The Houses on Guildford Road
The Rances (Henry George Selwood and Rose Annie Maud) moved into Selwood, a house which Henry had presumably purpose-built for himself, in 1926. They had lived nearby in Rickford for some time already, and were well-known in the area. Their story is told in the Holly Bank section below.
Henry’s middle name of Selwood originated from his mother, Mary Ann Sellwood, from Bucklebury, Berkshire. The Sellwood family in Berkshire has been traced back to the 1600’s, and it is touching to think that the name lives on (albeit with a slightly different spelling).
Henry died in 1941, and after the war, Rose was joined by her daughter, Enid Bickers and her husband Sydney. Rose died in 1953, still living at Selwood, leaving £3,800 (worth c£150,000 today).
After Rose’s death, the Bickers family continued to live at Selwood until at least 1981. Meanwhile Sydney’s parents were living next door at the Rance’s old house, No 2, Holly Bank. Sydney died in 1986, and Enid died in 1994. We do not know if they were still living at Selwood at this time, but we do know that the Rance dynasty lived in the Holly Bank/Bungalow/Selwood houses for at least 80 years.
A recent photo of Selwood is shown below.
The Bungalow (now Rickford Bungalow)
As described under Holly Bank No 1 below, The Bungalow was built c 1905 and initially occupied by Annie Williamson after her husband died. Annie moved out of The Bungalow c1929 and died at the Guildford Workhouse in 1931, aged 90, probate being granted to her old neighbour, Henry Rance.
The Bungalow was later (1938) occupied by Henry James and Alice Rance. Henry was the only son of Henry George Selwood and Rose Rance, who had been living next door at Selwood since 1926. Henry (the father) may well have built the house back in 1905.
After the war Henry James and Alice renamed the house as Rickford Bungalow, which sounds much cosier. They and their children continued to live in the house until 1972.
The first indication of a building on the site of the current Ellesmere House is from c1943, when Rance & Sons (Henry Rance’s building company) based their office and builder’s yard there. This was presumably a modernising initiative of Henry Rance junior (who was living next door at The Bungalow), following the death in 1941 of his father, Henry Rance senior, who had founded the business. We know of a gentleman who remembers playing as a child in the brickyard there, when his father was working for Rance & Sons.
In 1972, the office, workshop and joinery shop were demolished and the two storey building which stands today, Ellesmere House, was built in its place, with the current main bedroom being on the site of the former boardroom. Was this the very last building activity in more than 70 years of the Rances of Rickford perhaps?
The bend in the road just before Ellesmere House was known as “Rance’s Corner”, but thanks to the subsequent straightening of the road, it should probably be renamed “Rance’s lay-by”. Having been occasionally occupied by caravans, it is now blocked off from traffic, and only occasionally used for temporary storage of materials for repair of the main road.
Holly Bank Nos 1 & 2 (now Manesty and Holly Bank)
These 2 semi-detached houses were built c1900. The new occupants were the Williamson and Rance families in No 1 and 2 respectively.
Firstly, let’s look at No 1: Samuel and Annie Williamson were from the Cambridge area, aged in their 50’s. Samuel died in 1905, at which time Annie moved into the newly-built Bungalow (now Rickford Bungalow) next door.
The next occupants in No 1 were called Christmas. Unlikely as it seems, their arrival in Worplesdon seems to have been unconnected with the better-known Christmas family of Bakery fame, although the 2 families were distantly related. The story of both families is told here.
Sydney Christmas, whose father’s efforts to produce wine from the fields of Rickford are documented elsewhere on this site, was an assistant overseer of the poor in 1911 and was tragically one of the many to fall at Flanders in 1917. His widow, Edith Bessie, continued to live there with her 3 children until at least 1945. In 1939 she was a clerk to Worplesdon Parish Council.
By 1951 the house was occupied by Alan and Joan Maycock, and had been given the more atmospheric name of Manesty, presumably named after the house and woods just south of Derwent Water in the Lake District.
