The Old White House

Market Street 1980s

Claire-Marie Thompson (Dilly)

Bottesford School Children at the cross. Behind them, The Old White House, then Samuel's shop. 1920s.
Bottesford School Children at the cross. Behind them, The Old White House, then Samuel's shop. 1920s.
Vivian and Shirley Wright of Barkstone-le-Vale on the steps of The Market Cross. To the right The Old White House, then A.E. Greaves' Shop, c.1948.
Vivian and Shirley Wright of Barkstone-le-Vale on the steps of The Market Cross. To the right The Old White House, then A.E. Greaves' Shop, c.1948.
The Old White House
The Old White House
CJP
CJP
The Old White House
The Old White House
Jenny, John and their grandaughter
Jenny, John and their grandaughter
Grandma Jenny Dilly and her grandaughter Sydney in Australia.
Grandma Jenny Dilly and her grandaughter Sydney in Australia.
Jenny's Grandaughter
Jenny's Grandaughter
Claire-Marie and daughter Sydney
Claire-Marie and daughter Sydney
Claire-Marie Thompson (Dilly) and daughter Sydney-Lee
Claire-Marie Thompson (Dilly) and daughter Sydney-Lee
My little princess who dreams of living the childhood I had in Bottesford
My little princess who dreams of living the childhood I had in Bottesford
She loves my stories about England.
She loves my stories about England.
Three Generations
Three Generations
British Girl in the U.S.A.
British Girl in the U.S.A.
Mother and Daughter
Mother and Daughter
A Girl from Bottesford
A Girl from Bottesford
Stormy Sky over Market Street, July 2007
Stormy Sky over Market Street, July 2007
Market Street from Church Street - Craven House
Market Street from Church Street - Craven House
A Wet day on Market Street - looking South - Fleming's Hospital
A Wet day on Market Street - looking South - Fleming's Hospital
Rauceby Guide Camp, 1984. Claire Thompson, Lorraine Langton.
Rauceby Guide Camp, 1984. Claire Thompson, Lorraine Langton.
Still called The Old White House
Still called The Old White House
Jill Bagnall & Claire-Marie Thompson in a scene from Oliver, 1984 Gang Show
Jill Bagnall & Claire-Marie Thompson in a scene from Oliver, 1984 Gang Show
2nd Bottesford Guides, 1985. Back: Claire Thompson, Rebecca Simmonds, Marjory Smith. Front: Jill Bagnall, Jane Willcock.
2nd Bottesford Guides, 1985. Back: Claire Thompson, Rebecca Simmonds, Marjory Smith. Front: Jill Bagnall, Jane Willcock.

Hello Bottesford!

Do you remember The Dilly Family?. We lived at The Old White House on Market Street from the early 80’s to the late 80’s early 90’s.

This is our old house….. it was painted white!. In Picture 3 where the first car is parked. I fondly remember water drinking contests in the courtyard with Sara and my old next door neighbour to the left, Ruth Taylor¬† (If you came out of the front of The Old White House and turned left her family was a couple of doors down with a beautiful garden in the back of the house) and stealing the rhubarb out of the butcher’s vegetable plot near the back of our house! I can visualise Ruth so clearly.She had just below ear length mouse- brown hair and a freckled face. We had such great summers in her garden at the back! We used to pretend we were at dance class in one of the front rooms of her house.

Does anybody have any inside/outside views of the house now? I hear it was turned into a B & B?

I have such fond memories of my childhood in Bottesford!. I’m scanning through all of the pictures of the village and can’t believe that I do not see any more recent pictures of The Old White House. I am thinking we lived there from 1982/83 until about a year after the bypass was built. My Mum (Jennifer Joan Dilly) and stepfather (John Earnest Dilly) had their own Antiques, Period Furnishing’s & Fine Furnishings shop there.

