Welcome to the second
‘People and Places of Geddington’
This article is the first in a series to focus on Lee’s Way; one cottage in particular and the love story behind its doors.
Lee’s Way was not named such for many years and was also known as Hopkins’ Jitty. At the time of our story it was part of West Street and the cottages were numbered accordingly.
Our story concerns No. 41 West Street in 1951.
We are delighted to be able to tell the story thanks to Sally Barlow and her willingness to share her father’s diary from that time with us.
Philip Barlow, known to most as ‘Pip’, was a multi talented, educated man with a lively sense of humour and, as you will see as the story unfolds, a man of courage too. His family came from Burton Latimer and owned the butchers and the cake shop there. He, himself, after active service all over the world, went to work in the Kettering photographic shop known as ‘Winterhalder’s’ and eventually took it over in 1946 when Herbert Winterhalder died. Pip’s interest in the new technologies around photography has left us a legacy – the photographic evidence of the building, and re-building, of 41 West Street.
In 1951 Pip was in love and hoping to persuade his lady to marry him. He wanted them to build a home together and to share the excitement of creating something special and individual . . . .
This is how he begins his story;
‘Situate within spitting distance of the public house, The White Hart, a most pleasing thatched cottage, comprised of one door and two windows, looking benignly upon this era of prefabs and thrown up concrete blocks, with contempt.
The living room, with its oak beams and red tiled floor is most pleasing and cosy-looking. Standing next door, are the ruins of two old cottages belonging to the Duke. If this little plot could be purchased too, a kitchen and bathroom built thereon and a door knocked through from 41, a most comfortable wee establishment could be formed.
Pip was very definitely an optimist; a man not to be easily deflected from a ‘mission’ and a man for whom the values of a village community reflected those he wanted for his new family.
Over the next few weeks we will describe how both the cottage, known to the couple as ‘The Little House’ and his marriage plans came together, through love, hard work, a few tears and sheer determination.