Woodborough’s Heritage

Woodborough, a Sherwood Forest Village, recorded in Domesday

1: Woodborough Brickyard (Bank Hill): The brickyard on Bank Hill started in about 1800 and was operating, according to a trade directory as late as 1889. Mr Cook who was the manager in its later period lived close by in the cottage on the opposite side of Bank Hill a little further down the hill. The horse which operated the pug mill was stabled there. On the site of the Brick Yard there were brick sided ponds for the water used with the pug mill. This 1883 map shows the extent and position of the Brick Yard in relation to Bank Hill and the Mr Cook's cottage, now known as Bank Hill Cottage. The Brick Yard and Bank Hill Cottage are not marked on the 1795 Enclosure map but are on the 1835 Sanderson map. Bricks, tiles and sough pipes (for land drainage) were made there and there are references in the censuses to brick and tile makers. An old map shows a field in Lingwood Lane called Brick Kiln Close, later known as the Cockleshell. At its southern end is a brick enclosure through which runs the Syke Dyke and is reputed to have been a sheep-wash at one time. There do not seem to be any references, apart from the name, that might confirm that there was a brick kiln here in Woodborough.

The map segment above is taken from the 1883 O.S. map

2: Richard Ward - Carpenter (The Bank): In his 'History of Woodborough' 1896 the Rev’d Buckland says of Mansfield Parkyns, who lived at the Upper Hall, "during the last two years of his life he gave much time to the improvement of Wood's School and the restoration of the church, completing the last work of his life, the beautifully carved oak choir stalls to the memory of his wife on Christmas Eve 1893". Reading this one would assume that Mansfield Parkyns had carved the whole of the choir stalls without assistance. This appears not to be the case; Richard Ward, carpenter and expert wood carver probably did the majority of the work. It would seem that it was Mansfield Parkyns who was the assistant and not always a competent one, Richard Ward privately wishing that Mr Parkyns would leave him alone to get on with the work.

The fact that the Rev’d Buckland had married Mansfield Parkyns' daughter Ada may have clouded his judgement!  Richard Ward lived on the Bank, almost certainly in one of the four cottages, now demolished, on the Bank Farm complex with his workshop most probably on the opposite corner on land next to the former two-storey frame shop. He is first mentioned as a joiner/wheelwright in the 1861 census, was wheelwright and churchwarden in a directory of 1885 and was in the 1901 census aged 73, still living on the Bank and trading as a joiner/wheelwright. He not only carved the choir stalls for the church, but also the ceiling bosses.

3: A Gamekeeper's cottage (Bank Hill): Until the early part of the 20th century (it is thought this cottage and kennels with enclosure were demolished in the 1920's), there was a stone built  gamekeeper's cottage shown on the map at right angles to the footpath and Bank Farm which leads across to Lingwood Lane. Adjacent to it was a stone enclosure with walls about 3 feet high and topped with iron railings in which a gamekeeper could keep his dogs. The gamekeeper was Mr German Whysall who in the 1881 census was aged 22, married with a 6-month old son. According to trade directories he was there in 1885 and 1889. Mr Whysall's son Wilfred was a Nottinghamshire County cricketer, playing for 20 years from 1910, scoring 21,592 runs including 51 centuries and winning four Test caps.  

Above left: The Gamekeeper's cottage is not shown on this 1949 photograph

Above right: But its position can be determined from the 1883 map

Incidentally, Mr Whysall was also on the committee of the Woodborough Celery Club in 1885, the Club's meetings being held at the Nag's Head Public House. The annual celery show was still being held in 1891 with quite substantial prizes - all household goods. Mr Siggs followed Mr Whysall as gamekeeper for Mr C H Hill of the Upper Hall and after his death his sister, Miss Siggs, moved into a cottage in The Square off Field Lane.

4: The Baguley Family - Boot & Shoemakers (Main Street): The family lived at 'Chimneys'; see below, at the west end of the village, comprising two cottages and workshops to the rear. There is a marriage licence record of June 1732 for Mark Baguley, shoemaker of Woodborough. Another Mark Baguley, shoemaker, was certainly living there in 1798 - most probably a descendent of the earlier Mark. A trade directory of 1832 gives Joseph Baguley as a shoemaker in the village and by the 1851 census his son, also named Joseph, had joined him in the trade and this is confirmed in an 1853 directory.

The 1851 census also shows that as well as the two Joseph's being shoemakers there, three other journeymen shoemakers were living in the property. One of these was a younger son John, although as journeymen they were fully trained shoemakers all three were recorded as 'servants'. With five shoemakers there at the same time it appears to have been a thriving, and long established business. Joseph junior and John were still shoemakers living in the property in the 1891 census, but the name Baguley had disappeared from the village by 1901. It would seem that the Baguley family, living in the same property had been shoemakers in the village for at least one hundred and sixty years. A pair of shoe patterns and a cobbler’s awl were found when the property was being renovated in the 1980’s. In the first half of the 20th century the Desborough and Gammon families had lived in the two cottages, both families being framework knitters.

5: North's Yard and the North Family of carriers (Main Street): At the western end of Woodborough, between ‘Chimneys’ and ‘Hall Farm’ was North's Yard. Village carriers were always important in Woodborough - as early as 1819 four carriers for Woodborough were listed in Piggott's Directory as going to Nottingham, usually on Wednesdays and Saturdays. They not only carried goods and people, but also did shopping for the village people, collecting orders and bringing the goods home. This side of their work is given in more detail in the Leafe family section below.

The North family lived in two out of three cottages on the west side of the yard with their backs towards ‘Chimneys’. William North was listed as a coal dealer in 1885, in 1889 as a coal dealer and grocer, in the 1891 census as a grocer, and in the 1901 census then aged 71 as a grocer and shopkeeper. John North, presumably his son, was a coal dealer and carrier in 1885 and 1891, and the last reference found for him is from Kelly's Directory of 1912.

On the opposite side of the yard, facing the other three was an uninhabited cottage. In the 1922 sale catalogue, the three cottages were occupied by B. North, A. Swift and Mr Allison and the outbuildings comprised a wash-house with copper, coal place, open cart shed, old cottage used as a store place and a two-stall stable and piggery, suitable outbuildings for a carrier/coal dealer.

6: Joseph Hallam - Blacksmith (Main Street): Joseph's blacksmith shop [or smithy] was a small brick building, with doors facing onto the Main Street, just west of the Primitive Methodist Chapel, but there before the Chapel was built. Sometime between 1883, the date of the map below, and 1922 the smithy was demolished, rebuilt facing the cottage and probably used for a different purpose. The shop was actually in the garden of the property occupied by the Worton family and is mentioned in a Copyhold Court Roll of 1869 when the property was transferred from John Worton, deceased, to his son Richard. Joseph Hallam, who was born in Farnsfield, was aged 30 in the 1851 census.

