Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Comberbach School Log Book 1877-1878

Comberbach School Log Book 1877 - 1878

Extracts from the original held by Cheshire Record Office

Notes made by June Parker and Lyn McCulloch

Feb 16 Mr Hopkins called

Feb 23 'Sorry to say there is a new case of fever this week.'

May 4 'Several children out of village.'

June 15 Scripture Examination

Aug 24 'Tea-party in village given by Mr Clarke.'

Sept 28 Lady de Tabley called after school and promised to come again.'

Oct 19 'Several cases of whooping cough.'

Nov 30 'Bad coughs.'

Jan 18 'Tea-party at Hall.'

Feb 22 'Several bad coughs.'

Mar 22 ' Two children from Anderton admitted.'

Apr 5 'Few cases of whooping cough. Children much better.'

Apr 19 Good Friday holiday
'Lady Mary promised to give prizes to the best children when she returns to Marbury.'

May 10 Scripture Inspection

June 14 'Holiday given yesterday on account of a Bazaar being held at Marbury Hall

July 12 'School closed for 3 week holiday.'

Aug 5 'School reopened.'

Aug 6 Vicar of Great Budworth (Rev Wm Robert Lyon Bennett)
' School still not in a satisfactory state as regards the attainments of the infants or children above 7. Arithmetic and spelling were both very weak subjects and reading not more than fair. If the school cannot be limited to infants it would be advisable to give the Mistress some assistance.
My Lords have ordered the grant to be reduced by one-tenth under Article 32(b) for defective instruction.
If scholars over 10 are retained, a larger proportion of those qualified by attendances should be presented in the 3rd standard next year.

Sept 27 'Lady Mary and Mr Smith-Barry visited the school Tuesday last and promised assistance would be given.'

Oct 18 'Few cases of measles.'

Oct 25 'Children still sick.'

Nov 8 'Holiday. Playground being repaired

Nov 15 'New cases of measles.'

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Comberbach School Log Book 1876

Comberbach School Log 1876 (Extracts)
From the original held by Cheshire County Record Office
Notes made by June Parker and Lyn McCulloch

Jan 28 'A holiday given for the tea-party. Children went to the Hall for tea and played in the gardens. Each child received a bun and a prize on returning home. Lady Mary promised the girls who attended church and school best a red cloak and a prize to each boy who attended best.'

Feb 11 'Lady Mary called and heard the children answer and sing and all the classes read.'

May 12 'Children work much better this week, having got a new blackboard.'

May 19 'Two children from Anderton admitted.'

June 2 Monday - Scripture Examination (Rev. J.F. Buckler MA)
Half-day holiday

June 30 School examined by Rev. H. Smith
3 week summer holiday

July 28 'Several children sick.'

Aug 18 ' Several children ill.'

Sept 8 'Tea-party in village given by Mr Clarke.'

Sept 15 'Several children ill of fever - obliged to close school.'
The following got a special mention in Rev. J.F. Buckler's report:
'Slate work was good.'

Sept 25 Rev Bennett, Vicar of Great Budworth's Report
' The older children read well but the results of examination in writing and arithmetic are very unsatisfactory. Mrs Ormston appears to me to have more on her hands than she can accomplish.

I should like the managers to consider whether it would not be better to receive infants only into this school.

My Lords have ordered the grant to be reduced by one tenth under article 32 (b) for defective instruction, especially in arithmetic. More books and maps should be provided.'

Oct 20 'Several children ill of the fever.'

Nov 3 'Many children ill.'

Nov 24 Lady Mary called. School closed. She promised the tea-party 'as soon as the danger is over'.

Dec 1 ' Obliged to give a holiday today, a Monday, on account of the Inspector ordering powder to be burned in school.'

Dec 22 'Children had their tea-party at Hall. Red cloaks to girls, caps to boys who'd attended church.'

