Magpie Cottage
Magpie Close

Re-enactment of WW2 at village fayre

As it was, taken from Sheepridge Lane

As it is today, taken from Heath End Road

Magpie Cottage, much the same,
Within the close which bears its name,
Was where we heard of Hitlerís greed,
Of Polandís plight and desperate need
And from this spot the war unfurled
That changed our village and this world.

How many people know the tale
Of how we knew that peace had failed?
For it was here the Home Guard heard
That Hitler hadnít kept his word
And so this country went to war
– Please take a seat to hear some more.

Magpie Cottage was originally a pub called the Dashwood Arms but it became a family home many years ago. In 1939 it was the home of Major Baker, the company commander of the local Home Guard. Major Baker also worked for the BBC and had been instructed to rig up an operational radio base at the cottage where he and his team heard that the Germans had invaded Poland and that peace was therefore at an end. Information taken from 'Flackwell Heath, The Making of a Chiltern Village' by Gwenda Grange.
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