Moving now to No 2, Henry George Selwood Rance was a builder who previously lived in Wokingham. (He may have been living locally in Worplesdon prior to moving into Holly Bank, as he had been co-opted onto the Perry Hill Chapel Committee in 1896, in connection with the Chapel renovation works. An alternative explanation is that Holly Bank was built prior to 1896). Perhaps it was his work on the Chapel that “cemented” his relationship with Rickford, as he and his family stayed in the area for 60 years. He and his wife Rose and their family stayed in No 2, Holly Bank from c1900 for 25 years, moving just a few yards up the road to the newly built Selwood in c1926.
Albert Enever’s narrative refers to “Mr Rance’s builder’s yard, where I worked with another 12 men of all trades”. This suggests a fairly sizeable business, and the yard would probably have been on the site where Selwood, and later Ellesmere, would be built. He describes Henry as “a dapper little man, always wearing a navy suit, bowler hat and sporting a beard. You could always hear his coming by his singing, ‘Haw haw’ into his beard. He was an accomplished musician, playing both the violin and the piano. The poor little man lost on every job, but somehow still managed to end up reasonably well off. This was the case with most of the business folk in the builder’s yard.” It seems the building trade hasn’t changed much over the years.
Albert Enever's memoir also suggests that Henry and his team were involved in building the Infectious Diseases Hospital on Whitmoor Common in 1899. Maybe Henry had built Holly Bank himself. This is pure speculation but it seems logical that he built many of the houses at Rickford. There was certainly a lot of house-building activity there in the early years of the twentieth century.
He is immortalised in one of Sidney Sime’s caricatures (below left) – a thin whiskery gent with a hint of a smile. It’s very easy to imagine him sitting in the New Inn with a pint in his hand, moaning about how he was losing money on every contract.
Henry and Rose’s son, also named Henry, moved into The Bungalow (now Rickford Bungalow), in between Holly Bank and Selwood in the 1930’s and were still living there in 1961. All told, a 60 year family association with a small area of Rickford.
After Henry and Rose left No 2 Holly Bank, the house changed hands a few times, ending up with Charles and Mabel Farminer between 1938 and 1955. After the Farminers, it was occupied by (the alliterative) Benjamin and Bertha Bickers until at least 1981. They were the parents of Henry and Rose Rance’s daughter’s husband, Sydney Bickers. (rather a complicated relationship to get one’s head around, I’m afraid).
A recent estate agent photo of Manesty (also showing Holly Bank No 2 on the right) is shown below.
The name “Old Rickford” certainly seems apt for this house. The Grade II listing particulars (see below) give the age of the house as 17th century, but unfortunately I have not yet found evidence of this. It appears on the Tithe Map (c1840) as the pink building in the plot numbered 415, just west of the Chapel. It was a half-acre plot and included the land from the Chapel westwards as far as Selwood.
It was owned by Catherine Terry, but occupied by “Henry Hooker and others”. Catherine also owned the (slightly smaller) plot immediately to the east of the Chapel, abutting Nightingale Lodge. This contained a very small dwelling, which was Old Forge, also occupied by “Henry Hooker and others”. This Henry Hooker appears in the 1841-1871 censuses as a wheelwright living at Pitch Place, which supports the current owner’s report that Old Rickford shows evidence of once having been a forge, which supplied Merrist Wood Farm.
Catherine inherited the property from her mother, Lucy Terry (1755-1825), who was the third wife of Moses Terry (1738-1791). Moses was the son of Aaron Terry (this was clearly a family which liked biblical names) and moved from Mitcham to Worplesdon, where he married his first wife, Sarah Johnson, in 1769. Moses was obviously a successful man, as he owned property in Pirbright (which he left to his son, George) as well as property in Worplesdon. The Terry family is detailed here.
By 1851 Old Rickford was occupied by Thomas Walker, an agricultural labourer, and he stayed there with his family for at least 60 years. His wife, Celia, died in 1894, aged 66, and Thomas died in 1912, aged 92. Whether it was owned by Thomas Walker or the Terry family is not known, but around 1900, much of the Old Rickford land was used by Henry Farris to build Farris’s Cottages (covered elsewhere on these pages). Presumably this land had been sold to Henry Farris by the owner of Old Rickford – whether it was Thomas Walker or a member of the Terry family.
