Broad Street Wrington Website
Schmoose Page 2003

The Schmoose page has run since the website began. See on Page 1 how the idea came about. Let us know where you are,  what you're doing, what you remember of your time in Wrington, and so on. Just e-mail copy to
It's the website's normal policy not to publish e-mail addresses of correspondents for security reasons.
If you wish to make contact, e-mail the website, and it will be passed on.
The most recent items appear first

Jim & Linda Young, Manitoba, Canada - 3rd November

Saw Alistair Crook's items and know him and his family very well. Paul Crook and I emigrated to NZ in 1967 and even though my wife and I returned to England have kept in touch with Paul and Simon Crook and families. Our family moved here to Canada in 1982. My mother Mrs. V. Young and my brothers still live in Redhill of course, and my sisters close by.

Linda Spendley, Stronsay, Orkney - 24th October

My parents, Gordon and Alma Wood, live in the village

Russell Crook - Colchester, Essex, 16th September

Born in Wrington 1932 went to village school; worked at Wrington Vale Nursery until 1951; joined RAF, never came back. If there any 1930s residents on the net I would like to hear from them. My brother lives in New Zealand.

Diana Jones (née Knowles) - Reading, 31st August

I am descended from James Lawrence via his daughter Harriette, who married Andrew Knowles, and am thus a cousin of Roland Lawrence who posted a message in May.

As a child in Bristol I visited Wrington lots of times never realising it was where my ancestors came from until I started to trace back the family. My best friend at school even lived in the village.

I would be delighted to contact anyone else with connections with the Lawrence, Knowles, Maine, and Parker families.

Congratulations on a brilliant website - Wrington sounds such a good place to live!

Bob Hunt - Coleford, Glos, 18th August

I was born in West Hay Road Wrington & lived in the village between 1950 & 1970.
I then moved to Bristol until I moved back into Wrington five years later.
I lived in the village again until 1990 when I had to leave due to my work.
I then moved to Ross-on-Wye until two years ago when I moved to Coleford.

Sarah Farrar - Henley In Arden, Warwickshire, 10th August

Lived in Wrington from aged 7-ish to leaving home for University 14 years ago. Parents live in Village and I am a very regular visitior. I am getting married in Wrington this month. I was Baptised in All Saints and used to attend the village Brownies many years ago!

Jo Lewis - Plymouth, Devon, 7th August

I've just read the report on whether picking Bluebells is illegal and felt I had to write about when I was a child growing up in Wrington.

I lived in Lawrence Road and every year my sisters, brother and myself used to love going out in the nearby fields to pick bunches of primroses, bluebells or cowslips. I can still remember the joy of seeing a mass of yellow under a hedgerow, or the blue haze of bluebell wood. One of the fondest memories is of one day, taking my younger brother and sister 'primrosing'.

We were only two fields away from our home and Mark saw the yellow flowers lining the hedgerow at the top of the field. He ran as fast as his little legs would go and wouldn't heed our warning. What we knew, and he didn't, was that there was a 'boggy' patch before you got to the hedgerow and before we could stop him he was minus one of his little red wellies - it was stuck fast in the mud!

When we got home, Mum would always make up some smaller bunches of the wild flowers, for us to give to any elderly neighbours to brighten their day. Although I can understand the need for conservation, in recent years there appears to have been a substantial increase in wild flowers growing in the hedgerows (especially on the roadside verges). I do think it's a shame that our children or grandchildren may not experience that joy of being able to take something home to Mum, or Grandma, that they hadn't had to ask for money to buy!

So much of what we maybe took for granted, when we were young, is being lost and I, for one, look back with great nostalgia to our many trips 'across the fields' and the 'treasures' we found.

I might add that we never willfully pulled a plant out of the ground and cannot remember ever being told by Mr Marshall that we weren't allowed to pick the wild flowers or to get off his land. So much in the world today is prohibited and I think maybe the act of prohibiting may breed contempt. Am I alone in thinking that those days of the 50's/60s were definitely 'the best'!


