Vera Middleton’s Memoirs

Henry Tipler whose occupation was looking after horses at the Sewerage Works lived in one of the cottages near to the present day Gypsy Site with his wife Fanny, they had three sons and three daughters. The eldest child was Sarah (Sally), followed by Henry, Edward (Ted), Nora-Lydia, Margaret-Fanny, George-Alfred and the youngest John-Smith who was Vera’s father. When Henry senior died his wife left the cottage and became housekeeper to the manager of the Sewerage Works who at this time was living at Rectory Farm.

In later life Granny Tipler, (Fanny) moved to a cottage behind the Three Horse Shoes. At the age of 80, whilst trying to clip a rambling rose, she fell off the stepladder and broke her hip and thigh. For the next eleven years until her death she had to wear a calliper on her leg.

One of Granny Tiplers daughters named Nora married an Ecton man called Owen Smith. The couple lived in Coventry where Owen had a shoe repair business. They had three sons and two daughters, one of the girls, Dora married someone called Harold Asplin and they had a grocers shop in Blacksmiths Yard, their daughter Audrey Asplin was mentioned in a previous article.

Vera Middleton (nee Tipler) was born in Back Lane (West Street) the only daughter of John Tipler, however she did have three younger brothers, Eric trained as a plumber, Alan was a painter & decorator and Cyril the youngest became an electrician. Cyrils branch of the family live in Earls Barton as does Vera’s son John. On her mothers side of the family Vera’s grandma had a brother who went to Australia to work on Sydney Harbour Bridge, sadly he had an accident, he fell off the bridge and drowned.

Arther Tipler, Vera’s father began work on Ricketts farm, North Lodge, Sywell Lane. Working out doors in all kinds of weather did not suit him as he suffered from sciatica. Mr. Rickett managed to find him other work as a drayman at Wellingborough Railway Station. Vera’s mother was Ethel Lester whose parents came up from London because of the fathers ill health. Vera is cousin to Vic Lester and Jean Leigh

Les Middleton, Vera’s husband began his working life at West Lodge Farm, Asby Lane with Mr. Robinson, helping him amongst other tasks with the milk round. When Mr. Robinson gave up the milk round, Les took it on, delivering milk by pony and trap in Ecton and Great Billing.

Just before Vera and Les married in1939, Les bought a van for his milk round and during the war, Vera learnt to drive, going each morning to collect the milk from the dairy in Northampton, bringing it back to The Laurels, bottling it before going on the round. Les at this time was in the army. To begin with the Middletons went round with the milk 7 days a week but when the Co-op milkman decided not to deliver on Sundays Vera and Les followed suit.

Vera and her husband Les were both born in the village and spent their entire life living in the village. Vera now a widow lives in Church Way.