From 1918 until 1955, there was a rapid turnover of occupants.It was advertised for sale in The Times in 1934, where it was described as seventeenth century. Herbert and Joan Grenyer arrived in 1955 and stayed in Old Rickford until 2005.Joan’s diary, published as part of the Worplesdon Village Project for the 900th anniversary of the Domesday Book, is kept at the Surrey History Centre (which I am yet to read).
Old Rickford was listed as a Grade II building in 1984. The listing particulars are:
House. C17. Timber framed clad in red brick with rendered gable end to left, plain tiled roof, hipped to right. T shaped plan with gabled crosswing to left end. 2 storeys with square ridge stack to left. Plat band over ground floor. Two 2-light, diamond-pane, leaded casement windows and one single light on first floor. One casement to first floor of gabled bay. 2 cambered head, ground floor casements to gabled wing, one window to right and one square bay window under hipped roof to centre right. Ribbed, part glazed door to right end in hipped roof timber porch.
A 2001 photo of the house is shown below.
The next 4 houses (Fairview, Fernside & Waltham Cottages) were previously known as Farris’s Cottages. The reason for this is explained at the start of this page. The houses were built on land which previously belonged to Old Rickford.
James Enever, originally from Gloucestershire, moved into what is now Fernside in the early 1900’s and he and his family remained there until he died in 1939. James’s wife, Vera Jane, died in 1929 at Fernside, aged 65, and her obituary in The Surrey Advertiser noted that she was a member of the Womens’ Institute and the Mothers’ Union. James died in 1939, aged 82, having been a member of the Ripley & Knaphill Harriers in his younger days. Sidney Sime’s sketch of him - not particularly flattering to my eyes - is pictured below.
They had 8 children. 3 of these children stayed in the immediate area until 1939. William moved into Brook Farm in 1926 (see below). Robert, a gardener, moved next door into Fairview, also in 1926 (see below), while James, continued to live in Fernside. However around the time of the second world war each of the 3 families moved away to Shackleford, Guildford and Chobham respectively.
A fourth child, Albert, emigrated to Australia in 1925, but fortunately returned for a visit in 1975, and wrote his personal reminiscences, many of which are quoted throughout this site.
After the war, Caradoc and Marie Thomas lived at Fernside (having moved from The Elms) until at least 1962. The 1939 register records Caradoc as a “Baker of bread”, so we can conclude that he worked just along the road at Rickford Bakery.
I do not know for sure who first moved into Fairview, but it was probably Henry and Annie Poole in 1902, and they lived there until 1913. Albert Enever refers to Mrs Poole’s “little sweet shop”.
In 1922, Robert Enever (see above), his wife Beatrice and their family moved into Fairview. They were accompanied by Beatrice’s sister Lily Broadbridge, her husband Robert and their family, together with their (Beatrice and Lily’s) father, Henry Buckman. Given that they were living next door to James Enever and his family, it must have been a rather complicated family setup.
Tragically, Beatrice (shortly after a throat operation) and Lily both died within a few days of each other in late 1932, aged just 45 and 47 respectively. Robert Enever remained at Fairview until 1938 when he moved to Shackleford.
Leonard and Pearl Wallis moved in after Robert Enever left. Leonard was the son of James and Agnes Wallis and had been born in Rickford, probably in what is now No 2 Kelvin Cottages (see below). He and his wife Pearl (who had worked as a clerk in the WRAF at Woking GPO) ventured further afield (to Sundial Plain in Worplesdon) in the 1920’s, but they couldn’t stay away from Rickford, and moved into Fairview in 1938. They remained there until their deaths in 1975 and 1980 respectively. Given that his father James had moved into Rickford sometime in the 1890’s (probably – refer Cook’s Cottages below), this ended an 80+ year relationship between 2 generations of the Wallis family and Rickford.
