Broad Street Wrington Website
Schmoose Page 2005

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

Neil Jackson - Bath, 24th December

[This writer replies to William McCulloch, below. See the full correspondence - Ed]

William Paul McCulloch - Mountain View, California, USA, 24th December
[This writer refers to an on-going thread in the Personal Quest section of the website concerning the family history of the Revd John Vane, rector of Wrington during a major part of the 19C. See the full correspondence about this - Ed]

I came across your website and thought I would share some information on Elizabeth Russell's family as she was the great aunt of a Laura Barbara Russell who married my great, great grandfather's cousin, Lieut. Col Henry Hewett. Laura's aunt, Isabella Ann Owen (née Russell), was the niece of the Dowager Duchess of Cleveland. Isabella was christened 04 Jun 1820 at Saint Mary, Lewisham, Kent, England, the daughter of Robert Russell. This Robert Russell was the brother of the Dowager Duchess of Cleveland.

The following is from "Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland":


Owen, John-Dorest, Esq. of Broadway Hall, co. Montgomery, J.P. high-sheriff 1844 b. in 1788; m. 1st, in 1820, Mary-Townsend, dau. of Carryl Fleetwood, Esq. of Liverpool; and 2ndly, in 1843, Isabella-Ann, dau. of the late Robert Russell of Lewisham, Kent, and niece of the Dowager Duchess of Cleveland. Mr. Owen is son of John Owen, Esq. by Mary, his wife, dau. of Francis Dodlet, Esq. of Plas Ucha, co. Denbigh. He purchased the estates of Broadway Hall from Sir. C.T. Jones, Knt.

(Seat - Broadway hall, co. Montgomery)

Additionally, the 1881 British Census places Laura Russell (niece) and Retired Officer Lt. Col. Henry Hewitt (Hewett) with Isabella Owen at Broadway House, Churchstoke, Montgomery Wales. Laura Russell's birthplace is listed as Barningham, York, England. Elizabeth Russell's father was reportedly a market gardener of Newton House, Burmiston, Co. York.

I would be interested in exchanging information with anyone who has additional information on this Russell family. It took me a couple of years to figure this much out. My family history erroneously stated that Henry Hewett was married to a daughter of Earl Russell!

I also found information indicating that Lord Normanby married Laura Russell (1816-85) at Burneston, Co. York on 17 August 1844, daughter of Captain Robert Russell, RN, and neice of Elizabeth, Dowager Duchess of Cleveland.

P.S. Merry Christmas to my Stevens' relatives around the globe!!!
[See the full correspondence so far about the Revd John Vane - Ed]

Maurice Wright - St Austell, Cornwall, 8th December

Hi to anybody that remembers me. I lived in Lawrence Road in the years 1953 to 1970 my close friends were Ivor Marshall (used go to City matches with) Dave Hunt, Derrick and Dennis Owers - remember Butlins in Ireland - also Tony Badger who was best man at my first marriage.

Since then I have run over 40 Marathons in Moscow, Berlin, Athens, New York, Miami, Snowdon, Glasgow, and 10 Londons as well many more. I have also done over 200 Half Marathons .

I remarried 5 years ago in Fiji after getting engaged in Capetown. We now live in Cornwall where we spend our summers and visiting warmer climates in the winter such as Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Thailand, South Africa and many more.

If anybody remembers me please get in touch via email - or phone 01726 61533 .

Diana Robinson - Rochester, NY, USA, 12th November

By way of addition info, just in case it is of interest, on the census page that I have, which someone kindly send me, here are the additional people, not householders but servants, whose names may continue in the village. All are born in Wrington unless otherwise stated:

Susan Rabble (but the two “b’s” are not certain, could be another letter, I’m not good at deciphering handwriting). She is aged 20 and is a servant in the household of whoever was on the previous page, as is Alfred Chur (last letters unclear, doesn’t quite look like ch to make it Church), aged 14.

In the Derham household, as well as Emma, is Charlotte Hamlin, servant, aged 16.

In the Lawrence household, the children are Fanny 13), Susan (12), Mary (10), Frederick (8),John (3).

Also, Elizabeth Wilkins, visitor, unmarried, aged 72, occupation “former servant,” born Churchill, Somerset.

And Hester Mahale (?) servant, aged 15.

The census is a fascinating tool for historians. I only access the 1881 census, because it is online, and the 1901 although one has to pay to access detail on that. However, many genealogists more dedicated that I have splurged for the CDs of the others (1851, 1861, 1871 and 1891) and they make fascinating exploration.

Diana Robinson (née Gardner) now in Rochester, NY, USA, 11th November

I found the discussion about the Post Office interesting because the P.O. is the reason why I, from Rochester, NY, USA, was doing a search for Wrington in the first place. I will try to keep this reasonably short. I have a mystery lady called Emma Griffiths, born in Pembroke about 1845.

