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Streets through time - Swinehill
No 3 Bede Cottages

Other Properties on Swine Hill


No 1 Porch House


Cottage originally built as an estate Alms House. c1800, extended early C19. It has coursed squared stone with brick quoins and pantile roof, with a brick ridge and gable stacks with coped double octagonal flues, and ball finial to south gable.

It is single storey with a five window range. To left it has a lean-to addition with a reglazed window in a stone surround.

This building is probably one of those rebuilt c1790-1820 by George de Ligne Gregory and remodelled in a picturesque style c1820-1840 by Gregory Gregory,

In the Estate sale of 1937, the property comprises three cottages. One is vacant and the other two have monthly tenancies  -  one to Miss Fisher and the other to Mrs Butter.

The 1939 Register shows that the widow Lizzie Fisher (aged 69) and her son Charles (aged 26) - a farm worker - lived in one of the cottages. An incapacitated lady Frances Butler (aged 55) lived in the other. 

The third cottage was occupied by the renown author Oliver Anderson and his mother from 1933.

Oliver lived in the cottage for over 50 years until his death on the 19th October 1996. Oliver was born in Snitterby, Lincolnshire, and was the second child of Rev Robert Anderson. The family moved after the First World War to LIttle Ponton when his father was appointed as Rector there.

Young Oliver was educated at the King's School, Grantham, and then went on to be an apprentice journalist at the Grantham office of the Nottingham Guardian and Evening Post. Oliver dutifully reported the annual round of "dog hangings and pony shows" and this gave him much of the material which was subsequently to find its way into his 1937 book, the Rotten Borough - a satire on provincial life which he released aged just 25 under the nom de plume Julian Pine.

The book, Rotten Borough, was withdrawn by the publisher after just three weeks under threat of a string of libel writs, instigated by, among others, the then Lord Brownlow, a close friend of the Duke of Windsor. The Rotten Borough affair achieved national status, with Oliver being pursued around the country by the pride of Fleet Street.

Oliver Anderson author.jpg

When the Second World War broke out, Oliver immediately enlisted. He served in the ranks in the Royal Artillery throughout the war, refusing a commission, and taking part in almost the entire North Africa campaign in Northern Europe. He was involved in the capture of El Alamein. His regiment Sussex Gunners returned home from Africa and later landed in Normandy D-Day plus-2.

Rotten Borough would perhaps have passed into history, were it not for Grantham being the birthplace of Margaret Thatcher, and that a leading character in the novel was a local grocer and town councillor, identified by many in the 1980s with the benefit of hindsight as the then Prime Minister's late father. As a result Rotten Borough was republished in 1989 under the author's true name and it created considerable interest.

Oliver always denied that any of the characters in the novel were based on real persons.

During the 1950s he published a series of comic novels, including Grit and Polish (1951), Ripe for the Plucking (1961), Thorn in the Flesh (1954), and In For a Penny (1950), again based on the small town and country life which had given rise to Rotten Borough; and a series based around something of a "James Bond" character, Guy Random, including Random Mating (1956) and Random Rapture (1958). His style of humour passed out of fashion in the early 1960s, so Oliver turned his hand to more serious work. His last published novel, The Last Mirage, was published in 1969.

Oliver delighted in observing the comic potential in everyday village life. He never married, but was a true countryman, and regularly walked 10 or 12 miles each day and relied solely on his bicycle for trips further afield. He had a particular gift for communicating with children and young people, ever prepared to converse well into the early hours and inspiring a number of them to take up literary or journalistic careers.

Oliver Anderson died of a heart failure aged 84 in 1996.

Miss Bramley formerly of Tudor Cottage, Pond St moved into one of the cottages at some point.

The image to the right is that of  the Bede cottages in the 1940's with the road presumably leading to Swinehill Farm. Below shows the present day (2023)  view of Swinehill - now a residential road with school and doctors surgery.


Above image taken in late 1960's.

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