Description: Stone and tile cottage fair: 3 bedrooms, sitting room, kitchen, scullery, pantry, lean-to conservatory, greenhouse, lean-to coal house, stone and slate pigsty, stone and tile washhouse, EC, brick and galvanised shed, garden
Owner 1910 : Jesse Wear
Occupier 1910 : Jesse Wear
1911 Census : Wear Jesse, Head, 53, b. 1858; Tiler and plasterer Jane, wife, 53, b.1858 Bisley parish Bertie, son, 23, b.1888 Bisley parish; Tiler and plasterer Harry, son, 19, b.1892 Bisley parish; Tiler and plasterer Mildred, daughter, 15, b.1896 Bisley parish Samuel, son, 14, b.1897 Bisley parish; Assists father Hilda, daughter, 12, b.1899 Bisley parish; School
Information on owners/occupiers :
Harry Weare was one of 12 children born here. He married Lilian Pegler and lived at Fairview Farm. Jesse Weare left the cottage to Hilda who married Richard Dangerfield. Their son Michael continued to live here, while John Dangerfield was in Lynch Cottage.
1939/40 War Inventory: Mr and Mrs Richard Dangerfield, Richard junio, John, Michael
Chapel burials record :
11/1/1934 Elizabeth Jane Wear of Fairview aged 76
21/11/1934 Ernest Jack Wear of Fairview aged 29
17/1/1968 Richard Thomas Dangerfield of Fairview aged 70
The following record relating to "Fairview" was written by Richard Dangerfield and presented by Fiona Mitchell to the History Group in 2015. The original is attached.
Ordinary though it may seem when compared to some, I have for some time felt the urge to chronicle the history of our own family, in the hope it may be of interest to someone in the future, and not be entirely forgotten. In some cases the facts are available in the fom of written evidence such as birth or death certificates while in other instances I have had to rely on my memory, and on stories passed down to me by those who have gone before.
The very earliest record available is the birth certificate of my maternal grandmother Elizabeth Jane Gardner who was born at Oakridge Lynch on 27th November 1857 this certificate being signed by her father Nero Gardner who gave his occupation as a railway labourer. I assume by the date that he must in fact have been working on the construction of the railway through the Chalford valley at that time. It was also signed by her mother Luisa Gardner.
How she came to meet her future husband Jesse Wear who came from France Lynch I have no knowledge but we do have available the marriage certificate which confirms they were married at Oakridge Parish Church in January 1877 when they were both 19 years of age. This document is witnessed by Jesse's father Thomas Wear who was a plasterer and, Elizabeth's father Nero who by now gave his occupation as a stonemason. Obviously Jesse followed his father's trade as he also gave his occupation as plasterer.
At first they lived in one of the cottages at the side of Sammel's Hill but I am not sure which it was or indeed if it still exists to this day. However they soon started a family which quickly grew in the manner of those times and in fact grew to number 12 including a son John who died in childhood. How many were actually born at that first address I do not know, but obviously the size of the family made it necessary for Jesse to consider the need for more spacious accommodation.
And so it transpired that in 1892 he was able to purchase three adjoining cottages at the other end of the village below the school at the lower edge of the village green. The records show he bought them from Oliver Herbert Tanner, a gentleman's servant, from Lodge Malpas in the county of Chester although at that time they were occupied by Alfred Tanner who was presumably a relative of Oliver. It was witnessed that in consideration of the sum of £80 paid by Jesse Wear the said Oliver Tanner conveyed unto Jesse Wear and his heirs -
"All that messuage or dwelling house with the out buildings and gardens belonging thereto containing together about a quarter of an acre, more or less, situated at Oakridge Lynch in the parish of Bisley in the county of Glos and bounded by the premises formerly of Samuel Damsel and the open common land thereon all or the most parts or sides thereof. "
The conveyance is dated 8th June 1882 which is fifteen years after their marriage. In order to finance the deal he took up a loan of E80 from William Hunt of Oakridge Lynch which he contracted to repay with interest at the rate of £5 per annum on the 8th of December and the 8th of June. On the 30th July 1901 William Hunt died and the debt passed to Alfred Henry Hunt but it was confirmed the full amount had been paid and Fairview which name it had then acquired passed officially to Jesse.
