Thursday, February 26, 2015

Old Tring News - POW returns to England - Soldiers die in road accident - more urinals requried

    Extracts from the Bucks Herald of 27th February, 1915
Compared with previous weeks there is more news about individual soldiers. Captain Edmund S. W. Tidswell, son of the previous vicar of Tring, has been mentioned in dispatches. Private F. Birch (Herts Regiment) of Wigginton, has been wounded. Private W. G. Mustill (1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers), of the Cow Roast Lock, Tring, had been earlier wounded and captured by the Germans, but he was part of a prisoner exchange, which he describes, and is now in a London Hospital. Also from Wigginton Harold Gurney is still in hospital at Oxford, while Albert Baker has returned to duty after coming home on sick leave.

Among the forces stationed locally the 15th Platoon, D Company, 8th Lincolnshire Regiment sent a wreath to the funeral of their late officer, Lieut. Wm. Crabtree, who was killed in a taxi-cab near Tring a fortnight ago. An Inquest is to be held on Private White and Thomas of the 12th Northumberland Fusiliers who were found dying by the side of the road at Aston Clinton - a matter which makes Captain's Icke's letter about who had done the fastest route march seem rather insignificant.

The number of troops in the area affects the provision of public services, and in nearby Wendover there was a discussion about the provision of public urinals. The Ruri-Decanal Conference at Berkhamsted (attended by many Church of England ministers and lay members) discussed the provision on intersession services, while the people of Tring were warned that the street lighting might have to be turned off because of the shortage of coal  (in part because so many former miners were now training at Tring?)

On the home front Tring was getting ready for a council by-election following the death of Dr Brown and William Smithbuilder, and Edward Wright wrote letter to the paper addressing the electorate.Jack Grange, the son of Herbert Grange, the farmer at Grove Farm, was found to have advanced cancer while James Clark, a Post Office pensioner,  had a successful operation at the West Herts Hospital, at Hemel Hempstead. Both Lord Rothschild, of Tring Park, and J G Williams, of Pendley, won top awards at the Shire Horse Show at Islington. On a more mundane level Percy Mead, farmer of Gubblecote had mangolds for sale.

Surnames this week: Bagnall, Baker, Beal, Bedford, Beech, Birch, Boswall, Brackley, Brown, Bull, Cartwright, Cattell, Clark, Cockburn, Crabtree, Craufurd, Dale, Eccles, Evetts, Ewing, Farran, Field, Finch, Francis, French, Gaussen, Gilbert, Grange, Greey, Gurney, Halsey, Hart-Davies, Hastings, Hilderley, Hodgson, Holland, Houchen, Houseman, Hutton, Icke, Lea-Wilson, Lendrum, Ling, Moore, Lowe, Mead, Muntz, Mustill , Norris, North, Penny, Pope, Ridley, Rolfe, Rothschild, Smith, Smith-Dorrien, Spark, Thomas, Thring, Tidswell, Ward, Weston, White, Williams, Wood, Wright.

Home needed for Briden Bible with Hertford connections

Over 10 years ago I found an large old illustrated family Bible, with cover detached, and the earliest entry was that of the marriage of Robert Briden and Caroline, both of whom were born in Hertfordshire. Robert was a member of the Briden family of bakers who lived in Hertford and I posted details in BRIDEN, Bengeo, Hertford, mid 19th century, and over the years additional information on the family has been added - but no-one has "claimed" the bible. 

Birds of Hertfordshire Book Launch

On Tuesday evening I went to the book launch of an exciting new book produced by the Hertfordshire Natural History Society held in the Verulamium Museum at St Albans.  For anyone in interested in the county's wonderful countryside, and particularly its wild life the book The Birds of Hertfordshire is a must. There are excellent colour pictures of all the recorded species - and where appropriate these are supported by distribution maps, information on changes in population numbers, etc. In addition there are valuable supporting chapters on the Hertfordshire landscape, the history of ornithology in the county, bird survey, and conservation.

