Broad Street
Wrington Website
Schmoose Page 2014

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

Norman Owen (80+)- 18th October

I have just come across your article on tying church gates. I was talking to a friend, 80yrs old, about when we tied the church gates at weddings. We lived in a small village in Lancashire and we used to tie the gates, and the best man had to throw a handful of pennies over the gate for us to open it. I had not heard of this custom anywhere else till I read your article. Google does come in handy, especially when old timers are reminiscing about the old times.

The church in question is St. James church, Brindle and the year, if I remember righ,t would be around 1942 onwards till I left school at 14. I don't know if the practice is still carried on. I also blew the organ for weddings, for which I was paid 9 pence, (old money).

Gordon Devereux - 13th September

[re entry from Judith Chong (Clark)]
A Charlie Clark also known as Snuffy used to live at the bottom of Redhill, in the house directly opposite the entrance to Pump Lane. I believe his father built the house and lived there having moved from Lye Hole Cottage, which is the house and land in Lye referred to. I think Charlie had been married at some point and was divorced /separated, and had a sister.

I hope this is of some help.

Judith Chong (Clark) - 12th August

Hello, I found Damien Murray’s entry on your website <>,
looking for members of the Clark family. I too am researching the Wrington Clarks. The person mentioned in Damien’s entry (Arthur Clark) I think is my great Uncle).

However my email to Damien has not been delivered. Please do you have any way of knowing if he is still searching for Clarks? I’d be very interested in getting in touch.

Many thanks for any help you can give
[Reply from Ed]
As in my reply to Jez (below) I have to say people do change their email addresses from time to time. Perhaps someone will see your posting and be able to help.
Meanwhile, I do have some of the 19C parish rate books, and from the 1840s to the 1860s there's an entry for a Jeremiah Clark (sometimes with an 'e') renting a house and land in Wrington from Lord Powlett/the Duke of Cleveland. In 1850 there's also a Thomas Clark renting land from Sarah Cox in Udley. In 1860 an Arthur Clark (I think it's 'Arthur' - the handwriting isn't all that clear - was renting a house and garden in Lye from William Thatcher. None of these need be relatives of yours, but if their names crop up on any genealogy or census you come across, that may give you a link.

Jez Lucy Empson - Wrington, 9th August

I was delighted to discover the 'Schmoose' pages on the Wrington website. We have recently moved into the Boot Shop, and I read Colin Foster's post from February about staying with the Millard family at the Boot Shop in the Fifties, and hope that he might be able to remember what the shop was like. Does anyone else have any recollections as well? We'd love to find out more about its history and if there are any photos of the shop and this side of Broad Street as well.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
[Reply from Ed ]

In the late 1980s, before I started the website in 1999, I videoed interviews with shopkeepers who were about to close down, see <> including Mrs Millard and the Temples next shop down.

I was recently given by Alan Baker a 28min 8mm B&W film (which I've digitised) made by his great uncle, John Sullivan in the early 1930s <> all about his bakery which was the last building in Broad Street, corner of Station Road. Towards the end of that you'll see their quite imposing shop. The rest of the bakery was behind in what was the bakery yard.

Similarly, I was sent some photographs by the Corfield family <> whose father and mother ran a fish & chip shop in Broad Street. When my wife and I came in 1967, the chippie was the last of The Cottages on the left down Station Road !

I'll let you know if I hear from Colin - one does find from time to time, inevitably, people have changed email address.
and his email has, in fact, bounced !]

Bill Crook - Hamilton, New Zealand, 7th August

Thank you Derek, Joycelyn, Joan and Ray for your inputs. [
see below - Ed]

Well done Ray in picking up my “deliberate” mistake identifying BILL Ridley (not Jack). I don’t remember him riding a bike and wonder if Mrs. Edwards is confusing him with Jack Cox, a drain layer who always had spades and shovels attached to the cross bar on his bike?

I remember the horses as KIT and Duke but I may be wrong.

Miss. Milton managed the shop for, as we called it, Amor the draper! She lived at Lower Stock farm with the Browns. She drove an Austin A30 !!

Tringhams shop was later operated by Constance Moore. (in Broad street)

The Maidments used to show lantern slides at the “bottom” chapel depicting the work of Methodist missionaries in the Islands of the South Pacific. They would be happy to know that the people of Samoa (in particular) are still very religious and that Samoa is one of the few places left where Sunday is still very much Sunday!

Oh, and Derek, I saw my first working television at Bill Ridley’s also. And I remember you singing “I leave my heart in an English garden” in the local talent show.

I’d forgotten Miss. Tinklin. A shame THE DRING is no longer the Dring. One of the few Saxon words left in the English language.