I remember Winifred (we used to call her Win) used to own a small antique/jewelry shop to the left of the telephone exchange, where the Chinese take-away is today. I remember looking out of what was my step dad’s showroom upstairs and hearing the cows being slaughtered at the butcher’s across the street! My Mum asked me if I remembered the butcher always used to walk through our yard. He made Stilton. She said the steaks were the best she’s ever had. She mentioned there used to be an old Pump by the barn at the side of the pig/horse troughs. The troughs of stone were placed either side of the barn door.I also have many fond memories of playing in the ford down by the church during the summer time.

Names that come to mind are as follows (I apologise if I have some wrong!): Richard Smith, Theresa Debbie Hall/Green? Simon? “Porky” (was my Sister Carolyn’s boyfriend), Richard Cole, Sarah?

Gosh, it’s been quite a few years as I am now 35 and was 9 when we moved to the village!!….I will have to think some more on last names! I went to the elementary school and recall playing tag on the playground outside and slipping and falling in my new shoes my Mum had bought me…..I apparently was carried from the playground to the couch in the music room by a stranger who disappeared as quickly as he appeared out of nowhere?! I then went on to go to Belvoir High School.

I used to go to the Cole’s Farm to ride their horses and was kicked off one day and rescued by a local jogger who called the village policeman and my Mum to pick me up. (I was kicked into the canal on by the same horse, which in turn wrecked my sister’s new Christmas jumper that I should not have been wearing!)

I have many memories of my Mum getting stuck on the bridge by the church when the ford overflowed onto the bridge. I also remember that quaint little sign….”Please drive carefully ducks crossing”! I remember the best times playing in there as a child and the “island” to the left of the rectory was where we used to have the bonfire on Guy Fawkes night. I think just around the bend after the ford there was a farm where I used to exercise their horses and directly opposite, if I am not wrong, there was an old American Air force Base?….Isn’t Bottesford just the perfect village to encapsulate your childhood memories to something that others could only dream of!

I will post more on here tomorrow, and possibly some pictures. I now live in The U.S. and would LOVE to hear from my past Friends! I can’t wait to visit again…..

By the way the picture of the side by side houses I think was at the back of the property near the butchers garden? You would walk past the main courtyard of The Old White House, and the barn that still had the original grinding wheel for the corn (my Mum and John were going to make that into my sister’s bedroom!), then the stables (that had really old bags of corn still and horse tack in the loft above) and then I think those cottages were either to the right, or behind the garden straight ahead. It was like walking into the set of The Secret Garden – what a treasured childhood I had in Bottesford. On the downside of thing’s, it made me judgmental of every other place I lived there after!, I was never happy!

Is the house now back to red brick? Maybe I wasn’t seeing it in the pictures as I was expecting it to be white. Do we know if it was always called The Old White House?¬† The people that we bought The Old White House from were an elderly couple, Mr. & Mrs.Fern. Apparently they lived in The Rectory. They took my Mum and John out for dinner in Grantham for pheasant and my step dad got very, very sick. My Mum said she thinks the pheasant was hung for more like a year not a week!

There is, or was, an old Rayburn cast iron cooker in the kitchen and an old stone floor. The cabinets, if they are still there in the dining room, were built by my Uncle Robert so my Mum could store her fine bone china and antique wine glasses, he also built the big white bookshelf under the stairs. I remember when we first went to see the house, getting lost as I did not know there were two staircases, one going up to the bedrooms, showroom etc and one going back down to the showrooms/shop at the front. I remember in 1986 laying on the sofa bed we had in the showroom after having my tonsils & adenoids removed at Grantham General Hospital.

I certainly remember my Mum signing me up for Girl Guides. Every week she would give me my “sub” money to take to the shed like building – however, there was a small problem. Between leaving the house and walking to Girl Guides there just happened to be a sweet shop on the way, so needless to say – my sub bill racked up and up as the time went on! . I think Geesons would have been the sweet shop. You would again turn left out of the front of our house and then turn left again and it was on the left.