Alex Finnen - Tirana, Albania, 29th July

I own a house in Garston Close which is currently let, but am looking forward to coming back to live in it, and in Wrington

Alistair Crook - Hamilton East, New Zealand, 29th July

I was born in 1937 and lived at 1 Lawrence Road, Wrington, before emigrating to New Zealand in 1958. My parents were Eleanor and Alfred Crook who are now buried in the All Saints graveyard.

Ian J. Skone-Rees - Studio City, California USA - 29th July

My parents lived in Wrington for approximately 18 months in the cottage opposite the church gate on Station Road, called Priory House. My father worked in Bristol, and I was away at school in Plymouth and only visited Wrington during the holidays. If my memory serves this would have been around 1965. My wife and I visited Wrington in March 2003 and I found it much the same as I remember.

Elizabeth Ashby - Peterborough Ontario, Canada - 18th June

[I was] looking for information as my one of my great great grandfathers lived and is buried in All Saints churchyard. I have visited Wrington twice, looking for my great great grandfather's grave but was unable to find it the second time. I will be back in 2005.

Alistair Crook - New Zealand, 14th June

It was lovely to hear from you this morning. Anything about Wrington brings back many sentimental memories. Especially my childhood during the war growing up in Wrington, when the German plane crashed in Cowslip Field on Brown's farm. Also seeing the fence up in the tree at Dr Bell's and all his goldfish dead. Not to mention the big rock in the centre of Mr Ashdown's house.

I also recall picking primroses to sell on the A38 near Paradise Road House, and the Yanks driving their convoys down the motorway and village kids calling out 'Any gum chum?' Of course, they always obliged by chucking out a chocolate bar or some other luxury. Another luxury was finding eggs on Cliff Marshall's farm - liquid gold, much better than pigeon eggs! I also recall Farmer Marshall occasionally taking us kids on an outing to Winscomb Market - now that was a real treat! Perhaps there are others who can remember this?

We are planning to visit Wrington in September this year and hope to revisit many of the old haunts. I know that there will have been a lot of changes since my departure but it will be nice to be back in the ol' country once again.

We will certainly go on line next week to contribute to Wrington World Day.


Marlene Shaw (née Chard) - Bargoed, Mid Glamorgan - 11th June

Tracing my family tree I have found that my Great x4 Grandparents were born and lived in Wrington: Charles Chard b.1810 also his Father William Chard.

I was really happy to see the village via the website has I had no idea of what it was like up until now. I am hoping to visit it in the near future and and walk in my Grandparents shoes, to see the place of their birth etc. The site is really interesting and informative.

Jon Martin - Sydney, Australia - 5th June

Just an quick update folks - on April 26 I joked about sending money for a new PC. Maybe I shouldn't have - I think the old PC heard me and died 2 weeks ago. Now I have a brand new PC with lots of HD space and heaps of ram....

Now what to do with some of the spare space! Well a long running project of my mother's (Lyndley HAVYATT) has been her research into the 'Family' history - photos, documents, visits to England, Wrington & NZ etc.- almost 20yrs worth of gathering.... I think its time to 'digitize it all'.

This in itself creates a problem (although I work as a webmaster professionally) - how to work out a good format with cross links, pics and family tree visually - that actually makes sense and is easy to use! This should be an interesting challenge !!!?!!! More on that later as I may need some input from members re HAVYATT/SPRATT/WRINGTON info.....

Note to John King - Thanks to Yvonne Spratt (aunt) via Cynthia Walters (NZ - who mum has just visited in the last 2 weeks) and Richard (Scmoose-man) - we will be in touch shortly :)

Although mum was a bit tired when she got back from 2 weeks in NZ - there are lots of photos of the 'Spratts' and more info to sort through - I'll leave that upto mum to post more.......

All the best - Jon

Sheryl Yapp - Sao Paulo, Brazil, 3rd June

We left Wrington in September 1999, (Sheryl, Terry, Florence, now 9, and Elizabeth, now 7) for a two year contract in Brazil!

After nearly four years away we are finally coming back to live in Wrington. Florence and Elizabeth will return to Wrington school on 17th June, which they are very excited about.

I look forward to getting back into Wrington village life again. I have missed the W.I. market on a Friday morning and of course all my wonderful neighbours in Garstons Close that have kept in touch all the time we have been away.

See you all very soon.

