Land Ownership in Avenbury, Collington and Bredenbury between the later part of the 18th Century and the time of the Tithe Survey in 1840.
By Jennifer McCulloch
These notes are an attempt at a comparison between three parishes, Avenbury, Collington and Bredenbury, using the Land Tax assessments and the Tithe Survey. The first year of the Land Tax assessments available to us is 1777. Thereafter about 12 assessments are available between 1793 and 1831, not always the same years for each parish. The assessment of 1777 is of limited value because only one list of names is given and although one can guess, one cannot be sure whether the list of taxpayers was of the proprietors or the tenants, or perhaps a mixture of the two. After 1780, the owners and the occupiers are listed.
The nature of landownership in the three parishes varied widely. Avenbury is a large parish and at the time of the Tithe Survey was 3233 acres. The ruined church is situated in the extreme north east of the parish, but the centre of the population is now part of Munderfield. Cottage development known as Munderfield Row took place along the Bromyard to Ledbury turnpike road that runs from north to south through the parish. Brook House is reputed to be the Manor house of Avenhury. This farm of 302 acres was owned by John Cayley Esq., a Yorkshireman who married in 1798, into the Stillingfleet family who had held the manor since the mild l7th century. This was the second largest farm, Hopton Sollars of 318 acres, also a manor, being the largest.
Next in size came Munderfield Court, 286 acres; and Little Frome, also known as a manor, of 237 acres. Little Frome was held by the West family until 1824 when it was owned by William Wall, and Edward West became the tenant. This was the same family as the Bredenhury West’s who went bankrupt in 1820. There were detached parts of the parish, the 1argest being situated about 2 miles north north west from Bromyard, comprising chiefly the farms of the Noaks, of 189 acres, and Sawberry Hill, of 77 acres. Sawberry Hill or Sargeberrie was a Domesday manor, and possibly the Noaks was also. The Noakes was described as a Township and there is documentary evidence for nine messuages here in the 13th century. In 1840 there were 12 proprietors with farms over 100 acres and they owned 89% of the parish, so there was no major landowner. The large number of persons owning holdings under 10 acres mostly came from Munderfield.
Collington, a parish of 985 acres in 1840 was originally two parishes and had two manors. The main road from Tenbury to Bromyard passes through the parish North to South. The Collington Brook rising in the East of the parish flows northwards joining the River Teme at Tenbury and this was possibly the division between the two manors and the two early parishes. Two of the major farms, Underhill, and Castle Farm, lie to the west of the brook and these were owned the Pitts of Kyre Park throughout the period of the Land Tax. The other two major farms on the East of the brook are Church House, owned in1840 by Edmund Higginson, and Tidbatch, now called Ripplewood. These 4 farms accounted for 92% of the parish or, perhaps more accurately, 92% of the Land Tax. But by far the largest landowners were the Pitt’s who owned approximately two-thirds of the parish until some time between 1831 and 1841 when the estate was divided.
Bredenbury was a small parish of 543 acres in 1840. The Manor of Bredenbury was acquired by Richard West of Standford, Worcestershire in 1726 and was 212 acres. The major landowner in 1840 was Charles Dutton who owned 344 acres, being 63% of the parish. This included the Manor of Bredenbury. Wicton Farm in 1840 consisted of 155 acres. Wicton was a separate Domesday manor. These were the two major holdings in the parish.
Very little can be learnt about the landowners from a study of only three parishes. Were the absent proprietors owning one or more farms in the parish or in fact landlords of many other scattered farms throughout ‘the hundred or the county? E.Davies found in his study of 1,706 parishes in Cheshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lindsey, Northamptonshire, Notinghamshire and Warwickshire that the Land Tax assessments indicated that a new race of land owners produced by the industrial revolution and the Napoleonic war, appeared in the countryside. It will be interesting to find whether the Bromyard District was affected by this phenomenon. We know that William Higginson of Saltmarshe, who owned farms in many parishes, made his money from coal. He left his. property to his great nephew, Edmund Barneby, who took the name of Higginson. Edmund Higginson owned farms in Avenbury and Col1ington.
