Could you help identify the house in this drawing of Kimpton?
PUBLISHED: 19:00 10 October 2018
The public have been asked for help in identifying a thatched cottage in this drawing of Kimpton.
Len Lambe of Abingdon in Oxfordshire is trying to locate the property, which he believes was based three to five miles from the village, possibly near Little Cutts, and which was drawn by his cousin Kenneth in 1942.
Len said: “Ken was an amazing artist, but sadly he rarely drew.
“My three cousins were evacuated from London to the countryside during World War Two. Ken aged 16, Pam 15 and Rita aged 11, together with their mother Ivy Lambe, stayed at the thatched house for about one year before moving to Birmingham.
“The school refused to take evacuee children, so they had an entire year’s holiday.”
Kenneth died earlier this year and this drawing was found rolled-up in a carrier bag.
Rita, now in her 80s, lives in Kent and recalls that the house was owned by a Mr and Mrs Dodsworth and only had three bedrooms, so Ken moved away to stay with his aunt at The Folly in Wheathampstead.
Mrs Dodsworth only had one eye and once they were all called downstairs to help pick from a selection of glass eyes which had arrived in the post.
Rita remembers Mr Dodsworth as ‘a horrible person’ who liked his drink. He would come home drunk, take his belt off and beat the family spaniel.
Christmas dinner consisted of sausage and mash, cooked on a portable valour stove, and trips to the toilet required going outside to a ‘smelly’ shed.
The house was located near to a small farm, which was across a cow field surrounded by a white picket fence and five-bar gate.
The farmer had one leg and a stump and there were six or more young children in the family on the farm Rita believes were called the Watts.
Len, who used to live on Manor Road in Wheathampstead, said: “Rita was saying she remembered various things about the cottage and wondered if it was still there. It’s a nice bit of family history and I thought it might be of interest.
“Hell of a character was Ken. He said he wanted to die at home, but they would not let him out so his nephew took him a false nose, glasses and moustache and wheeled him out of there.”