Bill Owen in Maidenhead Court.
Cookham and the surrounding area has had over the past seventy or so years quite a few actors and actresses who have made their home close to the village itself. During the war the well-known actor James Mason made his home in Cookham Dean. One well-known actor that everyone who has followed the series “ Last of the Summer Wine” was Bill Owen the character actor who played Compo Semonite.
Bill and his family lived very quietly in a house called “Lavender Lodge” on Islet Road in Maidenhead Court, a house today which has been altered quite a lot and now has an entrance on Sheephouse Road and is now called White Croft, which appears to be next a new complex now called Boulters Lock Residential Home.
To my recollection Bill bought Lavender Lodge from a family called Ravenhill in the 1950’s. I remember the Ravenhill family quite well, as the farm at Sheephouse supplied them with all their dairy needs.
The first film I can recall seeing Bill in was “Robin Hood.” In which he played Studeley a poor peasant who was being hounded by the Sheriff of Nottingham and Robin Hood played by Richard Todd comes to his rescue. This of course long before he became a household name as Compo.