Broad Street Wrington Website
Schmoose Page 2009

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

Russell Crook - Camulodonum (Colchester) Essex, 31st December

I am conviced that the two "gunmen" are my G/fr and my father. The picture was, I think, taken outside of what was then Rose cottage. G/Fr married Ellen Chard; they had their family in the cottage, it's next to the church. Hope this adds a little more light.

Russell Crook, Wringtonian 1932-1952
and see January, 2010 entry - Ed ]

Marlene Shaw (née Chard) Bargoed, Glamorgan, 27th December

I am sending a photograph taken in Wrington of a cricket match. The man third from the left in the front wearing batsman's attire and a black hat there is a cross marked underneath him. There is no name on the photograph of any person at all.
My cousin gave me a copy of the photograph which belonged to my Grt Aunt Elizabeth Ann Rogers (née Chard), and her parents and siblings lived in Wrington. Annie, as she was known, left in 1911 after her husband died, to come to Wales to be near her brothers who had left a few years previously. If anyone can identify him it would be wonderful ( I am on the Family History page there).

Another photograph which, hopefully, someone can identify two men - father and son, I think.
I have another photo with Helen "Nellie" Crook (née Chard) with the same older man pictured here. Maybe it is her husband or brother ? Hopefully someone can identify them and let me know their names.
Thank you so much.

Peter Stamps - Epsom, Surrey, 17th December

[I found the website because of my] family history in Wrington. I have memories of family living in Wrington (Amor) and of visiting for family get togethers, would be great to hear from anyone who remembers me and my family. Regards

Jane Smith - Locking, 6th November

My maiden name was Jane Ashley and my Grandfather was Joseph Frederick Ashley .

His father was also Joseph Frederick Ashley and his sister was Annie May Ashley and his brother was Arthur Henry Ashley whose son was Alroy Arthur Ashley.

I believe Jeff Parsons (Thorne) entry on your pages has my family tree and would like to be in touch with him and Lee Docherty who also has an entry re my family.

I heard about the war memorial today and the service of Remembrance from Rev Maddock today when he called to see my daughter.

My father grew up in Wrington and his family relations also the Spaldings of Silver Street.

I lived in Wrington for 7 years in Siver Street and Ropers Lane.

Jean Mather - Glastonbury, Somerset, 1st November

I'm Jean, the lost member of the Wedlake family, living happily in darkest Glastonbury.

Trevor keeps me abreast of Wrington people and events, but the people he mentions that I remember are in a time warp, forever, as they were in the 1940s, as is Wrington.

School days with Mr Waite as headmaster, hilarious cooking lessons in the Reading Room, learning to ride a bike, the only transport possible. Picking baskets of primroses with Miss Wilkins to decorate the church at Easter, the Bethlehem Tableaux put on by the Reverend Hook (I was Mary once). Then dances in the hall and Friday night pictures. We knew everybody then and every corner of Wrington.

It sounds idyllic but at 14 I worked every day of the week for the sum of 10/- and deference was required. I was no Pollyanna, I seethed with resentment.

I've wandered far and wide since then but have never forgotten my roots and still have this strong attachment to friends and neighbours and lovely Wrington.

Yvonne Spratt (Chard) - Mauku, Pukekohe, Auckland, NZ, 13th October

[Following her father's (Les Chard) death last week, Yvonne sent this e-mail - Ed]

Dad's funeral was on Monday 12th October,
12 years to the day that he and Mum arrived in New Zealand. Everything went well, even the weather was kind to us.

Dad would have felt very 'embarrassed' with the amount of people that were there. We had about 100. You know he wasn't one to want a fuss made but I hope he would have been very pleased with the way the afternoon went.

We had the RSA there. Like your British Legion. They called out Dad's name, said his service number, said a few prayers and gave everyone a poppy to put on the casket. Then played the 'Last Post' on the bugle. Well, that was a bit hard to cope with but it was very nice.

Mum's funeral was so nice - full of joy, and a few laughs along the way - and I wanted Dad's to be just as nice as hers, and I think we achieved that.

Dad missed Mum so much he just wanted to be with her. He got so tired he just couldn't hold on any longer. They are together again.

We have a very big gap in our family now but with friends' support and love we will get through and move on.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers,

Yvonne and family

Alistair Crook - Wellington, New Zealand, 9th October

Born in Wrington 1937. Left for New Zealand 1958. Interested reading Trevor Wedlake's contributions. I knew his parents and brothers and sisters

Julia Caple née Snell - Brockenhurst, Hants., 8th October

Thank you so much for your information. Our daughter Lisa is compiling our family tree and Fred is 'revealing' snippets of information, but we've never heard about the buried engine - but doesn't surprise us.

Fred is presently in Chepstow Hospital, hopefully returning home soon, so I am sending him a copy of the 1926 school photo and know it will bring back happy memories, although I understand some times were hard.

I will also tell him about Trevor Wedlake and his memories. We know so little about Peggy and Ronnie as they died before I was born. Please give him our thanks.