For the last time from Sao Paulo.

John King - Alveston, South Gloucestershire - 2nd June

[My] ancestors farmed at Havyat for 200years +/-. My main interest is Family History. I am a great grandson of George and Rachel PARKER of Havyatt. I have extensive knowledge of the family including some original documents.

I would like to make contact with anyone else interested, particularly Lyndley HAVYATT whose "Recollections" appear in the archive section of this site. Also any descendants of George PARKER by his first wife Elizabeth HANCOCK. George was born at Wrington in 1815 but the children of the first marriage were born at Mells, where he farmed before moving back to Havyatt about 1852.

Married names of the daughters were:- CANDY, COX x 3 (Three of the girls married three brothers) and SPRATT (New Zealand)

Roland Lawrence - 11th May - Lawrence family in Wrington.

My grandfather Frederick James Lawrence (abt. 1862-1942), like his ancestors (– see below), was born and lived most of his life in Wrington. With his brother John Noble Lawrence (about 1868 -1927) he ran the family butcher’s business “Lawrence Bros” which they had inherited from their father Frederick Lawrence (born abt. 1828 in Wrington).

F J Lawrence left Wrington in about 1901 to marry, and he set up a branch of the butchers’ business in Clapham Road, Lambeth, London but the business failed and he separated from his wife returning to live in Wrington, and carry on the family butchers business there, in approximately 1910. He lived in Wrington for the rest of his life, eventually as a lodger at the Golden Lion under the care of the landlady Mrs Puddy. (He is mentioned on Trevor Wedlake’s history page.)

Frederick James Lawrence, John Noble Lawrence and their sister Mary Blanche Sparks are all buried in Wrington churchyard, the brothers in adjacent plots near the west door.

The butcher's shop was on the corner of the High Street and School Road and is now an
estate agent (CJ Hole). The family lived in premises adjoining and over the shop, and owned farmland behind. The butchers’ business was acquired by MF Bathard (see 1939 Parish magazine)

My father Tudor Noble Lawrence (born 1909) and his two brothers never lived in Wrington, but he visited his family there occasionally as a boy. He remembers that on the family land behind the shop was a large old derelict house belonging to and formerly occupied by the family (Wrington House? – see reference in Church history The effigy of a Priest of circa 1340, at the east end of the south aisle. We know nothing of its early history, but it was found, built upright, into the wall of an outhouse on the premises of Mr. Lawrence of Wrington House, since demolished; also Wrington House appears to be in the right location on the 1900 ordnance survey map).

My father remembers that his uncle John Noble then had one of the few motor cars in Wrington, and also had a farm (called Cox’s Piece?). His aunt Mary Blanche (abt. 1861-1950) was married to Joseph Sparks (abt 1865 to 1950) who had a builders business in Wrington.

According to the 1881 census my grandfather Frederick Lawrence’s wife was Susan (maiden name unknown) who was also born in Wrington. It also appears that a Frederick Lawrence (probably the same) was (with his sister Louisa) christened in Wrington church on 18 December 1831. This Frederick Lawrence was the son of James Lawrence and Fanny Tudor (compare my father’s name - Tudor Lawrence).

According to my father there was some family connection with the Counsell family (he inherited a family silver bowl/cup engraved “ C W+M 1757), and with the Wrington farming family Hardwick. There was possibly a connection with the Noble family (my father’s and great uncle’s second Christian names were Noble). Also it appears from the 1861 census that there were a number of butchers called Lawrence in surrounding villages, e.g. Banwell, Burnham, Yatton and Cheddar and Lawrences who were farmers in Congresbury, some of whom may have been related.

If anyone has information that throws more light on any of the above, or any knowledge of my grandfather or his ancestors, I should be delighted to hear from them.

Andrew Whiting - Seoul, South Korea, 2nd May

To all friends in Wrington.

Web site looks great from Korea, reminds me of home from other side of world (good photo of Gill at Noel's wedding). Hot English summer out here. Looking forward to seeing Buddhist birthday celebrations this weekend in Seoul, lots of colour and traditional dress, if I had digital camera I would send. Culture very different to English village life! life expectancy for small mammals not good!

