Broad Street Wrington Website
Schmoose Page 2004

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

Yvonne Spratt (née Chard) - Mauku, Pukekohe, Auckland, New Zealand, 20th December

Dad has written this piece about what he can remember about the family who lived in the Forge in Silver Street. Craig Lewis was asking about it on the website. Are you able to pass it on please. Thanks


Family from the Forge in Silver Street, from Les Chard

I remember Bill Lane at the Forge in Silver Street in the 1920’s, as lads we used to go down and watch him shoeing the horses.

There was Daisy, Ivy, Ena, Elsie, Dora, Harold and Clarence. I’m afraid I don’t remember
much at all about Daisy but knew the rest quite well.

I recall my mother telling me that her and Dora worked for Mrs Amor whose family ran a grocery business (where Pearce the Butcher was until a few years ago) and during the first world war the Amor boys were called into the forces and my mother and Dora ran the business, going into Bristol with Horse and Vans to collect supplies and also delivering groceries around the neighbouring villages.

Ena married Joe Brown and lived at Claverham.

Ivy married Bill Smith lived in Wrington during their later years. Bristol originally.

Elsie - I’m not to sure about in her early years but I recall she married George Brunker and lived in Station Road Wrington

Dora married Tim Kington and lived at the Forge in Silver St.

Ivy had a son called John who when they came to Wrington to visit we used to play together in the garden at the Forge. When they came to Wrington to live they lived at Clock House.
Ivy lived until she was 100

Harold used to work for Dubric Wood who were solicitors where Fryer Bennet’s were. He used to play cricket for the local First X1.

Clarence worked for Standens at Congresbury, I believe as a plumber. He played soccer for the local First X1.

Tony Loach - Vancouver, Canada, 14th December

Just a note to wish you and your family all the very best for a happy Christmas.

During the 1930's my parents bought a cottage at Compton Bishop, a lovely spot so that they could get away from the hustle and bustle of Paradise from time to time.(This idea did not last long as Paradise did not run very well when they were not there). [See previous correspondence with Tony for recollections of the Paradise Motel - the site of the new Holiday Inn on the A38 - Ed]. I remember the cottage well as I enjoyed a couple of school holidays there.

Anyway, last week I plugged "Dunnett Cottage" into Google and what should pop up but a picture of the place. It had just been renovated and was being used as an advertisement for the builder. This whole Internet business boggles my mind !!!

I wrote a congratulatory letter to Trevor [Wedlake - see his writings which Tony refers to - Ed]] this year and I think it pleased him as I am now referred to by him as a "fan". Which of course I am. How many more of his essays have you got available? ["Merrily on high" was added immediately on receipt of this ! - Ed]

Linda Stevens - Leicestershire

Just discovered my ancestors lived for a while at Wrington. John Stevens was a carpenter and was living there in 1863 when his daughter Emily was born. He was born in Redhill. As interest in family history is booming, how about introducing a family history page? [See Personal Quest section for this - Ed]

I enjoyed the history section particularly. Keep up the good work

Paul Hurley - Poole, Dorset, 26th November

Would anyone remember Stanley Hurley (my great grandfather) who lived at 8 Station road. I think he was a barber and local postman. I am looking for any information towards researching my family tree. Also would anyone remember my grandfather Vernon "Jack" Hurley ?

[See information supplied by Trevor Wedlake on the Hurley page of the Personal Quest section - Ed]

Craig Lewis - Bristol, 22nd November, 2004

I am working on my family tree at the moment. My grandmother was Daisy Lane, her father was William Lane the blacksmith in Silver street (1900). I only have one picture of him outside the blacksmith's. Does anyone have any more? Or info on the old forge? [see Jennifer Lane and Pamela Skinley - Ed]

Frazer Hammond - Bramton, Ontario, Canada, 22nd November

I grew up in Wrington and left when I was 13, in 1982

Donald James Mathlin - Perth, Western Australia, 10th November

My Great Great Grandfather Jeremiah Mathlin was born in WRINGTON in 1831.
I am researching my family tree so I found your website very interesting.

Jeremiah's Daughter Louisa was born in Wrington in 1859 . Alice and Melinda 1864 John 1855.