The electoral rolls suggest that 3 families may have lived in 2 of Farris’s Cottages - what are now called Waltham Cottages – from 1901 until the 1914. One of these families was Silas and Fanny Terry. Silas, who was aged 25 when he moved in, was the son of John Terry (who lived at Rickford Mill from c1890 until his death on 1902) and brother of Arthur, who lived a few doors away at The Old Forge (see below). The Terry family is detailed here. After leaving Waltham Cottages (soon after the First World War) Silas and Fanny moved to the Post Office at Perry Hill for a brief spell before moving across the river to Westbrook Cottages, Fox Corner c 1927.
After the first world war, the 2 cottages were named Waltham Cottages (Why? I don’t know, but it could derive from any of several places called Waltham in the UK).
Jonathan and Rachel O’Neill lived in No 1 from 1918 until Rachel’s death in 1933. After this, Jonathan moved to 4, Pirbright Cottages, but died 3 years later, aged76. He had been gardener for Mrs Montgomery of Little Rickford, and she attended his funeral. After Jonathan moved out, the house was occupied by the Puttick and Stenning families until at least 1962.
No 2 was occupied by Frederick and Selina Reid from 1918 until their deaths in the early 1930’s. After the second world war until (at least) 1962 it was occupied by John & Elizabeth Douglas.
The earliest mention of Dunstans is in the 1938 Electoral Register, when Horace and Ada Norman were living there. Anne Philps records that Sisterhood meetings of the Congregational Chapel were held here during the 1940’s. The Normans continued living there until 1955, at which point they moved across the river to Rose Cottage at Fox Corner. Arthur and Doris Denning then lived at Dunstans until at least 1981.
No information. Pine Hanger was not mentioned in the 1939 census.
The Old Forge
This house appears on the c1840 Tithe Map, thus making it one of the older buildings in Rickford. At that time it was a small dwelling on a reasonable-sized plot which extended to the chapel on one side and to the Nightingale Cottage plot on the other. It was owned by Catherine Terry, one of the 5 children of Moses Terry, and had been since at least 1829. At that time, and in subsequent years in the 1800’s it was occupied by a series of agricultural labourers, presumably as tenants. Catherine died in 1863 unmarried, and the property presumably passed to another member of the Terry family. Over the next few years it looks as though Old Forge was occupied by a series of tenant agricultural labourers.
From 1898 to 1916 it was presumably still held by the Terry family, as it was occupied by Arthur Terry (son of James and great great grandson of Moses Terry) and his wife, Janet. Arthur died in 1916, aged 42, having been a wheelwright in partnership with his brother Silas and a Charles Primmer. The report of his funeral in the Surrey Advertiser stated that the Terry family had lived in Worplesdon for “nearly 400 years”, ie since the mid 1500’s. However Moses Terry moved from Mitcham to Worplesdon some time between his birth (1738) and his marriage (1769), so this may be an example of journalist’s hyperbole. The Terry family is detailed here.
The firm of Primmer and Terry was still in existence in 1943 (evidenced by a newspaper article describing their arrangement of the funeral of the Rev JJ Barber, the minister of the Congregational Chapel).
Between the wars, Old Forge was occupied by a variety of people on a short-term basis (perhaps they were tenants). However it appears that the property may have been sold in 1935, as occupancy changed to longer periods: Frederick and May Carter lived there from 1935 until at least 1962, and Esther Daley from 1979 to 2007.
The first mention of St Breward is in 1930, when it was occupied by George David (born 1876) and Mary Ann Chuter. Mary Ann (nee Tregembo) was born in St Breward, Cornwall, which gives a clue as to the origin of the house name.
George David (known as David) had lived very close by since 1911 (working at the mill, according to Albert Enever) but it is not clear exactly where. The sequence of the 1911 census suggests Deepdene (or its predecessor). However another possibility is part of The Old Forge (above), since the parish burial register notes that Leonard Chuter (probably a nephew), died at The Old Forge in 1927, aged 25. So, something of a mystery.