Look forward to seeing you all soon, may be at Tennis club quiz night 17 May (Tickets from Clair Walters).

Cum sa ham nida

Patricia Taunga - Auckland, New Zealand - 1st May

You may not remember me but I was Bishop Wilson's carer for 2 years (on and off) till September, 2001 when he entered full time care at Nailsea.

What a great idea - [Wrington World Day]. I would love to participate with an email on 21 June when here in NZ we will be "enduring " the shortest day of the year in direct contrast to you in Wrington.

You may be interested to know that the tape you made on the occasion of the bishop's jubilee is being used for Chinese students to hear "English as it should be spoken". I am a teacher trainer for teacher trainees wanting to become TESOL teachers and have also done some work in a preparatory course for international students wanting to undertake tertiary study in NZ.The tape has been very useful!

Best wishes

Marlene Shaw née CHARD - UK - 30th April

I have traced my great great great grandparents who were Charles Chard b.1811 m. Ann Hurd b.1820 their son Thomas Chard b.1846 m.Elizabeth Carey b.1849 their son Alfred J Chard b.1875 all at Wrington on a farm.

My greatgrandfather Alfred moved to Wales to work in the mines at around the age of 14yrs old. I would love to hear from anyone who can give me any info on my descendants however small. Maybe someone may know the family that I am tracing as only three of the brothers moved to Wales in the 1800s. There were other siblings living back at Wrington on a farm. I do not know the name of it.

If there is anyone who can help in anyway I would be much obliged.

Stacey Gilligan - Trowbridge, Wiltshire, UK - 30th April
Thought I might pop in to see how everything is going and tell you all that I miss you all and things are going really well.

I am now swimming for Trowbridge town and am going to Church which I am reall involved in as usual and its all fine.

Ive got a few more days left at school then Im off to college and after that Im back off to live in South Africa again.

Hope to see you all soon.
God Bless
Stacey xxx

Jon Martin (Havyatt/Spratt) - Australia, 26th April

I'm Lyndley Havyatt's 37yr old son - Grandson of Harry Leopold Spratt Havyatt (see also other references within the Wrington website and Schmoose Pages) and tend to digitally archive most of her families history work off-line - send money so I can buy her a new PC lol (joke).

I also wrote the ORIGINAL (thanks to mum's researching) full family tree in the about 1979 detailing our history - not only Harry Havyatt's Aunts - who owned and lived at/on Havyatt Farm in Wrington in the early 1900's - but much more.... Hopefully later this year we will be able to publish 'what we know' of the family (some references will be omitted due to personal/family reasons) on a website...

If anyone 'remembers' or knows of the history of Havyatt Farm (like ownership, servants, the local milkman(!?)etc ) please email myself or Lyndley

Thanks and All the Best

Di Richter (formerly Wager) - Howick, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, 10th February

Hello all in Wrington,

I have been meaning to write again for some while but have had to catch up with myself after a particularly bad year last year on a personal and family level.

Firstly I must thank the people who replied to my initial letter, Darryl Brown, Ann Vaughan and Pat Parsons. I was great to hear from you and I hope I'll hear again. Pat, you have been a really good correspondent and I am enjoying being in touch with you. I'd still love to hear from anyone else who'd care to write.

Well here we are in the middle of our Summer (and the English Winter). January which can be terribly and consistently hot was not too bad, we had hot days interspersed with cooler rainy ones. The last week has been Hell with temperatures between 31C -35C during the day and falling to about 22C at night. The humidity has been very high which makes one constantly drip. "Why is she complaining ?", I hear you say. The humidity is the really awful thing.

As I said you feel constantly wet and it does not abate at night so you lie in you damp bed and listen to the mosquitos. Mosquitos ! I really loathe the little devils, they are around all Summer and they love me !! Fortunately this is not a Malaria region. One thing that does help a little is the incredible thunder storms that we get at the end of a really hot day. If you are afraid of lightening and thunder then you are in trouble here, we have some spectacular displays.

I had hoped to get this letter off before the departure of our annual visitors, a pair of Gymnogenes (African Harrier Hawks). For the last four years they have nested at the top of our Gum tree (Australian Eucalyptus) which is about 70ft tall. Each year they have produced a single baby and it has been our privilege to watch the whole process from nest repairing and mating to hatching feeding and fledging.