As far as I know Jeremiah had a son John born in Wrington in 1855. He married Emily Marshman from Churchill and later moved to Bath where my Grandfather Harry Mathlin was born in 1890. He had 3 brothers George, Hodson and William. My father Leslie J Mathlin was born in Bath in 1914.

Harry and family imigrated to Western Australia about 1922. A few years ago my father received a letter from a Betty Mathlin who said she had a lot of info on the Mathlins and one photo showed her husband's grandfather standing in front of Mathlins cottage about 1900.

She lived in Basingstoke but has been to Wrington to research. Unfortunately I have lost her address so if anyone there knows it I would love to get it.

Lee Docherty - Cardiff, 5th November

Hello, what a lovely Town & Website.. Lovely photos.

I wonder if you can help. I'm looking for any details on a family of stone masons that have lives in the town of Wrington for centuries. The families name is Ashley. I'm particularly interested in a gentleman, listed on your war memorial called 'Alroy Arthur Ashley' who died in 1946 whilst serving with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve aged 25. We believe his mothers name was 'Gertrude Ashley' and father was 'Henry Ashley'. These are the only useful details we are able to obtain regarding him. I believe this man to be my grandfather. I'm wondering if any of his relative still live at your lovely town.

I would love to find out a bit more about him, or just see a photo of his face..

Can you help or can you point me in the direction of someone who might have more information ?

Christine Evans - Claverham, 27th October

I was delighted to read the news from Valerie Clarkson as I taught with her for several years at Yatton Junior School. It's good to know that she is well and happy and that she married Neville

Russell Crook - Camulodonum (Colchester) Essex, 11th October

I was born in Broad St 04/01/32. Left 1951 to join RAF. Would like to hear from anyone
that remembers me.

Valerie Clarkson (now Beardsworth) - Morchard Bishop, Devon, 9th October

I am glad to follow Richard Spence’s input to Schmoose on 23rd September because he was a neighbour and son of friends who lived below me in my house at Wrington. I lived at Thursday Cottage, High Street between 1978 and 1988. Much loved days. Peter and Pauline Spence lived at the Haydons below me, before Pat and Tony Kennett moved in. Much loved Felicity and Hugo Charles were also my neighbours and I used to do a bit of gardening for Felicity while Hugo watched the cricket on television. Actually Felicity watched it too. I remember Father Derek with pleasure and I know he is in Devon, like me, but I am in Mid Devon and am not sure where he has retired to. Is it Exmouth ? [Yes - Ed]

Thursday Cottage was a great place to live in that when I was ‘gardening’ my little wall in front of the cottage, I used to talk to all the people who walked past. The Atters, the Smiths, the Dennys were my neighbours. We were our own little community. And dear Peter Bennett, of course. Before the field attached to the rectory was built on there was a horse and donkey and they used to prune my rose bush over the wall. It did very well. The Clements drove their cows through the village, and Diana Wager, who lived in Farleys, and I, had a studio upstairs
in the barn behind CJ Hole. It was truly rural.

My husband and I enjoyed Roger and Annie’s hospitality at the Plough, I was a committee member of the Village Association, and I think I was a founder member (in its resurrected status) of the Gardening Club at that time. I taught at that time at Yatton Junior School
and felt very involved in the community. We also had vet students lodging with us.

If I can remember rightly, Commander Lawder identified Thursday Cottage as being where Ernest Bevin lived for a short time. I have it somewhere in my records, but not to hand. What amuses me is that he lived in so many places. Here down in Mid Devon he is identified, and has a plaque on the wall, as having attended our village school in Morchard Bishop. And in the neighbouring village of Copplestone there is a plaque on the wall on a cottage where
he lived. So perhaps there should be a plaque on the wall of Thursday Cottage (formerly known as Triscombe). Can anybody source this?

Last time I came through the village with my mother after a trip to Clevedon, two years ago, we chanced upon the annual flower and vegetable show. I didn’t get a chance to speak to anyone in particular, and indeed didn’t recognise many people. Except I did see and speak to Joyce Smith my old neighbour. I was so pleased to see so much activity. Diana Wager put me in touch with the website and I think it is fantastic. We are developing a website for our village of Morchard Bishop and I am going to pass on you site as an example for ours to follow. Well done.

