3rd May 1952: Snowshill Manor Opens to the Public

On Saturday 3rd May 1952, Snowshill Manor near Broadway, which had been gifted to the National Trust by owner Charles Paget Wade1 in December 1951, was opened to the public by Professor E.A. Richardson RA.

Wade, an architect and owner of sugar plantations in the British West Indies, purchased Snowshill Manor, an adjacent cottage and 14 acres of land, in June 19162 when it was put up for auction. For generations it had been a farmhouse, and Wade spent much money restoring the house parts of which date back to the 15th century. The major part of the house is Tudor and the front door dates back to 1700. The farmyard was remodelled into an Arts and Crafts garden with the help of M.H. Baillie Scott (1865-1945).

Wade filled the manor house from floor to ceiling with antiques, curios, models and works of art. His eclectic collection attracted a number of visitors including J.B. Priestly, Virginia Woolf and Graham Greene. When Queen Mary visited it is reported that she said that the finest thing in the collection was Mr Wade himself.

 

Notes:

  1. Charles Paget Wade (1883-1956) was an English architect, artist and poet. He married Mary Graham (1902-1999) in 1946 and died suddenly on 28 June 1956 in hospital at Evesham.
  2. The auction comprising of 8 lots, was held during the afternoon of 21 June 1916 in the Lifford Memorial Hall. The auctioneers were G.H. Bayley and Sons (Cheltenham and Broadway). Wade was serving with the Royal Engineers in France at the time and saw the auction advertised in Country Life Magazine. Lot 1, the house, farm buildings, stables and 213 acres of land sold for the sum of £5,800.

Major the Hon. Anthony Wills Buys Middle Hill House, April 1952

In April 1952, Major the Hon. Frederick Anthony Hamilton Wills, heir to Lord Dulverton of Batsford Park, purchased Middle Hill House and 1,100 acres of land on Broadway Hill.

Middle Hill had previously been owned by the sisters Lucy Miller Hingley and Emily Georgina Hingley who moved to Broadway shortly after the end of the First World War. Lucy Hingley died in 1942 and Emily Hingley in February 1946. By the terms of Miss Emily Hingley’s will (which amounted to £311,922 gross), Middle Hill was to be offered to the Friends of the Poor and if they were not willing to accept the bequest then to the Homes of Rest for Gentlewomen of the Church of England with a request that the house be known as The Hingley House of Rest. However, the Friends of the Poor declined to accept the property because of the huge cost of repairs needed to be spent on the house and ancillary buildings, and following a hearing at the Chancery Division in December 1951, it was decided that the gift had failed and declared that Miss Hingley had died intestate. Broadway Tower and the surrounding fields, also part of Miss Hingley’s estate, were bequeathed to the National Trust.

Following his purchase of the house and land, Wills was granted a £500 licence by Evesham Rural District Council to carry out the extensive repairs to make the house habitable. Wills was married with four children and lived at the house for many years returning the surrounding land to productive farmland.

Born on 19 December 1915, Wills was educated at Eton College and Magdalen College, Oxford. During the Second World War, Wills served with the Lovatt Scouts. He was an enthusiast about fieldcraft and was one of the Army’s leading experts on sniping. He founded and was chief instructor at a sniping wing at the War Office Advanced Handling and Fieldcraft School in North Wales. He gained the rank of Major in 1944 in the Royal Artillery. He succeeded as the 2nd Baron Dulverton, of Batsford, and 3rd Baronet Willow of Northmoor, Somerset, on 1 December 1956. Wills served as a Master of the North Cotswold Hunt for 8 years, resigning in 1960. He was appointed Commander, Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1974. He died on 7 February 1992 at the age of 76.

 

 

The Early History of Broadway Tower by Jill Tovey

In 1751 George William Coventry inherited the title 6th Earl of Coventry, Croome Court and 15,000 acres of land in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.  He was 29 years old and the speed with which he set about improving and modernising his inheritance implies that he had already made plans about what he would do.

