A quarterly newsletter is produced by the Society and distributed locally
to members. To obtain a copy of the latest newsletter please contact the
Following are extracts
from previous Badsey Society Newsletters.
MEMBERS EVENING, FRIDAY 19TH NOVEMBER 2010
Around forty members were present for a members evening in the back room of The Wheatsheaf. Some of our members had indicated that they never have the chance to get together on an informal basis, hence the decision to hold this event. As well as the chance to drink and chat, members were able to view a selection of items from the growing Badsey Archive.
THE BADSEY ARCHIVE
In our quest to decide what best to do with our growing collection of books, archive material and museum items, we have paid visits to other organisations. In October, Jane Neill, Mike Lovatt, Valerie Magan and Maureen Spinks went to see the organisers of the Chedham's Yard restoration project (www.chedhamsyard.org.uk). This is an early 19th century blacksmith's and wheelwright's workshop in the village of Wellesbourne, Warwickshire, run by seven generations of the Chedham family, the last of whom, Bill Chedham, still lives in the village. Restoration work is being undertaken in a warehouse outside the village but, later this year, all the items will be returned to the yard. The work of restoring, photographing and cataloguing each item, undertaken by a dedicated team of volunteers, is inspirational. The project won the BBC Restoration Village in 2006 and it is planned to open the yard to the public in the summer of 2011. Jane Neill and Maureen Spinks also visited Worcester Porcelain Museum to see how they deal with their cataloguing. We were impressed with their website, which gives easy-to-read information about all the items in their collection. As a result of our fact-finding mission, we are buzzing with ideas. Our hope, ultimately, is to have a permanent home for the collection but, in the meantime, we are creating a virtual museum. We have commissioned Will Phillips of Stapleford Design to design a website for us.
THE PETHARD FAMILY
In the past year or so, the name of Pethard (once fairly common in Badsey) has come to our attention on a couple of occasions. The first was when Julian Pugh, the historian of Worcester City Football Club, contacted the Badsey website to find out more information about John Douglas Pethard (1913-1937), as he was writing a series of articles for the Programme about players who had played one game only for the Club. Then last year, one of the visitors to the Society’s stand at the Flower Show was Frances Knight of London, who is descended from a different branch of the Pethard family. Frances was staying in the Alcester area on a family history hunt for her Sreeves ancestors and it was only a last-minute decision to make a detour to Badsey to try and find out more about her Pethard ancestors. Doug Pethard was only 23 when he died in 1937. A bright lad who graduated from Birmingham University, Doug was a keen footballer and played once for Worcester City in the 1932-33 season. Doug was tragically drowned in Austria in 1937 when he and a fellow teacher, Arthur, were on holiday at Igls near Innsbruck. Doug's cousin, Doreen Moore (née Ballard, 1922-2005), wrote movingly about his death: “… he arrived at the Hotel, sat down to write what was to be his last letter home, saying,
'This place is the nearest to Heaven I'll ever see' then, with Arthur, went for a cooling swim in the lake. He went down with cramp which Arthur was unaware of until it was too late. His body was recovered and he was buried in the tiny churchyard in Igls, with apparently the entire village attending. An English vicar took the service; he later visited Badsey. My aunt was too ill to travel and in fact never saw his grave. She told me she would never have been able to leave him had she gone out. I think her mind didn't want to accept he was in a grave. I eventually found his grave in 1970 and it was still being looked after, even though all those years had passed. A candle is still lit on it on saints days.” Doug had been a choir boy and later organist at Badsey
Church. After his death, there was a peal of Grandsire Triples in his memory and a commemorative plaque was erected near the belfry. Doug's life may have been tragically short, but he is remembered in the annals of Worcester City Football Club as well as in Badsey.
Our second Pethard family concerns Society member Frances Knight. Frances is the granddaughter of Rose Beatrice Pethard (1885-1955), whose father, William (1862-1886), died of diabetes at Claybrook, aged only 24, when Rose was just one year old. William was the son of James Pethard (c1834-1900), known as Jim, who was employed initially as carter at Aldington Manor and later became farm bailiff at Claybrook Farm, Badsey. Jim was featured in Arthur Savory's book, Grain and Chaff from an English Manor, Chapter IV being entitled, The Head Carter, which began: “Jim was my first head carter, and he dearly loved a horse. He had, as the saying is, forgotten more about horses than most men ever knew, and what he didn?t know wasn?t worth knowing.” Savory rarely gave full names to the characters in his book but, because of our knowledge of the people living in the village at the time, we were able to confirm to Frances that this was her ancestor.
ROBERT HANCOCK - PORTRAIT PAINTER
Robert Hancock, who was referred to in a recent publication as being
Badsey-born, but we were not convinced that the Robert Hancock who was baptised at Badsey on 7th April 1731, was the same Robert Hancock. So just before Christmas, Jane Neill and Maureen Spinks paid a fortuitous visit to the Worcester Porcelain Museum to look at their archive catalogue. Who better person to ask than Wendy Cook, the Curator. This was her answer: “My trusty team of volunteers have done some searching on the Hancock question. We have Cook's book [The Life and Work of Robert Hancock, Cyril Cook, 1948] and the book written by Ballantyne [Robert Hancock and his Works, A Randal
Ballantyne, 1885]. Neither are very conclusive, but recent researches by someone writing a dictionary of Worcester porcelain artists and craftsmen suggested that our Hancock was born in Burslem in 1729. He was apprenticed in Birmingham in 1746, then moved to Battersea, London, in 1753 and to Worcester in 1756. Sorry, the Badsey Hancock seems to be another person with the same name.”
BADSEY FLOWER SHOW, SATURDAY 24TH JULY 2010
Another successful exhibition at this, the 108th annual Flower Show. “The Last Market Gardener Project” was launched and visitors to the stand had a chance to see market gardening implements, partake in a quiz, and view folders focussing on the market gardening families who lived in Badsey and Aldington a hundred years ago. The Badsey Society stand was busy all afternoon.
