collected by Irene Bell 5th April 2005


Mary Lukehurst [née Hough]

Mary Hough was born in 1913 in Ardbrecknish, Scotland. She was the middle child and only daughter; there was an older brother Francis Alexander Hough (Frank) and a younger brother Patrick Harry Hough (Pat).

Mary's father worked for Colonel Thorpe as an engineer on one of the two boats Colonel Thorpe had at his home on Loch Awe. One a sailing boat and the other run by steam.

Colonel Thorpe built the small church in the village of Ardbrecknish, brother Frank was the first child to be baptised there, and Mary the second.

Her father moved to Coddington when Mary was a year old and went to work in the family business of threshing, going from farm to farm, with his steam engine and taking the grain to the mill on Balderton Lane. He had a wooden barrel, which was filled with flour for family use. Mary still has the barrel, now in her garden filled with plants.

The family first lived in one of the stone cottages on The Green, sadly no longer there and one of her first memories was seeing a long string of flags tied at one end to a large tree on the Green and the other end to her bedroom window. She cannot remember the occasion but believes it might have been to celebrate the end of the First World War when she would have been 4 or 5 years old.

She remembers Coddington as a very different place, small and friendly where everyone knew everyone else, not a lot going on, but making their own fun.

Her best friend was Bertha Knott, daughter of John Knott the village shopkeeper and baker. The shop next door to The Plough and the bakery up an alley along side. The shop sold just about everything and although there was a lovely smell of fresh newly baked bread, there was also a drum just behind the shop door, containing paraffin. To this day the smell of paraffin brings back sharp memories of the old shop to Mary.

Mary attended the village school and remembers one of her teachers called Miss Gomer. To keep order, the teacher had a long, blunt ended stick and to get the children to pay attention she would prod them in the chest with the stick. Her nickname thereafter was Prodder Gomer

Mary's friends when she was a child were Reg and Fred Simpson, who also lived on the Green. Jenny Fixter, who lived in a cottage in Hough's Yard, Lottie Glanville, and of course Bertha Knott. They all played together, the usual children's games and running around the village and the farms. Life seemed much safer then.

Grandad Hough owned the second car in Coddington, a huge open soft top Ford. The children were very excited to be driven around in it, and waved grandly to everyone as they passed.

One early memories of being driven to Skegness in a caravan, towed by the steam engine and they all stayed in a huge tent in a field. Mum even took along a large washing tub and the wash board. The caravan had a split stable door, the bottom half bolted shut, the top half propped open. On the journey, all the children, Mary, Daisy, Sonny Walster and Frank Hough were all standing holding on to the bottom door when the engine skidded, the caravan twisted and the top door swung shut, trapping and bruising the fingers of all the children, making them howl with pain.

Grandad Hough built two houses on Old Newark Road, Ardfern and Millview. The trim round the bay windows on the two houses and around the porch at Brownlow's house were all taken from Coddington Hall when it was demolished. Ardfern was named after one of the boats Colonel Thorpe had owned at Ardbrecknish House in Scotland.

Mary was very "sporty" in her teenage years; a member of the tennis club in Drove Lane and remembers the lovely tennis pavilion. She went dancing in Cranwell and Newark, but her main love was cycling. She cycled to the dances in Cranwell and even cycled to London, in one day. She visited her Aunt, who was housekeeper to Lady Astor and lived in Regents Park. She felt quite safe on the road and saw little more than half a dozen cars.

Mary met her husband Albert Edward Lukehurst at a dance, introduced by his best friend Ted Daybell, with whom he used to play cricket in Coddington. Albert had lived in Southwell and they moved to that area later. They married in 1935 and had two sons, John who lives in Southwell and Alexander who lives in Lowdham. She has two grand-children and three great grand-children.

In about 1942 Mary and Albert moved to Upton where they bought a pub, The Cross Keys, running it for about 20 years.

The family lived in Brownlow House, then brother Frank had the cottage built for his parents, where Mary lives now. She showed me a map, dated 1883, which showed that the land the cottage is built on, had at that time two stone cottages on it.

Mary and Albert moved back to Coddington to look after her Mother, and after the death of her parents, bought the cottage from her brother. It had originally more land around it, but a parcel of land was sold to Mr and Mrs Bunckle who built another house there.