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Transcription of a cutting from an unidentified Northamptonshire local paper supplied by Christine Weiss

Burton Is So Bracing

Annie Potter (top left) and some of the children from London.  Image from an unidentified local paper

Centuries back St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, the well-known church in the heart of London , was not the misnomer it is today. Where there are now asphalt roadways and masses of brick and mortar, the green grass growing and, perhaps, here and there a clump of bush, formerly made a pleasant pastoral scene.

Today the children of the poorer families of the neighbourhood are taken, through the instrumentality of the Winter Distress League, to various parts of the country in order to receive the benefit of fresh air and wholesome food. At Burton Latimer there are a number of such children enjoying all the delights of the countryside during the mid-summer holidays. They are under the care of Mrs. W. Potter, the local representative of the Winter Distress league, and have been boarded out amongst the residents of the district. Altogether, with other children from Whitechapel and the children of ex-Service men and men who are out of work, there are, at present, forty youngsters enjoying the hospitality of the people of Burton Latimer.

The story as to how Mrs. Potter was led to take a kindly interest in the work of the Winter Distress League goes back to the dark days of the War. When an appeal was made in 1917 for free hospitality for wounded soldiers from Overseas, Mrs. Potter responded, and, during the remaining period of hostilities, received soldiers from all parts of the Empire as guests. On account of her keen interest in the matter she became organiser for the district. After the War, Lady Gowers wrote to her ask­ing her to take on similar work for the children of ex-Service men, and this led to her permanent interest in the work of the League.

The children from St. Martin 's-in-the-Fields are staying at Burton Latimer for a fortnight only, but kiddies sent down by the League medically certified to be "suffering from malnutrition" are kept for sufficiently long periods, usually three months, to enable them to regain health and strength. In such cases the children go to the local school, provided they are well enough to do so. About two years ago children under the age of seven years were subject to the supervision of the children's inspector of the Board of Guardians, but now they are under the sole charge of Mrs. Potter.

Once in every three weeks, Mrs. Potter pays a visit to London taking with her some twenty children who have received the benefit of country life. When she returns she has another twenty in her train who are to undergo a similar experience, and so the work goes on.

"It is very interesting," commented Mrs. Potter in the course of an interview with our representative. "Out of hundreds of children who have come down here to regain their health, I have never had a failure, and I have never had to send home half a dozen children for mischievous pranks."

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