Albert Raymond Kightley

Albert was born at 3 Church Bank, Yardley Gobion – now 5 Moorend. He was the seventh of eight children born to Fredrick & Hilda Kightley. His parents had a thatched cottage with a large orchard. It was here that he spent many happy hours playing with his four brothers and three sisters.
During his early years he attended Yardley Godion school and was a regular attendor at St Leonards, the village church which was only a couple of doors away from where they lived. He also participated in many local activities.

When he was 13 years old just before the start of the war, Albert broke his left thigh bone – something he again had the misfortune to do 69 years later. According to his dairy he was playing football in the recreation ground at Yardley Gobion, and when he was taking a free kick using his right foot, when his left leg twisted underneath him. He fell to the ground and could not get up. He was carried home on a stretcher. The doctor was called for and sent him straight to Northampton General Hospital. It was confirmed that he had fractured his left thigh. The next day they operated; where his leg was set using a wire through his knee to keep it straight. His timetable of events reads:-
5.30 leg broken
6.00 reached home
7.00 doctor came
9.20 ambulance came
9.50 reached Northampton General Hospital
Three weeks later the wire was removed. It was over a month later that the leg was put in plaster and he was let home 2 days later.
4 months later discharge from hospital.

His diary also reads Sunday 10th September 1939, War declared between Germany and England.

On 29th January 1940, Albert started work at McCorquodale & Co at Wolverton in the Post Office and Stock Room. Every day he would cycle to work along the A508, into Cosgrove then along the canal bank.

23 January 1940

Mr. Kightley

We should be glad if you would please start
here in our Stock Room on Monday next, the 29th inst.,
on a month's trial

With his parents consent, Albert enrolled in D Company, 13th Northants Battallion, Home Guard , on 4th December 1941. The Pack Horse pub in Yardley Gobion was the HQ, where they learned to strip & assemble a Lewis gun, and had lectures on invasion plans - should they occur. Apparently parades always finished before the pub closed! As his elder brother Arthur was also a member of the platoon Albert was B Kightley (Bert).

Home Guard Duty left to right: Albert Kightley , unknown
Sergeant Albert Kightley

He joined the Royal Army Service Corp in February 1944, where he reached the rank of Sergeant. A posting document read “In order to further the efficiency of the army in any future emergency, you will be transferred to the Intelligence Corps”. He also said he saw the first “doodlebug” hit London whilst he was on fire watch from a building in Whitehall. Two of his other brothers were also called up to the services.

Grade Card : placed in GRADE IIa Feet
October 29th 1945

Pass: Authorised to travel by rail 22 May 1945


G (Intelligence),
HQ British Army of the Rhine, B. A. O. R.
17 September, 1947

S/14706658 Sjt KIGHTLEY A.R.

This non-commissioned officer has worked with me on work of a highly confidential nature for the past 2½ years. During this time I have found him thoroughly efficient and reliable and a man who can be trusted to carry out his work without supervision.
Of pleasing personality and with a quiet sense of humour, he gets on well with his superiors and his subordinates. I have no hesitation in recomending Sjt KIGHTLEY to any employer who wishes to employ a man with the above qualities.

(A. T. SHAW)
Captain GS

Now that the war in Europe is over, we naturally begin to think about the future, and look froward with particular pleasure to seeing more of the old familiar faces when going through the Works.

You are no doubt aware, that the Government recently issued a White Paper, setting forth the procedure which will be followed as to the release of men at cessation of hostilities in Europe, and you probably already know that the general principle of release is based on age and length of service.

Undoutedly you are looking forward to the time when you will be free to take up your civilian occupation again. We also can visualise that future, and when demobilisation commences, the Company will be pleased to welcome you back, and render as much assistance as possible in making the change-over easy for you.
There will be much to do when we settle down to peace time trading, but we look forward with confidence to that day when all our boys are back again.