His first act was to employ up and coming landscape management expert Lancelot Brown to work with him on the project. Brown was an instinctive engineer who knew how water and land could be moulded and controlled – he knew the ‘Capabilities’. The two men had met through a mutual association with Lord Cobham at Stowe and the young George William had recognised Brown’s potential. So it was that in 1752 the two began working in partnership; they first of all turned the existing 17th century house into a modern, symmetrical Palladian style mansion and then went on to create a vast, idyllic English landscape around it.

Whilst the basic ideas, and the boldness of style and design, were almost certainly the Earl’s, it was probably Brown’s skills in land and water management that gave him the confidence to have the 760 acres of land surrounding the house sculpted on a monumental scale, never before attempted.

The basic project took over ten years, but Brown continued to be involved – making adjustments to drainage right up until his death in 1783. So grateful to him was the Earl that he erected a monument in his memory beside the beautifullake he had created out of a ‘Morass’.

The creation of the Landscape Park had become a lifetime obsession for the 6th Earl of Coventry. He had also employed Robert Adam to design iconic buildings to form focal points and draw the eye to views that observers were intended to see. In this Adam, Brown and the Earl had worked closely together. However, by 1794 Brown and Adam were both dead, but the George William wasn’t finished.

Whilst he now had buildings to decorate the inner park, he was thinking on a wider scale and brought in the latest ‘must have’ architect, James Wyatt to finish the job. There was already an ‘eye-catcher’ to the south in the shape of gothic style Dunstall Castle, which Adam had designed in 1765, but now he wanted eye-catchers to the north, east and west of the house, to be placed on the most visible pieces of high ground that he owned. So, between 1794 and 1801 Wyatt designed the Panorama Tower to the west:

Panorama Tower, James Wyatt 1801 © Croome Heritage Trust
Panorama Tower, James Wyatt 1801 © Croome Heritage Trust, image not for further publication without permission.

Pirton Castle to the north:

Picton Castle © Croome Heritage Trust
Pirton Castle, James Wyatt 1801 © Croome Heritage Trust, image not for further publication without permission

 

and, to the east, Broadway Tower.

Broadway Tower © Croome Heritage Trust
Broadway Tower, James Wyatt 1794 © Croome Heritage Trust, image not for further publication without permission

Some miles to the east of Croome he owned Springhill House and some land on the high ridge near the village of Broadway and Wyatt’s design, in the Romanesque style fashionable at the time, completed the Earl’s vision of the ideal, allegorical landscape. The Tower could also perhaps have been intended as a monument to himself – standing proud on the hilltop, only distantly visible from Croome, but with views over sixteen counties. If this was the case, it worked because 220 years later, people still ask “Who built this? The answer is George William. 6th Earl of Coventry – thus his name lives on. So far from being a ‘Folly’ –  it was a statement and had a purpose.

 

Jill Tovey
Croome Heritage Trust, 2020

 

February’s Talk: Monday 21st February 2022 – 500 Years of Broadway Maps

Next Meeting: Monday 21st February 2022 – 500 Years of Broadway Maps

Our next meeting will take place on Monday 21st February starting at 7pm in the Lifford Memorial Hall. The Society looks forward to welcoming back David Ella as our speaker with his illustrated talk entitled 500 Years of Broadway Maps.

During David’s talk we will be looking at a wide range of maps which include Broadway, created from the 1570s through to 2020. While interesting and attractive in themselves the maps will be used to try and resolve some unanswered historical questions about Broadway and Broadway Hill.  We will look at old county maps, and also unpublished estate maps for Middle Hill, Spring Hill, and the Countess of Gainsborough’s estates in Chipping Campden, which ran to the top of Broadway Hill. Amongst other things, we will look at the engineer’s diagram for the 1820’s roadworks on Broadway Hill, alongside an angry letter from Sir Thomas Phillipps who provided the land.  We will find out why Broadway is in Worcestershire, why Five Mile Drive is only two miles long, and finally try and resolve how Colonel Lygon displayed the Battle of Waterloo at his Spring Hill estate,  just beyond Broadway Tower.  Closer to the village we will look at the “Haunted House”, and understand why one of the houses in the High Street lies at 45 degrees to the road – with the help of the Broadway Enclosure Map.