In the 1871 UK census she shows up in Wrington as a Assistant in Shop/Servant in the
household of Joseph Derham, General Shopkeeper & Postmaster. In 1878 she shows up in Hackney, London long enough to have a son, Horace, according to his birth information.

From then onwards in the 1881, 1891 and 1901 census she appears in Lincolnshire, visiting my great grandparents, with whom her son appears to be boarding. However, in each case she is shown as a Visitor.

Whatever she learned as assistant to Joseph Derham seems to have been well used, since she progressively reports her occupation as Postmaster's Clerk (1881) and then Postmistress (1891 and 1901). Of course, because she was visiting folks in Lincolnshire on each of the census days (which in itself is a bit weird) it is not possible to know where she is living the rest of the time. I believe she had definitely left Wrington by 1882 because she marries in Glandford Brigg, Lincs.

Nonetheless, the lady is a mystery both as to where she lived, how she got to know my grand grandparents, how she happened to be a visitor there during each census day, and where she was a Postmistress.

I realize that it is unlikely that anyone knows anything about Emma Griffiths, but if you should have anything to add, please contact me at

Incidentally, for the benefit of local historians, the remainder of Derham's family consisted of:

Harriet, aged 32, his wife, b. Somerset ??Stowey??
Daughter Kate, aged 4
Gertrude, aged 1
Charlotte Hamlin, aged 16, domestic servant, b. Wrington

Next door neighbors were the family of Frederick Lawrence, Butcher, and beyond him was John Edwards, Shirtmaker Master.

Unfortunately the enumerator was lazy and did not enter the street name on the page of the census of which I have a copy.

Reply from Ed 11th November
I was in church this morning and had a look at the Derham grave, a large, family grave with a low railing around it, and now in some disrepair. I have some of the Wrington parish rates books for the 1860s, and in 1860, for example, Joseph Derham is shown occupying and owning the post office, which is in Broad Street - the central, main street (which is the subject of the image in the top left-hand corner of all website pages). Frederick Lawrence and John Edwards are also listed as occupying, not owning, the latter shown as living at Redhill (the top end of the parish, 2 miles from Wrington village). Joseph Edwards is listed as in Wrington.

Philip Whitehouse - Belgrave, Victoria, Australia, 11th November

Sorry for the delay in replying, we have been away on holidays -on Norfolk Island- and I only returned at work yesterday. (Below is a picture of myself and spouse in Australian National Dress at a "Convict Party'"there).

I caught up with Jo's correspondence in the SCHMOOZE file but I still find it hard to believe that a Travel Guide Book would be recommending rail travel eight years after the line had closed for passenger trafffic.

Perhaps they envisaged the potential visitor hitching a ride in the Guard's Van !

Dave Edwards - 22nd October

I think you are right about the date of the guide - 1938/1939. This latest 'evidence' regarding the post office supports other clues.

The piece about the railway is misleading (it certainly misled me initially and as a result I originally dated the guide as being 8-10 years older than it undoubtedly is) and I can only assume it was either left in from an earlier edition when the line was still open to passengers, or the research was sloppy and not picked up until after publication.
Whatever the reason the guide is a fascinating piece of local historical record.

Your website is rich in such primary evidence of Wrington's past and I look forward to reading further discoveries in the future

Jo Gillions - Wrington Post Office, 21st October

I have been looking through the archive trying to get a bit more history of the Post Office when I came across this guide and the call for dates.

I have the deeds dating back to the 1820's for the Post Office. Mr P R Pope who advertises as the proprietor of the PO in this guide, purchased the PO from Mrs Florence Meta Stevens on 18 October 1937. He then sold to Mr David Ayre Dargie on 30 May 1946.

Does this help at all?

Something else that may be of interest - the first reference to the dwelling being a Post Office was when the owner Miss M A Bartlett took out a mortgage with the British Workman & General Benefit Building Society in 1895. When she originally purchased the property in 1884 there was no mention of it being a Post Office. Does anybody know more?

[Reply 21st October from Ed: [Your research] clearly establishes the earliest possible date for publication, and as he sold shortly after the war, and I can't see it being published during the war, it's probably 1938/early '39. I'm copying this to the other contributors to this discussion so far to see if they agree]

Graham Stephenson - Ashmore, Queensland - Australia, 10th October

My mother's name was Gwendolyn Claire Locke, and she passed all of the Locke family history/photographs/oil paintings on to me, I am the keeper for my generation and my children's generation of her side of the Locke history.

I need to know .. can I identify "the" John Locke's parents to tie it in with Peter Locke, who is buried in Edinburgh, "the" John Locke never married and did not have any children.

I would be very grateful if anyone had a good knowledge of his parents/brothers/ sisters so that I may be able make the association with my mother's ancestor, which I can then accurately trace right through to today's date.