7: The Johnson's Square Shop (Main Street): Bish Richardson, maternal grandfather of Mansfield Foster, was a framework knitter in the 1891 census. However, in the 1901 census he is recorded as a grocer living in Johnson's Square. Bish Richardson still had the shop in 1916 and it was in 1919 when Mr J T (Johnny) Ball and his wife Hilda took over the shop, listed there in a 1922 directory. The shop in the 1930's was the small room at the back with the door, up three or four steps, on the side facing Caroline Cottage. There were two wooden sheds across the yard backing on to Caroline Cottage where Mr Ball kept all the hardware and the paraffin tank. He stocked all manner of household needs like sweeping brushes, clothes lines, stove wicks, black lead and brushes, paint etc. In the shop, of course you could also buy essential foods, like loose butter, sugar, which was bagged up from a sack, bacon which was sliced on the counter, as well as bootlaces and polish, not to mention Brooke Bond Flowery Pekoe Tips tea, delivered to the village by a Trojan chain-driven van.

Above left: The so called Johnson's Square is the house on the extreme right. This 1922 photo also shows the relative position of the Primitive Methodist Chapel further up Main Street on the left. Above right: A photo dating from 1908 shows the cottages to the rear of the shop which fronts Main Street. It is thought that Johnson’s Square is in fact the yard behind the shop.

After John Ball died, Hilda carried on through the war, and afterwards until about 1950, selling all the same things as when her husband was alive, but of course, most of the time was during the period of rationing. Mr Pitwood came about 1950 and it was he who started to alter the property by first moving the old shop (in a lean-to extension) with entry through a side door from the yard, into one of the wooden sheds whilst the front room became the newly converted  shop. The front door, which faced the street, became the shop entrance.

He bought all the property in the yard and moved into the cottage which had been occupied by Mr & Mrs Arthur Binch, and Mr Pitwood's son Ken moved into the one next door. It is thought that Mr Pitwood died in the early 1960's when his son Ken took over and Ken was certainly in charge by 1968. By this time the shop had been enlarged to incorporate what used to be the middle cottage living room, where Bill and Albert Alvey used to live, and became a self-service mini-market. The other adjoining cottages were only used as storage.

Ken Pitwood retired about 1972 when the shop was sold to Lethbridges, the land and remaining cottages being sold for private development. Ken Pitwood was probably at the shop for about ten years. Lethbridges eventually sold up and moved on about 1976 when the shop was closed.

8: The Manor Stables (Main Street): Robert Howett was born in about 1844 and came to Woodborough in 1876. A former bookmaker, he lived in the middle Manor and built the Manor racing stables facing onto Main Street in 1878, as well as the palisading and railings round the manor grounds facing Main Street and Lingwood Lane. He is listed in Wright's Directories of 1879 and 1885 as a stud owner and Kelly's Directory of 1881 states "Mr Howett has a large racehorse breeding and trading establishment in the village where there are between 70 and 80 racehorses". His two most famous racehorses were Activity and Munden and the building where the two stallions stood was known as 'Munden's Hall', now demolished.   

Above left: The Manor House and the former racing stables, Main Street runs between the two properties.

Above right: The o.s map shows the position of all the Manor House and Manor Farm buildings excepting Munden’s Hall.

In the 1881 census his age is given as 37, his wife Annie is the same age and both were born in Nottingham. Several stable-men and grooms are mentioned in that census. Robert Howett died on 1st January 1889 aged 45 years. Mr Arthur Burnett succeeded him, appearing in Kelly's Directories of 1895, 1898 and 1899 as a Shire horse keeper. In the 1901 census he was 54, his wife Emily was nine years younger and their children were aged 22, 17, 15, 8 and 3. They had quite a large household with eight servants and farm hands living in; two of them 'farm lads' aged 13 and 14. Mr Burnett died in February 1904 and Mrs Burnett is in directories of 1904 and 1908 as the owner of a Shire horse stud. After the Burnett's the Manor was purchased by Mr C H Hill of the Upper Hall. Mr C E Foster (Mannie’s father) became the tenant in 1916 and purchased the property and land in the 1922 sale.

9: Top Frame Shop (Roe Lane): At the corner of Roe Lane and Field Lane there was a two-storey frame shop, stone built, with two attached cottages. In the 1930's and probably before, Mr Frank Richardson, his wife Lucy and son Dennis lived in one cottage and Mr Dick Gammon Junior and his family lived in the other. The property was scheduled for demolition in 1939. After hand frame knitting in the village ceased Mr Gammon continued to cycle to Nottingham each day in singlet and shorts, never dismounting on Bank Hill, which is quite steep in places, to work at Hayward’s on Warser Gate, Nottingham, where he made individual elasticated items, such as support stockings etc. on a hand knitting frame.

The photograph above was taken from St Swithun's church tower about 1960, shows the cluster of frame knitting buildings on the east side of Roe Hill, those centre photograph now demolished, the buildings match exactly the 1883 map on the right.

1. Sidney Terrace demolished in 1962 to make way for old people's bungalows.

2. Field Lane, which is still in existence and has a variety of post 1960's built homes on both sides of the lane.
3. Top Frame Shop (referred to above) probably demolished in 1962.
4 & .5. An area know as The Square, buildings on the north, east and southern sides were all demolished probably in 1962.
6. Marriott's shop, adjacent to Roe Hill, long since converted to a house.
7. The Institute, once a Methodist Chapel, then a reading room and now used as a meeting room.
8. New Row, once frame knitters dwellings and all still in use as dwellings.

10: Marriott's Shop (Roe Hill): Joseph Marriott, aged 21 in the 1861 census was a framesmith, in other words he would repair faults on the hand-knitting frames and about every ten years a frame would need an overhaul which could be carried out by Joseph. He was also a Primitive Methodist local preacher for sixty years and would walk to Ollerton, a distance of about 15 miles in order to preach. Starting at 5am he would not do the return journey until the following day. By the 1871 census he was listed as a framesmith & grocer but in 1881, whilst he was a framesmith, his wife Harriet was the shopkeeper. By 1891 Joseph was a widower and framesmith/grocer again and two of his daughters, Harriet aged 21 and Elizabeth aged 16, were shop assistants. In the 1901 census Joseph had retired and his daughter Harriet, known in the village as Hettie, was running the shop on her own. Older villagers remember Hettie selling ‘liquorice allsorts’ for ½d an ounce they also remember going to the shop with a jam jar for 2d of treacle. She would also split a 2d packet of five Wild Woodbine cigarettes, selling them as a favour to poor for ½d neighbours each, thus giving a poor man a chance to smoke and in the process making an extra ½d profit on each packet.