He set about converting the three cottages into one house and this would have been no problem to him as a builder, but how long it took him to complete I have no idea. In all probability it was done piece meal over a number of years. He obviously formed a building company and must have enjoyed reasonable success as he subsequently employed his sons and he also owned at least one house in Chalford Valley which he rented out.
Fairview was ahead of its time in some ways for he installed tanks to collect rainwater which was then piped both to the kitchen sink and the copper in the washhouse.
He was a keen on his flower garden and connected the three cottages with a glazed passage to serve as his first greenhouse. The semi-circular cut out which still exists at the end of the shelf was for the trunk of his vine.
Subsequently he built a free standing greenhouse in the garden which was also fairly advanced for a cottage of that period, in that it was provided with a form of heating having an external furnace with large bore cast iron pipework. This carried the hot air and smoke around the building before discharging into a vertical chimney stack. A vine was once more planted which still bore large black grapes in my younger days. He owned a horse and cart for the builder's work and a trap for personal transport. The horse was kept in a field at the Pest House on the Waterlane common where he also had a lime quarry and kiln for making mortar. On one occasion my mother, his youngest daughter, was sent to fetch the horse, but found it dead in the lime quarry. He took his wife on holiday to Wells next the Sea which I made a point of visiting for this reason, on one of my frequent visits to Norfolk. During my childhood there existed either a jug or mug inscribed Wells next the Sea commemorating this visit. They also went to dine at the Hare and Hounds at Westonbirt but for what reason I have no knowledge. Jesse was a staunch member of Oakridge Wesleyan Chapel as it then was, and was in fact a lay preacher. He was a devout man and a strict disciplinarian who fell out with his older sons who frequented public houses, contrary to his own way of life. His eldest son George emigrated to Canada and some years before their father's death, two other sons Harry and Bert decided to follow him there. The rest of the family tried hard to effect a reconciliation on the eve of their departure but it was to no avail and the rift was never healed. Interestingly Harry and Bert returned to the old country and settled in Oakridge but because of their military service and his premature death I do not think they ever saw him.
Jesse's original bank book for an account with the Stroud branch of The Capital and Counties Bank Ltd is still in existence. It covers the period from 29th March 1904 up to 11th July 1916 which is only a few days before his death. Clearly the book was retained at home and taken to the bank for updating, all the records being hand written in ink. It is difficult to follow the un-sophisticated book keeping of those times, but, it does appear to cover the receipts, presumably from his customers for building work, and cash withdrawn for his own purposes. The balance at the last entry was £67-11-6d.
He must have been a very fine man and sadly he died at an early age even for those days. I remember my mother telling me they visited him in Cheltenham Hospital where he must have been a patient, possibly at this time. How they would have traveled there I do not know, it may have been by horse and trap or even by rail from Chalford station. He passed away on 26th July 1916 when only 58 years of age, and rather poignantly his last will and testament is dated 14d1 July 1916, only 12 days earlier.
The will stated that all his real estate was to be left in trust to his widow Elizabeth Jane, to receive the rents thereof, or to occupy any portion thereof, during her lifetime or until she should marry again. On her death or re-marriage the dwelling house and premises known as Fairview, Oakridge to pass to his youngest son Samuel Percy Wear together with the land known as the Little Field situate on the road from Far Oakridge to Lillyhorn.
The executors of the will were his son Bert and daughter Ada Mildred and the will was proved in probate on 17th October 1916.
I understand the reason for Fairview being left exclusively to the youngest son was as a reward for his having been much more abstemious than his other brothers whose visits to public houses had always worried their father.
In the event Elizabeth did of course, continue to live at Fairview until her death in 1934 and Jesse's will was finally administered in July 1934. At that time the total value of his estate amounted to £626-4-8d made up from the sale of cottages at Burcombe and Chalford plus land at Oakridge near the Pest House and cash from outstanding rents. The two sons George and Harry received only £0 each so I assume they had been compensated in some other way, unless it was due to the family quarrel previously mentioned. His youngest son Sam became the owner of Fairview at this stage so this would be taken as his share.
The balance was equally divided between the other beneficiaries as follows:-
Jack Ernest Wear
The bequest received by Jack Wear was that which would have been received by his father Ernest Wear had he still been alive. The monies were distributed on the August 1934.
Although I never knew Jesse since he had died eight years before I was born, I did know my grandmother Elizabeth Jane quite well. When my mother Hilda Wear was about to be married
in 1922, Elizabeth asked her if she and her future husband would make their home with her at Fairview and clearly they agreed to do so. She must have been 67 years old when I was born so for obvious reasons she played an important part in my early upbringing.