Richard Allison, a Liverpool merchant, owned land in the neighbourhood and bought Hopton Sollars, the largest farm in Avenbury between 1798 and 1812. Edmund Higginson lived at Saltmarshe Castle which had built, but many of the other proprietors did not live in Herefordshire, and the land to them must have been a business investment only. In the electoral roll of 1835 addresses of the proprietors were given. Capt. Charles Dutton, who owned the Bredenhury estate, was from the 69th Regiment, Reading. John Stevenson who owned Wicton lived at Shantock Hall, Bovington, Herts. Benjamin Saunders who owned Munderfield Court lived at Bromsgrove, and there are other examples of absentee landlords.
Davies found that by 1780 the occupying owners had ceased to he an outstanding feature of the English rural economy and that in the parishes he surveyed, they contributed only 10.4% of the Land Tax. He also found that in the parishes enclosed by other than parliamentary means previous to 1780, the occupying owners had almost ceased to exist, and that the direct effect of the industrial changes on the fate of the occupying owners before 1832 appeared to have been greatly exaggerated, as their disappearance had been largely accomplished by 1780-86 since nearly 90% of the land was then in the occupation of tenants.
% Parish in Owner Occupation
Avenbury Bredenbury Collington
1793/94 56 51 12
1817 47 63 12
1831 17 0
1841 3 0 0
Avenbury and Bredenbury definitely did not fit into the same pattern as Collington, and that in these parishes the presence of the owner-occupiers in 1794 was very apparent. In Collington, the only owner-occupied farm was Tidbatch, 111 acres in 1840, and owned in 1829 by Mr. Wight, who had farmed it himself, had then been let to Joseph Benbow,
In Avenbury it will he seen that there was a gradual decline in the percentage of the parish in owner occupation from 56% in 1793 to only 3% in 1841. This was mainly effected by changes in ownership of the larger farms. As has already been stated, Edward West became only the tenant of Little Frome, which he had previously owned, c. 1824. On the other hand Dr. Delabere Walker, who had for many years farmed the Greve and the Burgess himself, let his property in 1824 to Joseph Tibbatts. Similarly, William Cooke let Munderfield Court at the same time. Perhaps their interest in farming dwindled during difficult years. Thomas King; who was in 1798 the tenant of Cusop, had become the owner in 1812, but by 1819 he had gone. It must have been during that short period of his ownership, for afterwards Cusop was a tenanted farm, that expensive alterations were made to the 16th-century house, completely refacing it with modern brick. He bought his farm during a period of soaring land prices after the Napoleonic Wars, and one wonders if he succumbed with a high mortgage in the depression which followed. By 1831 it will be seen that there had been an increase in the number of smallholders. This was accounted for by development at Munderfield; in 1824 JohnVernall was assessed at 17/6d., but by 1828 he had divided his holding into six, each assessed at 2/l1d.
In Bredenbury William West was the only owner-occupier. By 1817 he had increased his holding to 60% of the parish, but the estate was heavily mortgaged and in 1820 he was declared bankrupt. It was bought by Charles Dutton who farmed it himself for a time, but by 1840 it was tenanted.
The 18 extra holding’s in Avenbury are explained by the creation of smallholdings at Munderfield and Copton Field. In Bredenbury several holdings, were amalgamated, similarly in Co1lington, but here, one new holding was created and between 1797 and 1807, two tax payers assessed at £1.16.0. and £0.8.0. disappeared. Perhaps they were incorporated for convenience in a neighbouring parish.
In conclusion, the three parishes differed widely in the percentage of land owned by one major landlord. It has been possible to demonstrate, only to the very limited extent of present knowledge, that the new race of industrial landlords had made some mark on the area. In contrast to E. Davies’s findings (The Small Landowner 1780-1832, ‘In the Light of the Land Tax Assessments’, Economic History Review), in Avenbury and Bredenbury 1793-94, over 50% of the Land Tax was paid by owner-occupiers, but by the time of the Tithe Survey these owner- occupiers had almost disappeared from the map. Did this occur over the whole of the Bromyard district? Perhaps others, like William West, purchased property at a time when there was inflated currency and soaring land prices and were, bankrupt in the depression which followed. There seem to have been various reasons for the disappearance of the owner-occupiers, and when results are pooled from many parishes it should be possible to carry this analysis further.