By 1941 Mrs Robert Hallam had taken over the shop and her husband had set up his blacksmith’s shop in Joseph Marriott's old framesmith's workshop at the eastern end of the property. Mrs Hallam's daughter Cynthia later took over the shop and it finally closed in 1968, having been a village shop for approximately 90 years.

Mrs Ann Snodin, who lived at number 1 The Square, off Field Lane, had a fish and chip shop at one time. Mrs Mercer had a shop in Sidney Terrace and later had one when she moved to number 1 Church Walk. These shops would have been operating about 1920.

11: Patching - builder (Lingwood Lane): The Patching family lived in the cottages in Lingwood Lane just beyond the church backing on to 'Town Dyke'. The lane appears in the censuses as Church Lane in 1841. What is now the Old Vicarage, or an earlier part of it which was the 1736 school, was before the Enclosure, the last property in the lane going up to Hawley Field.

Henry Patching first appears in the 1841 census as a bricklayer, aged 30 with his wife Maria, also aged 30 and 3 children, the eldest being William, aged 10. In the 1861 census Henry, listed as a cottager and bricklayer, had died by 1871 but Maria was still living in the same cottage as recorded in the 1881 census.

Above left: The Marriott family outside their shop on Roe Hill in 1901. This property is on the north side and adjacent to The Institute. (with thanks to Simon Roberts who kindly contributed the image).

Above centre: The shop photographed from the road, the building originally was positioned up to the side of the pavement.

Later this end was demolished and a small front garden was created.

Above Right: Shop viewed from the yard looking towards the road, the blacksmith shop would be behind the photographer.

The lady is thought to be Cynthia Hallam.

Above left: This 1919 photograph shows Church Cottage cottages, the Patchings lived here.

Above right: The Patching cottages viewed from their yard.

Henry's son William was also a bricklayer, aged 19 and living at home in 1851. He had married Martha by 1861 and eventually became a builder. He continued as a builder and was in the 1901 census aged 70, still living in Lingwood Lane with Martha.

12: Victoria Villas/Davenport House - Bakery (91 Main Street): In 1851 Thomas Mellows aged 24 was a baker in the cottage opposite to the Bailiffs cottage on Lowdham Lane just west of the 1939 council houses. He was joined by his son, another Thomas in 1881 and his son was still baking at the Lowdham Lane premises in the 1901 census, so there was a bakery there for at least 50 years.

Thomas Mellows later moved to Davenport House, next to the 1887 Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, and constructed another bake-house there in the buildings to the rear of the house. Mr Mellows must have given up the bakery and retired by mid-1920, but he still appears as a baker in a 1922 directory.

Above left: Davenport House in 1971, it is the white building behind the Methodist Chapel. The bread oven was in the outbuilding furthest from the road almost centre of photograph. Above right: The bread oven doorway photographed in 2002 just before the internal wall was demolished.

Mr Mellows constructed his baker's oven at Davenport House by partly dividing a building by a brick wall into two halves. In the rear half he constructed the oven of fire bricks encased in sand to retain the heat, with the oven's open mouth in the wall facing the front half of the building. He then completed the wall so that there was no access to the rear of the oven but its mouth was exposed in the wall.

The oven was discovered by Mr Albert Bailey and his son who moved into the property about 1941. They dismantled the oven and put an entrance into the rear half to use it as a store room for market gardening equipment. The oven sand and bricks were dumped into a disused well but the mouth of the oven remained. Later, occupants of the property found the mouth of the oven again whilst they were making alterations to the outbuildings in about 2004. Mr Mellows ran the last bakery in Woodborough. Paling's of Lowdham, Binch's of Calverton and Elias Kirk from Lambley then delivered bread, cakes etc. to the village.

13: The Old Post Office (Main Street): Mansfield (Mannie) Foster's grandfather, John Foster, moved to what is now called the ‘Old Post Office’ in 1873 and became postmaster in April 1880 until 1907. Mannie's father, Charles Ernest Foster, then took over the shop and was the postmaster until 1916 when he moved to the Manor Farm as a tenant of Mr C.H. Hill of the Upper Hall. In 1911 Mr Foster who was also a market gardener as well as being shopkeeper/postmaster was approached by the Nottingham Head Postmaster about having a local telephone 'exchange' if he could persuade six local subscribers to have a telephone. He managed to do this and some of the first subscribers were Burnetts at the Manor, Mr Hill at the Upper Hall, Skipworth's at Thorneywood House and Fred White who had the butcher's shop. The 'piano-type' exchange was in Mr Foster's living room and the only public telephone in the village was in a booth in the shop.

Above left: The Old Post Office next to the Bugle Horn pub in 1913, three people are standing outside.

Above right: The Old Post office is furthest away in this 1905 photograph.

After Mr C.E. Foster moved to Manor Farm, Mannie's uncle, Jim Foster, was the postmaster until 1919. Tim Foster and his wife Kate then took over the shop and post office and remained there from 1919-1963. Tim was also a market gardener and Kate had a stall on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the Nottingham Central Market where she sold Woodborough fruit and vegetables. According to Lowe's book on 'Agriculture in Notts' Woodborough was famous for its stoned fruit and Kate sold quantities of plums and damsons when in season. Mannie's younger brother Charles, who had married Miriam Wass, an evacuee teacher from Sheffield, then became shopkeeper/postmaster. The Post Office and shop was closed in 1982 and the Post Office moved to the newsagents in the former Co-op building (now known as ‘Woodborough Post Office & News’). Charles Foster died in 1983, the Foster family having been postmasters for about 101 years.

14: Henry James - Baker and Postmaster (Main Street): A directory of 1848 lists Henry James, as a baker. In the 1851 census, aged 29, he was living in the property later known as the village butchers, opposite the Main Street entrance to the churchyard. In the 1861 census the property was described as The Post Office, with Mr James as postmaster and baker. In the 1871 census he was listed as a master-baker, employing one man, but he had retired aged 69 by the 1881 census and was living with his unmarried daughter Hannah in the Johnson's Square area.

14: Butchers (Main Street): Francis Hartshorne was a butcher in the village from 1854-1871 according to trade directories but the location of his shop is uncertain. His son John was a butcher from 1871-1881 according to the censuses and it is possible that he took over the Post Office shop from Henry James at what was now the butcher's shop opposite the church. John Hartshorne was followed by Mark Richardson until 1901, followed by Fred White until nearly the end of World War 1. William Parker then took over and stayed until about 1947. Mr Forte followed Mr Parker as butcher until 1953 when Mr Walter Hill moved in. He retired in 1975 when Mr John Allison became the butcher, the shop closing in 1992 having been a butcher's shop for well over 100 years.

