Broad Street
Wrington Website
Schmoose Page 2016

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

Lauren's email triggered off some quick responses from members of the family - Ed]

Vicki Jaeger - 6th December
Thank you Richard. I have passed this to my sister, Lyndley who holds most of the family records.

Margaret Walker - 6th December
Hi Richard
Thank you so much for forwarding the email from Lauren Smith regarding our Parker family from Havyat. I will be writing to her today and I hope to exchange background information which could be useful to both of us. It's lovely to have a new lead and I am grateful to you for the Wrington website and for bringing families together.

Lauren Smith - Weston super Mare, North Somerset, 27th November

How interesting to come across your site and read entries from people already researching the Parker family from Havyatt Farm.

I'm currently researching my husband's family tree as a gift for my mother in law who is 82. Her great grandmother was Ellen Parker who was the youngest child of Samuel and Charlotte Parker. Ellen was in service in Bristol in 1871 and married her husband James Charles Giles, a baker, in 1872. She's listed in census records as a stay-maker and lived until the fine age of 97.

Her daughter, Ellen Maud was also a stay-maker. Ellen married Frederick Charles Philpott in Bristol on 3rd August 1895. We have the family bible showing this marriage at St Luke's in Bedminster. Frederick was a wood working machinist.

They had five children; Clifford Frederick Philpott was the fourth child and was a foundry worker in Bristol. He married Edith Sims in 1931 and they had one child in 1933, Valerie, who is my mother in law.

Clifford was still alive when I joined the family in 1987. He was a fun-loving, easy going man, known as Pop to the whole family. He died in 1989 at the age of 87. Valerie has three children, eight grand children and two great grand children. Nearly the whole family still live fairly locally in Weston super Mare (one grand daughter lives in Devon). I have photographs of Clifford, Frederick and Ellen Maud. It's possible there may be some of Ellen as well.

[Lauren would be delighted to hear from any members of the family - Ed]

Helen Cridland 25th August:

Does anyone have any info on the Wrington Coal Gas and Coke Company Limited? Thye were certainly extant in 1873, William Long and Edward Dando were directors. I can't read the company secretary's name.

I have some share certificates in the name of Andrew Knowles, which I found in my mother's things after she died. I have no idea who Andrew Knowles is, as far as I know, he is not a relation. My mother's family were Hill/Powell/Chick mainly from Bridgwater, Castle Cary, Birstol South Glos areas. I'm wondering if my great grandfather might have loaned money and taken the share certificates as collateral. He was a Mr Powell, and worked for GWR.

Any information would be gratefully received.

Bill Crook - Hamilton, New Zealand, 10th August

Hello Richard,

Well, what a wonderful trip we had to Europe in general and Wrington in particular [see photos]. Your introduction to All Saints' was very appropriate and much valued by my family. My daughter , Sharon, says All Saints' is the loveliest church she has ever seen. She really felt the connection! It was a pity we missed out on Evensong and the church bells, but we did get to the “Rock of Ages” which also featured as a “must do” item.

After leaving you we found our way to Trevor Wedlake’s home where the five of us found the answers to all the world’s problems. It took at least an hour! Thanks Trevor. An unexpected and delightful interlude.

Driving from our hotel in Congresbury I couldn’t help but notice how quiet the Rhodyate was. I remember how busy it used to be especially at the weekends. There was a telephone kiosk on the Yatton side of the road, AA I think although it could have been RAC. It had a carefully tended flower garden and the patrolman, in uniform, used to stand there, next to his motorcycle and sidecar, saluting all the cars displaying his organisation’s name badge. Ah, yesteryear.

Perhaps one the more tranquil moments of our visit was on the Sunday evening when we stopped for thirty minutes or so in the glade of trees at the top end of Plunder street. (is it still called that?) Although the serenity was somewhat disturbed by the frequently passing cars and the roar of jet engines, unseen under the leafy canopy, it epitomised everything I’ve said about the English countryside and caused me a moment of regret for having left it.

We drove “round the mill” and up the “old hill”. Then to Ropers Lane and back again. We walked through both “drings” and enjoyed dinner at The Plough. Couldn’t believe the number of cars parked down Station Road late in the evening. And Broad Street seemed a little less broad than it used to be! Lots of fancy vehicles like BMWs, Land Rovers, Jaguars, Volvos and Mercedes but no bank, post office or doctor’s surgery ?

Of course on such a visit people are important and so, as well as meeting you, Richard, and Trevor, we also caught up with my cousin Sue Babbage and her daughter Lisa from Pump Lane, John Langford and his wife, Rowena ( I worked with John at Lower Stock Farm 55 years ago) and Alan Vowles from Kings Rd. Alan also worked at Lower Stock and back then lived at No.2 Lawrence Rd, whilst I lived at No.1 Lawrence Rd. It may be of interest to know that in those days Lawrence Rd was still known as Silver Street.