She was a kindly but retiring lady and like her husband, was very involved with Oakridge Wesleyan Chapel, which she regularly attended until she was unable to towards the end. Apart from the chapel I do not recall her going out at all although she had done so in earlier days. My mother told me she used to take her to Stroud, I think once a week for shopping. They used to take the horse and trap using the Chalford valley route and stable it at the George Hotel which in those days stood roughly where the entrance to the shopping precinct now is. On one occasion, presumably because the horse needed re-shoeing, it slipped and fell in the shafts several times on the way and thereafter my mother was too frightened ever to do it again.
In the days after Jesse's death, the girls, some of whom were still living at Fairview, persuaded their mother to move to Brimscombe to enable them to be nearer their boyfriends and the Rail Car sevice to Stroud and other such conveniences. They moved to the house on the eastern side of Brimscombe Hill, just above the railway line, that had once been the Nelson Inn. Whether they bought it or rented it I am not sure but Fairview was rented out to a Mr Scarf the cobbler. Although it suited the girls very well, Elizabeth was unhappy there and they soon returned to Fairview.
Later on, in the times I remember in the 1930's, she used to preside over the annual event of making Christmas puddings. This was a major operation to produce at least 12 large puddings that were mixed in the huge red earthenware bowl normally used for wine making, and then boiled in the wash-house copper. She insisted on having the currants carefully washed in a bowl of water which instantly turned black. At this point she always remarked, and I think believed, it was due to dirt originating from the feet of the natives who, apparently in those days, trampled on the grapes as part of the process to convert them into currants.
I remember her telling me how pleased she was when she first received the "old age pension" when this was first instituted in the 1920's. Prior to that, of course, there had been no state provision for old age and she certainly appreciated having it. My father made a small pulpit from an old tea chest, and after she was no longer able to get to chapel, I would read the bible from it that apparently pleased her. Her life came to an end quite peacefully I believe, on the 8th January 1934 just before my tenth birthday and this, being my first experience of death in the house, left me feeling very nervous for some time.
The children born to Elizabeth and Jesse were as follows :-
There was a further son named John who died in his infancy but, unfortunately I have no details of him.
George Wear was the eldest of the children and unfortunately there is little written information in his case, although his name was often mentioned. Even my mother, I expect knew only what she had been told, since he may well have left home when she was just a child. I know he was married and that he emigrated to Canada some time before the first world war. His children or more likely his grandchildren still live there but to the best of my knowledge there has been no contact with them.
On my various visits to Canada during the 1980's I would look up the name Wear in the local directories, but although there were very few entries I never tried to make contact to discover whether there was any connection. In retrospect I feel I should have done so. There is however some written record in the form of letters written in 1934. These were kindly given me by my cousin Gwen Bartleman who is the eldest daughter of Sam Wear. The first is from George to his brother Sam written shortly after Elizabeth died. It is dated the 1st March 1934 and the address given as Cascade Hotel, Eagle River, Ontario, Canada. He firstly expresses his sorrow at the death of his mother then goes on to say "trade is very bad here and times are very hard". This would well have been the case as it was at the time of the general depression in the 1930's.
He then goes on to enquire whether he had benefited in any way from his late father's will and to ask Sam to send on anything that might be due to him. He went on to say he had just received a large hospital bill for an operation, but gives no details of what the problem might have been. Finally he expresses the hope that Fairview will not pass out of the family and enquires about an old bible with pictures that had belonged to Gert. Could Gert have been his wife.
The second letter to Sam, also from Eagle River, is signed by M. Gardiner who seems to be a woman. I have no idea whom she was, but of course, Elizabeth's maiden name was Gardner which is very similar, and Gardiner was always a common name in Oakridge. This letter is dated the 28thFebruary 1934 which is one day earlier than George's former letter, yet in it she thanks Sam for his letter and assures him the enclosure he had sent, which must have been his £20 inheritance, had been safely received and passed on to George. Maybe one of them was muddled with the date but it is a mystery we shall probably never solve. She then goes on to say that Dan is in Fort William while Daisy is a nurse in a hospital near New York U. S. A. and is to be married in the spring. These may have been George's children but I am not sure. I have no knowledge of when he died or whether his descendants still live in Canada.
Ernest was the second eldest son, consequently the information regarding him is scant.
