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The Warp

Alec Haynes/Fred Cawley

Alec Haynes, who later was to become mayor of Leominster, tells me his memories of Berrington Hall; ‘I knew Lady Cawley and her husband. I was a mechanic at the time at the garage in Leominster. Lord Cawley had a chauffeur called Parsons and they would come to the garage for petrol. The way he talked to Lord Cawley, you would have thought that the chauffeur was the Lord, and the Lord the chauffeur. Lord Cawley was absolutely overpowered by him.

‘Lady Cawley would often go to Hereford for the Red Cross. She would come to the garage and had quite often forgotten her petrol coupons. My employer used to say, “My Lady, don’t bother, you can drop them off another time.” She wouldn’t have it.

‘She could not reverse the car into the garage, I used to have to turn it around for her. I would rush to get a cloth to cover the seat, as I was in my overalls, and I would point the car in the right direction of her home, and she would go home and collect her coupons before she had the petrol. I thought to myself what a wonderful honest person.

‘She had a garden of strawberries and would take all the cottagers some strawberries before she ever invited her friends around for a cream tea.

‘I find the gentry all over North Hereford are absolutely superb people. I must say that I am very proud of the gentry in this area.

‘Although I am an orphan boy, I feel quite at ease speaking to them, as I do to a tramp. I find no difference at all.’

Frederick, Lord Cawley; ‘Your father was responsible for giving the farmers machine guns, so if there was an invasion they would wage guerilla warfare. It seems improbable but I believe it’s true! At the end of the war he had grave difficulty getting them back again. They conveniently lost them.

‘My father, who had always been interested in racing pigeons, had a pigeon loft at Berrington and became a pigeon officer for the home guard. Apart from putting on a battle dress top to have his photo taken for his identity card in the second world war, he didn’t perform any military function.’


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