Mr. A.M. Hunt, county field archeological officer, talked to us in November about the work of his department, with special reference to the excavation of a. medieval moated house at Much Marcle illustrated with slides.
He emphasised the constant risk of the destruction of archeo1ogical remains by plouhing, roadmaking and building of all kinds, asking us to watch for it in our own locality. The help of local people is also needed in recording archeologjcal si.te~. These are listed under the following’ types (I) Crop marks; (II) Find concentrations (e.g. flint and pottery scatters); (III) Earthworks; (IV) Buildings; (V) Industrial sites (e.g. foundries and factories of different kinds, hop and pottery kilns, windmills); (VI) Transport (e.g. acqueducts, viaducts, ferries, milestones, tunnels, railways); and (VII) Miscellaneous structures and sites, which cover a wide range including air raid shelters, Roman forts, beeholes and whipping- posts. A full list of these categories can be obtained from the County, Museum, Archeology Department, Hartlebury Castle, Kidderminster, DY11 7XZ.
If any members think they have found any unlisted remains in this district, or that any remains are in danger of destruction please let us know.
THE PARISH OF STANFORD BISHOP
Stanford Bishop was chosen as the parish to he visited in 1974 and on 21st April the exploration began at the Hyde farm in the Avenbury Lane, by kind permission of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Walker.
To the east of the farmhnuse and outbuildings (670 522) are well-marked earthworks which suggest earlier buildings and perhaps even a hamlet. Miss Rosamund Hickling thinks they provide promising signs of the latter.
Continuing along the Avenbury Lane the party came to the Rumney Building (671 514), which faces the road leading to Stanford Bishop Church. It is described by Pevsner as a “plain oblong of stone, once a school” which “was founded in 1731 and rebuilt in 1826” This gives rise to much interesting specu1ation as to the need for a school at such times and in such a place, but at present we know nothing. else about it. The building, which contains a lot of reused stone, is now a. barn. The field in which it stands was known as the Lord’s Meadow and also Over Rumney Meadow (see “Bromyard: A Local History”, p.26).
On the road to the church lies Hill Oak Farm which appears to have been called the Cross House in the 18th century.
The church itself (682 515) lies off the road, and is reached by a narrow gated road between a hopyard and a blackcurrant field. It stands on an isolated hillock which is the highest point of the parish and near its centre. The churchyard is circular and at the gate is a standing stone. Whether the stone and the shape of the churchyard mean the site was used for the practice of pre-Christian re1igions has yet to be proved. So has the well-known story that the chair known as St .Augustine’s, in the church, was used by him at his meeting with the Celtic bishops in 603 and that the conference took place in Stanford Bishop. A beautifull feature of the church is its oak Jacobean Pulpit. Pevsner describes the building as “late Norman to late cl3”, and from its position it could have served the parish of Stanford Regis (which was part of what is now Bishops Frome) as well as Stanford Bishop.
The Bull Ring, passed on the Way to Stanford Court, was a holding that paid £l.l6.0. in the Land Tax returns of 1777, and comprised 15 acres in 1838. Once used for bull-baiting all that is to be seen there now are two modern buildings.
At Stanford Court (by kind permission of Mr and. Mrs G. Essex Potter) the house and buildings stand on a moated site. In the outbuildings is evidence of the original house which was the Bishop’s manor house and probably where the. Manorial court was held. An important feature which was noticed was that the moat aopea.rs to have been rectangular which is possibly indicative of a Romano-British site. The present house was built in the 18th century, a sign of the prosperity of the time and the desire to use it decoratively, as witness the gazebo the remains of which are in the garden.