Mr Billy Leafe – a cheerful butcher, living in Woodborough but with a shop in Calverton, supplied meat to a number of families in the village in the 1930's. He had married into the Baguley family who had come to the village at the Nether Hall (Old Manor) as farmers from Long Bennington in 1912. By the 1930's members of the Baguley family were spread around the village, so it must have been well worth his while to trade in Woodborough.

15: The Blacksmith's and Painter's Shops at Old Forge Cottage (Main Street): According to early censuses and directories Benjamin Rose, with his two sons John and Alfred, and John Orme, were wheelwrights and blacksmiths in the 1841 census and probably earlier.  John Orme, with his two sons Joseph and William, kept the business operating until at least the 1901 census. Information about the period 1901-1922 is scarce but Mr Judd, Mr Morley and Bill Hallam are remembered as blacksmiths about this time.

Above left: The blacksmiths shop and house in 1905, it belonged to Mr Orme at this time.

Above right: The back of the house viewed siding on to Main Street viewed from the east.

In the 1922 sale catalogue for the agricultural estate belonging to Woodborough Hall, the following are referred to as what is now called 'Old Forge Cottage:- ' Adjoining the house is a large yard, containing newly built brick and tiled shed comprising smithy, forge with hand bellows and hand drilling machine, coke place, closet, piggery and lean-to coal place. Also a newly erected Paint Shop enclosed by a pair of large folding doors and heated by a slow combustion stove, now let to Mr John Wiggatt.' The fact that the smithy had been newly built in 1922 explains why photographs of it prior to that date show the large entrance doors facing Main Street whereas later photographs show the entrance facing the cottage. These two photographs confirm the changes made to the forge.

Sometime after 1922 Arthur Nurcombe had the paint shop and Bill Hallam was the blacksmith. Previously Mr Nurcombe, who had many strings to his bow, was joiner, painter/decorator, wheelwright and undertaker and had operated from a barn in Epperstone at the corner of Main Street and the Sheepwash bridge road. In 1927 Harold Milner took over the blacksmith's shop but Mr Nurcombe retained the 'paint shop' as his joiner's workshop. It is likely that Mr C. H. Hill built it as a paint shop because he owned a large amount of property in the village which would need decorating.

Mr Nurcombe's notebook is fascinating, detailing funerals he arranged with the names and ages of the deceased, the type of coffin, e.g. oak, elm, mahogany or chestnut, the type of fittings, hire of horses, coaches, hearse and bearers and the overall cost of the funerals. Of twelve ages given on one page of the notebook, the average age at death was just under 82 years.

Harold Milner had the blacksmith's shop until 1930 when the family moved close by to what is now Forge Cottage and Mr Milner set up his own blacksmith's workshop there, joined by his elder son Douglas when the latter left Woodborough school just before world War II. After serving in the Royal Navy, Douglas returned to work with his father and they left Woodborough in about 1948 to continue blacksmithing, welding etc. at Calverton using a mobile forge attached to the back of a car to visit outlying customers.

Left: This photograph dated 1945 shows Harold leaning on the gates he made for Forge Cottage, and which are still there in 2013. Right Mr Milner with the mobile forge fixed to the back of a car, location unknown. By this time, the tractor had taken over the work on the farm previously done by the Shire horse, but hunting and riding horses still provided plenty of work.

16: 117 Main Street: Known at various times as, Westminster Cottage, now Frame Cottage: At the northern end of the cottage away from the Main Street is a frame shop with two long Yorkshire slide framework knitting windows in the upper storey, and this would probably have accommodated about twelve frames. It is likely that workers from the Church Walk houses which could only have had room for one frame, if that, would have used the extra machines in the frame shop. In 1896 the Hogg family moved in from the Nag's Head public house where William Hogg had been both publican and joiner for many years. Len Hogg, the son, was also a joiner/builder/jack of all trades as his notebooks confirm. Florence Hogg is believed to have been at Westminster School in some capacity, hence the former name of the cottage.

Above left: The former frame knitters cottage which had a frame shop to the rear.

Above right: Mr & Mrs William Hogg seated in their yard with daughter Flo in 1933.

17: Stockinger, hairdresser, photographer (124 Main Street): On the 1609 Sherwood Forest map, properties were shown on this site with the 'Town Dyke' skirting them on the south side. There were originally three cottages here where the dyke forms a loop behind them, but these were demolished and William Hogg erected the two present cottages in about 1915. The 1901 census gives the occupants of the three former cottages as Thomas Flinders, stockinger, William Wright, stockinger and William Ridgard, hairdresser and photographer. The property deeds showed that three families were living in the cottages until at least 1913. In the 1922 sale catalogue the two cottages there at present are not described as 'newly-built' as were the blacksmith's shop and paint shop, so they were probably built shortly after 1913.

The current building, seen left, is not at right angles to the road, the 1883 map clearly shows that whatever buildings were there then, were at right angles, therefore it is thought that ‘The Yews', which is almost opposite, had been built using second-hand bricks from these demolished cottages. It is said 'The Yews' was sand-dashed to conceal the fact that second-hand bricks had been used. However, the 1883 map shows a house or building on the site of the present Yews plot, so where did the bricks to build the present house originate from? It could be surmised that the buildings on 'The Yews' plot were demolished at the same time as the three cottages.

18: Woodborough Co-op (Main Street): Information on shops like the Co-op can only be gleaned from trade directories until the Manager and his family lived over the shop, as did the Bradleys during the first decade of the 20th century. As directories are not available for every year it is not possible to say exactly when one manager left and his successor took over.

Above left: The shop when it was the Woodborough Industrial Provident Society

Above right: A very typical Co-op shop of the 1950's the same building as that on the left.

The first reference to the Woodborough Co-op by name is an 1874 Directory when George Hardstaffe was the manager until at least 1881. In 1885 the Co-op Stores Limited was listed as a grocers and drapers managed by John Clayton who was still there in 1889. From about 1891 to 1895 (when Kelly's Directory called it the Woodborough Co-operative Land and Building Society) Joseph Baguley was the manager, to be followed by John Bradley and his daughter Selina. In 1912 Selina, unmarried, was managing the shop on her own. She was followed by Mr Percy Shipstone who employed at times Mrs Nellie Limb and Miss Mabel Foster as assistants. Unfortunately Mr Shipstone was killed in World War I and Mr William Chamberlain took over in 1919, retiring in 1951.

