Stretton on Dunsmore Memories of the Dairy, and Wartime Echoes

All Saints, Stretton on Dunsmore, 2014.
Photo by Benjamin Earl

Many older residents of Stretton will remember Heinz Kittendorf who ran the local dairy in the village. He was taken prisoner of war and was interned in the local POW camp located at Bourton and Frankton, but after the war he decided to stay in the UK and locality and started his own dairy and milk delivery business. He was a charming man and well liked, and over the years he developed a very successful business around the area.

Stretton on Dunsmore and Princethorpe were well located villages between two major towns and city and the opportunity for work would bring many people from all over the country to relocate. Companies such as The Rootes Car Company, Massey Ferguson, Jaguar, and Armstrong Whitworth aircraft. This was all along with mining at Kerseley and Binley, and many ancillary companies opening up supporting the major manufacturers.

Echoes of the Great War

Within less than a mile of of the village was the A45 dual carriageway which in later years would link up with the M1 motorway and the M6..M40 and M42 as a major transport hub linking the north and south of the UK. It was on the A45 just outside of the village where in 1915 King George V inspected hundreds of troops who were leaving for the Gallipoli campaign and its reported that the line of troops stretched all the way along the road to Dunchurch.  Many of those men would never return.

All Saints Church in the village has a memorial plaque within the church of the locals who fell in the Great War and even now I can picture this plaque when as a choirboy all the names would be read out on Remembrance Sunday. Some things in your life you never forget…

Little changes

Over the years little has changed in both Stretton on Dunsmore and Princethorpe albeit new properties have been built and an influx of new families. They still have the annual fete which is widely supported and with many local organisations meeting up at various times. In essence they are still the same, certainly from my point of view as at the heart of the village, the core presence is exactly the same as when I was a boy 65 years ago. Although I moved away the village life, I’m sure is as strong now as it ever was.

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