A tribute to two airmen who died in January 1957 in a jet crash within the parish of Lavendon
On 21st January 1957, residents in Lavendon heard a military aircraft flying low over the village, followed shortly afterwards by a loud explosion and the impact of the plane hitting the ground near Lower Farm at the end of Castle Road. The aircraft was a de Havilland Vampire jet trainer with an American Air Force pilot instructor, Captain Charles Bernard Christison of California, on board together with his pupil, RAF Pilot Officer Thomas Stephen Howdle, both based at RAF Oakington.
Both the instructor and pupil were killed in the crash and the Ingram family who lived at Lower Farm were lucky to escape with their lives.
For more details of this tragic event click here.
Lavendon in the News – Edited extracts from local newspapers of the past
150 Years Ago in 1866:
AMATEUR CONCERT. —On Tuesday, the 9th of January, a concert was given in the National Schoolroom, Lavendon, by ladies and gentlemen of the neighbourhood, in aid of the schools. The programme consisted of sacred and secular music, most of which was executed in good style. The two parts were separated by a reading (the tale of a judge), by the Rev. W. Tomkins, which caused great laughter. Several of the pieces were vociferously encored. There was a good attendance.
LAVENDON BUCK HUNTING. — On Friday, the 12th inst., a party of gentlemen enjoyed some fine sport in Yardley Chase. Two fine bucks having escaped from Lord Southampton’s took their quarters at Yardley Chase, and after some first-rate sport one was shot by Mr. Perry, of Lavendon Mill, the head of which has been sent to Mr. Mantel, of Mill-street, Bedford, to be preserved. The carcase was forwarded to its owner.
STEALING A FLANNEL SHIRT. — James Panter and Henry Smart, of Lavendon, were found guilty of stealing a flannel shirt, on the 8th inst., the property of General W. E. Elliott, of Turvey. Panter was detected with it on, who said it was given to him by Smart, who told him he picked it up in Turvey. This occurred on Plough Monday.
90 Years Ago in 1926:
A SPORTING GAME. “It was a good sporting game, played in the right spirit, and one of the cleanest games seen at Lavendon this season.” writes the Secretary of the Lavendon Club of the match with Kempston Rovers Reserves on Saturday. This veiled tribute to opponents comes with even better grace because Kempston won. How much more pleasant reading does this little note make than some we receive, criticizing referees and visiting players.
FORWARD’S NOTES. Writing about sporting teams reminds me that the League Secretary has shown me a letter received from the Kempston Rovers’ Chairman, in which he refers to the splendid sporting game played by the Lavendon United team, and the splendid reception the Lavendon officials extend to visiting teams and officials. As the Rovers’ Chairman aptly remarks, more of this kind of spirit among all Clubs would make football still more enjoyable.
80 Years Ago in 1936:
OLD PEOPLE ENTERTAINED The seventeenth annual treat for the old people of over sixty and for widows and widowers was held on Saturday. The company assembled in the Ambulance Hall, which had previously been decorated, for dinner, after which Mr. S. Tompkins, on behalf of the Committee, welcomed the guests, and stated that although it had been impossible to raise the necessary money by the usual methods (namely, a prize draw) the holiday had been made possible chiefly by the increase in subscriptions. As soon as dinner was over the company were entertained with community singing, songs, violin solos, and competitions. Just before tea was served the Hon. Mrs. D. H. Farrer arrived and was greeted with loud applause. After tea the company were again entertained with songs, and there were also violin solos by Mr. W. J. Tompkins, competitions, and sketches.
THE OAKLEY HUNT – The meet was at Dungee Corner on Tuesday. Harrold Park was first drawn blank, but a fox found in Threeshire gave a ringing hunt through Lavendon Neens, and Snip Wood, and was killed near the road at Snelson. Finding again in the Lavendon Woods, hounds ran by Bozeat Grange and the Slight and through the woods again to Snip, but hounds were run out of scent at Cold Brayfield. Scent was very poor all day.
SUNDAY SCHOOL – On Saturday the children of the Church Sunday School held their Christmas party at the Clubroom. After tea the time was spent in games, and before leaving each child received a prize.
On Monday a party of schoolchildren, under the guidance the school staff, went to London to see “Peter Pan”. Dinner and tea was provided for them by the generosity of some of the School Managers.
A meeting of the Parish Council [chaired by Mr J. M. Cony] was held in the Schools on Tuesday. In reply to letter received from the Rural District Council stating that they had purchased a housing site in Olney Road, it was decided to write regretting this action and asking what was to be done with the houses in the village already condemned.
A discussion arose on the responsibility for maintaining the war memorial, and it was decided to ask the two remaining members of Committee if they desired the Council to take it over.
COUNTRY FOLK HONOUR THE LATE KING – Tributes of Devotion in Every Village
[King George V died on January 20, 1936 at the age of 70 in Sandringham House, Norfolk.]
AT LAVENDON – In commemoration of his late Majesty two services were held at Lavendon Church — Holy Communion at 9.30 a.m. and in the evening.
70 Years Ago in 1946:
LAVENDON – As a result of a house-to-house collection made in the village on Boxing Day, young people of eighteen years and under were entertained at tea in the Ambulance Hall last week. Each child was given sixpence. Games were followed by a cinema show. People over sixty years of age were entertained to tea in the Ambulance Hall, also as a result of the house-to-house collection.
A Nativity play, entitled “Wonder Night” (by Florence Roch), was presented in the Church by the junior teachers of the Sunday school and others. The producer was the Rector (the Rev. R. R. N. Rendell). The play was preceded by two tableaux. The large congregation was impressed by the deep reverence with which the tableaux and play were presented. The offerings, amounting to £3 1s 4d., are being given to the Waifs and Strays Society*.
FOR HOSPITAL FUND – A large Christmas tree adorned with presents was displayed in the “George” Inn last week. A competition was held to decide the recipients of the presents, and as result of this, £10 1s. 9d. was realized on behalf of the Northampton Hospital War Memorial Fund. Mr. F. C. Beeden (Honorary Treasurer of the Hospital Committee) was the organizer.
LAVENDON – THE HOUSING QUESTION – At a general meeting of Lavendon British Legion, held at the “Horseshoes” inn, Lavendon, on 18th January, the following resolution was carried: This branch approves the action of the Newport Pagnell Rural Council in erecting four permanent houses at Lavendon, but in view of the large number of derelict cottages at present being occupied by ex-Service men and others in the village, we would respectfully request the Housing Committee to facilitate the erection of four houses (at least) in addition to those at present under construction. Further, we would ask the Council to extend earnest consideration to all applications received from ex-Service and serving men with families on a priority basis for tenancy of any houses they decide to erect.” The resolution has been placed before the Council for its next meeting.
*For interesting historical details of the ‘Waifs and Strays Society’, see www.hiddenlives.org.uk/articles/history.html