Taken from the Daily Chronicle Feb 6, 1924

Ian Cole writes, "Crockett and Jones sent me the copy of the newspaper article,

which shows my Grandfather David Abbott in the centre. I am connected to the Abbott,

Eales and Cole families in Northampton, if you know of other people researching these

I would be interested to make contact with them."

email :-


email :-

The Abram family of Northampton c.1900




"The photo which was taken in the garden of 28 Oxford Street, Far Cotton,

is of my Great Grandfather Thomas Amos who was born on the 28th June 1872 in Lower Heyford

(son of John Amos of Long Buckbyand Dinah Liddington who married in 1863 at Bugbrooke Baptist Church)

with his wife Minnie Marie Collins born in Far Cotton, Northampton, daughter of

Everard/Everett Collins of Far Cotton and Mary Ann Goodman of Fenny Stratford, Bucks.
Thomas and Minnie had three sons between 1910-1922, my own Grandfather Albert Henry Amos

was born at 28 Oxford Street on the 24th January 1922 and died 22nd April 2000."

The photo which was taken outside St Mary's Church, Far Cotton, Northampton

is a wedding photograph of my Grandmother Violet Joan Blunt

and my Grandfather Albert Henry Amos.

The wedding took place on the 18th December 1948. My Grandmother Violet was born in

Henley Street, Far Cotton on the 18th January 1923 and died on the 23rd May 1980.

She was the daughter of Harry Blunt and Annie Ellen Blunt (nee Cook) and there were nine

other children besides Violet born between 1904 and 1924.

If anyone know anything about the Blunt family please contact:


      Kingsthorpe Hollow in the Great War

               Reminiscences of Lilian Ashby (1902-85) of Stanhope Road 


My mother, Lilian Ashby, was born in May 1902 at Knightly Road, Kingsthorpe, second daughter of James Moore (Jim) Ashby, from Towcester,

and Minnie Kingston of Pury End. Jim and Minnie had met when he was a grocer’s boy delivering around the surrounding villages by horse and cart. 

Shortly after 1902 the family moved to Stanhope Road, also in Kingsthorpe, where Jim and Minnie kept a grocery shop and off-licence.


It is difficult to believe these days, but in common with many of their neighbours, the Ashbys kept a pig in the back yard.

This was fed with scraps and my mother and her siblings grew quite fond of the animal. But eventually the day would come when the

slaughter man called. Mum told me that one of the children was very upset about all this and declared that he was ‘ashamed of the pigs’.

He really meant that he was sorry for them, but it served to lighten the sadness.

Anyway it didn’t prevent the kids from having the pig’s bladder blown up on the end of a stick to play with.


Jim Ashby looked after the beer side of the business, but on one occasion he was called upon to serve a lady in the shop who

wanted a couple of yards of knicker elastic. The scale for measuring such things was set into the edge of the counter.

Not knowing about such things Jim was stretching the material against the scale, until the lady protested and Minnie came in to sort things out.


But my grandfather had his own back. One of the customers used to swear a lot. It was ‘bleedin’ this’, and ‘bleedin’ that’.

To such an extent that Jim nicknamed him ‘Mr Bleeder’.

Unfortunately Minnie thought it was his real name and the next time he came in addressed him as such.


They were a close knit family, and got into all sorts of scrapes. Mum, who used to share a bedroom over the shop entrance, confided to me

that she and elder sister Nell used to lean out of the window spitting onto customers’ hats. Not very good for custom.


My mother told me of all the games they used to play in the street, but the only one I recall was named ‘Jump jump Jo-ardy’ or something similar.

She also remembered playing in ‘Chuckies’ Meadow’. This is also mentioned elsewhere in reminiscences of Kingsthorpe Hollow on this Web site.


She also recalled the rag and bone men who used to visit, named ‘Bacca’ and ‘Arner’. The latter had a speech impediment.

His real name was Arthur. Sadly the kids used to tease him.


My mother attended Kingsthorpe Grove School, and before that a corrugated iron establishment she called ‘The Tin School’.

Where that was I do not know. It was probably a temporary building. At Kingsthorpe Grove a fellow pupil was the composer Edmund Rubbra,

who lived in Balfour Road. All my mother can remember about him was that he wore a high stiff collar, and corrected the teacher who drew a bird

sitting on a twig on the blackboard. Edmund amended the bird’s feet so there was a claw behind the twig. He was quite correct.