[This inquiry was passed to Dr Andrew Woodfield, a specialist on John Locke at the University of Bristol Department of Philosophy [see]. His reply and further correspondence from Graham is in the Personal Quest section of the website - Ed]

Paul Crook - Auckland, New Zealand, 5th October

Heard [about the website] from brother George and cousin Alistair. I was born in Wrington in 1939 and attended Wrington school.

Worked for Captain Wills and was the third generation to do so, also worked for Somerset Plant Hire until I left in 1967 with Jim Young to emmigrate to NZ.

Jim went back but I stayed and married a "local"(NZ). Visited for the first time in 2001. Our family history of Wrington is around 300 years, but don't know too much about it. Would be interested in any information

Stephen Josey (Crosthwaite) - Tauranga, New Zealand, 25th September

I lived in 31 Lawrence Road, 1977-79. Went to Churchill School, caught Bakers coach. Was friends with Glen and Debbie at 1 Lawrence Road and Mark Fisher from Ladywell.

Damien Murray - 11th September

Calling all Clarks in this area

At a recent family reunion, I was told of ancestors of mine who had the surname of Clark, and the mother and father (Arthur and Tryfnow) were born in Butcombe, as were six of their seven children (one was born in Redhill).

I have no idea how to find out if there are still any family members still living in your area. I am not trying to find out for any other reason than to complete another part of my research. If you are able to give me any guidance, or to forward this email to anyone who may be able to help, I would appreciate it. Thank you.


Christopher John Naylor - Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, 7th September

During 50's I spent school holidays in Wrington with my relations, Howard & Grace Cook (Cook's grocers in Broad Street) and Phyllis & Roger Waters of Blaise House, Station Road. I was baptized in All Saints' on 16/08/1953.

I was transported back 50 years and was also interested to see how Wrington has grown. My cousin(from Bristol) and I used to love our holidays with Aunty Grace and Aunty Phyll and the carefree times we had in those peaceful days roaming around the countryside, walking to Burrington, exploring the abandoned railway path towards Blagdon, begging rides on the footplate or in the guard's van when the goods train arrived most mornings.

The photographs on the site brought back such memories. I have not been to Wrington since the 1980's - I must return one day.

Edward Perry - Cornwall, 7th September

Over August Bank Holiday I visited Wrington to meet up with some relatives, Marcel Safier {Australia} and Alan & Jeanne Perry {Portsmouth}. I believe they visited Vera Perry. I joined them on the Monday so we could have a chat about our Family history.
Marcel is going to contact the Journal when he returns to Australia.

Marcel and myself visited Redhill Church as he did not know that my great Grand father had a headstone. The Grave is on the left about 10yd from the top gate , near the club. My g/grand father's name is Thomas Perry and he is buried with his wife Amelia. The head stone is in a poor condition, I don't think it will last another year.

Looking at the headstone it seems to me somebody is looking after it, a small area at the base of the stone has been cleared and some flowers planted. My question is that does anybody know anything about this as Thomas Perry died in 1890 and Amelia died in 1913.

My grandfather Arthur Perry was born in Wrington in 1871 and married Florence Andrews of Redhill daughter of George Andrews who ran the Rising Sun .

I would be very pleased if any Visitors to the Web Site could shed some light on the Headstone

Jeanne & Alan Perry - Hampshire, 3rd September

That's quite impressive, the way you have published our letter in Schmoose
[see below - Ed] and have incorporated the World War 1 photos. I wonder if any local Perrys will respond.

I omitted to tell you before that another cousin, Edward Perry from Cornwall, met us later on in Wrington last week, together with Marcel from Australia. I have had an email from Edward today and he says he is in correspondence with you too! Did you wonder what this flurry of Perrys was all about?!!

I don't want to confuse things so will leave it that you continue your enquiries with the church warden for Edward and he will inform me of any outcome. This will avoid duplication. I will just explain that Thomas Perry, born 1827 and his wife Amelia, had about 11 children and moved around Somerset with his Gamekeeping work, but seemed to settle in Redhill for some years, and were both buried at Christ Church Cemetery.

Their oldest son George born 1856, was Alan's (my husband's) ancestor, a gamekeeper who moved to Dorset when he married. His younger brother Arthur, born 1870 in Wrington, also a gamekeeper, married Florence Andrews of The Rising Sun, Redhill, and was the ancestor of Alan's cousins Edward Perry and Marcel Safier.

Other brothers who married local girls were John, born 1857, who married Sarah (Sainsbury?) from Congresbury (maybe Brinsea) and William Philip, born Redhill 1861,who married Harriet Harse from Redhill. These last two are the ones I think most likely have descendants still in the area.

Jeanne & Alan Perry - Hampshire, 30th August

[Following an inquiry about tracing ancestors of the family Perry in Wrington - Ed]

My husband and I met Vera Perry yesterday (together with our cousin from Australia) and had a very interesting chat. She explained that her father William John joined the Army to fight in the 1st World War a bit later than the major rush of volunteers from Wrington, shown on your website (due to the fact he was a family man and had responsibilities at home). She mentioned that William's younger brother Alfred H Perry was the first to put his hand up at the local rally for volunteers.