The launch and book signing I attended was the first of three, in different parts of the county and the next two are on February 27 (tomorrow) and March 7th. So it is still not too late to get a signed copy at a reduced price.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Prince of Wales visits Panshanger and Hertford in 1874

The Library at Panshanger
Old News
In 1874 the Prince of Wales visited Panshanger and he and some other gentlemen spent part of the time in shooting, and had excellent sport, bagging in one day no fewer than 760 pheasants, besides partridges, rabbits, and hares. The Princess planted a chestnut tree in the grounds in commemoration of the visit. The visit (which included the town of Hertford) was described by The Graphic which printed engravings based on photographs taken by Elsden, of Hertford.

While doing the update I added a press cutting dating the opening of Elsden's Mill Bridge studios to 1872 - providing a benchmark for dating his old photographs, and also an advert from 1876.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Flagging up Old Genealogy Answers on this Web Site

This site started as a bulletin board in 1998 and took its present form in 2001. In most cases ten year old answers look very old-fashioned as at that time most information came from paper sources.  The first answer on this web site related to LOVETT, Hemel Hempstead, 19th century. and  I have just had a comment about it from Roy which has highlighted the fact that much of the information which is currently online was not available in 2001. It seems appropriate to add a gentle warning on such "Old Answers" pages and make sure that each page has an active button link (top right) to direct people back to more recent material.

As a result I have decided to add the following warning message to all the earliest  posts.
PLEASE NOTE: When this question was asked the amount of information available online was very restricted and the only census available (on a CD) was the 1881 census. The answer given below should be carefully checked using the additional information now readily available online.

This has already been added to the first 40 answers (referring to answers written between 1998 and May 2001) and a "button block" has been added to the top right-hand corner to make the page compatible with the current standard layout. Later pages will be similarly updated as and when time allows.

Any comments about this policy would be welcome.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Military Funeral of Private Crichton and other Tring News from 1915

Extracts from the Bucks Herald of 20th February, 1915
Edited from British Newspaper Archive
Previous week ~~~~ Tring News Index
The big event of the week was the funeral of George Crichton, of  "D" Company, 13th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, who had been billeted with Mr and Mrs J. Shephard of Lonbgfield Road, Tring, and who was buried, with full ceremony, in Tring Cemetery.
The religious needs of the troops were also to the fore. The Right Rev. Bishop J. Taylor Smith, Chaplain-General to the Forces gave a service, In addition to the regular church parades some soldiers had joined the parish church choir, and the Y.M.C.A. put on an event in the Gem Picture Palace. More everyday needs were supplied by the Rothschild children who gave 300 lbs. of tobacco and 2,300 packets of cigarettes to the men stationed in the town and surrounding villages.
The letter in last week's paper about the verse "The Lads of Halton Park" produced a response from the author, G. Patterson, who was billeted at New Mill, Tring, complaining that it had been reprinted without permission on post cards in Aylesbury and Leighton Buzzard - and he hopes that any profits are donated to charity. The camp was also in the news because work on the butts was nearing completion.
Other news was that Frederick Plumeridge, who worked on the Grand Junction Canal, had died - and the vicar of Marsworth had left and his replacement had not yet been named.
Surnames this week: Anderson, Atkins, Clarendon, Clissold, Crichton, Essex, Francis, Hampden, Holdaway, Kirk, Lang, Mullins, Palmer, Patterson, Pearce, Plumeridge, Prior, Pickett, Rothschild, Sheppard, Smith, Wright

Markyate Emergency Committee, February 1915

Old News
MARKYATE. EMERGENCY COMMITTEE—The Markyate section of the local Emergency Committee takes in the parishes of Markyate, Flamstead, and Great Gaddesden. The members are: Messrs. Elliott Kitchener. The Golden Parsonage (chairman and section leader of the Special Constables). P. Lacey, W. A. P. Smith, W. West (Markyate), Dr. Pearce (Flamstead), Messrs. E. A. Cooper (Gaddesden Row), F. St. T. Chennells (Water End), and J. C. Dalton, Lance Cottage (hon. sec.). 
Luton Times & Advertiser. 19th February, 1915