And then the finale. A visit to the school and what a warm reception we received from everyone. The old classrooms have shrunk somewhat but the playing area has expanded considerably . How the memories flooded back, mostly good, some not so good…but no regrets.

I’m not sure that all aspects of childhood is better these days but the schooling available now certainly is. Wrington Primary School is a credit to the village, and the staff and children are a credit to the school. Thankyou, Sarah, for allowing us to visit your school, thankyou Hayley for arranging it and special thanks to Haedyn, Charlie and Sam for being such capable guides. And thankyou, Kids, you were all just great. A separate letter to the school is on my “to do” list!

Lastly, thankyou Wrington, you made a very real contribution to an overwhelmingly successful visit to Europe.

Best Wishes,
Bill, Kathy, Tim and Sharon.

Joycelyn Lewis (née Edwards) - Plymouth, Devon, 2nd August

I’ve been looking to see if I could find any info on Paradise House, Wrington for Karl Meyers (Miles) who posted for genealogical information. This is from an article on Hannah More: " (1745–1833), who worked to improve the conditions of miners and agricultural workers on the Mendip Hills, bought a house in the hamlet of Paradise, near Cowslip Green, where she lived with her sister, Martha, until 1828. She spent the last five years of her life in Clifton. She is buried at All Saints' church. The More family tomb is a Grade II listed building."

The following I found as an excerpt from The Gazette, no date unfortunately, but it does give a brief description of the house which I thought may be of interest.

From The Gazette (no date, but can’t have been later than 1872)

[Bristol Gazette & Public Advertiser: Published on Thursdays by William Pine from 1767. Last issue 23/5/1872. Discontinued. (Newspaper Library, Colindale) 1770 to 1872 incomplete (Bristol Central Library) 1771 to 1872 incomplete]

TO be sold, pursuant to a Decree of the High Court of Chancery, made in a cause Goodfellow v. Meade, with the approbation of James Stephen, Esquire, one of the Masters of the said Court, by Mr. Charles Wainwright, on Thursday, the 8th day of February next, at the Commercial Rooms, Bristol, between the hours of One and Two o'Clock in the Afternoon, in four lots:

* A freehold cottage, with coach-house, stables, and suitable offices, called Cowslip Green, with a. lawn, walled garden, orchard, and meadow-land, containing in the whole 8A. 2R.28P., situate at Wrington, in the County of Somerset.

* A newly erected messuage, with coach-house, stable, and suitable offices, called Cowslip Lodge, with large walled garden, well stocked with fruit trees, orchard, and meadow land, containing 20A. 3R. 24P., or thereabouts, situate at Wrington aforesaid.

* A substantial and well built mansion, with coach-house, stables, & other suitable offices, called Paradise House, with shrubbery, garden, lawn, orchard, and land, containing 12A.OR.37P., or thereabouts, at Wrington aforesaid.

* Also a piece of Arable land, on Wrington Hill, with a newly erected dwelling-house, and garden attached, containing, by measurement, 1OA. 6R. 14P., or thereabouts.

Printed particulars may be had (gratis) at the said Master's Chambers, in Southampton-Buildings, Chancery-Lane; of Messrs. Adlington, Gregory, and Faulkner, No. 1, Bedford Row and of Messrs. Howe and Heptonstall, Lincoln's Inn, London; of Mr. Reeves, Glastonbury ; Mr. Evered, Shepton Mallet; and Mr. William Counsel!, at Wrington.
                                                                                                  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
[Although the Miles family isn't mentioned, at least it seems Paradise House has been located, which is also confirms where the name of the Paradise Motel came from - see Tony Loach's entries and photo on <> Ed.]

Karl Meyers (Miles),  2nd August

Whilst searching my ancestors came across this site.
Frederic Miles, m
y Great (G.G.G) Grandfather resided at Paradise House, Wrington in the 1840's.

He had a large family, but later moved on to Bristol. Frederic (originally a School Master in Clevedon), became an auctioneer and Appraiser, before moving to Bristol in the 1850's.

Hoping that anyone can provide information about the family and Paradise House. Cannot find any trace of it today.

George Crook - Devonport, New Zealand, 26th March

Jo's email regarding playing in Mr Marshall's fields brought back so many memories to Henry & I of those far off happy days. Like Jo, I tell these stories to my grandchildren. The risks, the fun and the freedom, a part of our childhood taken for granted long before the PC era arrived.

Later on in life, we realised what hard scrabble these times must have been for our mothers . In my opinion, an English village was the ideal place for children to grow up. In many poor countries I"ve visited, the contrast for their children is absolutely stark.