His picture is shown on your website in the newpaper article of 1915. Unfortunately the two brothers died for their country during the War.

I notice that Arthur Perry and Harry Perry also appear in the article. I am pretty sure they were the sons of John (railway porter and then self employed carrier) & Sarah Perry who were our ancestors and wonder if you are able to enhance the pictures of them to send me ? I cannot quite read the details under their names - Harry born 1891 in Wrington (??HMS Liverpool) and Arthur born 1886 in Wrington (cannot read rank or regiment).

[Duly enhanced and sent - Ed]

We were very pleased to discover how obliging everyone was when we visited Wrington and the atmosphere in the village was so friendly and welcoming that my husband mentioned the idea of retiring there!! Of course the warm idyllic weather helped set the scene and so the idea may wear off when winter comes!!

Your website is a mine of information and demonstrates the same community spirit which we felt at our visit. I'm not mad about completing questionnaires but I can say I have spent an hour or more surfing the site and probably have not seen everything yet!

Our cousin Marcel from Australia mentioned yesterday the idea of submitting an article to your Village Journal when he saw your September issue. He is the driving force behind our Family Tree research and thought he might get some response from Wrington and Redhill locals with information about gamekeeper Thomas Perry from the 1860s, died & buried in Redhill 1898) and descendants of his son John Perry mentioned above, still local in 1915 it seems. (I will not bore you now with any more of the detail - John & Sarah had at least 9 children born in Wrington up to 1900+!). Would it be worth posting something on your website too?

Essie Clark - Wrington [personal communication] 17th August

tells me she was 'best friends' with the daughter of the Stevens who ran the post office immediately before Mr Pope took over in 1937/38, which means 1938/39 must be the earliest possible date for publication. This ties in with what other correspondents have deduced [below], and thanks to everyone who has put their mind to this conundrum ! -Ed.

Stuart Parry - Prestatyn, North Wales - 15th August

As a postscript to my story - my son who is in his final year at university and is seeing a young girl also in university, 'phoned me to say he was going to her parents' house for a visit and that he was going by train to the nearest station, which was Yatton. [He asked] if I had heard of it !!.

So, there was my father's grandson stepping on to the platform in Yatton, 67 years after he had gone there and at the same age - now that's what I call a

It was my son's recent visit to Clevedon via Yatton that got me thinking back about my dad, so on Sunday I just typed 'Wake and Dean' into search and found Percy Hancock and Wake and Dean highlighted on the search result [on your website].

Thanks once again, best regards to you and all your locals in the Yatton/Wrington area. Going by what I've read on your site it seems like you have got a wonderful community spirit there - keep it going!

Dave Edwards - 12th August

Further to the [question of the publication date of the Wrington Guide], I have just been perusing the 1935 Wrington Parish magazine, a copy of which is on your excellent website.

In this magazine all the local trades people's advertisements carry two digit telephone numbers, whereas in the guide we are trying to date they are three digit numbers.

Now the business of two digit numbers was mentioned by Yvonne Spratt whose father remembered them.

If we accept that it is highly probable that the two digit numbers would have been allocated before they were converted to three digit numbers, rather than the other way round, it must mean that the guide is actually post 1935, which I must say is a great surprise to me. I was convinced it had the feel of a late 20s/early 30s publication, and the reference to the railway still operating must have been sloppy editing, perhaps carried over from an earlier guide.

If indeed the guide is post 1935 I am certain it is still pre World War II.

Stuart Parry - Prestatyn, North Wales - 11th August

I have just found [Trevor Wedlake's item on] your web site on Percy Hancock, who worked for the Wake and Dean firm in Yatton, and I thought after reading about Percy how the internet has made the world a smaller place to be, but also how it can connect people through generations. Let me explain:

You see, in the late 1930's when work in this part of the country (due to prewar recession) was very tight, my father decided that the only way for him to finish his joiner's apprenticeship was to leave home.

He had some relations living in Yatton and they had heard that he could find work in a local cabinet makers by the name of Wake and Dean. This would have been about late 1937or early 38. He did enjoy working there from what I remember him telling me of his time there.

I remember that he was having a struggle to make ends meet on an "improver's" wage
but all approaches to the workshop foreman to "up"his money came to nothing

So one day, armed with his "best holed" workshoes he made a direct approach to the boss himself explaining his dire financial position, and proved this by showing off his worn out footware. On the presentation of this information he recieved a handsome increase in his wage but only after the quality of his work had been scrutinised. At this time he was barely 20 years old. Percy Hancock and my father would have known each other I'm sure.