If we have not heard from you direct, I am kept informed of your well-being by the Secretary of the Works Presentation Fund. Should, however, you have any particular problem with regard to your demobilisation, please do not hesitate to drop me a line.

With all good wishes.

Yours sincerely,

H. E. Meacham

After the war, Albert rejoined McCorquodales to complete his apprenticeship as a printer. Something that Albert was proud of was the work he produced and how he could recite jobs he done. Over the years we must have completed millions of envelopes. Albert stayed in McCorquodales until he retired in 1990.

National Registration Identity Card

After the war Albert played football  for Yardley Gobion and Stony Stratford. His most enjoyable time was playing cricket, representing, Yardley Gobion, Wolverton & in later years Wheatley & Woods, who played at the Doctors Piece in Cosgrove.  He played for Wolverton from 1953 to 1969 where he score over 2,000 runs and made his only century against Old Bradwell with a score of 113. He joined Wheatley & Woods in 1967 and finished playing any cricket in 1973. He score nearly 500 runs in 32 innings with a top score of 67 against Woburn in 1967.

He then found short mat indoor bowls where he played County matches for the Northamptonshire Senior team.

Comsport Winner
Age Concern Earl Spencer Memorial Trophy Finalists Short Mat Bowls
Northamptonshire S.M.B.A. Rose of the shires Day League Overall Winner
Northamptonshire S.M.B.A.  Day League Centrl Winner
Cosgrove Bowls Club  Club Triples R-Up A. Kightley
Comsport Winner
Northamptonshire Short Mat Bowls Association County Pairs Finalist Albert Kightley
E.S.M.B.A. Inter-County Team Consolation Champions
Northamptonshire S.M.B.A.  Rose Bowl Winner
Northamptonshire Short Mat Bowls Association Eve. League Central Winner
Cosgrove Bowls Club  Club 4's Winners
Age Concern Earl Spencer Memorial Trophy Runners Up Short Mat Bowls
Northamptonshire S.M.B.A. Rose of the shires Day League Central  Runner-Up
Cosgrove Bowls Club  Club 4's Winners
Cosgrove Bowls Club  P.Y.P. Winners
Northamptonshire S.M.B.A. Rose of the shires Day League Central West Runner-Up
N.S.M.B.A. Over 60's Winner A. Kightley
Cosgrove Bowls Club  Club Triples Runner Up
N.S.M.B.A. Millenium Hangover Fours Finalist
Northamptonshire S.M.B.A. Rose of the shires 1st Division Winners
Central Counties Over 60's S.M.B.L Northampton Runners-Up
Davntry Short Match Bowls Tournament Winners
H.I.B.S Charity Fours Winners
D. B. Jones Contractors Open Triples Winner
Central Counties Over 60's S.M.B.L Winners
N.S.M.B.A. Day Knock Out Cup Winner
Cosgrove Bowls Club  Club Fours Runner Up Albert Kightley
Northamptonshire S.M.B.A. Rose of the shires Division 2 Runner - up

All Albert's brothers and sisters were getting married and leaving the family home. Albert was the last to leave home when he married in 1954. Albert met Molly Adams at a dance held at the Science & Arts in Wolverton. After they married they set up the family home in the newly built houses called New Houses now Manor Close, Cosgrove, where they lived with their only son, Colin.

Molly was born at Canal Cottage, New Bradwell, in her grandparent’s house near the eight arches on the Grand Union canal. Molly had an affinity to the canals, no doubt due to generations of Overtons – on her mother’s side of the family - working for the British Waterways.
In 1944, Molly left school and started work as a Government teller in McCorquodales Printing Works in Wolverton.
Molly’s 15 minutes of fame came when in 1948 she became Miss New Bradwell in the carnival. A proud moment for all her family. About 20 years ago a “where are they now” article was run in the local newspaper and Molly was again in the news when the paper interviewed her.

Molly Adams
Molly Adams was crowned Miss Bradwell in 1949