Tag Archives: Highbrooms

SIDNEY MARSHALL-THE HIGH BROOMS MERCHANT

 

Written By: Edward James Gilbert, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Date: June 5, 2016

S Maarshall fishmonger poulterer Bedford Road Southborough undated

There have been many interesting little shops in High Brooms, and the fishmonger and poulterer’s shop of Sidney Marshall was certainly interesting indeed. The photo of his shop shown opposite was taken in the 1920’s when his premises were on Bedford Road.

From the late 19th century up to the time of WW II the family name of Marshall was well represented. A sample of the 1901 and 1911 census for example shows thee branches of the Marshall clan in High Brooms engaged in the trade of butchers, fishmongers and poulterers, as well as other occupations.

The first branch was that of George Marchall, a general labourer, born 1849 in Shirburn, Oxfordshire, and his wife Sarah Ann, born 1870 in Pyrton, Osfordshire, who by 1911 had been married 21 years and had eight children. A review of birth records shows that the family came to High Brooms from Pyrton in 1901 and while living in the town had two sons and two daughters between 1903 and 1908. The eldest son Robert Joseph Marshall in 1911 was working as an assistant fishmonger and living with his parents and siblings in a five room residence at 63 Southview Road.

The second branch was that of Evan Marshall, a butcher and poulterer, born 1861 in Farnham, Surrey and his wife Ellen, born 1865 in Tunbridge Wells. At the time of the 1901 census Evan was the proprietor of a butchers shop at 17 Forge Road. At the time of the 1911 census taken at 9 Western Road, High Brooms Evan and his wife were living in premises of five rooms at 9 Western Road where Evan was the proprietor of a butcher and poulterer’s shop and employing others. By 1911 Evan and his wife had been married 29 years and had four children, including a son Douglas George,age 21, born in Rusthall in 1890, who was working for his father as a butcher, and a daughter Nellie, age 19 who was a dressmaker. He also had a son Evan Marshall born 1883 in Tunbridge Wells who by 1911 was working in the area as an ironmongers assistant.Directories of 1918 to 1922 gave Evan senior as a fishmonger at 154 London Road. The 1930 directory gave Evan as a fishmonger at 154 London Road and a fried fish dealer on Western Road. The 1934 Kelly just listed Evan as a fishmonger at 154 London Road. No 1938 listing was found for him in the trade directories.

The central figure in this article. Sidney Marshall, was from the third branch of the Marshall clan. Sidney’s birth was registered in Tunbridge Wells in the 1st qtr of 1898. Based on the 1911 census, he was one of four children born to Charles and Charlotte Marshall, who had been married in 1895. At the time of the 1901 census, Charles was operating a butchers shop at 124 London Road and was still there at the time of the 1911 census. Charles had been born 1863 at Rowledge,Hampshire and his wife Charlotte 1860 in Southborough,Kent. Their children were (1) Reginald, born 1896 in Southborough (2) Beryl Elsie, born 1897 in Southborough (3) Sidney, born 1898 in Speldhurst (4) Charles, born 1901 in Southborough. Sidney and his two youngest siblings were all attending school in High Brooms at the time of the 1911 census.

Tracing the whereabouts of Sidney after 1911 proved to be a challenge as he does not show up in local directories until 1930. He was not for example found in directories of 1918 or 1922 in Southborough. Because of the year he was born he would have been age 16 when WW 1 began in 1914 and it is speculated with some degree of certainty that he enlisted for service in WW 1, possibly with the Queen’s Own RWK regiment. No military records were found for him, which is not proof he did not serve in the war, for most of the records were destroyed by bombing in London during WW II.  It is known that he was living in Tunbridge Wells after the war for in the 4th qtr of 1928 he married Elsie Agness O’Bryan in Tunbridge Wells.  The photo of his shop on the corner of Bedford Road and Western Road presented at the top of this article is a view of his first shop taken in the 1920’s. It is interesting to note that even at this late date  he had an open front shop and displayed his poultry etc out in the open without the aid of refrigeration. Shown opposite is a modern view of the same building, which at the time this photo was taken the building had converted into residential use.

By 1930 Sidney relocated his business to 100 London Road. He is listed as a fishmonger there in directories of 1930 to 1938 and appears to have retired from business by the time of WW II.

Probate records for Sidney have him of 17 Western Road, Southborough, when he died on December 9,1962 at the Kent & Sussex Hospital. The executor of his 17,896 pound estate was his widow Elsie Agnes Marshall. Sidney was cremated at the Kent & Sussex Crematorium on December 13,1962.

Sidney’s wife Elsie Agnes Marshall, who had been born October 3,1901 in Tunbridge Wells, died January 1978 in Tunbridge Wells and was cremated at the Kent & Sussex Crematorium on January 16,1978.

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FANNY HARRISON’S BAKERY ON HIGH BROOMS ROAD

Written By: Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay,Ontario,Canada

Date: January 2,2016

HighbroomsRd_PostOffice

 

OVERVIEW

Fanny Elizabeth Harrison (1844-1933) had been born in Maidstone. She was the daughter of Richard and Mary Ann Chittenden (1825-1903) In 1851 she was living with her mother and brother Richard at the home of their widowed grandmother Nancy Chittenden, in Maidstone.