Anne Philps records that Sisterhood meetings of the Congregational Chapel were held here during the 1940’s. David Chuter was secretary of the Chapel at the time.
David and Mary remained at St Breward until 1955, when David died. But there is another mystery – why in the Electoral Register was George David known as David George before 1930? His birth, marriage and death certificates record his name as George David, A newspaper report and Anne Philps both record his name simply as David.
Today Nightingale Cottage comprises a single house and a large outbuilding, but in earlier days it looks as though it was two semi-detached dwellings.
The first reference to Nightingale Cottage appears in the 1780 Land Tax records, when both Richard Huntingford, a farmer, and Mrs Heather were assessed for owning and occupying “Nightingirles”. Mrs Heather’s assessment was considerably greater than Richard Huntingford’s, so we can assume that she owned most of the land.
As an aside, I would not recommend a google search of “Nightingirles” as it gives some rather unexpected results, but in fact Nightingirle was a surname, albeit a very rare one, from the 1700’s. Perhaps a Mr or Mrs Nightingirle was an original owner of this property? Possibly, but I can’t find any trace of any Nightingirles in any Surrey records, although Elizabeth Nightingall, a widow, brought a legal case in 1675 concerning property in Worplesdon and in Stoughton.
Taking the smaller property belonging to Richard Huntingford first, this gentleman died in 1786, aged 77. His will makes an interesting start: “I give and bequeath to my son Richard Huntingford one shilling and no more in the month after my decease, I having given him divers sums of money before and my lands in Pirbright”. Just to make it clear, he specifies that the remainder of his estate should be “equally divided between all my children, except my son Richard Huntingford”. A trace of bad feeling between father and eldest son perhaps?
Richard bequeathed “Nightingale Lodge” (then occupied by his daughter and husband, Mary and Richard Steer) to his wife, Alice, and thereafter to his third son, George, who was a husbandman (ie a farmer of a small property). Given that the will was written in 1784, I think we can conclude that references to “Nightingirles” in the official records were clerical errors, and that the house may have derived its name from nearby birdsong instead. Alice died 6 months later, and so the property passed first to his wife, and then to their son, George.
George died in 1811 (coincidentally in the same week as his younger brother, John), aged 67. He left his property to his wife Ann, and then to his son, also called George, who was a carpenter.
Now turning to the second, larger property, Mrs Heather lived in the property until c 1791. I can’t trace who Mrs Heather was. It was common for property to change hands upon the death of the owner, but the only candidate for a Mrs Heather who died around that time was one Anne Smith, who is described as “concubine of the abovesaid John Heather”. John died in January 1790 and Anne died just 3 weeks later. Intriguing, but surely this John Heather was not the owner of Nightingirles.
Ownership passed in 1791 to a John Whitbourn who, after a few years of living there, let it out to various tenants, including, from 1820, the Rev William Roberts, who was curate at St Mary’s Worplesdon, and somehow involved in the Congregational Chapel just along the road. It seems that the Rev Roberts bought the property in 1832, and, after his death in 1833, it passed to his son, John Walter Roberts, a captain in the Royal Navy. As stated in a codicil to John Walter’s will, “farm in Perry Hill” was sold prior to his death (in 1845). Was this Nightingale Cottage? If so, to whom was it sold?
John Walter Roberts presumably sold this second property to George Huntingford (the younger), as by the time of the Tithe map (c1840), George (the younger) Huntingford’s property comprised both of the buildings on the site of Nightingale Cottage and a field abutting the Bagshot road extending south east as far as the current junction with Rickford Hill, nearly 2 acres in total. George (the younger) appears in the 1851 and 1861 censuses as living in Nightingale Lodge. He died in 1866, aged 77, and it would appear that the property was sold by his family. In fact his name disappears from the electoral registers after 1862, so perhaps the property was sold around then. In any event I cannot trace the owner of Nightingale Cottage for the next few years....
The 2 properties seem to have been bought in the late 1860’s by James Heather (the elder), who let them out for a time. James’s life is described on the Heather Family page. Is it a coincidence that one of the Nightingale Cottages had been owned by a Mrs Heather 115 years earlier? Much as I would like there to be a hidden family story here, I suspect that the answer is “Yes”, as I can find no obvious connection.