Opposite the gates of the Court is Wofferwood Common, now enclosed. As late as 1838 it extended to 215 acres. The name is a corruption of Wolves Wood.
The exploration ended at the Boyce (697 526), by kind permission of Mr. and Mrs. T. Richards. The name, Boyce, may come from the French ‘bois’, and the farm was a capital messuage probably granted to a follower of the Bishop.
The following is description of three houses in the parish by Mr. J. W. Tonkin who visited them on 24th August 1974:-
STANFORD BISHOP COURT
The building between the hop-kilns and the courted yard appears to be the solar cross-wing of a l4th century house of considerable importance. It is a three-bay two storey building with a lateral stack. The ground-floor room has heavily chamfered beams with Wern Hir stops, but it is the upstairs room which is important. This has slightly cambered tie-beams with a quarter round moulding and curved struts to the collar. The wind-braces to the through trenched purlin on each side are curved and chamfered with deep cusped spandrels which are pierced right through. The tie-beam further away from the fireplace is morticed for a screen. It looks like a wealthy solar wing, probably from the third quarter of the 14th century. The hall part of the building has been much modified, perhaps entirely rebuilt, for use as a hop store. The wing beyond this has four upper-base cruck trusses and a heavy cambered tie-beam. The lower part of the building at this point has a plinth and it seems possible that this may have been part of a service-wing or even an external.kitchen beyond an early wing.
The present house has a metal plate above the front door with the date 1795. It may he the date of the house though it looks as though it may well have been built ear1ier than this in the 18th century.
The range of farm buildings adjoining the early solar wing is of two different builds, with straight upper-base crucks in one part and s1ightly curved ones in the other. The barn has four re-used crucks as tie-beams. Are these from the early hall?
The site is moated and clearly was of some importance in medieval times.
So much has been altered and added over the years that a long description., is really necessary. However the central part of the house appears to be a two-bay, two storey, two room plan house of the late 16th century with the parlour end at the west as this has close-set framing. Part of this house became used for farm purposes probably when the present cider house was built to the west of it. Originally this was a pair of diagonally-set hop-kilns in a timber-framed addition about 1700. The hop-kilns farther west again are of 19th-century date.
Perhaps at the same time as the first hop-kiln s were built a stone addition was made to the south of the original house, probably for use as a dairy and then later converted into a sitting-room. Both have king-post rooms. A new stone block was added to the east of the original house probably in the l8th century and later again this was extended to the east, quite probably in the mid-l9th century.
Said to have been built in 1731 and altered in 1826 as a National Society school. The bottom storey seems to be very well built and the upper is of bigger stone not so well laid. It may well be that it was originally of one storey and the 1826 alteration was to two The two-storey appearance well fits a certain type of National school of that period unfortunately the modern king-post roof gives no clue as to date.
The basis of research into the history
of Herefordshirer motor bus
By Martin J. Perry
The City of Hereford, and the five market towns within the county, have grown and remained as centres for local commerce, light industry, trading, markets and entertainment. However, without an efficient, regular and cheap means of transport for both goods and passengers to the outlying villages and farms, the growth of the market towns and even the city itself would have been slow and uncertain, as the pace of Herefordshire life quickened during the latter years of the last century.
The railway, so rapidly expanded and exploited during the “mania” of the mid-l9th century, made mass travel and nationwide communication cheap and easy, but their effect on the thinly populated, rural areas of Herefordshire was never great. Certainly, eager specu1ators, confident of a profitable return on their investments, sank thousands of pounds into the winding branch lines that spread across the map of the county during the 1860’s and 1870’s; the Golden Valley line; the Hay Railway; the Leominster & Kington; and, of course, the Worcester, Bromyard and Leominster. But the profits and the wealth never came; all were destined for hard lives and some an early demise. The Golden Valley line was to close to passenger traffic in the early l930s, whilst the rest hung on into nationalisation and an ignominious death. Their days had been numbered from the out set, and one of the prime reasons for this was their inherent lack of flexibility; they were quite literally set in their ways, and as profits fel1, costs rose, until the “withdrawal of passenger facilities” drove home the final nail in the coffin of the “permanent way”.
