Former Finedon Resident 100 Years Old

Mrs Winifred Stevenson was born in Finedon at the very end of the First World War. Her mother was Florence Miriam (May) Wells, the oldest child of Frank and Ada Freestone who were living on High Street in Finedon, close to the junction with Rose Hill. Frank was born in Burton Latimer and was employed as an Army Boot Maker.

Her father was Albert Wells who was originally a Farm Labourer at Hillside Farm, owned at the time of his marriage to Florence by his step-grandfather William Russell; his natural grandfather having died as the result of an explosion at a blast furnace. Before then, William had been the manager of an ironworks in Irthlingborough.

Albert became a mine worker and, after living for a while with his wife’s family, they moved to a house at the bottom of Mulso Road which they shared with another family.

Winifred was brought up in this house, which bordered on to the Recreation Ground at the back and was later used by Tommy Gore (?) in the fifties/sixties as a car sales business.

She worked at the Ideal Clothiers on Irthlingborough Road where she was trained as a machinist to sew trousers, waistcoats, etc. – in fact most of their products. These skills became very useful as it enabled her to make most of the family’s clothes and later to work from home when the children were settled at school and needed less attention!

The Wells family had meanwhile moved to Summerlee Road and she was married from here during WW2 to Bob, who was then an Airframe Fitter in the RAF, and who came from Wellingborough.

Both of her sons were born at the Woodfield Nursing Home and the Stevenson family moved to Cromer Road in the late forties; this was a prefabricated concrete “semi” called an Orlit, designed by a Czech architect and adopted by the government as a quick solution of the post war need for new housing – an ice-box in winter but otherwise a modern house.

She well remembers holidays taken from there to the East Anglian coast, travelling in Jess Lawman’s coaches, and later ones to Scotland by car.

The family moved to Finedon Road, Wellingborough in the mid sixties because Bob, who joined the Ideal Clothiers in Wellingborough after being de-mobbed, was settled there and enabled him to walk to work each day rather than the daily bus journeys. Winifred still retained her links with friends in Finedon and the church there, of which her elder brother Ron later became organist.

She and Bob celebrated their Golden Wedding at the Mulso Arms with family/friends and they then went on a trip down the Rhine.

However, sons Peter and Tony were now living respectively at Leeds and Hull so, when Bob died in the early nineties, she decided to move closer to them and now lives in a bungalow on the outskirts of Hull. Here she joined a “Writing Group” run by a local volunteer which encouraged her talents in that area and she spent many years writing and composing poetry. She has privately published several booklets of her work.

She celebrated her 100th birthday there with some neighbours and friends and then a family meal at the weekend which included her three great-grandchildren.

Peter Stevenson