By 1861 Fanny had left the family home and at the time of the 1861 census was working as a domestic servant at the George Harriett residence in Maidstone.

In 1870, at Maidstone, Fanny married a gardener  by the name of Charles Sankey Harrison. The couple had four  children namely Fanny Elizabeth, Margaret Nancy, Charles and Minnie. By 1881 however Fanny’s husband ended up at the Kent County Asylum Barming Heath, Maidstone, and when he  died in Maidstone in 1886 Fanny was left with the young children to raise on her own, and to do this she worked in the early 1880’s as a laundress.

In 1882 she moved to Southborough and by 1891 had  premises at 119 St Johns Road in Southborough where she was the proprietor of a  bake shop.  The 1899 Kelly directory gave her as a  baker at 60 High Brooms Road. By 1901 she and her three daughters and mother moved to 3 High Brooms Road where they opened a bake shop. Their shop was located in a 2 sty red  brick building on the south east corner of High  Brooms Road and Yew Tree Road. Her daughter Minnie worked as an assistant in the shop; her daughter Margaret worked as a dressmaker at home and her daughter Fanny worked as a milliner. Fanny and her daughters Minnie and Margaret were still at 3 High Brooms Road at the time of the 1911 census.

Directories of 1913 and 1918 gave Fanny as a baker at 1 & 3 High Brooms Road. Directories of 1922 and 1930 gave Fanny at 1 & 3 High Brooms Road where she had  both a  bake shop and a post office. Fanny was still at this address when she passed away November 18,1933.

Today her old bake shop is a shop no more. The large shop window was removed and replaced by a smaller window and the wall bricked in. Today the shop is three flats.

IMG_0028

FANNY AND HER BAKE SHOP

Fanny Elizabeth Chittenden was born 1844 in Maidstone,Kent. She was the daughter of Mary Ann Chittenden(1825-1903) Mary Ann Chittenden was born 1825 in Maidstone and was the daughter of Nancy Chittenden, born 1791 at Boxley, Kent. Fanny  had a brother Richard, who had been born 1851 in Ashford,Kent. Fanny was baptised September 4,1844 . He mother’s name was given in the baptism records but no father’s name was given, however the baptism record for her brother Richard of August 24,1871 at Holy Trinity Church in Maidstone gave his parents as Richard and Mary Ann Chittenden. Mary Ann Chittenden also had a sister Charlotte, born 1804 in Maidstone.

The 1851 census, taken at Pudding Road in Maidstone gave the widow Nancy Chittenden as the head of the household and was working as a nurse. With her was her daughter Charlotte, age 47, of no occupation. Nancy’s daughter Mary Ann Chittenden, given as unmarried, was also there as were two of Nancy’s grandchildren Fanny Elizabeth Chittenden,age 7 and Richard Chittenden, age 4 months. Also there as boarders were three members of the Borman family.

At the time of the 1861 census Fanny Elizabeth Chittenden was working as a domestic servant in the Maidstone home of George Harriett and his family.

In the 2nd qtr of 1870 Fanny Elizabeth Chittenden married Charles Sankey Harrison at Maidstone. Fanny and her husband had the following children (1) Minnie, who was  born 1871 in Maidstone. She was baptised May 14,1871 at Maidstone. She never married and died in Tunbridge Wells in the 2nd qtr of 1942. (2) Margaret Nancy, who was born 1873 in Maidstone. She was baptised at Maidstone on March 23,1873. In the 2nd qtr of 1934 she married James Sutton in Tunbridge Wells. Margaret N. Sutton died in Tunbridge Wells in the 4th qtr of 1959. (3) Charles was born 1875 in Maidstone. He was living with his mother and two sisters at the time of the 1881 census but died before 1891. (4)Fanny Elizabeth was born 1882 in Tunbridge Wells and was living with her mother and two sisters at the time of the 1891 census and by 1901 was working as a milliner in Southborough while living with her mother and two sisters. She left the family home before 1911.

The 1871 census, taken at 1 Romney Place in Maidstone gave Charles Sankey Harrison as the head of the home. With him was his wife Fanny Elizabeth and their daughter Fanny Elizabeth. They along with one other non -family member were living at that time as lodgers with the Baldwin family. Charles was at that time working as a gardener.

Charles Sankey Harrison(1844-1886) had been born at Hollinbourne, Kent, and was one of 10 children born to Edward Harrison (1813-1867) and Elizabeth Frances Harrison, nee Banner (1812-1890).

The 1881 census, taken at 166 Union Street in Maidstone gave Fanny Elizabeth Harrison as married but her husband was not with her. She was working as a laundress at that time. Also in the home was her three children Minnie, Margaret and Charles. So where was her husband? Well the 1881 census shows that he was an inmate at the Kent County Asylum at Barming Heath, Maidstone. He died in Maidstone in 1886, leaving his wife to raise their young children on her own.