We brought Fred to Wrington some 7 years ago and whilst in the Church met a lady who knew him. My Godparents, Martin and Marie Haines (Haynes) are also in the churchyard and Fred worked with/under Mart for Sir Wilfred Anson at Westhay. I remember visiting their cottage (as a child) as it was surrounded by fields and had a loo at the bottom of the garden.

A recent article in The Western Daily Press on Organs Mill and Mr Burnett's collection of cars jogged Fred's memory. He remembers taking 'flasks' of tea to his father (also Fred) who worked at The Mill making/repairing harnesses, etc. He too is in the churchyard.

Trevor Wedlake - Wrington, 7th October [in conversation - Ed]

Remembers Julia's father well, despite his being a young man when Trevor was a young lad ! He also recalls Fred's sister, Peggy, and younger brother, Ronnie.

Peggy used to deliver the newspapers, and was terrified of dogs, but apparently got on with the Wedlake's dog, and they had a nice photo of her patting the dog. By chance, whilst looking for something else, Trevor came across her burial entry in the church register just the other day.

She too was older than Trevor, but Ronnie was younger than Trevor.

Trevor recalls during the war, when everything was in short supply, Fred somehow acquired a Ford 8 engine, which he buried for safety's sake. However, someone found it and dug it up !

Julia Caple née Snell - Brockenhurst, Hants., 7th October

Fantastic website! I spotted my father, Fred Snell, in the 1926 school photo and would love to hear from anyone who knew him/his family. Now 97 he loves to reminisce to his great grandsons about the skittle teams and teaching himself to drive on the baker's van before driving for the Anson family.

Trevor Dewberry - 19th September

Lived at 11 Lawrence Rd all my life until I was 30, before moving to Hampshire. I attended the primary school and Churchill Comp. My Mother was a Perry from Redhill, my Father from Ireland, my brothers all still live in the surrounding area.

Philippa Golding - Weston-s-Mare, 8th August

Moved into Wrington in 1993 and left in 2006. Happy times and happy memories, but alas, house prices forced us else where. Have used the website for years, in fact was one of the first to leave a comment on the visitors' book a long time ago.

Martin Ham - Malvern, Worcestershire, 5th July

I lived in Wrington from 1947 to 1955, and then moved to Langford at the age of 15. We sold our house to a family called Atter. I remember all the people in Keith Amor's entry, and have happy memories of times spent wandering over the hills and playing on the Recreation Ground. Are the tennis courts still there? In those days, young children were allowed to cycle all around with no supervision.

My father, Francis Ham, set up the Wrington Choral Society - is this still going? I remember going to concerts, with a powerful representation from the Collins family, who also were the backbone of the church choir. I live near Malvern in Worcestershire, and my sister, Gillian Ham, lives near High Wycombe.

Graham Keitch - Manaton, Dartmoor, 28th June

[I used to live at] 2 South Meadows between approx 1978-1990

Peter Chidzey - Cilyfynydd, Pontypridd, Mid-Glamorgan, South Wales, 15th June

[I was] looking for info on my great great grandfather, William Chidzey, born in1848

Bill Crook - Hamilton, New Zealand, 11th May

The first thing I do every Saturday morning is to get on to the website and see what’s happening in Wrington. I always check the All Saints' column first and always go straight to the “in our prayers” list.

It is there, sadly, that names from the past appear all too frequently. Several months ago it was Des Brooks. Around 1960 I worked with Des for ILtyd and Les Brown at Lower Stock Farm. We shared many a woodbine!

And now I see the passing of Roger Biggs. Roger was a bit of an icon in his own way. His first wheelchair, as I remember, was operated by hand pedals and this gave him massive strength in his arms and hands, as anyone who had their arm pinched by Roger would know. His chairs progressed to mechanical versions and he could go just about anywhere in the village. Of course, wheelchair access to shops did not exist in those days, and more than once he sent me into one or other of the shops for something he needed.

The website remains a valuable link for us in distant lands because with much of the information it’s our only link. Keep it coming!

[Newer readers may not know that Roger was the son of one of All Saints' longest serving church organists, Howard Biggs, and his wife Irene - Ed]

Clive Holloway - Toronto, Canada, 29th April

My family ancestry involves the Bragg, Cook, Bond and Marshall branches. As a child in the 1940's, visiting Wrington from Bristol was always a great treat.

Tony Loach - Vancouver, Canada, 19th April
This e-mail came in response to Trevor Wedlake's most recent contribution specially written for the website. Tony, a contemporary of Trevor's, has many welcome entries on the Schmoose pages right from the very early days of the website. -Ed]

Many thanks for the heads-up in regard to Trevor's
recent essay. What a talent that guy has.

The period of time that Trevor was referring to was familiar to me as we are both about the same age.
I have been trying to pin-point the farm it was that I helped on during hay-making season. That I think
was a farm near Sexey'sSchool at Bruton where I was allowed to ride the hay rake machine when I got to be old enough to handle the horse, (and heavy enough to raise the tines at the end of every row). The head master allowed us bigger boys to work the farms during the season.