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Comberbach School Log 1874-75

From the original held by Cheshire County Record Office

Notes made by June Parker and Lyn McCulloch

June 10 'Joseph and Charles HAYES gone to a boys' school'
July 20 Thos WHITTAKER, Fredk HASSELL, Jane and Mary TOMKINSON admitted.
July 27 Eliz WILLIAMSON & Hannah ACTON off ill
Aug 3 Frederick HASSELL off ill
Aug 24 Scripture Inspection
Sept 14 Frederick HASSELL sick
'Mary HANCOCK absent on leave'
Sept 21 Thomas CLARKE, William BARBER admitted
Sept? 'James MOSES taken dangerously ill'
Oct 5 'Sorry to hear that James MOSES is dead'
William JOHNSON admitted
Oct 12 'Several children sick'
Oct 26 'Sickness & bad throats amongst the children.
Several very ill'
Nov 9 'Glad to find that many of the children are better& at school'
Levi HANCOCK admitted
Dec 7 Lady Mary came to school today & heard the children
answer from Scripture'
Dec 14 'Several children have bad throats and bad heads. If not better it will be wise to close the school for there is much sickness in the neighbourhood'
Dec 21 'Very thin school'
Dec 24 'Hoping the children will be better'
Xmas holidays - 3 weeks

Feb 1 Frances CLARE, Maria HALLOWS admitted
Feb8 Maud DAVIES admitted
Feb 15 'Lady Mary SMITH BARRY was here & heard the 1st class read and answer
questions. Also examined all the copy books'
Mar 1 'Lady Mary called & heard the 2nd class read & all the children answer questions in mental arithmetic'
Mar 15 'Lady Mary heard the 3rd class read & all the children sing'
Mar 29 'Lady Mary called & fixed the tea-party for April 5th & promised to give prayer-books to those who had attended church'
Apr 5 'School opened at 1/2 past 8 because of the tea party at 3 o'clock. The children
go to the hall for tea, play in the gardens & go on the water. Each child received a bun& sweets on returning home. Prayer books were given by Lady Mary to those who had attended church'
May 8 'Lady Mary called & heard the baby class, their letters & the little ones spell'
May10 Frances CLARKE left. Gone to live at Frandley
June 4 'Several of children sick'
June 24 Scripture Inspection (Rev.H.SMITH, Rev.W.L.BENNETT)
'Mr WILLIAMS examined the children on Friday'
July 21 Vicar of Budworth, Rev.W.L.BENNETT wrote:
' Mrs Ormson should study the new code & make herself familiar with its requirements. With a little more acquaintance with the Rules of the Education Department she will do very well'
Aug 13 WILLIAMSONS & TOMKINSONS left the village
Aug 27 'Tea party given by Mr CLARKE - holiday for school given'
Sept 3 Several little children admitted
Sept 24 'Mr HOPKINS called on Wednesday & heard 1st class read'
Oct 7 3 infants admitted
Oct 8 'Lady Mary called on Thursday afternoon to see the children which was a great surprise, the family being from home'
Oct 28 Clara ATKINSON admitted
Nov 5 'Mr HOPKINS called'
Dec 3 'School visited by Lady Mary's sisters'
Dec 10 'Expecting Lady Mary to visit us every day after her return'
Dec 17 3 children admitted
Emily ELLISON: gone to service

Even more of George Robinson's Memories of Comberbach

Even more of George Robinson's Memories of Comberbach

From 1928 to 1933 Mrs Connie Jones lived next door to George. She later lived in Little Leigh and was well known for her charity bicycle rides. In 1988 she was coming round the bend at Harrison's farm and she fell off her bike. At the time of George's talk she was preparing for her 3rd Marathon for Dr Barnardo's.

Mr Hough from Marbury Farm moved to Stretton and his son and later grandson farmed after him. They used to hunt. Ploughing competitions were held at Anderton. Dick Jones was teamsman for Mr Hough . The horses were decorated with horse brasses and red, white and blue ribbons. Dick Jones used to win first prize with his horse Britannia. George has a photo taken in Mr Whalley's field.

