Memories of Winteringham during and after World War II
by John Holmes
I was just browsing at your lovely site as my father John William Holmes lived in Winteringham and I used to visit his parents (my
grandparents) both during and just after the Second World War. They lived in the cottages at the bottom of Ferry Lane next door to Mrs Cook so I believe and my grandfather kept pigs. We
had to catch the train to Scunthorpe from Lowestoft. On arrival here we got on a single Decker bus to Winteringham.
I recall my sister and I playing in the farm yard at the top end of the lane. The farmer was great as he let us jump off the haystacks etc. Just around the
corner from the farm yard there was a blind shoe repairers shop, you stepped down a couple of steps as you entered. My father took me in this shop one day when I was about 8 years old.
The keeper said "hello John who is the stranger with you?" I of course didn't realise at the time that the gentleman was blind and knew my father by his footsteps and of
course my steps were unfamiliar to his ears, hence his question. On the embankment opposite was a shop on the corner and another just further along next to which used to be the large farm
(barn type doors) gates. In the latter shop we used to buy a large current bun as a treat. Just outside the shop was a telephone box.
At the bottom end of Ferry Lane was a field in which there was a pond and I crossed this field with my Grandfather and often enjoyed a ride on one of the
shunting engines. Evelyn Fowler was my fathers sister and she lived in the main street shown in one of your pictures.
They built bungalows behind the shops I referred to and my grandparents moved into one of these where I stayed with them a couple of times when in the RAF
(Royal Air Force) and paid a visit to RAF Digby a delightful little village. This station, was so I believe, a grass airfield during the Second World War. I
worked on the aerial arrays that were there in the 1950's and went to Lincoln Forces Club to dance the night away.
My parents parted just after the war and I found my father in the 1980's and
returned to Winteringham with him. I had described the village to my wife and she knew when we arrived there as some parts were as I had remembered
them. I don't think the telephone box had ever been painted since I was first in Winteringham. The corner shop still existed and I made a purchase in it.
As a child I also recall crossing the river Humber on a steam ferry. My father
took me to the engine room where one could see the large steam driven pistons going up and down. We went and visited my aunt in Hutton Cranswick where
some of the Holmes had originated from. My aunt lived in a delightful country cottage on the edge of a village green if my memory serves me right.
I hope that you find this useful albeit it is rather brief. However, I am an amateur
publisher and compile small books containing personal accounts/photographs of Lowestoft a once famous herring port. I feel that recording personal experience
etc are useful for future generations.
John W Holmes
Pictures: Top: Mr and Mrs Holmes (the grandparents of John W Holmes) who lived in the village.
Above: Setting off for Canada in 1933. Unfortunately, because of snow
blindness, John W Holmes Grandfather and family returned a short while later.