The 1891 census, taken at 119 St John’s Road in Southborough gave Fanny as a baker. With her were her children Minnie ,Margaret and Fanny and her widowed mother Mary Ann Chittenden, a retired nurse. Minnie was at that time working as a laundress; Margaret was a baker shop assistant and Fanny was at school.

Sometime after 1891 Fanny and her children moved to High Brooms. A directory for 1899 gave the listing “Mrs Fanny Harrison, baker, 60 High  Brooms Road, High Brooms”. By 1901 she and her family  took up residence at 3 High Brooms Road where on the main floor Fanny was the proprietor of a bake shop, and over it they had living quarters. A photograph of this shop, at the south east corner of High Brooms Road and Yew Tree Road is shown in the “Overview” section of this article. This photograph was taken in 1915. In the window of the shop can be seen painted signs advertising Fry’s Chocolate, a product that my family always had in the kitchen cupboard. At the curb  can be seen parked a motorcycle with a sidecar and against the wall is a bicycle. In the distance along High Brooms Road can be seen an old lorry and further along a horse and wagon. This building like most others in High Brooms was built of red brick, produced at the High Brooms Brick and Tile Company.

The 1901 census, taken at 3 High Brooms Road gave Fanny as a baker on own account at home. With her was her daughter Minnie who was working for her mother as a shop assistant. Also there was Margaret who was a dressmaker on own account at home and Fanny who was working as a milliner. Also there was Mary Ann Chittendenm a 76 year old widow and Fanny’s mother. A nephew by the name of Alfred R.Chittenden, age 19 was also there and working as a drapers porter.

The 1911 census, taken at 3 High Brooms Road gave Fanny as a baker shop keeper. With her was her daughter Minnie who was assisting in the business and Margaret who was a dressmaker on own account. The nephew Alfred Richard Chittenden, age 29 was also living there and working as a drapers porter.

IMG_0017

Local directories of 1913 and 1918 gave the listing “ Mrs Fanny Harrison, baker 1 & 3 High Brooms Road. Directories for 1922 and 1930 gave the listing “Mrs Fanny Harrison, bakers and post office, 1 & 3 High Brooms Road.

Probate records gave Fanny Elizabeth Harrison of 1 High Brooms Road, High Brooms, Tunbridge Wells, died November 18,1933. The executor of her 577 pound estate was her spinster daughter Minnie Harrison.

The  building in which Fanny had her bake shop and post office was later converted into three flats, a use that it retains today. As can be seen from the modern photograph (above) of the building opposite the big shop window was removed and replaced by a smaller window and the gap bricked in.

THE NUGENT SISTERS OF SILVERDALE ROAD

Written By; Edward James Gilbert – Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Nugent Sisters

Nugent Sisters

Sisters Ruth Hannah, Esther Mary, and Grace Nugent were three of ten children born to Francis William Nugent (1846-1922), a grainer and painter of Lambeth London, and Barbara Hannah Nugent, nee West (1848-1930). All of the Nugent children had been born in Brixton, Surrey and it was sad to note that of the ten children only six had survived by 1911,five daughters and one son, and that none of the daughters ever married.

By 1891 Ruth left her parent’s home and worked as a drapers assistant in Hove,Sussex and by 1901 worked for a drapers business in Huntingdonshire as a bookkeeper and cashier. In 1891 her sister Esther Mary Nugent was still living with her parents and six siblings at Streatham, London where at that time she was attending school.

By 1901 she moved to Tunbridge Wells where she worked as a drapers assistant at a large shop at 45 to 57 Calverley Road. The third sister Grace, who was the youngest of the three, was living with her parents and siblings in Streatham, London in 1891 but by 1901 she was working as a milliner on the High Street in St Michael, Sussex.

By about 1905 the sisters Ruth, Esther and Grace decided to make Tunbridge Wells their home and place of work and they opened a drapers and milliners shop at 177 Silverdale Road under the name of R & G Nugent, for Ruth and Grace Nugent. Why Esther’s name was not included is not known for by the time of the 1911 census, taken at their shop only Ruth and Esther were living there and operating the business, as Grace was working as a draper at that time in London. At their shop on Silverdale Road the Nugent sisters sold a wide selection of good pertaining to ladies apparel including a selection of lovely hats.

Silverdale Road, flooded during 1920

Silverdale Road, flooded during 1920

Local directories recorded “Misses Ruth & Grace Nugent, drapers and milliners, 177 Silverdale Road up to 1922 and sometime after that the business ended for there is no trace of the Nugent sisters in Tunbridge Wells by 1930. The departure from their shop is most likely connected to a devastating fire that gutted the premises.

It is interesting to note however that the sisters mother died and was buried in Tunbridge Wells in 1930 ; that Ruth Hannah Nugent died and was buried in Tunbridge Wells in 1944. The sister Ester Mary Nugent was buried in Tunbridge Wells in 1956 and the sister Grace, who died in Thanet, Kent was buried with her sisters in Tunbridge Wells in 1968.

This article reports on the Nugent family with a particular emphasis on their time in Tunbridge Wells when they ran their drapers and milliners shop.

