Thomas Edgar Pemberton, theatre historian, playwright, critic and biographer, was born at Heath Green Cottage, Heath Green, Birmingham on 1 July 1849. Pemberton was the eldest son of Thomas Pemberton, the head of an established firm of brass founders in Livery Street, Birmingham, After education at school in Edgbaston, aged 19, Pemberton joined his father’s company, Messrs. Pemberton and Sons, and in due course gained control of the business, with which he was connected until 1900.
Pemberton married on 11 March 1873, in the Old Meeting House, Birmingham, Mary Elizabeth Townley, second daughter of Edward Richard Patie Townley of Edgbaston.
In 1885, Pemberton and his family moved to Broadway and they lived at Farnham House for four years before moving to Pye Corner House where he died in 1895.
Pemberton was a member of the Birmingham Dramatic and Literary Club and President and Honorary Secretary of Our Shakespeare Club. HIs funeral took place at St Eadburgha’s Church, Broadway, in October 1905 and he is buried in the churchyard. The service was conducted by the Rev. F.A. Morgan (Vicar of Broadway), B.L. Hall (Curate of Broadway), G.A. Jackson (St Mary’s, High Leigh) and F. Madona (Vicar of Cheadle and Pemberton’s uncle).
His wife continued to live at Pye Corner before moving to Sands Meadow which was built for her in 1914. Mary Pemberton continued to live at Sands Meadow until her death in 1938.
Broadway History Society has been sent the following biography of Joseph Henry Yarnold (1860-1923) by Yocker Yarnold and Ken Edwards. Joseph served with the police force in Broadway in charge of the village’s police station from 1887 to 1894.
Joseph Henry Yarnold was born on the 20th December 1860, in Kingswinford, Staffordshire, the son of Eliza Yarnold. Joseph, known as Henry or Harry, was initially brought up by John and Eliza Bint at Market Street, Kingswinford. Sometime after 1871, Joseph moved to live with his Yarnold relatives1 at Menithwood, Pensax, Worcestershire, where he was brought up alongside his many cousins.
After leaving school Joseph first found employment at the local Hollins Colliery2, however, having received a good education, aged 19, he joined the police service as a Special Constable. By 1883 Joseph was serving as a full time officer and within a few weeks had been promoted to Constable at Evesham.
In March 1887 Joseph transferred to take charge of Broadway Police Station. During his time at Broadway Joseph met and married Eliza Jane Baskett, daughter of George Baskett the Sexton of the parish of Salford Priors, and they married at Salford Priors on the 20th February 1887. In January 1894 Joseph was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and after serving in Broadway for 7 years moved back to Evesham to the new Police Station in the town. Upon his promotion the village held a dinner in Joseph’s honour. The Evesham Standard on Saturday 20th January 1894 reported:
At the Lygon Arms, on Wednesday, a public dinner was given to present a testimonial to PC Yarnold, on the occasion of his departure to Evesham and his promotion to be Sergeant. Ald. Averill presided, and there were also present – Messrs A Drury, G M Cook, K Averill, A Williams, T Bayliss, R Johnston, J Brick, J W Wilson, B Burrows, H Preston, Haines &c. The Chairman read letters from the Vicar and Mr Pemberton, who expressed regret at being unable to attend. He said they had met to make Sergeant Yarnold a presentation, as a small recognition of his services in Broadway for the last seven years. They were all aware that the life of a police officer was by no means an easy one, and PC Yarnold came to Broadway in troublous times3, just after an election, but his conduct throughout was most satisfactory. All classes of people respected him, and would be sorry to lose him. The Chairman asked Sergeant Yarnold to accept the present, which was a beautiful marble clock, as a mark of appreciation from the Broadway people. Ald. Averill then proposed the health of Mr and Mrs Yarnold, which was cordially drunk. Sergt. Yarnold returned thanks for the way the toast had been received, and for the handsome present made to him. He was sure in after life he should never forget their kindness, and he hoped at the end of the next seven years to have proved himself as satisfactory in his new office. Other toasts were drunk, including the health of Mr Johnston, who had promoted the testimonial. Mr Johnston said he was sure he had never collected money with more pleasure. Sergeant Yarnold had been a splendid officer, and all had responded most generously to his appeal. Mr Averill proposed the health of Mr and Mrs Drury, which was very heartily drunk. Songs were given during the evening by Mr S Jarret, Ald. Averill, Messrs Smith, A Hunt, and others, and the proceedings concluded with the toast of “The Chairman”, which was heartily responded to.
Eight years later Joseph was again promoted to the rank of Inspector a position he held until his retirement in 1909. Joseph was held in high esteem by his colleagues, magistrates and solicitors and on his retirement he was presented with a gold watch by the magistrates at Evesham County Sessions. The watch bore the inscription: Presented to Inspector J H Yarnold on his leaving the Worcestershire Police Force by the Magistrates of the Petty Sessional Division and Borough of Eversham and their Clerk, in recognition of long and faithful service, June 1909.