TRIP TO THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES, WEDNESDAY 6TH OCTOBER 2010
Seventeen members went on the coach trip to The National Archives at Kew. These were Maureen Spinks, Tom Locke, Lizzie.Noyes, Ivor Martin, Paul Green, Robin Neill, Richard Phillips, Patrick Sparrow, Mike Lovatt, Beryl Hockenhull, Meryl Pratt, Jane Neill, Valerie Magan, Brian Smith, Hazel Smith, Trevor Hockenhull and Virginia Pawlyn. A busy day was spent at Kew looking at the 1910 Valuation Office Survey records for Badsey and Aldington. These records contain an enormous amount of details relating to property and land 100 years ago. Considered in conjunction with the 1911 census, they will add enormously to our knowledge of the village. As an example, the entry for the present-day No 11 High Street, then known as Vine Cottage. Inspected on 26th November 1912, it comprised a house and orchard amounting to 1 acre. The owner was G Attwood Senior and the occupier was G B Lloyd Roberts, who had a tenancy for 4¾ years commencing 24th June 1908 and paid a rent of £28. It is described as an “old brick, tile and slate house, damp and bad repair, 2 sitting-rooms, kitchen, larder, earth closet, 2 bedrooms, 2 attics, brick and tile stable and coach-house”. Attwood bought the house on 24th June 1903 for £490; the house was valued in 1912 at £500. The 1911 census shows that George Bernard Roberts, described as a fruit and vegetable grower, was living there with his wife, Winifride. This property (renamed Meadway House in 2004 by the previous owners) is now home to the newest member of The Badsey Society, Michael Gowers, who moved to the village in January. Thanks to the photographers who went on the trip to Kew, we have digital images of each of the pages for transcription. Members also had time to undertake some personal research. The National Archives is a rich resource, providing information about our ancestors which cannot be found anywhere else. Brian and Hazel Smith were trying to track down Brian’s Smith ancestors – it’s times like this when you wish your name was Higginbottom! Brian’s great-grandfather, Hubert Smith, lived at Bengeworth Fields House for many years, but also owned land in Badsey which later became the Recreation Ground. Brian tells us that Hubert was a God-fearing man who knew the Bible inside out, yet at the same time was an expert on Charles Darwin’s Theory. He was a lay preacher and visited local chapels. He would stand on a box in Badsey village, preaching about the evils of alcohol. Seward House was his favourite location, local brewer Julius Sladden being the target! Hubert was a small man with a goatee beard and would walk to Stratford Mop and back each year – quite a character by all accounts.
I wonder how many people realise that Wickhamford Manor, and several people connected with Badsey, appear in the writings of the architectural historian, novelist, biographer and diarist, James Lees-Milne (1908-1997)? Baptised George James Henry Lees-Milne at St John the Baptist, Wickhamford, on 5th September 1908, James grew up at Wickhamford Manor. He became the first Historic Buildings Secretary of the National Trust and, largely through his efforts, properties such as Charlecote were acquired by the National Trust. He often returned to stay with his parents, taking the train to Evesham, bus to Badsey, and then walking across the fields to Wickhamford.
In the first chapter of James Lees-Milne’s autobiography, Another Self, he introduces Mrs Emily Hartwell, the churchwarden (the widow of Badsey-born William Hartwell) and Norris Haines (born at Aldington and the Lees-Milne chauffeur for over 60 years):
Mrs Hartwell began pealing the bell a quarter of an hour before service. She was sexton, verger and cleaner combined. She was an aged widow who gallantly brought up an orphaned brood of undisciplined grandchildren. She was tiny, about 4 foot nothing, with skin and sinews creased and stretched like the parchment leaves of a family bible. She was never to be seen – but once – without a huge hat which practically concealed her like an umbrella. The brim was covered with leaves and cherries of purple celluloid, which her grandchildren would pop during those brief intervals when she dozed off in her pew….
Although really far too old and frail, Mrs Hartwell refused to relinquish the bell rope with its fluffy stripes in red, white and blue, called I believe the “sally”. She regarded the pulling of it as her sacred duty, which she would surrender to no one, until the breath, as she put it, was out of her body. Bell ringing, even with one rope, necessitates a sense of rhythm in the ringer. Mrs Hartwell lacked this sense. Occasionally she would pull too soon, or too late. The rope thereupon gave a jerk and if she failed to let go – it was not in her nature to let go of things – she would be swept up the belfry. When this happened she would either cling to the rope until it came down again, or she would swing on it until her feet touched a ladder kept permanently fixed to the wall to enable workmen or builders to go up the tower. With astonishing agility for a person of her years she would scramble down the ladder and resume ringing as though nothing had happened.
Once, having been carried upwards, she failed for some reason to swing across to the ladder. Owing to the unusual velocity of her ascent the whole mechanism of the bell became dislocated, and the rope did not come down again. Mrs Hartwell was left clinging to a small fraction of the fluffy part which was stuck in the hole of the ceiling some 30 feet above the ground. She looked like one of those mediaeval saints in a state of levitation. Beneath a voluminous skirt and petticoats her button boots could be observed going through the motions of someone trying desperately and ineffectually to swim. The impact of her poor head against the ceiling had dislodged the purple umbrella of cherries, which floated pathetically to the floor. Yet no cry of alarm escaped her. The congregation anxiously gathered under the tower and began shouting contradictory directions how she was on no account to let go. With much presence of mind the Vicar ran to fetch Haines, our chauffeur, to come to the rescue. Eventually Haines, when found, was able by climbing through the trap-door in the ceiling to release the rope, which had got jammed in the wheel of the bell. Slowly Mrs Hartwell was lowered into the font. Quite undeterred by this mishap she shook herself, put on her hat and began pulling the rope all over
FAREWELLS - BOB AND BET BUTLER, PHILLIP CASTLE
Bob Butler (1923-2010) and Bet Butler (1927-2010) Bob died in Evesham Community Hospital in April, and Bet died on 12th July whilst visiting relatives in Norfolk. Bob was born in Evesham, but moved to Chalcroft, Badsey, in 1928, and attended Badsey Council School. Bob entered into the spirit of research for the school history published in 2004 and had many a tale to tell. Bob, and his brother-in-law, Lionel Knight, were a roguish pair as they regaled stories of their schooldays whilst we sat round Bob and Bet’s kitchen table drinking a tot of something. One of Bob’s favourite playground games whilst at school was “Jack on the Mopstick”, a game which would surely be banned today! It involved two teams of about eight. The largest boy stood against the wall whilst the others bent in front of him. The opposing team then had to jump on to someone’s back, the idea being to get all the team on the other’s backs. The team that got the most on won the match. Do some of our older members remember that game?
