Adam Faith was here...

Photo:Faith's haven ... Sunny View is on the left

Faith's haven ... Sunny View is on the left

Trevor Frecknall

Sunny View, Bathley

... a child's war-time haven

By Trevor Frecknall

Adam Faith, the famed pop singer of the 1960s who went on to further successes as an actor and financial advisor, spent time sheltering in Bathley from the unmanned rockets that were fired on London towards the end of the Second World War.

He was a 4-year-old called Terence Nelhams-Wright when the family home, 4 Churchfield Road, East Acton, was destroyed in 1944.

In his autobiography Acts of Faith published by Bantam Press in 1996, he wrote:

“After the V1 hit, we started living like rats, scurrying here, there and everywhere about the country,  looking for a safe place to lay our heads. We were always on the move. My other uncle, Ernie, drove us in his truck all the way up the A1 to a little village called Bathley, just outside Newark-on-Trent. Mum in the front, my grandmother, Pamela, myself and a hotchpotch of aunts  and cousins snuggled up together, higgledy-piggledy under a tarpaulin,  trying to keep the biting night air from freezing us to death...

“My uncle had a mate who offered us his cottage in the country. What an adventure! An orchard, a swing on one of the trees, fields. Wonderful!  It was the first time I’d seen a cow or a pig, vegetables and real eggs.

"Us kids would troop to the milking shed with our jugs for creamy, foaming fresh milk, still warm. Bliss after the food queues and bleak danger of the city. It was happiness for a while...”

The cottage in which the family stayed is called Sunny View and is situated beside The Green at Bathley. The orchard in which he enjoyed a swing was across the Green where bungalows now stand. The first cows he ever saw were in the field behind Sunny View. The pigs were beside the other cottage in the picture. Vegetables came from the Sunny View garden (which was formerly the village pinfold). Fresh milk and eggs came from the Fryer family Manor Farm at the north end of the village.

This page was added by Trevor Frecknall on 08/12/2010.
Comments about this page

Adam Faith records his time as an evacuee in his autobiography "Acts of Faith" published in 1996.  He contrasts life as an evacuee in the country with that of his pre-war life in London.He says "My uncle had a mate who offered us his cottage in the country.  What an adventure.  An orchard, a swing on one of the trees, fields.  Wonderful!  It was the first time I'd seen a cow or a pig, vegetable and real eggs.  Us kids would troop into the milking-shed with our jugs for the creamy, foamy, fresh milk, still warm.  Bliss, after the food queues and the bleak danger of the city.  It was happiness, for a while, then on again.  We never knew why it was time to leave our little utopia, but leave we did.  Maybe Mum knew.  If she did she never let us in on it".

By Martin Ballance
On 24.02.2015

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