The bowling green itself was laid by Mr Evans Senior and Mr Lever. When The Recreation Field and War Memorial were opened there was a procession from Comberbach Cottage and Barnton Silver Band played 'Onward Christian Soldiers' amongst other things. There were free teas for the children and also for those who had lost someone in the war. Lord and Lady Barrymore also gave the Barrymore Cup.

On January 28th 1940 there was a terrible snowstorm. Iris Sadler had scarlet fever. She was stuck in Northwich and had to come home by taxi. There was six feet of snow and the soldiers had to dig out the snow as far as Soot Hill. People were able to skate on the mere.

After the war the huts at Marbury Park were used for German prisoners of war. Bert Trautmann, the famous Manchester United goalie was a German POW at Marbury. The Italian POWs were housed in brick built buildings near Ideal Gardens, at Cogshall.

Later ICI made Marbury Hall into flats for 'bachelors'. In 1948 East Park and West Park were created from the huts and local people were able to live there.

Mary Moores has a photo of the thatched cottages in Senna Lane. There was a block of three, three more and then a pair.

The landing place for light aircraft was the field behind Home Farm.

During the war the pipeline under the ocean was built (PLUTO) and runs under the car park and playing field.

When the mere was frozen the boys would cycle across it and Harry Hornby once rode across it in his motorbike and sidecar!

More of George Robinson's Memories

More of George Robinson's Memories

The Marbury Estate was sold in 1932. The sales brochure shows that there was only one farm left. Tom Walker was the occupant of Ivy Lodge Farm and the rent was £26 per annum.
The population of the village in the 1930s was about 300. The village bobby was called Constable Bligh and he lived where Mrs Iosson lives now. (Lavernock, Marbury Road)

On Armistice Day, which was always November 11th, the schoolchildren all stood at the windows as the service took place at the war memorial. Bill Acton (Edith Fuller's uncle) would play 'The Last Post' on his bugle.

Mrs Cox was the only teacher and she lived in the schoolhouse.

In 1933 Marbury Hall became a country club and was opened by Lord Delamere. Lots of cars came through the village which was very exciting for all the young boys as there weren't that many cars then. There was an airstrip at Marbury and people would fly in to go to the country club. The local boys got 2/6 a round, caddying on the country club golf course.

During the war troops arrived straight from Dunkirk. The men asked where they were, as they had no idea. They jumped naked into the swimming pool and gave chocolate to the local lads.

In the 1940s Marbury became a training camp. When people were called up they came to Marbury and did 'square-bashing' on the roads. They had no uniforms - just gas masks. In the field opposite Home Farm you can see the zigzags where the troops dug trenches.

The soldiers fired mortar bombs into the mere. The Fleet Air Arm at Appleton had a target in the middle of the mere and George and his pals used to love watching them.

A special centre was built near Ideal Gardens to house the Italian prisoners of war. They cycled to work. The village boys used to collect willow for them to make into baskets.

In 1941 the air raids got worse. There was an air-raid shelter just outside the Memorial Hall and although several bombs fell on the village none went off. There may still be one up Cogshall Lane somewhere!

When George was young times were hard. His dad was unemployed and there was a means test for the dole. The rent for the house on the Moss where he was born was 3/- a week. There was no water and no electricity in the house and the toilet was 15 yards away. They used to go in pairs with a candle! They ate meat only once a week and a rabbit pie would be a special treat.

During the war George delivered milk twice a day for Yearsleys at Hollybush Farm. He was about eleven or twelve.

In the 1950s when George lived at 32 Mather Drive there was a bad thunderstorm and the Goosebrook flooded. He waded in to rescue a rabbit!

George's brother in law was in the police force and he was the first member of the family to have a radio.

In 1921 Lord Barrymore donated land for the Bowling Green, Memorial Hall and Recreation Field. We had one team in The Mid-Cheshire League in 1936. Now we have three. The Bowls Pavilion used to be a storage hut. It cost £16-17-6. Lord Crichton Stuart and Roscoe Brunner of Belmont Hall were Vice-Presidents and Roscoe Brunner gave £100 to the Bowls Club.