Richard Spence - Bildeston, Ipswich, Suffolk, 23rd September

I moved to Wrington in 1981, went to Churchill School and moved away in 1986. Got to know some good friends.

Roy and Ruth Robson - Wrington, 19th September
have sent this welcome message about their daughter:

Heather Carter (née Robson) a former pupil of Wrington Junior & Churchill Comprehensive Schools is to be ordained into the Priesthood on 26th September at Carlisle Cathedral.

After leaving school, Heather became a nurse, doing her training at King's College, London and later qualifying as a Neo-natal nurse.

When she married she lived in Nottingham and later with her husband Stephen decided to do an honours degree at Trinity Theological College in Clifton, where the principal at the time was Dr. George Carey. On completion they spent six months in Seville having language tuition because they were going to become missionaries for S.A.M.S (South American Missionary Society).

First serving for 3 years in Peru until it became too dangerous due to The Shining Path
terrorists, which were at their height, they then went to Uruguay where they worked for 11 years. Given the ages of their children, Luke 16, Bethany 13 and Phillip 8 it was decided it was time to return to the UK..

Stephen was inducted as vicar of St. Michael's, Dalston with St. John's, Cumdivock, All Saints', Rauton Head, and St. Mary's, Wrey on September 8th, living in the vicarage in Dalston which is 5 miles south of Carlisle.

Heather will also assist Stephen with the four churches. Also she hopes to be able to carry on with her "Signing" and hopefully form a Deaf Club as she did in Montevideo. She will have to get to grips with the British Sign Language as Spanish will be of little help here.

The Bishop of Montevideo, Miguel, whom Heather worked with, and who ordained her as deacon, is hoping to be here for the laying on of hands at the service in Carlisle.

The children have started their new school year in Dalston and are all settling in to the English way of life and the climate change.

Joan Schroeder - Wrington, 8th September

I originally came from Liverpool and lived at Congresbury until I married a Wringtonian Raymond Schroeder, that was 43 years ago so hopefully I am now classed as a local as I would not want to live anywhere else.

Wrington is a wonderful village and a great place for my children and now grandchildren to be part of. My husband was born in Wrington 71years ago, the 'baby' of 8 children, his older brother and sister also still live in Wrington.

Marlene Chard Shaw - Bargoed, Mid Glamorgan, 1st July

I wonder if it would be possible if you could put this photo of my Great Uncle Henry Chard b.1860 Wrington. I believe he is the only brother who stayed behind in Wrington when my Great Grandfather came to Wales.

I also have two more un-named photos and two of men in their Army uniforms in the Boer War , if anyone has any info on the family or info at all can they please contact me.

[Marlene's e-mail address from - Ed]

Liz Bang (née Stuckey) - London, 1st July

[In this latest photo] the man on the left hidden by the boy is Abel Hardwick, and there is a pub sign in the back which has a sheep or ram on it - any clues ?

I wonder if the boy is my Dad, he was born in 1920 so I'm not sure if the fashions are right for what I guess the boy would be - 10/11 ?

The other men I haven't a clue. Having said that, the one in the flat cap is very like my grandfather, Harold Clifford Stuckey which would tie in with the boy being my Dad! The tall man I haven't a clue who he is. On the back of the photo it says "Good wishes for Christmas from Mrs Hardwick."

Lyndley Havyatt - Sydney, Australia - 29th June

Just to say "hello" on 21st June (World Wrington Day) from Australia. Today I am at work, the sun is shining and the wind is cold. We are well into Winter now, but the weather has
been very dry and warm this year - most unusual.

I work as the receptionist in a residential college at the University of Sydney that has 200 residents who come from all around the world. I enjoy my job very much and this is my fourth year. This week the exams begin and everyone is stressed. Many students are writing Ph D's in all manner of fields, so this makes for interesting conversations around the lunch table and at the social events.

The most recent college social event was World Environment Day Formal Dinner on 5th June with a guest speaker on environmental issues which was enjoyed by everyone, especially the food! Our Director is in London at the moment attending a World Conference of International Houses. There are representatives from USA, France, Taiwan, Korea and 4 from Australia.

