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 11th January 1963

Funeral at Cosgrove

Following a number of years’ ill health, Mrs. Gertrude Lilian Prisley, of Green Farm, Cosgrove, died in Northampton General Hospital on December 28, four days after being admitted.  She was 64.

A native of Leicestershire, Mrs. Prisley moved to a farm at Hanslope in 19 19th following marriage.  She moved to Cosgrove in 1936, and also farmed there, and was well known in the district.  For a number of years she lived in Woodbridge, Suffolk, before returning to Cosgrove in 1956 to reside with her son and daughter in law, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Prisley, at the Green Farm.

During the war Mrs Prisley was one of the organizers of the National Savings movement, and also billeting officer in Cosgrove at the time when children were being sent into the country.  For a number of years she was a member of the Cosgrove WI.

At Parish Church

The funeral service at Cosgrove parish church on Wednesday of last week was conducted by the Rev. A E Bransby, RD, and was followed by cremation at Milton.  The family mourners were:

Mr. and Mrs. L Prisley (son and daughter in law), Mr. and Mrs. D Chown (son in law and daughter), Mrs. W. Gregory (sister), Mrs. E. Lambert, Mr. and Mrs. F Woodall, Mrs. J. Burroughs (friends). 

Also present were: Mrs. P Y Atkinson, also representing Captain P Y Atkinson and Cosgrove Conservative association, Mrs. C. Brockway, Cosgrove WI, and Mrs. N Castle.

Wolverton Express 8th March 1963

Cosgrove collision

In a report last week of a road accident at Castlethorpe Road, Cosgrove, on Friday 23rd, it was incorrectly stated that Mr. David Young of 11 Park Road, Stony Stratford, the driver of one of two cars involved, was injured.  We are informed that Mr. Young was not injured but that Mrs. Frere, of 21 Park Road Stony Stratford, a passenger in the car, received leg lacerations which required 32 stitches.

Wolverton Express 8th March 1963

The marriage took place at SS Peter and Paul Church, Cosgrove, on Saturday, of Miss Beryl Dolling and Mr. Anthony Peter Flack.  The bride is the only daughter of Mr. A H Dolling, of Castlethorpe, and the late Mrs. D Dolling.  She had resided at 38 Southern Way Wolverton.  The bridegroom is the only son of Mr. and Mrs. D. Daniels, of Luton, and had lived with his grandparents at 46, Stratford Road, Cosgrove.

Given away by her father, the bride wore a dress of white brocade with train, the long sleeves being frills at the cuffs.  She had a large satin rose and lily of the valley headdress holding a bouffant veil, and carried scarlet carnations.  Bridesmaids were Miss M. Griffiths (bride’s friend), Miss L. Daniels (bridegroom’s sister), and the Misses Wendy and Ruth Marchant (twin cousins of the bride).  The elder bridesmaids wore short dresses of powder blue nylon, and the twins had long dresses of white nylon decorated with blue bows.  They carried small baskets of flowers.  Mr. David Pacey, bridegroom’s friend and cousin of the bride, was best man.

A reception was held for the 78 guests at the Victory Hall, Cosgrove, and the honeymoon was at Brighton.  The bride is the machinist at McCorquodale’s, Wolverton, and the bridegroom works for Prices, forage merchants, at Shenley.

Wolverton Express 23rd March 1963

Holiday Afloat

A party of 14 young people from Deanshanger and Cosgrove will spend a week on the Norfolk Broads next month.  They are all members of the Young People’s Fellowship groups of both parish churches and the trip has been organized by the Rector, the Rev. A E Bransby, RD.  This is the third holiday on the Broads that Mr. Bransby has organized.  He and three other adults will be accompanying the party.

Two large cruisers have been hired and the young people will be able to do some real sailing in dinghies which they will be taking along with them.  They hope to cover most of the northern stretch of the Broads and to travel about 200 miles.

Wolverton Express 19th April 1963

Deanery Confirmation

Over 350 people attended the Confirmation service in Cosgrove Parish Church, taken by the Lord Bishop of Peterborough on April 2.  Candidates were presented from the following parishes in the Preston Deanery: Ashton, Hartwell, Potterspury, Paulerspury, Milton Malsor, Cosgrove, Stoke Bruerne, Alderton, Grafton Regis, Passenham and Deanshanger.

Refreshments were provided by the ladies of Cosgrove church council, and served at the victory hall after the service, when the Bishop met the candidates and their relatives and friends.

Wolverton Express 19th April 1963

Sudden Death

Mr. Charles Hughes (69) was found dead at his home, 8 Manor Close, Cosgrove, on Tuesday morning.  Mr. Hughes had been living in Birmingham until recently when he came to live at Cosgrove with relatives.

Wolverton Express 17th May 1963

Motorcyclist Was Not Insured

When Eric Michael Stevens, of 36 Main Street, Cosgrove, went back to his parked motorcycle on February 23 he found a police constable waiting for him.  On Friday Stony Stratford magistrates fined Stevens £3 for having no vehicle excise licence and £10 with a six months’ disqualification for not being insured.

Wolverton Express 31st May 1963

Corporal Frederick James Beavis, who was married with Miss Carol Amy Berrill at Cosgrove on Saturday, is going with the Middlesex Regiment to Gibraltar in August.  This was planned as a double wedding, as his sister is to marry his friend serving in the same regiment.  His friend is also going to Gibraltar in August.  As his leave was changed, Corporal Beavis, the third son of Mr. and Mrs. W Beavis of 38 Main Street, Cosgrove, brought his wedding forward six weeks, and will be unable to attend his sister’s wedding.  He is stationed at Lydd in Kent, and is to leave the Army next December.

The bride, the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C Berrill of 23 Manor Close, Cosgrove, was given in marriage by her father.  She were a full length dress of white lace over silk, a shoulder length veil and carried a bouquet of pink rosebuds and lily of the valley.  The bride is employed in the Post Office Department of McCorquodale’s.  Bridesmaids were Miss Patricia Balding (bride’s cousin), and Miss Shirley Spokes (friend).  They wore short dresses of pale blue nylon with blue velvet Alice band headdresses trimmed with diamante, and carried bouquets of rosebuds and lily of the valley.  Mr. G Beavis (bridegroom’s brother) was best man.

The service, conducted by the Rev. A E Bransby, included the hymns “Lead us heavenly Father” and “Love divine”, and the 23rd psalm.  Organist was Miss D Archer.  A reception for 70 guests was held in the Victory Hall Cosgrove.

Wolverton Express 28th June 1963

The pupils of the Cosgrove Primary School, although few in number, sold raffle tickets and collected the sum of £5 which will be given to the World Children’s Day Fund to help children all over the world who are much less fortunate than themselves.  World Children’s Day began in school with a special assembly, and a talk, illustrated by photographs and pictures, was given by the headmistress, Mrs. Bell.

Today, Friday, the school is holding Bring and Buy sale and some affair.  The school hopes that parents, relations and friends will join together and make the evening complete success again this year.  The junior children together with Mrs. Horton (assistant teacher) and Mrs. Bell, will be going on their annual school outing to Cheddar Gorge on Friday next, stopping on the way to visit the Roman bath. This outing will be paid for entirely out of school funds.

Wolverton Express 5th July 1963

Cosgrove annual collection in aid of the British Red Cross Society realised £11 10s.  Collectors were Mesdames J. Brockway, L Castle, W Hefford and L. Lyman.

Wolverton Express 19th July 1963

Vandalism at Cosgrove


When the Cosgrove Roman Bath House was discovered in 1957, the late Major Hon J B Fermor-Hesketh expressed the 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 had 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 compartments 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.  The activities are sheltered by 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 a part of the makeup 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’re caught at it the canal is handy.  It is muddy but not too deep.


Wolverton Express 26th July 1963

At Palace Parties

This is the season of Buckingham Palace Garden Parties and guests at recent functions have included the Rev. A E Bransby, RD, his wife and daughter, of Cosgrove, the Rev. H Sparling, chairman of Newport Pagnell Rural District Council, and Mrs. Sparling, Mr. and Mrs. D J Dormer, of Wolverton, and Dr. A A Clay, chairman of Newport Pagnell Urban District Council and Mrs. Clay.

Wolverton Express 2nd August 1963

Death of Mr. John Higgins

Mr. John Higgins, of Elms farm, Cosgrove, died at the Calverton Lodge Nursing Home, Stony Stratford, on Monday after a long illness, aged 83.  Well known in the district, Mr. Higgins had lived locally all of his life, and was at Elms Farm for 38 years.

A church warden for many years, Mr. Higgins was also a sidesman at the Cosgrove church and a keen bellringer there.  His wife, Mrs. Kate Higgins, died in 1930.  Mr. Higgins leaves two daughters, six grandchildren and one great grandchild.  The funeral service was at Cosgrove church yesterday (Thursday).

[Mrs. Higgins was sister of John Townsend, Farmer who died in 1932] – note by Mrs Warren.

Wolverton Express 16th August 1963

Mrs. Sylvia Lovesey, of 2 Bridge Road Cosgrove, won the “Glamorous grandmother” contest at Butlins Skegness, recently.  She is now in the running for the £1000 cash award and silver challenge trophy which goes with the title of the “Most Glamorous Grandmother of Great Britain”.  Mrs. Lovesey, who is 37, has three children and two grandsons.

Wolverton Express 20th September 1963

A honeymoon at Sandown, Isle of Wight, followed the marriage at SS Peter and Paul Church, Cosgrove, on Saturday last of Miss Gillian May Henson and Mr. Dennis Michael Andrews.  The bride is the twin daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Hebson, of 22 Yardley Road, Cosgrove, and is employed in the binding department of McCorquodale’s.  Given in marriage by her father, she wore a dress of white lace over taffeta and a coronet diamante and crystal headdress with short veil.  She carried a bouquet of orange rosebuds, gladioli and lily of the valley.

The bridegroom is the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. L. Andrews of 56 Wolverton road, Haversham, and is a well-known sportsman in the district.  He is a millwright in the Carriage and Wagon Works.

The Misses Janet and Susan Eglesfield (bride’s cousins) were bridesmaids.  They wore long dresses of peach brocade with matching flowers headdresses, and carried orange rosebuds, gladioli, and lily of the valley.  Mr. Brian Andrews (bridegroom’s brother) was best man.

The service was conducted by the Rector, the Rev. A E Bransby, R D, and included the hymns “Lead us heavenly Father” and “Love divine”.  Organist was Mr. Andrew Bransby.

A reception for 100 guests was held in the Victory Hall.  The wedding cake, made by the bride’s mother, was iced by Mrs. Jack Eglesfield (aunt).  Among the many presents was a monetary gift from the bride’s colleagues.

Wolverton Express 11th October 1963

Learner driver was in Collision

A learner driver from Cosgrove, with two weeks’ experience of cars, was involved in a crash at the Towcester crossroads on August 16.  On Tuesday he appeared at the local Magistrates’ Court to plead “not guilty” to driving without due care and attention.  He is Richard Clarke (23) a labourer, of 16 Bridge Road, who was represented by Mr D. Auden.  The Bench found the case proved and finned Clarke £5 with a licence endorsement.  He was ordered to pay costs of £3 6s 3d.

Chief Inspector M R Chambers explained that the crash took place at 8.45 pm.  Clarke’s car, turning right towards Stony Stratford, was in collision with a sports car going from Northampton to Silverstone.

Straight into me

The driver of the sports car, Giles Albert King, a quantity surveyor, 6 Winifred Road, Bedford, said the traffic lights were green and he went to cross at about 20 miles per hour.  At the other lights the defendant’s car was stationary, in its proper lane, indicating he was turning right.  “I thought he had seen me, but I suddenly realized he had not,” said King.  “I put on my brakes and stopped but he just came straight into me and hit my front offside wing”.

After the crash a witness had said of Clarke, “We told him to stop but he said he put his foot on the clutch instead of the brake.”

Other evidence was given by Miss Kathleen Mary Toms, a typist, of 71 Shelley Street, Northampton, who said she was sitting on the lap of the front seat passenger in the sports car; and by John Edward Reed, a painter, of 4 Kingsley Road, Silverstone, the driver of the van following the sports car.

Locked together

PC J W Williams explained how the vehicles were locked together when he arrived.  From measurements taken it would appear that the sports car had practically got over the crossroads when the collision occurred, he said.  Interviewed at the police station, Clarke had made a statement in which he claimed he stopped at the lights, put his indicator out and started to turn right slowly when the lights changed.  The sports car had seemed a good distance away.  Suddenly the car came over the crossroads and there was a collision.

Clark, on oath, said he realised the sports car was going to cross and decided to wait for it to pass.  He went slowly forward and claimed the sports car came over and hit him.

Wolverton Express 18th October 1963

The church bells were rung before and after the wedding service at Cosgrove parish church last Saturday.  The bride was Miss Julia Longman, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R W Longman, of 9 Bridge Road, Cosgrove, who works in the Post Office Department of McCorquodale’s at Wolverton.  The bridegroom was Mr. Norman John Harris, the second son of Mr W. Harris and the late Mrs. Harris, of 3 Church Street, New Bradwell.  He works for Pianoforte Supplies Ltd at Roade.

The Rector of Cosgrove, the Rev. A E Bransby, Rd, conducted the service with Mr A. Bransby as organist for the hymns “Love divine” and “Lead us heavenly Father”.

Given away by her father the bride wore a white crinoline dress, with a lace bodice, skirts of embroidered net with the back falling into a long frilled net train.  Her bouffant veil was held in place by a cluster of tudor roses and diamante.  She carried a bouquet of yellow roses, lily of the valley, stephanotis and fern. 

The attendants were Miss Bridget Cummings (friend), Miss Margaret Hall (cousin) and Miss Denise Taylor (friend).  The two elder maids wore short dresses of apple green satin brocade with matching chiffon drapes and circular band headdresses.  They carried sprays of yellow roses and white freesias and each received a silver cross and chain from the bridegroom. The younger maid, and Miss Taylor, had a white dress of wrenched nylon and nectar, a coronet of yellow roses and carried a basket of yellow American chrysanthemums.  The bridegroom’s gift was a silver bangle.

Mr. Keith Harding, a friend of the bridegroom, was best man and the ushers were Mr. Peter Harris (brother) and Mr. John Clarke (friend).

A reception in the Victory Hall was attended by 100 guests, the bride and bridegroom later leaving the Jersey in the Channel Islands for a honeymoon.  They received a monetary gift from colleagues at McCorquodale’s and a chiming clock from workmates at Roade.  The bridegroom bought the bride a gold charm bracelet and the reciprocal gift was a cigarette lighter and a dressing gown.