The opening ceremony was on August 27th 1922. Lord Barrymore opened the Recreation Field and Roscoe Brunner the War Memorial.

During the war the bowling green was neglected. The grass was about a foot high! Horses were used to mow it later and now it is one of the best in the district.

Maurice Jones used to visit George's sister. Maurice was once playing with Jimmy Gill, an evacuee (he lived at Smithy House where Coxeys live now) down at Marbury Mill. The brook was dammed and Maurice fell in. Jimmy pulled him out.

Mrs White lived at Marbury Mill then. Threshing machines would come round to each farm; the corn would be stored and then taken to the mill.

Most of the evacuees in the village came from Liverpool.

The present Post Office was a chip shop. It was coal fired. You could wait for two hours. When the Americans came they would buy £1 worth of chips. The average wage was £3 a week in those days! There was a supper bar and you could eat inside. Chips were 3d a portion.
One of George's friends cut off all the prongs on the forks. He used to make pliers in Warrington! The actual shop was where the post box is now.

Pimblott's cottage was next to Hollybush farm. George used to be called 'Spud' like Spud Pimblott.

Mount Pleasant (now Jenny Underwoods) was the Tailors Shop.

There was a Cobbler's alongside Comberbach Hall, next to Percival's Garage.

Lily Millington's shop was a wooden shop on the corner of Senna Lane and Warrington Road. Called Top of Town it was a focal point as it was light. The boys used to swap cigarette cards there and it was always busy, especially in summer when the cycle clubs would call. The cyclists would sit on the grass and drink pop from the shop which you bought by the glass. Lily took the money home in an Oxo tin.

Lily knew everyone. George's brother John went into the shop one day and drank from a pop bottle. It was vinegar! There were wasps but no one ever killed them. 'If you kill one wasp three will come to its funeral,' was the saying.

George lived in Cogshall Lane later on. He got the 10 past 8 bus to Barnton.

During the war the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV) were known as 'Look, Duck and Vanish' to the local lads. The ARP was irreverently referred to as 'Arsin' round Pubs'. There used to be someone on duty at Mulberry House in a room at the back of the house, up some steps.

There used to be a dentist in the village. He took out Frank Jones' teeth (Edna's husband) in a bucket and then moved to Betwys y Coed, sending the teeth on.

Bert Evans, who was killed in the war, had a bomb dropped on his garden. He went to the ARP warden and knocked on his door only to be told, "I'm not on duty tonight. You'd better go and see Mr - - - -."

The doctor lived at Hawthorn Cottage (now White's). He was the first person in the village to have a TV.