My mother taught me a song which they sang at school, called the ‘May Day Garland’. This appears in the Oxford Book of Carols,

published much later in 1928, and there noted as a Northamptonshire folk carol.


In those days public transport was by tram, and the trams had open tops. When raining the conductor would come round and put a tarpaulin

around the upstairs passengers!


During the Great War the Racecourse was turned into a vast army camp for new recruits, and soldiers were billeted all over the town.

Stanhope Road was no exception and my mother, who was then an early teenager, recalled the procession of young lads who were billeted on them,

and went over to France and Flanders, only to appear in the lists of casualties after a few weeks.


Mum’s cousin Jim Billing was lucky. He joined the Royal Navy but survived the war. Jim Ashby had a job helping to cater for the recruits on the Racecourse.


When Zeppelins raided Northampton in 1917, apparently Mum’s younger sister Winifred, who was not yet 6 years old, was so terrified that she shot

into the cellar and refused come out for hours.


Jim Billings’ mother, Susanna Ashby (Mum’s Aunt Sue) also lived on Stanhope Road. My mother says that when they went to the theatre

(in the gods) to see the latest melodrama, and the heroine was on the point of being seduced by the villainous squire,

Aunt Sue would think it all real and warn that ‘She’ll come to a bad end, like our Bess’. Later genealogical research has confirmed that Betsy Ashby

did have a child after being in service at a ‘toff’s’ house. Where it happened I do not know, I suspect Wellingborough. But it was a common

enough peril for young girls in service in those days.


These are just some of the reminiscences my mother told us. She died in 1985, and now I wish we had recorded them all for posterity.

There’s lots more I have forgotten.


My mother did munitions work later in the war, which is where I think she met my father. They were married at Trinity Church, Balmoral Road,

 which is where I was baptised ten years later, travelling down from Leeds for the privilege.


[Above] Balmoral Road


Michael J Gainsford

Burbage, Leics

07 05 09


Marilyn Ponting writes, "Arthur Robert Bignell was born in 1894,

possibly in Blisworth, where my Nan was born in 1898.

His baptism is not in Paulerspury.
The photo has a date pencilled on the back

Sep 13th 1917, it is postcard size.

Arthur died 2nd Dec 1917 from wounds received in

the 2nd Battle of Gaza."

From the Northampton Independent Newspaper, dated Jan 12th, 1918.

"The death occurred in Egypt on December 2nd from

wounds received during the second battle of Gaza of Lc.Corpl

Arthur Bignell of the Northampton Territorials,

third son of Mr. and Mrs. Bignell of

54 Abbey Road, Far Cotton. Deceased, who was 23 years of age

enlisted in november 1914, and had seen service in the Dardanelles

and Egypt. He has a brother now serving in Italy

who has also fought in France."


1901 Census Return

ADDRESS : - Gudgeon's Cottages, Blisworth, Northants.
William Bignell Married Head 37 Waggoner on farm Worker Paulerspury, Northants.
Sarah Bignell Married Wife 37 Paulerspury, Northants.
Herbert Bignell Unmarried Son 16 House boy at farm Worker Paulerspury, Northants.
Mary Bignell Unmarried Daughter 11 School girl Paulerspury, Northants.
Percy Bignell Unmarried Son 8 School boy Paulerspury, Northants.
Arthur Bignell Unmarried Son 6 School boy Blisworth, Northants.
Emma Bignell Unmarried Daughter 2 Blisworth, Northants.

We would like to hear from anyone with Bignell connections :-

Emma Bignell is Marilyn Ponting's ancestor - email :-

Mary Bignell is Alan Clarke's ancestor - email :-

Norman Tew's CLAYTON website :-

Alan Craxford's "CLAYPOLE-NUTT: A Saga of Finedon" website :-


Please contact for more information.


William Collins COLLINS / SHIP ancestors with interesting letters :- COLLINS / SHIP


Janet Ellis writes :-

"Wedding Day in 1940 - my parents in the garden of my mother's home, 6 Overstone Road.

The home of May and Charles Cookson."

Janet Ellis writes,

"The Girl Guide is my mother's sister, Kate Caroline Cookson (1911-1987).