Wolverton Express 18th October 1963

Death of Mrs. S A Brassington

The funeral service for Mrs. Sarah Ann Brassington, a former shopkeeper in the village, was held at Cosgrove Parish Church on Saturday.  Mrs. Brassington died at Calverton Lodge Nursing Home, Stony Stratford, on Thursday last week, aged 85.  Her home was at 21 Deanshanger Road, Old Stratford.

For seven years Mrs. Brassington kept the Post Office and General Stores in Cosgrove.  She moved to Old Stratford eight years ago.

The service was conducted by the Rev. A E Bransby, RD, and Mr C. Elliott, lay reader, also took part.  Mr. A Bransby was organist for the hymn “Hark my soul it is the Lord.”

Wolverton Express 25th October 1963

Cosgrove May be a Holiday Haunt

Heavy earth removers and bulldozers have been busy this week making a start on a project that may well make the small village of Cosgrove the holiday haunt of thousands of Midland folk.  If the plan is approved Cosgrove Lodge Park is to open next April as a recreational centre and holiday caravan site offering such facilities as fishing, sailing, power boating, waterskiing and swimming.

It is now some two years since Cosgrove Lodge with 110 acres of old gravel pits came onto the market.  After Northampton auction sale it went to Mr. J H White of Barton Hartshorn Manor, Bucks, for £7300.  Since then outline planning permission has been given for a country club with sailing, fishing, and sites for caravans.  With these permissions the Lodge was resold last July for a widely quoted figure of £35,000.

Civil Engineer

The present owners are Cosgrove Lodge Ltd, of which Mr. Peter Clarke (26) is a director and the estate manager.  His co-directors are his parents, Mr. and Mrs. H. Clarke and his brother in law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. W Hayward.  His father is a retired builder and Mr. Haywood is senior lecturer in building at Coventry Technical College.  Mr. Clarke himself is a civil engineer with experience on the Sheffield Leeds motorway design, the Doncaster bypass construction, the building of an atomic energy research establishment in Dorset and a new power station in Birmingham.

The family are carrying out most of the works themselves with hired machinery and as the bulldozers roared away levelling sites and making a new entrance road on Tuesday, Mr. Clarke talked to the Express about his plans.  Details of his schemes are now before the Towcester Rural District Council and include as the first stage a three acre Lakeside site for 75 holiday caravans.  Sewers will be laid, toilet blocks and refreshments shops erected and nearby, using part of an old excavation, a concrete open air heated swimming pool is to be built.  If the plans are approved all this work will be done by next May.

A new access road, parallel with the track leading to Cosgrove Canal locks, is being cut across the field in front of the house to enable caravans to pass in safety.  If there is a demand, planning approval will be sought to extend the site to cater for 300 caravans.  40 of the 110 acres are in lakes and these will be utilised to the full.  The largest of 22 acres will be for power boating and water skiing.  Two more will be joined together for sailing boats.  There were also be water for rowing and a small shallow pit will be reserved as a boating pool for children, with swings and other amusements nearby.

In addition to all this there is the fishing.  2 miles of river fishing in the towns and the ouse, and six lakes choose from.  As if to emphasize this wonderful asset to the recreational centre and Mr. J Schooling of 42 Bradwell Road Loughton, caught a 22lb pike, 42 inches long in one of the lakes on Saturday.

One of the first jobs, however, will be building a swimming pool.  “We do not want any swimming in the lakes”, explained Mr. Clarke, “They are old gravel pits and go down very steeply in places.  They are most unsafe for our children to swim in, and that is why we are building this open air heated pool.  It will be of reinforced concrete and possibly 66 feet long by 30 feet wide.”

Much local interest of course is centred around the future of the Lodge itself, popularly known known as Branson’s House or Branson’s Folly, built by a newly rich man, George Frederick Branson in 1898.  People still talk of his fabulous extravagance, his generosity, his drinking and his all night parties.  Asked what is to happen to this large house, Mr. Clarke replied that consultants had been engaged to see if it would be worthwhile turning it into a high class restaurant with motel accommodation.  What about the cost of the project?  “By when we open in April we shall have spent about £50,000 including the purchase price,” said Mr. Clarke.

Wolverton Express 8th November 1963

Cosgrove Club: No Objections

Towcester Rural District Council will raise no objections to proposals for additional facilities at Cosgrove Lodge, Cosgrove, which is to be changed into a country club.  The alterations include a swimming pool, and the erection of petrol pumps at the club entrance.

Wolverton Express 15th November 1963

About 100 people attended the Remembrance service at Cosgrove Parish Church on Sunday morning which was conducted by the Rector, the Rev. A E Bransby, RD, who also gave the address.  Captain P Y Atkinson, president of the British Legion branch, laid a wreath on the memorial in the church.  Mr. Andrew Bransby was the organist.  The Legion standard was carried by Mr. Longman, with Mr. Hefford and Mr. Barton as escorts.  The collection at the service was £7, the sale of poppies realized £18 and the sale of the wreath £1 15s making a total of £26 15s.

Wolverton Express 22nd November 1963

Woman Found Drowned in Canal

A verdict of suicide while the balance of her mind was disturbed was recorded at a Towcester inquest yesterday morning on Mrs Dorothy May Andrew (62) of 5 Main Street, Cosgrove.  Her husband, Mr. Arthur Owen Andrew, a packer, agreed that his wife was of a highly strung and nervous disposition.  He said she was all right last Friday night, but when he awoke early Saturday morning he found she was missing from the house.

PC Jones, Potterspury, told of recovering the body on Saturday from the canal, about 185 yards from Mrs. Andrews home.  Asked by the coroner, Mr. J S Budge, if Mrs Andrews had a personal worry as opposed to a domestic one, witness replied, “There was a slight personal worry”.

Wolverton Express 6th December 1963

No More Punishment - Shoplifting Charge Withdrawn

A charge of stealing from or Dunstable road, Luton, itself service door against Arthur Owen Andrew, of main street, Cosgrove, was withdrawn at Luton borough court on Saturday. 

“It is felt that no more punishment could be inflicted by this court than has already been inflicted on this man,” Inspector William Grindley, prosecuting, told the magistrates.

Inspector Grindley said that Andrew, a 62 year old store man and his wife had been arrested on November 2 for stealing from the store.  On November 16, the body of Mrs. Andrew was found in the canal at Cosgrove.

“This week we have had permission from the Director of Public Prosecutions to withdraw the charge,” he added.

Wolverton Express 9th December 1963

Wolverton Express 9th December 1963

Wolverton Express 12th December 1963

Cosgrove Church Needs a Further £1000

Two years ago, Cosgrove Parish Church members began raising money for work on the fabric of the building, and since that time have raised £1000.  Work costing that amount has already been completed, but now the chancel has to be completely redecorated, and the roof taken off in the next phase of restoration.  This work could well double the amount spent, and on Friday evening at a sale of work in the Victory Hall, the parishioners began towards a second £1000 target.

The sale was opened by Lady Wake, who said that although she had known Cosgrove for a very long time, they were possibly people present who had known her for a good many more years.  Lady Wake mentioned the point of the sale, adding that money was always needed for churches, and it was the duty of the parishioners to take an active interest.

“We too often sit back and say “it’s the rector’s or parson;s job”, she said.  “This isn’t right at all, he is there to look after us.  The churchwardens and ourselves are supposed to look after the church”.  Nine year old Elizabeth Castle presented a bouquet to Lady Wake, who was thanked by Mr E. Lambert, a churchwarden, on behalf of the Parochial Church Council.

Helpers were: Mrs. M Hickford, Mrs. L. Longman, Mrs. A. E. Bransby, Mrs. L Castle, Mrs. E. Chown, Mrs. M. Beasley, Mrs. O. Lambert, Mrs. C. Harris, Mrs. F. Hillyer, Mrs. W. Brockway, Mrs. J. Hudson, Mrs. W Hefford, Mrs. N C Horton, Mrs. Kightley, Mr J. Wootton, Mr E. Lambert, Jane Prisley, Rosabel Bransby Kathryn Spencer, Linda Pollard.

The cake in the competition was made by Mrs. C. Barton and Mrs. Stubbs.  Father Christmas was Mr. Cyril Nicholls.

Wolverton Express 13th December 1963

A Happy New Year to All Readers

As the last hours of 1963 tick away, the hand bell ringers of Cosgrove join us in wishing readers a happy and prosperous New Year.  At midnight tonight this band of youngsters will be ringing in 1964 on bigger bells, those in the tower of their 14th century Parish Church.

Wolverton Express 27th December 1963

Cosgrove Holiday Scheme Opposed - Wolverton UDC to Make Representations

The scheme to turn Cosgrove Lodge and its old gravel pits into a holiday and recreation centre has run into trouble - from Wolverton Urban District Council.  The Housing and Planning committee has decided to make representations against the granting of development permission.

The main reason, it seems, is sewerage.  At the moment Towcester Rural District Council is allowed under a two year old agreement to pump sewage effluent from this part of South Northants into the Urban District system.  The committee explained to the Council on Monday evening that any extra quantity would be an adverse factor.  There might be a considerable quantity from the completed Lodge with its caravan sites, petrol filling station, swimming bath, and other facilities.

“On August 21, 1959”, said Cllr R J Westley, committee chairman, “The county of Buckingham wrote on the subject of development in the River Great Ouse Catchment Area pointing out the restrictive policy of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government and saying “The Ministry have asked that any application for five or more houses in the catchment area should be referred to the Minister.  It would appear that the Minister has no objection to applications for small amounts of development needed to maintain the natural growth of existing villages, but he might well object to development of a speculative nature on a larger scale”.  The report was received without comment.

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 3rd April 1964

The marriage took place at St Peter’s church, at Weston Favell, Northampton, on March 21 of Miss Gillian Markham and Mr. Keith Jackson.  The bride is the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L G Markham, of 4 St Aubyn’s Road, Eastbourne, who formerly lived at Cobb’s Bush farm, Cosgrove.  The bridegroom is the twin son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Jackson of Northampton.  The future home of the couple is 34 Rennishaw Way, Links View, Northampton.

Wolverton Express 3rd April 1964

Funeral at Cosgrove – Late Mr. Dan Waite

The funeral service for Mr. Down Waite at Cosgrove Parish Church on April 13 was conducted by the Rev. A E Bransby, RD.

Mr. Waite, of 1 The Green, Cosgrove, died in Northampton General Hospital on April 9 aged 68.  A native of Melton Mowbray, he had lived in Cosgrove for 28 years.  Formerly employed in the Frame Shop in Wolverton Carriage and Wagon Works, he was forced to retire in 1958 through ill health.  His wife, Mrs. Violet Mary Waite, died some years ago.

Family mourners were: Mr. and Mrs. C. Waite, Mr. and Mrs. Len Waite, Mr. and Mrs. F. Waite, Mr. and Mrs. J. Birkett, Mr. D Waite, Mr. and Mrs. W. James, Mr. and Mrs. D. Curran, Mr. and Mrs. B Butcher, Mr. and Mrs. G. Gillespie, Mr. and Mrs. R. Waite, Mr. Les Waite (sons and daughters in law sons in law and daughters).

Wolverton Express 1st May 1964

Our photograph shows the Stringbeats, one of the top Northants groups, on the ship Moby Dick shortly before their appearance at Morecambe Floral Hall last Saturday.

Based at Cosgrove and managed by Mr. A Race, of Race Enterprises Entertainment Ltd. Stony Stratford, the Stringbeats were given permission to be photographed on the boat which was used in the films “Moby Dick” and “Treasure Island”.

The Stringbeats appeared with three other groups before an audience of more than 600 and had two spots during the evening.  Mr Race says that they were very popular, especially with a comedy act later, and during the week he has been receiving fan mail from Morecambe for the group.

They practice and practically live sleep and eat at the Cosgrove home of the lead guitarist David Bridge.  His cousin Terry Sills, of Castlethorpe, is rhythm guitarist and the two teamed up with three lads working in the same Northampton factory.

Also in the photograph is Ray Allen, singer, from Rushden, Dodge Stafferton (bass), Earls Barton, and Sam Richardson, a drummer, from Wellingborough.  They were playing with other groups in the area, but over the past six months have become established as the Stringbeats

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 5th May 1964

Skittle Trophies On View - Navigation Inn Dinner

The successful Skittle team showed off their trophies last Friday, when the Navigation Inn Social Club, Cosgrove held their first dinner.

On view was the Charles Wells cup first presented in 1962 to the winners of the North Bucks LVA League.  The Navigation, in the first year in this league, were champions.  They were runners up in the Hanslope and District league and winners of the straight three league.

Mr. Bill White, who was captain of the team in the North Bucks League and of the second team in the Hanslope League, was presented with a silver tankard by the landlord, Mr. James Minney, for his work over the years.  Mr. White is Secretary of the Hanslope League, and Mr. Minney thanked him for running everyone around and added that they appreciated his work for the teams.  Mr. White, a founder member of the Hanslope League, felt that the Navigation had a successful season, especially winning the North Bucks League at their first attempt.

Wolverton Express 22nd May 1964

Oh for a wash!

Covered in cuts and stings, young Scouts for once looked forward to a good wash after clearing undergrowth at the Quarries, near Cosgrove, over Whitsun.  Scout troops from Stony Stratford (the 1st and 2nd), Bletchley, Newton Longville, and the 1st Wolverton, went to the District camping site to make new sites.  This is to prevent the present ones being over camped at and although extremely hard work the weather was perfect, being hot and sunny.

Camping began on Friday, continued until Monday, with District Commissioner W Coxhill, and Group Scoutmaster B Held, of Wolverton, both assisting.  The Wolverton scouts attending were G Hall, R Hall, M Held, B Nash, P Gurney, and R Healey, with Scoutmaster G R Johnson in charge.  Scouts M Held, R Hall, J Hall and R Healey used the camp as a base for their first class hike.

Wolverton Express 19th June 1964

Funds for Cosgrove School

The annual bring and buy sale and fair at Cosgrove County Primary School last Friday evening realised a record profit of £37 3s.

It was a most enjoyable evening in the school, with 15 different prizes won by various people.  For those who felt exhausted by the excitement, refreshments were available.  The success was due to the managers, parents and friends who helped in any way, and they were thanked by the school
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

The Steeplechasing at Hanslope Park

There are not many people left in the district who recall the Hanslope Park Private Steeplechases being held.  One of them is veteran farmer Mr. Farmer Amos, of Dog’s Mouth, Cosgrove, who is 90.