George Robinson's memories of life in Comberbach during the 1930s and 1940s

Some of the houses in Comberbach were thatched cottages.
George's Mother had two girls with her first husband and five children with her second husband. The family lived in a house on the Moss. There was no running water. There was only cold water and no electricity. Sometimes the family had rabbit pie to eat. Times were hard. George was born in the house on the Moss in 1927.
In those days you went to the village school until you were eight and then to Winnington, Great Budworth, Barnton, Rudheath or Antrobus which became popular in later years. George walked to Winnington, past the Anderton Lift and over the swing bridge, to school, every day.
In the 1930s there was a really bad depression. Jobs were scarce. George used to run errands such as collecting paraffin oil. The radio ran on a battery and George would get a wet battery accumulator from Cyril Johnson.
The War started in 1939 and in 1940 George's father died. Three of the children were still at school so George got a job delivering milk to supplement the family income. Holly Bush Farm was where the British Telecom Exchange is now. He delivered milk before going to school to Anderton Post Office and the village and again in the evening to the village.
Mr Cox had 30 to 40 pupils at the school. George used to go home for his dinner, as there were no school dinners in those days.
Milk was 2 1/2d a bottle. In the summer holidays George enjoyed rides on the horse drawn carts to and from the cornfields on Woodcocks Farm. Actual holidays were non-existent. The seaside was only seen on Sunday school outings. Lots of horses were shoed at the Smithy.
In 1935 the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary was celebrated and in 1937 the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
Before the war Marbury Estate was beautiful. There was a fence right round the perimeter. Lots of village folk worked there. George's Grandma was a maid and his Grandfather was a groom to Lord Barrymore. He would drive Lord Barrymore in his trap to Hartford station to catch the train to London.
George and his friends knew the story of the Marbury Lady. His Grandma never saw the ghost despite coming home very late after balls and other social events. His Grandfather thought he did, once.
Some of the chaps from the village used to go and play cards with the men who lived in the bothies at Marbury Hall. George's uncle was there one night when the clock in the courtyard struck twelve midnight and a lady walked past. They all said, "Goodnight" but she did not reply. One of the uncle's friends said he'd catch up with the lady and see her safely home. He never did catch up with her so they all decided it must have been the ghost of The Marbury Lady.
George's Auntie Lena knew where the 'mummy' was. The supposed Egyptian Princess who had been rejected as a bride by one of the Barrymore family swore that she would never leave Marbury until 'holly wasn't green'. When she died she was buried at Great Budworth. Such strange things happened at Marbury Hall that the body was brought back to Marbury and buried in the rose garden.
One of George's pals was coming home in his car through Marbury Hollows one night and saw a lady in evening dress. He stopped and turned the headlights off and the lady was not there. Stuart Hubbard thought he saw the ghost once but it could have been someone playing a joke. It wasn't unknown for the locals to dress up and pretend to be The Marbury Lady.
To be continued..........

Friday, 21 September 2007

Philip Rayner Remembers-Life in Comberbach

Philip Rayner Remembers- Life in Comberbach
29th March 1989

Mr Rayner (83) and his sister Audrey (Mrs Hyett) (77) came to my house for a chat in 1989.

Me: Where were you born?

Phil: I was born at 27 Cogshall Lane but I lived at Glaslyn, Marbury Road before I moved to Morecambe to live with my son.

Me: What shops were in the village when you were young?

Phil: There was 'The Top Shop' in Cogshall Lane, run by the Woodcocks. Mr Woodcock was Superintendent of the Sunday School at the Chapel. Mrs Porter ran it in 1914. She was a niece or something of the Woodcocks. It was a General Store.

Mr T B Taylor had a Cobblers and shoe shop at Willow Cottage opposite Mulberry House. That became Wyatt's shop.

The Post Office was where Old Post Office Cottage is now. You collected your letters on a Sunday morning and got your newspaper which cost 1d!

There was a Butcher's Shop in Chapel Cottages in the house nearest the road where Mrs Maddocks lived later on. It was Wrights or Booths from Lostock, I think.

Me: Any more shops?

Phil: The present Post Office was an off-licence. They used to sell barrels of ale! It was a small holding. (Lightfoots?)

Me: What about the Smithy?

Phil : That was run by Watt (Walter) Hulme. He always had two fires going, for shoeing. He was a very clever Blacksmith and Engineer.
The Undertaker's was where Fred Moores' Builders' Yard is now, on Budworth Lane. (Note: No longer there!) Amos Johnson and his son Albert ran that.
Mount Pleasant was Cowaps, a Tailors and Drapers' Shop.

Me: What did your Grandfather do?

Phil: Thomas Rayner was a Tailor. He lived at the Tailors' House in Great Budworth and made livery for all the big houses. The Rayners came from Bolton, originally. There was a Shoemaker in Antrobus called Joseph Hindley who charged £2 for a pair of shoes stitched by hand. He lived at Hammersmith Cottages. John Hindley lived at Gamekeepers' Cottage in Comberbach. He was the Gamekeeper at Marbury Hall.

Me: Who else lived in Comberbach then?