The plan above centre shows plot 1 and 2 as they appear on the 1883 and 1922 o.s. maps [note the 1922 o.s.map

is not a copy of the 1883 map]. The plan on the right shows 1 and 2 as they appear on the 1963 o.s.map.

It seems the rebuilding of plot 2 probably took place after 1922 and not before.

Above left: A 1991 photograph of the Co-op on the site next to Church Walk

Above right: Now called a 'Late Shop' it is still a Co-op in 2002 just before it closed.

In directories of 1925 and 1928 it was called The Woodborough Industrial and Provident Society and came under the Nottingham Co-operative Society in 1935, see notice above. Mr Arthur Jones, Mr Chamberlain's assistant, took over as manager and the new Co-operative Stores building between the church and Church Walk was opened in 1962 on August Bank Holiday. The Co-op finally closed its doors in 2002 after operating for two years under independent management.

19: Charles Inger - carrier (149 Main Street): Mr Inger ran a passenger and carrier service to the Black Boy Hotel on Long Row East, Nottingham every Wednesday and Saturday according to Kelly's Directory of 1925. It consisted of a covered lorry with forms inside similar to the usual carrier's conveyance of the period. Mrs Inger had a fish and chip shop according to a directory of 1928. Information on both these ventures, the carrier's bus and the chip shop, is scarce and are thought to have been of short duration.

The property which was on the eastern side of the Co-op Yard entrance fronting Main Street had formerly been the shoemaker’s shop of Joseph Alvey, according to the 1922 sale catalogue. The Inger family moved to the council houses on Lowdham Lane built in 1939. Their former home, together with a derelict cottage at its rear, was demolished around 1944.

Left: Charlie & Phyllis Inger in 1930, in the background their cottage in the Co-op yard

Below right 1907 photograph shows  Kelk’s cottage (with a green door) next to Woodborough Industrial Provident Society (with green shutters).

20: Bert Kelk - shoe repairer (149 Main Street): Bert Kelk is something of an enigma since his name appears as a shoemaker in directories of 1932 and 1936 but had disappeared by 1941. He was a shoe repairer occupying a wooden hut, rather like a large garden shed, on the right hand side of the old Co-op Yard about half way up between Main Street and the top framework knitter's cottages. Its door at the lower end faced onto the pathway with two or three wooden steps up to the entrance as it was erected on sloping ground. Inside at the northern end was the cobbler's lathe with all his buffing and polishing attachments. There was a form inside the door at the southern end for customers to sit on, as probably the shoes being repaired were their only pair.

21: Tomlinson's - Butchers (142 Main Street): This butcher's operated in a property a little further east on the opposite side of the road to ‘Woodborough Post Office & News’ known as ‘Little Chimneys’ but demolished in 2004. The Tomlinson family is first recorded in 1861 when Samuel, aged 21 was a butcher married to Martha, also 21. Samuel must have died when he was about 30 years old because in the 1871 census Martha was a widow with three young children (Eliza aged 8, William aged 6 and Emma, 2). In the 1901 census Martha aged 61 was still a butcher with daughter Emma, unmarried, working as a dressmaker. Martha was a butcher for about 40 years as she was still listed as such in a 1912 directory.

Above left: Little Chimneys in 1912 was once a butchers.

Above right: Known as Spring Cottage in 1980 the Mabbutts took in paying guests.

22: Spring Cottage (155 Main Street): Prior to 1897 this was two cottages, converted into one between 1897 and 1908. William Mabbutt and his wife Chisholm purchased the property in 1908. William was a shoe repairer with his workshop on the site of the present garage. Mrs Mabbutt took in guests and also provided teas for hikers from Nottingham who could take the tram to the Mapperley terminus at Porchester Road, and walk through Lambley Dumbles and on to Woodborough via Lingwood Lane or the Thorpe's Road bridleway. Mr Mabbutt died in 1929 and his wife remained in the property until she sold it in 1935. Her visitor’s book is still in existence.

23: Southern's Yard Shop (152 Main Street): Next to what is now Small’s Croft at the eastern end of Main Street, the yard known in the censuses as Southern's Yard. In 1861 there were five families living here in these cottages. It is probable that one of the Southern's had a shop here, and it has been used most recently as a farm shop by the Middups, appears to have been built in the first part of the 20th century. The single story building on the extreme right used to be the shop. David Orange in the 1891 census is a grocer living in Southern's Yard and by 1901 Jim Wetton, aged 34 and living in the Yard, had taken over the shop, his step-daughter Annie, aged 17, being his assistant. 

It had also been held at various times in the early part of the 20th century by Mr Jim Foster who later had the Post Office, by

Mr Rhodes and by Mr J.T Ball who later had the shop in Johnson's Square. By 1922, Mrs Mary (Maggie) Bruce who lived on Green Lane at Lambley had the shop, still listed as running it in a 1936 directory but by 1941 Mrs Kate Spencer was the shopkeeper. After Kate's death her husband Edwin continued to run the shop until it finally closed.

24: Pollard's - tailors (165 Main Street): The Pollard's lived in this property from some time after 1881 until about 1902. John Pollard is first mentioned as a publican, aged 42, at the Punch Bowl. Included in the family household were his father aged 70, described as a tailor and David Dodsley, a tailor's apprentice.

By 1891 the family had moved to 165 Main Street and John was no longer a publican but a tailor, aged 50, his son John Warren Pollard was a tailor and daughter Mary Ann, 20, was a dressmaker. By the 1901 census John was described as an employer and Parish Clerk, aged 62, his sons John Warren Pollard and William were also tailors and daughter Elizabeth, was a tailoress. All three children were unmarried so three generations of the Pollard family were tailors in Woodborough.

Pollards name is over the doorway in

this 1904 photograph on the left.

24: Leafe's Carriers and Coal Merchants (165 Main Street): John Leafe started as a carrier and coal merchant sometime between 1900 and 1904 when he is mentioned in a directory. He probably moved in after the Pollards vacated the property about 1902. He had two vans, the bigger one pulled by two horses. The vans would start off for Nottingham at 9am on Wednesdays and Saturdays, collecting orders for shopping on the way and with a load of clean laundry for families such as the Player's and Shipstone's. The laundry, mainly maids' outfits, was washed and ironed by Mrs George Taylor and Mrs Jephson, neighbours of the Leafe's.

   Above left: Ted Leafe 1931 on Main Street.                                                                             Above right: Dennis & Jack Leafe 1953

The vans were left in Trinity Square, near the centre of Nottingham, on the south side of the former Holy Trinity Church and the horses were taken out and stabled for the day at the back of the Milton's Head Hotel, at the corner of Milton Street and Lower Parliament Street - the site of the present Victoria Shopping Centre. They had to go down a slope off Parliament Street and one of the horses so disliked this that he would only go backwards! Mr Leafe would collect shopping for his customers during the day and then start back at 4pm, making deliveries on the way.

