellowship of the Cosgrove and Deanshanger churches.  The Rector, the Rev. A E Bransby, has booked two cabin cruisers for a holiday afloat on the Norfolk Broads during the week after Easter.  He and Mrs. Bransby will be in charge of one of the boats and two other adult friends will have the oversight of the other.

Mr. Bransby tells me that he hopes that this will eventually become an annual holiday for young people from the two villages.  When at Battersea, he and Mrs. Bransby enjoyed three such sailing holidays with young people from that parish.

Wolverton Express 10th March 1961

Bellringers Meet at Calverton

The quarterly meeting of the North Bucks branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Bellringers was held at Calverton last Saturday.  40 members from Bushey, Hemel Hempstead, Wicken, Cosgrove, Stony Stratford, and Bletchley took part in the ringing.  A service in All Saints Church was conducted by the Rev. J S Payne, Rector, and an address was given by the Rev. C E Wigg.  Members of the Calverton Mothers’ Union prepared and served tea to 24 of the ringers.

Wolverton Express 24th March 1961

The next Mayor of Aldershot is to be Councillor Frank Brown, who was born at Old Stratford 58 years ago.  Both he and his wife are well-known in South Northants, often returning to Cosgrove for the holidays.  Councillor Brown was born at the old Black Horse Inn at Old Stratford where his father, Mr. John Brown, was the licensee.  This Inn was closed during the 1914-18 war and later pulled down.  When he was eight and following the death of his mother, young Frank went to live with an aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. George Brown, at the Barge, Cosgrove.  The public house, also now closed, had been built by his grandfather, Mr. Jonah Brown, who was the first licensee.  After attending the Cosgrove School, which he left when only 13, Councillor Brown worked for a time for the late Mrs. Markham, at Manor Farm, Castlethorpe.  In 1919 he went to the Weedon barracks to join the 10th Prince of Wales’ Own Royal Hussars and after serving in Germany for four years, first went to Aldershot in 1923 as a cavalry sergeant.

Thriving business

Leaving the army in 1926, Councillor Brown started a greengrocer shop in Aldershot. Nine years later he moved his business into the present premises near the cavalry wall.  The business has prospered and overflowed into two shops next door.  Now it is a thriving general store.

Councillor Brown was elected to the Aldershot Borough Council in 1947 at the top of the poor and the 1300 votes cast for him still stands as a record for a candidate.  His wife Mrs. Rose Brown is to be the Mayoress.  They have four married daughters, and the eldest 35, the youngest 26.

The new Mayor has two sisters and three brothers living.  They are Mrs Doris Hill, of Yardley road, Cosgrove, Mrs. Nora Giddings, formerly of Northampton and now in Swaziland, South Africa, Mr. George Brown, of Potterspury, Mr. Jack Brown, of Castlethorpe, and Mr. Fred Brown, of Northampton.

Wolverton Express 31st March 1961


COSGROVE TO BE BUILT. Pair of s.d. bungalows each having large living room. 2 beds, kitchen sink unit, boiler, bathroom, separate w.c. on good sized plot with garage space. £2,000.

Wolverton Express 7th April 1961

Miss Ann E Jones - Mr. Stewart Hogg

Mr. and Mrs. W S Hogg, of New South Wales, flew from Australia on Sunday week in time for the only son, Stuart’s, wedding six days later at Cosgrove.  They are leaving England again shortly, to make their home in South Africa.  Mr. Stewart Hogg is an advertising executive for Bowaters, and lives at Vincent House, Pembridge Square, London.  His bride, Miss Anne Elizabeth Jones, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. WJ Jones, of Furtho Manor, Stony Stratford, is a secretary in the City.

Educated at Olney Convent, the bride also studied at Northampton, and was at the Diplomatic Wireless Station at Hanslope before being transferred to London.  She is the first bride from Furtho for over 30 years.  A Miss Barr, from the Manor, was the last bride to be married in Furtho Church.  Miss Jones’s brother, David, was married from the Manor five years ago.

Saturday’s marriage service at Cosgrove Parish Church was conducted by the Rev. A E Bransby.  The bride, given away by her father, wore a short dress of white slipper satin, with a crystal tiara and bouffant veil, and carried a posy of red rosebuds.  Her attendant was her sister in law, Mrs. Paddy Jones, who had a short dress of pale lilac batiste, with a floral headdress.  She carried freesias.  Mr. Dudley Crosby, a friend of the bridegroom, was best man.

The reception at Wickham [Wicken?] Rectory was attended by 54 guests.  The honeymoon was spent in Cornwall, the bride travelling in a powder blue cortelle suit with blue accessories and a red mohair coat.  Mr. and Mrs. Hogg’s future home is to be in Richmond.

Wolverton Express 14th April 1961

Cosgrove Funeral of Mrs. M A Williams

The funeral service took place on March 30 at Cosgrove Parish Church for Mrs. Maria Annie Williams, who died at her home, 12 Bridge Road, on March 26.  She was 78.  Mrs. Williams, the wife of Mr. George Williams, was an active member of the Baptist church for many years.

The service was conducted by the Rev. A E Bransby, Rector, assisted by the Rev. R J Walker, Baptist Minister.  The family mourners were: Mr G. Williams (husband); Mrs. Meades (daughter); Mr. and Mrs. F. Herbert, Mr. and Mrs. R. Jones, Mr. and Mrs. G Bloxham (daughters and sons in law); Mr. and Mrs. W T Wootton, Mr. and Mrs. R. Jones, Mr B. Herbert, Mr J. Martin (grandchildren); Mr. S Smith nephew; Mrs. E. Lambert (niece).  Many friends were also in church.

The funeral arrangements were by Messrs. J S Cowley and Son.

Wolverton Express 5th May 1961

Branson’s House has New Owner

The Lodge, Cosgrove, was offered for sale this week.  The auctioneers described it as being suitable for a country club, with facilities for sailing, shooting, and fishing.  Yet whatever plans the new owners had for this well-built stone house with its ten bedrooms, stables and conservatory they can hardly match the lively first years of its existence.

To the older folk of the village it will always be Branson’s House.  To others Branson’s Folly - a symbol of the years at the turn of the century when the poor were very poor and the newly rich through their money about with an extravagance that few decades have matched.

Expense was no object when it came to buildings.  Builders were only too eager to satisfy the fanciful whims of people to whom wealth was a novelty, and the house of showpiece.

Left his mark

Such a man was George Frederick Branson and such a house was The Lodge.  But trying to pick up the threads of a 60 year old legend can be a most difficult job, as the Express found out.

It is the fact that Branson built The Lodge on the side of a former farmhouse in 1898 - and he made sure people remembered him.  His name was cut on a foundation stone near the front door.  His initials stand boldly in sedan over the porch, intertwined in the massive black iron gates, them can still be there at seen on some well-polished brass doorknobs.

GFB is carved over the fireplace and in the hall - but Branson did not need the initials.  People still talk of his fabulous extravagance, his generosity, his drinking, and his all night parties.  Whether or not he was a native of Cosgrove is hard to tell.  Branson is a local name and one of his cousins was the parlour maid at Cosgrove Priory in the 1900s.  Drover’s boy, pot man, bar man he may have been, but when he came to the small Northants village in 1898 he had quite a sizeable fortune.  He had won the money on a sweepstake in an outpost of the British Empire - some say Canada, others India, South Africa, or even Australia.  Anyhow this rotund jovial man with a charming wife showed a sound business head.  Before coming to Cosgrove he set a part of his winnings to work, buying up public houses, improving them and selling them to breweries at a handsome profit.

One of his contemporaries in those boisterous days was the Wolverton hairdresser, Mr. Freddy Sykes, nine to see the September.  He was then a barber in Stony Stratford and the cry “Branson’s in town!” meant free drinks all round with Branson as the golden goose.

Rather an apt simile really, for it was a chance remark during a hectic mid-day session that made Branson put up £10 prize money for the now famous Cosgrove Feast goose shaving contest.  Mr. Sykes won by shaving his bird in two hours and collected the £6.00 top prize.

“Branson certainly spent his money,” Mr. Sykes told the Express.  “He was a very generous man.  He would give one man a horse and another a new suit if he thought they needed them.  He had a beautiful house at the Lodge.  Lovely furniture.  And there was always plenty to drink.  I’ve sat up playing crib with him to the early hours of the morning and then been taken home in the pony and trap.”

Another man who remembers Branson’s generosity is Mr. George Williams (80) Cosgrove.  He recalls Branson one night in the village pub asking why no one played cricket in the village.  Mr. Williams and his friends Bert Brown explains that they had no kit. 

“Don’t let that stop you!” retorted Branson, handing over £10.  Striking while the iron was hot the two youngsters made their way to Wolverton, knocked up Mr. Swain at his sports shop and spent the money there and then.

Those were the days when a good cricket bat cost four shillings and sixpence and a tenner was worth £50 of present day money.  The gifts saw the start of the Cosgrove Cricket Club.

Both Mr. Sykes and Mr. Williams, with several other Cosgrove people, testified to the generous open house Branson kept at the Lodge.  Other people remember the times he used to light his cigars with £5 notes.

Parties that set village talking

Branson had a house in London and many were the rich friends he entertained at the Lodge with parties that set the village talking.  Some people, envious of his apparent wealth and contemptuous of his extravagance, prophesied he would die a pauper.

They may well have been bright.  About 10 years after making his home at Cosgrove, Branson left - selling the house he had so splendidly built with all the best materials - and returned to London.  Some say he died a poor man.

That may be so.  But his monument is at Cosgrove in the house and in the memories of his misguided generosity.  When he and his family left, Mrs. Bird took up residence at the Lodge.  Then it lay empty for eight years before Mr. and Mrs. C R Whiting made it their home in 1919.  They stayed 31 years.

Mr. and Mrs. W. Betts and their family were there for eight years and then Dowsett’s took it over as offices while the M1 was being built.  No one has lived there for the past two years.

Sold for £7300

Some 36 people were present at the sale on Wednesday, when Mr. M J Lea of Messrs. Jackson Stops and Staff, sold the Lodge and its 109 acres to Mr. J H White, of Barton Hartshorn Manor, Bucks, for £7300.

Bidding started at £4000 pounds and with three people interested, rapidly rose to £5500.  Mr Lea announced this was below the reserve price, but after consultation with a representative of the vendor.

Wolverton Express 30th June 1961

Her journey from London to Kenya by air and then to Ethiopia by Land Rover was the subject of a talk given by Lady Hesketh at the June meeting of Cosgrove WI.  She described many amusing and interesting incidents which had occurred on the journey.

The meeting, held at the Priory by invitation of Mrs. P Y Atkinson, was presided over by Mrs. Clarke.  A plant was presented to Mrs. Atkinson for her hospitality and the excellent tea by Miss Marlow.  The competition for the prettiest handkerchief was won by Mrs. Lavington, with Mrs. Hefford second and Mrs. Longman third.

Wolverton Express 7th July 1961

Generosity of former resident


AFTER a lapse of some 57 years, the village of Cosgrove has a playing field again. This has been made possible by the generosity of Mr. F. A. A. Hewson, of Linslade, a son of the late Rev. H. N. C. Hewson, who was Rector of the parish for 53 years.