The story of public transport in Herefordshire is not, however, confined to the railways, for the gap between town and country was being filled by a more personal, flexible network of services; those of the village carrier. Many where the remote vi1lages and hamlets through which, heading for the markets of the nearest town on the appointed day, the carriers’ cart would rattle, along the roughly-made roads laden with market produce on the inward journey, and with “boughten goods” on the return, and carrying a. few regular passengers for a couple of pence, it was from this modest makeshift beginning that the rural bus was to emerge.
The development of the internal combustion engine, and its app1ication to the motor car was to bring the most sweeping changes to society. But in those early days of the 1900s it was with humour and scepticism that it was viewed. However, with some local foresight and accuracy the Bromyard News & Record, during November of 1906, observed: “…another of Bromyard’s inhabitants was conveyed by motor to Burghill last week, and that apparently motoring in time will be of great advantage to the public. One started from Bromyard on Thursday evening to take a party to Worcester theatre shortly after 7 p.m., and was back in Bromyard soon after eleven – if this is the order of the day, the railway company will not want to ‘run many late trains.. .” The following year, 1907, the editor gave a further thoughtful. assessment of the way trends in transport were to be. “Bromyard is certainly not in a. very sporting frame of mind just now, for only two booked by train to Colwall races last Monday; however it must be borne in mind that many preferred the quicker and more enjoyable way of getting there – namely by motor”, and more pointedly: “…‘situated as we are, fourteen miles from anywhere, the motor car service will prove of great benefit, for instance Tenbury especially, which by some trains takes you half a day to get there …“
The First World War was, in many respects, the great turning-point of nil modern history, and in the story of: public transport the war left its mark; a mark in itself the turning point of that story. The end of the war saw men returning from the battlefields with new-found skills and training, not least of which was the ability, to drive and to maintain motor vehicles. Further, large numbers of war-surplus cars and lorries came flooding onto the open market at cheap prices, and so for many it was only natural that the prospects of setting up local carriers, motor lorry and bus services was full of possibility.
Although Herefordshire had had its first, regular motor bus service as far back as 1908 when Connelly’s began a service from Barr’s Court to Whitecross in September of that year, this was to meet a sudden end in 1912 when the only vehicle (a 24hh.p.Milnes-Daimler open-top, 30 seat double-decker) was destroyed by fire. It was not then until 1919 that the motor-bus reappeared on the roads of the county , when Mr Bird of Wigmore began a service to Hereford, and so this year must be taken as the actual starting-point for the true “country bus”.
At this point it is of interest to recall the 1907 report from the Bromyard newspaper that the use of the phrase “motor car service” and its implications, and a report of.a further “motor car service” to theatricals in Stoke Lacy during April of that year, suggest the possibility that Bromyard may he able to lay a claim to the earliest of all motor-bus operations in the county. There is however, to the author’s knowledge, nothing further, as yet to substantiate this possibility.
Nineteen-twenty saw the idea of regular bus services really to take hold. Messrs James Fryer of Hereford commenced a service from St. Weona.rds, whilst other villages began to offer a market day bus. Many of the vehicles at the time were motor lorries, used for general haulage during the week, hut fitted with wooden benches on market days and becoming passenger-carriers. Indeed, two of the county’s most well-known present-day fleets began in this way. In 1920 a Canon Pyon cider-maker, Mr Yeomans, began to use his Ford T lorry (CJ 4206) to carry passengers to Hereford, and soon found this a well worthwhile proposition, and soon the lorry was permanently converted to a. 14-seater, joined by another purpose-built Thornycroft bus, and. thus started off the foundation of today’s smart, modern luxury fleet. Likewise, Mr Bengry of Kingsland began to use his Austin lorry to carry people to local football matches, then to Leominster or Hereford market, and he too found that carrying fare-paying passengers was a worthwhile occupation. A second-hand Fiat charabanc was acquired, and later a Reo chara, of American manufacture. This was painted blue, and was shortly followed by two more Reos, one painted gold and called “The Golden Queen” and the other yellow, named “Primrose” – and thus the present-day fleet of Primrose Motors gained its name.