It would often be 9.30pm on Saturday evenings before he reached home. Even then and after feeding and watering the horses, the feed for Sunday had to be chopped because such work was never done on Sundays. Amongst other jobs Leafe’s wagons would collect road stone from Lowdham station, stacking it on the south side of Lowdham Lane. Six loads a day could be collected, at a haulage rate of 4/- [four shillings] a ton. Main Street at this time always had a good surface, although not yet with tarmacadam.

25: Brook Cottage (160 Main Street): According to tradition this was at one time a butcher’s shop but this cannot be confirmed. A shop is mentioned in the deeds in an Indenture of 13th November 1897 with the occupants of the house and shop, being named as Joseph Clayton and Thomas Parker, but neither were listed as living there in the censuses of 1891 or 1901.

However, Joseph Clayton was a grocer at one time so could have been renting the shop for his grocery business. A Francis Hart butcher, not to be confused with Francis Hartshorne who was a butcher at the same time, is listed in directories of 1853 and 1864 but does not appear in any censuses so probably lived away from the village. Either Francis Hart or John Hartshorne could have been butchers at either Brook Cottage or the shop opposite the Nag's Head occupied earlier by Benjamin Greaves.

Left: The building in front of the cottage

would have been the butcher’s shop.

26: Alvey’s – Boot and shoe makers and repairers (156 Main Street): In a village like Woodborough, with so many people working on the land, there was always work for shoe and boot makers and repairers. The Baguley family dominated the scene from 1841-1891 whilst other names such as Cook, Foster and Dalling appeared for shorter periods.

However it's the Alvey family; father Joseph and son Billy about whom there is more detail. In the 1891 census, Joseph's family was living in one of the cottages on Bank Hill. His own father had evidently died and his mother Maria had later married a Mr John Ball. Maria already had two boys by her first marriage to Mr Alvey, one aged 14 and Joseph aged 11, a scholar. John Ball and Maria then had their own little boy, John Thomas Ball, aged two in the census.

This is the J.T. Ball who had at various times been the shopkeeper at Southern's Yard and finally in Johnson's Square. After leaving school Joseph had been apprenticed to a shoemaker named Masters who lived at Brookside [156 Main Street]. Masters became bankrupt so Joseph, living with his mother and step-father, started a business on his own in his mother's front room. By the 1901 census Joseph, still single, is listed as a boot repairer on his own account, aged 21. Joseph then moved down the village into a cottage near the old Co-operative Stores on Main Street on the opposite side to the Co-op Yard entrance. It had a shop window with shutters and looked onto Main Street. His tenancy there is mentioned in the 1922 sale catalogue and he stayed there for 28 years at a rent of a shilling a week. The next move was into one of the row of three cottages opposite 167 Main Street, his cottage being the one nearest to Main Street. The cobblers' shop was built in 1926 between the cottage and Main Street. Joseph and his son Bill carried on the business for 80 years, Joseph for 70 and Bill for 50 until he retired in about 1966. Joseph's step-brother, J.T. Ball, worked with Joe for a period of nine years until the commencement of the First World War.Mr Alvey also had

a shop at Epperstone at one time in the centre cottage of the three opposite the mansion which later became the Nottinghamshire Police Headquarters.

The leather purchased by Mr Alvey was from Gregg & Co. in Hockley and brought to Woodborough by Mr Leafe, the carrier. The Alvey's softened their leather in the village dyke as Bill said it softened better in running water than in a tin bath!

27: Benjamin Greaves - Butcher (173 Main Street): In 1831 Benjamin Greaves, who had his butcher's shop in the end terrace house abutting Main Street opposite the Nag's Head allowed Samuel Ward, an Evangelist from the George Street Chapel (Nottingham), to use his barn for a 'missionary' meeting to preach the gospel. The barn was situated on what is now the Nag's Head car park. In the 1841 census Benjamin is aged 65 and still listed as a butcher but his wife Mary is a widow in the 1851 census. Charles Wood was the butcher there in 1871; a widower aged 27, with Hannah Bish as his housekeeper but does not appear in a directory of the period or in the 1881 census.

These outbuildings (demolished in 1997) would have been used to slaughter and cut meat.

The lean-to building (also demolished in 1997) was probably the butcher's shop.

When Mary Elizabeth Wilson of Scarborough sold the Old Manor (Nether Hall) to Roby Liddington Thorpe in June 1883, together with a number of properties at the eastern end of the village, lot 5 consisted of 3 dwelling houses and the butcher's shop, so it would appear that the premises were still in use as a butcher's shop at that date. The three cottages were occupied by Edward Robinson, hosier, George Teather, framework knitter and James Robinson, silk stocking weaver and although these occupations are typical of the period, sadly there is no mention of the occupant of the butcher's shop.

Mr Sidney Savidge, a joiner, had a joiner's shop, formerly a frame shop at the northern end of the above block of cottages in the 1930's and 40's and probably later.

28: The petrol pump and Fish & Chip Shop (2 Shelt Hill): By 1930 no. 2 Shelt Hill was a poultry farm run by Miss Wheatley and Miss Jones, principally for egg production. However, Basford District Council records show that in 1933 Miss Wheatley was also paying ten shillings for a licence to store 300 gallons of petrol, and a manually operated petrol pump outside the house was selling Pratt's Ethyl at one shilling and sixpence halfpenny per gallon. It seems likely that the pump was in operation before electricity arrived in the village in 1930. The pump had two half-gallon glass containers which were filled by rocking a lever, pumping petrol into first one container then the other. The petrol was gravity fed into a vehicle's tank.

Above left: This circa 1967 photograph shows the position of the petrol pump and the oil cabinet and the fact that ice cream was also being sold.  Above right: 1971 saw the buildings undergo substantial renovations, the pump and oil cabinet and other signage are long gone.

In 1938 Mr & Mrs Sissons became tenants and continued to operate the pump which stood on the right hand side of the gate, with a cabinet nearby to dispense oil. There was now a 500 gallon storage tank just inside the gate, near a yew tree. The manual pump was replaced by an electrically operated one and Molly Sissons recalls selling five gallons of petrol for ten shillings seven pence halfpenny in the late 1940's. Petrol sales continued until 1970 when Esso refused to deliver less than 1000 gallons each time.