MILLINERS AND DRAPERS  

Tunbridge Wells had many shops in the drapers and milliners trade, some of which I have reported on in other articles, such as Weeks (later Hoopers) at the corner of Grove Hill Road and Mount Pleasant Road; Waymarks on Calverley Road;Testers, run by Edmund Allen on Camden Road; Noakes on Calverley Road;Frederick Wickham on Mount Pleasant Road,just to name a few. They were to be found in every shopping district of the town, frequented by ladies looking for the latest fashions.

Some milliners shops made ladies hats on the premises,but some did not, and there is no information about the Nugent sisters to establish whether or not they made hats on the premises or just brought them in for resale.

Unlike today, ladies in the 19th and early 20th century, dressed up in the finest attire they could afford given their station in life. Wonderful hats with feathers,fruit and all manner of decoration were all the style until a movement to stop killing birds to make feathered hats gained momentum.

Most drapers and milliners shops at that time were owned and run by men. It was not considered acceptable in society for married women to work outside the home although those in the poorer class, out of necessity, had to. It was quite acceptable for single ladies like the Nugent sisters to work although it was not common for them to run their own businesses and if they did so they were normally expected to give up their employment or business when they got married.

Why the Nugent sisters never married is not known but the fact that none of the five sisters did so suggests it was perhaps not by choice. They did not come from a wealthy or upper class family where a life of living in leisure with their  income derived from dividends or investments, or money received from parents and brothers. They unfortunately had been born at a time when the prospect of war loomed and by the time Grace Nugent was 31 WW 1 had begun, with most young men serving their country at sea, in the air and in the trenches. There certainly was an opportunity for them to have married when they came of age but did not do so and instead decided to work  in the drapers and milliners trade as spinsters.

Shown above is CDV of a lovely lady in a wonderful gown taken at the portrait studio of G. Granville In Tunbridge Wells and second photo of a lady in a fantastic hat and gown, typical fashions of the times by those who could afford such finery.

I begin my account of the Nugent family with the 1871 census, taken at 41 Geneva Road in Lambeth,London in which Francis William Nugent(1846-1922) is given as a grainer, born 1846 in Camberwell, Surrey. Francis was actually both a grainer and a painter. For those unfamiliar with the term ‘grainer’ a grainer is a person who produces painted, stamped or printed designs that imitate the patern found in wood, leather or stone. By 1891 Francis was both a Baptist minister and a painter/grainer operating his own business. At the time of the 1871 census living with Francis was his wife Barbara Hannah Nugent, nee West (1848-1930). Born in Dorking,Surrey, and their daughter RUTH HANNAH NUGENT,born 1870 at Brixton,Surrey (one of the central figures in this article).

Shown above is a photograph from a Nugent family tree which on the back is dated 1912 taken at the photographic studio of local Tunbridge Wells photographer Percy Squire Lankester. The handwritten note on the back of the photo gives “1912 Tunbridge Wells Ruth and Esther Nugent”. As  the photograph does not bear the name of the photographer on the front in typical CDV style this image must be a cropped image of the original. Shown elsewhere in this article are generic images of ladies in fine hats. Also shown is another CDV by Percy Lankester from his Great Hall Studio on Mount Pleasant Road of a lady in a lovely dress taken in the early 1900’s.

The 1881 census, taken at 6 Santley Street, in Lambeth London, gave Francis William Nugent as a grainer/painter. With him was his wife Barbara and his children RUTH HANNAN,age 11; Barbara Sarah,age 9; ESTHER MARY,age 6; Florence Elizabeth ,age 5 and  Ebenezer,age 1. Both RUTH and Barbara were attending school.

The 1891 census, taken at 4 Victoria Terrace,Bedford Hill Road in Streatham,London gave Francis William Nugent operating his own grainer/painter business but that he was also a Baptist minister. With him was his wife Barbara and his children ESTHER MARY,age 16; Florence Elizabethm,age 15; Ebenezer,age 10; GRACE,age 8; Augustus L, age 7 and Edith Priscilla, age 2. The two eldest sisters were not employed suggesting that the family was reasonably well off financially. The younger children were attending school.

By the time of the 1891 census the older sister RUTH HANNAL NUGENT had left the family home . She was found in the 1891 census at 23 Western Road in Hove,Sussex where she was working as an assistant(drapers bookkeeper) in a drapers shop run by Silk mercer William J. Austin. Mr Austin had a large business and at that time he employed several assistants in his shop.

The 1901 census taken at St Ives, Huntingdonshire gave RUTH HANNAH NUGENT as a boarder living on Bridge Street. She was single and working as a bookkeeper cashier in a drapers shop. By 1901 Ruth’ sister ESTHER MARY NUGENT had moved to Tunbridge Wells. Esther is found in the 1901 census at 45 to 57 Calverley Road, where she was working as a drapers assistant in a large shop along with at least 20 other drapers assistants. A postcard view of Calverley Road is shown opposite. Calverley Road at that time was a busy commercial location with both sides of the road lined with shops . The road then was open to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic but in recent times the road was closed off to vehicles, but still thrives with many fine shops.