There will be a table display of original 17th and 18th century maps which can be viewed either before or after David’s talk.

Hand sanitiser and masks will be available. The Comittee will set out the chairs prior to the start of the meeting but please feel free to move them if you would prefer to sit in a different location in the hall. In line with current guidance we will leave the doors to the hall open until just before the start of the talk to allow as much fresh air into the hall prior to the start of the meeting. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the committee.

Debbie Williamson
Broadway History Society

Meeting: Monday 13th December 2021 – A Talk by Martin Blakeman on Gordon Russell Ltd

On Monday 13th December 2021, in the Lifford Memorial Hall, starting at 7pm, Martin Blakeman will give an illustrated talk on Gordon Russell Ltd and some of its people.

Martin Blakeman joined Gordon Russell Ltd 60 years ago in 1959 as an apprentice cabinetmaker, and worked for the company throughout his career. During that time he worked on special commissions in the company’s contracts department, became a foreman in the assembly shop and was later appointed Production Manager. His work took him to Japan in 1973 to establish a production warehouse for Gordon Russell furniture, and to Kuwait installing furniture at the headquarters of the Arab Organisations in the 1990s. Martin has volunteered at the Gordon Russell Design Museum in Broadway since it opened in 2008, researching and cataloguing the Archive, chairing the Education Committee and giving talks and tours both at the Museum and elsewhere.

All welcome to attend the talk, non-members of the Society will be charged £3 on the door.

 

100 Years Ago: 7th August 1921, the Day the Australian Cricket Team came to Broadway

Broadway, Sunday 7th August 1921

At the invitation of cricket fans Antonio de Navarro and Mary Anderson de Navarro, the Australian cricket team visited Broadway on 7th August 1921 during their Ashes Tour of England. Around noon, a convoy of seven cars carrying the team were greeted by a crowd of villagers lining the High Street as it made its way to Court Farm.

The Australians, in the middle of a first-class match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston (which they went on to win by an innings and 61 runs), were spending their rest day touring the local area, hosted by Sir Herbert Austin, Chairman and founder of the Austin Motor Company Ltd.  Aged 18, Austin, had emigrated to Australia where he had trained as an engineer, married an Australian girl, and spent the first 15 years of married life in Australia, mostly in Melbourne, before returning to England in 1893.

Australian Cricket Team, 1921

The Australians, captained by ‘Big Ship’ Warwick Armstrong, spent an hour at Court Farm where they met; Capt Theodore Rodocanachi MC (Captain of Broadway Cricket Club), John Morris (Broadway Parish Councillor), Maud Caffin (daughter of Rev. Charles Caffin, the Vicar of St Michael’s), Father George, Father Wilfrid and Father Edward Green (St Saviour’s), the distinguished pianist Harold Samuel, and two of Broadway’s doctors, Dr William Alexander and Dr Charles Standring who both had cricketing connections with the Australian team.

Touring with the Australians was Dr Roland ‘Rowley’ Pope, the team’s doctor. Dr Pope, like Dr Alexander, had studied medicine at Edinburgh University and played cricket for the University’s Eleven. Dr Pope had also been a good friend of Dr Henry ‘Tup’ Scott, captain of the Australian Cricket Team in 1886. Dr Scott retired from cricket at the end of the 1886 Ashes Tour and had stayed in London to pursue a career in medicine.

Dr Rowley Pope
Dr Rowley Pope by J. Blair Leighton

During Dr Scott’s time at King’s College Hospital he had played cricket with Dr Standring, who had joined Broadway Cricket Club shortly after his move to Broadway in 1893.  Within a few months of playing for Broadway, Dr Standring was elected to the Club’s Committee and served as Captain of the Club for 10 years from 1895 to 1905.

 

After a tour of the garden and Chapel at Court Farm, Australia’s captain, Armstrong, said that the chapel “was the most unique and sweet thing he ever saw and would carry the memory of it in his heart”. Harold Samuel gave a short piano recital before the team left Broadway calling at Capt Rodocanachi’s home, The Hill, at the top of the High Street to take in the view before heading for lunch in Stratford-upon-Avon. At Stratford the team met the English novelist Marie Corelli and visited Shakespeare’s birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s cottage, and Shakespeare’s monument in Holy Trinity Church before heading back to Birmingham.

