Monday, February 20, 2012

Bill Owen in Maidenhead Court.

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.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Dingle, Maidenhead Court.

The Dingle,
Maidenhead Court.
It is amazing how much change can take place over a seventy-year period. The house above was known as “The Dingle.” The one time home of a Miss Russen, a retired London West End milliner, who lived there with her long time housekeeper Maggie. The house at that time was shrouded from the road by a line of laurels and it was plain brickwork and not white.

Miss Russen was a very kind person and very much resembled the actress Margaret Rutherford. and also went walking with her little Yorkshire terrier “Shrimp.” When Shrimp died of old age, she replaced it with another one called “Ting-a-ling.” When Maggie passed away, Miss Russen sold up and moved into a retirement home for gentlefolk.