Mr. Amos not only possesses the race cards of the two meetings held under Grand National Hunt Rules in March 1885 and April 1886, but also the cup which his father’s mare won at the latter (and last) fixture.

The stewards of the first meeting were Mr. E H Watts, Sir Thomas G G Hesketh, Mr. Arthur Byass, Mr. J J Atkinson, Mr. J F Wiseman, Mr. W H P Jenkins, Mr. Joseph Bailey, Mr. W H Ryan, Mr. Spencer Harrison, Mr. M G Knapp and Mr. Arthur Burr.

Six races were held each year and for all well supported.  The local gentry and farmers were among the owners, and names on the cards included Mr. C Whiting, Mr. George Whiting, Herr Schmidt, Lord Giles Kerr, Mr. T Manning, Mr. Ward, Lord H Paulet and Mr. J Whiting.

The course was described as “about three miles”.

The last meeting was held on Tuesday, April 13, 1886, when the stewards included Sir Maurice Fitzgerald, Mr. T B Miller, Mr. Leopold de Rothschild, and Mr. J Hill.  The treasurer and stakeholder was the Hon. C E Finch, hon Secretary Mr. P C Honeywood, of Hanslope, and Judge L Poulett.

Rules and regulations included “no betting will be allowed on the ground”.  Carriages were charged at 2s 6d for one horse; 5s two horse; brakes £1.

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 7th October 1964

Six bridesmaids attended Miss Gloria Ann Wilkinson when she was married with Mr. Ivor John Hickford at St Giles Church Stony Stratford on Saturday afternoon.  The bride, the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Wilkinson, 45 Horsefair Green, Stony Stratford, is employed in the office of Messrs. W. Betts and Son Ltd from whom she received wine glasses.  The bridegroom, the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. S G Hickford, 21 Bridge Road, Cosgrove, works for H W Tarrant and Co Ltd.

The Rev. C L G Hutchings conducted the marriage service, assisted by the Rev. R. Beasley.

Headdress of magnolia and gold lurex brocade was worn by the bride, who was given away by her father.  She also wore a magnolia waist length veil, gold shoes, a single gold rose headdress and carried a shower bouquet of green orchids and gladioli.  Miss Cathy Marcham (friend) was chief bridesmaid with Miss Jane Hickford (bridegroom’s niece) and the Misses Sally Ann Brown, Beryl Smith, Coral Whittam and Jane Webb (cousins).

The two elder maids had dresses of lemon brocade with chiffon bow at the back of the neck.  The smaller maids wore white embroidered nylon over lemon taffeta with lemon frills.  Four, who received silver crosses and chains from the bridegroom, carried white flowers, while the two youngest attendants, who received silver bracelets, had white baskets filled with lemon and white flowers.

Mr. Rodney Hickford, the bridegroom’s brother, was best man, and the ushers were Mrs. Barry Wilkinson, Mr. Sheridan Summers, Mr. Rodger Jackson, and Mr. Rendall Bailey.  150 guests attended a reception at the Scouts Hall, Stony Stratford, which had been decorated with flowers by Mrs. W. Betts.

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 11th November 1964

The marriage took place at Cosgrove Parish Church last Saturday of Miss Christine Hostler and Mr. Colin Rupert Bushell, who plays football for the village club.  The daughter of Mrs. M Hostler, of 76 Southern Way, Wolverton, the bride is employed in the Cheque Dept at McCorquodale’s.  Given in marriage by her grandfather, Mr. AT Hostler, she wore a full length dress of Nottingham lace with a three foot train of net falling from the waist.  Her small circular head dress of white flowers held a three layer bouffant veil.  She carried a bouquet of apricot roses and lily of the valley.  The bridegroom, son of Mrs. A Spokes, of 32 Bridge Road, Cosgrove, and the late Mr. S Bushell, is a sheet metal worker for Druse Ltd at Old Stratford.

Miss Margaret Hostler (bride’s sister) was chief bridesmaid, with Tina Stobie (friend).  They wore short lemon dresses of nylon over taffeta with matching headdresses and carried sprays of pink and white carnations.  Mr. Jim Rogers (friend) was best man.

The service at SS Peter and Paul Church, Cosgrove, was conducted by the Rev. A E Bransby, RD, and included the hymns “Lead us heavenly Father” and the 23rd Psalm.

A reception for nearly 80 guests followed at the Victory Hall, Cosgrove.  Among the many presents were bathroom scales from the bride’s colleagues at McCorquodale’s and an electric toaster and canteen of cutlery from the bridegroom’s workmates.

Wolverton Express 11th November 1964

Veteran Driver’s Sad Commentary

“It is a sad commentary that one can commit a driving offence in three-tenths of a mile which will spoil a driving record of 47 years and over half a million miles.”

This message was read at Stony Stratford Magistrates Court last Friday from a letter sent by Alfred Rickaby of Old Dower House, Cosgrove, who was summoned with exceeding the speed limit at Stony Stratford on November 7.  He admitted exceeding the limit and was fined £7.  His licence was endorsed.

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 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 4th December 1964

Cosgrove Whist

Cosgrove Village hall funds have benefited by £23, a 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. Randolph, Mr D. Hancock, Mr. J Pollard, Mr. A Pratt, Mrs. Walker, Mrs. L. Reynolds and Mrs. C. Matthews.

Wolverton Express 1st January 1965

Cannot have pony in the garden  -  Council’s “no” to a stable

Belinda (6) and Sally (3) were to have had a great surprise from Father Christmas.  He was all set to smuggle a lovely little Shetland pony into a stable being built in their back garden.  But even Santa runs foul of local government rules and regulations sometimes.  “We are afraid you cannot possibly have a stable at the back of the council house,” declared Towcester Rural District Council.  So Santa had to delve deeper into his sack and bring out two or less fabulous presents, a bike and a pram.

It was just as well that these two horse-mad children of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Rock, 12 Bridge Road, Cosgrove, did not know the pony was all set to trot up the path.  Yet when the Express called the other day Mrs. Brenda Rock found it hard to understand why the RDC should have turned down their request.

“They gave us permission to put the building up as a garden shed,” she explained, “and we only want to keep the pony here in the winter months.  There would be no question of smell.  The stable would be 50 to 60 yards from the house, and the neighbours would raise no objection.”

Previously they had kept rabbits in the garden and she understood that years ago pigs had been kept at the bottom of the garden.

Mrs. Rock, formerly a Miss Goodridge, of Cosgrove, agreed that the only way to the garden was down a narrow passageway between the houses.  But the pony would be little bigger than a large dog and would certainly make no more mess, she said.  In the summer months they would find no trouble at all in placing the pony with the farming friends either at Cosgrove or Hanslope.

The initial application for RDC permission was made in November and turned down by the appropriate Council committee.  She had written a second letter after seeing the report of a tenant at Cranfield being given permission under similar circumstances.  No reply had been received to this second note.

The children have evidently inherited a love of horses from their mother.  Mrs. Rock confessed: “I had always been interested in riding.  I couldn’t have a pony when I was small - but if I couldn’t have one I always said I would do my best to see that my children got one.”  The house is full of pictures of models of horses - except for one corner when Mr. Rock, star batsman of Hanslope Cricket Club, keeps his sporting trophies.

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

57 years in the Works

Mr. Arthur Charles Noble, of 8 The Stocks, Cosgrove, who officially retires from the Carriage and Wagon Works today (Friday) at the age of 73, appears to have equalled the record for age of retirement.  Some years ago an employee retired from the Works at 73 following 59 years’ service.  With the school leaving age now at 15 and normal retirement at 65 his record is not likely to be broken. 

A painter in the Paint Shop until July 1956, Mr. Noble had since then been a canteen attendant.  He had been in the Works for 57 years.

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.

Wolverton Express 3rd March 1965

Cosgrove’s Gift to Rector

Thursday, March 11 was a sad day for the children and staff of the Cosgrove County Primary School.  It was the last of the weekly visits of the Rev. A E Bransby, RD, who was not only their Rector but their friend.

The occasion was marked by the presentation to the Rev. and Mrs. Bransby of a water set which was bought with money given by every single member of the school and was handed over with love and on behalf of everyone by Jeanette Wallington, the eldest girl in the school.

Wolverton Express 3rd March 1965

Legion Branch’s Appreciation

It is now generally known that the Rev. AE Bransby is leaving for Northampton in the very near future.  I would be grateful if you would allow me space to say how much his work has been appreciated in this branch of the British Legion, and to publicly thank him for the whole hearted support given to us, and for the close cooperation which we have enjoyed over the years he has been with us.

He joined the Legion as soon as he arrived as an ordinary member, and has been “one of us” ever since.  We wish him every success.

J W James. 

Vice President, Northamptonshire British Legion, Branch President, Deanshanger and Wicken British Legion. 

Wolverton Express 2nd April 1965

Miss Sheila Rosemary East, who has been an assistant in her father’s shop, the Brighton Bakery, Church Street, Wolverton, was married on Saturday at Wolverton Congregational Church.  Her bridegroom was Mr. Leslie Edwards Lyman, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. P. Lyman, 16 Yardley Road, Cosgrove, who is a tool-maker for Pianoforte Supplies Ltd, Roade.  The Rev. A J Ansley, of Halifax, conducted the service and Mrs. C. Elliott was the organist.

The only daughter of Mr. C E East and the late Mrs. East, the bride was given away by her father.  She had a full length dress of Nottingham lace, with a tiered train falling from the waist.  A diamante coronet held in place a short bouffant veil, and she carried a bouquet of yellow roses and golden orchids.  A friend, Miss Janice Haynes, was chief bridesmaid, and the other attendants were Miss Janice Lyman and Miss Glenda Lyman (bridegroom’s nieces).  The two elder maids had short dresses of pale green brocade with white double rose headdresses.  The small bridesmaid had a short dress of white over lemon nylon, and her headdress was a circlet of white roses. 

Mr. Francis Hill, a friend of the bridegroom, was best man.  90 guests attended a reception at the Scout Hall, Wolverton.

Wolverton Express 5th April 1965

Performs Institution in Wheelchair

The Bishop of Peterborough, the Right Rev. Cyril Eastaugh, attended his first official function on Saturday since his return from a tour of South Africa, where he injured a knee.  The ceremony was the induction and institution of the new vicar of St Giles, Northampton, the Rev. A E Bransby, and the Bishop, who performed the institution, remained in a wheelchair throughout.

In the induction was performed by the Archdeacon of Northampton, the Venerable B R Marsh.  Nearly 900 parishioners and visitors including 24 of the local clergy, attended the ceremony, and 300 people were present at the reception held later.

Mr. Bransby, who is 47, has been Rector for the parishes of Deanshangr, Cosgrove and Passenham, and the Rural Dean of Preston Deanery for the past five years.  Previous to that he was for five years in a South London parish.  Known as a “sporting parson”, Mr. Bransby is a keen cricketer.  He also hopes to see more of the Cobblers now that he lives in Northampton.  He is succeeded in his old parishes by the Rev. A C Barker, former vicar of an Islington parish.

Seated in a wheelchair, the Bishop of Peterborough, the Right Rev. Cyril Eastaugh is pictured at the institution and induction of the Rev. A E Bransby (left) as vicar of St Giles’s church, Northampton on Saturday.  Also seen are Canon D F Andrews, Rural Dean, and the Bishops chauffeur.

Wolverton Express 9th April 1965

Died at Work

While talking to a colleague shortly before he was due to start work in Wolverton Carriage and Wagon Works on Monday morning, Mr. Robert John Gallop, of 33 Manor Close, Cosgrove, collapsed and died.

Mr. Gallop, who was 61, was in the Works varnishing shop when he collapsed.  A post mortem examination revealed that death was due to natural causes.

Wolverton Express 30th April 1965

Licensee Moves

A protection order was granted to Mr. Arthur William Lawson at Towcester Magistrates Court on Tuesday in respect of the Navigation Inn Cosgrove.  Mr. Lawson moves from the Brave Old Oak in the Watling Street, Towcester.  Mrs. Q M Bottomley, of the Victoria Hotel, Dartmouth, was granted a protection order in respect of the Brave Old Oak.

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 21st May 1965

Wolverton Express 21st May 1965

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 28th May 1965

Liberals Visit Roman Villa

Some 20 members of the Wolverton and District Liberal Association and friends went to Cosgrove on Thursday week to examine the Roman villa workings by the Buckingham arm of the canal. 

Mr. Robert Harris, who originally discovered the site, gave an interesting account of the find.  He went on to explain the layout and working of a Roman hypocaust at which has so far been uncovered.  The party returned to Mr. A C Holmes’ home for coffee and further discussion.

This is the first of the summer outside activities the Liberals in Wolverton will be holding, aimed at taking in places and activities of local interest.  The next visit will be to a local farm.

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 4th June 1965

Cosgrove Driver Disqualified

At Cosgrove motorist was disqualified from driving for six months and fined a total of £19 when he appeared at Stony Stratford Magistrates Court on Friday to plead guilty to four motoring offences.

Michael James Stockton, of Romalyn, Main Street, Cosgrove, was fined £10 and disqualified for driving while uninsured; £2 for not having a vehicle excise licence; £5 for being without a test certificate, and a further £2 because he failed to notify change of ownership.

Inspector F Wanstall said Stockton was seen driving in High Street, Stony Stratford on March 27.  Stockton told police his insurance and test certificate expired in December 1964 and although he had taken the car to garages in the area it had not passed the MOT test.

Wolverton Express 11th June 1965

Many Years at Navigation - Death of Mr. A E Pacey

The Rev. Nicholas Chubb conducted the funeral service for Mr. Alfred Ernest Pacey at saint leonards church, Yardley Gobion.  Mr. Pacey who was 77 years of age, died at his home 32 Warren Road, Yardley Gobion, on May 27.

A native of Far Cotton, Northampton, Mr. Pacey was well known in this district.  For 10 years he was manager of the Navigation Inn, Cosgrove.  While at the Navigation, Mr. Pacey also helped at the County ground, Northampton and was a barman during the cricket season.

With his wife, Mrs. Gertrude Pacey, he left the Navigation almost 12 years ago, and went to Grafton Regis where he took over the White Hart.  After three years, Mr. Pacey retired and moved to a house in the village which he left three years later.  He then moved to Yardley and lived in Warren Road ever since.  During the 1914 - 1918 war Mr. Pacey joined the Forces and was a driver and then a butcher.  He leaves a widow, one son and one daughter.  Cremation at Milton followed the service.