The playing field, which was formerly part of the rectory garden, was opened on Saturday when Mr. Hewson formally handed over the deeds to Mr. A Rickaby, chairman of the parish council. Mr. Hewson was born in the village 67 years ago and his father was rector there from 1893 to 1946 and was one of the members of the first parish council. Among those present on Saturday were parish council Members Mr. A. Rickaby (chairman), Mrs. M. Jelley (vice chairman), Mr. G. W. Ruff, Mr. J. C. Barton, Mr. S. Eglesfield and the clerk, Mr. A. Tack; Mrs. Johnson and Mr. A. Noble (members of the playing field committee); Mrs. P. Y. Atkinson, the Rev. A. E. Bransby (Rector), Mrs. F. A. A. Howson, and Mrs. Rickaby.

Perpetuating name

In welcoming Mr. and Mrs. Hewson, Mr. Rickaby said that the munificent and thoughtful gift of a playing field for the children of Cosgrove was much appreciated by the parish council. Mr. Hewson had also given a handsome cash donation for the preparation of the land and the fence round it. It was now up to them to maintain the playing field and keep it as neat and tidy as possible. History was being made that day in a very pleasing manner in a way of perpetuating the name of Hewson in Cosgrove said Mr. Rickaby. He referred to the fact that three seats had been erected and five trees planted, and trusted that these would be looked after. Mr. Hewson recalled the time when as a boy he had been able to play on land near the old green and when that land had been taken away from the village. After that they had to play in the streets, but it was much better for children to have their own playground and he had been pleased to assist his birthplace in this connexion when the occasion arose.

Mr. A. Noble, secretary of the playing field committee, expressed thanks to Mr. Hewson on behalf of the committee and the village. A bouquet was handed to Mrs. Hewson by Janet Bailey and a buttonhole to Mr. Hewson by Victor Wood. There was a large entry of children for a fancy dress competition, which was judged by Mrs. Hewson and Mrs. Rickaby. Winners were: (under - five) 1 Clive and Reginald Bailey (Bill and Ben), 2 Diane Hill (No more strikes), 3 Robert Smith (jockey); (five to 11) 1 Eileen Prisley (beatnik), 2 Royston Barton (Robin Hood), 3 John Wallington (spaceman), 4 Elaine Horton. (Hawaian girl); (over 11), 1 Rosabelle Bransby (doll I in a box), 2 Linda Pollard and Catherine Spencer (Bisto kids), 3 Maureen Castle.

Later there was a tea in the Victory Hall for about 70 children from the village. This was served by members of the W.I. and had been contributed to by a number of residents.

Wolverton Express 25th August 1961


FOR an inexpensive, healthy and interesting holiday there's nothing like ditch crawling. Ask the Barnes family from Cosgrove. They've been doing it for five years or more. Ditch crawling, we had better explain, is the appropriate but unromantic name for canal cruising—something that is becoming more and more popular each year. Mr. Henry William (Bill) Barnes and his family live at the old Barge Inn at Cosgrove. They built their own 24-ft. cabin cruiser "Maybee" at Hanslope five years ago, launched it with the aid of a crane, and last Saturday had the satisfaction of seeing the craft win first prize in the class for home-made boats at the eighth annual rally of the Inland Waterways Association at Aylesbury. With Bill was his wife and their three children, William (24), a mathematician with Vickers Armstrong, John (22), an assistant engineer at British Railways headquarters, and Gwen (16

Saving of £1,000

Bill, who works for the Diplomatic Wireless Service at Hanslope Park, built the boat hull from a kit but incorporated many of his own ideas into the fittings. Everything on the "Maybee" is home-made with the exception of the cooker and the pre-war 7 h.p. car engine that supplies the power. It cost some £200 to build — a saving of about £1,000. There is ample living and sleeping accommodation for five adults on the ‘Maybee', and Mr. Barnes's ingenuity has kept obstructions down to the minimum. There's no nautical nonsense about the ditch crawlers. No fore and aft, midships, and galley for them. It's sharp end, blunt end, the “hole in the middle", and the kitchen. The "Maybee" has taken Mr. and Mrs. Barnes and their family many hundreds of miles along Midland waterways. Twice they have been to Llangollen in North Wales, running close to the A.5 Watling Street most of the way. For them, there is no finer holiday than ditch crawling. And when the trip is over the "Maybee" can be moored outside their canal-bank home or lodged for the winter at the Navigation Inn.

Wolverton Express 10th November 1961


ONE of the largest landowners in North Bucks and South Northants, Major the Hon. John Breckinridge Fermor-Hesketh, of Cosgrove Hall died at his home on Wednesday, aged 44. He was the third son of the first Baron Hesketh, and was educated at Eton and Oxford University, where he gained his M.A. degree. In 1937 he became a 2nd. Lieut. in the 50th (Northamptonshire) Regiment A.A. Bn. R.E. (T.A.) rising the rank of Major in 1941. In 1946 he married Mrs. Patricia Macaskie Cole, of Knotty Green, Bucks, but obtained a divorce in 1957. His widow was formerly Miss Joan Isabel Edridge, whom he mar tied in 1958. Major Fermor-Hesketh had not enjoyed good health for some years but had continued to run his own 8,000 acre estates in Buckinghamshire and the 9,000 acre estate owned by his nephews, Ernest Hesketh (aged 10), Robert, and John, the sons of his late brother. He also looked after the family's extensive interests in America. He was chairman of the Abington Brewery Company and his directorships include those of Druse Ltd., Stratford Towcester Race course, and the Towcester Trading Company. The funeral service will be at Easton Neston Parish Church at 12 noon tomorrow (Saturday).

Wolverton Express 17th November 1961


THE small church of St. Mary's, Easton Neston, was packed on Saturday for the funeral service for Major the Hon. John B. Fermor-Hesketh who died at his home Cosgrove Hall the previous Wednesday aged 44.

Every seat was taken and the aisles were crowded with friends, tenants, workers and business associates. Major Fermor-Hesketh was the third son of the first Lord Hesketh and earlier this year was present at a special service when his work of restoring the fast decaying interior and exterior of the church was dedicated by the Bishop of Peterborough. The work cost £20,000.

Half-muffled bells

Mourners made their way to the church up a pathway lined with over 130 wreaths and bunches of flowers, while members of the Towcester branch of the Peterborough Guild of Bellringers rang Plain Bob Minor of the half-muffled bells. The funeral service was conducted by the Rev. D. H. Curtis (Vicar and Rural Dean of Towcester with Easton Neston) and the Rev. A. E. Bransby (Rector of Cosgrove and Rural Dean of Preston) who were assisted by the Ven. R. C. 0. Goodchild (Arch-deacon of Northampton) and the Rev. J. M. Warwick, of Towcester. Mrs. B. M. Scanes was the organist for the hymns "He who would valiant be," "Abide with me," the 23rd psalm and the Nunc Dimittis. During the singing of the last hymn eight bearers representing the various departments of the estates carried the coffin down the church for interment in the family vault. These bearers were: Messrs. E. J. Francis, J. C. Barton, W. A. Denny, W. C. Coleman, J. Stubbs, D. Stimson, G. E. Warren, W. T. Robinson.

Vicar's tribute

In a tribute to "Major John", the Rev. D. H. Curtis described him as a brave and very courageous man of indomitable spirit—a gallant spirit challenging superhuman odds as his health declined over the past two years. "And so there passes a many-sided character of many colours and variety of moods," said the Vicar. "His unresting, active intelligence enjoyed most the tussles and manoeuvres of business, for his very wide business activities were his paramount interest always. "When Major John was around, things moved. Things had to be done and done well. He demanded, and through his great wealth was able to command always the best in quality and workmanship." No one could pull a "fast one" over Major John. Yet for all his wealth, rank, and position he had a remarkable knack of getting on with ordinary folk. He loved Easton Neston and had expended so much money, time, thought, and affection on the Church because it was a little corner of Easton Neston that as churchwarden he felt to be his own. "I believe two of the happiest days of his life were those two occasions when the Bishop came to dedicate his restoration of this church," said Mr. Curtis. That crowned an achievement he had set his heart on.