These are most spectacular birds, they are large with a wingspan of about 63 inches, they have a grey head and neck and speckled feathers under their body. Their wings are predominantly grey with black feathers along the edge and their tails are black and fan shaped with a distinct white stripe across. Their beak and legs are yellow and they have a bare face which has yellowish skin except in breeding season when they blush pink. They are the only bird of prey to have an articulated claw which enables them to hook their prey from between rocks etc.

They live on lizards and small rodents and birds. Their young are totally different and are speckled brown (rather like an owl ) when they leave the nest and they do not have the bare face. The change of colour comes with maturity. Our latest baby left the nest for good about 3 weeks ago. They start nesting in June and the baby finally leaves in January and they then disappear too until the next breeding season. We feel that it is a special thing to be able to witness the whole lifecycle of this amazing bird.

Of course if you take a short trip (in fact within walking distance) outside Howick you can walk (or drive) in the Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve where you can see all sorts of wildlife. This small reserve is run by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa and is there for the protection of the animals but also as an educational centre for students,tourists and interested members of the public. It is truly beautiful there with the most spectacular scenery.

The reserve runs along the top of the gorge below Howick Falls and right down into the gorge and down river to a grassy area between great high hills that run down the escarpment. South Africa is essentially an escarpment country, wherever you leave the coastal area and travel inland you have to climb the escarpment to reach the centre of the country. This why we here in Howick are some 1200ft higher than our nearest city Pietermaritzburg.

Umgeni Valley is full of plant diversity as well as animals and it took me, Sarah and two of her friends from the UK about five hours to walk down into the gorge and along the river and up only halfway through the reserve. It was hard walking but worth it. We saw warthogs, giraffe, zebras,blesbok and found loads of porcupine quills. We also saw black eagles, one of the biggest of the birds of prey.

There are no predators like lion etc. in the reserve so we could safely walk by ourselves. The biggest danger is actually snakes but if one is careful and aware, the snakes are more scared of us than we are of them. The one to really watch for is the Puff-adder who is rather lazy and will sometimes sleep on the paths and does not move out of the way as quickly as other snakes. The experience of walking in largely untouched countryside among animals that are free is extremely liberating.

Generally speaking of course life here is as mundane as life is anywhere. We have our weekly routine, the washing, the shopping, the cooking etc. There is a large new shopping centre being built down the road from us with yet another supermarket. We are wondering how successful it will be as Howick is not all that big.

They are also in the process of building a small new hospital near the Doctor's surgery. This is much needed as at present people have to be rushed down to Pietermaritzburg. This town is really quite unusual and we have all sorts of things going on ie. we have two internationally renowned wildlife photographers who live here, we have a lady who has a business making handmade Belgian-type chocolates, we have a small factory producing men's outdoor clothing, there's a taxidermist, there's a traditional healing place and lots of tourist and antique shops.

I have been busy painting since Christmas and have completed 6 paintings, all commissioned barring one. I still have one more to do. My work is hung in a local gallery and there are other venues for me to use. The Natal Midlands has a lot of artists and crafts people living and working here. The standard of the work is very high and there's a great variety. It's a very creative place to be. This of course does not mean that I do not miss Wrington and the environs. I would love to have a walk up Wrington Hill and the picture of Tumbling Weir on the website this month made me sigh. Wrington will always have a place in my heart.

I have probably bored you to death by now but once again I would really appreciate it if anyone who cares to, would drop me a line with any news of those folk I knew and any little titbits of news I'd love to hear from them.

So for now, 'hamba khahle' ( Zulu for 'go safely').

Ros Koch (née Avery) - Shepherds Bush, London, 30th January

I'm 27 and spent my childhood, with my parents, Sarah and John Avery, and siblings (Mimi (33), Richard (31) and Jo (27)) living at the Grove, West Hay Road. An amazing place to grow up! A rambling old house, full of chaos and animals, on the edge of woodlands full of secret dens!

My playmates/contemporaries include, in order of appearance(!): Jane Lee,
Sally Hunt, Rowan Yamanaka, Ruth Hunt, Suzie and Noel Kumpel, Annie Wilcox,
Adam Joy, Will Densham, and James and Annie Marsh.