My father's name was Dennis Parry. He was born and brought up in a tiny village called
Llanasa, near Prestatyn on the north Wales coast. During the time he was there he also played football for Yatton and he was presented with a small cup as their side got into the league final (we've still got the cup).

He too went to war, in the infantry in Normandy [photo]. He also recalled some of the horrors of war, just as Percy had. He was wounded and after about a year of treatment he was demobbed. Sadly he died after becoming ill straight after his retirement - he was 68years old.

I hope you find this little story of some interest to your readers in the community.

Pauline née Axford - 26th July

. I made an impromptu visit to Wrington yesterday and found the graves of William and Louisa Axford. Died 1933 and 1921. William wasn't born in Wrington and I don't know when he moved there.

They were the Innkeepers and saddlers at The Bell. I found the shop that used to be The Bell and spoke to the owner, it was nice to be in the house they lived in.

From research my Uncle did, they had three children Lillian, Henry and Albert, a fourth died at or near birth. Albert was my Grandfather who lived in London.

I had a great day, thank you for the info on the website. Any other info would be great.

Mark Bullen - Wrington, 26th July

I have lists of Kelly's Directory entries [see entries immediately below - Ed]. The guide has an ad from G.Hyde, Baker. In 1935 there is no trace, but the 1939 edition refers to Gerald Hyde, Baker, so maybe the guide is closer to WWII than some others have suggested.

Perhaps some of the illustrations/maps used were rather old at the time, rather than contemporary. Just a thought.

I note that Percy Pope, (Post Office) and L.F. Parks (Boot maker) also only first appear in the 1939 Kelly's. It is possible that they were trading before then and only put an entry into Kelly's in '39. Certainly the references to the railway seem to point to a pre-1931 date. Intriguing!

I have looked up the publisher - "The Homeland Association Ltd" on the Internet and find they issued many guidebooks during the first few decades of the 20th century, up until WWII.

Dave Edwards - 23rd July

I have read the further information in Schmoose [see the 2 items immediately below - Ed] and fascinating and intriguing it is.

If Percy Pope did not take over the Post Office until 1935 then clearly this is the oldest the booklet could be. The mention of an obviously open Wrington Vale Light Railway (closed for passengers in 1931) contradicts this, unless this was an annual publication and had not been updated for several years and had merely used the descriptive narrative from previous editions when the railway was still open for passengers.

I take the point about the photographs. They could be old photos and are not conclusive when it comes to dating publications. Then there is the recollection of two digit telephone numbers, although if they did exist at some point they must have been updated to three-digit numbers but when?

The feel of the booklet still points to late 20s/early 30s but I concede it could be as late as 1935 if the railway narrative was sloppily left in from earlier editions.

However, if conclusive proof can be found that Percy Pope did not take over the Post Office until 1935 then clearly I am wrong.

At least we seem to have narrowed down the publication to 1928-1935.

Best wishes.

Philip Whitehouse - Belgrave, Victoria, Australia, 20th July

Interesting, indeed. [Yvonne's e-mail 16th July - below - Ed]

The succession of the occupants of "Prospect House" the original name of Wrington
Post Office, immediately prior to our arrival in 1951 was: Pope, Dargie (spelling?), and Thomas. Our immediate successors were Mr. & Mrs. Bates.

But, it may be noted that, in the advertisement , Percy R.Pope, is not named as the (Sub) Post Master but rather the proprietor of "Wrington Stores" which happened to
be co-located at the Post Office. So it is entirely possible that he might have been in residence during Mrs Milford's reign as Post Mistress . I seem to remember the retail business was, indeed, separate and distinct from the Post Office .It has changed now, I think, but at one time upon entering: if you wanted the post office you turned left while the retail business was on the right.

It is certainly irrefutable that passenger traffic ceased on the Wrington Vale Light Railway on 14th September, 1931 yet the booklet recommends Rail Travel as a viable transport option still.

It may also be argued that precision of the Pukekohe submission really turns on how accurate and up-to-date the Kelly's Directories actually were, and their veracity is certainly put into question by the dates appearing on the Wrington Churchyard epitaph quoted.

I rest my case, M'Lud :– My bet would be 1928.

Yvonne Spratt (Chard) - Mauku, Pukekohe, Auckland, NZ, 16th July

I am writing with some information about the Wrington Booklet you have on the website.

It has been quite a topic of conversation here recently [see also below - Ed] and we have come up with some other dates from the ones already mentioned.

There is an advert for the Post Office and Stationery being run by Percy Pope. Well, according to the information we received a few years ago regards Postmasters of Wrington from Julius Herrstein, it seems that a Cora Augusta Milford was sub-postmistress from 1906 until possibly 1935 and Percy Pope is mentioned as being sub-postmaster in the 1939 Kelly’s Directories.