Even though it is 14 years since I visited Wrington, I can still picture All Saints' Church, Broad Street shops, Havyat Road and Havyatt Farm as if it were yesterday. I do hope to be able to make another visit in the not too distant future. Have a happy day!

[I didn't set up a repeat of last year's Wrington World Day this year being busy arranging the events for the tercentenary of John Locke in October, but it's great to hear from Lyndley again, and I hope we may all pick up the World Day idea again in 2005 - Ed.]

Marlene Chard Shaw - Bargoed, Mid Glamorgan, 29th June

This is to say a big Thank you , to all the kind people whom I spoke to and helped me , and took the trouble to listen, on my recent visit on the weekend to Wrington and Redhill.

After tracing my Family Tree I was able to see the Village where my Grt Grandfather Alfred James Chard and his father before him Charles Chard and their families lived and worked.
My Grt Grandfather came to Wales to work at the age of fourteen - it must have been a big culture shock moving from a very beautiful place - Wrington - into the then blackened Coalmining Valleys of Wales. He would visit his parents quite often in Wrington after he had married and settled in Wales.

Hoping to visit you soon and find out more.

Thank you once again.

Pamela Miles - Hardanges, France, 29th June

I was born in Clevedon, brought up in Bristol. Interested in family history and have a link to the HILL family who came from Wrington in 1700's and possibly earlier.

I would like to know if there are transcriptions of registers, etc. available

Liz Bang (née Stuckey) - London, 28th June

This cricket picture is great fun. The badges may refer to the teams. My great-grandfather, Mark Lock, is sitting in the front row 5th from the right (with a moustache).

He lived at Chancellors Farm, Redhill. It would be such fun if others could identify anyone in the picture.

I have a note from Brian Austen in 1997 who was researcher from Weston-super-Mare. He said the men in the third from right cap and bow tie and the 6th with the bat are dressed in the earliest style of cricket outfit as worn by the England team in the 1870.

The ones in the second row favour the later more relaxed round neck which he says came from Australia in 1880's - he reckons the picture is 1880's. Mark Lock was born in 1864 and I think he looks about 20-22.

The captain is in the middle of the second row which he says is interesting because there appears to be only one favoured position unless the opposing [captain] is standing behind
him with the waistcoat and fob watch.

He says the elder man seated two to the captains' right may be the squire and in the
indistinct top right there seems to be a chance of 2 brothers!

The badges are flowers with rosettes. He goes on to say it is not a normal team and as there are 3 rosettes maybe 1st, 2nd, 3rd. As 2 teams = 22 this is not a normal game and [he] says
it is either some form of knockout single wicket or and odd game popular at the time of 11 versus 15 (the whites v the waistcoats?)

I can't help more than that, I just hope it sparks someone who may be able to spot a family member. I may try and get it in the family tree magazine to see if anyone can add to it.

[see other references below]

Sylvia "April" Brooks - Brevard,Titusville, Florida, USA, 30th April

Found this website by searching John Locke. I'm interested in your web site, because my husband's family claims that they are related to John Locke. But after reading this web site I can see that a lot of information they have is not correct.

Roger Parsley - Sutton, Surrey, 14th April

I was born and brought up in the village - I still own a share of a property there and my family have been in the village for the past 300 plus years.

We have owned and at one time ran the "The stores" in Broad street in the days before some bright spark thought up an address like "the Triangle" and the lovely Saxon name of "The Dring" instead of "Church Walk".

Look in the aisle of the church and you will see some of the ancestors buried there.

R G Puzey - Weston-super-Mare Museum, 3rd April

Since I have been retired, I have been writing about quarries in North Somerset, including photos etc. This is only for the museum to be used for teaching children of our history and making sure local history is not forgotten.

Your area presents a problem as very little has been recorded or written.

Have any of your readers any memories, records or photographs of your local quarries that I can use and of course give credit to them.
Can you help please ?

I also have enjoyed your site, it was quite an eye opener

Elizabeth Ashby - Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, 2nd April

I am looking for information about William Henry Young, an army surgeon, born in Jedburgh, Scotland who retired to Wrington after service in India and Ceylon. I am a great-grand-daughter. Are any of his descendants still living in the area?