Phil: There was a row of thatched cottages on the left hand side of Senna Lane. Joe Atkinson lived there with his Mother and Father. Charlie Smith lived there and Joe Hazlehurst, Father of the Florist. Then there was Alf Cocksey the Stonemason, and Tom Keen, Mrs Hartley's Father, who lived in the middle one. Mrs Doris White (Colin White's Mother) was born in the house next to the Cockseys. The end one was a tied cottage belonging to the Clarks of Cogshall. I can't remember who lived there. It may have been Billy Clark. Jack Platt and his wife had two children and his Mother and Father lived next door.

Me: Where did you go to school, Mr Rayner?

Phil: I went to Comberbach School but there were only two classes so at 8 you had to go to Winnington, Barnton or Great Budworth.

Me: Who were the teachers?

Phil: Miss Lynny Taylor was the Teacher. She became Mrs Alan Frith. Then there was Miss Annie Jones, the daughter of the Head Gardener at Marbury Hall. About 1910 the Head was Miss Schofield and there was a Lilian Robinson.

Audrey: I remember Major Boyd from Frandley House. I've lived at Frandley for 24 years now but I lived in Hartford before that. I used to come to Comberbach WI when I was in Hartford.

Me: What about transport?

Phil: There were no buses then. It was all horses. Jack Percival had a van with windows and he charged 6d a time, return, to Northwich. Dr Love at Great Budworth had a steam car and Ralph Platt was the chauffeur.

Me: Who lived at Cogshall Hall?

Phil: Seymour Mead. He had shops in Altrincham. Then Kemps and Nicolson. He was a director of ICI. Then during the war it was turned into flats.

Audrey: I was an ambulance driver during the war. We were based at Hartford. Everyone was sent to the Spinner Pavilion but one bomb fell very close to it!

Phil: I knew Ted Hughes, Doug's father. Elizabeth Lees had the Spinner then. When I was a lad the Avenue Inn was a pub and a shop. Hitchens ran it but we called it 'Scratchins' Shop'.
If someone was playing up rough in the pub he'd say, "This is the Avenue Inn but I'm 'avin' you out!"

Me: What happened to Comberbach House at the top of Gibb Hill?

Phil: It was owned by Newall. He had a Decorator's business in Knutsford. Tom Ford from Brownslow House bought it and built houses on it. There used to be a huge yucca plant in the garden.

Me: What about Sandicroft?

Phil: That was Lady Barnes School. It was owned by Major Renwick. Boxhedge was owned by the Boumphreys. Marbury Mill was worked until the Second World War. The Masseys had it and then the Byroms. There was a policeman's house down by the Iossons, before those semis were built. Later on the village bobby was based at Great Budworth.

Me: I notice that Glaslyn had a water pump in the garden.

Phil: Yes, that was one of the village pumps. I nearly fell in so I had it covered over. There was a pump by the present Post Office.
Fred Thurlwell, June Parker's Father, was born at Senna Lane Farm. Fred's father worked for Eaton Williams and Fred's parents lived at Senna Lane Farm.
Where the GPO building is now was Holly Bush Farm. Mrs Pimlott (nee Curbishley) lived in a cottage joined onto the farm.

Me: Did you mind when houses were built behind Glaslyn?

Phil: The Moss Field was zoned for housing for a long time. Joseph Mathers was a County Councillor. No, I didn't mind.

Me: What about Marbury Mere?

Phil: We used to go night-skating with a tilley lamp. The mere used to freeze over quite often but it wasn't often thick enough for skating. There was one Easter in March when it was frozen for more than a week.

Me: Tell me about the Bowling Club Green.

Phil: George Woodcock, Harold's father gave some land for the Memorial Hall and George Walker gave some too. The bowling green was laid by Albert Lever and Fred Evans.

Me: Did you get up to any mischief as a boy in the village?

Phil: We used to play all sorts of tricks on people. We'd put a button on a piece of string on the window and pull the string so it rattled on the window. There was a gate across the yard by the old Post Office. We'd put a parcel down with string attached to it so that when they picked it up it pulled the string.

Me: Thanks, Phil for sharing all your memories of Comberbach with us.