My Earliest Memories - a Memory of Wilbarston.

I was born at Kettering General Hospital in 1942. My father was the village policeman in Wilbarston since 1939 and we lived there until I was five years old in 1947 when my father was posted to the other end of the county. Wilbarston was perhaps the place I have always regarded as 'home' and I still feel a tingle of excitement on the odd occasions I have visited the village over many decades. My attendance at the local school was rather short but I remember the freedom children had to roam through the countryside without any feeling of danger. My old house still stands although the function as a police station is long gone. It had a thatched roof then and water was via a well in the garden. My father kept pigs in two brick styes in the garden and I remember the pig killer who came to slaughter them. The screams and subsequent rapid despatch remain with me to this day although I do like a bacon sarnie. When they were killed, one went off to the Ministry of Food and the other was salted and kept for family use. Visitors always left with a slice of bacon from the side hanging in the kitchen.
The garden was then quite big and as with all old-style policemen it was rare to leave the station when off duty. As a result the garden was well stocked with produce. He used to challenge anyone to find a single weed in the whole plot. My best mate was Philip Wilson but I lost touch with him within a couple of years. A local farm was kept by the Tann family and I used to haunt this farmyard where Mr and Mrs Tann were very kind to me. One day I was 'attacked' by a cockerel who took a dislike to little boys. Mr Tann immediately ordered its execution with the words 'Wring that bloody bird's neck'.
I also remember one of the pub landlords, 'Wacker' Tye. I also especially remember Mr and Mrs Atkins and their daughter Little Georgina who I was sweet on. The Hill family lived next door and their daughter Valerie who was about five years older than me was my second 'mum'. I was so sorry to leave the village but other duties beckoned to my father. After serving and apprenticeship in the motor trade, I followed him into the London police force where I managed some 31 years service.

A memory shared by Derek Smith on Aug 14th, 2009. Send Derek Smith a message

 Comments & Feedback

Wed Feb 10th 2021, at 9:16 pm
Hi my name is Jackie Burns and I've been researching my family tree. My father Jack Woodhouse stayed with his mothers relative in Wilbarston during the war, he called her aunt Dolly but I believe her name was Edith Platt. I did visit there on a few occasions and believe it was a small cottage in either Rushton Road or Main Street. Does anyone have any more knowledge of the Platts, other than already mentioned on this site.
Tue Apr 7th 2020, at 6:29 pm
djsmith1534 commented:
Thanks to both Jean and Neil for their interesting comments. Sorry this response is a bit late, I only noticed them recently. Best wishes from Derek Smith
Wed Jun 12th 2019, at 2:41 pm
em-harrison1 commented:
Hi Derek Smith my name is Neil Harrison I was born in wilbarston in 1939 and still live there today I remember your father Mr Smith the policeman allway'remember the day he took my jack knife of me because I was digging the cement out of the old farm barn he never gave it back to me
Wed Dec 12th 2018, at 10:34 pm
jean.andrews3 commented:
Hi I remember your dad he lived in Rushton Road in the thatched house next to the Platts. I was born in the thatched cottage in Main Street and my dad also kept pigs. Was it Walter Loomes who killed your dad’s pigs? we kept our bacon and hams in the cellar. Georgina Adkins lives in Kettering and we still exchange Christmas cards. The village has changed a lot in 81 years. We still have a pub and shop/post office. Jean Andrews

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