Wolverton Express 11th June 1965

Visitors this year to the holiday and recreational centre, practically completed at the hundred acre park at Cosgrove Lodge, will find added facilities for their enjoyment.  During the past week first class dining rooms have been opened together with licensed bars, an elaborate saloon and fisherman’s bar.  The standard is up to the standard one expects of a country club and can accommodate over 100 persons.

The dining room seats 55 and meals are served at weekends - Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  The chef is a Wolverton resident, Mr. Philip Henshaw.  A number of organisations have already booked for executive meetings and conferences.

Mr. and Mrs. F E Gagan are the catering managers, Mr. Gagan and having had experience in the licensing trade in the south of England.  Incidentally he was evacuated with his parents to Stony Stratford during the war, so is no stranger to the district.

The park has several giant lakes, a paradise to anglers for miles around; room for over 1000 cars; modern caravan sites; a heated swimming pool; a newly constructed paddling pool; water skiing facilities; and motor boats for hire.

Wolverton Express 26 June 1965

A typist at the Wolverton Carriage and Wagon Works, Miss Yvonne Chapman, was married with Mt Trevor Tustain at St James Church, New Bradwell, last Saturday.

The bride is the only daughter of Mr and Mrs W F Chapman, of New Bradwell, and was given away by her father. She wore a princess line dress of Milano satin, a crystal and pearl tiara head dress with full length bouffant veil and carried yellow roses and lily of the valley.

The bridegroom is the eldest son of Mr and Mrs G F Tustain of Bridge Road Cosgrove and is a bricklayer for Betts Contractors Ltd Stony Stratford.

Miss Sheena French (bride’s cousin) was chief bridesmaid, with Sally and Ann Chapman. Jill and Jane Packer (bride’s cousins), and Jane Langton (bridegroom’s niece), the other attendants. They wore dresses in three different shades of blue Milano satin and blue coronet head dresses. The chief bridesmaid carried a white prayer book and the others white carnations.

The bridegroom’s brother, Mr Alan Tustain, was best man. Ushers were Mr Martin Chapman (bride’s brother) and Mr Philip Tustain (bridegroom’s brother).

The service, conducted by the Rev R G M Russell, included the hymns “Praise my Soul” and “O Jesus I have promised” and “O Perfect Love”. Mr W Hellenburgh was organist.

A reception for 130 guests followed at the Labour Hall, New Bradwell. The wedding cake, made by the bride’s mother, was iced by an uncle, Mr T French.

Wolverton Express 23rd July 1965

Head Teacher Leaving

All the children of the Cosgrove Primary School recently set off, together with parents, friends and teachers to visit the model village of Bekonskot and then travel on to Windsor Castle by coach and boat.

It was a reasonable fine day and a very happy one although it meant the last of a series of enjoyable outings for six of the older pupils and for the headmistress herself, s the children will be moving on to Deanshanger Secondary School, and Mrs. Bell, who has been head teacher for almost four years were also be leaving at the end of the term to take up her new appointment in September as headmistress of the Stimson Avenue County Infants School, Northampton.

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 27th July 1965

Wolverton Express 27th July 1965

The chancel of Cosgrove SS Peter and Paul church has recently had a £2000 facelift, 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 re-decoration has been twice as much as first estimated, and although £1000 has already been paid the church members are now faced with finding another £1044.

The gift day will be held in the parish in October and members of the Wolverton Methodist church have 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 Clarke will be the accompanist and will also give organ and harpsichord solos.  Other solos will by 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. AC 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.

Wolverton Express 17th September 1965

Methodist Choir at Cosgrove

A most successful and enjoyable concert took place in the Cosgrove Parish Church on Saturday last in aid of the Restoration Fund.

The Wolverton Methodist church choir, under its conductor, Mr. Arnold Jones, gave excellent performances of various types of church music including Stanfords noble Magnificat in B flat and Mendelssohn’s anthem “Hear my prayer”.  Mrs. Kathleen Jones was the soprano soloist in this and also sang arias by Handel and Mendelssohn.

Added interest to the programme was provided by recorder solos played by Mr. Robert Jones and harpsichord solos by Mr. Lewis Clarke, the church organist, who also arranged the concert.  All soloists gave competent and artistic performances.  The spirited singing of the choir was matched by Lewis Clark’s able organ accompaniment, and the whole programme was enjoyed by large audience.

The Rector, the Rev. A C Barker, thanked the performers and said how pleased he was to see a Methodist choir helping an Anglican church.  He also explained the recent chancel restoration work and drew attention to the high cost involved.  After expenses have been paid to the fund will benefit by a substantial amount.

Wolverton Express 8th October 1965

Pleasure is Canal’s New Trade - Local Link Goes Back 172 Years

When canals were introduced in this country more than 200 years ago they helped spark off the industrial revolution.  Today commercial traffic has declined, but pleasure craft are now taking advantage of the canals and last year 3000 passed through the locks at Stoke Bruerne.

This is surprising fact came from Mr. C N Hadlow, curator of the Waterways Museum at Stoke Bruerne, when he spoke at the opening meeting of Wolverton District and British Railways Engineering Society’s new session.

Railways and roads such as the M1 had contributed towards the decline in commercial traffic on the canals, said Mr. Hadlow, but with more individuals as well as firms taking moorings for pleasure craft this new attraction would be developed.  They had to retain the canals, but at the same time get what revenue they could.

Board’s Survey

Asked whether there was any future in waterways as part of an integrated transport system, Mr. Hadlow explained that only just over half of the original 4000 miles of canal was still navigable.  The canals had outlived their purpose, something which happened to the Buckingham Arm when the export of hay and straw for London from Buckingham dropped.  As horse-drawn transport was replaced, the animal foodstuff was not required.

At present the Waterways Board, which came into being in 1963 and is to make a report to the Minister of Transport before 1968, is still carrying out an extensive survey.  Its first report was issued recently and Mr. Hadlow said it was admitted in this that the commercial side was dropping.  Only one firm ran commercial craft in this area, but he felt sure the pleasure craft side would be developed.  The cost of filling in canals would be fantastic, and he was sure they would be retained.

His fascinating talk was preceded by the film “Roses and Castles”, one of six programmes in the summer series, “Voyage into England”, shown by BBC television.  It was taken at Stoke Bruerne, and Mr. Hadlow assisted as well as starred in the programme, in which MacDonald Hastings described the museum, the coming of the waterways, their problems, and future.

First in 1759

Taking a similar line, Mr. Hadlow spoke of the development of the inland waterway system in this country.  The Duke of Bridgewater, who owned mines at Worsley, wanted to transport coal ten miles to Manchester.  There were no roads and pack horses provided the only form of transporting goods cross country.  The Duke approached James Brindley, and the latter built the Worsley canal in 1759.  This first artificial canal had cost the Duke a great deal of money initially, but later repaid him by bringing in a fortune.

Potters, with a similar problem at Stoke, employed Brindley to build the Grand Trunk, or Trent and Mersey canal, and within 40 years this country had 4000 miles of navigable canals.  In 1793 the canal arrived at Wolverton as part of the 95 mile ditch between Brentford and Broughton, Northants.  Sweating navvies dug out the ditch with pick and shovel. 

The embankment and famous aqueduct between Old Wolverton and Cosgrove presented tremendous difficulties to the company building them.  A series of eight temporary locks, four up and four down, took the boats down 38 feet to river level.  The boats went down the locks, across the river, and then up the other side to continue their journey as work went on to construct the aqueduct.

A man named Harrison began work on the original aqueduct in 18O2 compline singing three years later.  Mr. Had led pointed out that the workmanship was not what might be desired and the aqueduct collapsed in 1808.  The foundations are still clearly visible in the river bed today.

Built of wood

As the temporary locks had been taken out, something had to be done quickly, and Cosgrove’s local council had a temporary aqueduct built of wood for about £2000.  This was in use until the present 100 foot long aqueduct was installed in 1811. The aqueduct had not moved a fraction since that time, he said and required nothing doing to it at present.

Another major construction was the mile and threequarter Blisworth tunnel, today the longest on the 2000 miles of navigable canals left.  Work commenced in 1795, when men without previous experience or no idea how to build a tunnel began today.  Two years later they gave up, but then work was started, using a different line, in 1802.

Altogether 18 separate shafts were sunk in a straight line across the hillside.  At a predetermined depth navvies began digging towards gangs on either side of themselves, and kept fetching out the earth until they met.  There was no such thing as ventilation, and to improve conditions at the bottom of the shaft a sail was erected on the hill to blow fresh air down to the men.  Soil was brought to the surface using a treadmill type of lift, with a pony trekking round in circles providing the power to pull up the earth.

While digging was going on, the enterprising company erected a horse drawn tramway over the top of the hill to enable the boatmen to continue moving traffic.  Every pound of traffic, weather travelling to the north or south, had to be unloaded on one side of the hill, based on the tramway, and then transferred to boats on the other stretch of the canal.

When the tunnel was opened in 1805 the tramway was taken up and re-laid from Gayton to Northampton, and all canal born traffic went into the town on the rails.  Ironically, in this way Northampton was served by some form of rail transport years before the introduction of the railways, by courtesy of the canal company. The canal reached Northampton in 1816.

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 12th November 1965

Fines on Road Users

At Stony Stratford Magistrates Court on Friday, William Henry Beavis, of 38 Main Street, Cosgrove, was fined £5 and his licence endorsed for exceeding the speed limit in his van.  Beavis wrote admitting that he had travelled at between 56 and 50 miles an hour on the Watling Street, Loughton on September 11.

Wolverton Express 12th November 1965

Wolverton Express 12th November 1965

Wolverton Express 19th November 1965

The service at Cosgrove on Sunday morning was conducted by the Rector, the Rev. A. Barker.  A wreath was placed on the war memorial inside the church on behalf of the British Legion by Captain P Y Atkinson.

Wolverton Express 3rd December 1965

Wolverton Express 12th December 1965

Boating Club

Sailing clubs are very much in the news nowadays but it is not often that we hear of a boating club.  Mr. H King, of Hemel Hempstead, tells me however that a boating club has been formed with the Navigation Inn, Cosgrove, as its headquarters.  The club has been given the name Navigation Cruising Club and moorings and a slipway are available to members.

Wolverton Express 31st December 1965

£400 Worth of Wines and Spirits

Thieves who broke into Cosgrove Lodge during last week got away with wines and spirits worth about £400.  Entry was gained through a window.

Wolverton Express 31st December 1965

Mrs. Ethel Amos dies at 89

Mrs. Ethel Amos, of Cosgrove, wife of the veteran North Bucks Farmer, Mr. Farmer Amos, died on Christmas Eve following a two year illness, aged 89.

Formerly a Miss Kingham, she was the daughter of a Tring grocer and first met Mr. Amos at Tring Show.  They courted for seven years and married at St Pancras Church, London, on October 12, 1904.  A cab drawn by a chestnut horse took them to a Holborn restaurant for a wedding breakfast, and then Mr. and Mrs. Amos caught a train at Victoria to spend their honeymoon at Brighton. That was on a Wednesday, but Mr. Amos was back in time for Northampton market the following Saturday. 

Mrs. Amos had been brought up on a farm and soon became a model farmer’s wife at Castlethorpe Maltings, the home of the Amos family from 1790 to 1926.  She could make butter, bake bread and provide callers with a traditional farmhouse fare of bread, butter, cheese, celery, and beer, all grown, made or brewed on the farm.

In 1926 Mr. and Mrs. Amos moved to Draycott where their five sons were apprenticed to the building trade.  They returned to the district to Cosgrove in 1934.  Three sons live with Mr. Amos, now 91, at Cosgrove, the other two sons are in New Zealand.  There is one grandson.

The funeral service was at Milton crematorium on Wednesday afternoon.  Family mourners were Mr. Farmer Amos, Mr. Thomas Amos, Mr. Joseph Amos (sons).  Mr. Farmer Amos (husband) was unable to attend.  Funeral arrangements were by Mr. Ben Sawbridge, of Castlethorpe.

Wolverton Express 4th March 1966

At the February meeting of Cosgrove WI Mrs. Clarke presided and read a letter from refugees thanking the Institute for the Christmas presents.  It is hoped that members will have an outing to Leicester in March.  After the business Mrs. Clarke introduced Mr R. Odell, who gave an interesting talk with exhibits on “Ironmongery of bygone days.”

The competition for a holiday snap was won by Mrs. Barnes, Mrs. Jones and Mrs. McLean.  Tea hostesses were Mrs. Clarke, Mrs. A. Rickaby, and Mrs. C. Elliott.

Wolverton Express 1st April 1966

Wolverton Express 20th May 1966

Wolverton Express 22nd June 1966

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 23rd September 1966

Structural alterations to allow an extension to be built to the lounge bar at Cosgrove Lodge Park were granted by Towcester Licensing Justices on Tuesday.

Wolverton Express 30th September 1966

A proposal to build an amusement arcade at Cosgrove Lodge Park has received planning permission.

Wolverton Express 7th October 1966

A honeymoon in Greece followed the marriage of Miss Bridget Clare Cummings and Mr. David Foubister at SS Peter and Paul Church, Cosgrove, on Saturday.  The bride, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T H Cummings, 16 Manor Close, Cosgrove, was educated at Towcester Grammar School and is employed by BEA London as a reservation sales clerk.  The bridegroom is the only son of Mrs. and the late Mr. J Foubister, of Willow Bank, Lossiemouth, Morayshire, Scotland, and is an instrument technician at Mars Ltd, Slough.  He was educated at Gordon’s College, Aberdeen.

Given away by her father, the bride wore a princess line kafka dress with a long train embroidered with guipure lace.  Her full length veil was held by a cap of organza loops, and she carried a curved shower bouquet of lily of the valley, stephanotis and roses.  The bride’s attendants were Miss Elise Brown, Mrs. Juliet Harris, and small maids Joanne Zenthon and Tracey Thomas (friends).  The elder attendants wore full length pale pink striped robia voile dresses, similar to the bride’s.  The two younger maids had full length high waisted burgundy velvet dresses.  All carried Victorian posies of pink and white and clove flowers to match their headdresses.  Best man was Mr. Grenville Phillips (bridegroom’s brother in law).

The service was conducted by the Rev. A E Bransby, vicar of Saint Giles Northampton, and former Rector of Cosgrove.  Mr N Brown, of Wolverton, was organist for the 23rd Psalm (Crimond) and the hymns “Lead us heavenly Father” and “Love divine”.