Fortunately his marriage certificate still exists which tells us he was wed on the 25fr December 1905, yes on Christmas Day, when he was 26 years of age which indicates he was born in the year 1880. He gives his occupation as a Decorator and address as The Merry Walks which I suppose to be the Merry walks in Stroud. The certificate was witnessed by Jesse.
His bride's name was Annie Dufford whose address was also given as the Merry Walks which suggests Ernest may have been living with her parents, tmless it was to simplify the banns by showing them both as living in the same parish. The wedding was solemnised at "The Parish Church in the parish of Painswick, Slad" so I am not sure whether it was Painswick or Slad Parish Church. The brides's father signed as Henry Dufford and gave his occupation as a Quarryman.
We do know he joined the Army during the First World War serving as a private in the Royal Berkshire Regiment and was killed in action in France, Interestingly, on the back of the above mentioned marriage certificate, can be seen a red rubber stamp that reads "Infantry Army Office No 7 District Warwick" and it is dated the 24th June 1916. This suggests the certificate was required by the authorities for some form of authentication at the time and puts his death some time during the first half of 1916 when he would have been 36 years of age. This must also have been at about the same time as the death of his father so Fairview must have been in mourning at that time.
His name may be found on the war memorial plaque in Oakridge Church, also on the memorial named the Fountain in the village. I have made enquires to find where his body is lain but so far without success. Perhaps like many other victims of the First World War his body could not be identified.
I was told his widow never recovered from the shock and died shortly afterwards. They had one son named Jack Ernest Wear who was thus made an orphan at a tender age and came to live with his grandmother and subsequently my mother at Fairview.
The third son Sidney was one of the older boys I did actually get to meet. I first saw him on the occasion of Elizabeth's death in 1934 when he came to her funeral. He apparently arrived unannounced on the day before the funeral having walked from Stroud station, where he arrived late at night. I met him the following morning, and as a lad, was puzzled that he looked much younger than his photographs, but it was due to his having by that time shaved off his moustache.
Years later he visited Oakridge once more with his wife Clara and spent a holiday at Fairview. I understand he had married before and lost his first wife by whom he had a daughter Dorothy, who by then was married and living in Reading. He and Clara lived at West Kirby near Birkenhead and they had one son also named Sid. The reason for his moving up there I do not know, perhaps because he found work there, or possibly Clara had some connection with that part of the world. He was a builder in the traditions of his father and brothers.
Sid had quite obviously been a drinking man, in a way, which now might be regarded, as irresponsible but, was fairly common in those earlier days. The stories about him are legendary and were still talked about jokingly, by his contemporaries, even in my younger adult life. My favourite one concerns his courting of Clara whom at that time lived at France Lynch. She came over to see him one evening, and upon arriving at Fairview was told he had gone out for a drink so, undeterred she followed him to the Butchers Arms. Sid, who at that time clearly rated drinking as a higher priority than courting, fortunately spotted her impending arrival and laid down under a settle behind the accommodating legs of his companions so she never found him and went on her way. In later years we drove up to Birkenhead to visit him and Clara on two occasions and were surprised to find he was still working although by then he must have been at least seventy years of age. On the occasion of our second visit we were sad to find his son Sid had contracted polio and was only able to move with difficulty. He died shortly after when I guess he would have been in his early thirties.
Sid senior died a few years later but I do not have the date of his death. I do remember we were only made aware of the event some time after the funeral had taken place.
Harry, who has been referred to in connection with Jesse's will, I did of course know quite well, for he settled in Oakridge. As we have seen he emigrated to Canada as a young man and he also served in the army during the First World War. Whether this was with the Canadian or British Forces I do not know but, obviously he returned to this country some time after the war.
He married Lillian Pegler and lived at Fairview Farm, which is just above the Chapel. By occupation he was a builder and worked for Hector Hook at Chalford. Since he owned two fields adjacent to Fairview Farm he also steadily built up a smallholding with poultry, pigs and cows which was largely managed by his wife.
They had a large family namely Violet, Kenneth, Dorothy, Grace and Alan who were contemporaries of mine and were of course my cousins. They also had twins who died and sadly Dorothy also died as a young married woman.
Bert who was next in line was just a little younger than Harry and of very similar appearance. Most of the Wear men were short and wiry in build like their father. His life had been very similar to that of Harry in that he emigrated to Canada, served in the army during the First World War and eventually returned and settled in Oakridge.