On leaving school, Bob went to work in the office at Espley’s the builders in Evesham. He was then offered a job working in the office of Mr Cockerton, Fruit Grower, at The Firs, Badsey. Bob served with the army during the Second World War. After the war, he had several jobs but his main job was working as a salesman for National Cash Registers. Bob married Betty Gould in 1948 and they had a daughter, Anne. They lived firstly at Horsebridge Avenue and then moved to Manor Close in 1971 when the bungalow was first built. Bob and Bet celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary in December 2008.
Phillip Castle (1936-2010) - although not active in the Badsey Society, Phil was one of our first members, being membership No 19. Phil was originally from Pebworth. He married Margaret Wells in 1962 and they lived at
Wickhamford and Blackminster, moving to Badsey in 1983. He continued to live on Bretforton Road following Margaret’s death in February 2008.
MICHAEL HEWLETT, 1927-2010
It is with sadness that we report the death of Mike Hewlett who joined the Badsey Society in its first year and has always been one of our keenest members. Badsey born and bred, Mike attended Badsey Council School and St Mary.s Catholic School, Evesham, then did his National Service with the Army Medical Corps in Germany. On his return to civvy street, Mike worked for market gardener, Jim Agg, all his life. Mike married Joyce in 1950 (they were due to celebrate their Diamond Wedding this year), had two daughters, and was one of the first occupants of Green Leys, which was to remain his home for the rest of his life. Even after retirement, Mike continued to work on the piece of land which Jim allowed him to use, his main aim being to keep all his family in vegetables. Mike has featured in several of the Badsey Society publications and DVDs. He was a familiar figure cycling each day to Pear Tree Corner, and he will be truly missed. It was people like Mike that Tony Jerram had in mind when he dreamt up the title, 'The Last Market Gardener', for the DVD which we hope will come to fruition next year.
ELIZA STANLEY, MIDWIFE OF BADSEY AND BRETFORTON
We are extremely grateful to Trevor Hockenhull for extracting information from an early 20th century Midwife’s Register which was kept by Eliza Stanley. The register belongs to Barbara Bennett (great-granddaughter of Eliza Stanley) who showed it to Trevor as she knew he would find it of interest. Trevor immediately recognised the importance of this register as it lists the births of 210 babies born in Badsey and Bretforton between 1905 and 1917. Eliza Stanley (née Robbins) was born at Badsey in 1841, the first child of William and Hannah Robbins. Eliza spent all her childhood years in Badsey. She married Samuel Stanley in 1866 and had 11 children. Around 1880, the family moved to Bretforton, Samuel’s home village, where their last three children were born. It was probably around this time that Eliza began practising as a midwife, although the register does not begin until 1905.
The Midwives’ Act of 1902 came into effect on 1st April 1905. It governed the training and practice of midwives, making it illegal for any unqualified person to act as a midwife. Eliza, who had had so many confinements herself, and had been acting as midwife for her own daughters and daughters-in-law (Eliza had well over 50 grandchildren), nieces and neighbours for many years, would have had to apply for registration. She also had to start recording the births she attended in a register. Two notes inside the register (probably both written after Eliza’s death in 1923) imply that Eliza may have been practising as early as 1875 or 1880.
The first entry in the pre-printed register is for Mrs Alice Slade of Bretforton. From the information recorded, we know that Alice was aged 31, it was her first pregnancy, the midwife arrived on 14th May 1905, a boy was born living at full-term, both mother and baby were “quite well” and the midwife last visited on 27th May. “Dr Drew” has been written in the Notes column, so one assumes that Eliza had had to call the doctor.
During the 12-year duration of the register’s duration, Eliza delivered 210 babies. Although the majority were in Bretforton, 37 were in Badsey. Two of these were her daughters, Emma Elizabeth (Lizzie) Knight and Fanny Mustoe. Lizzie had three children and Fanny eight; the last three of Fanny’s children (including Patricia, the grandmother of Barbara who now owns the register) were not delivered by Eliza as they were born after she had stopped practising. Then there was her daughter-in-law, Ellen Stanley (née Sears), plus an assortment of nieces and great-nieces. One great-niece was Lottie Caswell, the grandmother of David Caswell. In addition to the relatives, several families who lived on Bretforton Road chose to engage the services of Eliza.
What the register does NOT tell us is the name of the child. Using a little bit of detective work, however, by consulting the baptism registers, the 1911 census and looking at the birth registration index on the Ancestry website, we have been able to work out the names of the children who were delivered by Eliza. If your forebear was born in Badsey or Bretforton in the first two decades of the century, you may well find that he or she was delivered by Mrs Eliza
RICHARD PHILLIPS’ TALK ON DNA AND FAMILY HISTORY.
Despite the cold and blustery November weather, just over 30 people turned up for the
talk at the Wheatsheaf Inn. Richard described, in his usual meticulous detail how, by taking a DNA test, this may help you with some of those unsolved queries in your family history research. Through his mother’s family, the Wells, he has been in contact with a family who have been in America since the 1620s and whose ancestor was a Thomas Welles, one of the first governors of Connecticut. DNA has proved conclusively that Richard and the Americans are distant cousins, both descended from the same ancestor who lived in a small Warwickshire village in the 16th century.
STAYING ON AFTER DUNKIRK
In September, Richard Phillips and Lizzie Noyes received an unexpected visitor to their home – a former occupant from nearly 70 years ago! It was Margaret Poole who was looking for the place where she had once lived. Her father, Sam Thornhill, was one of the last soldiers to be evacuated from Dunkirk in 1940. He was sent to the Evesham area and stayed on for three months to recover from his injuries. He was joined by his wife Elizabeth and his daughters, Margaret and Joan, who all lived in Sheffield. Margaret could not remember where they stayed but she had one clue: a small, battered, black and white photograph of the house. She took this into the Almonry in Evesham where they had no trouble in identifying it as Badsey Manor House. They went to look at the building and, by chance, met Lizzie Noyes outside, who invited them in to hear Margaret’s story.
In the summer of 1940, hundreds of exhausted soldiers, evacuated from the Dunkirk beaches, arrived in Badsey. A few of them remained here for several months. Margaret, who was aged about ten at the time, recalls that there were four or five families staying in Badsey Manor house. The families came from all parts of the country and several of them had children. Margaret remembers a couple called Dick and Irene, and George Donkin from another family, but other names have escaped her.