In 1881, the census suggests that the 2 cottages were both occupied, one by a gardener (called appropriately Charles Gardener) and the other by a police constable, Wiliam Sumshon, who had been living at Stonebridge cottages 6 years earlier. His address in the census is given as “Police station”.
But when James Heather (the younger) married Maggie Birkett in 1890, it looks as though his father may have given Nightingale Cottage to them as a wedding present, since they promptly removed the tenants, combined the 2 properties, moved into the “new” Nightingale Cottage, and stayed there for the rest of their lives.
James (the younger) died in 1914, and 2 years later, Maggie married Samuel Burch, who was 17 years her senior. Samuel’s life is described on the Burch family page. Samuel and Maggie lived together at Nightingale Cottage until Samuel’s death in 1927, aged 78.
By 1929 Beatrice Quennell, a 18 year-old parlourmaid from Pitch Place, had moved in with Maggie. Maggie remained at Nightingale Cottage until she died in 1949, aged 84. She had lived there for 59 years – a mighty stint.
The trail of the 2 cottages goes cold until 1906. In that year, the larger of the cottages (it had 4 rooms) was lived in by James Heather, a retired labourer, aged 61. This was the son of James Heather, the grocer who had sold his shop to John Christmas c 1861. Is it a coincidence that one of the Nightingale Cottages had been owned by a Mrs Heather 115 years earlier? Much as I would like there to be a hidden family story here, I suspect that the answer is “Yes”, as I can find no obvious connection.
James remained at Nightingale Cottage until his death in 1914, at which point it was occupied by Samuel and Louisa Burch, who appear to have been well known in the locality at the time. Judging by the number of newspaper references, in which she was unfailingly referred to as “Miss Quennell”, Beatrice appears to have been a keen supporter of the Congregational Chapel Sunday School (of which she was the secretary). Anne Philps records how she was sometimes invited to tea by Beatrice at Nightingale Cottage, but found it “rather dark inside”. Beatrice carried on living at Nightingale Cottage and remained there until at least 1962. She never married.
In 1911, Nightingale Cottage was again split into two dwellings. While James and Maggie lived in one part, the other Nightingale Cottage was occupied from 1911 onwards by Henry Mitchell, a landscape gardener from Sussex born in 1841, and his wife, Mary. It looks as though Henry and Mary purchased the property, as it stayed within their family for several years.
Henry and Mary Mitchell died in 1923 and 1919 respectively, but the house continued to be occupied by their children: Druce and Elsie (who had married Henry Sebbage). They stayed in the house until their deaths in 1953 (Druce) and 1955 (Elsie). At that point the eldest of the 3 Mitchell children, Clifford, returned to the house, having been living in Croydon. He lived at Nightingale Cottage until his death in 1964, aged 83, thus ending the family tenure of over 50 years. Neither Clifford nor Druce ever married.
As an aside, the name Druce is most unusual, both as a forename and a surname. Britishsurnames.co.uk reports that there are only 414 people in Britain today with this as a surname. Back in 1881 it was more common, with 774 instances, and this too is unusual – you would expect most surnames to have increased in frequency over the last 140 years (the population of England has increased by 130% over this period). So why was Druce given this name? Possibly a (female) Druce married a (male) Mitchell at some stage in the family lineage, and the name was preserved via young Druce Mitchell. I can’t trace such a marriage (other than one which took place in 1949!), and we may never know for sure, as there are few descendants of the family.
Since around 1980, the 2 cottages appear to have been merged, with a single family occupying the entire building.
Heath View (now The Elms)
The first mention of Heath View is in the parish burials register of 1901. One Thomas Robinson, aged 83, of Heath View, Perry Hill was buried that year.
By 1911, Thomas Barns and his wife Sarah had moved in (having lived just up the road at Layton Cottage in Goose Rye Road) and they were to stay there for around 30 years. Sarah died in 1929, aged 75, and Thomas died 3 years later, aged 78 having just moved to Woking to live with his nephew.