A Broadway cricket enthusiast showed pardonable excitement when he heard of the arrival of the Australian cricketers on Sunday. Yes, he would snapshot them. So he borrowed a camera and cleaned and repaired it, and procured some plates after half-an-hour’s search. Then he hastened to the top of the village, hopeful of taking some fine pictures. Yes, it was very disappointing then to hear that the cricketers had departed half-an-hour before, and that not only had he no snapshots, but he had missed seeing them.

The Evesham Journal, 13 August 1921

Australia won the 1921 Ashes series. They won the first three matches against England (held at Trent Bridge, Lord’s and Headingley) which meant they had won 8 in succession, an unequalled sequence in Ashes Test Matches. The last two matches of the Test series (held at Old Trafford and The Oval) were drawn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broadway’s Silver Jubilee Celebrations 6th May 1935

How Broadway Celebrated the Silver Jubilee
of HM King George V

In March 1935, a Broadway Jubilee Committee of 50 villagers, chaired by Clement Parsons (of Luggershill, Springfield Lane), was appointed to organise a number of events across the village to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of HM King George V. Under Treasurer, Alexander Lomas1, a Jubilee Fund was set up which raised a total of £148 2s to fund the village’s celebrations.

On Monday 6th May 1935, Broadway celebrated the King’s Jubilee in style. The day started at 9am with a peal of church bells at St Eadburgha’s Church. Members of the Broadway branch of the British Legion, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides accompanied by a number of schoolchildren processed down the High Street to the War Memorial on the green, where a Service of Thanksgiving was held at 10.15am. The service, officiated by the Rev. Vincent H. Patrick, Vicar of St Michael’s, and the Congregational Minister, Rev. S.T. Butler, was attended by hundreds of villagers gathered on the village green.

Silver Jubilee, Broadway War Memorial 1935
Thanksgiving Service at Broadway War Memorial 6th May 1935. Photo ©P. Hutchinson Photographer, Broadway

Open Gardens and an Afternoon of Sports on Broad Close

During the afternoon, various sporting events, organised by the North Cotswold Athletic Club were held at Broad Close including events for the younger children and a men’s cross country race from Broad Close up to Broadway Tower and back – the race was won by J. Stokes2.

Broad Close, Broadway 6 May 1935
Broad Close, Broadway 6 May 1935

The athletic events, conducted under the rules of the Amateur Athletic Association, were organised by a Committee headed by Brigadier-General Napier assisted by; Frank A. Folkes (Secretary and Treasurer), Captain C.M. Napier, Dr William G. Alexander, Dr M.C. Beatty, Reginald Y.T. Kendall3 (of Abbot’s Grange), Charles Steward, Mr Harvey, A. Beard, C. Ingram, G.F. Knott, Archibald J. Bridgeman (Headmaster of Broadway Council School), Miss Tilley, Miss Ingles, R. Rawlings, R. Stokes, R. Holland, Rex Morris, and L.J. Smith.

Silver Jubilee Celebrations, Broadway, 6th May 1935
Silver Jubilee Celebrations, Broadway, 6th May 1935. Photo ©P. Hutchinson Photographer, Broadway

Music for the event was provided by L. Hensley and the prizes were awarded by two of the village’s oldest residents, Thomas and Elizabeth Figgitt4. The couple were driven to Broad Close from their home at Swan Cottage along the High Street in an open-top waggon provided by Don G.S. Russell (owner of the Lygon Arms). After the sports, a tea party for children and parishioners was held in a marquee erected on the Recreation Ground. 

From 12 noon until 4pm, gardens across the village were opened to the public. The open gardens were organised by the Jubilee Gardens Committee headed by Miss Pemberton and Miss Webb. The gardens, which were open free of charge, included: Orchard Farm (Lady Maud Bowes Lyon), Court Farm (Mary Anderson de Navarro, garden designed by Alfred Parsons), Lygon Arms (Don G.S. Russell), Bannits (Mrs Rees Price, garden designed by Alfred Parsons), Farncombe House (Frank Burges OBE), Abbot’s Grange (Reginald Y.T. and Evelyn H. Kendall), Austin House (Stratford C. and Eva A. Saunders) and Luggershill (Clement Parsons).