Although there have been many changes to the house since those days, Margaret was able to recognise the room where she stayed with her sister, and the room next door where her parents slept. She remembered the orchards, which once stood at the back of the house, and playing with other children in the village. She recalled visiting a lady called “granny” who lived in a house, perhaps on Mill Lane, and playing in another house in the village where there was a magnificent doll’s house.
The Manor House at this time was in a very poor state of repair. The chimney on the north side had collapsed, making it impossible to use the main kitchen, but there was somewhere to cook food on the south side of the house. We know that a family called Wakefield from Walthamstow were also living in the Manor House about this time. They may also have been caring for a Dunkirk survivor. After the war, Margaret’s family left Sheffield and went to Australia for a few years. They now live in Hampshire.
THE ANNUAL TONY JERRAM AWARD
At the Book Launch in April, the inaugural Tony Jerram Award was presented to Peter Stewart. This award is to be given each year to someone who has contributed greatly to the community of Badsey or Aldington. The nominated person (not a Committee member) does not have to live in Badsey or Aldington and does not have to be a Badsey Society member. The Award will be presented annually at the AGM each February.
(2010 winner, Elizabeth Bolland, 2011 winner, Les Grinnell)
Mick Taylor has written about his reminiscences of growing up in Aldington. This has been put together in a booklet called “Minty’s Tales” and printed by Aldington Residents’ Association. Copies are available from Mike Lovatt or from the badsey.net website.
When the Badsey Society started in February 2002, membership fees were set at £1 for individual membership and £2.50 for family membership. We have been fortunate during our seven-year existence that we have been able to obtain three grants; this has enabled us to maintain the fees at the 2002 price. However, at the AGM in February, we were asked by several members to look at the possibility of raising the membership fees as there was concern that we might not be covering our normal running costs (newsletter production, hire of hall, speaker costs, etc) out of membership fees. After some consideration, it was decided to increase the membership fee to £2 per person from January 2010. It was also decided to abolish the family membership as this has led to confusion as to what constitutes a family. We hope that you agree that this still offers good value for money and that you will continue to support The Badsey Society.
As a reminder, the objects and aims are: “to promote the understanding and study of the parish and village of Badsey (including Aldington) in Worcestershire, and its surrounding area, past and present. The history, archaeology, folklore, flora, fauna and geology of the area are possible areas of activity. The Society’s activities will include meetings, lectures, education and publication in print and electronic media.”
LAUNCH OF THE LATEST BADSEY SOCIETY PUBLICATION
The Badsey Society's third publication - Aldington and Badsey: Villages in the Vale, a Tapestry of Local History was launched at Badsey First School on Saturday 25th April.
Nearly a hundred people turned up at Badsey First School for the launch of Aldington and Badsey, Villages in the Vale: A Tapestry of Local History. Our new Chairman, Mike Lovatt, welcomed people to the event and then handed over to the Editor, Richard Phillips.
The book was the brainchild of Richard and of Tony Jerram and the intention had been for them to act as joint editors. But Tony’s sudden untimely death last year meant that Richard continued as sole editor. The book has been dedicated to Tony and the dedication page includes a drawing by Ian Gibson of Tony with his beloved greyhounds. The book contains nine chapters, each chapter by a different author, including Tony Jerram’s unfinished chapter concerning the Second World War. Some of the authors gave brief talks about their chapters: Mike Lovatt on Aldington Mill, Will Dallimore on council housing, Ian Gibson on local geology and landscape, Terry Sparrow on Bowers Hill and Maureen Spinks on the village blacksmith. The guest speaker for the evening was David Caswell who entertained us with tales from the forge.
As Maureen Butler said in her review in the Vale Magazine, 'a fascinating insight into a bygone age, an age of water mills and village blacksmith, of the country squire and manor house, through to the villages at war and the history of the present day council house. There is much in the book for everyone who is interested in the history of local villages, much to make you ponder and much to make you smile.'
ANNUAL WHIT WALK
Well, we knew it couldn't last, but did it really have to start raining on Friday evening! But, very cleverly, the rain did not start until part-way through the evening, so we had a record number of around 70 people turning up for the annual Whit Walk, which this year was to Aldington. We looked at various locations mentioned in our new book with talks by some of the authors. When the rain started, we made straight for the large Tithe Barn at the back of the Manor where the talks continued. This was a rare opportunity to see inside this historic building as it is not usually open to the public. Many thanks to Mrs Glynda Beames for permitting access and to Mick Taylor for telling us more about the barn. The walk ended at Fircroft, Main Street, Aldington, where refreshments were available, courtesy of Robin and Jane Neill.
DONATIONS TO THE BADSEY ARCHIVE
The Badsey Archive is steadily growing, the latest addition being 12 books from the collection of Tony Jerram, donated by Barbara Jerram. The books are:
Grain and Chaff from an English Manor, by A H Savory, 1920
Worcestershire: A Shell Guide, by J Lees-Milne, 1964
History of Evesham, by George May, 1845
Bengeworth, by J P Shawcross and assisted by E A B Barnard, 1927
The Civil War in Worcestershire, by J W Willis Bund, 1905
The Civil War in Worcestershire, by Malcolm Atkin, 1995
Historic Worcestershire, by W Salt Brassington, 1894
Churches of Worcestershire, by Tim Bridges, 2000
Shut up the Puppets, by Eva Beck, c 1940s
Assigned to Listen:The Evesham Experience1939-43,by Renier&Rubinstein, 1986
Worcestershire Place Names, by W H Duigan, 1905
The Place-Names of Worcestershire, by A Mawer & F M Stenton, 1927
Most of the book titles are self-explanatory, but perhaps Shut up the Puppets needs a little more explanation. It is a follow-on from When I was a Girl, written by Eva (1884-1965), the daughter of Henry Smith, the proprietor of The Evesham Journal, and who grew up in Evesham. Eva married Frank Beck (who appears on the 1901 census for Badsey) in 1911 and had three sons, one of whom, Philip, lived for a short while at The Old Farmhouse, Blackminster, in the 1950s, before moving with his French wife to live in France. Philip died at St Malo in 2007, aged 92; he was the author of a book called Oradour: The Death of a village (Battleground Europe). Assigned to Listen is the fascinating story of the BBC Monitoring Service, based at Wood Norton from 1939 to 1943, written by two of the team who listened in to foreign radio networks as part of national intelligence gathering. Tony Jerram, in Chapter 8 of our new book, also refers to Wood Norton's important role during the war when he features Helen Stanton (nee Hartwell) of Green Leys who worked there for five years.