The shop that Esther worked at was that of “Noakes”. The history of the Noakes family businesses was described in my article ‘Noakes Family Drapers of Tunbridge Wells’ dated October 5,2011. A photograph of the shop where Esther worked is shown above.The memory of Noakes will be  fresh in the minds of many residents of Tunbridge Wells as the last store closed in 2009 after more than 150 years of business in the town.Some may remember that there were actually two Noakes stores,each one operated by a different branch of the family.The first and longest operating store was on Calverly Road and later Grosvenor Road was founded by Elias Noakes(1813-1877) and the second by his brother William Noakes(1823-1893) who had his store on High Street.Elias and William came from a large family of eight children born to Joseph Elias Noakes and Harriet Cox. Elias and William and their decendents established their respective drapers stores as family institutions in the town. Elias Noakes had been born 1813 at Lamberhurst, Kent .He later married and had had children.After the census was taken in 1851 the family moved to Tunbridge Wells and Elias began his drapers business in a weather boarded cottage on what was a fairly rural Calverley Road at the time and operated his store under the name of E. Noakes. By 1861 the business was doing well and by 1871 the shop operated from premises at 27 and 28 Calverley Road.By 1881 the shop employed 14 assistants and apprentices with many of the Noakes children working in the shop. Elias son Frederick ,the only other man in the premises, took an increasing role in the operation of the business. Elias passed away in 1877 but his wife Amy and his son Frederick continued the running of the business, until Amy passed away in 1890 and Frederick took over entirely. In 1896 Noakes had a new 3sty building constructed on the same site as the old shop, which is known today as ‘Calverley House’, a building designed by local architect Herbert Murkin Caley (1859-1938).In 1891 the store,now known as F.E.Noakes Limited occupied 45,47,49 and 51 Calverley Road was doing a good trade and as noted above, by the time Esther worked there the premises had been expanded to include 45 to 57 Calverley Road. For more information about his business please refer to the original article.

R.G. Nugen fire Silverdale Road

R.G. Nugen fire Silverdale Road

The 1901 census taken at 176 High Street at St Michael, Sussex gave GRACE NUGENT boarding at the home of Jane Fears along with two other drapers assistants. Grace was also drapers assistant, and it was not long after this that she and her sister RUTH HANNAH NUGENT opened a shop on Silverdale Road in Tunbridge Wells under the name of R & G Nugent, drapers and milliners, further information of which is given below.

A photograph of their shop taken at the time that a great fire gutted the building in the 1920’s is shown above.

The 1911 census taken at 177 Silverdale Road,Tunbridge Wells, was taken at the drapers and milliners shop of R & G Nugent. Surprisingly one of the founders of the ship (Grace) was not living or working in Tunbridge Wells at the time of the census was taken, suggesting that she and her sister Ruth had moved to Tunbridge Wells by about 1905 to open their shop, but for some reason Grace left the premises, although her name continued as part of the business name. At the time of the 1911 census, living in the apartments above the shop was RUTH HANNAH NUGENT, a draper, and her younger sister ESTHER MARY NUGENT, who’s occupation was given as drapers clerk.

The 1911 census, taken at 21 Ryde Vale Road in Wandsworth,London gave Barbara Hannah Nugent, age 62, born 1849 in Dorking. With her living on private means were her two daughters Barbara Sarah, age 39 and Florence Lizzie,age 35. Also there was her daughter GRACE NUGENT with the occupation of draper, and her sister Edith Priscilla, of no occupation. There was also commercial traveller living with them as a visitor. The census recorded that Barbara had been married 42 years and that of the 10 children she had, only 6 were still living.

The shop at 177 Silverdale Road was part of a row of shops in one large 2 sty red brick building above which were living quarters. The 1911 census recorded that they had 5 rooms a above the shop. The bricks for the construction of this fine looking building had been made by the High Brooms Brick and Tile Company, as so many other buildings in High Brooms had been. Details about the history of this brick and tile company can be found in my article ‘Brick Making in Tunbridge Wells’ dated October 12,2012. This company had been founded by John Smith Weare in 1885. Details about him can be found in several articles I have written pertaining to the history of the residences he occupied and his involvement in the Ferndale residential development.

A review of local directories in 1913 showed that there were several shops in the vicinity of the Nugent shop. Directories of 1913 to 1922 gave the following listing “ Ruth & Grace Nugent (Misses),drapers and milliners, 177 Silverdale Road,Tunbridge Wells”. No record of the business was found in the 1930 directory and it appears that their business closed in the latter part of the 1920’s perhaps as a consequence of the great fire that gutted the interior of the shop, as shown in the photograph above.

As I noted in the ‘Overview’ the sisters Ruth,Esther and Grace never married, and for that matter nor did their other sisters. As there is no record of the sisters in the Tunbridge Wells directories of 1930 to 1938 is the view of the researcher that they left the town but it is known that they did return at a later date, based on death and burial records. Electoral records for Ruth in the late 1920’s gave her living at 20 Wolstonbury Road in Hove,Sussex.  Directores of the 1930’s and 1940’s record her living at 72 Holland Road in London.