The mourners

The family mourners were: the Hon. Mrs. J. I. Fermor-Hesketh (widow). Sir Edmund and Lady Stockdale, Mr. and Mrs. A. D. A. Lawson (brothers-in-law and sisters), Lady Hesketh (sister-in-law), the Hon. James Baring, Mr. T. Stockdale (nephews) Among others in church were: Mrs. Reveley (mother-in-law), Sir Richard and Lady Gambier-Parry (and representing the Viscount Ednam, Capt. and Mrs. Maurice Jordan, Mr. T. C. Frost), Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Budge, Col. A. J. S. Featherstonhaugh; Lord Spencer. Dr. H. C. Percival, Capt. and Mrs. P. Y. Atkinson, Miss M. Atkinson. Mr. A. E. Humphries, Lady Elizabeth Rendlesham, Mrs. P. Soskin, Miss Monica Lawson, Dr. and Mil. E. D. Lawrence, Major and Mrs. Barnes. Dr. and Mrs. R. Murray-Laing, Mr. J. S. Weyman (and representing Brake Shoe International of Geneva, and America Brake Shoe of New York), Mr. Sutherland, Mr. Kitchen, Mr. Scott Prendergast, Mr. Bachelor, Miss Kate Day, Dr. W. M. Douglass (and representing Dr. D. H. G. MacQuaide), Col. and Stockdale, Mr. John Gott (Chief Constable, Northamptonshire), Commander and Mrs. P. Tyler, Mr. Forsyth Lawson, Mr. John Morris, Mr. H. Stockdale, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Warlaw..Mr: and Mrs. R. K. Knyaston Studd, Mrs. D. Curtis,Col. and Mrs. Maltby, Major and Mrs. R. S. Edridge. Lieut., Col. V. G. Toler-Aylward (and representing the Grafton Hunt), Capt. and Mrs. M. I. V. BoWater, Capt. G. W. M. Lees, Mr. F. Coles, Capt. and Mrs. J. Brittain-Jones, Mr. R. 0. Lee, Mr. S. G. Hill (representing Northampton Hospital Management Committee), Mr. R. A. Palmer, Supt. H. B. Copping. Towcester Rural District Council was represented by: Coun. E. G. Nicholls (chair-man), Mr. F. J. Hulbert (Clerk) and Coun. W. H. Mar-low (also representing Towcester Parish Council). Mr. Eric Robinson (representing chairman and directors of Worthington and Co. Ltd.), Mr. S. E. Clayson (E. W. Clayson and Co.Northampton), Mr. R. F. Mayo (G. and T. A. Mayo, Silverstone), Mr. D. J. Schofield, Mr. G. H. Jones (representing Midland Bank, Towcester), Mr. Donald P. Humphery, Mr. Norman C. Woodcock (and representing Arthur Mulliner Ltd. and Mr. W. H. Orbell), Mr. Bruce W. Sutherland, Mr. Stanley Kitchen (Foster and Stephens, Birmingham), Mr. J. W. McCullagh (Towcester Mill and Trading Co. Ltd.), Mr. J. H. Allibone (Greens Norton Park), Mr. H. Bell (and representing Mr. J. A. Webb, Lodge of Fidelity), Miss Maria De Jesus, Mrs. J. W. McCullagh. Mr. E. S. Fleming, Mr. J. Trace (Castlethorpe British Legion), Capt. G. C. K. Watson (and representing Sir Reginald and Lady Mary Manningham-Buller), Mr. W. Darby (Darby and Co., Towcester), Mr. C. H. Watts (and representing A. A. Lamont), Mr. R. Wilson, Mrs. W. J. Mold (and representing Mrs. A. E. Crow), Mr. M. J. Smith (representing J. W. Smith and Son), Mr. D. Tarry (representing Derek Tarry Catering Organisation, Roade), the Rev. P. Rowson (St. Saviour's Church, Northampton), Mr. J. G. B. Whiting (and representing Mr. J. H. Whiting), Mr. T. Burrenstone (Vie Electries). Mr. R. Skey (representing Towcester Fire Brigade), Mr. J. Evanson (Postmaster, Towcester), Mr. J. S. Goss (chairman, Newport Pagnell Rural District Council). Mr. T. J. Gilbert, Mr. A. Carter, Mr. R. Leyser (Druse Ltd., Old Stratford), Mr. and Mrs. A. Rickaby (and representing Mr. and Mrs. Elder), Mr. G. Whitlock, Mr. W. Whitlock (and representing Towcester Angling Club), Mr. W Beesley (Buckingham Conservative Association), Mr. Francis Whiting (and representing Mrs. H. M. Whiting and Mrs. F. C. Whiting) Mr. J. K. Soper (and representing Mrs. Soper and Mrs. W. Cross), Mr. A. Turner, Mr. H. Jones., Mr. I. Weekley, Mr. C. Wakelin (representing Old Towcestrians Rugby Football Club), Mr. J. E. Adams (and representing Lady Carlile), Mr. R. H. Maycock (and representing Mr. M. Maycock). Mr. V. Burt (and representing Towcester Conservative Association). Mr. N. C. Moore (and representing the Plessey Co. Ltd.). Mr. K. Jones. Mr. R Grendon. Mr. R. Garlick Mr. C. Master (Towcester Construction Ltd.), Mr. J. D. Hart (and representing Mr. G Brown and Mr. Peter Fleetwood Hesketh of the Rufford Hall Trustees), Mr. W. N. Breach (National Provincial Bank, Towcester and the Towcester Studio Band), Mr. R. Paybody (representing R. Paybody and Son, Hartwell), Mr. E. A. Swannell (and representing Wolverton Toc H) Mr. K. Petherick, Mr. H. Alibone, Mr. G. W. Warren, Mr. H. Coates, Mr. W. H. Coales. Mr. V. E. Loake, Mr. K. Travis, Miss June Barnes, Miss H. L. Harry. Mr. E. G. Watson. Mr. B. Carr. Mr. A. P. Cooling. Mr. J. J. Munden. Mrs. E. J. Bell, Miss V. Walmsley. Mr. W. Coles, Mr. Tustain, Mr. F. A. Coles Mr. J. McNeil. Mr. R. Swanston, Mr. P. Horrad, Sister M. Hart, Mr. K. Stubbs, Mr. H. T. Geary, Mr. L. T. Geary, Mrs. M. Cashmore, Mr. A. E. Humphreys. Mr. N. Lloyd, Mrs. J. Stimson, Mr. G. Warren, Mr. W. P. B. Phillpotts, Mr. W. E. Easter, Mr. J. Aitken, Mr. E. W. Tarry, :Mr. S. W. Jones, Mr. R. Saunders, Mr. F. E. B. Haynes. Mr. J. G. Dunkley, Mr. T. Beach. Mr. J. R. Fountaine, Mr. T. Davies, Mr. W. J. Ridgway. Mr. J. Forman, Mr. W. T. Hawtin, Mr. W. A. Lee, Mr. R. Neale, Mr. J. W. Cook, Mr. J. Johnston, Mr. F. West. Mr T. W. Bushell, Mrs. H. B. Copping, Mrs. F. J. Hulbert. Mr. G. Fountaine, Mr. G. H. Francis. Mr. W. Needham, Mrs. E. Todd, Miss G. Atkin. Miss L. Moye, Mr. and Mrs. G. Davis. Mr. A. C. Spencer, Mr. S. Tuckey, Mr. J. Hebson, Mrs. J. Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. F. S. Smith, Mr. R. F. Reeve. Mr. L. Wood, Mr. E. F. Joyce. Mr. F. G. Williams, Mr. A. G. Kingston, Mrs. D. Paradine, Mrs. M. E. Groom, Mrs. J. Jenkinson, Mr. D. Groom, Mrs. Allibone, Mr. J. T. Wheeler. Mr. A. A. Jackson-Stops. Mr. J. Matterface, Mr. H. H. Shrives, Mr. F. Lane, Mr. G. Nicholls, Mr. V. J. Loughran, Mr. and Mrs. G. L. Franks. Mr. H. A. Higginson, Mr. N. W. Haywood, Mr. F. Read, Mr. J. R. Bowden, Mr. K. P. Jeffs, Mr. and Mrs. J. Stubbs. Miss P. Causebrook, Mr. J. C. Barton. Sister McDonald, Mr. H. Case, Capt J. Lees, Mr. A. Tapp. Mr. W. Brockway, Mr. J. H. Davy. M A. Buckland, Mr. G. Buckland, Mr. D. Holding. Mr. W. Bignell, Mr. D. Miles. Mr H. Thomas, Mr. G. E. Tarry. Mr. C. Cockram, Mr. C. Pierce, Mr. J. T. Bradley. Mr. George Payne, Mr. F. J. Cook, Mr. W. W. Humphrey. Mr. R. W. Humphrey. Mr. W. H. Butcher, Mr. A. Wootton. Mr. J. F. Smith. Mr. P. Mold. Mr.  Watts. Mr. D. Hatton. Mr. F. G. Slaughter. Mr. H. C. Smith. Mr. W. D. Powell, Mr. A. J. H Maycock. Mr. R. F. Davy. Mr. T L. Gullyar. Mr. E. C. M. Palmer, Mr. A. D. Course. Mrs. L. R. Course, Mr. J. H. Harrison.

Wolverton Express before Amos or 1961

"Memories" essayist recalls —


NOTES about three villages, Cosgrove, Castlethorpe and Hanslope, are all included in Mr. F. Amos's entry in the Northamptonshire Memories of a Villager competition.

One of the runners-up, Mr. Amos, recalls many amusing incidents. At Cosgrove Priory in 1882, for instance, lived a Mr. St. Mawe [St. Maur], "a very tall gentleman". His wife, on the other hand, was very small. "When he stood up and put his arm out she could walk under it without knocking her hat off", says Mr. Amos.

Then there were the three Hanslope men who used to mow the meadows with scythes. "They used to drink about six gallons of beer a day, go home at 8 or 9 p.m. and be back again at 3 a.m." Mr. Amos adds: "They did their work well."


He recalls a woman who lived in Castlethorpe during the 1880s. She had a new set of false teeth but one unfortunately came adrift, and the woman died. "She must have swallowed it." says Mr. Amos.

In those days a coal merchant travelled round the district with a horse and trolly. He had a fat black horse whose coat shone beautifully. Mr. Amos recollects. Its only fault apparently. was that it always had its tongue hanging out by about three inches. "Never seen one since in all my days." says Mr. Amos. Another amusing incident during that period involved Mr. Bob Weston who lived at Ash Lodge Farm. Hartwell. A horse was taken ill at his farm and MT. Weston dashed off to Roade on an old mare to wire for the vet and on the way home he called at a public-house. When he set off again the mare stopped to drink from a pond and he slid down its neck and got a ducking. "When he got home the horse was better and the vet had been," says Mr. better. "Bob was tired and lay down in the crib and went to sleep." During the night there was a frost. Bob caught cold and spent the next fortnight in bed.

Wolverton Express 5th January 1962

Plans for country club, motel, at Cosgrove

COSGROVE LODGE and its old gravel workings are on their way to becoming a country club. There is a proposal to develop the stone-built house with its 109 acres of land and water to give facilities for sailing, boating, fishing and riding. There will be motel accommodation and places for the seasonal use of caravans.

A far cry indeed from the days when Cosgrove Lodge was built with a rich man's gold at the turn of the century and christened Branson's Folly. The Lodge and its grounds were sold to Mr. J. H. White, of Barton Hartshorn Manor, Bucks last May for £7,300. Towcester Rural District Council heard at its meeting on Tuesday that the County Planning Officer had asked if there were any objections to this proposed development by Cosgrove Lodge Ltd. Councillors heard that the Public Health Committee had decided to raise no objection but to draw the Planning Officer's attention to "the desirability of preserving the old St Vincent Well and spring on the land in question." This brought Mrs. M. Jelley to her feet. "Desirability" was the wrong word altogether she said. That well must remain. It was St. Vincent's Well, one of the ancient holy wells, and as such was protected by an Act of Parliament. When Cosgrove was enclosed in 1767 there was a special clause inserted that St. Vincent's Well should remain the property of the people of Cosgrove for all time, with free access to the well from the highway. They could see, said Mrs. Jelley, that both the well and the footpath must remain. Mr. A. E. Berridge Surveyor said he had already written to the planning authority explaining that the well and footpath must be preserved.




NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Northamptonshire County Council are proposing to grant permission for the development and change of use of 56 acres of land at Cosgrove Lodge, Cosgrove, for:—

(a) The siting of holiday caravans;

(b) The use of the "Lodge" as a country club;

(c) The use of the courtyard as a riding school;

(d) The use of the courtyard as a motel;

(e) The provision of 48,700 sq. feet of car park space and the use of the adjacent store building for the storage, repair and sale of boats and for the sale of petrol in connection therewith;

(f) The use of the lakes for boating and swimming.

The proposed development and use would be contrary to the provisions of the Development Plan for the Administrative County of Northampton in which the land is allocated for "the working of minerals (gravel) ". Representations in the matter may be made in writing to the undersigned not later than the 8th February, 1962. Dated this 5th day of January, 1962. J. ALAN TURNER.

Clerk of the Northamptonshire County Council, County Hall, Northampton.

Wolverton Express 11th May 1962


Traffic on the local stretch of the Grand Union Canal has been brought., to a standstill this week by repair work at Cosgrove Locks. For four days 2 Workmen have been busy damming the canal, draining the lock and the pool; dredging and overhauling the gates - the first time such work has been done for over 13 years.

Wolverton Express 18th May 1962

Unusual view of locks
Maintenance work give an unusual view of the almost empty Cosgrove Locks, on the
Grand Union Canal. In the distance can be seen moored barges waiting to make thier way north.

Wolverton Express 19th July 1962

MAJOR the Hon. John Breckinridge Fermor-Hesketh, of Cosgrove Hall, third son of 1st Baron Hesketh. who died on November 8 last, aged 44 years, left estate in Great Britain valued at £754,685 18s. 7d. gross £623,266 0s. 11d. net value. (Duty paid £571,112).