This is part of what it says “In the 1923 edition of Kelly’s Mrs Cora Augusta Milford is still the sub-postmistress, …………The same information is repeated in 1927. In 1935 is it reported Mrs Cora Augusta Milford is still the sub-postmistress but this detail is contradicted by the Wrington Churchyard: Cora Augusta, wife of James Pomery Milford, died on 5 August 1935. Cora served the Wrington Post Office for the best part of three decades.

But I wonder if Cora was still postmistress until she died and then Percy Pope took over as no other name is mentioned between these names.

Nurse Brunker (advert in magazine) is not mentioned in the 1939 Directories but if you are able to get hold of the earlier Kelly’s Directories you might be able to find out when she was last in business.

All the other business adverts in the magazine are listed in the 1939 Directories.

Another comment Dad made was that he remembers the village as having two digit phone numbers but the magazine adverts state the shops have three digit phone numbers, maybe there is a way of checking when this changed.

All very interesting and great memory joggers for us!!

Of course I wasn’t around in 1939 (or 49!!) but most of the names in the adverts I can remember so they must have been in business for a good number of years.

Not sure you can use the pictures too much to gauge the age because the picture of the clock and the car is very much like the old postcards that were still for sale in Farley’s shop before I left in 1972!!

Regards to you all
Yvonne Spratt and Les Chard

Greg McGrath - 1st July

I am doing research on my family tree,. My grandmother is called Joyce Hardwick (Devenport is her married name). She use to live in the UK many years ago, but now lives in Australia.

Her Father's name was George Hardwick and her Mothers named was Sarah Hardwick (Green was her maiden name). She had many brothers and sisters (some of them step). She has given me these names: Thomas, George, Lilly, Daisy, Ivy, Edith and Florence.

Some of the names match that are on your website. Is there any more information you could give me? or maybe ask someone who may know anything? She moved to Australia in 1962 and has lost contact with everyone back in the UK and she is desperate to make contact.

Anything you can help me with would be greatly appreciated. Thank You.

[This correspondent was put in touch with the other Hardwicks he mentions - see Personal Quest pages - Ed]

Jo Lewis (née Edwards) - Plymouth, Devon, 26th June

I’ve just visited your Schmoose pages and would like to convey my congratulations to Mr and Mrs Summers on their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. I don’t know if they remember me (Joycelyn Edwards) but they know Mum (Lillian) very well. My sister, Maureen, and I were friends with their daughters Peggy and Valerie during our school days. A long time ago now! Perhaps their Mum and Dad would say ‘hello’ to them for me!

I shall be visiting Wrington on Saturday, 2nd July when my sister’s daughter Emma will be getting married in the church. The day will bring back many happy memories as my four sisters, my brother and myself were all married there. Mum and Dad also had their marriage blessed there, on their Ruby Wedding Day, and there has been an occasional Christening! My mother’s family has been associated with Wrington for many years and it’s good to know that Emma has wished to carry on that association. Here’s to a lovely day for all.

I’d also like to mention how very much I enjoyed the film about Wartime Wrington. Although I wasn’t born until 1949 many of the memories were told to us by my mother when we were little (or, as my son used to say ‘in the olden days’!). I am a real ‘nostalgia freak’ and can’t get enough remembrances so, if anyone else should have memories to impart I, for one, shall be very interested.
Many thanks, Richard, for a brilliant website.

Don Summers - Wrington, 21st June

My wife and I are celebrating our Diamond Wedding on Sunday next 26th June at the sports Pavillion. We are expecting 80 plus guests and the time is 4.00 pm - 8.00 pm.
We would be delighted if this would merit a mention on the Website.

My Wife was Elsie Bond born in Rose Cottage Silver Street. I came from Congresbury in 1942 and worked at Baker Hyde's. We were Married in what was then the Congregational Church (now URC) on 23rd June 1945 and started married life in Yeomans Cottage, Ropers Lane. We have now lived at No 7 School Road for the last 53 years.

Craig Porter - Derby, 9th May

My 3g-grandfather Francis Porter came from Wrington as did his wife Prudence Isgar. Interested in any connections! I saw on the board a Canadian lady descended from Francis' brother John - please get in touch! [
will forward your e-mail - Ed]

Geoffrey Tutt - Kingsland, Leominster,Herefordshire, 23rd April

Tracing my family tree I find that James G TUTT B.1816 in Wrington,George Manning TUTT B.18.10.1840 Wrington,William Henry TUTT B.1865 Wrington and many of their family were born in Wrington. I would appreciate any information available about these people or their family.

Sarah Ford née Kim Howse - Bristol, 23rd April

I lived in Wrington from 1963-1982 when I left to do nurse training. Mum and brothers still live there. I still visit often and call it home

Ann Wright - Stoke Bishop, Bristol, 11th April

[I lived in Wrington] for several years from 1964 and in three different houses with late husband, Michael and sons Guy, Ian, Jeremy and Simon, the best years of my life.