In the 1940's, wartime years, Mrs Sissons began serving afternoon teas, a highlight of which were eggs boiled in a chip pan basket placed in a big saucepan, a real treat in times of rationing! In the early 1940's Mrs Sissons extended her catering by selling fish and chips from the room behind the oil cabinet and this enterprise continued for four or five years. The Sissons continued to sell Lyons ice cream for about ten years.

29: Donnelly's Frame Shop, later known as Desborough's Factory (Shelt Hill): Donnelly's Frame Shop has in the brickwork on its southern gable the initials TD and the date 1869. These would be the initials of Thomas Donnelly born in about 1801 and married in 1826 to Love Godfrey, aged 21, both Woodborough residents at the time.

In the 1841 census Thomas was aged 40, a framesmith with two apprentices so must have had a good business and been respected within his trade. In the 1861 census he was employing a man and a boy but Love was a widow by the 1871 census so the frame shop must have been built in his final years. His son Mark, born in 1850, was a framesmith until at least 1889 but there is no exact date as to when it changed from a framesmith's workshop to an actual frame shop factory.

Above left: This elevation of the buildings cannot be seen from the road, the photo is dated 1960

Above right: This 2000 dated photo shows the buildings have undergone substantial renovations

From 1891 the name of Samuel Desborough appears in the directory and in about 1926/27 Mrs Clarice Hallam worked there for a period of about four years with Walter Desborough who ran the factory. At that time they were making woollen golf hose, of a high quality with diamond-patterned legs. The legs, according to Clarice, were made by Oliver Robinson, Bernard Wright and Walter Desborough's son Stanley on Blackburn half-hose machines, taking about twenty minutes to make a pair of legs, and Clarice, Nancy Moore and Dolly Worthington worked downstairs on small circular Griswold machines, picking up the stitches and making the heels and feet. Many of the golf hose (to be worn with Plus-Four trousers) went for export. Prior to Mrs Hallam working there, silk ties, the same width along all their length had been made at the factory.

At this time Samuel Eden's of Sutton in Ashfield owned the factory and Sam and Walter Desborough were the managers employing about twenty people there. It would appear that factory competitors using electricity brought about the demise of the business in the 1940's. When it was obvious to some of the workers that the business was failing, they went to Macclesfield where the work was mainly in silk, making scarves for motorists. Mr Bernard Wright was one of those who went to Macclesfield but later returned to the village and became a market gardener. Sir Frank Small was one of the last men to work at the factory who also turned to market gardening.

Various Milkmen: By 1930 milk was being delivered to Woodborough by the daughters of Jack Greaves, Epperstone Lane Gonalston. It was dispensed from a churn using measures of ¼, ½ and 1 pint into the customer's own jugs. By the early 1940's Harold Hill took over the business whilst living in Main Street. He later moved to Shelt Hill where he converted outhouses of the former Desborough's factory as a dairy store but obtained his milk from Frank Wheldon Dairies on Carlton Hill. He ceased trading about 1972 and his business was taken over by the Co-op.

Visiting Tradesmen: A number of tradesmen came to Woodborough from surrounding villages. In 1930 for instance, milk was delivered each day to the 1878 school house by Mr Jack Greaves who farmed on the back lane between Epperstone and Gonalston. The daily newspaper, the Nottingham Guardian, was delivered by Mr Wilfred Skinner who had the shop near the Cross Keys Inn in Epperstone. Mr Elias Kirk from Lambley delivered bread and coal came from Mr Harry Knight of Lowdham. Shaws, also from Lowdham brought paraffin, general hardware and household items. They had three lorries which acted as mobile stores, each supplying a group of villagers with goods.

As mentioned previously, Mr Billy Leafe delivered meat in the village from his Calverton shop and Binch's from Calverton and Paling's from Lowdham delivered bread and confectionery. A mobile fish and chip shop came down Lingwood Lane during this period. Dr Simpson attended a number of patients in the village as did his successor Dr West from Epperstone.

Whilst Peter Saunders research is extensive there are many other shops and trades that came and went during a period covering about 150 years, it is intended to place in due course another plan here with a list of those trades not already covered above. This plan will show where these other traders were situated in the village. These chapters on 'Shops & Trades in Woodborough' are based on a talk given to the Woodborough Local History Group in November 2005 by Peter Saunders. Peter has undertaken considerable research on a variety of topics relating to the history of the village.



Shops & Trades in Woodborough - by Peter Saunders

These chapters on 'Shops & Trades in Woodborough' are based on a talk given to the Woodborough Local History Group in November 2005 by Peter Saunders. Peter has undertaken considerable research on a variety of topics relating to the history of Woodborough.

This first section from 'Early Information' down to 'Trade Directories' provides examples of where researchers can find additional information.

Early information about life in Woodborough can be gleaned from marriage licences, which date back to 1597, and wills and inventories for which the earliest Woodborough example found in the Southwell Peculiar is 1567. Woodborough Wills before 1567 are at the Borthwick Institute in York

Marriage licences give the man’s occupation, and occasionally the woman’s. The introduction to wills usually gives the occupation or trade of the testator and sometimes details of the appraisers of the inventory of goods mentioned. Curates of Woodborough from 1741 to 1784 were careful to include full details of the fathers whose children were baptised and the occupations of men that were married or buried. Before the Enclosure awards, for Woodborough this was 1796/7, which altered land ownership, everyone would have had strips in the open fields, the amount of land they owned affecting their social status and the way in which they were described.

Woodborough had three manors. The owner of the dominant manor, the Upper Hall (now Woodborough Hall), was classed as the esquire [squire] and occupants of the other two were classed as gentlemen. Those landowners called yeomen probably owned the freehold of their property, with the tenant farmers being described as husbandmen, cottagers or labourers depending on the quantity of land involved.

There are a few references in wills and inventories to two early trades - weavers and carpenters. In the earliest Woodborough Inventories nearly every family had spinning wheels of various types, for wool or for hempen and linen thread. Many villagers had sheep and grew small quantities of hemp and flax, so in the inventories we find: William Oldney, 1615, had webs of linen and harden webs of hempen cloth and 10 yards of woollen cloth. Robert Hathway, 1616, had four and a half yards of russet cloth, 28 yards of linen and hempen cloth, three hanks of yarn and cloth at the weavers. Nicholas Lee, 1667, had one piece of carsey, some yarn and several pieces of woollen cloth.

You couldn't get sheets and blankets from the local department store in those days; you spun your own thread and took it to the weavers to be made into cloth. In Woodborough the weavers were very important members of the community. Weaving skills tended to be passed from father to son, as did the weaving equipment. The framework knitter of the 19th century also kept the skills in the family with no apprentices.