The reception for 92 guests was at the Victory Hall, Cosgrove, and the couple are to make their future home in Langley, Bucks.  The chief bridesmaid, Miss Elise Brown, a florist, made all the bouquets, the bride’s headdress and the dresses.  The wedding cake was made by Mrs. J. Hebson, a friend of the family.

Wolverton Express 23rd December 1966

Wolverton Express 23rd December 1966

Wolverton Express 13th January 1967

The Rev. Canon S C Woodward, Rector of Cosgrove since August, has been appointed Rural Dean of Preston in succession to the Rev. Bernard Fernyhough, who is leaving the Deanery to become Vicar of East Haddon, Ravensthorpe and Holdenby later this month.

Canon Woodward, who is 63, was born in Japan, where his parents were missionaries.  He was ordained in the Lichfield diocese in 1927, and three years later returned to Japan as a missionary and worked there until the outbreak of war.

In the Peterborough diocese, Canon Woodward was vicar of St Mark’s, Peterborough, from 1942 to 1949 and then Rector of Uppingham for 17 years until taking up his present living last year.  Canon Woodward has been an examining chaplain to the Bishop of Peterborough since 1954 and a non- residentiary canon of Peterborough Cathedral since 1956.  From 1960 to 1961 he was also Rural Dean of Uppingham.

Wolverton Express 27th January 1967

Drama Group at Cosgrove

Cosgrove WI committee members were once again hostesses for the annual party and members exchanged presents while enjoying their meal.  Three new members were welcomed by the president.  It was decided to start a drama group and enter the forthcoming festival to be held in the spring.

Winner of the competition for a homemade Christmas card was Mrs. Elliott, 2 Mrs. P. Holman, 3 Mrs. Kightley.  Winners of the yearly competition were: 1 Mrs. M Kightley, 2 Mrs. P. Holman, 3 equal Mrs. Elliott and Mrs. J. Clarke.  Mrs. J Mapley, Mrs. M Kightley and Mrs. Alderman were responsible for the enjoyable social.

Wolverton Express 17th February 1967

A Park - with drinks - Public Need : Full Licence Granted at Cosgrove Lodge

Cosgrove Lodge Park now has a full licence without the condition originally imposed by Quarter Sessions that visitors should pay for admission to the recreational park before getting a drink at the bars.  But this is something they have been able to do for a year, it was freely admitted at the annual licensing meeting at times to on Tuesday, when Mr. Arthur J Powley, manager, applied for a new licence without that restriction.

He maintains that it would be impossible to enforce the condition.  A man would have to be on the gate to issue tickets, two more would have to check those tickets at the bars.  All of which he claimed added up to considerable expense for the management and a great deal of irritation for the general public.


“We think it is possible for your clients to sell arrange their business to comply with its licence,” Cmr A D A Lawson, chairman, told Mr. A Lord for Mr. Powley and Cosgrove Lodge Park Ltd.  “They did not do so.  I think it is very reprehensible but this is not the end of the story.  We also think that circumstances have changed since last year.  The premises are well managed and we think they cater for a different need to that which is met by the ordinary public house.  I think the reason for this is the majority of people who visit Cosgrove Lodge go by car and are not residents of Cosgrove Village.  Some even come from London, I believe. 

They are rather different type perhaps to the ordinary person in the village who prefers to go into his local and have his drink and who still does so.  So we have had to weigh these circumstances one against the other - the fact that your clients have conducted a business in a sense improperly over the past year; and the more important circumstance, in our view, that we should grant this licence if we feel, and we do so feel, but it meets a public need. 

There are not many open spaces in this part of the country, it is mostly privately owned farmland, and we think it is important that places such as Cosgrove Lodge should be available for the public and they should be equipped with proper facilities.  Taking this view as we do we have decided that the application shall be granted.”

Opposition from the Northampton Licensed Trade Association was led by the chairman of the Towcester area, Mr. Herbert Cecil Thriscutt of the Bull, Towcester, who claims that he was objecting on behalf of other licensees as a matter of principle.  There would be no objection to full facilities if they were limited to the Park.  They did not want a third public house in the village, he said.

Wolverton Express 19th February 1967

Glamour Grans

Mrs. Sylvia Lovesey, of 2 Bridge Road, Cosgrove, will be one of the competitors in the finals of the Glamorous Grandmother contest which will be shown on Southern TV on February 23.  First prize will be £1000 and a 200 guinea silver challenge trophy.  Second prize is £500 and there are five consolation prizes of £100.

The 20 glamour grans in the final will travel to Butlin’s Holiday Camp, Bognor Regis, from the Ocean Hotel, Brighton where they will be staying as guests of Sir Billy Butlin.  Mrs. Lovesey, who is 40, has three children and two grandchildren.  She is a housewife and part time hairdressers’ model.

Wolverton Express 19th 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 24th March 1967

Cruising Down the Canal

The annual Fitting-Out dinner of the Navigation Cruising Club was held at the Navigation Inn, Cosgrove, last Friday when 40 members and wives were present.  The club Commodore, Mr. E C Stanbridge, who presided, mentioned the encouraging response to efforts for new members.  He introduced the club president, Mr. L B Baillon, of Phipps Northampton Brewery Ltd.

Mr. Baillon expressed pleasure at the growth of interest generally in the inland waterways and appealed to all who were interested to join in the activities of the Cruising Club.  He was certain that it would be found a most rewarding pastime.  Mr. Baillon announced that he was donating a trophy to be competed for annually.  The dinner was followed by a social evening during which colour films of cruising activities were shown.

Wolverton Express 24th March 1967

Wolverton Express 5th May 1967

Cruising on the Canal

Guests arrived in a vintage Commer car lent by Lord Rootes at Cosgrove Lock when Mr. and Mrs. Crossley entertained a party in their canal narrow boat “Linda”.  The car was driven by Lord Montague of Beaulieu, a brother in law of Mr. Crossley and the guests included Lady Montague, Mr. Robert Aickman, founder and vice president of the Inland Waterways Association, and Major Grundy, manager of the National Trust’s Stratford upon Avon Canal.

The party cruised in the Linda from Cosgrove locks to the navigation inn, where lunch was served.  Mr. Crossley started cruises with the boat in 1956 and it was subsequently used in 1963 when the Queen Mother opened the Stratford upon Avon Canal aboard the Linda.

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 12th May 1967

Rev. J S Benson for Devon

Formerly the Rector of Cosgrove, and now vicar of Holy Trinity, Cloudesley Square, Islington, London, the Rev. J S Benson has been appointed Rector of Down St Mary with Clannaborough, near Crediton, Devon.

Mr. Benson was at Cosgrove Rectory and was also the Rector of Passenham with Old Stratford and Deanshanger from 1947 until he went to Islington in 1959.  He was ordained by the Bishop of Willesden, in 1939 and served his first curacy at Holy Trinity Church Barnsbury, not far away from the church of which he is now vicar.

Wolverton Express 19th May 1967

Letters – Castlethorpe station

Is Cosgrove Parish Council really in touch with the wishes of the village people?  We at Castlethorpe wrote to all parish councils in the area asking for their support for our fight to get our railway station reopened.  Cosgrove Council wrote back saying they were sorry they could not help as the reopening would bring no benefit to Cosgrove.  It seems awfully strange to me, in view of that letter, that so many Cosgrove residents turned up at a protest meeting last Thursday – and not only voiced their support but signed a petition that will be sent to the Minister of Transport.

B C Tapp Parish and Rural District Councillor, 3 The Chequers, Castlethorpe

Wolverton Express 19th May 1967

Wolverton Express 26th May 1967

Cosgrove Coffee

Over £32 was raised by Mrs. Michael Robinson, who organised a coffee morning at her home, Cosgrove Hall, recently. Cosgrove branch of the South Northants Conservative Association will benefit from this amount.  Thanks to Mrs. Robinson were expressed by Mrs. Rickaby, chairman of the branch.

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 16th June 1967

Boys at Work in a Church

Boys of the Wolverton County Secondary School have been are renovating a tower vestibule in Cosgrove Parish Church as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.  In the picture left to right are Michael Ellis, Andrew Morris, and Colin Walker.

Wolverton Express 23rd June 1967

Church Concert at Cosgrove

A concert in aid of the Restoration Fund was given in the Parish Church, Cosgrove, on May 20.  A large audience listened with pleasure to vocal solos by Jean Hulett, soprano, and Frank Williams, bass, and instrumental items by Steven Rose, flute and Lewis Clark, organ and harpsichord.  A high standard of musicianship was shown by all performers and a well-balanced programme was presented, which included arias by Bach and Handel, Negro spirituals, and flute and keyboard music of the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Rector, Canon Woodward, thanked the artistes and said that the proceeds of this concert was going towards the provision of new heating for the church.  Jean Hulett kindly took the place at short notice of Muriel Hicks who was indisposed.  The concert was arranged by Louis Clark, LTCL, who is organist at the church.

Wolverton Express 23rd June 1967

Justices’ Ban on Late Drinking

No more late tonight extensions for Cosgrove Lodge Hotel.  This is the declared intention of Towcester Licensing Justices.  They claim that because there is only one access to the Lodge, people leaving late at night in their cars have caused a disturbance to the residents.  The justices took a quarter of an hour on Tuesday deliberating three applications by the hotel manager, Mr. AJ Powley.  They granted one, cut the time of another to 11pm and refused the third.  Mr. Derek Lawson, chairman, told Mr. Powley that the granting of extensions was a matter for the Justices’ discretion.

They allowed an extension until 11pm for a buffet and social evening for the Association of Club Stewards on June 22, because there was so little time for the organizers to make other arrangements.  An extension from 2pm to 6pm for a wedding reception on June 24 would also be granted, said Mr. Lawson, but the Justices would refuse the application for an extension from 10.30pm on July 6 to 12.30am on July 7 for a buffet dance organised by Towcester and District Round Table.

“As a matter of principle we think it is not right to grant extensions late at night for your club”, said Mr. Lawson.  “There should be time for the Round Table to make other arrangements for their function on that night if they wish to have a late licence”.  He warned Mr. Powly that in future, purely on the question of disturbance to residents, “It is not going to be our policy to grant late extensions to your club”.

Wolverton Express 23rd June 1967

First Fete For 15 Years

Garden fetes are an accepted part of the rural scene.  There was won at Cosgrove last Saturday.  But it was the first church event for at least 15 years.  And this is something the Rector Canon S C Woodward wants to alter.  He would like to see his parishioners get together more often socially, and this was the theme of his remarks when he introduced Miss Mary Atkinson, of Paulerspury, who opened the fete.

The fancy dress winners were: 1 Miss Diane Hill (Sir Francis Chichester)
2 Miss Jacqueline Hart and Miss Leroy Hart (We’ve got the sack),
3 Janet Maher (Bo Peep).

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 4th July 1967

Letters - Cosgrove Hotel Licences

I see that in your editorial last week you refer to the amazing decision of the Licensing Justices decision as Cosgrove Chapter II.  May I therefore go one further step ahead and attempt to forecast Cosgrove Chapter III.

Obviously it must be perfectly plain to everybody who has followed the story up to now that the Justices have every intention of closing down the Lodge as licensed premises.  Maybe the reason is that they are doing their best to protect the innocent locals who may be disturbed by traffic passing through the village after 10pm.  Maybe they had in mind that a few dozen inhabitants must be protected from the thousands of holidaymakers who enjoyed relaxing in the fresh air and freedom but the Lodge offers, or a of course there is the third possibility that they may now have some place that they think in all their wisdom is better suited to house extensions, and after they have succeeded in their efforts to close the Lodge, they may then give us the name and address of this new place.

I would also like to forecast as Cosgrove Chapter III that the Lodge will probably have many visits from the police at about 10 minutes after closing time in an effort to prove that the Justices are correct in their decisions.

So I would like to say to the proprietors of the Lodge, please be careful.  I for one have every intention of booking your hotel for future dinners and dances as I have done in the past.

RG Roberts

Whilst sympathising with the residents of Cosgrove complaints about to being disturbed at night by noise, I feel I must put in a plea for Cosgrove.  Certainly I have only been out of season and have thought what a lovely place it was, and that one would think one was miles away from anywhere instead of near that blot on the landscape, Wolverton.  I have also been to lunch there, and thought the restaurant delightful and the menu, service and surroundings worthy to be in any good food guide.  I suppose it would be very difficult to make another access road as it would have to cross the canal. 

E M Lee

Wolverton Express 7th July 1967

Cosgrove Chapter II

Two weeks ago we asked why the Towcester Justices had refused late night extensions at the Cosgrove Lodge Hotel, when there was no evidence of abuse of the licence.  Last week 22 Cosgrove residents replied to our comment by complaining that many visitors to the park and hotel are making life a nightmare.

The residents can, of course, make a similar objection to the Justices.  But there is no evidence that they had done so; the police have not raised an objection; and the Justices have failed to announce any specific reason for what now appears to be at an attempt to curtail the Hotel’s activities.  We expressed surprise at the declaration of the justices not to grant late night extensions at the Hotel.  Now we are downright astonished by this week’s decision not to grant licences for functions more than one month ahead.

The hotel provides for such harmless goings on as wedding receptions, firm and office dinners, and charity dances.  Do the Justices really believe that these can be planned with the possibility that an extension may be granted in due course?  Whether the customer is the father of the bride to be or someone willing to help a charity, he is entitled to the courtesy of knowing whether he can go ahead with the arrangements.

Wolverton Express 17th July 1967

And nobody knew they were there…

Tables and chairs were set ready, paper and pencils laid out, water jugs filled, but only two people attended a public inquiry at Towcester Town Hall on Wednesday.  An appeal had been lodged by Cosgrove Lodge Ltd, against the refusal of planning permission for a block of toilets and 100 tents to be erected at Cosgrove Park.

Mr. Bill Castle, representing the Cosgrove Parish Council, arrived at 10.30am to put forward objections to the scheme.  He had taken a morning off work and had not been notified of any cancellation.  Neither had our reporter who sat in the hall with him.  After a while they asked mystified RDC officials to find out what had happened.

A spokesman for the County Planning Office said the appeal by Cosgrove Lodge Ltd had been withdrawn some time ago and so there was no need for an inquiry.  Negotiations between Cosgrove and the Planning Officer decided that as permission had been granted initially to cover all types of recreation, including a caravan site, it would be unreasonable to refuse permission for a tent site.  Further, a block of toilets would only improve the existing conditions.