Sincere thanks again Richard

Joycelyn Lewis (née Edwards) - Plymouth, Devon, 5th March

In response to the email from George Crook, in which a hollow oak tree was mentioned, this stirred many happy memories for me from my childhood! My sisters and brother and our playmates use to play in those fields for hours; the tree in those days had a large horizontal branch on which we were able to climb and swing (probably why it is no longer there!).

The hollow used to shelter sheep (and if we wanted to scare the young ones the occasional fox or two!) and there was always evidence of that around the base of the tree! The field used to have many thistles and other fairly tall weeds over which we used to jump, hopefully giving the thistles, in particular, a good clearance! lol The stream, which had overhanging bushes, was our hideout; the water was perfectly clear and very shallow in those days.

I remember those times so well and think of them often, telling the stories to my granddaughters of our time playing out, free and without care or worry; they can’t believe what fun we had! Simple fun, never cost a penny, a bottle of water or two (from the kitchen tap!!) and some bread and dripping (with plenty of salt on the top, considered very unhealthy nowadays) and we were away.

I especially remember one day there were many teasels growing in the fields and we decided to spell out our names on the backs of our cardigans/jumpers – oh my, the time it took later that day to try to prise those pesky things off our knits without breaking the yarn! We also used to play with the bales of hay, making camps or ‘houses’, the farmer never minded and we always left them tidy at the end of our games. No Health and Safety to spoil our games then but we survived with hardly a scratch or two.

I had better not mention the apple scrumping each year on a Sweet Morgan (my Mum’s favourite apple) tree near Wrington quarry, a quick climb over the gate in a field owned by Captain Wills and there stood the lone apple tree – the statute of limitations may not have run out yet but the evidence has long gone! I fully appreciate my childhood, growing up in the village, and hope the children of today get to enjoy at least some of the experiences we did.

George Crook - Devonport, New Zealand, 12th February


Many thanks for your lightning response to my email! I felt it quite unlikely anyone would reply and was therefore delighted to hear from you. Sometime in 2008, I knocked on your door in Orchard Close to thank you personally for the magnificent job you've done with the website but sadly no one home that afternoon. More recently I visited my old friend Karla Tincknell but ran short of time on that occasion. ( If you ever see her, please give her my very best wishes)

Trevor is someone else I'd loved to have caught up with. I've so much enjoyed reading his outstanding contributions to the Wrington site, in fact once I start, the entire evening vanishes. My dad, Douglas, died here in NZ and I wonder if Trevor might be thinking of his brother Alfred whose grave is somewhere the Station Rd entrance.

Regarding the old oak tree, I'm sure you have the right one. My estimate was really crude but if it was 400 years, it was a seedling when Shakespeare was with us. A photo would be excellent, thanks Richard. No hurry at all if you'd prefer to hang on until spring shows through. We are feeling the full effects of El Nino at present. Temperatures high 20s but 2 South Pacific cyclones threatening on the horizon.

With best wishes to you & Trevor

[And so, on Tuesday, 16th I duly measured the tree - 14ft 2ins circumference - and passed this on to George, together with the page address of a few photos - Ed

George Crook - Devonport, New Zealand, 11th February

My oldest friend Henry Towler and I have known each other since those dark days of WW2. Henry, his brother, mother & grandmother were evacuated from Hackney in the early 40s and lived in Broad Street. Henry and I have fond childhood memories, no restrictions, playing on Mr Marshall’s farm and in the woods owned by Captain Wills.

One of our favourite sites was an old hollow oak tree. Looking at the satellite map of Wrington I think this tree still stands. It is bearing about 175 degrees & 270 metres from Branches Cross, just above the stream running alongside a row of trees.

On a visit to Wrington a few years ago, and for old times sake, I walked down from Long Lane to see the old tree once more – it was still there. Henry and I are now both in our 80s and we still keep in touch. He lives in Queensland Australia and I in Auckland NZ.

Trying to estimate the age of the tree by measuring its circumference by means of arm spans (I didn’t have a tape measure and sincerely hope there were no witnesses to this tree hugging incident) I made it 400 years. Most likely this is wildly inaccurate, but I wondered if there is a knowledgeable person in the village who could perhaps please enlighten us.

With kind regards
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[Next morning, on my daily walk up Old Hill, I photographed what I thought must be the tree, looking from the Barley Farm direction, and e-mailed this to George - Ed]

Good to hear from you. I reckon I can see that tree on Google Earth, it would be on Rydale Farm land, owned by the Clements family. There's a footpath along the river there from South Meadows. I'll try to measure it for you - and take a photo !

I've mentioned your email to Trevor Wedlake, who remembers your father - also his brother, and Henry Towler's father. He told me where their graves are in All Saints' churchyard.