Torchlight Procession to the Beacon at Broadway Tower

After dark, a torchlight procession of villagers made its way up to Broadway Tower where a beacon bonfire had been built by the Boy Scouts with wood provided by George Foster. The bonfire at the Tower formed part of a chain of beacons across the country. HM King George lit the first of the beacons in Hyde Park, and at 10pm the chain of beacons around the country were lit. As the Broadway Beacon was lit, a red, green and yellow rockets, symbolising the colours of the Scouts, were fired. It was reported that thousands of people made their way up to Broadway Tower to see the beacon and firework display.

 

Broadway Tower 6 May 1935
Broadway Tower 6 May 1935

Jubilee Dance and Jubilee Trees

The following Thursday evening, a Jubilee Dance , organised by Joan Warren, Violet Folkes, Mabel Figgitt, J. Keyte and P. Derrick, was held in the Lifford Memorial Hall. Villagers danced the night away to Eddie Mace and his Super Band, and prizes to the best dancers were awarded to Mr & Mrs Ken Riley and May Keyte.

After the celebrations, two commemoration oak seats set on staddlestones were installed on the High Street. The remainder of the Jubilee Fund5 was used to purchase a number of horse chestnut and lime trees, the ‘Jubilee Trees’, were planted along the Cheltenham Road and High Street, many of which can still be seen today.

Debbie Williamson

 

Notes:

  1. Alexander Fred Lomas (1896-1965) was Manager of the Broadway branch of the Midland Bank.
  2. The results of the cross-country race: 1st: J. Stokes, 2nd: Les Arnold, 3rd: Victor Dudley Tittensor (1916-1989), 4th: W. Payne.
  3. Reginald Young Turnbull Kendall (1897-1963)
  4. See Thomas F. Figgitt (1863-1936)
  5. It had been hoped initially that sufficient funds would be raised to add to the fund set up in the 1920s to build a community swimming pool in the village.

 

Dr Axel M.F. Munthe (1857-1949)

Axel Martin Fredrik Munthe (1857-1949), the Swedish physician, psychiatrist, and author of The Story of San Michele, first came to Broadway in 1907 and lived for a short time afterwards at The Malt House, High Street, Broadway.

Dr Axel Munthe Broadway
Dr Axel Munthe ©Howard Carter FRSA

Born in Sweden on 31 October 1857, Munthe studied medicine in Paris. He became a distinguished physician and was appointed chief physician to Queen Victoria of Sweden in 1892.

Munthe firstly married Ultima Hornberg, a Swede, on 24 November 1880, whom he met while she was studying art in Paris. They divorced in the late 1880s and in 1887, Munthe moved to Capri where he purchased and rebuilt the Villa San Michele in Anacapri. 

On 16 May 1907, Munthe married English aristocrat, Hilda Pennington Mellor (1876–1967) at the Parish Church, Paddington, London. He was 49 and she was 29 years of age. The couple honeymooned at Sunnyside, 72 High Street, Broadway, a guest house run by Mrs Charlotte Kendrick. Sid Knight, who worked as a house boy at Sunnyside, recounts in his book Cotswold Lad  the arrival of Dr and Mrs Munthe’s arrival at the guest house:

Presently the rumbling of wheels disturbed the quiet of the High Street as into view lumbered the station fly owned by the Lygon Arms Hotel, the top piled high with luggage bearing railway and hotel labels from all over Europe. The horse-drawn four-wheeler came to a sedate halt alongside the grass verge that separated roadway from sidewalk, and two imposing figures alighted. One was a woman who to my boyish mind was of unbelievable beauty and charm …… followed by a tall, well-built man, a menacing figure in black…. Over his dark suit he wore a dark, flowing cape ……… A black Homburg shaded his black spade beard, and down his face ran a deep scar ………. rumour said was caused by a falling chimney pot in Stockholm one dark, windy night….Big dark glasses obscured his eyes……..