Bromyard was not far behind in this, for in March 1920 saw the commencement of regular services into the toown from Hereford, Worcester and Clifton, provided by that well-known supporter of matters modern and technological, Mr A.E. Pettifer. Although the B.M.M.O. (Midland Red) company, as a. result of fortuitous circumstances bringing their operations to Worcester, had started a tentative service from Worcester as far back as 1915, and had also commenced a Hereford route in 1920, Mr Pettifer was undeterred by such rivalry. It must, at this point, be appreciated that since the Road Traffic Act of 1930, all bus services must he licensed by government appointed Traffic Commissioners to prevent wastefull oir dangerous competition, but in the “pioneering days” of the 1910s such legality did not exist and motor—bus operation was very much a free-for-all and no doubt situations such as were found in Bromyard, with rival buses running along the same roads, gave rise to much local splits of loyalty, as the rival companies were opposed or supported, as each vied with the other to gather the most custom.
Pettifers and “the Red” were not the only providers of services into Bromyard, for :the Clifton road was used by the equally expeditious Mr Burnham, resident in that village. In fact, many of the surrounding Villages had motor-buses travelling in on Thursday to the market . Matthews from Whitbourne; Howe’s from Bishops Frome; Staples from Acton Beauchamp; Hancocks from Bishops Frome, Fryers from Hereford.via Newtown or Jenkins of Much Cowarne to name a few. Of these, it is of interest to note that Mr Oliver Howe, Mr A.J. Hancocks and Mr Henry Jenkins had all been carriers, with horse and waggon, but came over to the use of.motor transport as times had progressed.
Mr Pettifer’s first known motor-bus was a Sunbeam 25 h p , seating 20, with the registration number CJ 1208. He also acquired, in 1920, a 35-h.p. Lancia, B 8224. The following year a Wolseley 50-h.p., seating 35, along with a ‘smart Karrier 40-h.p., also seating 35. This latter is of interest as it later passed to Mr Alexander Matthews of Whitbourne, who fitted it with a home built double deck body.
It was about this time that one of the most famous of Bromyard’ vehicles appeared on the scene, the Daimler charabanc “Nuff Sed”. No further details are at present known however of this or a further Daimler owned by Pettifers about the same time.
The Lancia acquired in 1920 must have been reliable and popular, as 1924 saw Mr Pettifer buy two more, with a further two in 1925. Although all four ceased to be used as buses by 1936, one at least escaped the scrapheap, as it was converted to a lorry and employed around Mr Pettifer’s Little Frome Estates (HL 2262).
Nineteen thirty-two was notable for the arrival in the town of a far more comfortable coach. Indeed it the first of Pettifers’ vehicles to which the term “coach” can really be accurately applied. This was DF 5186, an American Reo, fitted with 20-seat coachwork, and purchased from the well known Black & White fleet from Cheltenham.
An interesting purchase was made in 1935, when EA 5181 arrived. This was a 35-seater coach of A.J.S. manufacture, which had originated in the West Bromwich fleet of Messrs Hills. It is, however, the fact that this vehicle is still surviving today that is of note. After five years work for Pettifers, EA 5181 was sold to Mr Arthur Moore of Great Witley, who pressed it into service in and around that village during the war.
But when its active lifetime drew to a close, it was not broken up, for with the great demand for mobility and acute shortage of buses at the end of the war, Mr Moore realised the possibility of completely rebuilding and renovating old vehicles as new. Thus, fitted with new engine, luxury coachwork and given the new registration number HIP 569, the old A.J.S. carried on in service for further ten years. However, even its final withdrawal from passenger service was not to be the end. Mr Moore’s son had large yacht, which often needed to he moved about the country to various waterways, or storage for the winter. So the bodywork of the old coach was removed, and replaced by a transporter for the boat; and in its new nautical role,the old vehicle carried on for a further couple of years, before being finally pensioned off to an honourable, but quiet retirement in the corner of a Great Witley orchard, where she remains today.
