REMEMBERING in the year 2000

The Proctors.

The ‘oldest‘ farming family in the Parish, now growing vegetables in Stoulton and Drakes Broughton.

  • The fourth generation of this family is now operating.
  • The family is listed in mid-to-late l9th century and at the sale of the estate in 1917.  
  • ‘Representatives of the late William Procter’ are  mentioned in connection with the Wadborough fruit farm.
  • Richard Procter tells of their first car in 1928 - a Chevrolet - which it was possible to convert to a lorry, and their first tractor was an Allis-Chalmers. 

Before the war fruit etc was shipped to market from Stoulton Station. The afternoon dispatch was for markets in Manchester or London next morning.

In summer they now rely on labour coming from Poland and Slovakia who work from March to November.

Crops produced are:- beans, purple sprouts and pumpkins.

Henry Woodward. Age 81 in 2000

Harry’s father moved to Drakes Broughton from Chipping Norton in order to work at Coddicroft Farm.  Later he moved to Elm View (on the A44 opposite Caldewell) in order to work for Mr Cyril Vint.


Mr Woodward attended Stoulton school in the mid to late 1920s and then went on to Pershore School. The village children often played and swam in Haw brook at the weir, the bigger children supposedly looking after the younger ones. One day a small child fell in unnoticed and was fortunately saved by air trapped in her long clothes, allowing her to float safely downstream and be rescued.


His leaning towards cars and engines took him away from Stoulton and before 1939 he became one of the first local petrol tanker drivers for Shell-Mex.


He recalls the bier path which runs down the side of the churchyard near Church Garth and then continued down to Hawbridge.  As its name implies it was used to carry coffins up from there to Church.


He also admits to scrumping pears from the old tree which still exists on the end of the barn in Church Lane and grapes from Merrimans, then the Post Office.

Harry Brookes

Mr. Brookes was born in Wadborough. His mother was a member of the Ewins family.   He attended school in Stoulton until it closed.  He came at the age of 3½ and was put to sleep on the stage after lunch, later he went to Drakes Broughton and Pershore schools.  Remembers the musty smell of the curtains.


Came to work at Box Bush farm for Smedleys with livestock. Left in 1942 to join the Royal Marines and then came back to work on the railways.  He remembered Molly, the Irish lady who lived in the garage in the barn at Box Bush. (She was ) A lady who just appeared.)

 Mr Brookes now lives in Pershore. 2000.

Mary Shepherd (now Mrs Hart)

Mrs Hart nee Shepherd was born in Stoulton, in Farthing Cottage, Hawbridge.  (She) remembers floods every winter and having to be carried from upstairs windows.  Later moved next door to Ursula Taylor (Merriman). Mrs Hart said they played in the river at Haw Brook at the waterfall (weir) and she featured in the photo with the Indian Girl and Mrs Lane-Smith in the Vicarage garden.


Remembers the garage being built by a family called Harborne.  They lived up above the garage.  Mrs Hart also delivered Bomford’s milk in a churn or a jar.  The milk was also delivered by Mr. Bowles who kept the Bird in Hand.  Mrs Bowles was the landlady at the Bird in Hand and her customers often paid for their drinks with 10/- notes as Mrs Bowles stowed these away in her garter - which caused a great deal of interest and perhaps increased the beer consumption!  


Mrs Hart’s mother made gloves as an out-worker for Dents who collected and delivered these to her home. She was paid 2/6d for six pairs.  


Bread was delivered by Palfrey’s and the Co-op. Meat joints came from Worcester which lasted for around three days. 

Mrs Hart’s mother was a very useful person around the village. She performed first aid, cleaned the Church and delivered telegrams.  She also took in the washing of surplices etc.


Mrs Hart started work at the outbreak of war at Morgan Crucible, but after contracting diphtheria was off work for over six months. After this she moved to the Air Ministry Offices. 


The couple were married in Stoulton Church after the war. (Their family tombs are under the yew tree in the Churchyard).

Several girls married German POWs including the three Clark sisters.  One still lives opposite the Plough and Harrow.  The Clarks originated in a cottage along the side of the railway at Pinvin.  Sadly their mother was killed by a train.

Mrs Hart now lives in Pershore. 2000

A tale told by Ken Diston

The building of the Council houses at Claverton, six of which were built before the war and the remainder post war, allowed many local families to move from tied cottages or from substandard dwellings.  Ken says that it also gave them the freedom to express their opinions without the risk of losing their jobs and housing.


Ursula Taylor

Ursula Taylor was born in Froggery Lane near to where Box Bush House now stands, the cottages were condemned and the two cottages across the road were built and she lives in one of these to this day.  When the cottages were built they were wired for electricity but it was many years later that electricity was brought to Stoulton.  Ursula was the village post lady after leaving school and carried on with this work for seventeen years.

Miss Passey

Miss Passey and her brothers and sisters lived in the house next to Ursula Taylor in Froggery Lane, where they had a carpenters shop.  Nurse Borridge rented a room from them which she used as a surgery.  She was the nurse and mid-wife and attended both births and deaths, she later moved to Windmill Hill to "The Thatch".   The house in Froggery Lane was demolished in recent years and the new house, Forget-me-not Cottage, now stands on the site.


From the archives.

Miss Passey's father was employed as the Estate Carpenter and looked after the estate cottages.   Correspondence between Mr Passey and the Estate Steward form part of the Stoulton Archive  at Eastnor Castle. 

Tony Wilkes

Tony was born at the Blacksmiths shop at Spetchley and lived there until he was five. His father died and he was then moved to an orphanage in Worcester.  He attended Christopher Whitehead School and became head boy.  He was a boy scout and choir boy and an army cadet.

At l6 he left school and was sent to work in a grain mill.  

At l7½ he joined the Army (Grenadier Guards).  

After a back injury he left the Army.  He worked on a garage forecourt, drove a delivery van and became a long-distance lorry driver before eventually working for the railways where he worked for 38 years, retiring in 1998.  Whilst working on the railways he worked in the evenings for Mr Bomford, ploughing, combining etc.

He married Ursula and moved into a cottage at Wadborough Park.  

(At some stage he moved into Stoulton and lived in 2 Malvern View)  Tony soon became involved in the village, being on the village hall committee, running the youth club, whist drives and dog training club for fifteen years.  

In l975 he was elected to the Parish Council and has been chairman since l984.  Whilst working on the railways he worked in the evenings for Mr Bomford, ploughing, combining etc.

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