Monday, July 29, 2013

Colonel Lancaster's cottages at Kelmarsh

As you speed through Kelmarsh on the A508 you may spot these two terraces across the road from the lodge gates of the Hall. What you will not discover, unless you are there on foot, is this plaque on the end wall of one of them.

Though he lived at Kelmarsh Hall in Northamptonshire, Colonel Lancaster was Conservative MP for the Lancashire constituencies of Fylde and then Fylde South between 1938 and 1970. He has been mentioned on this blog before, in a post on Nancy Keene Perkins and Ronald Tree and I have since written more about him.

The story of the fire that destroyed the cottages that originally stood here is told on the Welcome to Kettering site:
It is difficult to believe the tragedy which overtook the stone cottages on the 4th May 1943. On that day, as lunch was being prepared, a spark somehow ignited the thatched roof of the middle house. A strong wind was blowing, and all the 13 houses were destroyed, rendering 44 people homeless. No one was injured, but few possessions were rescued. The cottages were rebuilt in their present form in 1948.
You can see a picture of them on the Leicestershire County Council Collections Online site.

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