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Arsenic in a Hertford "Quack Doctor'" medicine kills Aldbury woman

Old News
Full Article
Ivan Judd has kindly drawn my attention to the following inquest where Mary Ann Parish, of Aldbury, died as the result of using a medicine containing arsenic provided by a herbalist Isaac Chamberlain, of Hertford.
So what happened to Isaac after the inquest? Don't let me spoil your fun in finding out for yourself. The article describing the subsequent trial appears in the Herts Guardian for 20th July, 1867 and the case was widely reported elsewhere. There is an unexpected follow up to the case reported in the national press in April and May 1869. 
Do you agree with the final outcomes?
You can follow up what happened to Isaac in the British Newspaper Archive (and FindMyPast) or using Google.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Victorian Photographers - Watch the Birdie

I have recently discovered an interesting site "Watch the Birdie" which contains information on Victorian Photographers - at least some of which come from Hertfordshire. It is run by Christine Hibbert and describes itself as follows:
I’ve been collecting cartes-de-visite photographs for some years now. These are small photographic images from the second half of the 19th century and are a window on the world of Victorian society.
My main interests, however, are the names and studios of the photographers who produced these images. Therefore I have collected data from all over Britain relating to 19th century photographers and set them out in alphabetical order, with open-ended dates where known. Trade directories are my main source for these dates, as is census material.
The backs of c-d-vs are minor works of art in their own right. They show name, address and services offered by the studio and can be invaluable if there was a photographer in your family tree,  if  you need to date an old family photo or if you just appreciate graphic design. All the names recorded in the main lists relate to c-d-v photos in my collection.
I hope to add more of these images, backs and fronts, in the course of time and hope you will venture into the world of our 19th century ancestors, when the photographer said ‘Watch the birdie’.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Can you help identify this house - near Hitchin?

This is a detail from one of 8 photographs of this house and impressive garden taken by Latchmore of Hitchin circa 1920? It is presumably somewhere in Hitchin or the surrounding villages.

Death of 2nd Lieut. Crabtree and other War News from Tring on 13th February 1915

Extracts from the Bucks Herald of 13th February, 1915
Edited from British Newspaper Archive
Previous week ~~~~ Tring News Index
The only "local" military casualty connected to Tring this week was the death of 2nd Lieutenant William Crabtree of the Lincolnshire Regiment in an accident on a sharp bend between Startops and Tringford Reservoirs at Tring Ford. A taxi taking two officers an an unidentified lady from London to their unit in Leighton Buzzard crashed. The detailed report of the inquest ends with the coroner, Lovel Smeathman of Hemel Hempstead, recommending "The turn in the road was a dangerous point, and a notice warning drivers should be placed there." The corner is still dangerous, with no sign, and now car are going much faster than 10 mph! Some of the early press accounts of the paper incorrectly reported that he died in a motor cycle accident.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

2nd London Heavy Brigade, Royal Garrison Artillery

When I was researching The London Gunners come to Town (of Hemel Hempstead) one of the artillery units involved was the 2nd London Heavy Brigade, who were bases at Kings Langley for Christmas 1914. I have recently discovered a press cutting which shows that about a month before they went to France the moved just over the county boundary to Ivinghoe - with their gun, which had been used in the Battle of Ladysmith, in the Boer War. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Joys and Distractions of Historical Research.

Sir Walter Gilbey's Funeral, November 1914
One of the joys and distractions of historical research is finding an unexpected clue - and before you know where you are you are hard at work on an interesting side issue - which becomes more interesting the deeper you dig.