He married Annie and they lived only a few doors away from Fairview itself just below the school. He was self-employed, ran a small building concern and, like Harry kept a herd of milking cows and poultry. This was made possible because he had a huge garden attached to his house, which contained a workshop which had once been another cottage, together with cowsheds and a dairy. My father, I remember, rented one plot of the garden which, for some reason was always called The Old Garden.
They had three children, May and Leslie both of whom are now dead and Maureen who is married and owns a bungalow at the top end of what had been her fathers garden.
The youngest son was Sam who married Daisy King and when I first remember him he was living at Burcombe Cottages near the Pleasure Ground at France Lynch. As a child we would walk there from Oakridge across the Bidcombe fields to visit them.
He was a painter and decorator by trade, and, in the nineteen thirties when he was working for Gloucester County Council they moved to Gloucester where he lived at Lewisham Road until his death. They had two children, both girls, named Gwen and Cynthia in that order. I do not know the present whereabouts of Cynthia but Gwen who became Gwen Bartleman lives at Longlevens and has now lost her husband John. She it was who gave me the letters from George in Canada.
As will be remembered from Jesse's will, he inherited Fairview on the death of his mother in 1934 and remained its landlord until 1938, when it was purchased from him by my father who was already living there and had done so since 1922.
Unlike Harry and Bert he was a tall slim man. His wife Daisy continued to live at Lewisham Road until her death at the grand age of 92 years.
Very clearly, in the case of the younger sons who married and left home, there was no written paper work left at Fairview. Their documents and papers would have gone with them wherever they went which explains why I have more comprehensive details of some than others. I am sure their children have a wealth of information that could be added to this and it would be nice if at some time this could be achieved by someone. With regard to the daughters this is also the case because they all married in turn, left home and had children of their own. For this reason the information regarding them is scant, being based upon my own recollections and the stories passed down to me. By the same reason, memories sometimes grow dim, but I do believe what I have recorded is as factual as is possible.
The eldest daughter was named Lizzie, the shortened version presumably being used to avoid confusion with her mother, although she was no doubt christened Elizabeth. She married William Lovering Merrett and the wedding must have taken place during the First World War as there is photograph existing, which shows him to be a sergeant in army uniform at the time.
Billy, as he was always called, was a butcher and in the times that I can remember in the thirties he was the manager of the Dewhurst butchers shop in Westgate Street in Gloucester. They lived in Gloucester firstly in Goodyere Street and later at 39 Furlong Road. They had two children the firstborn being a boy. The story was often told that his father wished him to bear his own names whereas his mother wanted Tony. At the christening, before anyone could gainsay him when the childs name was requested, his father immediately replied William Lovering, then turned to his wife and said "but you can call him Tony", and so he was always addressed by the family. Tony served in the Army during the Second World War but has now unfortunately passed away. He married Peggy Rendle during the war years and they had one son Nicholas.
The daughter who was several years younger even than me was named Dorothy. She married Alan Young and went to live near Bridgwater where they had two sons.
Lizzie and Billy kept closely in touch and came to stay at Fairview almost every weekend so that Tony and I became very close friends. Billy was the proud possessor of an Austin Seven and they always took me on holiday with them usually to Weston Super Mare. In those days Billy and Tony were keen sportsmen both being very passable cricketers and also snooker players.
Tony worked at Gloucester Main Post Office in Kings Square and he and Peg lived at her parent's home until their deaths when they moved to Tumey.
The second eldest daughter was Nellie who, although older than my mother was, was unmarried at the time of my birth and still living at Fairview. I am told she made a great fuss of me as a baby.
I understand an earlier fiancée had died or perhaps been killed during the war, and she had a frightening experience when she was convinced he was calling for her at the back door, but there was no-one there.
She subsequently married Fred Cresswell and had two children Hilda and Rene who were a few years younger than me. From conversations I listened to when I was quite young, I gathered Fred had been made a prisoner in some foreign country such as Turkey probably during the war, although I think it may have been as a civilian.
My first recollections are of them living at Frampton Road in Gloucester. Fred was a clever engineer and at that time was engaged in the aircraft industry either at Glouster Aircraft or one of the local companies. Just before the Second World War he obtained the post of Chief Engineer at the Longford Cloth Mill between Nailsworth and Avening and they moved to a house near the mill opposite the Weighbridge Inn. By then I would have been about fourteen years of age, and I recall cycling there to visit them and being very proud to be shown all round the mill by Fred.