I do remember my friend Sarah Cartwright lived at The Orchard, I think it may have been on Main Street some where. We decided to get our own sweet money one day and trundled down to St Mary’s on our bicycles wielding on little baskets on the front. We “borrowed” some information books on the church and went around to the elderly housing seeing if anybody wanted to buy an informational guide on the church – not thinking they were probably the ones that had written it! We tried selling them for 50 p each and I think we may have sold one all day to a lady that was deaf! – either that or she really felt sorry for us!. I was cycling home, pulled into the courtyard of The Old White House (home) and saw the village policeman’s bike leaning up against the kitchen wall………..my heart just about jumped into my throat. I walked into the kitchen and he was sitting at the big pine table drinking a cup of coffee and my Mum was standing at the sink wearing her infamous blue and white striped apron. She smiled and asked me why I hadn’t just gone to her and asked her for money if I wanted some sweets…….which raised a HUGE red flag for me and told me I was in more trouble than I cared to imagine!.

The end result of my sweet fundraising efforts was having to go to the Rectory for tea with the Vicar to apologise…….I can remember still to this day how my hand wouldn’t stop shaking! My Mums only concern was that I was going to break the beautiful china tea cup and saucer that I was drinking out of!.

I now remember Debbie Keegan, she used to draw the best pictures (side profiles) of 50’s girls with pony tails. I am sure some more names will come to me. I think one of the boys that used to hang around with us was Simon Stapleton? We all would spend many summers swinging on a rope in an old barn that was full with hay or swimming in the ford. Theresa Cammie….I think was her last name, used to live up by The Gap? I do remember there being a fire at the youth club by The Bull? I also remember my older sister who for the longest time dated Richard Cole, being picked on by a girl called Georgie Veech? I think she had a brother with dark hair (younger). They would have to take a coach to school that picked them up close to Main Street.My Sister is Carolyn Jane Dilly and my Brother is Richard Zane Dilly.

I remember walking down from the Cole’s farm one day on one of the horses (which took the better part of a beautiful Summer’s day) all the way into Bottesford and right up to the kitchen door where my Mum proceeded to feed the pony some carrots. Well, when it was time to head back to the farm…the pony DID NOT WANT TO LEAVE. My Mum ended up having to put her Hunter wellies on and walk in front of it the whole way back with a carrot whilst my step dad John followed behind very slowly in the car!.

In the garden by the side of the old telephone exchange there was an old plum tree that – in the winter months looked like a messy piece of drift wood but in the summer months however produced some of the best plums you’ve ever had!

Unfortunately with the building of the bypass – we lost most of our traffic into the shop, so we ended up moving to the Birmingham area with my step dad’s job (he worked for Central Television. Originally he was a set designer for Southern Television which is why he did all of the interior design work at The Old White House) My Mum is a nurse and has been since she went to nursing school at age 15 – she is so good because she naturally compassionate and caring. My Mum is still a nurse, something she gave up for a few years to help run the shop. If anybody remembers she used to sell the most beautiful handmade pillows, coat hangers etc. She once bought an old cast iron cradle and completely redid it in white broidery anglaise, with matching bin, bedding, wicker chair etc. It ended up taking so long to sell the house because of the bypass that I don’t think my Mum and John ended up getting anything out of it.

Moving to a small town and living in a brand new home that had straight ceilings and walls was really quite depressing after living in that beautiful old house and not having the closeness or the character of Bottesford made me very, very homesick to come back to Bottesford. I missed every single detail, down to the willow trees hanging over the river at the back of St Mary’s, to Guy Fawks night pushing the guy around in a wheelbarrow to the beautiful stone fireplace adorned with fruit carvings that I used to sit in front of in the colder months looking out of the window onto the barn and the oversized stone horse troughs that my Mum would eagerly wait for Spring so she could start planting flowers in them again.