Probate records for Ruth Hannah Nugent gave her of Chilston Lodge, 1 Chilston Road,Tunbridge Wells when she died as a spinster, on October 6,1944. The executor of her 3,013 pound estate was her sisters Esther Mary Nugent and Florence Lizzzie (Elizabeth) Nugent, spinsters. Ruth was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on October 11,1944.

No. 1 Chilston Road was one of the large single family homes built in the Woodbury Park Development, a development that is described in detail in the Civic Society Book ‘ The Residential Parks of Tunbridge Wells’. This development dates back to 1856 when the Conservative Land Society became owners of a large tract of land in the area and on which many fine homes were constricted. By about 1887 all of the homes had been built and originally Chilston Road was called Woodbury Court. Sometime before 1909 the road became Chilston Road and  in the 20th century No. 1 Chilston Road became a nursing or retirement home . A modern view of the home, located on the north west corner of Chilston Road and Woodbury Park Road, is shown above. It is somewhat interesting to note the John Smith Weare , who’s company ,The High Brooms Brick and Tile Company, supplied the bricks for the Nugent sisters shop, was also involved in the construction of homes at 2-12 Park Road, just a stones throw away from where Ruth Hannah Nugent died.

Probate records for Esther Mary Nugent gave her of Ryde Vale, Gloucester Place in Wadhurst,Sussex, spinster, when she died January 29,1956. The executors of her 3,255 pound estate were her spinster sisters Florence Lizzie and Grace Nugent. Esther was buried at the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on February 2,1956.

Death records for Grace Nugent gave her passing away in the 2nd qtr of 1968 at Thanet,Kent. She was buried at the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on April 29,1968.

It was also interesting to note that although the sisters father died and was buried  in London in 1922, that their mother Barbara Hannah Nugent was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery  in 1930.She had died in Tunbridge Wells January 25,1930.

Shown above is a modern photograph of the shop at 177 Silverdale Road, occupied at the time by Green Fish Consulting. No.177 is the shop on the far right with the green awning and on the left is the Magenta Design & Print shop. Previously No. 177  it had been the florist shop ‘Daisy Chain’, operated by Hazel Parsons, which may well account for the green awning. This row of shops is located between Upper Grosvenor Road and Denbiegh Street.

Tug or War in Highbrooms

The following two images have recently been supplied by Christine Knight, the first depicts the High Brooms Tug-of-War team.

Christine remembers that the the Tug of War used to take place beside the High Brooms Hotel (before the houses numbers 80 onwards were built) on High Brooms Road (this is now ‘The Brick Works Freehouse but still remembered by many as the High Brooms Tavern).

The date of the photo is most probably 1921 as CHristines late father Peter Pronger was the Mascot & held by his father Walter George Pronger (always known as Ern!)

High Brooms Tug of War team

High Brooms Tug of War team

I have also heard that other events took place racing around the ‘island’ – now the one way system that has the pub in its centre and woudl be interested to hear others memories, maybe we could even recreate the event to coincide with the High Brooms Village fair.

The second image supplied by Christine is of Southborough Football Club 1902-03, I’m not sure where they played but woudl like to think that it was on the Ridgeway fields!

photo (1)

 

As ever please let me know if you recognise any of your own family members in these pictures…

If you have something to contribute to this blog, or just want to let me know you are enjoying it feel free to comment below, email me at HighbroomsSociety@gmail.com or send me a message on twitter to: @HighbroomsSoc

Copyright for all images belongs to Daniel Marsh @danieljmarsh unless otherwise stated – please do not replicate or use in any form without prior permission being granted.

High Brooms – bicycle repairs from the past…

Part of the real interest for me in writing this blog is trying to get a feel of historical High Brooms, how it would have been to live here in decades past whilst is was developing from Gypsy dwellings scattered through the woods of the high weald into area where many more people lived in close proximity to the industries that that they worked in. Many of the older Victorian buildings are still standing but ultimately they are just bricks, the remains or skeleton of a community if you like, but it is the people who have lived and worked here, walked the streets, loved, laughed and cried, the characters, the comedians and the villains that really fascinates me.

I know that many of the families with a long history here are still represented locally and certain names are well known and associated with the area. Previous blog entries have mentioned a few but its always nice when new photos and memories crop up like, this image of J Fermor Bikes from around 1910, kindly shared by Marilyn Laverty.

J Fermor Bikes in Cambrian Road around 1910

J Fermor Bikes in Cambrian Road around 1910 (copyright Marilyn Laverty)

She says “My great grandfather and my grandfather used to have a little business in High Brooms. It was J Fermor Bikes, this was around 1910. They lived at 74 Cambrian Road and my grandfather was on the census 1911 as a cycle engineer. I suspect he worked from home.”

Does anyone out there know any more about the Fermor’s in Cambrian Road and High Brooms, or even have photos and memories of other established local families that they would be happy to share through this blog?

Highbrooms 1909

Highbrooms as it was around the same time in 1909 with housing built on the hills above the clay pits

After I originally wrote this article in early March 2014 I have received the following information from Edward James Gilbert who has become a regular contributor to this blog and adds an excellent insight into the Fermor family history:

J. FERMOR BIKES-HIGH BROOMS

Written By; Edward James Gilbert (member of the Tunbridge Wells Family History Society)

Date: March 31,2014

I read with interest the posting about the bike business of J. Fermor, which prompted me to look further into the history of the family and the business and here are the results.