He would have been older than Nellie and died either during or shortly after the end of the Second World War and is buried in Oakridge Chapel yard. Nellie must have struggled to bring up the two girls but this she did successfully. Unusually the two girls married two brothers both of whom died when they were quite young. After a long period Hilda married again and now lives somewhere in the Cheltenham area.
After her two daughters had married Nellie moved to Stonehouse for a time but subsequently moved into a granny fiat, that was part of Rene's house at Leonard Stanley for the rest of her life. Rene still lives at Leonard Stanley and never re-married.
The third daughter was named Helena but was always referred to as Lena. She married Ernest Neale but, unlike her older sisters she remained in Oakridge so that I came to know her better. They had two children Betty and Mavis but sadly Betty died on November I Off 1926 when she was less than one year old and is also buried in Oakridge Chapel yard. Because they lived in Oakridge, Mavis who was three years younger than me, became a close friend. She was born on the same date as my birthday which did not please me at the time, probably because I felt I should be overlooked.
They first lived at the top of the fields at Bidcombe . The house still stands there although in those days it was two small cottages so they lived in the one on the France Lynch side while the other on the Bournes Green side was occupied by the Bowns family. In those days Lena used to go to work and I frequently walked across the fields with my mother to collect Mavis for school when she was quite young.
Afterwards they moved to Lydas Close, then to a house on the road from the Chapel to the Butchers Arms and, finally to the house at the top of the pitch next to the Butchers Arms.
Ernest had been in the forces during the first World War but in the times I can remember he was a fitter at Geo Waller and later became a foreman at T H & J Daniels.
Mavis married Sidney Short and had three children Paul, John and Julie. She lived at Oakridge for some years and had the new bungalow built next to the Chapel. Afterwards she moved several times including one spell when they kept the pub at Cherington, which is now closed. At present she lives at the Bourne, Brimscombe.
An interesting tale concerns Ernest's father who was a policeman. He was sent from Thrupp where they lived up to the Ragged Cot Inn to apprehend a criminal. When he tried to arrest him, the wretch grabbed the pepper pot and threw pepper in to his face which unfortunately blinded him.
The second youngest daughter was Ada Mildred, always known as Millie, and of all the girls she is probably the one about whom I know the least. She had married and left Fairview by the time of my birth and she rarely visited or seemed to keep much contact. Millie was however, together with Bert, an executrix of Jesse's will when Elizabeth died, as the Letters of Administration dated 31st May 1934 indicate. The choice of these two of his children for this particular duty is unclear particularly as they were both beneficiaries of Jesse under the terms of the will.
She married William Jack Reynolds, always referred to as Jack, and to the best of my knowledge they always lived in Stroud. Jack had inherited the Royal George Hotel, the best in Stroud at that time, which stood at the southern end of Kings Parade, and had been very well off, but for some reason he lost everything. Later on he was fortunate enough to inherit a motor hearse business which he ran successfully.
They had four children Mary, Stanley, Louis and Peter, and I first remember them living in a house on the south side of Slad Road opposite the Park Gardens. This was immediately next to what became the Estop factory in more recent times although, in those times it was Philip
Ford's builders yard. Later on, during the thirties, they moved to number 5 London Road, a very large house which stood on the north side of the road near the Conservative Club roughly at what is now the lower entrance to Comhill, but the house has been demolished. Millie sadly died in Stroud hospital when she was quite young, probably in her early forties and Jack subsequently married again. Mary now lives at Brockworth while Louis remained in Stroud now living in the Peghouse development and I do bump into him from time to time in the town.
Hilda May was the youngest child born in 1898 and she was of course my mother. She lived at Fairview for her entire life apart from the short period in the twenties when they moved to Brimscombe. She married Richard Thomas Dangerfield on December 26th 1922 at Oakridge Parish Church when she was 24 and he was 25, the marriage certificate being signed by Jesse, and Richard's father John George Dangerfield. It was also witnessed by her brother Sid and sister Lena.
I was their first child born on 13th January 1924 and christened Richard John. Three years later on the 8th August 1927 twins were born, a boy and a girl. The boy was christened Dennis and sadly he died when only seven hours old as a result of a premature birth. The daughter christened Wenda May did survive for eighteen months but she suffered chronic ill health for the whole of that time. Although I would have been only five at the time I do remember attending the funeral. They are laid to rest side by side near the eastern wall of Oakridge Chapel yard and unfortunately there is no stone to mark the spot.