By his Will dated October 20, 1960 with six codicils, which does not apply to his property in Kenya, he left any right, title, estate or interest in the Easton Neston property to which he be entitled at the time of his death to his nephew Alexander Baron Hesketh on attaining the age of 30 years,

£10,000 to his Trustees for distribution in their discretion to persons who have worked for him and his family and not otherwise provided for, and to include those in USA, and Africa,

£1,000 upon trust for "my friend" Alfred E. Humphreys and the use of The Green, Cosgrove to him for life,

"the Predella dated approximately 1500 at present on loan to St. Mary's Church. Easton Neston, and being on the reredos to the Altar in the Chancel if the same shall still be used in the Church at the date of my death" and any lace or other ornaments on loan at his death to the said Church to the Parochial Church Council of Easton Neston, and to the Parochial Church Council of St. Mary's, Easton Neston, the tapestry forming part of the reredos, the candlesticks and ornaments on the Altar and all the chairs in the Chancel on condition that they remain in the said Church, otherwise to form part of his residuary estate,

£250 to the Parochial Church Council of Cosgrove. for the maintenance and upkeep of Cosgrove Church,

£250 to the Parochial Church Council of Gayhurst, for the maintenance and up-keep of Gayhurst Church,

£50 to the Cosgrove Branch of the British Legion,

£250 to Northampton General Hospital,

£2,500 to his former wife Patricia, other specific bequests and legacies to godchildren, £5,000 and an insurance policy to his wife and the residue upon trust for her for life, and then to his children, whom failing to his nephews Hon. Robert Fermor-Hesketh and Hon, John Fermor-Hesketh, or to their children, whom failing with other remainders. Probate has been granted to his widow Mrs. Joan I. Fermor-Hesketh, of the same address. John S. Budge, solicitor, of Towcester, Northants., and Joseph S. Weyman, chartered accountant, of 35 Old Jewry, E.C.

SINCE 1955, the liability of the Fermor-Hesketh family for estate duty has reached about £2 million, reports the Estates Correspondent of the Daily Telegraph. A further £571,112 has resulted following the death last November of Major the Hon. John B. Fermor-Hesketh, of Cosgrove Hall, the third son of the first Baron Hesketh, at the age of 44. His elder brother, the second Baron, died in 1955 aged 39. The duty charged was £1,093,616 on assets of £1,073,204 net in England and on other funds abroad.

Wolverton Express 17th July 1962


Manor Farm, Castlethorpe, the home of the Markham family for nearly 50 years, was sold on Saturday at Northampton to Mr. H. M. Stockdale, of Pindon Manor, for £35,000. (The sale was on the instructions of Mrs. Markham, who also offered Cobbs Bush, Cosgrove. This was sold to Mr. Mayo, of Silverstone, for £14,700

But the Markhams are not leaving Castlethorpe. Mrs: Markham is going into retirement and will live at the bungalow Glencote, while her son Jack is to carry on farming the third of the family farms, Glenmore, of 150 acres The eldest son, Leslie, who used to be at Cobbs Bush, is leaving farming altogether. Mrs. Markham and her late husband, Mr. W. D. Markham; built up a fine herd of Friesians at Castlethorpe. Mr. Markham was president of the village Football Club, which played on their land and when he died 13 years ago Mrs Markham continued as president, an office she still holds.

With the sale of the farm, the club has had to give the pitch up, but another local farmer, Mr. J. Sawbridge, has allowed them the use of one of his fields. The sale on Saturday was conducted by Mr. S. G. Burkill, of Messrs. Peirce, Thorpe, and Marriott.

19th July 1962


Vandalism at Cosgrove

Sir,—When the Cosgrove Roman Bath House was discovered in 1957, the late Major Hon. J. B. Fermor-Hesketh expressed a wish that it should not be filled in, but preserved within a building for the benefit of students and other interested visitors. He put himself, to considerable expense, inserting perspex windows in the side so that the public would not be disappointed by a locked building, and could see inside, and also windows in the roof to admit light. He also generously provided a hut of two compartments in which could be kept equipment for its maintenance and for further work on the site. That the Roman building is a unique survival unequalled with a radius of 30 miles, and damage done to it irreplaceable, seems invitation enough for groups of young people to force an entry to ensure its destruction. It might not be quite such good fun as smashing up Stanton Low church, but there is plenty to go at. There had been persistent damage done to the fencing and to excavation opened on the south side of the structure, but it was insufficient. Their appetite whetted, there was the hut to break up, perspex windows to smash, but it was hard work, even with heavy stones. At last the compartment containing the key to the building was forced open, followed by a triumphant entry. Whether or not they were interrupted after the initial destruction of the tepidarium brick arch is not clear, for they absconded with the key leaving the door ajar. The lock has now been changed, but this no doubt will be a further challenge to complete the job in hand. Their activities are sheltered by a very high hedge, and although the bashings with stones have been heard from the locks, local residents can scarcely be expected to police it. The high tide of destruction is during the long evenings, and although the school holidays step up activities, older youths seem involved in it. One naturally asks what can be done about it, and an answer is not easily found. A good deal of careful work has been expended on the site, assisted by young people with a different mental outlook, and it seems a pity that Major Hesketh's singular generosity should be so rewarded. Will an appeal in the Wolverton Express be effective? We fear not, as it is not a comic strip, and so needs reading, with some effort entailing literacy. Acts of hooliganism, unthinkable half a century ago, seem part of the make-up of an increasing section of juniors for whom provision of expensive schools, youth clubs, and endless amenities mean not a thing. Mentioning the business to a friend, he said " You've seen nothing yet: you want to live around Bletchley". There the schools and clubs are bigger and better. Or is this the wrong attitude, and it is we who are not "with it"? We perhaps are not en rapport with the spirit of youth, or with current psychology which frowns on punishment and believes that the little louts need kindness. In answer to that, if they are caught at it, the canal is handy. It is muddy but not too deep.


Wolverton Express 21st February 1964

Fires go out at village bakery

THE delicious smell of baking bread is rapidly vanishing from the villages of North Bucks and South Northants, where at one time almost every village had its own bakery. The latest bakehouse to close down is at Cosgrove, where Mr. Eric Harold Norman, of 60 Stratford Road, let the fires go out for the last time on Saturday.

Nearly 40 years

Mr. Norman explained that deeds for the property near the aqueduct show it dates back to 1740 but he is not sure how long it has been a bakehouse. His father, Mr. A. W. Norman, began baking at the age of ten, and when he and his young son Eric moved to the village in 1926 they took over the bakehouse and began their own business. Mr. Norman sen. died 12 years ago, but helped by Mr. Jack Johnson, Mr. Eric Norman continued to bake and go out to Castlethorpe, Hanslope, Old Stratford, Stony Stratford, Deanshanger, Wicken, and even Leckhampstead. For the past few weeks Mr. Johnson has been waiting to enter hospital, and Mr. Norman has been carrying on with what help he could get. Unable to replace Mr. Johnson, he thought it best to see to his rounds and discontinue bread making. As yet he has not sold the old bakehouse with its oven made by Roberts's at Deanshanger 70 or more years ago. The business has been sold to Messrs. Simmons, of Leighton Buzzard, the firm that trade under the upside-down name of Snowwis.

Oven fresh

During his period at Cosgrove, Mr. Norman tells us that he made a tremendous amount of bread which was the "real McCoy." He claimed that his bread sold in preference to "this plant stuff" because customers would rather have the oven-fresh loaf. When cut and wrapped bread first came out trade dropped, said Mr. Norman. Now trade was back to normal and as good as ever. The oven fires would never be re-lit, he said, adding that he did not know of a similar bakehouse between the village and Northampton.

Bakers had finished at Deanshanger and Hanslope, and Mr. Norman said he had gained a percentage of these rounds. Now, although his customers were disappointed, they would have to go over to the "plant stuff". With only one daughter, who is married and living away, Mr. Norman could not hand down the bakery to his family, and therefore when this latest shortage of manpower affected the working of the business, he decided to sell out.

Wolverton Express 6th March 1964

23 lb. pike from Cosgrove lake

Fishing in the Cosgrove Lodge park lakes on Saturday, Mr. P. Wright, of Butts End, in Hemel Hempstead, landed a pike which weighed 23 lb. Mr. Wright was fishing with a ledger herring.

Wolverton Express 20th March 1964


A Cosgrove resident for many years, Mrs. Florence Harriet Eglesfield died at her home, 49 Bridge Road, last Saturday. She was 87, and had been ill for a short time. A native of Cosgrove, Mrs. Eglesfield resided in Devon for a time, but returned to the village and had lived at 49 Bridge Road for 55 years. A founder member of the Cosgrove WI, she was also a member of the Conservative Association. Her husband, Mr. Arthur Eglesfield, a stud groom with the Atkinson family at Cosgrove for some years, died 25 years ago. . Mrs. Eglesfield leaves seven sons, five daughters, 17 grand-children and 18 great-grand-children. The funeral service at Cosgrove Parish Church on Tuesday, was conducted by the Vicar, the Rev. A. E. Bransby. Mr. Andrew Bransby was organist for the hymn "The day Thou gavest." Family mourners were: Mr. and Mrs. A. Eglesfield; Mr. and Mrs. C. Eglesfield, Mr. and Mrs. S. Eglesfield, Mr. and Mrs. Ted Eglesfield, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Eglesfield; Mr. and Mrs. Jim Eglesfield (sons and daughters-in-law), Mr. and Mrs. A. Cadd. Mr. and Mrs. J. Johnson; Mr. and Mrs. J. Hebson, Mr. and Mrs. T. Kightley, Miss M. Eglesfield (sons-in-law and daughters), Mr. and Mrs. D. Larner, Mrs. D Andrews, Mrs. C. Sherwood, Mr. D. Eglesfield (grandchildren), Mrs. C. Hill (niece), Mr. J. Brown, Mr. G. Brown (nephews). Among the friends present in church were: Mr. M. Knight, Mr. W. Crowder, Capt. and Mrs. P. Y. Atkinson, Mrs. M. Jelley, Mrs. Guy Lancaster, Mrs. J. Taylor. Mrs. W. Castle, Mrs. N Castle, Mrs. A. Noble, Mrs. W. Barnes, Mrs. J. Her'- ford, Mrs. A. Bransby, Mrs. G. Hickford, Mrs. D. Longman, Mr. Humphrey, Mr. and Mrs. S. Slaymaker. Floral tributes were from: Arthur and Nelly; Wag and Emily; Dot and Arthur; Chirp and Win; Olive and Jack; Mim; Doll and Jack; Ted and Rosemary, David and Adrian: Sheila, Colin. Michael and Julie; Jo, Brian, Steven and Christopher; Jill and Dennis; Roger, Janet and Susan; Diana, Mel, John, Kath, June, Charlie, David, Verena, Frank: Joyce, Geoff, David, Hazel, Peter and Linda; Doris, Charlie, Lou, Audrey, Barbara, Bud and Diane; Clara, Aggy, and Jackie; Gertrude and Mary; Mr. and Mrs. H. Herbert; Ruby. Arthur and Marlene; Alice, Michael, John and Pop; Rose, Bridget and Harry; Bell, Mo, Jim and families; Mary, Gune, Philip and Grace Atkinson; Mabel Jelley and Gwen; Hettie, Betty, Bill and Flo; Mrs. Goodridge, Mrs. Loughrey and Louie; The Brown family, Cosgrove; Mr. and Mrs. Slaymaker; Mr. and Mrs. H. Castle; Mr. and Mrs. Rickaby; Mrs. Guy Lancaster, Mr. and Mrs. W. Barnes; Mr. and Mrs. J. Hefford; Mr. and Mrs. G. Henson; Mr. and Mrs. Barton; Mona, George and family; Lily. Dick and family; Mr. A. E. Humphrey; Mrs. Rudd: Harry, Doris, Phil and Michael. Funeral arrangements were by Messrs. J. S. Cowley and Son.