After a period at Sunnyside, the couple went on to settle in the village at The Malt House, High Street. The Munthe household is recorded in the 1911 Census1:

  1. Hilda Munthe, wife, 31 years old, living on own means, born France, British.
  2. Viking John Axel (Peter) Munthe, son, 2 years old, born London, Swede.
  3. Ludwig Malcolm Grane Munthe, son, 1 year old, born London, Swede.
  4. Sarah Smith, servant – cook, 60 years old, married, born Battersea, London.
  5. May Watts, servant – nurse, 16 years old, single, born Broadway, Worcestershire.
  6. Irene Launer, servant – housemaid, 14 years old, single, born France, French.
  7. Loetitia de Céligny, guest – visitor, 9 years old, born France, French.
  8. Catherine de Céligny, guest – visitor, 31 years old, born France, French.

Sid Knight, who worked at Sunnyside as a houseboy, also worked at The Malt House as a houseboy and his cousin Ada was cook for the Munthe household for many years, travelling and living with them in Rome, Berlin and Stockholm before settling with them at San Michele were it is said King Edward2 used to visit them.

The Malt House, Broadway ©David Lovell
The Malt House, High Street, Broadway ©David Lovell

During 1910, Munthe had a 14-room summer home, Stengården, built in Leksand, Sweden as a gift to his wife. Hilda landscaped Stengården with an English garden, and furnished it with 17th, 18th and 19th-century art and furniture from Italy, England and France.

For s short period during the First World War, Munthe volunteered and served with the British Ambulance Corps in France3. After the war, Munthe was more often at San Michele until his eyesight deteriorated. Sid Knight recounts in his book his last memory of seeing Mrs Munthe in Broadway, towards the end of the First World War, by which time Munthe and his wife, Hilda, were separated.

Munthe’s autobiographical book, The Story of San Michele, was first published in 1929. It was later translated into 25 different languages. Following an operation in Zurich in 1934, his sight was partially restored.

It was reported in the Lancashire Evening Post on 13 August 1937:

Dr. Axel Munthe, having completed his annual visit to England, left to-day for Stockholm, where he will stay with one of his oldest friends – the King of Sweden.

Bearded, dark spectacled, elusive, Dr. Munthe is still a Swede by nationality. Before the war he was on the point of adopting British nationality. But the war delayed the process of nationalisation, and he abandoned his intention.

Formerly, Dr Munthe had a house at Broadway, in Worcestershire. Now, though he belongs to the St. James Club, he has no English residence. But he remains an Englishman in spirit, and frets at being obliged to pass through the aliens’ barrier whenever he lands in this country.

Axel MuntheMunthe was made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 1905. He died on 11 February 1949, aged 91, in the Royal Palace in Stockholm and his ashes were scattered in the North Sea.

 

Notes:

  1. The 1911 Census for England and Wales was taken on the night of Sunday 2 April, 1911.
  2. From Cotswold Lad by Sid Knight, published 1960.
  3. See Red Cross & Iron Cross by Axel Munthe, published 1916.

Buckland Manor and Wormington Grange: War Nurseries during the Second World War and a Visit from Queen Mary

A War Nursery near Broadway is Founded

During the autumn of 1940, seven young children were removed from the dangers of living in war torn London to rural Buckland just outside Broadway. The evacuation and rehoming of the children was funded by the American Red Cross and the Surdna Foundation1 who had arranged for The Waifs and Strays Society (now The Church of England Children’s Society) to run a War Nursery2 at Buckland Manor.

In July 1940, Lady Ismay of nearby Wormington Grange3, whose husband, General Hastings Ismay was Winston Churchill’s chief military assistant, had taken in 30 London evacuees under the age of two. Children under five4 were difficult to place with families and Lady Ismay was approached by the Society’s secretary, Mr W.R. Vaughan, to find another suitable home for a small number of very young children.

At the time there were three Receiving Nurseries in London in which children under five were received for medical inspection, issue of clothing, etc., before being evacuated to the country to nurseries set up to specially cater for their needs.

