The Post Office, 1967. Photo: Ben Knight

The society has so far published 4 items:

“A Short History of Lighthorne” and “Yes, We Remember it Well” are currently out of print.

The DVD “Lighthorne 1900 – 2000, a Century in Images” is sold out, but the images can be copied to your memory stick for £5. The brochure “Welcome to St. Laurence’s Church Lighthorne” is available in the church. We suggest a donation of £1 to church funds.

New Book Published about Lighthorne

Joe’s Story, a Century of Change in the South Warwickshire Countryside” details the working life of Joe Gerring who worked in the parish of Lighthorne from 1923 to 1936, as a farm labourer and woodman. The book has been self-published by Peter Johnson after having worked with Joe at the Chesterton Estate Yard in the 1970s, where he was able to record Joe telling his own story in broad South Warwickshire dialect. The book is accompanied by a 90 minute CD of the recordings.

Joe initially lived-in at New Westfield Farm where he worked for Bert Watts. In 1930 he started work at Pratts Farm, Lighthorne working for Fred Robbins. He lodged with Louisa Day at 4 Church Cottages, then after marrying Sarah Moore the family moved to a farm cottage at the end of Old School Lane.

From 1936 to 1958 Joe worked as a woodman on the Willoughby de Broke Estate and during this time he lived in a tied cottage in Chesterton which he eventually bought. Most of the people he worked with lived in Lighthorne, and he gives a colourful account of their lives working on the estate.

The book is professionally printed and a pleasure to read. It contains 146 A4 pages (including sources and index) with more than 100 photographs, line drawings and maps including 34 pages in full colour.

Peter provides an explanatory commentary throughout, contained in text boxes, separating it from the text in Joe’s own words. This commentary has taken Peter 5 years to research and gives the reader a deeper insight into the vanished world Joe describes.

The book is a joy to read and provides the reader with a vivid impression of what life was like working as a farm labourer at a Lighthorne farm between the World Wars. The CD brings the story to life. Peter’s research also gives a clear impression of the decline in profitability of the large agricultural estates resulting in the sale of Compton Verney and the Willoughby de Broke estate in the late 1920s.

The 90 minute audio recording, which has been professionally restored, is divided into 8 tracks 8-12 minutes in length. It is easy to navigate to the different tracks using the forward//backward keys on a CD player.

There has been a limited print run of only 150 copies of the book and CD and Peter Johnson has kindly donated a copy of both to the archive of the Lighthorne History Society. These are available to members to borrow.

The Society has a limited number of the CDs for sale at £6 each. A reprint of only 50 copies of the book was commissioned in January 2024 and we have a limited supply left at £14 each. Please email if you would like to purchase a copy of the book and/or CD.