The Story of Heyford: Mammoth Draw in aid of a Heyford Widow V2C4

In the days before the existence of the welfare state the village was a caring community in which neighbours took care of the needs of each other. An example of this is illustrated in the photograph below which was taken in 1911.

On the left of the picture is Bob Browning who was born in Heyford in 1892 and died in 1997. He remembered the photograph being taken and it was he who gave us the information below.

A woman called Mrs Ephrain Collins became widowed with six or eight children. She lived in a stone cottage where the old folks bungalows now stand in ‘the Pound’. A photograph of this cottage appears in volume 1 of ‘The Story of Heyford’. The village held a raffle to raise money for her welfare. Raffle tickets were sold in the surrounding villages and stuck onto the circular board shown in the photograph. The winning ticket was established by firing a shotgun, owned by Mr Stanton Boyes of Upper Heyford, at the board.

The raffle raised around £2,000 which was invested on behalf of Mrs Collins to keep her in rent and coal for the rest of her life.


Back row: Bob Browning, Mr Sargent, Mrs Roberts, Mrs Violet Browning, Mrs Gwen George, Win Earl, Mrs Sargent, Mr Gibson, David Browning
Gentleman in chair: Mr William Browning
Front Row: Mr Nightingale, Mr Roberts, Ted Sargent, Ted Wright, Mr Hobbs


Extract from “The Story of Heyford” – Local book series published in the late 1990’s

Volume 2 of 4 | Chapter 4 of 11 | Page 8


Heyford’s Historical Heritage  |  How the books were created

Index  |  Covers

3 thoughts on “The Story of Heyford: Mammoth Draw in aid of a Heyford Widow V2C4

  1. Mrs Ephraim Collins was my grandmother. Her husband, Ephraim, died in Northampton General Hospital in 1913. At the time he was a platelayer on the railway. He left his wife, Florence Annie, with Liz age 11, Doll age 9, Jim age 8, Dora age 5 and my mother, Laura, age just 20 months. The family lived in a cottage next to my grandmothers father, Emmanuel Higham. In spite of the generous help of the villagers, my mother said the family knew hard times. Apparently Florence used to take in washing and when things were really desperate, Emmanuel used to give his daughter a gold sovereign to tide them over. I would really appreciate it if someone could e mail me a copy of the picture of the cottage. All I’ve ever been able to deduce is that it stood just in front of the middle one of the bungalows. Is it possible to buy a copy of the History of Heyford?I was in the village only a month or so ago and met Carol Collins and Jenny Lewis who gave me some family background. Chris Squire

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for your comment. Wonderful to hear from a relative in the photograph.

    The photograph of the cottage can be seen on this page:

    The books are no longer in print or available to buy in retailers. I hope to finish digitising all the articles from the 4 volumes up to The Prattler website here. I hear of some copies still in local hands of Vol 1 and 2, the best place to ask is on the Facebook group:

    Good news is that all 4 volumes of the books are held in the Northamptonshire County Archives office and are available to view at the archives office (Wootton Park / Mereway) in between Police HQ and the Fire station.

    Glad top hear that your village meet up went well this year.

    Happy Days !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the information, Jez. I can’t get to the Archives as we live in Lancashire but I will explore the other routes for accessing The History of Heyford. Chris


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s