High Wych Sawbridgeworth and the Great War

Underneath you can see the cover of a book shortly to be published in which your High Wych Historian has been quite involved           High Wych, Sawbridgeworth and the Great War discusses the ways in which that tragic conflict affected our communities. The book will be available through a number of local outlets High Wych Village Stores for instance Of course you can slo buy it also directly from the Sawbridgeworth Local History Society. You can find out how to order by clicking here

A mystery to be solved

The above picture and below post it note show the type of mystery a local historian comes across. They were lent to me by the current occupants of the Thatched Cottage who got them from the previous owners. The Thatched Cottage stands opposite the entrance to the Manor Of Groves. The note mentions that the picture shows Zena and Phillys Denis visiting cousins from London and that the baby in the pram is Ron Fish born 28 June 1911.

The main occupant at the Thatched Cottage at the time was Charles ‘Chipper’ Holden a boot and shoe repair man, who lived there with his wife Eliza, his daughter Florence and his brother in law George. The note mentions that Charles had lost a leg in a farming accident in Allens Green. Further research told me that Florence had married a Charles Fish in High Wych on 8 May 1911. Baby Ronald was obviously the first born from that marriage. By 1939 Ron Fish, a carpenter, lived at 2 Mansfield with his grandfather Charles and his mother Florence. In 1940 Ron Fish married Violet Swain (Vi )in High Wych Church. After their wedding Ron and Vi moved to one of the newer council houses in Mansfield where they stayed until 1996 when Ron passed away.

Ron and Vi, had a daughter, Anne, but I have not been able to locate her. I’d love to ‘flesh out’ this story. What happened at that farming accident in Allens Green?   Who was Charles Fish, Ron’s dad?  Did Ron Fish join the army in the second world war (he did have the right age) etc. etc. Help me if you can.

I have not been sitting still

Those who do not live in East Hertforshire and only occasionally visit this website may have been wondering what I have been up to. Indeed I myself just noticed that the most recent post here dates from September last year, some 10 months ago!

In my defence I can say that I have been occupied with my work as chair of the Sawbridgeworth local history society and with writing a book about the way in which the first world war, the Great War, affected our area.

There have been articles publishd in the High Wych Link, our Parish Magazine though. In the last year I have written about High Wych weddings and funerals in the olden days, about Websters N ursery, about an assault at high Wych School back in 1898 and most recently about the congregational church Sawbridgeworth. All these articles are posted on my ‘articles as pdf’ page.  Have a look and if you have not read them already, read them now.

Best wishes,   Theo

Well done all scarecrows

Hello,

As you undoubtedly know  already High Wych held its second scarecrow festival last weekend. The weather was not as brilliant as it was last year but  participation broke all records. The village was rewarded with a two page spread in the Herts & Essex Observer and also with an online video. If you are interested, you may want to visit that paper’s website.

The Sawbridgeworth Local History Society set out its stall there as well, complete with a scarecrow of Asgar the Staller, the first known Lord of the Manor in our area.  For the occasion we had amended our presentation slightly making it more attractive for tose who live in the ecclesiastical and civic parish of High Wych.  There was a quiz with “historical questions” which was won by Amy Mead.

Thanks go to the organisers, visitors and participants. And if you are wondering, the above picture shows David Royle on the SLHS stand just after we set out our wares. That’s him on the left. The other chap is Asgar!

As this is a High Wych website rather than a Sawbtidgeorth ditto I can’t resist showing you some favourite scarecrow pictures.

 

      

Talk soon,  Best wishes,   your High Wych Historian

Meet Asgar (the scarecrow)

Hello,

As many of you know on Saturday 9th September and the following Sunday the High Wych scarecrow and flower festival will be held. Scarecrows will line the road from The Hand and Crown Pub to High Wych School and along High Wych Lane up to The Manor of Groves Hotel. The centre of the festival will be St James’ Church. The churchyard will also be decorated with scarecrows and there will be stalls from local organisations. The Sawbridgeworth Local History Society will be there as well  and your High Wych historian will be one of those manning its stand.

The SLHS will have its own scarecrow in the shape of Asgar the Staller who was the first known “Lord of the Manor” in these parts. See above for a picture of Asgar’s  scarecrow. Asgar fought on the side of a famous king during a famous battle against the forces of another famous king. We are not telling you more than that as there will be a quiz to answer and a prize to win. Participation in that quiz will be limted to children below the age of 16. So why dont you come along.  Apart from that there will be photographs and maps from the olden days to look at and friendly people to talk to. You might even want to join the SLHS !!!

I make mistakes………………………….

Yes I do. Despite the fact that I let people have sight of articles I write before they get published in our parish magazine the Link or on line, mistakes are being made.  Most recently this happened with my article on Actons Farm and the Mynott family.

In the last paragraph of that aticle I failed to mention that father Chris Mynott (Ernest Christopher Wilfred) passed away on New Year’s Eve 2001. The version published in the link now sadly contains that mistake.

I have however now published a correct version on line which can be found by clicking on the following link:    Actons Farm and the Mynott Family

Once again my apologies.

Theo

A date for your diary ???

Next week, on Wednesday 19th April I will be giving a presentation at the Sawbridge Words bookshop in Bell Street Sawbridgewords. The title of my presentation will be “Tales of a Village Historian”    As you can imagine I will tell people of my experiences writing the history of High Wych, the village where I live. It would be nice to see you there.

The event will start at 7.30 pm. Entrance will be £ 5.== which will however entitle you to a refreshment. If you want to have a look at the poster advertising the event you can download that here.

Meanwhile, enjoy a picture of High Wych as it was roundabout 1910.

For further information contact Neville at Sawbridge Words on 01279 248336

John Clarke – a Tribute

On 24th February 2017 John Clarke passed away. He was 76. It is fair to say that John was my inspiration in choosing local history as a hobby. His encouragement and help has been invaluable.

John taught me  how local history can help the community and how it can encorage your own sense of community. Over the last five years we had many long telephone conversations. We never talked for less than an hour at a time.

Gilston church was standing room only for John’s funeral and afterwards there were many who came to High Wych Memorial Hall to pay homage to him. Our thoughts are with Yolande, his widow. How lucky she was having lived with such a generous, warmhearted and kind man. All those who knew him were enriched by him.

Meanwhile, there is no better way to honour John’s memory than to reread the histories he wrote of both Gilston and Eastwick. To read them once again visit the pertinent pages by clicking on the following links:     John Clarke’s History of Gilston      and:                John Clarke’s History of Eastwick

TvdB

The High Wych Allotments

Hello,

Walking back from Sawbridgeworth one evening this week I took the below photograph of the High Wych allotments. I’m quite proud of it to be honest. Here it is:

1702 0701 hwFor quite a while,  writing an article about the history of the allotments has been on my to-do-list. Maybe the sight of this picture will provoke people into coming forward with some stories.

Thanks already,  Theo