collected By Sally Wooltorten 19th January 2004
Maureen lived on Sleaford Road in Newark, but moved to Farndon when a small baby as the house was flooded. She came to live at the Lodge when she was about 6 years old along with her mother, brother and sister ( 4 more brothers were born whilst the family lived at the Lodge). The children were Maureen, David, Michael, Peter, Lany, Sybil and Keith.
The Lodge was rented to her Grandparents Mr & Mrs Thompson and Maureen?s mother eventually bought it for £800 and it has remained in the family ever since. (Thorpe name on the deeds)
Trevor Saul who lived in Parklands Close gave Maureen a copy of the Thorpe?s history that he had researched, Maureen is to try and see him to ask if we could also have a copy for the History Group.
Maureen has a photograph of the lodge(the Gatehouse to Coddington Hall (Beaconfield) when it was a single storey building but it was a two storey building by the time she moved there in the 1940's.
The garden was large and she can vividly remember playing outside all day long with other village children. She had fond memories of attending Coddington School, and the Sunday school.
Part of the back garden was given to Maureen's brother to build a house (Ash Lodge). To the right of the Lodge stands Coddington Post Office which is a relatively new building, before this was built there used to be a small shop that was called Coddington Stores, it was extended as new people took over the premises. Maureen is not sure when the Post Office as we know it came to the store , but she recalls it used to be on Post Office Row Main Street and later opposite the Inn on the Green, Main Street.
She can remember a lot about RAF Winthorpe which got the nick name of " Coddington Camp", she has photographs of the houses being built in the late 40?s early 50's and can remember playing in Coddington Hall when it was in its rundown state and being told not to go up stairs as the floor was unsafe. She can vaguely remember the Hall in its heyday and recalls the ballroom being very ornate and surrounded by mirrors, there was a tennis court at Coddington Hall and an impressive fountain.
Maureen believes Coddington Hall was the Officer's Mess.
There was a bungalow near the Hall (next to the Old Coach House) which belonged to Mr & Mrs Freddie Boar, who were market gardeners and she can remember walking past workshops and the telephone exchange on the way to Winthorpe aerodrome. Opposite the Boar's bungalow was an orchard/wood and several RAF buildings. Maureen believes one of these may have been the Officers Mess.
The Guard room was to the left of the Lodge and there were railings all around the Lodge and the Guard Room, there is still a short piece near the Post Box ( the post box is still in the same place as it was then).There was also a gym, laundry rooms and a jailhouse at the end of the Guard room. Maureen has fond memories of the RAF staff who lived around her, they were always pleasant. There was always something interesting going on as it was such a big site. She and her Mother used to wash the camps football kit (all by hand!) and she used to darn their socks for them as she was growing up. There was always a doctor/medical orderly on the camp and they even treated Maureen's rabbit when it had to have it's leg amputated!
Maureen remembers the air raid over Newark in the 2nd World War when Ransome and Marles Factory was bombed, she lost her uncle Wilfred Andrews amongst the fatalities. Another of Maureen's uncles, Albert Thompson, was injured in Normandy and died in England from his wounds. He was the only soldier from Coddington to be killed in the 2nd World War. Maureen can also recall some of the evacuee children and can vaguely remember that their parents had been bombed and the parents came to live with the children at the lodge for a while.
The Hall fell into decline in the 1950's and part of the site became Harvey Avenue Estate with lots of Air Force families moving in. Maureen used to be a Sunday School teacher and she remembers many of the weddings at the Church.
Maureen died aged 80 on the 13th October 2015.