On the 15th May 1938 my brother Michael David was born. He never married and lived with my mother till her death when he came to Stroud to live with my wife and I. During the latter part of his life he never enjoyed the best of health and unfortunately he died when only 51 years of age on 19th December 1989 and was buried in the new burial ground at Oakridge on 23rd December 1989.
My paternal grandparents John George and Nellie Dangerfield originally came from the Birmingham area and moved firstly into that red brick row of cottages on the north side of the road at Brimscombe Corner. These houses still stand today and this was where my father was born. They later moved to Swells Hill and lived in a stone built cottage at the bottom of the hill which also still stands.
He had two brothers Stanley and Raymond and three sisters May, Gladys and Winnie.
Both Raymond and Gladys died in their twenties but the others lived to a good age.
Grandfather Dangerfield I never knew for he passed away before I was born but I do know he was an engineer and, I think, worked at Geo Waller and Son. On the other hand I knew grandmother very well as she survived into my early adult life. Thinking of Swells Hill reminds me of my father taking me there when I would have been three or four. We were returning home by way of the footpath which runs down through the Moors just as it was becoming dusk, when to my delight a steam train came in view. The castle class locomotive was in full flow with its fire box wide open to negotiate the incline and it illuminated the entire area. The sight and the accompanying noise is something I remember to this day. My father was born on Tuesday 27 July 1897, was baptised on 12th September 1897 and was apprenticed as a pattern maker at Geo Waller and Son on the23rd October 1911. Apart from a short period during the slump of the thirties when he was forced to take a job at Martyns of Cheltenham, he remained there all his working life and became pattern shop foreman in the 1950's. His younger brothers Stanley and Raymond in their turn followed him there in the fitting shop and machine shop respectively.
When they first married, at Elizabeth's request, they made their home at Fairview and lived happily there for the rest of their lives. At first it must have been a fairly crowded household accommodating not only them, but Elizabeth, Ernest's son Jack Wear and for a while Nellie as well. At that time too, it was a regular meeting point for all the family who lived sufficiently near to make it possible. Even I can remember in the twenties and thirties the house being full to capacity especially on bank holidays and at Christmas. This was the situation which existed during my early life until Elizabeth died in 1934 and the ownership of Fairview passed to Sam in the terms of Jesse's will. I presume at that stage my father began to pay rent to Sam until such time as he was able to buy Fairview.
I suppose it may have been the possibility of war looming up that revived the ailing engineering industry in 1937 and enabled my father to negotiate the purchase of Fairview from Sam. The purchase price was £200 on which he paid a deposit of £20 and took out a mortgage with Stroud Mutual Benefit Society for a further £150 so that Fairview passed to him on 1st January 1938.
He loved the village of Oakridge and, in particular, Fairview itself which he frequently referred to, somewhat irreverently as "Jesse's Cabin". When he retired from Wallers whom he had served faithfully for so many years he took a job, for a short while, at
Redler in the carpenters shop. He became ill in the winter of 1968 and was admitted to Stroud Hospital which he disliked intensely. He may well have had a premonition for he insisted on discharging himself and went home to Fairview on Thursday 11th January 1968 where he passed away the same evening at 7-30pm in his seventieth year. He was buried on 1 January in Oakridge Chapel yard just inside the side gate.
After Elizabeth's death my mother continued to run the household in exactly the same way and few changes were made. She continued to be a pillar of Oakridge Chapel which she regularly attended but she was always a busy person who took part in most of the village activities such as the Women's Institute and the Oakridge Players. In her later years she learnt to drive and also took on the job of cook at the village school. She finally died at Fairview where she had been born in the early hours of Tuesday 2nd August 1979 in her 80th year and was buried at Richard's side on 29th August.
Fairview was left equally between my brother Michael and myself, but in the circumstances prevailing at that time we had little option but to sell, so the house passed out of the family hands for the first time in nearly 90 years.
In 1935 I passed a scholarship to attend Marling School which was not easy for a boy of only 11 years living at Oakridge. It entailed leaving home at 7-30 am and walking to Chalford station to catch the Rail Car and arriving home at 5-30pm in the evening with a good quantity of homework to keep one busy. In addition we went to school on Saturday morning all of which was a far cry from the comfort of the little village school. To my great joy, in January 1939 Fairview was wired for electricity for the first time although mains water did not arrive until after the war.