Gabriell Bucke, weaver 1601, had six looms. In his will he left three to his son Henry, plus a warping vat with gears (accessories) and three looms to his son John. All the rest of the gears they were to share between them. William Morley, weaver, a twin born in 1633 and only aged about 35 when he died, gave in his will to his three children John, William and Thomas, his 'two looms and all their belongings' (when they came of age) and his wife to make use of the looms in the meantime. As the boys were only 8, 5 and 1 when their father died, William's wife was going to be busy for some time. John Morley, weaver, died in 1729 - had the looms and the skills been handed on down the Morley family for more than three-quarters of a century?

Robert Ousell, carpenter, 1669. Most of the buildings at that time would have been timber-framed and all the outbuildings made of wood, together with all the carts and farm tools. Thus a carpenter would have had a busy life. In his will, Robert mentions a room above his shop, presumably the carpenter's shop. He leaves a pair of new wheels to a friend. His inventory mentions wheel felloes, plough timber, clogs at the saw-pit, wood newly purchased for a barn, a furnace and 'tools of his trade'.

Tradesmen in this period needed a son or sons to continue the trade, who would act as apprentice and assistant, no wages, just keep. One can almost hear the father saying "When I'm gone, my son, all this will be yours". However, when the tradesmen died without sons to follow, little reference was made to their tools in the inventories or wills.

Leases:  When leases were granted to tenants by property owners the occupation or trade of the tenant was often mentioned.  In 1728 and 1729  the Reverend Montague Wood, owner of the Middle Hall, granted leases to James Hucknall, Framework Knitter; Lawrence Baguley, Shoemaker; and Francis Glover, cordwainer (Shoemaker).

Transactions in the Manor Courts for the transfer of land from one member to another also gave occupations or trades:

1733    Thomas Jalland, Hosier to John Lee, Maltster.
1744    William Wyld, Tallow Chandler and Soap Boiler to Samuel Lee, Yeoman.

The Censuses – available as public records from 1841 to 1901: Censuses were created only every decade, valuable information occurring during the intervening years could be lost. Village people could have had small shops for a few years, changed occupations, moved house, or houses could even have been demolished. With no house numbers it is often difficult to locate exactly where certain people lived, although the names of yards, public houses, Manors and lanes often give a clue. Identification of the location of a shop is particularly difficult in a village where shopkeepers used a room of their house as a shop. Sometimes, even the names of the various yards changed from one census to the next, depending on the name of the senior family living in it.

Another complication is that the census Enumerators did not always follow the same routes, visiting outlying farms and districts in different orders and when starting from their own home, sometimes going up the village and sometimes in the opposite direction.

The censuses give a good picture of how dependent the village people were on the occupations and trades of the community. There was no means of transport to Nottingham other than by the carriers' cart on Wednesday and Saturday, market days, and no trams from Mapperley into the city until the early part of the 20th century. The main alternative to using the carriers' carts was to walk.

There were four or five blacksmiths in every census in the period as well as up to eight carpenters and wheelwrights. During the 40-year period from 1861-1901 some dozen ladies told the census enumerators that they were dressmakers. These were often young ladies who were at home looking after their fathers; some were perhaps waiting 'Mr Right' to come along, or young wives trying to supplement the meagre earnings of their frameworker or agricultural worker husbands.

In the censuses from 1851-1871 there were about a dozen men working in the shoe and boot making and repairing trade, with some wives entered as 'shoe-binders'. A ploughman's boots in a wet autumn or winter would have come in for some punishment, and trying to dry out sodden boots in front of an open fire would not have done the leather much good. Men's tailors were thin on the ground; obviously the men's 'Sunday best' suits had to last a long time.

Trade Directories: County directories were issued most years and covered not only the various trades occurring in the villages but also gave a summary of the village, its position, some history, main occupations such as framework knitting, agriculture etc, as well as the major landowners, places of worship, bequests to the poor etc. Individual framework knitters were ignored as during the nineteenth century most Woodborough villagers would have had a frame or two. Some of the early directories, 1819 and 1832, pre-date the censuses. Directories help to fill in information on trades and shops in the years between the censuses.

Shops and trades in the village in the first half of the 20th century: There were three small shops supplying groceries, hardware etc. in the village catering for the needs of the people in their immediate area. The shop in Johnson's Square would cater for 170-190 people, men, women and children from that locality, including the 'Bank' on Bank Hill and Calverton Lane [now known as Foxwood Lane].

The Roe Lane shop next to the Institute would provide necessities for 120-160 people which would have included the properties in Sidney Terrace, The Square, New Row, Field Lane and the Poorhouses. The shop at the end of Southern's Yard at the eastern end of the village would have been able to supply the basics for up to 250 inhabitants, including Thorpe's Cottages, Shelt Hill and Lowdham Lane. In addition to the above there was the butcher's and the Post Office opposite the church, the Co-operative Stores (now the Post Office & Newsagents) and until about 1922 a bakery at Davenport House.

Two other essential items were paraffin and candles; electricity did not come to the village until 1928/30 and there was a considerable demand for paraffin for lighting, so all three small shops kept stocks of paraffin. Both the school and the church were lit by paraffin lamps hanging from the ceiling - it was not surprising that the congregations at both chapels and church learnt most of the hymns by heart!


The following sections describe buildings and those who lived or worked in them and where those shops and traders would have been positioned in the village. The plan below shows the village roads and footpaths as they were at around the early 1900’s; the grey dots show the positions of the shops and traders described in this piece. Please either scroll down or use the linked numbers which are relevant to the positions on the plan.

Examples of information that can be gleaned from marriage licences:-

Richard Treer


Lanius (butcher)

Stephen Pickard


Silk stocking framework knitter

Nathaniel Wyld


Tallow chandler

Jonathan Soresby



Samuel Gadsby


Skeenwork maker (basket weaver)

George Rimington



Samuel Lealand



John Bush


Sartor (tailor)

Nicholas Carrington



William Lealand


Pistorem (baker or miller)

Mark Bagguley


Calcearius (shoemaker)

Joseph Wyld



Thomas Donnelly



George Poole



The photograph above shows Richard Ward standing alongside the beautifully carved ceiling bosses.

The earliest record of Joseph being a blacksmith in Woodborough is in a trade directory of 1848 and he continued to be recorded as a blacksmith until 1891 when his age was given as 72. His sons John and Henry were also blacksmiths, John's name appears in the 1861 and 1871 censuses and Henry's in 1871 but by 1881 Henry had turned to market gardening.

Left: This photograph of Main Street shows the front of the Primitive Methodist Chapel and between it and the shrub it is possible to make out a small part of the gable end of the smithy. Its position in relation to the cottages can be seen on this 1883 map.

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