Some years ago I obtained a pair of photographs of a funeral - but who was being buried, and it took about 5 years to be certain it was the funeral of Sir Walter Gilbey, of Gilbey's Gin fame, who was being buried in Bishops Stortford in 1914

Earlier this week I was looking at an account of the 1915 AGM of the Tring Agricultural Society, which described Sir Walter's contribution to the Society in these words:  
"Sir Walter had been a member of Tring Show for 22 years, and he must often in his younger days have trodden the ground where our annual show is held, when a pupil on the Tring Park Estate."
I wanted to know more - and then more ... If you are intrigued to know why a very rich man such as Sir Walter started out a "a pupil on the Tring Park estate" see Auctioneer's Apprentices in Tring, 1828-1848

Friday, February 6, 2015

Tring Agricultural Show and the War - Lost £450 in 1914 - Cancelled 1915

Extracts from the Bucks Herald of 6th February, 1915
Edited from British Newspaper Archive
Previous week ~~~~ Tring News Index ~~~~ Latest Old News
The Annual General Meeting of the Tring Agricultural Society was fully reported in the Bucks Herald every year and 1915 was no exception. What was unusual is that the annual report started with a summary of how the 1914 show was disrupted by the outbreak of war only days before it opened, and that at the end of the meeting there was a discussion in which it was decided not to hold a show in 1915 because of the war.The report occupies a full page of the paper (apart from three adverts) and includes a very large number of names - most relating to prize winners in the different classes. It is far too long to transcribe fully here (visit the British Newspaper Archive to see if your ancestor was a prize winner) but I have selected the key sections relating to the running of the Show and some example classes:-

Tring at War - 6th February 1915 - The Latest News ...

Extracts from the Bucks Herald of 6th February, 1915
Edited from British Newspaper Archive
Previous week ~~~~ Tring News Index ~~~~ Latest

    This week's paper contained a very full account of the Tring Agricultural Society Annual General Meeting which included details relating to the 1914 show which was disrupted by the outbreak of war, and the cancellation of the 1915 show. This week there were no casualties to report, and only indirect references to the troops billeted in the Town. However readers of the paper were reminded of the War with a recruitment advertisement, the farmers were grumbling about labour shortages, and Cannon Wood needed a chauffer. Training of volunteers for the Tring Ambulance Division continued. It was decided that, because of the war, this was not a good time to install a steam laundry at the workhouse.
    Mrs Huckvale, wife of the local architect William Huckvale, died and there had to be an inquest into the death of William Wells, a farm labourer from Puttenham. Mr Morrison, who accident was reported last week, is recovering and a pharmacist has been recruited to keep his chemists shop open. William Kingham sued Jesse Collings for unpaid rent, while J. G. Williams of Pendley was to the the prisedent of the Shire Horse Society.
    One local institution was in trouble. The Rose and Crown Hotel lost its licence - along with some other establishments at Berkhamsted, Chipperfield and Little Gaddesden. However this was on a technicality and a revise application could be expected. In fact the hotel was currently advertising for a newkitchenmaid.
    Surnames mentioned in this week's extracts: Baker, Barter, Bull, Collings, Craufurd, Crosland, Gettings, Gooderham, Goulder, Hearne, Huckvale, Humphreys, Jeffery, Kingham, Maciver, Mapley, Mead, Morrison, Mullett, O'Keefe, Part, Putnam, Reeve, Rothschild, Wells, Williams, Wood, Woodley - plus many more associated with the Tring Agricultural Society.

Rural Relaxation - Patterns in the Snow

Snow on ice at College Lake
My New Years resolution this year was that at my age the most important thing was to keep fit and relax - and my web sites have to take a back seat. While I have not posted any "Rural Relaxation" pictures for some time I have been out and about with my camera and have joined the Tring Camera Club - and will be involved in a project to record the town in 2015 - in connection with the 700th anniversary of the town's first charter. This is in part to keep me taking plenty of exercise (this week my pedometer clocked up 30,000 paces and I swam 40 lengths in the local pool), and a visit to the Asthma Clinic showed everything well under control - and my weight was down a further 4kg in the last four months. My "social secretary" says we should get out together more (my wife's disability means she cannot join me on rural walks) and this week we went to the Rex Cinema at Berkhamsted to see Testament of Youth - and are booked later in the month to see The Imitation Game.

So this week I have neglected my emails and updates to the site - and if you haven't had a reply accept my priorities - but keeping healthy comes first. I hope to catch up next week, but I also need to do some catching up on my other blog, Trapped by the Box, and prepare some black and white photographs for the next Camera Club competition ...