20th March 1964

Raising £1,000

THE 400 parishioners in the small South Northamptonshire village of Cosgrove have raised over £1.000 to pay for the first stage of restoration work on their picturesque little church. The cost of the whole scheme will be over £2,000. The parishioners have worked very hard to raise the first £1,000 and are hoping that the target of £2,000 will quickly be reached. A big step towards it has already been taken for an anonymous donor, hearing of the need of the church and how hard the members are working, has sent a gift of £600. The rector, the Rev. A. E Bransby, has written to the architect asking that the gift be used exclusively for the restoration of the chancel rather than be absorbed in the general restoration. Work is shortly to begin on the chancel. part of which was built in the 12th century; the interior of the chancel is also to be completely re-decorated, following the renewal of the roof which is in a very bad state of repair.

Wolverton Express 10th April 1964

Inspector retires

Mr. Albert Tack, of 1 Yardley Road, Cosgrove, retired from the Wolverton Carriage and Wagon Works last month as a finished work inspector. He had been in the Works for 50 years. From the Chief Inspector, Foremen, and Inspectors of the Machine Shop, Mr. Tack received an autographed retirement card, a cigarette lighter and fuel, with a box of chocolates for Mrs. Tack. He was given a sum of money from the Examiners' and Inspectors' Association, and a portable radio and a retirement card autographed by more than 100 workmates in the Machine and Fitting and the Millwrights Shops. There were also retirement cards from friends, and from the LMR Board and Management, Mr. Tack received an illuminated scroll it appreciation of his 50 years’ service.

Wolverton Express 26th June 1964

Peaceful countryside
site at Cosgrove

A HOLIDAY and recreational centre with a marvellous view of open country. Giant lakes for fishing, boating or water ski-ing. A heated swimming pool, boating pool, swings and a playground for the children.

Enough space to "lose" a thousand cars, and yet facilities, including modern caravan sites, to cater for those who want to spend a day, a week or a month in the peaceful countryside. All this can be found here, in this district, at Cosgrove Lodge Park - halfway between London and Birmingham and only a mile from the A5.

Less than three years ago the 100 acre park was nothing more than a series of disused gravel pits. The Lodge, known locally as Branson's Folly, having been built by a rich eccentric, came on to the market in 1961 and was sold for £7,300. Outline planning permission for a country club with sailing, fishing and sites for caravans was obtained and resold at a widely quoted figure of 35,000.


The present owners, Cosgrove Lodge Ltd. have sunk about 50,000 in the venture and are hoping to add many more facilities by this time next year. Mr. Peter Clarke is a director and the estate manager. His co-directors are his parents and his brother-in-law and sister.

It is very much a family concern. They have done practically all the work themselves, apart from site levelling and the installation of the 66 ft. x 30 ft. swimming pool which is one of the Park's main attractions. The water will be electrically heated as it goes through a filtration plan and the pool depth will vary from 3 ft. 6 ins. to 7 ft. 6 ins. There will be a water chute at the shallow end and a diving stage at the other.

The pool, with a blue-tiled surround and a paved area leading to the changing accommodation, is in the process of being painted white and should be ready for use shortly.

Roads have been built over the Park to enable caravans to park near the lake-side. The larger lakes are ideal for sailing or power boating and almost every stretch of water, including the recently dredged Ouse which winds through the Park, are a fisherman's paradise. Thirty pounds of bream were caught on the first day of the fishing season.






Mr. Alf Whittaker tidying up the large swimming pool in its pleasant surrounding before it is painted and filled with heated water.
The changing accommodation is being built on the right side of the pool.

Wolverton Express 31st August 1964


Spirits and cash, valued together at £14, were stolen from the Navigation Inn, Cosgrove, during last Friday night. A pane of glass was removed from the rear of the premises to gain entry between 11.40 pm Friday and 7.40 am the following day. The publican is Mr James Harry Minney.

Wolverton Express 4th September 1964



The Council offers for sale by sealed tender a field having a frontage of approximately 200 feet to Main Street Cosgrove, and containing 1.259 acres or thereabouts. Main drainage, water and electricity are available. The site is reasonably level and has the benefit of outline planning, permission granted on the 29tfi April, 1964 for housing development, subject to usual conditions. Vacant possession will be given on completion. Authority to view and detailed particulars of sale and plan may be obtained from the Council's Surveyor, Mr. G. Berridge, M.Inst.R.A., A.I.AA., 163 Watling Street West, Towcester, Offers for the land, on forms obtainable as aforesaid must be enclosed in a sealed envelope marked "Cosgrove Land" and must be received by the undersigned not later than 2nd October, 1964. The Council do not bind themselves to accept the highest or any offer.

F. J. HULBERT. Clerk of the Court

Wolverton Express 4th September 1964

FARMER AMOS sees the last train out


THE only person living who travelled on the first passenger train to stop at Castlethorpe station on August 29 1882, Mr. Farmer Amos, of Dogs Mouth, Cosgrove, was among those who watched the last train to pull out of the station last Sunday evening.

Under the Beeching Plan, the station has been closed for passenger traffic despite objections by the residents. Mr. Amos, who was 90 last July, has thus completed a remarkable feat in being present at the introduction and the closing of a railway passenger service for the village.

Farmer Amos (he was named after an uncle and has been a farmer all his life) is not only a remarkable man, but also has a wonderful memory. Talking to the "Express" he did not hesitate for a moment in naming people who were present on that memorable day in 1882. This, then, is his story .

The Castlethorpe station was opened for goods in 1881 and my father bought the first truck of coal. He lifted me up to throw the first piece off the wagon.

Mr. Dunkley built the station, the first stationmaster was Mr. Telfor and the porter was Jimmy Last, who was later head stationmaster at Euston. The first passenger train came in about 8.30 a.m. on Monday, August 2nd, 1882, and John (Rocker) Rainbow told the men working on the station that they could go on the train. Dick Denny had been digging a well for the station-master and came out covered in mud. His mate Tom Panter came on the train as well.

When the booking office opened Mr. J. E. Whiting bought the second ticket (the railway kept the first) and my father the third. Little Farmer stepped up and had the first half ticket.

We all got off at Roade and went to the Swan which was kept by Jack Shipp. We had some beer. (I was only eight but I started drinking .beer at five) and caught the train back to Castlethorpe about 11 o'clock. : -- At Castlethorpe, the band was playing and there was a lot of people waiting to go to Wolverton. When they got there all the children were given buns by the porters. The celebrations at Castlethorpe went on for a week. On the big day there were sports in the field of the pub, kept at that time by Bob Varney, and a greasy pole. Mr. Amos recalls climbing the pole and getting his suit in a mess.

At his home the Maltings there was a dance in the barn every night for a week to the music of Sammy Compton’s fiddle. Farmer's father Thomas supplied all the dancers with free beer for the week.


Members of the Amos family lived at the Maltings from 1790 to 1926, when Farmer moved to the Dogs Mouth. He, his father and grandfather, all supplied the malt to local farmers who brewed their own beer. Those were the days when each farm worker received at least four free pints a day. The end of the maltings came when brewers managed to get the farmers to take beer from them. Mr. Amos remembers when the Cosgrove brewery was sold by Frank Bull to Teddy Phipps, the founder of the now famous brewery. Mr. Amos used to supply William Chaplin at the. King's Head in the Mayorhold —the last Northampton publican to brew his own beer.

Talking to this remarkable man is like attempting to read a dozen books about local history at the same time. He rattled off that only once did he have a holiday, when he was about 16 and took a hunter to London and sold it for £100. He has a photograph—taken in a paddock and with St Paul's in the background!

He attended the Hanslope Park steeple-chases during the two years (1885-6) that they were held and still possesses a race card. His own mare Fairlee, ridden by Mr. Gerrard Pratt, won the Priory Steeplechase in 1886 and won him a silver cup which he still has.

On Sunday evening Mr. Amos shook hands with the guard of the last train, Mr. John Cady of Rugby. Then he went slowly home, having seen not only the last train from Castlethorpe but the end of an era.

Wolverton Express 10th October 1964


Last Monday Mr and Mrs Farmer Amos of Cosgrove celebrated their Diamond wedding Anniversary. Like all couples who reach the 60 year mark they have a host of memories, but few can express them so vividly and in such a wealth of detail.

Mr. Amos, now 90, can reel off names, places, times and dates without hesitation. A thrashing for smoking at nine at a private school at Old Stratford; leading a prize heifer to the first Stony Stratford Fat Stock Show; drinking beer in Castlethorpe Maltings at Queen Victoria's Jubilee; the deeds of village characters long since dead. All these recollections roll of his tongue as if they happened yesterday. And if he does get stuck for a name there is always the great family Bible, begun in 1821 or the photograph album with faded prints of relatives, favourite horses and pets.

"Quiet affair"

How about the wedding day? “Well," says Mr. Amos, "I wanted a quiet affair so we had it in London, St. Pancras's Church. I met my girl and her father at Euston Station and took them in a cab drawn by a chestnut horse to Holborn restaurant where we had a wedding breakfast. Afterwards we went over to Victoria, caught a train to Brighton where we had our honeymoon. But I was back in time for Northampton Market on the Saturday."

Born at .Castlethorpe Maltings on July 20, 1874 at two o'clock in the morning being Monday according to the family bible, Mr. Amos went to schools at Old Stratford, Courteenhall, Buckingham and Brighton. He was in an auctioneer's office at Buckingham, worked for a wine and spirits merchants at Aldgate,- and went butchering with Farmers' Supplies at Northampton before returning to Castlethorpe to take over the family farm.

His father and grandfather before him had farmed the Maltings and at one time they also had Cosgrove Mill and Maltings and Hanslope Maltings, a set of ploughing engines, and two sets of threshing tackle. Mr. and Mrs. Amos stayed at Castlethorpe until 1926 when they moved to Draycott where he apprenticed their five sons to the building trade. They returned to the district to their present home at Cosgrove in 1934. Farmer, Tom and Joe, three sons, still live with their parents. Other sons Stan and Charlie are in New Zealand. There is one grandson.

Mrs. Amos was a grocer's daughter, formerly Miss Ethel Bingham of Tring, who on reaching Castlethorpe turned out to be a model farmer's wife. She could make butter, bake bread and provide callers with the traditional farm-house fare - bread, butter, cheese, celery, ham and beer, all grown, made or brewed on the farm.

"But" she confided to our re-porter. "I've never liked horses". And she sat back with a twinkle in her eye as her husband expounded at length on this phenomena. This was something he could not understand. He had been brought up with horses, ridden them almost as soon as he could walk, and ridden to hounds with the Grafton, Whaddon and Oakley Hunts by the time he was nine.