Members of the Society may borrow any of these books by contacting archivist Jane Neill.
FRIDAY 13TH FEBRUARY
At 7.30 pm in the Remembrance Hall – The AGM was attended by 36 members. Will Dallimore, having been Chairman for four years, felt it was time to pass on the baton to someone else. Mike Lovatt of Aldington, our first Chairman from “across the brook”, was duly elected. Will was thanked for his huge contribution as Chairman and for his wit and repartee at proceedings. The business part of the AGM was followed by talks by Richard Phillips, Maureen Spinks, Terry Sparrow and Will Dallimore on aspects of Badsey’s history. Mick Taylor brought along an amazing collection of slide rules and measuring devices.
A BADSEY MAN FROM LONDON
Roy Page Roy Page of Green Leys was born in Willesden, London, in 1931. Roy first came to Badsey in 1948 as a young lad of 17 to help with the plum-picking. He fell in love with the place straight away. He also fell in love with Mary Cook whom he married at St James Church, Badsey, on the first day of spring 1955. Roy has written a fascinating memoir about his life in Badsey which you can see on the website. Pigs and cider and tales of a number of Badsey families – it’s all there, so make sure you take a look at it.
BADSEY CHURCH, ITS REGISTERS & MONUMENTAL INSCRIPTIONS
Peter Stewart has produced a CD containing a copy of his latest book. It covers the period 1538-2008 and has details of the Burial Registers and all monumental inscriptions inside the church and in the graveyard along with maps showing locations for monuments. It is an invaluable resource for the family historian as many additional notes, obituaries and news cuttings regarding individuals are also included. The book and index, one hand printed copy only, has taken over three years to produce and will only be available for sale on disc. You can also read Peter’s chapter about Badsey Churchyard in our new publication, Aldington and Badsey: Villages in the Vale, a Tapestry of Local History. To obtain a copy of the Badsey Burial Index 1538-2008 by Peter Stewart, produced on CD Price £9.99, please contact Peter Stewart on 48091 (10% of the profit from the sales of these CDs will be given to Badsey Church Funds, the remainder to finance further books)
SOME OTHER BUSY BEAVERS
Roy and Peter are not our only members who have been beavering away. Mick Taylor, who grew up in Aldington, has written of his memories of his childhood days. And Valerie Magan has spent a lot of time putting together a history of the Stanford and Crisp families following the discovery of a wealth of documents in the house of John Crisp who died last year. Mick and Valerie’s articles will be going on the website in the next month or two and we shall be featuring them in a future Newsletter.
THE VILLAGE BLACKSMITH – A HUNDRED YEARS IN BADSEY
Saturday 14th August 2009 was a special day for David Caswell. It was a hundred years to the day since his grandfather first set up a blacksmith’s business in Badsey, having moved from Bretforton. David still does the odd bit of blacksmithing – usually making items such as candlestick holders, curtain poles or the occasional hoe or asparagus knife – but his farrier days are over. However, he has always said that he would be sure to light a fire in the forge and be open for business on the 100th anniversary. You can read more about the Caswells and earlier blacksmiths in the new Badsey Society publication.
Congratulations to two couples who have recently celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversaries: Patrick and Judy Sparrow on 28th March and Pete and Ro Addis on 31st March. Belated congratulations also to Bob and Bet Butler on the occasion of their Diamond Wedding in December.
THE TONY JERRAM AWARD
It is now just over a year since Tony Jerram’s untimely death on 3rd April. Tony was the first Chairman of The Badsey Society and involved with many activities in the community. The Committee has decided that it would like to remember Tony by presenting an annual award. The award will be given each year to someone who has contributed greatly to the community of Badsey or Aldington. He or she does not have to be a member of The Badsey Society, nor resident in the parish. In future years, we shall be inviting nominations from the community but, this year, the Committee has decided who will be the first recipient. The Award will be unveiled at the Book Launch evening on 25th April and will be presented by Barbara
TUESDAY 14TH OCTOBER 2008
Thirty six people turned up for an entertaining talk by Bob Brown of Cotswold Garden Flowers entitled “Clues in the Landscape”. From how to find his nursery, to looking at hedgerow plants for clues, Bob kept us entertained in his own individual style.
FRIDAY 21ST NOVEMBER 2008
Badsey First School reverberated to the sounds of the‘60s when nearly 150 people crammed into the School Hall to view photographic slides of the village taken in 1968 and 2008. To set the
scene, Will and John Dallimore had compiled 24 No 1 hits from 1968 to get people in the mood. The photos formed part of a photo survey of the village undertaken on 26th May 1968 and repeated 40 years later by a 24-strong Badsey Society team. Alison Kelly of Summerfield Cottage won the raffle prize: a framed photo of her house in 1968 and 2008. The audience left to the tunes of “Congratulations” and “Those were the Days”, taking with them two computer DVDs containing some 1500 photos of Badsey and Aldington taken in 1968 and 2008. If you missed out on the evening, but would like to buy copies of the DVDs, there are still a few available, price £3.
THE BADSEY SOCIETY – WHO ARE WE?
On the evening of the Photographic Survey Slide Show, a survey was undertaken to find out who we are. Of the people who responded to the survey, 73% of the attendees were Badsey Society members. Taken overall, whilst 44% of attendees were born in Worcestershire, only 18% were born in Badsey, going down to 14% for Badsey Society members. The majority of people present were over 50 (87%), those in their sixties being the predominant age group, and there were slightly more women than
men. Given this age profile, it is unlikely that many of us will be around to see what the village will be like in another 40 years’ time!