I think [the website] is brilliant - brought back so many happy memories.

Philip Whitehouse - Belgrave, Victoria, Australia, 29th March (following an appeal for information about the date of publication of a Guide to Wrington uploaded 26th March - Ed.)

Regarding the vintage of the guidebook. I would have dated it about 1928. It is certainly pre-war. Two clues for this conclusion may be gained from examining the map. Firstly. there is no reference to an airport at Lulsgate. Originally, I think, it was an RAF (Fighter Command ?) airfield constructed during the war. Secondly, looking in the Clevedon area, a single line appears extending South-West which possibly delineates the route of the Weston-Clevedon-Portishead Light Railway. This closed in 1940.

The Marlborough family connection is briefly mentioned in the reference to the village of Churchill yet Sir Winston's name does not appear. Such a reference would become almost inevitable after the war.

As correspondent D. Edward mentions, passengers services were discontinued on the Wrington Vale Light Railway in 1931, whereas the impression given in the Guide is that it is very much a viable transport option for the would-be visitor. On the other hand there is a reference to a "Motor Bus" service travelling between Bristol and Bridgwater.
This is probably a reference to the Bristol Omnibus Company's 23A service which commenced operations in 1923.

Another impression is rather less precise . John Locke's leading opus, the Essay on Human Understanding is described in the Guidebook as "once famous". This accords with the impression I gained, in reading, that Locke's reputation rather went into eclipse immediately after World War 1 (I remember reading in one reference of the period that Wrington's most famous son was "rather futile"). It was only later that he began to receive his due.

Dave Edwards - 28th March (following an appeal for information about the date of publication of a Guide to Wrington uploaded 26th March - Ed.)

There are several references to the railway (Wrington Vale Light Railway) and from them it is obvious that it was still operating as a passenger-carrying enterprise at the time the Guide was published.

The railway was closed to all passenger traffic in September 1931 (except for three specials during the ensuing 26 years) although of course it continued as a goods line. The section from Wrington to Blagdon was shut in 1950 and the last part (Congresbury -Wrington) finally closed in 1963.

So returning to the Guide, it seems it predates 1931 and, judging from the motorcar photo and a woman's shoe in an advertisement, it was probably published sometime in the 1920s.

Marvellous site. All good wishes for its continuing success.

June Perry - Victoria, BC, Canada, 21st March

My great-great grandfather John Porter and all his family were born here in 1814 and some Porters still live there. Interested in finding graves for the Porters

Philip Whitehouse - Belgrave, Victoria, Australia, 18th March

I would like to echo Bill Crook's sentiments regarding Miss Vera Perry. (As Bill says: certainly and inevitably,"Miss" Perry, no over-familiarity there!) By the evidence of her photograph this remarkable and dedicated Lady has gone from strength to strength. It was excellent to see her again.

One often wishes that it were possible for more positive identification could be shown on such photographs appearing on the website so that, perhaps, visual memories might be updated.

My computer at work depicts pictures culled from the Wrington Website as my screen-saver.

Thus, while occupied on the telephone discussing the practicalities of moving an Atomic Absorption Spectrometer from Melbourne, Australia to Tomsk, Russia, there appears on my monitor screen an excellent photograph currently showing on the Website. A view of a cold grey day in the Wrington Vale viewed from Nates (Neates?) Lane. Being late winter .the trees and hedges are still bare. The soil is a rich purple-chocolate colour, and there, inevitably, the tower of All Saints', handsome and iconic, serenely presides over the scene.

A passer-by enquires,
        " Where's that? Somewhere in Pommyland?"
"Right- we used to live about half-a-click up the road there".
        "Fair Dinkum!. Not a bad place then?"
"Not bad".

I must conclude by endorsing Bill's remarks concerning Australia's latest cricketing win in New Zealand, "TOO GOOD", indeed! The up-coming Ashes tour is keenly anticipated in these parts.

Best wishes to all
Philip Whitehouse

Jon Rata - Langford, 15th March

Thanks for your comments on the film Bill, it's great to hear the pictures have brought back memories! (Thanks to Richard for taking them and putting them online!)

I'm not too sure where my name is from - nor are my family, we have heard of possible New Zealand links but as hard as we search we can find no solid trail. The family has moved about a lot - around Europe and Africa I think - which has made tracking the name quite a challenge!

Thanks again for your memories, it's a shame we can't get a copy out to you!


Alice Dochio - 11th March

Thank you so much for your fast response. We visited the graveyard last year and I presume he is buried to the right hand side of the church where most of the Organ family seem to be buried.

I did take photographs so I know the names on the gravestones if you could tell me which one (or nearby) I could probably work it out. I did find an Ethel Organ who is buried over the other side of the church but that's as far as I got.

John Organ has contacted me and I am currently swapping information with him. I will let you know how we get on.