Then came the fall, and the thrashing machine brings back many memories but mainly one about a big black horse with a blow fly fistula on one shoulder and the only horse on the farm with enough power to back the thrasher into the shed for the winter. Does anyone else remember the horse ? Ford's farm at Nempnett perhaps ? Although it could have been any farm in the Wrington area.

Larry Cody - Barry, South Wales, 11th March

I have just visited the Wrington website and was interested in the page regarding family history research. Some of my predecessors were born in Wrington - Paul Williams (born 1808), married to Sarah Broad of Dundry and their son George Williams (born 1830).

When George Williams left the parish, he initially moved into Bristol, then Newport and eventually Cardiff. He became a boilermaker and his son (my great grandfather) was a boilermaker/engineer at the dry dock in Cardiff, during the boom years of the coal trade. I now live just along the coast at Barry.

Would it be possible to add my name and those of my ancestors to the page in the hope that someone may have a connection with the family or researching the name.
This was done, and we await results ! See also Tom Williams' entry - Ed]

Marlene Shaw (née Chard) Bargoed, Glamorgan, 2nd March [see Marlene's entries so far - Ed]

Please would you add my Great-Great-Grandmother to the family tree website. I am researching her family. She was Elizabeth Carey b. Wrington 1835; her parents were Mark and Ann (née Plumley) Carey. Her siblings were named Emma, James, Ann, John, Eliza, Jane, William and Mary all born in Wrington. Elizabeth`s father was listed as a farmer.

Anyone reasearching any of these names please get in touch.

Thank you so much and keep up the good work you have a wonderful website.

[This second email from Philip answers an acknowledgement from the website - Ed]

Philip Whitehouse - Belgrave, Victoria, Australia, 27th February

Hi Richard,

Many thanks for your concern, it's really appreciated.

We really could use some of that snow depicted in the Wrington photographs and, while we receive many communications from people in the U.K and Europe bemoaning the cold, wet, miserable weather that you are experiencing at the moment, here the complete opposite prevails.

As for the current situation in the Belgrave area, we are all right at present, although irreplaceable items such as photographs and documents are kept in the car together with packed overnight bags in case a sudden departure is required.

The previous doctrine was either to leave early or stay and defend the home. Indeed, in our last serious bushfire threat: Ash Wednesday, 1983 (a horribly appropriate day) this actually worked for us. This time, however, at places such as Marysville or Kinglake, it was just too much, as witnessed by the number of abandoned cars: people trying to escape in total darkness after realising, too late, that they just couldn't cope.

There was a nasty period for us last Monday (23rd) when a fire broke-out just to the south of us in a place known locally as "Bird's Paddock". Everything was thrown at it - both land and air assets - and fortunately all was well. It is said to be caused by someone using a slasher. Stupid behaviour, really, as things are so dry that the merest spark could set things off - and did.

By the way, the large helicopters shown in the photographs are collectively called "Elvis" as they are usually based at Nashville,Tennessee during the northern hemisphere summer.

Sadly the death toll is now over two hundred.

[Part of an e-mail to Gerry Cleeves, copied to website - the day after Philip Whitehouse's (below) Ed]

Gwyn Cleeves - Sutherland, NSW, Australia, 26th February

How are things there in old blighty??

We’ve been keeping a close eye on the fire situation in Victoria as there has been some big blazes not far from Bronwyn (my sister) and we also have friends near Kinglake where the worst of the fires were. Fortunately they are all OK.

I’m going to a 40 year high school reunion in Victoria on March 22 and I’ll be driving through where the worst of the destruction was (just to put that in perspective it is an 8 hour drive south of Sydney). I’m not really looking forward to the experience though I expect that they will be well in to the clean up and the rebuilding.

We live not far from the biggest National Park in NSW so the same thing could quite easily happen in our area. The hottest day that we’ve had so far this summer was 45 degrees. Being near the coast we get the cooling sea breezes in the afternoon so it is not as bad as some parts of the state though we're glad now that the weather seems to have cooled off.

I was speaking to my son Rohan last night who is now living back in Adelaide (in South Australia). He is working for a company Greening Australia on revegetation projects and has just come back from a seed collecting trip on the outback where the temperatures were up around the 50 degrees during the day. Hard to imagine!

I noticed that things are starting to warm up in your part of the world. I expect that you are all well over the cold.

Say hi to all of the Cleeves.

Philip Whitehouse - Belgrave, Victoria, Australia, 25th February

Hi Richard,

Please accept my compliments for the wonderful Wrington -in-the-snow pictures which have appeared on the website. They are the ideal antidote to what we have been experiencing around
here recently.

Kind regards,

Philip W.
[Philip attached a power-point sequence of the dreadful fires in his area - Ed.]

Toni Wring - Henderson, Ky., USA

[I am] researching "Wring" name. [Wrington]
looks like a beautiful place.

Norman Dewey - St. Martins, Guernsey, Channel Islands, 9th January, 2009

I lived in School Road and then Urchinwood from 1956 to 1988. Owned and ran Dewey Waters Company on Cox's Green for 36 years - man and boy !