Romance at the bank

Sepia images of a man outside a the house and a portrait of a lady

Barney Adler married his sweetheart Joyce while working at Upton House during the Second World War. In his memoirs he talks about how they made their lives at Upton.

Courting on bike rides

‘Joyce used to come down for weekends and stayed in a guest house at Edgehill, about a mile up the road.  During the summer of 1940 I bought a cycle for Joyce. I had to repair it. I did it in the corner of the stables. The sun was beating down on my head and I got sunstroke. However during one of Joyce’s visits about 10 of us went on a cycle ride to Broadway about 20miles away. Joyce said she could ride, but I found out afterwards that she had only been on a bicycle once before. She was very saddle-sore and busted the front wheel of a borrowed bike.’

Working at Upton

‘The day war broke out was a Sunday. Joe and Cooper had arranged with me that when it happened, they would pick me up and we would all go to Upton together. Joe had a car. 

The whole place was run like a holiday camp – but a little more austere. We were sleeping two, three or four to a bedroom, according to the size of the room, on camp beds. 

It was very lovely, swimming before breakfast and all that. I felt a hell of a heel when bombing starting in London.  I used to go home every weekend to keep Joyce and my parents company with the bombs dropping down.

The staff of Upton House all behaved as if they were on holiday – pranks every five minutes. I once got in bed with a dead rook!

It was a wonderful war for us and we were very lucky.’

Making home near by

‘Joyce and I were married in 1941 and I rented a stone built bungalow named Windhover about 1.5 miles from Upton House. This had no services – water from a pump and an Elsan lav and oil for cooking and lighting – very primitive but a modern stone building. 

It was very windy at Windhover and when I came home on the first washing day, Joyce was in tears.  Everything had blown off the line and she had to do it all again.  The weather was still very cold.  There was a low wall all round the house and whenever I went to empty the Elsan I either bent too low and my ties dipped in or I’d bang it against the wall and it splashed over my trousers.'