J. Fermor was James John Fermor, born 4th qtr 1877 at Withyham, Sussex. He was one of three children born to John George Fermor(1849-1931), a sawyer by trade, and Jane Phillips (1860-1936). James had been baptised February 4,1877 at St Michael’s Church in Withyham, Sussex and was the eldest of three sons. The Fermor family had moved to Tunbridge Wells sometime between 1877 and 1881.

The 1881 census records just James and his parents living at Mr Weares Cottage No. 3. The “Mr Weares cottage” referred to will no doubt be one of the many cottages constructed by John Smith Weare (1878-1890), the founder of the High Brooms Brick and Tile Company in 1885, a man who owned several properties in High Brooms and the surrounding area. John Smith Weare had moved to Tunbridge Wells in 1869 taking up residence  initially at Ferndale House at No. 3 Ferndale Road.  At the time of the 1881 census Jame’s father was working as a sawyer .

By the time of the 1891 census, the Fermor’s had taken up residence  at 94 Auckland Road , a short distance from the Grosvenor and Hilbert Recreation Grounds, in what was a small red brick terrace house.James was attending school and living with his parents and two brothers Edward Henry Fermor(1882-1946) and Ernest Sydney Fermor (1886-1942).

In October 1897 James John Fermor married Emily Elizabeth Woodgate in Tunbridge Wells. Emily had been born 1875 in Tunbridge Wells and was one of six children born to Edward and Susanna Woodgate. Before the marriage Emily was employed as a domestic servant . James and Emily took up residence at 59 Tunnel Road  not far from the SER line in an area of small homes.

The 1901 census, taken at 59 Tunnel Road records James John Fermor, a  stationary engine driver. A stationay engine driver today would be called a machine operator. In 1901 the engine was powered by steam and as the name implied was a large immobile engine used to  provide mechanical or electrical power to other machines. Stationary engines would have been used as the Broomhill Brick and Tile Company but also in farming and mining operations and for that matter anywhere else where a device to power machinery was required . Since 59 Tunnel Road was not far from the Baltic Sawmills Plant in the Goods Station Road area, and his father was a sawyer, there is a good possibility that James worked at the Baltic Saw Mills. In this census James was the head of the home and living with him was his wife Emily and  two of their children namely Lilian and Edward. James and Emily had six children in total namely (1) Lilian Beatrice(1898-1987) (2) Edward James (1901-1975) (3) Edward (1901-?) (4) Alice Elsie (1903-1973) (5) Cecil Leonard (1907-1963) and (6) Kenneth Wilfrid (1910-1946). All of the children were born in Tunbridge Wells.

By 1911 the family were on the move again, and in that year they were living at 33 Cambrian Road in Highbrooms. This residence was , like all the others there, constructed of red brick made by the Highbrooms Brick and Tile Company. This was quite a nice home with a pair of small bay windows on the main floor bordering the front door, with two windows on the front of the second floor. The front of the home was separated from the sidewalk  by a low brick wall with an entrance gate.Living at 33 Cambrian Road in 1911 was James John Fermor, an engine fitter; his wife Emily; and their five children, the eldest of which were attending school. The census records that their residence had only four rooms, which is hard to believe as the home looks larger than that.

At the time of the 1911 census, James John Fermor was only age 34 and his eldest son Edward was only 10. Marilyn Laverty suggests that her photo to two men and bikes dates from about 1910 but the eldest man in the photo, which I took to be James, appears much older than age 34, suggesting that the photo must have been taken later. Could the boy in the photo be his son Edward when he was a teenager ? The sign in front of the bikes reads in part “J. Fermor Bikes, below which is “Cycles” and then “Motors”, the rest of the printing is too small to be readable. It would be interesting if Marilyn could take a close look at the original photo and tell us what it says.

I was unable to find out much more about James John Fermor or the rest of his family after the 1911 census. They seem to disappear from directory listings but it is known that most of them remained in Tunbridge Wells. James John Fermor died in Tunbridge Wells in April,1955 and was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Cemetery  on April 6th. When and where his wife died has not been determined.

So what happened to his children ? Well Cecil Leonard Fermor married Harriet Brooker in the 3rd qtr of 1930 in Tunbridge Wells; Kenneth Wilfrid Fermor married Rose Brooker (probably the sister of Harriet) in the 3rd qtr of 1938 in Tunbridge Wells; Alice Elsie Fermor married John Mackenzie in Tunbridge Wells in the 4th qtr of 1929 and Lilian Beatrice Fermor married John T. Houghton in 1917. James father was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Cemetery on May 28,1931. Cecil Leonard Fermor was buried there also on June 10.1963.Also  in the same cemetery was  Kenneth Wilfrid Fermor on April 1,1946. James eldest son Edward James Fermor was found in a 1922 Kelly directory for Tunbridge Wells as “a Vulcaniser”.

Quite an interesting family . I wish I knew more about them!