Married a lovely South African chap called Peter at All Saints', Wrington, in 1999. Moved to South Africa for four years (photo). In June 2002 I returned to the UK for a couple of years, and am currently living with Peter in Shepherds Bush, London. I am studying Interior Design at the Chelsea School of Art and Design. Peter is working in the finance department of the Outward Bound Trust.

Newsflash ! When I found out that one could gain a place in the London Marathon by running for a charity as opposed to entering into the great 'entrance lottery', I was first in line!

Fortunately for me, since Peter works for the Outward Bound Trust (which has over 200 secured places each year) my choice of charity was not very difficult. It just so happens that this particular charity is also founded on principles which are very close to my heart and which echo the principles of the work I was involved in South Africa with young people.

In short, the Outward Bound Trust offers structured residential development courses with the purpose of raising self-esteem and confidence, developing skills and preparing young people from every background for the challenges that life brings.

They've got four bases in the UK (one in Wales, one in Scotland, two in Cumbria) but the philosophy behind the courses has been adopted by loads of other OB centres that now exist all over the world. The founder of Outward Bound, Kurt Hahn, said: "We are all better than we know. If only we can be brought to realise this, we may never be prepared to settle for anything else".

I have grasped this challenge and have pledged to raise £1,000 to help to create opportunities that will allow many more youngsters to join the 25,000 already passing through Outward Bound centres each year. This money will go directly towards funding the Trust's inner city programmes that assist disadvantaged young people by sponsoring them on Outward Bound courses.

If you feel like supporting me in my endeavour, you can make a donation or a pledge in several ways: If you have access to the internet, you can donate on line. Just type in: and click on one of the links underneath the picture on my page.

Alternatively, if you'd rather pay by cheque or whatever, I can always send you an individual sponsorship form. Just email me at and let me know your postal address. And, if you would like to donate but can't afford to make a donation right now, don't worry! There's a few months before my deadline.

Each donation can be made using the Gift Aid scheme where the charity will get 28% tax reclaim from the Inland Revenue on every £1 you donate. (my webpage explains how all this works!) . And, last but not least, if you don't feel like donating, you can always come and support on the day; I'm sure I'll appreciate the vocal support just as much as financial!

Is anyone else out there running a marathon?!

[Well - is there ? In addition, that is, to Tony Watts, our esteemed Village Journal editor - Ed]

Denise Smith - Australia - 15th January

I am researching my Parker Family Tree. They lived & farmed at Havyat Farm in the 1800's. My ancestor John Parker came to Australia sometime prior to his marriage in 1877. His father was George Parker of Havyat Farm.

I have just discovered the entry from Lyndley Havyatt, also from Australia, and was delighted to see her photos of Havyat Farm. I would like to contact anyone in Wrington, or elsewhere, who can help me further as well as Lyndley Havyat.

Are there any descendants of the Wrington Parker family still in the area?

I would love to visit the home of my ancestors sometime and "stand in their shoes".

Please email me at virgilns@

I love the site and am sure I will visit it many times.

Thanks for helping me with my search

Ken Creamer - Suffolk, Virginia , USA - 1st January

Surfing the internet today for some family history, I found that Charles Heal, my great great great grandfather owned the shipyard that built the SS Great Britain steam ship that was launched 1843.

The ship was used to carry passengers settling to Australia and New Zealand, it now is in its original dry dock for restoration. Wow what a wonderful tool the internet is. I went to and got an aerial view of Wrington and Cleeve and Yatton and Claverham.

Not much has appeared to have changed from the air. I have one fond memory of Wrington, going to a pantomime with Auntie Hilda and Uncle John. We met them at their home on Kings
Road and went to the show.

On the way we had a tyre blow out while passing by a scrap yard [that'll be on the A370 Weston-super-Mare road - Ed] with a crane. The car took a dive and we thought the crane
had dropped something. Wow, what a day that was !

Ah, how nice it is to take a trip down memory lane. I found some ADGE Cutler music over the weekend. I'm sitting here enjoying it now, like being in a time capsule for sure. Seasons greetings Wrington!!