Thomas had been born in Chiddingfold in 1854, but by 1891 his family were living at Merrist Wood Lodge with his father in law, who was the farm bailiff there. Thomas was living alone in a house in Littlehampton, which is rather strange. Perhaps they were in the middle of moving from Sussex to Surrey. Perhaps Sarah had taken the children to live with her father for some unspecified reason.
In 2 censuses he is recorded as a “commission agent”, which is census code for a salesman who sells on commission (or possibly a euphemism for bookmaker). In 1911 he was living in Woking as a collector and caretaker for Woking Gas Company, while still retaining Heath View.
One of Thomas and Sarah’s sons, Herbert, was immortalised by Sidney Sime (picture below). To my eyes this is not a very flattering picture. Born c 1886, he moved to Abridge Cottage, at 257, Worplesdon Road, Guildford (which is just beyond the Keens Lane roundabout at Pitch Place). He must have liked the New Inn, as it is a fair hike there from where he was living. In 1939, his occupation was a poulterer.
The spelling of Thomas’s surname is unusual. Although it was sometimes transcribed with an e inserted as the penultimate letter, it was generally recorded as Barns
The name of the house (originally Heath View) shows how Rickford has changed over the years. The old postcards (shown elsewhere on this site) show that the area opposite the chapel was open heathland (as well as a cricket ground), and the name of Heath View must have seemed entirely appropriate at the time.
However Albert Enever points out that by 1975 this area had become very overgrown (and still is), and we should not be surprised that the name was changed to something more arboreal. Caradoc and Marie Thomas lived there briefly in the 1930’s before they moved to Fernside, and it was they who changed the name to The Elms. Whether it was to reflect some elm trees in their garden or on the opposite side of the road we don’t know, for the trees have surely passed the way of most elm trees in England in the last fifty years.
In 1936 the sisters Elizabeth and Stella Hope (a midwife and a nurse respectively) moved in. Elizabeth soon moved out, but Stella, who was secretary of the Guildford Dance Club and played the organ at the Chapel, married George Fletcher in 1940. They remained at The Elms until 1981.
Kelvin Cottages (previously Cook’s Cottages)
The earliest (indirect) reference to Cook’s Cottages is in 1901, when William Austin (who worked at Terry Bros wheelwrights on Perry Hill Green – as described on the Terry family page) lived in one of the houses with his family, while James Wallis lived in the other. In 1891 James had been living at Brook Farm House, so he must have moved to Cook’s Cottages at some time in the 1890’s, which is presumably around the time when the houses were built (they appear on the 1897 OS map, but not on earlier maps). The name “Cook’s Cottages” first appears in 1911, but I have no idea who Cook was. Job and Moses Cooke, a gardener at Rickford and a farmer at Pirbright respectively are possible candidates, but seem unlikely (and the spelling is different).
As with Farris’s Cottages, the name changed around the end of the First World War, the new name being Kelvin Cottages. Why was this name chosen? I have no idea. There are 2 Kelvin Cottages in Thames Ditton, but there is no obvious connection with these. It is possible that both the Rickford and Thames Ditton Cottages were named after Lord Kelvin, the physicist, who died in 1907. Perhaps this is when the name changed? He had chosen the name Kelvin as his title to reflect his early Scottish upbringing.
The Wallis family stayed in No 2 Kelvin Cottages for nearly 60 years. James died in 1913 (aged 77) and his wife Emma Agnes, who was around 30 years younger than him, died in 1945 (aged 80). Their youngest daughter, Olive, remained at the house until c1958 continuing to live just a few yards away from her brother Leonard and his family at Fairview. Olive then moved to Guildford, living with her sister Florence. She died in 1962, aged 66, never having married. When she was born, her father James had been in his fifties.
We know that No 1 Kelvin Cottages was owned and occupied by Moses Cooke from 1907 to 1912. One possibility is that Moses Cooke may have been the original owner, and may have named Cook’s Cottages after himself.
