All residents of Stoke were invited to a Garden Party at Valley Farm, Stoke – home of Robin Mackenzie - to celebrate 60 years of success of the Stoke Village fund.
Dr David Hay put on an exhibition of artefacts from World War 11, many of which had been in his attic for some fifty years, complemented by items lent by others.
“Dr Hay’s parents were leading lights in the Home Guard, and took the initiative in a wide variety of war-related activities from collecting scrap iron for armaments, to knitting sea boot stockings for the Royal and Merchant Navy seamen. Some of the Home Guard were themselves veterans from the First World War.”
“Dr Hay had some fascinating relics, including a piece of a doodlebug which crashed near Hurstbourne Tarrant, plastic containers in which messages were carried by carrier pigeon; and many documents from the war years.
Extract from the Programme for the Event.
STOKE AT WAR 1939 - 1945
60th Anniversary of the Stoke Village Fund 1943 - 2003
Stoke Village Fund arose from the efforts in the Second World War to buy aircraft for the Royal Air Force. Its genesis was after the Warships Week in February 1941 when Stoke realised its fund-raising potential was considerable.
From the Andover Advertiser (February 1941).’
“Stoke is busily engaged this week in working for Whitchurch and District Warships Week
On Saturday as a start there was a children’s lucky dip competition in the afternoon, and in the evening a film show, kindly given by Mr. Singer at Valley Farm. An audience of 80 people enjoyed a good laugh. In the interval Mr Ewen M Hay spoke on the object of Warships Week and our debt to the Navy. News of the amount collected is given in the centre of the village and over £100 had been reach by Tuesday for Stoke alone, while the pointer of the ship’ telegraph there is gradually creeping up to the target of £1,750 which St Mary Bourne and Stoke together have set themselves. The week concludes with a dance at Valley Farm tomorrow night All money raised by the entertainment will be a free will offering to Warships Week”
From the Andover Advertiser (Feb 13th 1941)
STOKE: The crowning achievement of the week’s efforts in this district was the dance held in the Playhouse, when over £20 was collected in entrance fees and an auction conducted by Mr. Hay. After this it was found that £114 was required to total of £1,000 subscribed by the hamlet of Stoke. As soon as this was mentioned the sum was forthcoming from the people present. The proceeds of all events were entirely free of all liability, as all expenses were kindly donated Mr. Hay and Mr. Singer.”
From the Andover Advertiser (February 20th 1941):
“The target for St. Mary Bourne was £1, 750, the actual result was £3,115 consisting of £2,215 from the sale of National Savings Certificates and stamps, and £900 from the purchase of Bonds. Stoke, with a population of 164 contributed no less than £1,001.”