I visited Wrington in 1969 and found his grave in the churchyard (with the help of a photograph) but on a subsequent visit was unable to do so. I presume that the exact location is in the church records.

An old family photograph (now lost) of him and his family is titled the "Cottage and the Cottagers". My parents did visit the "Cottage" in the early 1960s and the family living there at the time (Wills?) were kind enough to show them around. I also understand that his second wife donated funds or built the Young Library in Wrington. I now live in Canada and will be glad to hear from anyone who can help me in my search.

Lyndley Havyatt - Sydney, Australia, 24th March

Further to my email to Will Hardwick - the name of the Vowles relative was Alice, not Sarah.

My great grandmother left Havyatt Farm in the 1870's after living and farming there for 20 years. My great grandfather George Parker was born at Havyatt Farm and lived there for 45 years.

Does anyone know who lived there between the 1870's and 1891 when George Hardwick went there?

On my visit in 1990 I spoke to the tenant farmer, John Alvis, who told me his father was the tenant from 1940's onwards. The farm was sold in the 1920's, I think, to Sir John Wills. The original house was demolished in the Victorian era and rebuilt in its present form, I believe. Perhaps someone knows more about its history?

Georgina Richards - Wrington, 23rd March

I was born in Wrington in 1930. I still live here, and always will now. I remember the many many shops we did have . Three butchers, three grocery, and a lovely wool and millinery shop. also three inns. Those were the good days. I remember Hardwick's farm at Havyatt, and the daughter has now come back to live in Wrington. I am proud to be a Wringtonian.

Russell Crook - 19th March

I have no knowledge of any Hardwicks, but I do have the ring from the nose of the bull that killed Dick Hardwick who farmed next to the school, sometime in the 30s I think

On another track I am the Crook in my brother's photo with Sylvia Millard.

I keep up to date with Wrington through your first class web site.

All the best,

Lyndley Havyatt - Sydney, Australia, 18th March

I have just read the information supplied by Will Hardwick regarding his family research.
I am living in Sydney, Australia and visited Havyatt Farm in Wrington in 1990. One of my family names was Vowles - one of my grandmother's brothers married a Sarah Vowles. My maternal great grandfather was George Parker of Havyatt Farm (died about 1860? aged 47), his first wife was Elizabeth Hancock and second wife Rachel Rawlings.

My grandmother Emily was one of the second family. I have a lot more information if Will is interested, including the reason why my surname is HAVYATT.

Two other contributors to the Schmoose page last year are also close relatives - Denise Smith of Australia and John King of Bristol UK. We "found" each other through the Wrington website - it has been very exciting and closed some large gaps in the family tree.

GailReinhart (Hardwick) - Calgary, Canada, 18th March

Hi - I have been in touch with Will Hardwick, who has provided me with a great deal of assistance in searching my father's family tree. My great, great, grandfather John, was the brother of Will's gt gt grandfather George. John married Harriet Baker and they had 11 children. Joseph was my great grandfather, and he married Mary Ann Jones. They had 6 children, Walter, Arthur, Ella, John, Ernest and Wallace. Walter married Alice Harris in 1885, and they had 3 children, Dorothy Mary, Walter John and Joseph Jim. Dorothy was my grandmother.

Joseph Hardwick and Mary Ann Jones farmed at Northill Farm, which appears to still be standing in Dundry. There are many of Ella's descendants still in the area. I am planning to meet with them Easter weekend, when I will be in the UK. I would like to meet with Edwin Hardwick, who Will mentions in his notes.

I have the history of my father's family back to the 1700's now.

Bronagh & Alistair Crook - Hamilton, New Zealand, 12th March

I am sending the photos we took on our visit to Wrington last September. Al really enjoyed walking around the village, but the real highlight was meeting people that he grew up with. We certainly have lots of wonderful memories that we brought back with us.

Arohanui and God Bless,

Bronagh and Al Crook

Will Hardwick - Edinburgh, Scotland, 11th March

Further to what I wrote last week I was contacted immediately after having written to you by a new source of information who was able to 'fill me in' with just about all the bits of the puzzle regarding my family's link with Wrington's Abel Hardwick. I thought I'd better write
immediately in case you wanted to run something about it as you indicated before.