Alice Dochio - 10th March

I recently came across your web page as part of my research into my family history. I noticed an old entry from John Organ and believe he may hold the key to part of the "missing link" on my mums side of the family. I wondered could you post the following on my behalf. I thank you in advance:
Could John Organ from East Wellow, Romsey, Hants please contact me as I think we are related. Or anyone with information on the Organ family of Wrington.
I e-mailed John Organ directly - Ed]

My Grandfather is buried in Wrington Herbert Leslie Tomson Organ (unmarked) His address listed on his death certificate is Heath House in Tendring. ?? His father was Walter George Organ (married twice) and his sister ? (I have a copy of "Wrington parish mag" - August 1935 - About a presentation to honour her 80th year? with Walter and his wife in attendance.

My mum who is in her 70 knows very little about her father's side of the family as he died when she was six and they moved away. The family had a factory (Ironworks?) which only closed a few years ago I believe.

We visited the churchyard last year on behalf of my mother it is a beautiful place unfortunately I only have a grave number so I am unsure where my grandfather is buried (we visited on a Sunday).

I would love to help my Mum fill in the gaps and get some information for her.

Bill Crook - Cambridge, New Zealand, 7th March

Hello from New Zealand,

I was fascinated by the the pictures from John Rata's Wrington at war. I was more intrigued by his surname Rata which is a Maori name and is a species of a native forest tree in New Zealand. Is there a NZ connection here?

From memory Roy Hillman lived 4 doors up from us, George Martin 7 and Olive Mellott 8, all in Lawrence Rd. or Silver Street as it was known then. Vera Perry, ever the stalwart of All Saints looks pretty good. Of course to us she was always "Miss Perry" and this was installed, with respect, firmly into my head by my mother Eleanor Crook. Ken Collins hasn't changed....well done Ken. Roy Clements is remembered but is Valerie related to Robin Yeoman because I often wonder where he might be. Sylvia...say no more!

Sometime ago there was a note from Audrey Millard from Brisbane, Australia. May I use this media to say that Kathy and I will be in Australia from 22nd March until 2nd April and will be flying in and out of Brisbane. We may have some spare time and if Audrey reads this and would like us to try to make contact perhaps she could contact me by email at

For followers of cricket, our recent thrashing by Australia in the ODI series doesn't mean that we are bad, it's just that the Australians are so good. aaagh, what am I saying?

Best wishes to all your readers.


Becky Newell - Long Ashton, North Somerset - 5th March

I cannot tell you what a pleasure it was to look at your website. So informative and very pleasing on the eye... We here at Butcombe Brewery can not wait until our imminent move to Wrington...

Diane Richard - Raleigh, NC, USA, 22nd February

I love the site ... came upon it researching my husband's family. The CHALLENGER branch seems to have originated in Wrington in the latter half of the 18th century. We only know that Mary CHALLENGER, born about 1778, married Robert Currey in Bristol in 1798 ... that's as far as that story goes right now!

Edward McGown - New York, NY, USA - 2nd February

I am writing in response to your request for information regarding the drama archive. The unnamed actress playing Little Red Riding Hood in the 1988 production of 'Once Upon a Time' is my sister, Lucy McGown, who now lives in London. For the record, I played her little brother in the same play...

I myself am currently a film director living in New York, and really enjoyed looking over the archive. Well done on creating an excellent web site.

Response to Martin Taylor's entry by Trevor Wedlake - 27th January

I remember Martin Taylor's mother and father, and their house on the right just over the bridge going into Langford. I remember his mother riding her bike round the village with him perched on the back, and Martin being offered a drink in the Langford Inn the day he'd flown back from Cyprus where he was then stationed with the RAF, and his father thinking a second drink wasn't a good idea after such a long flight ! Martin was the first person I'd ever heard call British personnel "Brits" - in my era they were BORs - British Other Ranks !

Mr Waite was only the third head of the school, the first being Bob Hewitt for 40 years, then one from 29-39, then Waite - then Mr Dyke who died last month.

The Pollingers left the Bell around 1945 and after a couple of quick changes, Mostyn Richards, the present owner, took it over as a garage and shop.

I didn't know the name of the guard of the train, or that small boys could hitch a lift to the waterworks !

Martin Taylor - Crossgar, Co. Down, N. Ireland - 27th January

[I was interested in Trevor Wedlake's article about Cecil Gilling.]

I'm a native of Langford, now living in Northern Ireland. I started school in Wrington. Mr. Waite was the headmaster and one of the teachers was a Miss Phillips. This must have been about 1940/1. The names Bathard, Kingcott and Tincknell were above the shops of the time.

A bun from the bakery on the corner cost a farthing. One goods train a day passed through the village, bringing in coal and taking out timber. Often the guard would be Bert Mazzlin, and sometimes small boys would get a ride up to Blagdon Waterworks. Sam Pollinger kept the Bell Inn, now a garage I think.Happy days inspite of the war.