Does anyone remember the name of the man who grew anemones in the field at the top of Iwood Lane? (I don’t)

Kia ora

Joan Schroeder -- (on behalf of my husband Ray) - Wrington, 2nd August   [see Bill Crook - Hamilton, New Zealand, 23rd July first - Ed]

He recalls all of the people mentioned by Bill Crook but he remembers Jack Ridley as Bill and yes, he did grow fruit and veg opposite the White Hart pub, but then started growing carnations. Ray and his brother Ronnie both worked there. It later became the mushroom farm and Bill ran it for Graham Griffiths who owned the farm which gave work to local people.

Bridie Sherbourne ---- Ray believes she and her husband ran the White Hart pub for many years and the workers from the mushroom farm used to go there for their lunch breaks!!

Ray also recalls the `Quarry Races` as great fun on his bike and playing cowboys and Indians up in the woods and tying people up to the trees !!

PC Cooper is remembered well by Ray because he chased him on his bike round the village for not having any lights on his bike. he finally caught him in the garden at Webbsbrook Cottage, where they lived, and told him off but said he would not tell his dad Norman or Ray would have been in more trouble, needless to say Ray sorted his lights!

Ray recalls going to the `British Restaurant` for his school dinners which is now the Off Licence in Wrington

Clar Lane was the blacksmith and Ray remembers watching him shoe the horses from Marshalls farm. He thinks they were called Duke and Prince.

Oh Happy Days !!!

Joycelyn Lewis (née Edwards) - Plymouth, 28th July         [see Bill Crook - Hamilton, New Zealand, 23rd July first - Ed]

I am writing this on behalf of my Mum, Lillian Edwards (née Schroeder) who still lives in Wrington – I put these ‘quiz’ questions to her over the phone and we had a wonderfully nostalgic chat! Thanks Bill. Mum scored 18 possibly 19!

So, to work down the list....

Miss Gunning, as Derek said, was a teacher in Wrington but was also the lady who taught Mum to play the piano; she is remembered well and warmly.

Miss Milton - Mum recalls, towards the end of WWII, how the ladies of the village ran, coupons in hand, when word got around that there were new dresses in the shop!! I also remember the shop well (including the brass measure in the counter!) I loved to walk around the shop looking at the many items for sale; buttons, ribbons, baby clothes, socks etc. Still one of my favourite shops/departments to visit.

Jack Ridley - is remembered as a large man who rode a bike and Mum wonders if he worked at a market garden that became the mushroom farm?

Mr Calder - the dentist is also remembered, but not from the dentist’s chair, which is probably just as well as, according to Derek’s memory, as ‘health and safety, was not much to the fore’!

Lorna Bathgate - is remembered as a lovely and talented lady who lived with her father in a bungalow at West Hay, in the lane leading up to the mushroom farm, before moving to a bungalow not far from the centre of the village. My abiding memory of this lady is of a very decorative royal iced basket (pastel pink, white and blue) made for an aunt to give to me and my sisters, possibly for Easter!

Walter Cook - as a child Mum remembers that Mr Cook always had a cigarette hanging from his lips, from which the ash would often fall into a large wooden crate of sugar – ooops! Grace, the midwife, was the wife of his son, Howard. Cook’s was always the shop for the family food though.

Mr Hebditch -- is also remembered well but Mum wonders if anyone also recalls PC Cooper who was on the beat during WWII?

Mr Catermaull - was helped by Mum’s brother, Ken Schroeder; he used to help with the lifting of heavy equipment for him. The Schroeder family lived opposite the Memorial Hall, at that time, in Webbsbrook Cottage.

Bridie Sherbourne - the name only sounds familiar to Mum – could she have lived on Jones farm past the ‘Rec’, near the waterfall?

Mr Tringham - no recollection at all! Could someone shed light on the whereabouts of the shop in the village, please?

Mr and Mrs Maidment - Mum says they were a lovely couple (indeed I remember the name, if not the couple. so well) and still has in her possession a letter, sent by Mrs Maidment, congratulating Mum and Dad on the birth of their third daughter, Penelope. Chapelgoers attended Harvest Services and Sunday School Anniversaries not only in the Wrington chapels but at Langford chapel as well – a good walk away!

Miss Tinklin - (what a very apt name for an harmonium player?) lived in The Dring, lodging with Mrs Stride. Mr Hostler (?), a Methodist minister, also lodged there and Mum says she never saw him without his bible tucked under his arm. A lovely man she says.

Bert Clark - is remembered as being the landlord of The Plough, before moving into the Golden Lion. His daughter, Molly (Mollie?) was a good friend of Mums and she married and lived at Richard’s garage in Wrington. I well remember Molly and her husband from when I was a child – their Christmas window was a true delight each year and when I now see a Christmas card with a picture of a window, filled with gifts and toys, the picture of Molly’s window is the one that I see in my mind!

