Village Advent Celebrations 2019. December 15th. 12 Spinners Cottages, Magpie Road.

No 15. Gingerbread men and candy bars. Very traditional!

Photographs on the next page (Click on “Read the rest of this entry”)





















OK, all present and correct!




The next door house, 11 Spinners Cottages, was the home of my grandmother from 1936 until 1963. One of her sons joined the army in 1941 and served as an infantryman, landing at Anzio in Italy in 1943 and taking part in the bitter fighting around Monte Casino. Her youngest daughter joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. Whilst the threat of a German invasion remanded, Granny Branson was always on the look out for enemy paratroopers and her other sons were frequently awakened and turned out to investigate something that turned out to be a man in a white raincoat walking down the street! However, the threat was taken seriously enough for the village Home Guard to be stationed on the church tower on many successive nights. In her later years, one elderly lady recalled that these “Local Defence Volunteers” had rifles but no ammunition. Her husband was one of them and she asked him “If the Germans come, what are you going to do – shout “Bang”?

Another lady recalled that her mother, a talented amateur pianist, lived in the Church Street cottage next to the then Six Bells Inn. There was, of course, a total blackout but on summers’ evenings she would turn out all the lights, open her window and play songs to entertain the men on the church.

I was also told that when a former First World War army officer was drilling the men a German plane flew over, very low. The officer ran to get his shotgun and fire a cartridge in the general direction of the departing plane in order, he said, “to encourage the men”. No, his name was not Captain Mainwaring!

On one occasion a German bomber, possibly returning from a raid on Coventry, dropped some bombs between Sulgrave and Culworth. There were no casualties other than some cattle. The same lady’s memory of this event was recorded for posterity during the village Oral History project, as follows:

“One night my brother Jack said to me “They’ve bombed Culworth”. This made my husband John laugh because he had been a Portsmouth boy and he’d go out to work in the morning and come out of his work and the street that was there had gone. So there was absolutely no comparison whatever to the towns…like Portsmouth. They had bombed the dockyard and all that. We were all so frightened to think they’d bombed Culworth….’course when I told him, he nearly had hysterics. We all know that Portsmouth suffered. But the night they bombed Culworth will remain in Sulgrave history.

So “Dad’s Army” could be said to be more of a documentary than a comedy!


Colin Wootton


One Response to “Village Advent Celebrations 2019. December 15th. 12 Spinners Cottages, Magpie Road.”

  1. Ingram Lloyd says:

    What interesting accounts of what was happening in Sulgrave during the war. I hope that the men up the church tower were appreciative of the recitals!

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