Village Advent Celebrations 2018. December 5th. The Old Bakehouse, Manor Road

After a day of relentless rain, once again the atmosphere magically cleared just in time for the party and unveiling!

Photographs on the next page (click on “read the rest of this entry”)


























Galatians Chapter 5, Verses 22 – 23




SE85w1aPhoto: Unknown (Courtesy Sulgrave Manor)

21st June 1921. Official opening of Sulgrave Manor. Procession from the Church to the Manor, led by former United States President Taft, passes the Old Bakehouse in Manor Road.



In 1959, The Old Bakehouse was purchased by my uncle, Cyril Branson. A single man, he had little interest in the house, having made the purchase to secure the large garden. He spent the rest of his life growing quantities of vegetables which he mainly gave away and after retirement he seldom left the village (other than to go to the races at Towcester or Cheltenham!)


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The house was converted into flats by Wootton Bros, my father’s company. Here painters Harold Wootton and Fred Pollintine take a break in the kitchen of the first floor flat. (During the war Harold had been a gunner on HMS Ajax, of River Plate fame). Molly and I moved into the flat as newly-weds in 1961.



This was the view from the kitchen window at that time. The young man cleaning his car is Geoff Reynolds, outside the house then owned by his father, Harry, whose name is perpetuated in the present house name. Apart from Geoff’s Ford Consul, the only other car in the street is a pre-war Ford owned, I think, by Bert James, then landlord of the Six Bells Inn in Church Street. It’s also interesting to note on the skyline the massive elm trees which were such a part of the local landscape before the ravages of Dutch Elm disease in the 1970s. Here is a closer view of those particular trees, with Kiln Farm seen through a gap. They were great favourites with the more daring of the birds’ egg collecting boys when I was a youngster.


Colin Wootton



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