She was among the first Guides of St Matthew's Church."

Alan Craxford's CRAXFORD web site :- CRAXFORD


Janet Ellis writes, "The couple are Mary DARBY

and her husband John Albert DAVIS of Blisworth.

Theywere my great great grandparents.

They married in Blisworth in 1849.

I do not know when the picture was taken."

"The group photograph is Mary again, but
much later, with her daughter, Harriet Davis (marr name KIRBY), on her left.
The woman behind Harriet, is Harriet's illegitimate daughter, Sarah
Elizabeth DAVIS. Although Sarah's parents actually married later, she never
lived with them. The youngest girl is Sarah's daughter Lilly."


Janet Ellis writes, "This photograph is of my husband's great grandparents.

Thomas Ellis, born Birmingham about 1836 married Eliza Hancock born The Mounts Northampton 1841

daughter of Samuel Hancock and Rebecca Sharpe. Thomas and Eliza married Feb 1st 1857 at

St Sepulchre. Eliza had her first baby Thomas in 1857 and her last (13th) baby Ralph Hervey in 1887.

Ralph was my husband's grandfather."

Karen Bland's ESSAM web site :- ESSAM

Brian Faulkner's FAULKNER memoirs :- FAULKNER


[Above photograph may not be in Hardingstone]

Anne Garrison emailed me these pictures of her Hall ancestors who kept a grocers shop in the village and were also

builders and undertakers.

Photographs are the property of Anne Garrison and may not be copied without her permission.

UPDATE MAY 29th, 2014

The Hall Shop as it appears today in Hardingstone, thanks to Richard Ceely :-

This building is still in existence as you can see from the new photo (hall shop now) - sadly the shop entrance has gone and been made wider. T

his is immediately left of The Sun public house in High Street and was recently converted to mews style accommodation - what was then known as Halls Yard is now called Stent Mews.



Pheobe Hall nee Funnell

Pheobe was born in 1821 at Brighton, Sussex.

She married George Hall and lived in Hardingstone, Northants.

Picture property of Anne Garrison -

Peter Gilke's GILKES web site is at :-

Gibson / Heel

George Henry Gibson b.1878 Pattishall

Melvina Heel b. 1874 Pattishall

Married 1899 at Pattishall.

They are the maternal grandparents of Maggie Ingram.

Photograph copyright Maggie Ingram

Margo Clarke's HILL / RICHARDSON family photograph :- HILL / RICHARDSON

Goff / Gough - Bozeat, Northants


I. is a stipple print of G Goff (George, who married Sarah Barker 11/10/1814) probably around 1780-820, based on costume. The water colour 2. is unnamed but almost certainly of his son George (b.08/12/1829) and from about 1810-1830 again based on costume, although Northamptonshire fashion may have been a few years behind London. The artists of the colour portrait is noted as 'Messers R. & W. Kelly, artists' of whom I have been unable to find any record, either at the National Portrait Gallery or at the Northampton Museum. Anything known about this family and these pictures would be of great interest.

email :-

Francis Howcutt's HOWCUTT website :-


Janet Ellis writes :-

"The Three Servants - on the left is my grandmother Isabella May Knott (known as May)

born 1883, died 1977. She married Charles George Cookson in 1910. She was Kate's mother.

The pretty girl in the centre is Ethel Ann Rebecca Gardner, born 1885,daughter of

Esther Sophia Knott and George Gardner. The lady on the right is Annie Ward born abt 1859.

They all worked at Somerville House, a School for Young Ladies, run by Annie's sisters Charlotte

and Ellen Ward. May was the Housemaid and Ethel the Scullery Maid. Annie was the Cook/Housekeeper."

Rob Orland's ORLAND family tree website is at :-

Bob Osborne's family history pages for OSBORNE / CLAYSON / PEARSON :-

Julie Hill's MITTON family website is at :-

John Maris MARIS website is at :-

Norman Tew's MURDEN website :-

Elijah Sharpe, Thorpe Achurch

Elijah Sharpe, born in 1860 in Thorpe Achurch, son of Thomas and Rebecca Sharpe, married

Elizabeth Palmer of Pilton in 1879.

Elijah served for 31 years in the Derbyshire Constabulary, and retired as Inspector in Chesterfield.

