collected by Fred Reed August 2005


Winnie Stone (nee Knott)

Winifred Knott was born on the 18th June 1936 at home;61 The Green, Coddington. Her father was John William Knott(born on the 15th of March 1903 at Jericho Farm, Balderton) he was the baker in the village, his shop/bakery was in the Main Street next to The Plough public house. Her Mother Winifred Edith (nee Markwell, born11th January 1903 at West Borough, Wimborne, Dorset.). Winnie was the 6th child in the family; another 3 born after her:- John b.1924, Hilda b1926,Geoff b.1928 circa, Dorothy b 1930 circa, Tom b 1934, then Winnie 1936, Val 1937 and the twins Michael and Jennifer 1944.

61, The Green was a small old brick built house with 3 bedrooms, an outside privy at the bottom of the garden, electric light but no electric plugs, no gas. There was a cold water tap in the kitchen along with a black leaded kitchen range(coal fire/oven/hot water tank). Wash day on a Monday was a major event, hot water from the coal fired copper in the back kitchen along with another black leaded range, all clothes washed by hand and those needing ironing were ironed with a flat iron heated on the kitchen range. The copper was also used to heat the water for the tin bath. This was a typical old house in the village; the house was demolished when the new property was built on "Well Green".

On Christmas morning her stocking held:- an apple, orange,a shinny new penny and another present, in Winnie's case often a doll.

Father John William Knott baked bread for the village and surrounding villages, for this purpose he had a delivery van. The bakery was a family affair, Father being the baker and delivery man, Grandad Thomas William Knott also worked in the bakery and eventually eldest brother John. Whilst her father was one of the few who owned a car(Austin) this was seldom used and he did not take the children on holiday as there was no one else to do the baking and delivery. Winnie cannot remember anyone in the village going away on holiday when she was a child.

Winnie remembers only a few details about the war being only 8 when it was over. However she does remember sitting for hours in the dark in the air raid shelter at the bottom of the garden. Bombers were often seen from her house due to the proximity to Winthorpe and Swinderby airfields. One day she was in the ponds in Drove Lane between the Cricket pitch and the tennis courts when she spotted a plane in flames it eventually crashed on Danethorpe Hill, another day a plane landed down Drove Lane.

She started the village school in 1941 aged 5, like all children in these days her mother never took her to school. The school had 3 classes:-Miss Rhodes (she was Mrs Town after she married, living at Hall Farm, Main Street), Miss Gomer (she lived in Almond Cottage, Newark Road the snobs end of the village) taught"Middle School" and the Headmaster Mr John Fordham( from Winchelsea Avenue, Newark) taught "Top classes". Winnie remembers that some children attended school who were evacuees in particular Kathleen Cannon. Her favourite winter game was sliding down "the Big School Ice Slide" supervised by the Headmaster, not too keen on snowball fights as the boys were a bit too enthusiastic, summer games were on the grass at the back of the school.

Around this time Fred Hollingworth, at Manor Dairy Farm, Drove Lane had a spectacular stack yard fire, water was pumped across the fields from the fish pond, at the bottom of Newark Road. This fire resulted in Mr Fred Hollingworth having new cart sheds and Dutch barns built. One of the village milkmen was Mr Fryer who delivered to the majority of houses in the village on his fixed wheel bicycle( he had a gammy leg), he carried the milk in churns on the handlebars and housewife?s came out with their jugs to be filled. Winnie along with a few other children loved going down to Fred Hollingworth's dairy and drinking the milk straight from the cooler.

The Post Office(Molly Sharpe) was in the Main Street as was the Butcher Frank Simpson at Manor Farm. At least 2 pubs in the village:- The Red Lion and The Plough in Main Street.

The major event in the winter in the village was Mr Hough's threshing outfit (Steam Engine, Thresher and Baler) travelling around the farms:- Fred Hollingworth, Manor Dairy Farm, Geeson's Hall Farm, Harold Simpson-Manor Farm, Mr John Kirton, Daybell's and Handbury's.

In 1947 Winnie passed her 11+ and went to Grammar School - Lilley and Stone High Scholl for girls. This major event in the life of a village girl who had only travelled to Balderton a few times a year to see her Aunt Violet, who ran the Knott bakery and shop in Balderton helped by her son Horace. Winnie did well at school passing her "O levels" in English Language, Literature, Latin, German and French.

Entertainment in the village consisted of the occasional film shows at the Chapel School Rooms;- Old Mother Riley, George Formby, Keystone Cops, Tom Mix plus many cowboy films. There was a youth club in the village hall run by Reverend Usher (he lived in the Gables), she joined at 15 and took an active part in helping to run the club until she was 22. Sadly a few years later it closed due to hooligans from surrounding areas.

Many people say that Coddington became two villages when the Main Road cut the village in two but Winnie says that as a child she seldom went up Newark Road and the people that lived in Newark Road never really mixed with the villagers.

At 16 in 1952 Winnie left school and went to work in the offices and laboratory at The British Sugar Beet Factory for the "Campaign" (September to March). She then went to work in the office and laboratory at Cafferatta Gypsum Works on Beacon Hill where they made cement/plaster for the building trade.

In 1955 she was offered a better paying job as a "Telephonist" by The Post Office Telephone in Newark, this meant she had to be trained in Nottingham( 2 first:- first time on a train - first time to Nottingham). Janet Smith( who lives at Black?s Farm, Newark Road), was already a supervisor at Newark Exchange. In those days only say 10% of houses had telephones, you picked up the phone gave your number, the number you required and the Telephonist connected you. In 1958 she regularly spoke to the male telephonists at RAF Syston and eventually she met Stan Stone (he was a regular in the RAF working as a telephonist). They were married 8 months later in Coddington church on the 4th March 1959.

The newly married couple went to live in a flat in Newark before moving back to 70 Main Street (now demolished) later they moved to 23, Morgans Close, Coddington where they still live.

Winnie finished work after she had her first child Richard on 25th November 1960, followed by Adrian, 21st September 1962 then Catherine 20th June 1973. They had their first had their first black and white television in the early 1960's.

Winnie and Stan are enjoying their retirement with Stan spending many happy hours on his allotment and garden.