From the list of things Bill remembers seeing and doing, it’s only the bike races at the quarry which doesn’t ring a bell (pardon the pun!) – maybe it was a boy’s thing?

Thanks again Bill and Derek! Smile

Bill Crook - Hamilton, New Zealand, 25th July

Well done Derek! A correction may help the Sherbourne question. Her name was Bridie NOT Bonnie. It didn’t sound right and has gnawed at me until today.

Good luck! (from No.1 Lawrence Rd. Then known as Silver St.)
[It didn't take long for someone to rise to Bill Crook's challenge ! - Ed]
Derek Davey - Wrington, 24th July [
see Bill Crook - Hamilton, New Zealand, 23rd July first - Ed]

Miss. Gunning. 1 She was a teacher at Wrington School and lived with her brother in Station Road.

Miss. Milton. 2 Kept a very well stocked haberdashery shop in what is now an accountants and china shop. I remember a shiny brass ruler fixed to her side of the counter and used to measure off lengths of material my Mum bought for making clothes.

Jack Ridley. 2 Was a large man who lived in a caravan opposite the White Hart and in whose home I saw my first TV working. It was a B&W very 'snowy' picture of Richard Dimbleby

Mr. Calder. 1 Was a dentist who sat me in a chair in the front room of Cross Cottage and drilled my teeth with a treadle powered drill which used to stop if the drill got stuck.. He washed his hands in the same bowl of soapy water and used the same towel for every patient. A torch was held by assistant Ivy Shapply so that he could see into your mouth

Lorna Bathgate. 1 An elderly lady who ran Cuckoos Workshop and would take photos of folks who had no camera. I still have some taken by her of me, my sister Sheila and cousin Jenny Mcafferty (née Wilkins)

Walter Cook. 2 He kept the grocers shop in what is now called 'Cooks'. His wife, Grace was the midwife invollved in my birth in the first floor bedroom of Winchester House next to the Post Office

Mr. Hebditch. 1 Was the local copper who lived out on the A38 and patrolled his beat on a bicycle

Mr. Catermaull. 1 Showed films twice a week in the Memorial Hall. I paid 1/- (one shilling) to sit in the front rows because I could not afford to pay 2/6d (half a crown) to sit on the 'plush' seats at the back

Your entry fee was paid to Ivy Shapley who then 'helped' to project the film from the tin hut built on the stage

Bonnie Sherbourne. 2 Sorry, dont recall the name.

Mr. Tringham. 1 Kept another shop in what is now an optician and sold ice lollies made by freezing blocks of flavoured water in his freezer

Mr. and Mrs. Maidment. 3 Ran the 'bottom' chapel and travelled in from Langford to do so. The harmonium was played by Miss Tinklin who had to pump it with her feet. Us lot from 'top' chapel used to join them for harvest services and Sunday school anniversaries.

Bert Clark 3 Not sure but I think he was the landlord of The Golden Lion. After the war, when Smiths crisps became available (complete with screw of salt in blue paper) he would sell some via the off-license which was a separate, concealed counter inside the pub. First come, first served as he kept some for his drinking customers.

Bill Crook, are you Paul's brother or were you the family living in 1, Lawrence Road, which was built when I lived in the stone cottage on the corner of Lawrence Road and Hannah More close

Derek D

Bill Crook - Hamilton, New Zealand, 23rd July

Bill has been a correspondent with the website since its inception. Now, sparked off by recent additions like the 'Last train in Wrington' and the Corfield family photos, he's written challenging others of his generation about their knowledge of Wrington times past - Ed]

I remember:-

Seeing the Bristol Brabazon flying over the village.
Seeing the last steam roller working on the roads.
Seeing the last passenger train going to Burrington.
When Blackcurrants were grown at Gatcombe.
When Lettuces and tomatoes were grown opposite the White Hart.
When the “Cookoo’s Workshop” was on Gatcombe Lane.
Seeing stooks of wheat and Barley in the fields.
Watching the Threshing machine working at Marshall’s farm.
Watching the bike races at the quarry.
Having school lunches at the “British Restaurant”
Having Fish and Chips at Corfields restaurant.
Catching Sticklebacks under the bridge on Havyatt road.
Watching Clar Lane shoeing horses at his Silver street smithy.

                                                      ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Do you remember the following? What did they do?

Miss. Gunning.                1
Miss. Milton.                    2
Jack Ridley.                     2
Mr. Calder.                      1
Lorna Bathgate.              1
Walter Cook.                   2
Mr. Hebditch.                  1
Mr. Catermaull.               1
Bonnie Sherbourne.       2
Mr. Tringham.                  1
Mr. and Mrs. Maidment. 3
Bert Clark 3

Any one score 20 points??