Mrs. Amos (88) does not enjoy the best of health. Though rather bowed these days Mr. Amos still likes nothing better than "a night out ". And when these roll round he will wear the hard hat, stand-up collar. bob tie and fox's head pin for which he has been so well known in the locality for so long. Farmer, butcher, horseman, Special Constable and a man of many interests with a perceptive eye and fabulous memory Mr. Amos gave us the recipe for his long life—plenty of farmhouse beer, fat bacon and home-made bread.

Wolverton Express 23rd October 1964


A former chairman of the Wolverton Town football club for many years, Mr. Walter Edward Gee, died in Renny Lodge Hospital on October 14, aged 81. A native, of Cosgrove, Mr. Gee became associated with the "Wolves" in the 1920s when the team played in the Northants League. He was a brass finisher and later an initial examiner in the Wolverton Works and until his illness resided at 62 Peel Road. The funeral service took place at Milton Keynes Crematorium on Tuesday.

Wolverton Express 20th November 1964


Cosgrove Service of Remembrance was held at the Parish Church in the morning, when members of the village’s British Legion branch were on parade. A wreath was laid on the war memorial inside the church by Capt. P. Y. Atkinson and the Act of Homage said round the memorial. The service, conducted by the Rector the Rev. A. E. Bransby. R.D. was well attended, although the number was slightly down on last year. A collection of £4 14s. 0d. was taken for Earl Haig's Fund.

Wolverton Express 10th December 1964


Cosgrove Village Hall funds have benefited by £23, the sum raised at a recent whist drive. Prizewinners included: Mrs. R. Humphreys. Mrs. E. Booth, Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Lane, Mrs. A. Loughrey, Mrs. Cooper, Mr. A. Rogoff, Mr. D. Hancock, Mr. J. Pollard, Mr. A. Pratt, Mrs. Walker, Mrs. L. Reynolds and Mrs. C. Matthews.

Wolverton Express 20th November 1964


There are few more deadly hazards for drivers on unfamiliar roads than a down-ward slope ending in a sharp turn. This corner at the "Dog's Mouth," Cosgrove, is a typical example. Three streams of traffic converge on a narrow bridge and in recent years several vehicles have come to grief at this spot, either through too fast a speed or treacherous weather conditions.

Wolverton Express 8th January 1965

Rector is going to Northampton

THE Rev. Albert E. Bransby, R.D., who has been the Rector of Cosgrove, Deanshanger, and Passenham for the past five years, has been appointed Vicar of St. Giles', Northampton.

Mr Bransby has been the Rural Dean for the Preston Deanery for four years.

He is a governor of the Deanshanger Primary School and has played cricket for Deanshanger and Cosgrove, and for the local clergymen's team, the Towcester Crocodiles.

Married with three children, Mr. Bransby came to South Northants from Battersea where, since 1955, he had been the Vicar of St. George with St. Andrew's Church.

He received his theological training at Tynedale Hall Bristol, after serving almost five years as a navigator-bomber with the Royal Air Force. He was ordained deacon in 1949.

Before the war he played soccer for Lowestoft Town.

Mr. Bransby tells us that he will probably be taking up his new position towards the end of March. He regards the move to a much larger borough parish as a challenge.

"My family and I have been very happy here and we have made many friends. We shall be sorry to leave but this is an opportunity that I feel I ought to take," he added.

Wolverton Express 29th January 1965

Catering for the summer traffic at Cosgrove

Following complaints by the Cosgrove Parish Council concerning the very heavy traffic through the village to the Cosgrove Lodge Park, the Northants County Council is to make improvements to the highway. It. is hoped that these will be completed before the spring. At a meeting of the Parish Council last Thursday, it was reported that a meeting had been held between the Council, a representative of the County Surveyor and the Police. The County had since decided to erect "double bend" signs near the church: define the major road at the cross-roads by road markings: remove a portion of the grass patch on the east side of the canal bridge, and widen the road; continue the footpath right up to the bridge and to widen the existing footpath at the junction of Bridge Road and Main Street up to the corner. The Parish Council also agreed to make a portion of the burial ground available as a Garden of Rest for the interment of ashes following cremation. A water stand pipe is to be installed at the burial ground. It was agreed to extend the street lighting from 11 p.m. to 11.30 p.m., and have an additional light in Main Street. The estimated precepts for 1965-66 will be £64 for street lighting and £36 Parish Council expenses. The annual parish meeting will be held on March 11.

Assumed to be from the Northampton Chronicle and Echo c 1965


Bernard Ringham

Mr. Peter Clarke seated at the wheel of the speedboat with which he tows the water-skiers.

Peter Clarke, a 27 year old civil engineer, living with his parents in the Midlands, little thought, when he decided to have a holiday in Spain last year that it might completely change his life – but that is what the holiday in the sun has done, or, to be more accurate, is in the process of doing.

Whilst in Spain, Peter had his first experience of water ski-ing and he became fascinated by this exhilarating sport. He returned home fired with the idea of continuing with the sport and with spreading its popularity in this country.

Peter says that when he told his family and friends what he had in mind, they replied, “You’re joking, of course,” and asked him where he thought he was going to find, in the industrial Midlands, a stretch of water such as would be required for water ski-ing and with the necessary attractive surroundings.

However, it did not take his family long to realise that Peter was determined to achieve what he ahd set his sights on during that brief excursion to sunny Spain, and before long he had the full support of his parents, sister and brother-in-law.

Peter told me, “The first job was to find a place within a reasonable distance of largely populated areas and which could be given other attractions besides water ski-ing. Eventually we hit on Cosgrove Lodge.”

“Hit” is a most apt word, because the Clarke venture could well hit the jackpot. The site is almost half way between London and Birmingham, with the M1 being only a few miles distant from Cosgrove.

Cosgrove Lodge is a very attractive house, with lots of outbuildings, standing in about 110 acres, right on the Northamptonshire-Bucks border, two miles from the A5.

During the construction of the M1, hundreds of tons of gravel were taken from the land, leaving several man-made lakes which all together total about 40 acres.

When the Lodge was sold, only a few years ago, it went for less than £8000 – but the purchasers had an eye to business and set about getting planning permission to transform the Lodge and grounds into a centre with such attractions as fishing, boating yachting etc. They then sold it for something in the region of £30,000 to the Clarke family.

When one considers that the Midlanders only bought it in September, it is incredible what a vast amount of work has been done. Even surfaced rods now lead to each of the lakes and to the charming caravan sire which already houses quite a number of trailers for the summer season.

Numerous yachtsmen take their crafts there every weekend, and for those keen on boating but as yet without their own boats, there are rowing boats for hire, plus paddle boats for children.

ALL THE EXHILARATION of water-ski-ing is reflected in this picture taken at Cosgrove Lodge Park

Every weekend there are sessions of water ski-ing, with, of course, Peter as the instructor, and the sport is becoming more popular with each session.

Very wisely, swimming is not permitted in the lakes, but for swimmers there is a beautiful new pool, with heating and chlorination plant.

The lakes are well stocked with fish, and already many anglers are among the regular visitors to the Lodge.

Wolverton Express 28th May 1965


Wolverton Express 28th May 1965

THE Chancel of Cosgrove's SS. Peter and Paul Church has recently had a £2,000 "face-lift," including a new oak ceiling.

Tiles on the roof have been replaced and the walls and masonry repaired. The cost of the roof and the repair and redecoration has been twice as much as first estimated, and although £1,000 has already been paid the church members are now faced with finding another £1,044. A gift day will be held in the Parish in October and members of the Wolverton Methodist Church have also offered to help.

The Methodist church choir under its conductor, Mr. Arnold Jones, will be giving a concert in aid of the Cosgrove Church restoration fund in the church on September 11. Mr. Lewis Clark will be the accompanist and will also give organ and harpsicord solos. Other soloists will be Mrs. Kathleen Jones (soprano) and Robert Jones (recorder). While working on the inside wall workmen found a niche to the right of the altar which had been concealed for many years. The Rector, the Rev. A. C. Barker, believes that the niche, which shows evidence of having an iron grating in front of it, may have been used for the Reserve Sacrament before the Reformation. [aumbry]

Wolverton Express 13th May 1966


Members of the Barley Mow, Cosgrove, skittles team who won the
North Bucks Licensed Vituallers' League Trophy and also the doubles cup.

Wolverton Express 22nd July 1966

By Instruction of Mr. V. G. F. Coleman.


With Vacant Possession


A delightful property with attractive and unusual elevations, offering: 3 reception rooms, conservatory, kitchen, 4 bedrooms, bathroom, large playroom, attic room; attractive gardens with garaging for three cars.

This FREEHOLD PROPERTY will be offered for Sale by Public Auction (subject to conditions of Sale to be then produced and unless sold previously by Private Treaty) at THE COCK HOTEL, HIGH STREET, STONY STRATFORD, on WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 17, 1966, at 6 p.m. Solicitors: E. T. Ray and Co., 79 High Street. Stony Stratford, Bucks (Tel. 3232/3). To view and for all further particulars, apply to the Auctioneers:—


Wolverton Express 2nd September 1966


Canon S. C. Woodward (left) who was instituted as Rector of Cosgrove at St. Peter's Church last Thursday evening. The institution was performed by the Rt. Rev. W. H. Stewart, as Assistant Bishop in the diocese, on behalf of the Bishop of Peterborough. The new Rector was inducted to the living by the Archdeacon of Northampton, the Ven. Basil Marsh.

Wolverton Express 28th October 1966

Marriage of Miss Anna Rickaby

A DIAMOND tiara previously worn at two Coronations was the head-dress of Miss Marie Elizabeth Anna George Rickaby when she was married with Mr. Alan Edward Mayer at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Stony Stratford, on Saturday. The tiara had previously been worn by the bride's grandmother at the Coronation of King George VI and by her aunt, Lady Beale, at the Coronation of the Queen. The bride is the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Rickaby, of the Old Dower House, Cosgrove. The bride-groom is the only son of Mr. and Mrs. V. Mayer, of Vaynor Heol Don, Whitchurch, Glam-organ, and is an executive of the Edward Curran Group of Companies, Cardiff.
The Bishop of Northampton conducted the service, assisted by the Rev. M. Hazell, the Very Rev. R. Appleyard, C.P., the Rev. E. Phillips, and the Rector of St. Mary's, Harborne. The Rev. Wilfrid Johnson gave the homily in the presence of the Archbishop of Cardiff. Father Bartholomew supervised the choir, from St. Anthony's Preparatory School, Stony Stratford.
Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a full-length empire style dress of white lace with a long train. She carried orchids, freesias, and roses. Eight small bridesmaids. wearing full-length dresses of white wild silk, with red sashes and head-dresses of red ribbon and white roses, and four pages attended the bride. The pages wore red trousers and white silk shirts.
All twelve attendants are cousins of the bride. The walked in threes holding a long red ribbon with posies of white flowers.
Mr. John Price was the best man.
A honeymoon in the Indies followed a reception for 400 guests in the Old Dower House.
The gift of the bride's father was a Rover 2000 car and the couple's new home was the present from the bridegroom's father.

Wolverton Express March 1967


On the main A.508 road mid-way between Yardley Gobion and Old Stratford.


comprising: 4 Friesian Steers. 11 years old; 5 Angus Steers and Heifers; 4 Hereford Steers and Heifers, 11 years old; 11 Hereford Steers Heifers, 8 months old; 1 Charollaise Steer, 8 months old.