Wolverton Express 18th August 1967

“The Cottage Newspaper and Stony Stratford and Wolverton Station General Advertiser” was first published in 1854.  Across the top of the front page ran an engraving of a steam train complete with tender and coaches.  But like most newspapers of its day, it contains very little local news.

This week two copies of the paper, published from premises in High St, Stony Stratford by William Dixon, a printer, bookseller, bookbinder, and stationer, was shown to me by Alderman F M Woollard, of Loughton.  The second issue of the paper was published in April 1854 and the other copy loaned is number 209, of March 1859.  During these five years the paper added the words “and New Bradwell General Advertiser,” to its already lengthy title.  The price was still one penny, although the size had increased.

In search of business

The advertisements in the older edition are interesting.  Mr. A E. Hayes was advertising his Watling Works at Stony Stratford in the days before he became a boat builder.  A local writer, Edward Garnett, of Cosgrove, advertised his new ballad “My fate is bound in thee”, with music by Mr. George Barker.

Other advertisements were for J F Cashmore, Licensed Medicine Vendor of Stony Stratford: Mrs. Ancell, milliner and dressmaker; J C Inwood, general furnishings (with wallpaper hangings from half a penny).  This gentleman also reminded clients that he was an agent for the General Life and Fire Insurance Company and Morisons’ Pills.

Wolverton Express 1st September 1967

How to ride a bike on water

Wolverton Express 3rd September 1967

Support for Cosgrove Hotel

Three residents of Cosgrove went to Towcester Court on Tuesday to speak on behalf of Cosgrove Lodge and to support for applications for late tonight extensions by the licensee, Mr. A Powley.

They were Mr. Sidney George Slaymaker, of 15 Main Street, Mrs Mabel Jelley, of Hollywell, Main Street, and Mr. Albert Tack, of 1 Yardley Road.

Mr. A J Lord, on Mr. Powley’s behalf asked for an extension on October 21 for a dinner dance for the Stony Stratford cricket club.  This was granted by the Justices but three other applications for functions in October and November were adjourned.  The acting chairman, Mr. Gordon Roberts, said the Justices want to be as helpful as they could and discussions were going to take place between the Hotel management and the Justices.

Mr. Lord had explained that one of the functions on November 9 was for a dinner dance for the Stony Stratford Chamber of Trade.  If the members could not get an assurance that they would be able to have an extension then they intended to take their custom elsewhere, he declared.  Mr. Roberts said he was sorry about this, but the Justices intended to stick to their principle of not granting extensions too far in advance of the date.

Wolverton Express 3 September 1967

Aston Workers Wed

Mr Trevor John Morley, son of Mr and Mrs S J Morley, of 17 Wolverton Road, Newport Pagnell, was married at SS Peter and Paul Church, Cosgrove on Saturday to Miss Susan Margaret Tustain, daughter of Mr and Mrs G F Tustain of 27 Bridge Road, Cosgrove.

Both the bride and groom are employed at Aston Martin of Newport Pagnell, the bride as an accounts clerk and the groom as a fitter.

Given away by her father, the bride wore an empire line dress of Milano satin with a lace bodice an train, with a crystal head dress and long veil. She carried pink rosebuds and stephanotis and wore the bridegroom’s gift of a crystal necklace.

The two bridesmaids were Miss Hazel Ann Lavington, friend, and Miss Jayne Langton, niece, who wore full length turquoise dresses in Milano satin with three quarter length sleeves. Their pink headbands were covered with pink rosebuds and they wore pink gloves. They carried pink rosebuds. The best man was Mr Trevor Neal, friend of the bridegroom.

A reception for more than seventy guests was held at the Victory Hall, Cosgrove, from where the couple left for a touring honeymoon. The bride’s travelling outfit was an amber and brown dress and coat with brown accessories. From the bride’s colleagues the couple received an electric toaster and brandy glass and from the bridegroom’s workmates they received a cheque.

Wolverton Express 13th October 1967

Wolverton Express 27th October 1967

Softly Softly by Bus to the Dinner

Cosgrove Lodge Hotel gave an undertaking to Towcester magistrates on Tuesday that visitors to late night functions would travel in coaches, if extensions were granted outside the previously stipulated time limit of seven days.  This was an effort to cut down the noise nuisance to residents in the village, said Mr. A J Lord, appearing for Mr. A J Powley, manager of the Hotel.  Mr. Lord said he felt if carriages were used instead of cars it would cut the amount of noise considerably.  “Instead of having 100 cars going through the village late at night, which was causing complaints from the residents, the position is now that coaches can be used.”

One refused

Five applications for late night extensions 18 and four were granted.  Two of the applications were four successive nights and Mr. A D A Lawson chairman commented: “If we grant these two applications on successive nights then you can say, no doubt, they would be granted on other nights.  We do not want to be arbitrary but we have a right and a duty to defend the peace and quiet of this village.”

The justices refused to grant the second application for the Wolverton Cycling Club’s annual dinner.  Explaining the difference the new “drinking and driving” law had made Mr. Lord said it has so changed the habits of people attending this type of function that it is altered the position of these applications.  As a result of these recent regulations the position is now that many people organizing functions are not using private motor cars and instead coaches are used.”

Some of the organized of the functions had stated they will be using two or three coaches.  “Therefore I think this will not constitute a nuisance to residents they would have if people came in all those private cars,” continued Mr. Lord.  The maximum number of coaches to be used were before, and there would be a very marked degree of control over the drivers.

Asked if the hotel was limiting the functions to people who would be taken and fetched by coach, Mr. Lord replied: “More and more people are going to do this and it may well be the majority will be coach functions.  Cosgrove Lodge has already found their normal bar trade has dropped by 50% so it is clear that unless the organizers do this their trade is going to be very, very badly hit.”

Mr. Lawson observed: “I think if four coaches are going through the village every night to functions, we’ll be back where we were before.”

The Justices spent 15 minutes discussing the applications and when they returned Mr. Lawson said they had thought about the problem carefully and were anxious to be fair to all concerned.  He thought the Justices would probably hear from residents about the amount of noise nuisance caused by the coaches.

Wolverton Express 27th October 1967

Missionary Festival held at Cosgrove

A Deanery Missionary Festival was held at Cosgrove last Wednesday week, when a United Offering service for the Preston Deanery was held in the Parish Church.  The service was attended by the clergy of the Deanery and representatives of the parishes.

The preacher was Miss Barbara McCullum of the Church Missionary Society, who spoke about the social work she had been doing in Port Harcourt in the eastern region of Nigeria before she was evacuated two months ago when the fighting started.

The collection of £17 12s 2d was for the Church Missionary Society.  The service was conducted by the Rural Dean Canon SC Woodward, who was assisted by the Rev. M N Bowen, Rector of Stoke Bruerne.  The lesson was read by Miss McCullum.  Afterwards there was a meeting in the Village Hall when a missionary documentary film of Nigeria was shown in colour.  About hundred people attended.

Offerings from the parishes for the various missionary societies totalled £127.  A display of photographs and diagrams in the church porch was arranged by Mr. Clifford Elliott, lay reader, of Old Stratford.  Refreshments were served by the ladies of Cosgrove Church.  Arrangements for the festival were made by the Rev. G H Jeffs, organizing secretary of the Church Missionary Society.

Wolverton Express 10th November 1967

Cosgrove Lodge Park Hotel has been hit as hard as most country pubs by the breathalyser law.  It relies on trade from the 100,000 visitors to the pleasure park in the summer and from dances, parties and annual dinners in the winter months.

But while Mrs. Barbara Castle’s name is mud in other parts, it is Towcester Licensing Justices who enjoy unrivalled unpopularity at Cosgrove Hotel.  “They have stopped something like 500 people enjoying themselves and having a good time at their annual Christmas parties”, declared Mr. Arthur Powley, the manager and licensee.

What have the Justices done to take over the mantle of Ebenezer Scrooge?  They have placed a limit of one late tonight function a week at the Hotel, on the outskirts of Cosgrove Village, because of disturbance to residents by motorists leaving the dances and parties.  There is only one road to the hotel and that goes right through the village.

By Bus instead

The Justices have refused to alter their decisions even when partygoers promised to travel by coach rather than in cars.  In addition they will not consider any application for a licence extension earlier than two months in advance.  “People have enjoyed themselves this year and wanted to book up another party in 12 months’ time with similar facilities, and we just cannot give them that guarantee,” says Mr. Powley.

Mr. Harry Clarke, managing director of the company which has turned the old Cosgrove gravel pits into a popular holiday centre claims: “By limiting the number and frequency of the late night functions the Justices are depriving people over a wide area of the opportunity to thoroughly enjoying themselves on what is probably there one night out in the year.”

He is not only grumbling at their decision, but at what he claims is a high handed attitude, in imposing this, the only ban of its kind in the district.  In under three years Cosgrove Lodge has been built up from a small country house to an RAC and AA 2 star hotel.  The company has fought in Towcester court and on appeal at Northampton for the necessary licences, the only opposition coming from the Licensed Trades Association, an organization of which Cosgrove Lodge has since become a member!

In rejecting opposition to the renewal of the Hotel’s full licence in February Mr. Derek Lawson, the Justices chairman, agreed that the Hotel met a public need.  “There are not many open spaces in this part of the country and we think it is important that places such as Cosgrove Lodge should be available for the public and should be equipped with proper facilities.”


But then in June came the bombshell.  Mr. Powley, applying for extension “could not believe his ears” when the Justices refused late night extensions because a disturbance to residents and warned that a limit would be imposed as a matter of principle. 

“No one had said a word in court,” says Mr. Powley, “Everyone knew from the outset we were out to cater for dances and dinners.  No one objected from the village.  But after Mr. Lawson’s comments to people did come to court the next time to object.  A lot of people are losing their pleasure because of a selfish attitude of only, so far as we know, two people who never at the time had the courtesy to come and complain personally.  The nuisance caused is minimal, and far more people benefit from that minimal nuisance than are inconvenienced.”

The hotel he says is too far away from the village for anyone to hear the good nights and slamming of car doors as guests leave.  Three coaches could bring enough people to fill the Hotel, and the noise those coaches would make going through the village would certainly not to be very great.

Wolverton Express 17th November 1967

Letter - Extensions at Cosgrove

I see from your last report that once again the Towcester Licensing Justices are carrying on their vendetta against the Cosgrove Lodge.  A few weeks ago they voiced the intention of severely restricting extensions because of the inconvenience to the local villagers from slamming car doors, and cars racing through the village late at night.  Now when local organizers are willing to hire coaches to prevent the villagers from being inconvenienced, they still cannot get their extensions.

From this attitude, surely only one or two conclusions can be drawn.  First, that these local demi gods are determined to restrict local organisations that they themselves do not approve of.  There is, I suppose the possibility that they are just narrow minded, bigoted Mrs. Grundies determined to that it is wrong for people to enjoy life.

This country unfortunately seems to be ruled by such people.  I suggest that they should join up with the Lord’s day Observance Society and lock themselves away from life as it should be lived, or at least come down from the ivory tower and find out about real life.  If they are not prepared to do this, then they should resign their public office, because it is quite clear that they are completely incompetent of carrying out the duties in an unbiased manner. 

R G Roberts 31 Boundary Crescent Stony Stratford

Wolverton Express 17th November 1967

Watcher on Bridge as Safe was Hammered

While another man tried to open a stolen safe in a spinney 19 year old bricklayer Terence John Davies kept watch for him from the canal bridge outside the Navigation Inn, Cosgrove.

Stony Stratford magistrates were told this last Friday when Davies, of 75 Ridgmont, Deanshanger, pleaded guilty to a charge of receiving a safe and its contents, stolen from the Wolverton railway station between November 17 and 18th.

The other man was going to get a quarter share of the money and stamps totalling £125 19s 6d bad way in the safe, Davies said in a statement to the police.  He was not getting anything and was only helping us how the man out by keeping watch for him.  A second charge, of stealing a safe and its contents, was withdrawn by inspector Cyril Williams.

Second man

Inspector Williams told the court that between 9.45pm on November 17 and 6 am on the 18th the Wolverton railway station was broken into and the safe stolen.  On May 18 the safe was found intact on wasteland near the navigation inn, Cosgrove.  Shortly after Davis was seen walking along the Northampton road towards Old Stratford.  He said that he knew something about the safe but didn’t want to say anything at that moment.  Later in a written statement, Davis had said that he met a man called Frank, who said that he was going to get a quarter share in the contents of a safe that had been stolen.  Frank asked if he (Davis) would help in getting the safe open.

At first, Davis’s statement continued, he refused to help.  He wanted to go to a dance at Bletchley.  He and several friends went to Bletchley but found that the dance was not on, so he returned to the Navigation Inn.  The other man approached him again and this time he agreed to help.  He was told to wait in the Navigation Inn while Frank went to check that the safe was still in the spinney where it had been left.

The other man took some tools from his van and 20 minutes later, Davies said, he heard the sound of loud banging.  When he went to see what was happening he saw Frank hammering the back of a safe.  After watching for 10 minutes he went on to the canal bridge and kept watch for half an hour.  “I then saw some men walking towards me and went and warned the other man”, the statement went on. “We both hid in some grass but when we realised that they were making a search, I ran towards Cosgrove and Frank towards Yardley Gobion.”

From Borstal

He hadn’t really wanted to have anything to do with it, but the other man had asked him to.  “I just didn’t have the sense to get out,” he added.

Mr. Giles Estler, for Davis, asked magistrates to give the young man a chance.  He had only been released from Borstal some 10 days before the offence, and was lucky enough to have regular employment.  The magistrates committed Davis to the next Bucks Quarter Sessions for sentence.  He was remanded in custody.  An application by Mr. Estler for a defence certificate was granted.

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 15th December 1967

Wolverton Express 29th December 1967

Carols at Cosgrove

Cosgrove Parish Church was beautifully decorated for the service of lessons and carols on Christmas Eve.  There was a large congregation and the service was conducted by Canon S C Woodward with Mr L. Clarke as organist.  Lessons were arranged by representatives of the various church organisations and items of Christmas music were played by Cosgrove hand bell ringers.

Easthope Martin’s “The Holy Child” was sung as a solo and the service, which all through had a simple homely Christmas atmosphere befitting the birth of the Christ child at Bethlehem, concluded with the singing of “Silent night” as a Vesper Hymn.  Services were also well attended on Christmas Day.