Mr & Mrs Charles T. Scott of Buckland Manor offered their home to the Society and by November 1940, seven youngsters had taken up residence in a wing of the house under the care of Matron Miss Bride. Mrs Jane Scott (who became the Nursery’s Commandant) was often seen taking the children for a walk and her cook, Margaret ‘Bessie’ Andrews, prepared the children’s meals. Lady Victoria Forester, Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Mary, who lived at Furze Hill, Willersey, was also involved in the children’s welfare. Clothes and toys for the children were provided by the Women’s Voluntary Services both in London and Broadway, and additional children’s clothing from sewing parties held in the village.

Miss Bride told a reporter from The Evesham Journal that the children can “run just where they like” and although many arrived tearful and homesick they soon settled into life in the Cotswolds countryside. Miss Bride’s charges were all from London; Tony (the eldest), Maureen (the youngest, aged 20 months), Ernest, Eileen, David, Sailor and Ronald.

Buckland Manor c1944
Buckland Manor c1944

Queen Mary visits the War Nursery at Buckland Manor

By 1944, under Matron Miss Frank, the nursery at Buckland Manor had grown to be one of the largest in the area caring for 36 children5. Amongst the children, all aged under five, were children of Birmingham City transport workers as well as those with parents serving in HM Forces.

On Thursday 10th August 1944, Queen Mary paid an informal visit to Buckland Manor to see the children. The Queen was accompanied by Lady Constance Milnes Gaskell, Lady Victoria Forester and Major Forester, the local MP William Morrison and his wife Katharine Morrison, and Colonel George Mackie (County Director of the British Red Cross). The Queen stayed for half an hour and on leaving was presented with a bouquet of roses by two year old Gillian Adams from Birmingham.

The War Nursery at Buckland Manor closed down shortly after the end of the Second World War in late 1945/early 19466.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway History Society

Notes:

  1. The Surdna Foundation was established as a charitable foundation in 1917 by the American John Emory Andrus to pursue a range of philanthropic purposes.
  2. The first War Nursery was set up in February 1940 at Dallington in Northamptonshire. By the end of 1940, 30 nurseries were in existence housing over a thousand babies and young children. After the United States of America entered the war in 1942, the Ministry of Health undertook full financial responsibility for the nurseries, the total number of which grew to 400.
  3. In November 1942, Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady of the United States ( 4 March 1933 – 12 April 1945) visited the War Nursery at Wormington Grange.
  4. Approximately 89%, of all under fives evacuated were sent from the London area, and by August, 1945, the Metropolitan Evacuation Panel had dealt with applications for over 60,000 children many of which were applying for temporary evacuation. 9,046 young children were evacuated through the London Receiving Nurseries.
  5. The War Nursery at Wormington Grange had also increased in size, caring for up to 60 children.
  6. The War Nurseries were gradually closed after the end of the war. However, some 10,000 children across all ages were unable to return home for various reasons and had to be cared for until homes could be found. The War Nursery at Wormington Grange closed in February 1946.

 

 

Today: The re-opening of the Gordon Russell Design Museum, Broadway

Gordon Russell Design Museum Broadway
Gordon Russell Design Museum, Broadway

Today, the Gordon Russell Design Museum, Russell Square, in Broadway, is reopening its doors after a period of closure. The Museum will only be open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11am-4pm. Visits must be pre-booked and tickets are available via the Museum’s website.

Sir Gordon Russell
Sir S.G. Russell (1892-1980)

 

The Gordon Russell Museum tells the story of the Gordon Russell furniture company, which was based in Broadway for over 60 years, and explores the influence and legacy of Gordon Russell’s designs on a broad spectrum of 20th century design.

 

The Museum has implemented new safety procedures to ensure visits are as safe and straightforward as possible, and visitors who pre-book will have the whole museum to themselves during their booked time slot.

1724: Highwayman John Tawney Executed for Stage Coach Robbery in Broadway

Gloucester Castle keep: the old county gaol. Based on an 1819 work, from W. Andrew, ‘Old English Towns’, published 1909. Via Wikimedia Commons.