And the


including: 2 Fordson Major Paraffin Tractors, 2-furrow Tractor Plough. 9-tine Cultivator, Set of Disc Harrows, Set of 3 Heavy Harrows, Double Set of Chain Harrows, Combine Drill, Artificial Manure Spreader, Tractor Hay Rake, Lundell Forage Harvester, Buck Rake, McCormick Intel-nation Pick-up Baler, 4-ton Hydraulic Tipping Trailer, 4-wheel Trailers. Tearaway rear Muck Fork, Morris 1000 Pick-up, Root Cutter, Weighing Machine, Petrol and Diesel Engines, Sack Hoist, Grinding Mill, Hammer Mill, Water and Fuel Storage Tanks, Galvanised and Wooden Sheep Troughs, Cattle Mangers and Racks. Poultry Feeders, Drinkers and equipment 3-furrow Ford Ransome Plough, Mounted G.P. Plough, etc.,

will be offered for Sale by Auction by


on the instructions of G. Ruff, Esq.., who is retiring, on

TUESDAY 21st MARCH, 1967 at

11 a.m. prompt

Catalogues available  on application to the Auctioneers' Offices: 9 BRIDGE STREET, NORTHAMPTON, Tel. 32266/7/8

Wolverton Express 12th May 1967

Cosgrove pupils' May-time

PUPILS of the Cosgrove Primary School organised their own May-time celebrations last Saturday to raise money for their annual outing to Dudley Zoo. For the first time the children had their own May Queen, eleven-year-old Diane Hill, a special crowning ceremony, country and maypole dancing, side-shows, stalls and refreshments. The event began with a parade round the village with the Queen and her attendants on a lorry and the rest of the schoolchildren in fancy dress on a trailer drawn by a tractor. Afterwards Diane was crowned by Mrs. P. Y. Atkinson, whose husband is a school governor. Mrs. Atkinson also judged the fancy dress, helped by Mrs. M. Jelley, chairman of the school governors. In our picture Mrs. Atkinson crowns Diane, watched by Mrs. Jelley and four young attendants. Sandra Wallington and Vivienne Lovesy, Trevor Wallington and Leroy Hart. Every child in the school (there are 36 on the roll), plus one or two younger children, took part in the fancy dress. Winners were: 1 Alan Cowan (tramp). 2 Mandy Hitchcock (flower girl). 3 Colin Kightley (Lord Nelson). Consolation prizes were given to Adrian Moseley, Mandy Gordon, Reggie Bailey, and Robert Wray, Jill Richardson and Robert Smith. The two teachers at the school, Mrs. G. Stopps, the headmistress, and Mrs. N. Horton, the infant class teacher, made the arrangements. When it was all over the children had raised £27 7s. 2d. for their outing—which is on May 26.

Wolverton Express 16th June 1967


THE TRUSTEES are prepared to consider application to assist boys and girls whose parents have been householders in the ancient parishes of Stony Stratford east and west, and the Calverton Ward of the Urban District of Wolverton all in the County of Buckingham and the ancient Parish of Cosgrove and the civil parish of Old Stratford both in the County of Northampton, for any continuous period of not less than five years. The Trustees are authorised to assist in the apprenticing of boys and girls and to make a grant for that purpose and are also prepared to assist boys or girls who are prepared for entering upon or engaged in any trade, occupation or service by outfits, payments of fees for instruction, payment of travelling expenses, or such other means for their advancement in life or to enable them to earn their own living as the Trustees think fit. The next meeting of the Trustees will be held at 79 High Street. Stony Stratford on Thursday, July 13, 1967.
Application Forms may be obtained not later than July 6, 1967.

EDWARD T. RAY, Clerk to the Trustees.

79 High Street, STONY STRATFORD.

Wolverton Express 30th June 1967


Residents of Cosgrove and `a nightmare'

WITH reference to your editorial comment of June 23. Congratulations and thanks to the Towcester Magistrates for their decision. It was welcome news to many in Cosgrove. Life in this once peaceful village is rapidly becoming a nightmare to many —as the police and the County Council have long been aware.

The County Planning Committee do not seem to have planned this "social need" very well, it is more of a public menace at times. It must have been obvious from the start that trouble would occur if the place were allowed to develop willy-nilly. Originally, we were given to understand that permission had been granted for a high-class Country Club. A far-cry from the present Hotel - Motel - Lido - Amusement Park, which is open to all. The crux of the matter .is the access road, which has several dangerous hazards on its course. So far there have been no accidents, by the grace of God. The official attitude is —when someone is hurt, or killed, we will act; but until that happens we are powerless.

At weekends hundreds, sometimes over a thousand; cars go to the Park. The weekend before last, for example, there was a steady, unceasing stream for several hours. By the time the last ones arrive, the first are preparing to leave. Crossing the road is almost impossible as there is no let-up in the flow, and it is downright dangerous for young children and the elderly.

Several of the residents at the lower end of Bridge Road are elderly persons who have barns on the opposite side of the road, which are almost inaccessible during daylight hours, on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Flowers in gardens are killed by exhaust from passing cars. Television reception is impossible, and sitting on one's lawn is ruined by the screams and yells and transistor radios of the visitors disporting themselves. Then, just as the residents get to bed and to sleep, the cars leave the hotel, to the accompaniment of honking horns, grinding gears, headlights which illuminate bedrooms.

Cosgrove has no resident policeman to keep a check on the hours kept. It is all very well for a town resident who lives on a main road to sneer at late nights in a village, but in the quiet of the country, cars, motor-bikes, coaches, etc. make a considerable noise, as there are no other noises and no buildings of any size to help absorb the noise.

We have just had the road repaired in the village. It won't last long to judge from the usage to date. Who is going to keep paying for road repairs? No sir, unless the County Planning Committee give us another access road, it needs more decisions like the one made at Towcester last day week. The great majority of Cosgrove residents were living in the village long before Cosgrove Lodge Park was conceived, and as citizens we have a right to receive some consideration from authorities appointed to conduct our affairs:

(The letter is signed by 22 Cosgrove residents).

Once again the dictatorial hand of the local petty big-wigs has struck. This time not through any complaint from local residents or through any complaint from the police, in fact nobody seems to have any complaint except the Licensing Justices themselves. They decide and I quote "As a matter of principle we think it is not right to grant extensions late at night to your Club" and "It is not going to be our policy to grant late extensions to your Club". Is this Club such a den of vice and corruption and their doings so terrible that the real reason for this ban must be hidden from the public, Are our Justices hiding behind some principle that we common folk would not understand? Surely, being on the verge of new development it is the duty of everyone who holds public office to look forward to prove the amenities of the area, not to restrict them. The next thing liable to happen will be that Cosgrove Park will be banned as a holiday resort because the sound of children laughing might upset some old fogy who happens to hold office. If you have a genuine complaint gentlemen, I suggest you bring it out into the open to be discussed by the people who are directly concerned, because, I would remind you you are in office not to satisfy yourselves from your remote pedestals, but to satisfy all of the public, and that includes the public who like to hold their functions where they want to, not where you.. with your restrictive practices decide that they should.

R. G. ROBERTS 51 Boundary Crescent, Stony Stratford.

Wolverton Express November 1967



COSGROVE HALL in its wonderful setting overlooking the Ouse valley dominates this photograph of Cosgrove. The Parish Church with its 14th century tower, and the alms houses, can also be seen in the foreground. The Council houses estate is in the middle distance, and across the fields is the line of the canal and the Navigation Inn.

The recreation park with its camping, boating, and fishing facilities has made the name of Cosgrove widely known throughout the Midlands. But in the quieter pre-motor age Cosgrove was an agricultural community, an important stopping place on the canal, and the home of Admiral Robert Moorsorn, captain of the "Revenge" at Trafalgar, and of the Mansel family.

Wolverton Express 24th November 1967


At Cosgrove the Poppy Day and church collection amounted to £26. Collectors were: Mrs. Longman, Mrs. Hefford, John Wallington, Hazel Richardson, and Jeanette Wallington.

.Wolverton Express 4th April 1969


Come and enjoy yourself this Easter in pleasant surroundings and good company_

The boating season has now begun and there are many activities of interest.

We have a large children's room where the family can be all together.


will be here again on Easter Saturday evening at 8.30 p.m.

Wolverton Express 2nd May 1969

Camping site

Cosgrove Lodge Park can now use 1.6 acres of land as a tent site.

Towcester R.D.C. on Tues-day passed a recommendation granting Cosgrove Lodge Ltd. a licence to use the land for a tent site. The licence was granted subject to conditions that no more than 40 tents are erected on the site at one time; tents only allowed on the site between April 1 and October 31; and for adequate toilets.

Wolverton Express 9th May 1969

Scouts will camp in the Rugged Special

The railway coach - the Rugged Special - that was converted in the Wolverton Works during the war for the personal use of Mr. Winston Churchill during his journeys to many parts of the country, is now at the Scouts' camping ground at Cosgrove. After the war the coach was taken from the Works to Deanshanger and became the pavilion of the village cricket club. Then the Bletchley and Wolverton Scout Council bought the coach and undertook the big task of transporting it to the old quarries at Cosgrove, a scouting camp for many years. Bucks Education Committee recently made a grant of £173, 25 per cent of the cost — to adapt the coach to provide camping and training facilities. The Department of Education and Science has made a grant of £345, and the Minister of Sport, Mr. Dennis Howell, has told Mr. Robert Maxwell, MP for North Bucks, that a firm offer of a grant has been made. Pictured at work on the roof of the coach last Saturday morning are Group Scout leader Peter Held, Scout leader Don Scott, District Service officer Bill Coxhill, District Commissioner Dick Bird, and Sam Iles of the Service team.

Wolverton Express 6th June 1969

A big attraction at a successful garden party held by Cosgrove Church last Saturday was the model railway in the grounds of Cosgrove Hall, kindly loaned by Mr. and Mrs. C. Mackenzie Hill. The model railway was staffed by members of the church and the model engineering club and they were kept fully employed for over three and a half hours providing rides for people of all ages. The opening of the garden party was by Mrs. S. Gee, of Paulerspury. There was a children's fancy dress parade, women's and children's flower arranging competition, games and competitions staffed by members of the congregation and visitors staying at Cosgrove Hall. Another popular feature was the pony which patiently gave rides to the children throughout the afternoon. Stalls, teas and ice cream were staffed by members of the PCC, Sewing Guild and Mothers' Union. Proceeds amounted to £103.

Wolverton Express 27th June 1969

Teresa Cook, the Cosgrove school May Queen, with her attendants.

May Queen in June at Cosgrove

A parade around the village of Cosgrove by the May and her retinue launched the primary school’s annual fayre on Saturday. Showers delayed the parade but May Queen Teresa Cook enjoyed a sunny spell as she rode on her flower bedecked float with her attendants, Julie Holman and Jackie Hart, flower girls Trudy Cowan, Edwina Brown and Karen Tweedale, and crown bearers Anthony Keele and Stephen Wallington. All the children in the May Queen's "Court" are leaving the school for secondary schools at the end of the term. The fayre raised more than for £32 for school funds. The money was collected around the village and by the stalls and competitions held in the school grounds.