DEATHS IN BADSEY, 1785
In September 2008, Robin Parkes from Sussex, whose Brittain ancestors lived
in Badsey at the end of the 18th century, contacted the Badsey website. John and Martha Brittain had eight children, four of whom died in 1785, all between September and November. Robin looked at burials 1781-1789 and discovered that there was an average of 11.7 burials per year, yet in 1785 it rose to 33. He then plotted the numbers for 1750-1805. He found that this seemed to have been a unique event and wondered if the village archives might reveal the cause of this particular epidemic. Being “a nosy retired GP”, he thought he would ask rather than
speculate. We were able to tell him that the answer was probably in an article, "Badsey suffers from a volcanic eruption" which appeared in Newsletter 19, January 2007. You may recall that the eruption of Laki in Iceland began in June 1783 and lasted for eight months, having dire effects, not only in Iceland, but all over Europe. Some 23,000 people died in Britain as a result of the extreme weather conditions; a toxic cloud was resident for two to three years after the eruption and led to, or accentuated, the extremes of heat and
cold. Robin’s response to the article was: “The explanation fits very well. Infections were common and many diseases we regard as trivial now were lethal then. A population stressed by cold and starvation for two years becomes very susceptible to relatively trivial disease. Catch a cold, goes to chest, die of pneumonia. But in those days
mumps, measles, scarlet fever, TB and many other infections were common. If you were rich you would do better but my family were probably at the very bottom of the socioeconomic ladder so four out of eight of their children died. Looking at the pattern of deaths I would imagine that an infection spread round killing people in sequence.
There are no burials in April, May and June 1785 and a new sequence starts in July with
a peak of ten in September. I wondered if somebody had travelled in and started an outbreak of something like smallpox.” I guess we shall never know, but it is interesting to try and understand the reason for the rise in deaths in 1785.
THE 1911 CENSUS
Do you ever get the feeling that someone’s got one over you? At a recent Badsey Society Committee meeting, that well-known technophobe, Terry Sparrow, casually announced: “Did you know that you can see the 1911 census?” Well, no, as a
matter of fact, us so-called expert internet users, did NOT know that you could yet see the 1911census! It transpired that Terry’s step-son, Richard Cudd, had had the good fortune to be offered a free advance trial of using the census online. Here you can see Terry’s 8-year-old father, Alfred William Sparrow, living with his parents and his mother’s parents. And just to show that Terry’s family haven’t always lived in Badsey, Rose and Alfred Cecil Sparrow were born in Canada and the Isle of Man. How cosmopolitan is that! Within a week of Terry’s pronouncement, the 1911 census for England and Wales was made generally available at www.1911census.co.uk on a pay-to-view basis for an individual household (cost between £2.50 and £3.48, depending on package of credits bought). Within days of the census coming online, we had our first email. This was from Martin Clements of Redditch whose grandfather, Harry Clements, had been
a butcher in Evesham. Martin was surprised to find Harry and his wife and children living at Tower View, Badsey, in 1911. The current owner of Tower View, Sarah Pask, kindly allowed Martin and his sister to visit. Sarah has lived in the right-hand half (No35) since 1989 and took the opportunity to buy the left-hand half (No 33) when
the owner, Jim Brailsford, moved into a nursing home a few years ago; it is now a single residence. It seems likely that the Clements family lived in the right-hand side. Sarah said that when she first moved in, she kept on digging up old animal bones. Jim Brailsford said it was because a butcher had lived there in the early days and used to bury the carcasses. So this was most probably Harry Clements who we think worked for Horace Wheatley at The Poplars.
BADSEY AND ALDINGTON 1911 CENSUS
The transcription for Badsey and Aldington will not appear on the Badsey website until the census becomes more widely available (at Record Offices or
on www.ancestry.co.uk). With nearly 300 households in 1911, it would cost us quite a tidy sum to try and access all the details at the moment. But, as soon as it does become more readily accessible, we shall be advertising for volunteer transcribers –so watch this space!
WEEKEND OF 17TH/18TH MAY
An important survey of the parishes of Badsey and Aldington took place when a team of 24 photographers took photos of every building in the parish. They were repeating an exercise undertaken 40 years ago when, on 26th May 1968, a team of 19 photographers from Worcestershire Record Office and Birmingham Photographic Society visited Badsey on “The Badsey Expedition”. There were around 600 houses in Badsey in 1968. Since then, the number of houses has almost doubled and some no longer exist. Both the 1968 and 2008 photos will form part of an important historic photographic archive showing how the parishes of Badsey and Aldington have changed over a period of time. The Badsey photographers were Ivor Martin, Steve Bucknall, John Bennington, Peter Stewart, Lizzie Noyes, Jeff Nice, Graham Corbett, Paul Green, Jim Glover, David Jack, Mark Morrey, Michael Peet, John Bolton, John Dallimore, Virginia Pawlyn, Doreen Jack, Roger Martin, Wendy and Mike Gwynn and Peter Stewart. The Aldington photographers were Jane Neill, Robin Neill, Gill Stewart and Judy Foster.
GRAIN AND CHAFF FROM AN ENGLISH MANOR
Committee member, Mike Lovatt, has discovered that Arthur Savory's tale of life in Aldington, "Grain and Chaff from an English Manor", published in 1920 and long since out of print, has been reprinted in America. It is just a basic paperback, but the amazing thing is that someone in America has deemed it worthy of reprinting a story of life in an English village at the end of the 19th century. Twenty copies have been ordered, and these will be available on a first come, first served basis. The price is £7 and may be bought at the Flower Show (whilst stocks last) or by contacting Mike directly.
CONFESSIONS OF A DISQUALIFIED BADSEY FLOWER SHOW ENTRANT
What I love about Badsey Flower Show is the delightful bossiness of the judges’ comments.* “You should have baked this on a 6” plate, not a 7” one”, etc, etc. It was 6 am on Flower Show morning when I set out to cook Delia Smith’s Cheddar Cheese apple pie. A bit risqué putting cheese in the pastry, I thought, but I might just get away with it. Then I looked at the Flower Show instructions again and it said, “Fruit Tart on a plate”. The Blessed Delia’s recipe was most definitely a pie and not a tart. Which would win out? The problem with Delia’s recipe was that there was so much apple filling that it would ooze out if I put it on a plate. So, at my peril, I dared to ignore the Flower Show command and instead followed St Delia. I knew as soon as I took the decision that this would be my undoing. And, sure enough, my son was delighted to rush and tell me that I had come nowhere and received a little white card pointing out the error of my ways. But at least I am not alone. I was heartened to hear from 85-year-old Bob Butler that his mother, Zillah, some 50-odd years ago, was disqualified for not sealing her pears properly. And that wonderful cake- maker, Jane Thompson of the WI, had her Victoria Sponge disqualified for putting cream in it! * Any Flower Show organiser or Judge who may be reading this, please take this with the spirit with which it is written. Seriously, we love you really and it is just this attention to detail and the wonderful comments that make the Flower Show such an institution. So, come on everybody, pick up your schedule from the Spar and turn up on 22nd July to submit your entries. In 2006, five Badsey Society members were cup winners. Can we beat that this year?