Mrs Liz Bang [see above], a writer from London wrote me confirming details already received from Lynne Davis, a Kingston Seymour Hardwick family member whose family left Somerset for Vancouver Island about 100 years ago, plus some extra information that appears to make
the links certain. They are both connected to my family by marriage (Lynnne's grandmother was a Hardwick) but all quite some time ago.

Here is the information I now have:

Abel Hardwick was born in Congresbury, in 1827, the first of seven children to William Hardwick and his wife Susan(na)(?) William's details are a little confused but it seems as if he was born in Portbury on 13th January 1789 and was a farmer in Iwood, nr Congresbury with 100 acres (1851 Census). Susanna came from Congresbury and was born after 1791

William's parents, also from Portbury were Thomas Hardwick(1739-1816) and his wife Betty Yeeles(1750-1796). They had perhaps ten children and William was one of the younger boys.

My line stems from his elder brother Thomas, who married a Pheobe Oldfield and had my great great grandfather George Hardwick, who left for London at age 16 in 1832 to be an apprentice in the workshop of the famous engineering company of Maudslay & Son, and Field, of Lambeth.

So, my gt gt grandfather, George Hardwick and Abel were first cousins. George would have been about 11 when Abel was born. This is our link.

Abel himself married an Emma (?) possibly in 1850. In the 1851 Census she is with him at Venice Street, Congresbury. He is described as a farmer with 50 acres. In 1861, the Census states that he has moved to Wrington and is farming 130 acres. Emma is 23 and they have two children, Mary, aged 8 and George C, aged 7. I wonder if he named his son George, after my gt gt grandfather, who by that time was being quite successful in Maudslay's company. Abel had three servants on what seems a larger than usual farm for the Hardwicks as most farms seem to have comprised between 50 and 80 or so acres. One of the men on the
farm is listed as being a Samuel Hunt from Kingston Seymour, where my George grew up, so the link is possible.

In 1881, Abel now has 125 acres in Wrington and is also married to a widow, Jemima Collins, née Hassell. The missing 5 acres might indicate the land that is mentioned in your web pages as that which was taken for the building of the village school in Chew Magna. His new wife,
Jemima was from Chew Magna, though no maiden name is listed for her in the records. Liz Bang provided that-her name was Hassell. She brought two grown daughters into Abel's household, Alice Collins, aged 23 and Kate Ann Collins, aged 19, both born in Chew Magna.

In 1891, the Census shows Abel at Wrington Farm, aged 64 and with Jemima, aged 57. All four of their children unmentioned. However, George is discovered on the 1881 Census as being 27 years old, a farmer, born in Wrington, with 93 acres. He is married to Sarah (?)
aged 25 from Blagdon. In 1891, he is listed as farming at Havyatt Farm, Wrington, though no children are mentioned.

In the 1902 Directory of Somerset Farmers he is at Stepstone Farm, Wrington. I don't know any more about this line after this though it appears no children came after this and this Hardwick line ended with his son George.

Liz also sent me a picture of Abel Hardwick sitting grandly and confidently in front of an impressive looking front door in a group that looks like a wedding commemorative photo. Beside him possibly is Jemima, while other family members are also included.
One of Jemima's daughters is there with her new husband Mark Lock. I don't know when it
was taken but possibly it is from 1880s or 1890s. Abel looks about 60.

Incidentally, Liz Bang's connection to Abel is through Jemima, his second wife. Liz says that Jemima is her great-great-grandmother so presumably her line is from Alice or Kate Ann.
She also states that Jemima Hassell's sister had a daughter, Clara J Baber, who married an
Ernest Hardwick and has asked me to find out a bit about him. I have another job springing from this one!

One thing that fascinates me is how close all these families were and how the same names arise again and again and again; Hardwick, Price, Gage, Stuckey, Baber, Yeeles, Baker, Vowles, Harris, Lock, Kingcott. It is amazing and so different from today.

I hope this is interesting information for you. I am very grateful to you for getting this line
of study started and thank you for your interest. Next time I am down in Somerset, as I most surely want a second visit, I will look in on Chew Magna, Havyatt and other places in
the Wrington area. My short visit was taken last month was taken up in searching out my most immediate family around the Gordano valley villages. I did go to Wraxall and Failand and was most impressed with the unspoilt countryside there.