In the August of 1940 1 commenced an apprenticeship in the Drawing Office at Geo Waller thus becoming the third generation of Dangerfields to do so and, in 1951 was appointed Assistant Chief Draughtsman. I left in 1955 to join the design office of Gloucester Aircraft and finally went to H J H King at Nailsworth as Chief Draughtsman in 1957. This company was subsequently taken over by Redler when I became the manager of the malting division until my retirement in 1989.
In August 1942 1 married Kathleen Mary Wright, also of Oakridge, at Oakridge Parish Church and we have remained happily together ever since. At first we lived in a cottage at
Avenis Lane near France Lynch then moved back to Oakridge and lived in the house between the Chapel and the top of Whiteway. Subsequently in 1964 we bought a bungalow in Lansdown in Stroud, then moved to Slad Road and finally to Wesley Court where we now live. We have one son David John who was born in 1943 and who married Greta Joy Davis from Ruscombe. They too have remained happily together and now live at Churchdown. Unfortunately they have no children so the family name will not be carried on and David will be the last of the line.
My final chapter concerns Jack Wear. Strictly speaking these notes and recollections were not intended to go in detail beyond the second generation and he was the senior member of the third generation, of which I am of course also a member. However he was so much a part of the Fairview scene in the twenties and thirties, and his life was rather a sad one that it is important to include it.
Unfortunately I have no exact detail of his date of birth, the date of his death or at what age he was at the time of his death. Neither do I know at what date he came to Fairview to live, but his father Ernest was killed in 1916, and I understand his mother died shortly afterwards, so it may well have been about 1918. I assume he would have attended Oakridge School.
The first real evidence available is a document of his apprenticeship as a tailor to George Dauncey Smith of No 30 London Road Stroud which is dated May 1924. In those days it was normal to start work at the age of fourteen which suggests he may have been born in 1910. At all events the apprenticeship was set up for him by William Merrett for the sum of £35 which indicates he was a minor at that stage. He was very much a young man of his times, well dressed as contemporary photographs show, and the owner of a motor cycle which he used to travel daily to Stroud and back. Incidentally No 30 London Road still exists today and is now the London Hotel. The document confirms he completed his apprenticeship satisfactorily on 31st August 1929.
For what took place thereafter I have to rely largely on my memory and as I would have been only five years old it is somewhat sketchy. I do know he suffered from a weak heart and that his health began to deteriorate at about this time. I remember watching him play cricket in Oakridge pleasure ground and needing someone to run for him when he batted. At all events he had to give up his job in Stroud and, for a while he worked from home, but the amount of business available in Oakridge would not have been great.
Interestingly, he always used the format Ernest Jack Wear because the initials of the correct version Jack Ernest Wear spelt JEW, which in those days denoted someone who, was mean and resulted in his being teased. An amusing incident occurred about this time when Jack took my father to Weston super Mare on the pillion seat of his motor cycle. On the return journey as they neared the top of Stroud Hill my father slipped from his seat and was left behind while Jack continued the journey complimenting himself on how well the engine was "pulling". Conveniently the incident occurred just outside a public house named the Target Inn, which existed in those days, and on returning Jack found my father comfortably installed therein and none the worse for his experience.
Clearly his increasing ill health meant he could only work from home and his next venture was into keeping chickens so that he had installed a large poultry house on a piece of land he rented from his uncle Bert. A receipt for the purchase of this poultry house still exists and is dated the 20th September 1933, which gives some idea of the time factor. I believe, with a little help from my parents, this was reasonably successful. There still exists, in Jack's own handwriting on a sheet of notepaper, a home made will dated 12 April 1934 in which he records that in the event of his death he bequeaths all his worldly goods to his aunt Hilda. This is the most poignant document I have among the family memorabilia and I think how sad it must have been for a young man to have to perform this lonely duty. There is in addition his official will dated 29d1 August 1934 which carries the same instructions.
Unfortunately I do not know the exact date of his death but there is a receipt for the undertaker dated 21st November 1934 and one for floral tributes dated 24th November which confirms he died in the middle part of November when he would have been only about 24 years old. He lies with the rest of the family in Oakridge Chapel yard but there is no stone to mark his resting place.
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