He died in 1926.

Picture and information sent by Tony Sharpe,


A high tribute as an efficient police officer was paid to Inspector Sharpe at the Chesterfield County Police Court on Saturday,

when as a member of the Derbyshire Constabulary it was his last appearance.
The congratulatory reference to the Inspectors retirement was made by the presiding magistrate, Mr. C. P. Markham, who observed that he

had been informed that it was the last time they would see Inspector Sharpe in his capacity as Inspector. He had been in the force 31 years,

twelve of which had been in Chesterfield, and during the whole of that time Inspector Sharpe had always been a great friend, not only to the

criminal class, but also to the magistrates and the police. The manner in which he had discharged his duties and given evidence always commended

itself to their notice, and if ever there was any mitigating circumstance he would bring forward in favour of the delinquent he always erred on the

side of justice, and it was with regret that they would not see him there again.
Addressing the Inspector, Mr. Markham added that they wished him every happiness and prosperity in his retirement.

(Circa. 1911.)

Eliza Palmer, Pilton

Eliza Palmer was born My 17,1857 in Pilton, Northants. Her parents were Bartholomew Palmer & Mary Ann Morehem.

Picture and information sent by Tony Sharpe,

Derek Pinckard's PINCKARD family photographs :- PINCKARD

Derek Pinckard's - Elizabeth PINCKARD the last woman to be publicy hanged in Northampton :- Elizabeth Pinckard

David Richards' family history website is at :-

Ian Rivett's family history page is at RIVETT :-


email :-

Elaine would be very interested to hear from anybody that knows the

people in this photograph.

The photograph possibly comes from the Saunders / Taylor side the family.

There was a relative who was a chaffeur in Coventry, he worked for the Humber Car

company, if the make of the car can be identified than this may help in proving

the identities of the people. It may be Alice Taylor and her daughter. 1920's?

Walter Savige and Megan Curlewis HANNAH SMITH sampler and photograph :- SMITH HANNAH


Karen Amos writes, "This is a photograph of my grandfather

William Thomas Shortland born 21st December 1911 in Northampton,

living at 9 Cooper Street, son of Albert and Henrietta Shortland

(nee Smith)." email:-


"This photograph was taken at the wedding

of my grandparents William Thomas Shortland and May Sturges

on 25th January 1936 at St Andrew's Church, Northampton.

The other two people on the photograph are my grandmother's

sister Edith Maud Hassall (nee Sturges), and my grandfather's

brother Albert Shortland. "




"This is a photograph of my grandmother May Sturges

born 11th January 1911 in Northampton, living at 43 Grafton Street,

daughter of William and Bertha Sturges (nee Parker)."


Dave Shatford's web site is at :- SHATFORD

Alan Bradshaw's SMART ancestor :- SMART

John Nicholls' THOMPSON photographs :- THOMPSON


Sent to me by Lionel Toole, his wife's Tylers of Northampton, Curriers and Leather Factory owners.

Rear left is her great-grandfather, Fred Tyler, captain of Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, 1892, father of Bert also later captain of the same.  

There was a highly laudatory obituary of Fred (1853-1930) in the local paper with photograph - and paragraphs headed: 

" A Great Record in Sport"

"Former Captain of the County Cricket Club"

"An All-Round Sportsman Par Excellence"

"Saved Cricket on the Borough Ground" 

He appears also to have been prominent in Hockey and other sports. 

The obituary also speaks of the innovations he introduced to the leather trade at the factory in Duke Street (later there was one in Bailiff Street). 

He was great-uncle of the composer William Alwyn.


Mark Vinnicombe

Timothy Dickens writes,

"Mark Vinnicombe was born in 1867 at Willand in Devon.

He lived his adult life in Wellingborough.

He died in 1936 and is buried in Wellingborough cemetery.

The cap badge shows the insignia MR (Midland Railway) which predates

the 1922 consolidation of the railway companies. However the photograph

was probably taken prior to the First World War.

Mark lost his right arm in accident on the railway at Wigston on

the 15th May 1888. The accident record states that his head was injured too"


Norman Tew's WOODING / WOODEN website :-

Harry Wykes World Wide WYKES website is at :-

Norman Tew's YEOMANS website :-

Dale Schultz family history pages, Paulerspury parish :-