Wolverton Express 29th December 1967

End of Term at Cosgrove School

Every child attending the Cosgrove County School took part in both plays at the end of term concert.  “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was a joint production by the pupils and staff.  “In Search of Christmas” ended with the Nativity.

Last Monday week, despite inclement weather, the children and staff went carol singing around the greater part of the village in aid of the Mentally Handicapped Children.  The collection raised £7 0d 6d, and from the two concerts £17 7s 6d.

The head teacher, Mrs. N C Horton, and her assistant, Mrs. J. Wesley have thanked all who contributed in any way to the successful ventures.  When the school closed for the holidays there was a visit from Father Christmas at the annual Christmas party.

Wolverton Express 12th January 1968

Funeral of an Old Contemptible

The funeral service took place at St George’s Church, at Wolverton, on New Year’s Day, for Mr. Charlie Jelley, who was one of the district’s few remaining members of the Old Contemptibles Association. Mr. Jelley, who was 83, died at his home, 17 Southern Way, Wolverton, on December 28.

Born in Cosgrove, he moved to Hanslope after marriage.  He was a regular soldier at the outbreak of the 1914-18 war and served in France as a corporal.  Towards the end of the war he was discharged from the army because he was unfit.  During the war years he rescued two young boys from the frozen canal at Cosgrove, near the Buckingham arm.  For diving under the ice and dragging the boys out, he was awarded the Royal Humane Society’s certificate.  After the war Mr. Jelley was employed for many years at the Wolverton Gas Works.  At first he pumped water from the New Bradwell reservoir until this was not used any more.  Then he moved to the Wolverton Depot where he had the curious title of stationary engine driver and was in charge of the machine that pumped the water.

Mr. Jelly had been retired from work for 16 years, and his wife, Janet, died 20 years ago.  They moved to Wolverton in 1921 and lived in Ledsam Street for 34 years.  He had recently been living with his daughter and son in law, Mr. and Mrs. C French.

Wolverton Express 23rd January 1968


A parish meeting was held at Cosgrove to consider the effect of the alteration of the United Counties Bus service will have upon the residents.  One of the most important changes is the return journey to Cosgrove from Northampton on Wednesdays.  This will return three hours earlier at 1.20 pm which would not give enough time for outpatients to attend Northampton Hospital and those attending doctors’ surgeries, said Mr. B Tack, Clerk of the Parish Council.  The change did not give any consideration for afternoon visitors to the hospital, he said.

Shopping facilities would also be severely hampered, said Mr. Tack, because the market bus to Wolverton on Fridays will return at 11.15 am instead of 11.15, which will not allow time for shopping.  The Saturday bus to Northampton will now run at 1.30 pm and return at 4.35 pm instead.

Wolverton Express 26th January 1968

Accused of Theft from Father

Charged with breaking and entering his father’s house and theft, Sydney Frank Ratledge was remanded in custody for seven days by Towcester magistrates on Monday.  Ratledge, aged 28, said to be unemployed and to have been living at the Ridge View Residential Club, London Colney, was charged with breaking and entering the house of Sydney Ratledge at Cosgrove on January 16 and stealing 80 cigarettes, a blanket, a clock and four cheques value at present unknown.

Wolverton Express 2nd February 1968

Sydney Frank Ratledge (28) of the Ridge View Residential Club, London Colney, was remanded in custody for a further seven days when he appeared at Towcester magistrates court on Monday.  Ratledge had been remanded on the previous Monday on a charge of breaking and entering his father’s home at Cosgrove and stealing 80 cigarettes, a blanket, a clock and four cheques on January 16.  Bail was refused.

Wolverton Express 16th February 1968

Sydney Frank and Ratledge was committed for trial at Northants Quarter Sessions by a Towcester magistrates on Monday.  Ratledge was charged with breaking and entering his father’s home at Cosgrove and stealing 80 cigarettes, a blanket, a shopping bag, a clock worth £10 and four cheques, to the total value of £13 7s 4d on January 16. 

Together with Philip John Tyler, of no fixed abode, Ratledge was also charged with intending to defraud by obtaining from William Vincent Parry £8 2s, by falsely pretending that a cheque for £10 12s drawn on Barclays Bank Ltd Wolverton, was a good and valid order for the payment of money on January 17.

Tyler was further charged with receiving a cheque, the property of Sydney Ratledge, senior, knowing it to have been stolen.

Bail allowed

Tyler who was also committed for trial, applied for legal aid.  Mr. A D A Lawson, chairman, refused the application but later granted Tyler a defence certificate for the trial.  Both men were granted bail – Tyler in the summer of £10 and Ratledge in the sum of £20, subject to conditions that he should live at Ridge View Residential Club, London Colney, until the trial, and that he should report to the police at 6.00 pm every day.  A charge against Ratledge of keeping a car on the road without a vehicle excise licence on September 4, at Deanshanger, was adjourned sine die.

Wolverton Express 25th May 1968

Safe Young Cyclists

Eleven of the older junior pupils made history at the Cosgrove County School last Thursday when they were participants in the first National Cycling Proficiency Test to be held at the school.  They had been trained by the headmistress, Mrs. N C Horton, after hours and ten were successful.  They were: Stephen Wallington who obtained 94 marks out of a possible 100, Sandra Wallington, Colin Kightley, Vivienne Lovesey, Roy Shervington, Robert Wray, Teresa Cook, Karen Tweedale, Trudy Cowan, and Julie Holman.

The examiner, Police Sergeant G E Jones, told the children that he hoped their high standard of riding would continue and be an example to all who visit the village.  Earlier in the term, the children had been introduced to the test by a film show in school arranged and given by Mr. E H Cooper, the County Road Safety Organiser.

Wolverton Express 28th June 1968

Motorists fined at Stony Stratford Magistrates court on Friday included James Fisher of 5A Cosgrove Lodge Park, Cosgrove, fined £7 with licence endorsed for speeding.

Wolverton Express 28th June 1968

What was it Nelson said?

The junior children and teachers of Cosgrove School had an enjoyable outing on Friday week.  They left at 7.45 am by coach en route for HMS Victory at Portsmouth.  The children had a questionnaire to complete covering towns through which they passed and the tour of the Victory.

The rest of the day was spent at Southsea with a spell on the beach, a meal at the Rock Gardens Restaurant, and a visit to the funfair.  All of the children’s expenses were covered by money raising efforts held previously at the school.

Wolverton Express 19th July 1968

Active at End of Term at Cosgrove School

Two very active weeks ended the summer term at Cosgrove County School.  On July 3 many spectators watched the school sports.  The children’s rewards were for their house and the eventual winner was Red House, with the 56 points.  Yellow house were runners up.

The Leroy Hart cup presented to the school by Mr. and Mrs. Hart in memory of their six year old son who died so suddenly in April, is to be awarded annually to the winning house.  The individual cup was won by Teresa Cooke who gained 15 points, Sandra Wallington was a very close runner up with 14 points.  Mrs. Mrs. N Horton thanked especially Mrs. Wesley and Messrs. Abbott, Hardy, Maher and Westley for their invaluable help.

The clubs were presented to the winners, with relish Shervington collecting the cup as leader of the Red house, at to the school’s open evening on July 5.  Mrs Horton, the head teacher, welcomed a very large gathering of parents and introduced Mrs. M Jelley, chairman of the managers, who presented the prizes.  Leavers prizes went to Sandra Wallington, who will be the village’s first entrant to the new Sponne school in Towcester, Susan Abbott, Vivienne Lovesey, Colin Kightley, Roy Shervington, Robert Smith and Robert Wray.  Class prizes were won by Sandra Wallington, Stephen Wallington, David Smith, Alan Cowan and Virginia Hardy.

The best arranged exhibits of wild flowers judged by Mrs. Jelley, was won by Vivien Lovesey for the second year running, and the award for the most original book about the outing to HMS Victory at Portsmouth, judged by Mr. Muir, PE and maths lecturer at the North Bucks College of Education, went to Edwina Brown.

After the presentation of the National Cycling Proficiency certificates and badges to the ten winners, the children gave a selection of unaccompanied and accompanied songs and country dances in which every child participated.  The children’s work was on view.

On July 9, Mrs. P. Holman organized a parents’ team to play the children at rounders.  A very enjoyable time was spent, with parents and teenagers making tremendous efforts that produced a spate of stiff limbs the next day.

Wolverton Express 26th July 1968

Licence offences

Albert James Trevor Brassett, of the Navigation Inn, Cosgrove, was fined a total of £4 by Towcester Magistrates court on Monday for two offences relating to a vehicle excise licence.  Mr. Brassett, it was said, was asked to surrender the licence to the County Council on May 13, when it was declared void, but failed to do so.  He was seen driving the van into the yard of the Navigation Inn on May 23, when the void licence was being displayed.  In a letter Mr. Brassett explained that the licence had been renewed on May 24.

Wolverton Express 2nd August 1968

Wolverton Express 16th August 1968

Church Fete at Cosgrove

Cosgrove Church fete, held in the Rectory gardens last Saturday, was opened by Mrs. Maltby, wife of Colonel E F Maltby, of Potterspury.  Mrs. Maltby was thanked by the Rector, Canon S C Woodward.

The opening was followed by a fancy dress and decorated bicycle competitions, organised by Mrs. Horton and Mrs. Symons.  Then other competitors received prizes, but a particular attraction was Sandra Wallington as “Miss World Year 2000.”

Some of the young competitors who took part in the fancy dress parade at the Cosgrove Church Fete.

Children’s sports were organised by Mr. Edward Lambert, who, with Mr. D Woodward, also escorted parties up the church tower.  Other attractions were Madame K, alias Mrs. King, who told fortunes; bowling, run by Mr J. Lambert; and the stalls: Sewing Guild, Mrs. S C E Woodward and Mrs. Barnes; produce, Mrs. Hickford and Mrs. Hillyer; refreshments, Mrs. McLean, Mrs. Brockway and Mrs. Smith; hat trimming competition, Mrs. Longman; treasure hunt, Mr E. Lambert; spinning Jenny, Mrs. M Symonds.  Mr. A Meakins was the gate steward.  The fete realized a profit of £61 15s.

Wolverton Express 4th October 1968

Street Lights at Cosgrove

General opinion among Cosgrove Parish Councillors is that the village should have better street lighting.  At the recent meeting the council decided that all the 100 watt tungsten lamps should be changed for 150 watt lamps.  The estimated cost of various types of lighting was put before the meeting and discussed.  At the next meeting, comparisons will be drawn between the tungsten lighting and mercury lamps which will be used on the new estate in Cosgrove.

Wolverton Express 4th October 1968

Instead of holding its Christmas sale on a Friday evening as in former years, a new formula was tried by Cosgrove Church this year.  On Saturday afternoon, the gaily decorated Victory Hall was the scene of the annual Christmas sale, and this was followed by a social evening.

The opening ceremony in the afternoon was by the hon. Mrs. D. Lawson, who said that she hoped the newcomers to the village would participate fully in local life, not only by supporting such things as the sale, but would join in the various activities and offer their services.  A handkerchief of Bucks lace was presented to Mrs. Lawson by a member of the Sunday school.

There was a variety of well stocked stalls, sideshows, refreshments etc. all of which were run by members of the congregation.  Father Christmas was unable to attend this year, and so a Bran tub was provided in his absence.  Many adults and children had returned in the evening for a most enjoyable social.  Music and games were by the Philtones and refreshments were served by ladies of the Parochial Church Council, and Mothers’ Union.

The combined sale and social which was organized by the Parochial Church Council raised over £90 which will help towards the cost of the new church heating.

Wolverton Express 4th October 1968

Miss Judith and Hereford and Mr. Francis James McCluskie were married at SS Peter and Paul Church, Cosgrove, last Saturday.  The bride, the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Hefford, 1 Main street, Cosgrove, is an inspectress for Cigarette Components at Bletchley.  The bridegroom, the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. McCluskie, of 160 Church Street, Wolverton, is a sheet metal worker with Druse Ltd at Old Stratford.  Canon S C Woodward conducted the service and Mr. L A Clark was organist.

The bride, given away by her father, wore a full length dress of white satin with a layer of white chiffon and sleeves of guipure lace.  Her short veil was held in place by a coronet headdress, and she carried pink roses, white freesias and stephanotis.  Mrs. Helen Gallimore (bridegroom’s sister), Miss Janet Eglesfield and Miss Yvonne Warren (friends) were attendants.  Their dresses of blue velvet trimmed with white lace were made by Miss C Warren, a friend of the family.  Each had a single rose headdress and carried white carnations and freesias.  Mr. John Jardine was best man.

90 guests attended a reception at Cosgrove Village hall, and among the presence was a special gift, a wedding cake made by Mrs. D. Henson of Cosgrove.  The honeymoon was spent in Somerset.

Wolverton Express 11th October 1968

Attempt to Ram Hotel Doors

Residents at Cosgrove lodge hotel had a broken night’s sleep last Thursday.  They were woken by a loud crash and the screeching of brakes about 1.15 am.  Hotel manager Mr. Arthur Powley discovered that the solid oak front doors of the building had been pushed in apparently by the car, believed to be a mini, which drove away.  Towcester police are inquiring into the incident.

Wolverton Express 20th December 1968

Lights of Cosgrove

The new street lighting arrangements in Cosgrove are generally appreciated it was reported at the Parish Council meeting last Friday.  Additional lamps will be installed in Yardley Road, Manor Close, The Stocks, and one re-sited in the Main Street.

Cosgrove Horticultural Society has offered to help the Parish Council buy a mowing machine for the cemetery.  It was suggested that the machine could be available for loan to organizations or persons on payment of a fee.  Other items discussed were roads, footpaths, the telephone, safety of the canal bridge, drains, sewers, high hedges and road corners.  Mrs. M Jelley was chairman

Wolverton Express 20th December 1968


Wolverton Express 17th January 1969

Over the limit

Gordon John Noble of “Panorama”, Main Street, Cosgrove, was fined £7 by Stony Stratford magistrates on Friday for exceeding the speed limit in Stony Stratford.  Mr. Noble admitted the offence on November 4 in High Street.  His speed was checked at between 45 and 50 miles per hour.

Wolverton Express 7th February 1969

Cosgrove’s Protest

At their recent meeting, members of the Cosgrove Parish Council resolved to protest very strongly against the possibility of a third London Airport being sited at Silverstone.  The whole of the parishioners will be asked to support a protest. The annual parish meeting was arranged for Wednesday, March 19.

