3rd March 1992
Me: Can you tell me any more about the families that lived in Comberbach?
Ethel: I remember Elsie Whitby from Uplands, Anderton. She was George Robinson’s Mother. She married a Joseph Radcliffe from Great Budworth in 1914. He was a friend of my father’s and had the Smithy on the Moss. They had two girls – Gladys and Margaret. Later on, in 1919 Elsie married John Robinson.
Me: Does your brother Charles live in Comberbach?
Ethel: Yes, he lives in the last house on the right going up Senna Lane. It used to be called Providence House but now it’s called Brookside.
Me: Did you know Hilda Evans’ father?
Ethel: John Henry Thurlwell was Batman to Roscoe Brunner and was killed in Richmond Park, London, while he was exercising a horse. Hilda’s Mother was left with seven children. I used to help her look after them although I was only a child myself. I took two of them to have their tonsils removed!
Me: Did you know Philip Rayner?
Ethel: Oh, yes! I remember Phil coming to live in the village. The Rayners built the house on the corner of Meadow Lane and Senna Lane. His father was married twice – to two sisters! (Note : Harry Rayner married Fanny Dibben in 1900 and Ellen V. Dibben in 1911)
Me: Did any of the Hayes family work at Marbury Hall?
Ethel: My Aunt Lizzie was the Housekeeper at Marbury Hall. An Irish Family had it and they had a house in Ireland and a house in Grosvenor Square, London. They only came here for ‘cub hunting’, in the winter. The staff were paid for the whole year, though.
Me: Did your Aunt Lizzie live at Marbury Hall, then?
Ethel: No. She rented what is now called ‘Gamekeeper’s Cottage’ on Marbury Road. It should really be called ‘Housekeeper’s Cottage’, you know!
Me: Any other village characters that you remember?
Ethel: There was old Mrs Platt who lived in one of the cottages on Senna Lane, where Barrons live now. The door was always open. She was bedridden and everyone would pop in and see if she needed anything.
Me: What about the rest of your family/
Ethel: My Uncle Tom Hayes settled at Wincham. He had nine children.
Me: Mrs Foster, thank you for sharing all your memories of Comberbach. I have really enjoyed our chat.