Sarah Briscoe - Diss, Norfolk, 1st March

My late father's Great-Aunt Gus (Augusta) ran the Post Office in Wrington for many years. She was born Cora Augusta Bartlett, in the old post office in Silver Street and lived there until 1885 when she moved to Broad Street. She married Jim Milford. It would appear that she succeeded her uncle, Mr J Bartlett in the post office. Cora Milford died on 15th August 1935, age 61 and is buried in Wrington Churchyard. She was obviously called Gus in the family.

In Wrington Churchyard, the graves of Ellen and William Bartlett and James and Cora Milford are part of our family and, so, part of Augusta's family. I have found an old post card of Broad Street, by Whitby's, Bridgwater. I assume someone else will have a copy, but if it is a rare find, then let me know.

Margaret Walker - Havant, Hants - 1st March

Thank you so much for sending the message from Ruth Taylor with her information on the Parker family. I am delighted to read of her ancestor James Parker, who was a brother of my ancestor Mary Jane and who also settled in Newport.

I am looking forward to contacting her directly so we can exchange notes. I am delighted to have found your brilliant website and I really appreciate the work you put in to help us with our research.


Ruth Taylor - Bath - 26th February

[A follow up to a piece this time last year from Margaret Walker - Havant, Hants (formerly of Newport, Mon) 5th February - Ed]

George and Charlotte Parker were my great great great grandparents. I am descended from Mary Jane Parker's brother James who was born in Burrington near
Wrington in 1841. I believe James was the second of eight children. It would seem to me that some members of the family moved to Newport to get work.

Economic migrancy was not unusual at that time. James married Annie Maria Pope in 1870 at St Saviour's Church in Bath but his place of residence is stated as Newport Monmouthshire and his occupation was 'Fitter'. Annie was a sawyer's daughter from Frome, and was resident at 5 Grosvenor Place, Bath.

I am assuming she was in service there as it is rather a grand Georgian terraced house. James and Annie lived in the St Woolos area of Newport and had at least 7 children. Their eldest daughter Minnie married William Henry Watkins. They had a son Bertram Frederick, whose eldest son Wilfred Bertram George Watkins was my father. Dad was born at 21 Constance Street, Newport, the home of his mother Eva White's parents. According to the census and various birth/death records, James had a variety of occupations: Marine engineer, Stationary Engine driver, Crane driver. He died in 1891. The 1901 census records Minnie as an 'abandoned wife' living in the Newport Workhouse. Her son Bertram was living with his widowed grandmother.

It took me a
long time to discover the story. Minnie died at the age of 46 in Newport Borough Asylum. She had had epilepsy more many years and I imagine there would have been no drugs to alleviate the condition in those days. My father's parents moved to the midlands when he was a year old and I never realised my Somerset roots until researching the family tree after my father died.

Strangely enough dad worked for the admiralty in Bath from 1963-1968
when I was a small child. I have lived many places during my life and moved back to Bath a couple of months ago. I knew the names of George and Charlotte Parker's parents, but that is as far back as I have got. I'll carry on the research though.

Colin Foster - Bristol, 25th February

My Grandmother, mother, auntie and uncles were all Millards and owned the Boot shop in Broad Street. I used to stay for several months of the year in the fiftes.

Diana Richter - Howick, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa, 15th February

Have used [the website] regularly for years. I lived in Wrington for 22 years. Left in 1995.

Ralph Mellett - Ashcott, Somerset, 17th January

Well, I suppose I had better add my bit to this village poster. My name is Ralph Mellett, born in the village in 1949, in Lawrence Rd. No. 9. I see my brother and 2 sisters have contributed, and looking down the list of contributors, many names bring back so many memories.

I played for the village football team at 14 when John Fear, then captain of the 1st eleven, asked me if I wanted to sign on. I jumped at the chance. I was also a fireman in the village with Ken Schroeder, Des and Robin Brooks, Mike Parks and, of course, my next door neighbour and good friend, Denis Owers and his brother Johnny.

Playing for the village one Saturday afternoon, the fire siren sounded, and Johnny Owers and myself had to leave the pitch to shouts of "leave us thee shirt young un." Both Johnny and I turned up at the fire station with no shirt - just football shorts and boots.

The school teachers I remember were Mr. Waite, Mrs. Green, and of course the lovely Miss. Gunning. I then went on to Churchill School. I now find myself living in Ashcott near Street with my partner Val.

I do not get back to the village as much as I did before my mum passed away, but still try to get there now and again if only to put flowers on mum's grave.

Once again great to see so many names from the past on the list of contributors - keep up the good work.

Regards to all who knew me.