In August 1724, John Tawney, of Ampney Crucis, Gloucestershire, was executed in Over1 near Gloucester after being found guilty at the County Assizes of the charge of highway robbery on the London to Worcester coaching route above Broadway.

Born in Ampney Crucis to parents who were described as being “honest parents” who gave him “sufficient competency to begin the world with”, Tawney reportedly kept “wicked company”. Aged 30 at the time of his conviction, Tawney was married with four children.

At his trial in August 1724, Tawney admitted that he had in the previous two years been involved in several highway robberies including robbing 20 people going to Cirencester Fair. On the night he attacked the London Worcester Stage Coach, Tawney was accompanied by an accomplice called Stutley. Tawney admitted that they broke in to stables owned by Mr Lillington at Wotton-under-Edge to steal horses which they used to ride to the hill above Broadway where they attacked and robbed the occupants of the coach. Captain Bissel, who was on the coach, prevented Tawney and Stutley from making off with their bounty and they fled the scene.

Tawney was tracked down and was held at Gloucester Castle, which at the time served as the county gaol. Before Tawney was hanged at Over he was reported in the papers as  “being very sullen”. Before going to the gallows, Tawney allowed a Minister to pray with him and he was pressed by the Minister to reveal the whereabouts of his accomplice Stutley and another man he had mentioned during his trial but he refused to reveal their whereabouts.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway History Society

 

Notes:

  1. Prior to 1792, executions at Gloucester took place in the village of Over 2 miles from the city. The condemned were conveyed to the gallows in carts, sitting on their own coffins.

 

 

 

 

Next Talk Monday 16th March: Broadway’s Schools

The next meeting and talk hosted by Broadway History Society will take place on Monday 16th March 2020. Starting at 7pm in the Lifford Memorial Hall, Councillor Elizabeth Eyre will be giving an illustrated talk entitled Broadway’s Schools.

Elizabeth’s talk will cover the day to day running of the schools in Broadway including Broadway National School from its opening to its relocation on Lime Tree Avenue. Although there have been private schools in the village, Broadway’s village school, at The Old Schools, was the main centre of education from the mid 19th century1 until it closed on 22nd December 1914 and then new Broadway Council School2 on Lime Tree Avenue was opened on 12th January 1915.

All welcome. Non-members £3 on the door. Refreshments will be served before the talk.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway History Society

1. In 1855, when Sarah Ann Hedgecock was school mistress, there were 15 boy and 25 girl pupils enrolled at Broadway National School. From 1880, Horatio Kilwood was School Master with Miss Edith, Prince Mistress of the Infants and from 1883, William ‘Billy’ Timms who moved to Broadway Council School in 1915 with Miss Clements, Mistress of the Infants.
2. The building of the new Broadway Council School by Epsleys & Co, started on 16th March 1914. When the new school opened, on 12th January 1915, it could accommodate 170 pupils. The staff were: William Timms (Head), and teachers Miss Edith Timms, Miss Edith Neal and Miss Maud Colllins.

Next Talk Monday 17th February: A Builder In Broadway, Charles Edmund Steward

Charles E. Steward (1874-1954)

The next meeting and talk hosted by Broadway History Society will take place on Monday 17th February 2020. Starting at 7pm in the Lifford Memorial Hall, Committee Members Mary and Nigel Smith will be giving an illustrated talk entitled A Builder in Broadway, Charles Edmund Steward.

Charles Steward (1874-1954) was a Broadway Parish Councillor, Captain of Broadway Fire Brigade, and builder in the village and surrounding area between 1898 and 1954. Charles was instrumental in building many of the houses in Broadway we know today and Mary and Nigel’s talk will include some of the interesting building projects Charles and his firm, Steward & Co., worked on.

All welcome. Non-members £3 on the door. Refreshments will be served before the talk.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway History Society

Broadway Policeman Joseph Henry Yarnold (1860-1923)

Joseph Henry Yarnold
Joseph Henry Yarnold (credit: Fred Gegg, Evesham)

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.

Debbie Williamson
Broadway History Society

Notes:
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.

Broadway in 1887

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.

Debbie Williamson
Broadway History Society

Notes:
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.