I am wondering if anybody has any photographs from the 80’s? or in fact if anybody remembers me or my family?…I would absolutely LOVE to hear from you!!! dannys_daughter72@yahoo.com

About the primary school. I have to elaborate more on my story about falling over in the playground and see what kind of a reaction you get from your readers….maybe there has been a similar occurrence that I never knew about. When I fell over I actually knocked myself out (the playground was concrete). My Mum had bought me some brand new patent leather Clarke’s shoes that had never been worn. So, I really don’t know how I got from the playground to the music room sofa or how long it was or who picked me up, all I can tell you is what I was told. Apparently when I was laying there an older boy (brown trousers, jacket and cap) came out of the hedges by the field (behind the playground) picked me up and carried me to the music room, placed me on the sofa and disappeared). I was always intrigued as a young girl of 9 because at that age the thought of an older boy being close to you would send you weak at the knees. Whenever I asked though, after that as I got older, I was told the same story, but nobody knew who it was. When I was attending a Gymkhana on the field by the old village hall one year, I think I was about 12-13 years of age, one of my girlfriends, I don’t remember who, said they spotted the same boy by the edge of the field but then didn’t know where he had gone. It was only at that point, at that age, it started to bug me not knowing who this boy was that they kept saying I must have known because he carried me form the playground to the music room……..Either just after or just before I knocked myself out I did wake up, because I remember telling my Mum and Doctor that I remembered laying down on the playground floor and everybody being around me in a circle. At the time I thought I was having a bad dream because I recall feeling really claustrophobic and couldn’t breathe. I must have then passed out. I can tell you ever since that time and still to this day (35 years old) I am still claustrophobic and my head is still tender if I pull my hair by accident when I am brushing it! Anyway, maybe because of that brief moment I was awake, as kids they presumed I was awake period. The Doctor did confirm I had a concussion. Dr Woll was our Doctor and she was in her motorised wheelchair at the time.It still puzzles me to this day who that young boy was…..do you think you might be able to shed some light?!!

About the garden at the back….I DEFINITELY would NOT in a Million years build on that land…..we used to find things all of the time from jewelry to horse tack (really, really old), old horse shoes, pottery etc.

I would love to know the history on the house. There was always a warm feeling when you were in it. There is an entrance to the right by the lounge when you first drive into the driveway. I remember my sister asking me to watch her bath running upstairs and totally forgetting about it. Well, I was sitting in the lounge watching the TV and heard this dripping noise and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from? (old houses make all kinds of noises all of the time!)……Then I remembered!…I had forgotten to turn the bath off. OK, bearing in mind my Mum and John owned an Antique and Fine Furnishing’s, Period Furnishing’s shop…..most everything in the house was of great value…..I opened the big heavy wooden door that lead to the short hallway to that other big wooden door and there was my Mum’s antique Chinese silk rug floating on about 4 inches of water!!!!. It’s amazing how quickly you can improvise with an old 70’s Braun hairdryer and a bucket when you know your Parents are on their way home! Having three children in a house like that was almost like having a bull in a china shop……inevitably, at some point, something is going to happen!.

The fireplace in the main lounge of The Old White House was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen!. It had plums, pears apples carved all around it and was huge!. I think it was more like a really nice stone rather than marble…..it looked very medieval. If you went to the top of the stairs and turned right, that was my brother Richard’s bedroom on the left that looked over onto Market Street. My sister Carolyn’s and my bedroom on the right that looked over onto the court yard It had beautiful beamed ceilings and a slanted roof and the prettiest flowered wallpaper that I would not have changed in a million years. Then the next room to the right was the bathroom that also looked over onto the courtyard (barn, plum tree etc) and then at the very end was my Mum and John’s bedroom that looked over onto the old cross and stocks. The courtyard is almost like “crazy paving” and in the summertime my Mum would put out the white cast iron garden furniture and green umbrella and sun loungers. It was so beautiful!