This interesting survival of a Pettifers vehicle is made all the more surprising by the fact that another of Mr Pettifer’s one-time fleet remains in existence. This is a 1938 Leyland Cheetah coach, sold to Mr Burnham at Clifton in 1946, and stored for many years at Clifton, until purchased by Mr Morris early last year, and now brought back to Bromyard for possible restoration. It is more than strange that, of the mere 22 vehicles that were owned by the Pettifers bus fleet, two should still survive into 1975 – nearly thirty years after the business ceased to trade.
The cessation of motor-coach operations by Pettifers in 1948 left the town without a bus business and it was not until 1961 that Bill Morris began to run coaches in the town. Since the early l960s the difficulties facing the bus operators have increased, and it is ironic that the Midland Red Company, who had been so instrumental in taking over the multitude of small bus firms back in the twenties and thirties, were obliged to cut back or completely withdraw routes into the town and that once again it was the small local operators who were able to step in and offer replacement services. The wheels are gradually turning full circle for today Bromyard is served by five different bus fleets operating public services from all four corners of the county.
Naturally in writing a short article of this sort, much of the wealth of detail, fact or fiction, must he left out. But I am, gradually, piecing together records of many of the small motor-bus pioneers who contributed their part to the town and county of Hereford. Many were the one man one vehicle operators that sprang up in the years after the first war, only to be forced out by economies or the ever-advancing might of the Midland Red; others managed to hold on through the difficult years of the second world war, and for some, ‘the lucky.few’, business is as good today as ever it was. But they all had one thing in common, they were as vital and important a part of local history as the people who rode with them or the towns that they served. If this article is able to cast a. little 1ight into the shadows of this often ignored aspect of local research, I will have succeeded in my intentions, but there is still much to be done, before a wealth of first-hand information is lost for ever.
In conclusion may I acknowledge the assistance that is constantly being offered to me by John Dunabin of Tarrington and Alan Mills of Walsall, with service and vehicle details, and to various members of the Bromyard Local History Society who support and aid my studies.
Nicknames and Rhymes
By Mildred Shepherd
The following rhymes were told me by people now well up in their eighties, the first by an old gentleman now residing at Kirkham Gardens and the second by Mr H.E. Fluck of Hereford, a member of the Woolhope Society.
The first was current in the 1890s when my old friend was a boy at school in Whitbourne, and runs:-.
‘At Homer’s Mill the baking begins,
The Duke of Tedstone burnt his shins.
Lord Batemen’s got a gout,
Sergeant Jordan found it out.
In the parish a Councillor dwells.
Calico Tom now sings-quite well.
It takes the Bishop to prattle and talk,
Old Pigeon Riddle is cock of the walk.’
Of course the above is more fun if you know who they were and the houses they lived in. Nicknames were very much in vogue.
Does anyone know of other local rhymes of the places where they live?
Mr Fluck recited the following to me:
‘Bromyard Downs and Moseley Mere
Are the coldest places in Hereford –shere.’
He does not know where in the county Moseley Mere is. Does anyone reading this know?
Bromyard Gala 1974
By Phyllis D. Williams
The Society’s theme for the 1974 Gala was ‘Household utensils and Domestic Furniture’. A tent, larger than the one used in the previous year, was obtained in order to avoid crowding the exhibits. However we were yet again overwhelmed by the wealth of material and generosity of the ‘donors,’ consequently the bathroom, laundry and dairy vessels overflowed the confines of the tent and some had to be displayed outside. Inside the tent the meterial was arranged according to the room it would furnish, namely drawing room, dining room, kitchen, dairy, nursery and workshop, with a central exhibit of needlework and old photographs.
The good weather and new site brought record crowds to the Gala and our tent. We would like to thank the many people who so kindly lent the exhibits, many of which were of great sentimental value and irreplaceable. Thank you, to the helpers who mounted and arranged the display and laboriously fastened down all the items and those who joined the rota to look after the tent and sell raffle tickets to cover our expenses.