If you have something to contribute to this blog, or just want to let me know you are enjoying it feel free to comment below, email me at HighbroomsSociety@gmail.com or send me a message on twitter to: @HighbroomsSoc

Copyright for all images belongs to Daniel Marsh @danieljmarsh unless otherwise stated – please do not replicate or use in any form without prior permission being granted.

High Brooms Boys School – 1958 – 1965

There has recently been quite a few memories posted on the High Brooms Society facebook page looking back at a childhood spent in the High Brooms area and the school gets a regular mention, alarmingly most of these memories seem to involve harsh punishment of one sort or another, as many of us remember schools were far stricter environments back in those days than they are today!

Coincidentally I have also been sent a photo from the school to share by Gary Mewis – this picture is of class 1 back in 1965 with the the redoubtable Miss Stonestreet in charge!

High Brooms School - 1965

High Brooms School – 1965 (photo copyright – Gary Mewis)

Following my original posting about the school Tad Stone has also been in contact to supply me with some further photos of his time at the High Brooms School, as shared below, Tad has also shared a list of the names that he can remember displayed below each photo:

1958/9 with Mrs Mutton and Mr King (Copyright Tad Stone)

1958/9 with Mrs Mutton and Mr King (Copyright – Tad Stone)

From Back row (L- R)
Bob Taylor, Andrew Smart, Stuart McEwan, ?, Earnest Tompkinson, Roger Relf, Leonard Aldridge
Ronald Latter, Terry Coles, Brian Paine, John Whiterod, Bob Jeffrey, Trevor —-, Mike Stone, Mervyn Fermer
Roy Hibbert, Michael Killick, ?, Peter Sandles, David Cushman, Richard Chalklin, Charlie Lindfield, Dudley Hutson, Donald Punyer
Richard Meakin, Raymond Parker, Graham Wickham, ?, Alan Stoner, Vincent Jones, ?, Roy Cheeseman

Teachers  Mrs Mutton and Mr King (Headmaster)

School Choir with Mr Shorter - probably 1960/1 (Copyright Tad Stone)

School Choir with Mr Shorter – probably 1960/1 (Copyright – Tad Stone)

From Back row (L- R)
Mr Shorter, Brian Paine, ?, Peter Sandles, Roger Clarke, ?, ?, ?
?, ?, Andrew Trott, John Whiterod, Like Stone, Andrew Smart, Terry Coles, Bob Taylor
Vincent Jones, Bob Tickner (I think), Bob Jeffrey, Mervyn Fermer, Roger Relf, Bob Everest, Alan Stoner, Raymond Parker, Richard Meakin

He remembers competing in singing competitions against secondary schools

Last year with Mr King - 1962 (Copyright Tad Stone)

Last year with Mr King – 1962 (Copyright – Tad Stone)

From Back row (L- R)
Roy Lockey, Peter Sandles, John Whiterod, Alan Stoner, Michael Killick
Raymond Parker, Richard Meakin, Vincent Jones, Terry Coles, Mike Stone, Ian Brown, Michael —-
Trevor —–, Earnest Tomplinson, Roger Relf, Andrew Smart, Mr King, Mervyn Fermer, Charlie Lindfield, Bob Everest, Richard Chalkin

Are any of you in any of the photos, or do you recognise anyone who is or perhaps you are still in contact or living in the area? Did you attend this school and have memories to share – we would love to know!

A quick scan on Google images also bought up this fantastic photo of the school from the Friends Reunited website taken in 1958.

High Brooms Boys School - 1958 (Friends Reunited)

High Brooms Boys School – 1958 (Friends Reunited)

If you have something to contribute to this blog, or just want to let me know you are enjoying it feel free to comment below, email me at HighbroomsSociety@gmail.com or send me a message on twitter to: @HighbroomsSoc

Copyright for all images belongs to Daniel Marsh @danieljmarsh unless otherwise stated – please do not replicate or use in any form without prior permission being granted.

Further images from the Demolition of the High Brooms Gas Works

The cranes moved in to start demolishing (or ‘deconstructing’ if you prefer) the final Victorian gas holder on Monday, by Thursday morning they had almost reduced its height by half as they steadily moved around the structure attaching long chains from one crane whilst the workers were suspended in a cage from a second crane using welding gear to cut away large sections which are then lowered to the ground and added to the ever growing pile of scrap metal.

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This is an image heavy blog entry so would  not recommend viewing it on a mobile device unless you are connected by WiFi.

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Many thanks also go to Tim Bodiam who has supplied some of the images displayed here in the slideshow (as marked!)

Gasworks_small

Further images can be viewed on the LoveTunbridgeWells.com website at: http://lovetunbridgewells.com/gallery/events/2014-2/gasworks-demolition/

If you have something to contribute to this blog, or just want to let me know you are enjoying it feel free to comment below, email me at HighbroomsSociety@gmail.com or send me a message on twitter to: @HighbroomsSoc

Copyright for all images belongs to Daniel Marsh @danieljmarsh unless otherwise stated – please do not replicate or use in any form without prior permission being granted.

Watching it come down

Watching it come down