Best Regards,
Will Hardwick

Will Hardwick - Edinburgh, Scotland, 6th March

Many thanks for your note giving me Edwin Hardwick's address. You asked me to let you
know what the outcome was and this is why I am replying.

I have been looking into my family roots for about two years now and every now and then find a web site that contains a snippet of interest. Yours was one of them - an excellent site and one of the best of its kind, I think.

I knew there were a lot of Hardwicks in North Somerset but until about a year and a half ago didn't know that my family came from the Gordano valley(at least the line goes back to Clapton and a Richard Hardwick who farmed there in the early 1600s). With a lot of assistance from other Hardwick descendants who I have found on the Net I have also discovered that there are still Hardwick relatives still living in the area which I am able to
link up to my own family-George Hardwick of Kingston Seymour left for London in 1832 or 1833. He was my great great grandfather.

I had never been to this area of England so last month my wife and I decided on making a short visit from Scotland just to get a picture in my mind of where we all came from. Visiting the area made all the hours in front of lists and other documents and in front of the computer 'real' and with your information I was able to meet Ed, have afternoon tea with him and his wife and exchange information about our family - he invited me to come along to the next Hardwick 'gathering' which is sometimes held at the farm of a Hardwick descendant who still farms in Clapton in Gordano. For me this is quite exciting and almost like a 'homecoming'. The visit was a great success.

The small bit of information that started this line of interest and which I found in your Wrington site concerned Abel Hardwick. I have still not found conclusive proof that he is a relative of mine but feel sure he must be . The information has expanded though and I have the following:

Abel was the eldest son of William Hardwick (b 1791) and Susannah (b 1794) and was born
in Congresbury. He may have married a Jemima Hassell, but the date of 1879 seems a bit wrong. In the 1881 Census he was a farmer with 125 acres.

I also have a photograph from a London descendant of the Stuckey family showing Abel and Jemima as part of a wedding photograph showing a group with their daughter and (a) son in law (Mark Lock) and two of his sisters, one apparently married an Albert John Rowles.
I believe all these names to be local to this part of the county.

I wonder if you are able to solve where Abel fits into my family. Also, I wonder of you have records or information where the following might be discovered:

An old copy of the Weston Mercury relates a story about a Mrs Martha Peters (93 at the time) talking about her father, a Yatton policeman called William Hardwick marching those he arrested at a local 'ox roast' in 1886, all the way to Shepton Mallet gaol, just as his father,
John Hardwick had done before him when he arrested someone.

I have a number of likely candidates for this line but no one stands out at all. There was a John Hardwick who became superintendent of police who was born in Yatton and he had a
son called William Henry who might possibly be a candidate. But this is another line of enquiry in your area that is proving difficult.

Anyway, thank you for making the meeting with Ed possible, as well as with his cousin Herbert Ross of Thornbury.



Daniel O'Hara - Dubai, 9th February

My family live in Wrington in South Meadows. We love it. I work in Dubai and visit home
twice a year. My family visit me here in Dubai twice a year. But it is hard to be apart from the people and the place I love.

I use your web site to catch up on events going on in the village, events like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which my daughter performed in.

Web cam would be a great idea. It could be set up on Broad Street and I could keep an eye
on Wrington as it goes about its day, also Johnny Dunstone. I could also get envious of the comings and goings of the Red Lion.

Just an idea!

[This is an ambition I've long had. All it needs is the necessary cash ! - Ed]

Martin Richards - Bristol, 29th January

I was born in School Road in 1956 and left around 1980. My parents are still there. I still come back and visit them. There is a lot of names I recognise on your web pages. I went to the primary school - Mr Dyke was the headmaster at the time, and I remember the shops
like Farleys, Temples, Amors, the VG shop and Buglers the wine shop, the two pubs - the Golden Lion and the Plough. Looking on here brings back memories, so I will be popping back from time to time

Stacey Gilligan - Trowbridge, Wiltshire, UK - 7th January

I lived there for about 2 years and I just want to say hi to everyone, and will see you all again soon I hope