Safety work

The May Queen was crowned by the Northamptonshire Road Safety Organiser Mr. E H Cooper, who asked parents to support his work for the safety of their children. The fancy dress competition, judged by Mr Cooper, had an outstanding number of competitors with many unusual entries.

The winners were: under seven, Adrian Moseley (snake charmer); 2 Annette Bailey (Red Riding Hood); 3 Juliette and Philippa Bidgood (Sir Walter Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth 1). Over seven Amanda and her performing poodle, Amanda Jane and Andrew Webster Gordon; 2 The one that got away, fish, Russell Bailey, 3 I can fixit, plumber, Mark Freestone. A floral arrangement competition produced entries from five - year - olds which would have done credit to many adults. The winners were: juniors, 1 Teresa Cook. 2 Karen Tweedale, .3 Peter Abbott; infants, 1 Rosemary Groome. 2 Adrian Bailey, 3 Susan Heywood. A bonny baby contest was judged by a local doctor and won by: six months and under, Rachel Pack; under one, Bruce. Taylor; under 3, Elizabeth Holland. Competition winners were: guessing weight of cake, Mrs. 0. Lambert: number of sweets in jar, Mrs. V. Foster; lucky programme number Mrs. J. Gordon; bowling, men, Mr. Maker; women, Mrs. F. Hillyer.

Those who helped with the teas included Mrs. H. Smith Mrs. J. Taylor, Mrs. J. Gordon, and Mrs. J. Holman.

Wolverton Express 18th July 1969

Mrs. M. Jelley presents a leaver's prize to 11-year-old Trudy Cowan.

School prizes at Cosgrove

At Open Day at Cosgrove School last Thursday week parents were able to view their children's work and have a verbal report from the class teachers. The children also entertained by singing songs to a percussion accompaniment. Mrs. .M. Jelley, chairman of the managers, presented the prizes and was introduced by Mrs. N. Horton. Leavers' prizes were awarded to: Teresa Cook. Edwina Brown, Jackie Hart, Julie Holman, Karen Tweedale, Trudy Cowan, Steven Wallington and Anthony Keele.

Juniors' prizes for good work: Teresa Cook, Trudy Cowan, Steven Wallington, Karen Tweedale, David Smith, Christopher Abbott, Shelley Hudson, Trevor Wallington, Amanda Gordon, and Virginia Hardy. Infants' prizes: Timothy Woods, Geraldine Hardy, Katherine Castle, Christopher Abbott, Edwina Brown, and Virginia Hardy (highly commended).

National Cycling Proficiency Certificates and Badges: Edwina Brown, Christopher Abbott, Denise Taylor, Jill Richardson, David Smith, and Anthony Keele.

The Leroy Hunt Cup was collected for the Green Team by Edwina Brown, and the Individual Cup was collected by Garry Maher.

Wolverton Express 1st August 1969


Twenty-year-old nurse Kathryn Spencer had her dream night out with the Irish pop stars "The Bachelors” on Monday Last week. Kathryn, of 25 Manor Close, Cosgrove, is a nurse at St. Crispin's Hospital, Rushton, and won her night out, plus six long-playing records, after writing a prizewinning essay on "Her Ideal Bachelor" for a national magazine. On Monday she stayed at the Royal Lancaster Hotel London, and was taken to the theatre to see the Bachelors' show. Then she was driven back to the hotel by Con Cluskey, member of the group, and was entertained to dinner at the hotel by the three members of the group. Cocktails and coffee followed afterwards, and it was 4.30 a.m. before she left the trio.

Wolverton Express 18th August 1969

CRAFT OF ALL SHAPES and sizes moored along the gaily-decorated Canal at Cosgrove, BELOW: Mrs. A. Ling, left, and Mrs. N. Tailby, of Northampton, put finishing touches to the decorations on one cabin cruiser.

Bragrove's boat went straight to the open day from Birmingham, where it won honours last week at the. Inland v Waterways Association National Rally, when it was chosen as the "most lavishly dressed boat."

Visitors to Cosgrove on Saturday had no difficulty in seeing why "Elton" won the award, for it was beautifully decorated externally by Mr. Blagrove, who has painted traditional designs all over its hull, along its sides, and it’s stern, together with elaborate rope fixtures. For the open day, the boat, which was moored along with others from all over the Midland at the Taverners' Boat Club headquarters near the Navigation Inn at Cosgrove, was used to house traditional waterways ware which, together with chandlery, was for sale to those present.

A WAVE for our photograp
her from Jeannette and Karen Anderson who, aboard their
father's 14 ft. sports boat decorated with floral posies, were present at the Taveners'
Boat Club annual open day, held at Cosgrove on Saturday.

One of the chief organisers of the function was Commodore George Croxford-Adams, chairman of the Inland Waterways Association, Eastern Branch. The Commodore explained the reasons for the open day were threefold: to act as a get together for canal users from all over the Midlands; to educate those who do not know about boating, and to raise money for a larger Club-house at the Club's headquarters. More than 300 enthusiasts turned up on Saturday, and spent a fine afternoon looking at the various types of craft, watching a boat handling competition, or having picnics. In the evening there was a barbecue and beer tent, with entertainment provided by Mr Blagrove, who sang canal and boating songs and ditties which have I been sung by narrow boat people over the past two centuries.

unknown date assumed to be from the Northampton Chronicle & Echo c 1969


L W Dickens

When the experts plan new cities and town expansion they always consider the vital aspect of recreational facilities.

In this respect Milton Keynes is fortunate in one direction – just over the Northamptonshire border at Cosgrove there is a comprehensive land and water “playground” ready-made at Cosgrove Lodge Park of 110 acres. Bought by the Clarke family in 1963 it opened six years ago with Mr Peter Clarke as site manager.

Forty of the 110 acres are water, lakes left by the extraction of gravel for the construction of the M1. The biggest lake is used for sailing and water ski-ing and other water attractions include rowing boats and paddle boats.

Cosgrove Lodge Hotel, which has two licensed bars and dining rooms, is available for public and private functions and there is ample provision in an attractive setting for camping and caravanning, plus a swimming pool.

The venture brought work, new rateable value and landscaping to Cosgrove but it also brought problems.

On a good Sunday up to 1000 cars pass through the 600 population village on their way to Cosgrove Lodge Park and the only route is down narrow, winding Bridge Road and across a canal bridge built over 100 years ago.

As for the canal bridge, there is realisation that if there was a mishap and it was put out of use, the park end of the village would be isolated.

It could all be remedied with one bold move. Cosgrove needs no by-pass with the A5 and the main Northampton-Stony Stratford roads so close at hand but the village badly needs a new road direct from, say, Wolverton, into Cosgrove Lodge Park.

That road, say Cosgrove residents, could follow the line of the Iron Trunk, constructed over 160 years ago to carry the canal over the Ouse and into Cosgrove.

But who would pay? Cosgrove residents suggest that Milton Keynes Development Corporation should be pleased to foot the bill. Such a road would benefit Cosgrove and the owners of Cosgrove Lodge Park, but above all it would benefit the people of Milton Keynes looking for sport and recreation close at hand. Northamptonshire folk are also interested. Would joint consideration be the best plan?

Wolverton Express 29th August 1969

I shall be directing the excavation of a Roman Villa at Cosgrove for the Ministry of Public Building and Works from September 8 until October 18 this year. I shall have a number of students and other young people coming to help with the work and am anxious to obtain accommodation for them in the neighbourhood. I wondered whether any of your readers in Wolverton. or Stony Stratford would be able to accommodate them.

I would also be glad to hear from anyone in the area who might be interested in helping either with the actual digging or with the washing and processing of finds. I have found on other excavations that housewives who are interested and come to help part-time quickly pick up the techniques and are very useful helpers. I would be grateful if anyone who is able to accommodate my helpers or to assist with the excavation would write to me.

(Mrs) HENRIETTA MILES. 11 Auckland Street, London, S.E.11.

Wolverton Express 29th August 1969

Iron Trunk, wonder of its age,
still remarkable after 150 years

The Iron Trunk carrying the canal over the River Ouse between Old Wolverton and Cosgrove was one of the wonders of the last century. But the first brick aqueduct, built in 1805, collapsed less than three years later in 1808. A report taken from a local newspaper recalling the disaster is used by Alan H. Faulkner in 'Transport History", a book published recently by David and Charles.

On February 22, 1808 the inhabitants of Stony Stratford were thrown into the "utmost consternation" when the large aqueduct arches under the immensely high embankment, carrying the new line of the  Grand Junction Canal across the valley fell in about a mile below the town. It was thought that Stony  Stratford would be badly flooded but it was later found that one of the arches had been propped up underneath with timber and was still standing. This one arch was able to carry off the water fast as it came down, and there was no flood in the river. The other two arches, on examination, showed about 22 yards in length of the middle part of each had fallen in, and blocked up the arches.

The canal above lay in complete ruins, emptying it as far as the nearest stop-gate on each side and exposing the remains of 500 quarters of coke and cinders which the contractors had laid on the arches. The ends of each of the broken arches were found standing in a crippled state. Apparently a Mr. Cherry, of Greenbridge Lock, near Wolverton, was the first person to see the disaster and at 11 p.m he had just time to let off some of the water before the embankment collapsed. Fortunately there was only minor local flooding.

In April 1808 a temporary wooden trunk was designed and opened in June. Its cost, together with repairing the canal amounted to about £2500.

In November 1810 the iron aqueduct was virtually complete and finally opened in January 1811 with very little ceremony. The total cost of the aqueduct was £6,000.

The Wolverton aqueduct has always had a fascination for: canal historians and others interested in the genesis of our waterways. Though less impressive than Telford's celebrated Pontcysyllte, it still stands as a considerable monument, not only to the skill of the early civil engineers but also to the trials and frustrations experienced both by canal promoters and builders alike.

Wolverton Express 3rd October 1969


Further excavations of the site of Roman villa at Cosgrove are being carried out for the Ministry of Public Building and Works. And the most curious find so far is a bread oven which had been partly demolished when a bath-house was built. In charge of the excavations is Mrs. Henrietta Miles. She and a party of students, with other archaeologists, arrived at Cosgrove on September 8 and the "dig" is scheduled to finish on October 18. The excavation is a new one to have been carried out by the Ministry, but the site of the large and obviously well-to-do Roman villa was uncovered by members of the Wolverton and District Archaeological Society ten years ago. The buildings must have been very extensive, Mrs. Miles said. "We have uncovered a further range of buildings, as well as the equivalent to the bath-house. There were three separate buildings within the villa's grounds and large courtyard. The site has covered at least two acres."

Pottery finds

Several pottery finds have been made, including a piece with the mould of a stag on it. These, and a number of knives, have been found in the last three weeks.

All the finds from the "rescue" excavation will be cleaned and forwarded to a museum and before filling in the field again the site of the different buildings will be reconstructed on paper. The finds also include some flint instruments, which would have been there before the Romans came. Students taking part in the excavations returned to college this week, and there are a few prisoners from the Springhill open prison with a warder, who visit the site daily. Other helpers include school children in the area, and there has been a maximum of 20 people.