Geddington – A life in words and memories – April

Dallington House
Dallington House

John and George Holding were brothers and timber merchants running their yard in Grange Road, Geddington in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. George was the businessman and was successful enough to be able to build Dallington House on Kettering Road for his family. He moved in with his wife, Esther nee Farmer, and daughters Margaret and Caroline in 1908.

Margaret, known as Daisy, was at one point a teacher and Caroline, referred to as Carrie was a dressmaker. It seems that neither sister married and when they no longer required Dallington House as a home, they moved into The Bungalow and supported each other throughout their lives.

Daisy wrote several journals over a period of 30 years. The contents draw a delightful, whimsical and honest view of life in Geddington; a community they, and generations of their family before them, knew well.

We hope you enjoy the selection of extracts we have chosen. Our thanks go to David Valentine who has treasured the letters and journals from the family and whose memories of life in the village in the next generation intertwine with those of Daisy.

***********************************************************************  April 1925 – Extract from Daisy Holding’s journal

23rd Tonight we have had the first soft warm April shower.

24th Oh! What a glorious warm spring day. Bumble bees and butterflies haunt the aubretia … The swallows have come. Mrs Biddy and her five chicks have been placed outside the fence in the big wide world. The chicks are a wee bit frightened. Not so ma! She is kept busy fighting off all the other hens and guarding her precious family.

We have commenced tying up the leafs of the bulbs that have finished flowering. I always think they look like little girls ready for bed with their hair in curl papers.

25th What pleasure it gives one to re-arrange one’s rooms at Spring Cleaning. The floors and furniture polished, the windows and china shining, the brass and copper burnished then the posys of sweet spring flowers. It’s worth all the labour.

Mrs Patrick’s yellow jonquils and pheasant eye breathe out their delightful fragrance. They are so dainty and star like.

Little Sister’s off to weed her strawberry bed.


Holding's timber yard Geddington c 1910
Holding’s timber yard circa 1910

26th As we saw the timber carters loading up the noble trees it brought memories to our minds of childhood’s days, as did also the farmer in his little cart driving over the ‘bumps’


If you have any memories of the timber yard, Dallington House or the Holding family and would like to share them, please add a comment or send an email to the Editor at

An email received recently by has revealed the following information.

“The probable reason that Margaret never married, is that her fiancé was killed during the First World War.

Margaret (Daisy) was engaged to Stanley Davis of Station  Road, Kettering, who was in business with his father at the Northampton Rubber Co, in Gold Street.

Stanley volunteered within a month of the outbreak of war and served with the 6th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment.  He was killed in action on 13th April 1916, during a German raid on the British line near Fricourt on the Somme. He lies buried in Carmoy Military Cemetery

This was reported in the Kettering Leader of 21st April 1916. His betrothed, Miss Margaret Holding is mentioned in the article.

Margaret served in the Voluntary Aid Detachment during the War and was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the Red Cross in May 1920.”

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