FRIDAY 6TH JUNE – WHIT WALK.
A large turn-out of sixty people and two dogs met for the annual Whit Walk, starting at Monks Bridge, then walking round the western and southern boundary of the parish to Wickhamford and back via “Francis’ Grave”. The evening concluded with refreshments at the home of Maureen Spinks when Will Dallimore proposed a toast to Tony Jerram. Tony was the instigator of the Whit Walk and it was his famous “Wit’s End Ale”, which was on offer to the assembled multitude. Never fear – even though Tony is no longer with us, his spirit lives on, and Barbara Jerram has formally passed the mantle of making the ale on to Neil Thould.
ENCLOSURE MAP PROJECT – WE DID IT!
The morning of Friday 2nd May dawned bright and clear. Richard Phillips and Maureen Spinks represented the Society for the finals of the Marsh Award for Community Archaeology held at Olympia. A two-hour time slot had been allocated. Julian Richards of BBC2’s “Meet the Ancestors” and “Blood of the Vikings” fame did the introductions and then each of the four finalists gave a short presentation. The other finalists were: Mellor Archaeological Trust who worked on the multi-period site around Mellor Church near Stockport, Greater Manchester; the North of Scotland Archaeological Society who organised a programme of survey and excavation on the Glen Feshie Estate in the Scottish Highlands; Royton Lives Through the Ages, a subgroup of the Royton Local History Society, who worked on the history of Royton Hall, Manchester. We had been told that there would be just one prize of £1000 but, when Brian Marsh, OBE, stepped forward to make the award, he said that he had found it too difficult to choose between the four very different projects. He thus very generously increased the prize money to £2000 and made all four groups joint winners. The Marsh Awards were Brian Marsh’s brainchild in 1981. He wanted to support areas such as conservation and volunteering and to recognise groups and individuals who do things out of love, not for money. There are now 23 Awards in total working with key partner organisations such as the Council for British Archaeology. The Awards are an eclectic mix, ranging from Lepidoptery to Fountain of the Year or Children’s Literature in Translation. So, a big thank you to everyone who has participated in the project and helped us to win this inaugural Community Archaeology Award.
ENCLOSURE MAP PROJECT THROUGH TO FINALS OF NATIONAL AWARD
We’re off to Olympia! Thanks to the contribution made by a large number of people within the Society, our Enclosure Map Project is through to the finals of a national award: the Marsh Award for Community Archaeology. We wondered if our project was stretching the limits of archaeology, but the criteria said: “Archaeology is here defined as any investigation of the material remains of the past, from any period, and potentially above and/or below ground.” They were also looking for “a lively and open social grouping that gives back to the wider community the results of their work”. We felt we ticked the boxes and thus we sent in our application. Victoria Bryant of Worcestershire Historic Environment & Archaeological Service wrote us a glowing testimonial, saying: “The members of The Badsey Society undertook an impressive amount of work to a very high standard but also managed to convey their enthusiasm to the local community. This ability to convey the value of their research was reflected in the high attendance at their very sociable public events and the fact that these events were attended by a very wide range of local people of different ages and situations.” Imagine our delight when we received an email from Dr Mike Heyworth, the Director of the Council for British Archaeology (CBA), to say that the Society was one of just four organisations in the country to go through to the finals. We are up against two teams from the Manchester area and one from northern Scotland. We now have to wait until May to find out who is the overall winner. The presentations will be made on the morning of Friday 2nd May at the “Discover Archaeology LIVE” show which is part of the “Who do You think You Are? LIVE” event being held at Olympia in London over the weekend of 2nd-4th May. Maureen Spinks and Richard Phillips will be representing the Society and will give a 20-minute presentation about our project. Wish us well on our trip to London. Thank you to everyone who has helped with the project. But perhaps the last thank you should be reserved for Edward Phillips, mapmaker of Coventry, whose map of 1812 of Badsey has really helped to put Badsey and Worcestershire on the archaeological map of England. The digitisation of the maps, with the facility to view the historical maps through a GIS system and compare with Ordnance Survey maps, brings a very 21st century perspective to the project, something that the Enclosure Commissioners and map-makers of 200 years ago could not have begun to dream about.
TONY JERRAM (1937-2008)
Twenty years is but nothing in the history of a village. Generations of families have come and gone, their names recorded in the parish registers to confirm their existence. In nearly 500 years of Badsey parish registers, there is but one Jerram: the burial entry on 12th April 2008 for Anthony Lionel Oldershaw Jerram, retired Army Officer, aged 70, of Harrington House, Badsey. But for the 297 people who crammed into St James’ Church for the funeral, they were paying their respects to a man who contributed greatly to the village. Following a distinguished career in the army, Tony moved with Barbara to Harrington House in 1988, shortly before he took up a civilian post at GCHQ in Cheltenham. Harrington House, as reported in last month’s Newsletter, had been in danger of being pulled down, but it had been lovingly restored, and Tony and Barbara continued the task of keeping it in excellent condition. Always a stickler for detail, he used a photograph of Harrington House taken in the 1930s to restore the railings and front garden to their pre-war appearance. For us, the Badsey Society Committee, we mourn our fellow Committee Member who was the first Chairman. When a group of 28 people met at a public meeting in the church one evening in 2002, who would have thought that we would have grown into the successful Society, nearly 200-strong, that we see today. Characteristically, showing leadership skills attained in the army, Tony quickly stepped forward to be the first Chairman. We were an eclectic mix of people and could so easily have floundered without direction, but Tony set us on the right course. As the infant Society matured, Tony felt relaxed enough to pass on the reins to someone else, but remained a Committee member. Indeed, Committee meetings of the future will not be the same. What shall we do without Tony’s famous cider in the homely surroundings of the Harrington House kitchen to aid the decision-making process? Tony’s considerable involvement with life in the Vale has been listed elsewhere, but let’s just remind ourselves of what Tony did in the Badsey Society. He was very involved with the two DVDs produced by the Society, acting as narrator and featuring in the opening sequences; he led us on various walks, including the orchard walk at Knowle Hill and the Whit Walk. Living in a listed building himself, he was particularly interested in other buildings of architectural note and was responsible for the listing of 9 Orchard Way, recognising that it would be a great loss to the village if allowed to fall down. Tony’s watchword was, “Whatever we do, we must do well,” so we must ensure that we live up to Tony’s high ideals. As the Army Chaplain at Tony’s funeral said, it is good to have a physical reminder of someone. With the blossom on the trees, let us remember Tony for all that he has done for Badsey.
