my home was on the outskirts of London, I have many happy childhood
memories of summer holidays in the 1930's spent with a Great Aunt,
whose postal address was: Clara Wicks, High Street Welford, Leicestershire.
Her cottage was one of a row of several small, but warm and sturdy
brick cottages fronting directly onto the High Street, and lit by
oil lamps, as there was no electricity in the village at that time.
The single hand pump that supplied water for the row of cottages
was located in the back yard, as were the toilets in their wooden
spent my last summer holiday as a child there in 1937, and had no
opportunity to visit Welford again until 1944 while temporarily
stationed in that part of England. When I first stepped off the
bus, Welford did not appear to have changed. It was still a small
sleepy village just as I remembered. My Great Aunt was still paying
only Two Shillings and Sixpence a week rent, but now there was electricity,
and perhaps most surprising of all, there was a large airfield not
far outside the village called Husbands Bosworth. The Whitley's
continuously circled the village; obviously doing "circuits
and bumps". The
RAF presence became even more obvious that night when I went to
the pub in the High Street. It was full of RAF types. However, being
RAF aircrew myself, I did not feel out of place, and spent a pleasant
evening comparing notes over a few beers.
last visit to Welford was in 1981. Husbands Bosworth was long gone,
but there was a civilian airfield on the site. Also gone was my
Great Aunt's cottage, along with all the others - neat new bungalows
had taken their place. The outside of the pub in the High Street
had changed beyond recognition however inside, it appeared to be
much as I remembered it, and the beer was certainly better than
the wartime variety.
By W. Bennett Roberts