Wolverton Express 21st March 1969

Footpath Call at Cosgrove

Cosgrove Parish Council is to ask the British Waterways Board to improve the rough surface of the footpath alongside the canal to Old Wolverton.  This was one of the decisions made at the annual parish meeting when the 31 parishioners were welcomed by Mrs. M Jelley, chairman.  She spoke of the value of parish councils and gave a report of the council’s activities in past years.

Precepts, which were approved, were £47 for parish council expenses and £172 for street lighting. The Whalley’s Charity statement account was given.  Another complaint was about the state of the telephone kiosk in the village.  This had been out of order on a number of occasions and the council agreed to write to the head Post Office for improvements.

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 18th April 1969

MU Deanery Service

The Mothers’ Union Deanery Festival service was held in Cosgrove Parish Church.  It was conducted by the Rev. H Fuller assisted by the Rev. M M Bowen. The Rural Dean, Canon S C Woodward, received the six banners presented from the parishes of Ashton and Hartwell, Alderton and Grafton, Stoke Bruerne and Shutlanger, Paulerspury, Potterspury and Yardley Gobion, and Blisworth.

The address was given by Mrs. Edward Lewis, the Diocesan President, and the lessons were read by the Rev. and Mrs. J T Lewis of Paulerspury who are leaving the Deanery this week for Richmond.

Wolverton Express 2nd May 1969

Camping site

Cosgrove Lodge Park can now use 1.6 acres of land as a tent site.  Towcester RDC on Tuesday passed a recommendation granting Cosgrove Lodge Ltd a licence to use their 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 30th May 1969

The Cosgrove line

A special feature of the annual garden party for Cosgrove Church funds tomorrow, Saturday, will be a model railway, built to scale, on which children will be able to ride.  The garden party will be held in the grounds of Cosgrove Hall.

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 30th May 1969

Wolverton Express 6th June 1969

Committed for trial

Sydney Frank Ratledge, of Wolverton was committed in custody to the next Quarter Sessions when he appeared at Northampton Divisional Court on Wednesday.  Ratledge, whose address was given as 5 Victoria Street, is charged with entering the dwelling house of Gladys Marjorie Lay, of Upper Heyford, on June 1 and stealing three bottles of wine, half a bottle of whisky, 90 cigarettes, 40 cigars, a cup, and £5 15s cash; to the total value of £18 11s 1½d.  He is also charged with possessing a screwdriver for use in connection with burglary.  Ratledge had been remanded from Towcester Magistrates court the previous Monday.

Wolverton Express 6th June 1969

Boat stolen

A 12 foot punt has been stolen from Cosgrove Lodge Park.  The punt is painted red and white at the end and bears the initials CLP.  Towcester police that it think that it has either been sunk on the spot or carried to the river.

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 20th June 1969

Boat Strayed

A 12 foot punt stolen from Cosgrove Lodge Park recently was found undamaged by the daughter of one of the Park’s employees in the river at Haversham.

Wolverton Express 27th June 1969

27 year old Kathryn Spencer, of 25 Manor Close, Cosgrove, is looking forward to a night out in London with the Irish pop stars the Bachelors.

Kathryn, who is a nurse at Saint Crispin’s Hospital in Duston, wrote a prize winning essay on “Her ideal bachelor” for a national magazine to win her night out plus six long playing records.  Educated at Deanshanger Secondary Modern school, Kathryn worked at Cigarette Components at Bletchley until she was old enough to go nursing.

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 18th July 1969

Staff Nurse Marries

A staff nurse at Northampton General Hospital, Miss Hilary Mary McLean, was married with Mr. Les Waite at SS Peter and Paul Church, Cosgrove, last Saturday.  Hilary is the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry McLean, of 7 The Green, Cosgrove, and her bridegroom, who is a paint sprayer at Druse Ltd, Old Stratford, is the youngest son of the late Mr. and Mrs. D Waite, of 1 The Green, Cosgrove.  The service was conducted by Canon S C Woodward and the organist was Mr L. Clarke.

Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a dress of white brocade and a veil which had been worn by previous members of her family.  She carried red roses and lily of the valley.  Bridesmaids Georgina McDonald (friend) and Susan Birkett (bridegroom’s cousin) wore turquoise dresses and carried sprays of carnations.  The page boy, Duncan Cutherbert (bride’s nephew) wore a Royal Stuart killed and a blouse.  Mr. Kevin Lock was the best man. A reception for 90 guests was held in the Village Hall.

Wolverton Express 18th July 1969

School Sports at Cosgrove

Cosgrove Junior School has recently had extra playing field space added and this meant that the pupils could entertain a rounders team from Old Stratford primary school.  Cosgrove were the winners by 18 to 5½.

The sports day events were watched by many parents and friends.  The winning house was Green with 79 points, beating Red by only half a point.  The individual cup was won by Gary Maher who gained 24 points, with the runner up, Trevor Wallington or, 22 points.

Mr. and Mrs. Westley were the starters and the judges were Mr. Maher and Mr. Howe.  Tea and biscuits were served by Mesdames Maher, Forrester and Hardy.

Wolverton Express 1st August 1969

Sydney Frank Ratledge (30), formerly of Victoria Street, Wolverton, was followed from a nightclub by flying squad detectives late one night to the Red Lion, Upper Heyford, where he committed a burglary.  These circumstances were outlined at Northamptonshire Quarter Sessions on Monday by Mr R. Ashton, prosecuting, after Ratledge pleaded guilty to entering the Red Lion on June 1 this year and stealing cash, ½ bottle of whisky, three bottles of wine, cigars and cigarettes worth £2.  Ratledge also admitted having a screwdriver, a burglary instrument, in his possession.  He was sent to prison for 12 months on the first charge, and six months, concurrent on the second.  Since his arrest he had been in custody and had previously been living in lodgings in Northampton. 

Ratledge had been followed through Northampton and out along the A45 towards Weedon by flying squad officers Detective Constable Smith and Detective Sergeant Whitworth who had seen him leave a nightclub at 12.15 am, said Mr. Ashton. Ratledge had stopped in a lay by at Upper Heyford and the officers had also stopped, keeping him in view.  He had walked towards the Red Lion and at 3.20 am had re-merged and driven away towards the motorway.  A police patrol car alerted by the detectives stopped Ratledge, continued Mr. Ashton, and in his possession was found the screwdriver and most of the stolen property.

Ratledge was said to have committed these offences while on bail for another offence.  He had several convictions for dishonesty.  Mr. I Judge, defending, said that the circumstances of the crime suggested it was one of great stupidity, and not to the act of a professional criminal.  He submitted that a probation order would be appropriate.

“We do not consider this a case for probation”, said Mr. Guy Dixon, chairman, who remarked that Ratledge had previously been placed on probation and had served two prison sentences.  “We are giving you a prison sentence which in all the circumstances is a light one”, he added.

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 15th August 1969

Boat Club’s Open Day at Cosgrove

The village of Cosgrove looked particularly attractive today with coloured flags and pennants decorating the canal side to mark the annual open day of the Taverner’s Boat Club whose headquarters is opposite the Navigation Inn at Cosgrove.  By midday about 20 boats of various sizes and shapes had arrived, and more than 400 people from all over the Midlands were expected by this afternoon.

Commodore George Croxford Adams, one of the chief organizers of the open day, explained that this, as opposed to a rally, was for people interested in boating but for those who want to know more about it.  The proceeds, he added, are to provide a larger clubhouse.  This afternoon those present were to have the opportunity to inspect the various types of attractively decorated craft; to watch boat handling displays; and to by traditional waterways ware.  Tonight there is to be a barbecue and entertainment.

Wolverton Express 15th 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

Thieves Clear Anglers’ Shop

Over £80 worth of fishing tackle was stolen from the Angling Shop at Cosgrove Lodge Park last weekend.  The thieves got away with two 10 foot fibreglass fishing rods, four reels, including a new Pinto reel, 27 dozen assorted floats, 40 dozen hooks and 22 spools of fishing line.  Towcester police say that all the items were manufactured by and marked “Norris Shakespeare”.

Wolverton Express 29th August 1969

Planning permission has been granted to Stratford Tools Ltd, at The Stocks, Cosgrove, to build an electronic wiring workshop.

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 5th September 1969

No licences

Jean Broadbent, of Cosgrove Lodge Caravan Park, Cosgrove, was fined £2 on each of the charges of having no driving licence and no vehicle excise licence by Newport Pagnell magistrates on Wednesday.  She wrote admitting the offences, in Little Linford lane, Newport Pagnell, on June 2, when she was stopped because no excise licence was displayed on the car.  This had expired on August 31 last year, and her driving licence had not been renewed until after she had been stopped.  This had expired on May 9.  She wrote that she had recently left Newport Pagnell to live at Cosgrove and did not know her driving licence had expired until she produced it at Newport Pagnell police station.

Wolverton Express 17th September 1969

A Cosgrove man was ordered to make good National Insurance arrears totalling £266 13s for himself and two employees when he appeared at Towcester court on Monday.  Dennis William Cowan, of 46 Stratford Road, was fined £3 on each of three charges of failing to pay a contribution in respect of two employees and himself.

Frederick Herbert Johnston from the Department of Health and Social Security, told the magistrates he visited Mr. Cowan’s premises as a result of a complaint that the defendant had not been paying insurance contributions.  Mr. Johnston said he found a contribution had not been paid for the week beginning February 24 in respect of Roger Thomas.  A further contribution for the week beginning April 7 had not been paid in respect of Robert Kemp and also the defendant.  Altogether the arrears for Mr. Cowen totalled £63 15s 2d; arrears for Mr. Kemp totalled £35 10s 10d and £167 7s for Mr. Thomas, Mr. Johnston said.

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.

Wolverton Express 7th November 1969

Village has changed - Crowds flock to Cosgrove

The saga of late night extensions for functions at Cosgrove Lodge Hotel blew up again at Towcester court on Monday.  Chairman of the Licensing Justices, Mr. A D A Lawson, restated the policy which was laid down last year when granting late tonight extensions for functions at the hotel.  Mr. J J Goodwin, applying for eight extensions for November and one for December on behalf of Mr. A J Powley, said the situation in Cosgrove had changed.

“Since your remarks were made there is a continuing situation where the population in this district is increasing.  The newcomers should be provided with facilities.  There is a demand being made for these facilities and Cosgrove Lodge is one of the few, if not the only one, which will provide what they want.  That section of the community should figure in your consideration.”

All granted

All nine of extensions were granted.  Several of them were on consecutive nights in November.  Mr. Lawson asked for an explanation.  Mr. Goodwin said it was necessary to extend the festive season into November because of the pressure of business. 

“This is a particularly rural district,” Mr. Goodwin said, “It is very quiet and therefore due consideration must be given to people who choose to live in small villages in this area.  In the summer months Cosgrove is inundated with traffic, with people going there for picnics etc.  If you are going to choose a village to retire in, knowing what Cosgrove is like in the summer, nobody is going to live there who requires these facilities anymore.”

Mr. Arthur Powell he explained to the Justices that he has to fit in functions with other people’s commitments.

Mr. Lawson said “There has always been this conflict of interest.  We realise that the hotelier has a right to conduct his business.  We have never suggested that the sort of people who want to hold their functions there are not desirable.  The only question is how are we to weigh the two conflicting interests.  This statement of policy was made to try and be fair to all concerned.”

Although had there had been no objections since last year, many special exemptions had been granted for functions at Cosgrove Lodge. 

“As there have been no objections and as there is increased demand and as the character of the village has changed, we shall grant all these applications,” Mr. Lawson said.  But he warned that this was not a sign that future applications on consecutive nights would be granted.

Wolverton Express 7th November 1969

Cosgrove poppies

Canon S C Woodward, RD conducted the Remembrance service when a small local British Legion party was in attendance.  Normally the wreath at the war memorial is placed by Captain P Y Atkinson, of Cosgrove Priory, but because he has been in ill health recently it was placed by a newcomer to the village.  The Poppy Day collection and wreath at Cosgrove brought in £18 14s and the collection at St Peter’s church added £5 for Earl Haig’s fund.

Wolverton Express 5th December 1969


Canon S C Woodward, RD, of Cosgrove, spoke to 69 members of the Wolverton Brotherhood last Thursday.  The soloist was Mrs. D Gowland and accompanist Mrs. Chappell.  Mr. H Dowdy gave the Bible reading and Mrs. W. Clarke was the pianist for hymns.  Mr. S C Howarth and the chairman, Mr J. Jones, expressed thanks.

Wolverton Express 5th December 1969

Hotel manager leaves

Manager of the Cosgrove Lodge Hotel for the past five years, Mr. Arthur Powley left on Monday to return to his native Norfolk.  His wife has to enter hospital for treatment following a car accident and when she is fully recovered they are hoping to re-establish themselves in the hotel and catering trade.

An expert chef, Mr. Powell he is a member of the Hotel and Catering Institute, and the Cookery and Food Association.  He is chairman of the Towcester Licensed Victuallers Sssociation, and until he starts up in business again he is looking forward to enjoying some relaxation on the golf course.

Wolverton Express 19th December 1969

Car Ends in Wood - Girl Killed

A 20 year old girl passenger was killed on Saturday evening when a car somersaulted over a ditch and landed in a wood near Cosgrove.  She was Miss Margaret Anne Robinson of 24 Charles St., Northampton.  The driver of the car, Mr. Brian Williams (22) of 71 The Limes Stony Stratford, was taken to the Northampton General Hospital with chest injuries, but was discharged on Sunday.

The accident happened about ½ mile from the Dog’s Mouth junction on the Cosgrove Road.  Mr. Williams’ car skidded on a bend in the icy road and collided with a Jaguar car, and somersaulted over a ditch into the wood.  The driver of the Jaguar was Mr. Thomas Meakins (24) of 36 Main Street, Cosgrove.  An inquest on Miss Robinson, who worked at Avon Cosmetics Northampton, was opened on Tuesday and adjourned.

Wolverton Express 21st December 1969

Wolverton Express 26th December 1969

Mr. Gammage opened an inquest on Miss Margaret Anne Robinson 20, of 24 Charles St., Northampton, who was fatally injured in an accident at Cosgrove on December 13.  She was a passenger in a car driven by Mr. Brian Williams, of 71 The Limes, Stony Stratford, when it was in collision with another car.  Mr. Keith Robinson, of 80 Southampton Road, Northampton, identified the body of his sister, who, he said, had been employed in the Packaging Department of Avon Cosmetics, Northampton.

Mr. Gammage adjourned to this inquest sine die.  He said that further inquiries had to be made into the accident, and there was a possibility of proceedings.