As father was the gamekeeper, we lived in the keeper’s cottage on Sherbourne hill. We had plenty of meat to eat, and lived on rabbits, pigeons and chickens. No one would ever kill an egg laying chicken so I now suspect many of our “chicken” meals were really pheasant! We probably ate more pheasants than the estate owner.
Cycling to Stratford
American servicemen and women used to bicycle to Stratford to visit Shakespeare’s house. They would stop at our house for a drink of water out of the well. We were given chewing gum as a thank you.
Father’s petrol ration did not allow us into Warwick town- but we sneaked to my grandparents with a rabbit via the country lanes and Budbrooke.
In 1939 we moved to a half timbered cottage opposite the school in Sherbourne – earth floor kitchen, no water, primus stove and oil lamps. Water was colllected from a spring in a nerby field. Cows permitting! The village school was one classroom, taught by Mrs Hemmings, while the village had film shows and war news in a wooden hut at times.
We moved to Barford in the Spring of 1940. After a snowy winter, I was the only one at school the day of the deep snow.
Father caught trout from a local stream. In the Spring time I had four fried moorhen eggs on a round of fried bread before I went to school.
Originally published on the BBC’s WW2 People’s War website as the articles Home Life, Sherbourne Hill and Sherbourne Village, Warwickshire. This article has been reproduced with permission of the BBC, and the author’s estate.