There is another possibility: After the First World War, No 1 was occupied by Edward and Elizabeth Criddle and their family until at least 1981. However Edward had been the bailiff at Blanket Mill between c1907 and 1915, and before then at Rickford (unspecified address) since 1902. It seems quite possible that he was living at No 1 Kelvin from just after the time it was built in 1902, moved to Blanket Mill to pursue a good job offer in 1907, and then returned to No 1 Kelvin after the war. This would mean that the Criddle family occupied No 1 Kelvin for 80 years.
Muriel Wallis and Lily Criddle both played the organ in the Chapel during the 1940’s. With a joint occupation of around 140 years, let’s hope that the Wallis and Criddle families got on well together.
For cricket fans, a West Surrey Times piece in June 1903 noted that E Criddle opened the batting for Worplesdon against The Borough Police, played at Worplesdon. He was out without scoring. Who knows, perhaps this was the match featured in the photograph of the Rickford cricket green. Perhaps Edward Criddle was the batsman at the crease (albeit briefly).
Although the current house Deepdene appears to date from around the 1930’s, a house in that position appears on the 1897 map and the censuses support that there was a house there from the early 1890’s. It appears as though it was occupied from 1891 by old James Heather (aged 70, the baker prior to James Christmas’s arrival in Rickford) and his wife Emma. James died in 1902, but I can’t trace what happened to Emma.
As referred in the section on St Breward above, it seems that the house was occupied from 1911 by George and Mary Chuter before they moved to St Breward in 1930.
The name Deepdene only appears in the Electoral Register from 1938, and perhaps it had been rebuilt around this time. Within a year it was occupied by Charles and Florence Wadey. Charles was a member of the Worplesdon cricket team, and seems to have been a reasonable bowler. He was also a pretty good footballer by the look of it. Here he is right in the centre of the successful Worplesdon football team in their 1924-25 photoshoot. He was vice-captain of the team. He frequented The New Inn in Worplesdon, so for good measure we have also shown the caricature which Sidney Sime drew of Charles. Comparing the 2 pictures, Sidney’s effort looks spot on. You can see both pictures in Worplesdon Village Hall.
Florence (nee Buckle) was the daughter of a well-known, and probably very popular, Worplesdon character – William Brewer Buckle, proprietor of the New Inn (on the site of the now ex-pub The White Lyon). Charles and Florence were living at the New Inn prior to moving into Deepdene. We have shown Sidney Sime’s caricature of William below. It certainly gives a good impression of a jolly landlord.
William Buckle died in 1935, and perhaps Charles and Florence used their inheritance to buy Deepdene. There is a more likely explanation: William had owned a freehold house in Rickford since 1907, and perhaps this was the predecessor of Deepdene, let to the Chuters until 1930, but then claimed by Charles and Florence after William’s death
Charles died in 1960, and Florence died in 1985. She was still living at Deepdene in 1962.
Edward Jesse Woodman, a grocer in Fernhurst, Sussex, moved to Worplesdon in the early 1890’s and bought a house in Rickford (identified in the 1911 Electoral Roll as The Limes). The house does not appear on the 1873 map, and judging by the look of the house today, it was probably a new build at that time, although there may have been temporary housing on the site previously.
Mr Woodman set up a business in Rickford at The Limes, and Albert Enever refers to “Mr Woodman’s bakehouse and corn store, where you could buy bread, horse and chicken feed, bacon and pork, as they killed their own pigs and made bacon”. Despite the nearby presence of a competitor in Christmas Bakery, he must have been a successful grocer, since when he died in 1907 his estate was valued at £5,500 (worth around £500,000 today).
The house continued to be occupied by his widow, Mary Ann until c1930, when it was acquired by Harry Cornelius and Alice Binsted. Anne Philps records that Sisterhood meetings of the Congregational Chapel were held here during the 1940’s, and that Cornelius was a deacon of the Chapel. The Binsteds lived in the house until the late 1940’s, after which their son Charles and his wife, Winifred, lived there. They moved out c 1959 in their 70’s to the Portsmouth area.