My step dad had quite a life in Film Production etc and would store all of his materials and projects from the Swan Theatre/Old Vic, Movie sets in the telephone exchanges. We used to sell big brass beds in the showroom too and my Mum would make the most beautiful bridal bedding. In case you are wondering, we are all still alive! and my Mum is still a nurse at Queens Hospital in Burton-Upon-Trent and my step dad has been retired and frequenting the local pub in their village for quite some time! (They are 20 years apart in age). My sister is the mother of three absolutely gorgeous girls, my brother the father of two girls and my self the mother of another – and of course the most beautiful(!) little girl you have seen in your life! I am The Sales Manager for a very large resort/Spa in Wisconsin. Love my job but miss my home very, very much.

Well, if you need to know ANYTHING…..I have quite a good memory (I’m only 35!) and would love to help you (and wish I could be there to participate) in your very exciting venture to unveil what has made so many people fall in love with a little village somewhere in the Vale of Belvoir (I used to ride horses up by Belvoir Castle all the time and felt like I was The Queen of The Castle out riding on her estate!)….great feeling for a 9 year old little English girl!

I have sent a collection of photos to include my Mum (Jennifer) and Stepfather John. I have also included pictures of my little girl!. Alot of peolple tel me she looks just like me when I was younger – so she may trigger a memory or two. I think this sight is fascinating as my memories of my childhood in Bottesford have never left me and have been a platform that launched me into the rest of my life as far as class, people, expectations and happiness – needless to say, I would LOVE to come and live back there with my Daughter…..It is to me, The Paradise that everybody seeks.

If there is anyone who remembers us please feel free to try and e-mail or to send messages on here. Richard Smith or “Smithy”, Ruth Taylor, Debbie Keegan, Theresa Cammie, “Porky”, Richard Cole, Georgie Veech and her brother and anyone from around the village including the elementary school or Belvoir High School with the roaming peacocks!.

I hope that everybody is happy and safe and PLEASE write!

Lots of Love Claire~Marie Thompson (Dilly)

This page was added on 11/01/2008.

Comments about this page

  • I just wanted to correct my e-mail address on The Old White House page . It should have an underscore _ in between dannys & daughter:

    Dannys_Daughter72@yahoo.com.

    Wow, I just showed my Daughter the pictures that Jill had posted when I was a girl guide, we couldn’t stop laughing. Oh my goodness…..they really bring back memories….THANK YOU JILL!!. I remember everybody in those pictures so clearly! My Daughter asked if Jill was a good Girl Guide Leader and I said THE BEST!. I can’t wait to visit again with my Daughter now that she is getting older!.

    By Claire-Marie Thompson (03/02/2008)
  • …..Well, it’s now 2011 … my updated email is cmarie7272@yahoo.com I hope to hear from my old friends. XXXXX Merry Christmas to all XXX

    By ClaireMarie Thompson (Dilly) (25/12/2011)
  • Hi there I owned The Old White House after your family and used the cupboards in teh dining room next to the kitchen. The bookcase was still under the stairs when I left. I have just found a few photographs of the inside. The showroom at the front was very well fitted out so I was able to use that to it’s full extent for displaying fabric pattern books and gifts etc. My son Alan who lives in Bottesford on Station Road owned and ran the showroom in Bingham and I had the The Olde White House. I used the large room upstairs as the soft furnishing workroom and I remember my daughter Liz camping under the workroom table! Happy days. Best wishes to you all

    By janet openshaw (10/02/2012)
  • Hi there Janet, So nice to hear from you!. The cupboards in the dining room were built by my Uncle Robert (my mothers brother) and the bookshelves under the stairs were already there when we bought it off the Ferns. The showroom upstairs was where John had his drawing board and where my Mother sewed. I distinctively remember feeling the sickest I have ever felt in my life on the sofa there – had tonsilitus. Did you ever do anything with the barn or stables?

    By Claire-Marie Thompson (24/11/2012)

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