During his police service Joseph received a merit badge for saving the life of a man who had been pulled out of the Avon river and presumed drowned. Joseph performed respiration on the man and he survived. Upon retirement, Joseph and Eliza went to live at Salford Priors. Following a short illness in May 1923 Joseph was admitted to Clent Nursing Home where he died, aged 63, on 23rd May 1923. His funeral took place at Salford Priors Church the following Thursday. Joseph’s wife Eliza outlived him by 24 years dying at Bream in Gloucestershire on the 21st December 1947, aged 83.
Broadway History Society
1. The large Yarnold or Yarnall family had lived in the villages of Menithwood, Lindridge and Pensax for many generations, the men employed as agricultural labourers or coal miners.
2. Hollins Colliery was on the site of a farm of the same name, situated between Pensaz and Clows Top. Samson Yarnold (1860-1937), one of Joseph’s uncles, followed in his father’s footsteps, working at several of the small local Pensax pits. Samson became the owner of the Hollins coalmine in the 1890s and retired from coal mining, aged 70 in 1930.
3. In the late 1880s the country was in deep recession and unemployment and poverty, particularly in Broadway and the surrounding area, was high. However, an article aimed at attracting visitors to Broadway published in the local newspapers in August 1887, painted the village as a rural idyll.
The following article about Broadway was published in the Gloucestershire Echo on 24th August 1887 and the Cheltenham Chronicle on 27th August 1887:
Broadway is geographically in Gloucestershire but topographically is a peninsula of Worcestershire which juts out into the neighbouring shire. Broadway is about five and a half miles from anywhere, and just six miles from everywhere. Two hundred years ago, or even so far back as Shakespeare’s days, Broadway may have been a place of note. Now it is a place of no account, except as one of the quietest, sweetest, most peaceful, and most pastoral “out of the world’ villages in all England. It consists of one wide, straggling street, of quaint old stone-built houses with gables and dormers, Tudor chimneys, casements with leaded panes of old glass, mullions, carved doorways, finials and high-pitched roofs. There is an amazing hotel, the Lygon Arms, which would have driven Dickens wild with delight, and in another ancient hostelry, now turned into a private residence, are the old oak beams and floors, old windows and wide chimney-nooks which were there when Charles I slept – or more probably only laid down his uneasy head – after a disastrous battle. On the walls of these fine houses apricots and vines grow freely, and their fruits ripen.
There is a village green, the chosen club of all the village dogs, who romp and race there from morning till night. The well-planned kennels of the North Cotswold Hounds are in the village, and when they are seen coming down the wide street the way in which the other dogs “get up and slide” is most diverting.
At the extreme end of Broadway in an old house, with an old garden, shut in by a high old wall, an American colony of artists1 have established themselves, painting and drawing all day long with intervals of lawn-tennis for exercise; and there, the world forgetting, but not by the world forgot, they lead an ideal life of work and art and simple healthful occupation. They have their models male and female, after their kind in an adjacent cottage; and they have fitted up a great old barn as a studio, from which are sent out many notable pictures.
The country round about Broadway is a mixture of flat cornlands and rolling hills, profusely timbered with splendid elms, ash-trees, and oaks, and the district is literally studded with old abbey barns, old manor houses, and old churches, in most quaint and picturesque styles of architecture. Beautiful walks through pastures and coppices, over hills, superabound in every direction. People in search of quietness, fresh air, and something rather out of the common-place in rural life might do worse than find their way to Broadway. To get there is not just as easy as to get to Charing Cross, but it can be done by taking the train to Evesham, or utilising a smart four-horse coach2 that leaves the Plough at Cheltenham for Broadway every Saturday afternoon at five o’clock, for a delightfully picturesque drive of sixteen miles to Broadway. The very difficulty of getting to Broadway enhances its charm of isolation. If it were nearer a railway-station it would be more noisy and less nice.
Broadway History Society
1. The Broadway Colony of artists included; the American artist Francis Davis Millet (1848-1912) who lived at Farnham House and Russell House and also rented Abbot’s Grange on the village green, and John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) who painted Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose in the gardens of Farnham House and Russell House during the summers of 1885 and 1886 whilst staying with the Millet family. Millet’s most famous painting Between Two Fires was painted at Abbot’s Grange. Frederick Barnard, an illustrator of Charles Dickens’ novels and the portraitist Paul César Helleu were also visitors to Broadway at the time. The Artist Colony Room at Broadway Museum and Art Gallery provides an insight into their art and their lives.
2. The Four-Horse Coach started running between Broadway and Cheltenham in August 1887. The coach ran every Saturday at 9am from the Lygon Arms Hotel, Broadway, calling at the White Hart Hotel, Winchcombe, to The Plough Hotel, Cheltenham, returning at 5pm the same day.