MARGARET CASTLE (1937-2008)
Margaret Castle was a member of the Society from its earliest days. Margaret was born at Sedgeberrow, but moved to Wickhamford on her marriage to Phillip. They moved to Badsey in 1983. Margaret worked for the Prison Service for 43 years and was a keen member of Badsey Flower Guild and Offenham Floral Arts. We offer our sincerest sympathy to Margaret’s family.
WORCESTERSHIRE PHOTOGRAPHIC SURVEY - 1968
In 1968, a team of 19 photographers descended on Badsey to take photos of almost all the houses in the village, some 600 or so in total. One of the photos was of Harrington House which, in 1968, had stood empty for three years and was in danger of being knocked down for housing development. But 40 years on, the house is still standing and is a great asset to the High Street. The current-day owner, Badsey Society Committee Member, Tony Jerram, has lived in Badsey since 1988. He thought he knew all there was to know about his family history, as his brother had traced the Jerram family tree back for several centuries. That was until, as part of our ongoing research into Badsey’s history, we began looking in detail at the 19th century landowners, and an amazing coincidence came to light. Tony Jerram lives at Harrington House which was owned in the 19th century by the Appelbee family. Edward Appelbee (1784-1851) had inherited land in Badsey from his great-uncle, Edward Savage, and then, in 1828 (the year in which he married Elizabeth Loxley), had bought Harrington House and the estate later to be known as Claybrook Farm, totalling nearly 100 acres. Edward and Elizabeth Appelbee had two children, Thomas and Anne, both born in Badsey. Thomas became a bank manager for the Gloucestershire Bank and lived firstly in Tewkesbury and then in Evesham. What first alerted our attention to a possible connection between the 19th century and 21st century occupants of Harrington House was the intriguing name of Thomas’ sixth child, Francis Jerram Appelbee. Usually, when a surname appears as a middle name, it means that it was the mother’s maiden name. It transpired that Thomas’ wife, Hannah, had been born in London, the daughter of John Jerram, a tea dealer. The question was, was she any relation to Tony’s ancestors, who were also living in London at the time? The clue lay in the 19th century census returns. These revealed that Hannah’s father was born at Blidworth, Nottinghamshire, and Tony’s great-greatgrandfather was born at Breaston, Derbyshire. Breaston is just 17 miles from Blidworth, and it did not take the family historians long to make a connection. Hannah Jerram was a close cousin of Tony’s great-grandfather. Sadly, Hannah died in childbirth in 1872 at the age of 34, leaving her husband, Thomas, with six young children. Thomas, too, died in 1879, a year before his mother, Elizabeth Appelbee, who was still living at Harrington House. Hannah and Thomas, and one of their children, were buried at Badsey. IN MEMORIAM EDWARD APPELBEE DIED DEC. 25TH 1851 AGED 67. ELIZABETH WIFE OF THE ABOVE DIED MARCH 19TH 1880 AGED 82. THOMAS SON OF EDWARD AND ELIZABETH APPELBEE DIED JAN. 16TH 1879 AGED 47. HANNAH WIFE OF THE ABOVE DIED MARCH 11TH 1872 AGED 34. And the final surprise? Tony realises that a book, "The Jerram Family Pedigree", written over 50 years ago and now with his youngest brother, mentions the Hannah Jerram in question. All of which means that the information was lying unrecognised in the family library for all those years!
The BBC programme, “Who do You Think You Are?” has awakened an interest in family history for many people. Read on to find out more about the family history of Alistair McGowan and Tony Jerram. Actor and comedian, Alistair McGowan, featured recently on the popular BBC TV series. Alistair’s parents, George (“Mac”) and Marion McGowan, taught for many years at Badsey School, and Alistair himself was a pupil there for two years. Mac died in 2003, but Marion still lives in Evesham. Alistair had always assumed that tracing his ancestry would reveal a Scottish connection, but in reality the story was quite different. It was whilst collecting documentation to register his father’s death that Alistair McGowan noticed that his father was described as an “Anglo-Indian”. Alistair knew that his father had been born in India, but had assumed that his family had been out there just for a short time. Far from it! They had, in fact, been there since the late 18 th century The reality of the Anglo-Indian lineage came home to Alistair when he saw a picture of his great-grandparents, who looked completely Indian. He was then taken to see a whole branch of the McGowan family he never knew existed who lived in the centre of Allahabad, and discovered that two generations further back, a Suetonius McGowan had married “a Mohammedan woman of nobility”. It was Suetonius’ grandfather, John McGowan, who first went to India in the 1760s as a soldier. And the final surprise? John McGowan was from Ireland, not Scotland, as Alistair had imagined. He looked genuinely shocked (realising he’d been supporting the wrong football team all this time!): “I must be Seamus Singh…”
JOHN GROSE-HODGE (1928-2007) AND PETER SPENCER (1951-2007)
It is with sadness we note the passing of two members at the end of last year. John Grose-Hodge was born in Pietermaritzburg but spent most of his childhood in Bedford where his father was Master of Bedford School. John had a career in audio technology, his final job being with the Scientific & Technical Branch of the Department of Health in Russell Square. John moved to Badsey in 1997. He thought he had no previous connection with the village, until he was sent a family tree which showed that he was a very distant relative on his mother’s side of Canon Allsebrook, Vicar of Badsey from 1903-1945. Peter Spencer was born at Wednesfield and grew up at Crow Croft Farm, near Leigh Sinton, Malvern. He was a Fire Fighter with Herefordshire & Worcestershire Fire & Rescue Service for 22 years. We wish to extend our sympathy to Irene Grose-Hodge and to Elizabeth, Peter and Guy Spencer.
©2011 The Badsey Society (Editor: Maureen Spinks)