Sulgrave’s own Village Advent Calendar – No 24 – Sheep and Shepherds at Church Cottage, Church Street.


Christmas Eve, 24th December 2014. The twenty-fourth and final  contribution to the Village Advent Calendar Windows, at Church Cottage, Church Street.

More pictures on the next page.















Church Cottage in the 1930s, when it was a village shop and post office. Note the man and dog on the shelf formed by the shop sign. Rumours that I am the baby in the pram are unfounded but I do remember the “Monkey Puzzle” tree and buying sweets at the cottage in the 1940s when it belonged to a Mrs Linton.



The “Monkey Puzzle” tree can also be seen in this picture taken by an unknown photographer in about 1910, featuring a charabanc outing outside the blacksmith’s shop.



The blacksmith’s shop in the 1940s. Marcus Linton lived next door in Church Cottage with his mother. He was an army officer, sadly killed when a Russian helicopter crashed during a diplomatic mission to Russia. Equally sadly Bernard Gascoigne, seen shoeing horses with his father George, died of cancer in the 1950s. He lived in the little cottage shown in the photograph below, at the bottom of the hill on the way to Helmdon.



When I first published this picture on the village website, I received the following email from Pam Miller in the United States:

“I have just spent some very emotional minutes looking at the old photos on the website. The cottage at the bottom of the hill on Helmdon Road is of special significance, as I was born there to Bernard and Muriel Gascoigne in 1949. I am sure it is the same cottage…….I cannot tell you how much I enjoy the website. Sulgrave will always be home, in spite of the fact that I have lived in the US for over 50 years. Thank you for this opportunity…… Sulgrave is home for me, regardless of how many years I have lived in the United States. When I returned to Sulgrave for the first time in 1991, I thought I had few childhood memories of the village, however when I walked down the street on my way to visit the church, I could distinctly remember having walked there before……”

After Bernard’s death, Muriel married again and moved to the United States.


I took this picture of the cottage in the early fifties from my bedroom window in the bungalow which formerly stood on the site now occupied by Wykham House, Helmdon Road.

Colin Wootton


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