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Don Barnard - 15th January 2005 - 0:00

I have been researching the Barnard family for some years and have accumulated a lot of material on William (parish clerk, schoolmaster, postman and tailor through the 19th century).

I have all of my direct line back to William and their siblings linked up. Also, I know that the wife of a descendant of Joseph (William's son) is researching. Between us we should be able to cover two branches of the family.

However, there are cross links into other Badsey families (Addis, Walker, more recently Merrett, certainly more) and there might be some value in attempting a more ambitious Village Tree. I am too busy to do this at present (Birmingham Poet Laureate this year - Badsey seems to breed poets) but will be happy to share my tree with any willing volunteer.  "Intermarriage in a 19th century village" - would make a good research project for a student.

I think the Badsey website is splendid, well-built and an enormous benefit to us exiles.  Thanks to all who work on it.

Don Barnard (son of Edwin "Ted", born Brewers Lane, had land at Horsebridge and later Knowle Hill).
Leamington Spa, Warks

See also William Barnard 1803 - 1892 an article written by Don Barnard.

Joy Earnshaw - 10th January 2005 - 0:00

 Congratulations on an excellent website and thank you to all who have worked to provide such a wealth of valuable and interesting information.

I am researching the family of my husbands great great great grandfather Samuel DONES, b. cl820 in Badsey, (son of Thomas DONES labourer) who married Emma VALE on 18 Nov 1847 in the Parish Church, Dumbleton, Gloucestershire.

After checking the information on your site I believe that our Samuel could be the Samuel DONES bpt. 9 Jul 1820 St James Church Badsey, son of Thomas DONES and Hannah JELFS who were married on 26 Dec 1816 in St James Church Badsey.

As this is still to be confirmed I would appreciate any assistance or advice you can give regarding the DONES and JELFS families.

Joy Earnshaw
NSW Australia

Steven Powers - 5th January 2005 - 0:00

Congratulations! Your website is fascinating, and a benchmark for excellence as a tool to help family research.

Your census strays show that John Harwood was resident in Leamington Priors at the time of the 1851 census. Although he is mentioned as having been born in Badsey in 1802 there seems to be no record of his birth in the parish records either in that year or thereabouts.

Were the Harward and Harwood families related?

Steven Powers

The John Harwood you mention is a bit of a mystery.  I am assuming he is the same person as John Harwood who died at Badsey in April 1876, aged 74.  As far as Badsey records are concerned, his burial is very much of a stray, as he occurs nowhere else in the records - no baptism, no marriage, and he does not feature in any census return.

The name HARWARD has featured in Badsey records since records began in the 16th century.  However, this name had died out in Badsey and Aldington by the mid 18th century.  The name reappeared as HARWOOD in the mid 19th century, but I don't know if they were descendants of the HARWARDs or not.  Certainly, there's no record of John or any other HARWOOD or HARWARD being baptised at the beginning of the 19th century in Badsey. There are still HARWOODs in the area today, and they are all descended from George Harwood, who was born at Church Lench about 1836, and who moved to Aldington in the 1860s.  George Harwood is described in an out-of-print book, "Grain and Chaff from an English Manor", by Arthur Savory.  Arthur Savory was a tenant farmer at Aldington Manor and George Harwood, or "Jarge", (the Asum Grammar pronunciation of George) as he referred to him in the book, was his foreman. This is an excerpt from the book:

"Jarge was one of the most prominent characters among my men. He was not a native of the Vale, coming form the Lynches (sic), a hilly district to the north of Evesham. He was a sturdy and very excellent workman. He did with his might whatsoever his hand found to do, and everything he undertook was a success. The beautifully trimmed hedge in front of his cottage-garden proclaimed his method and love of order at a glance. Jarge was a wag; he was the man who, like Shakespeare’s clowns, stepped on to the stage at the critical moment and saved a serious situation with a quaint or epigrammatic expression. Owing to the somewhat unconvincing fact of his wife’s brother being a gamekeeper on the Marquis’s estate near Jarge’s native village, he had acquired, and retained through all the years of my farming, a sporting reputation; he was always the man selected for trapping any evil beast or bird that might be worrying us; and when the cherries were beginning to show ruddy complexions in the sunshine, and the starlings and blackbirds were becoming troublesome, armed with an old muzzle-loader of mine, he made incessant warfare against them, and his gun could be heard as early as five o'clock in the morning, while the shots would often come pattering down harmlessly on my greenhouse. Jarge was an instance of superior descent; his surname was that of an ancient and prominent county family in former days; he carried himself with dignity and was generally respected; he possessed the power of very minute observation, and was of all others the man to find coins or other small leavings of Roman and former occupiers of my land. His eldest daughter was a charming girl and, when Jarge became a widower, she made a most efficient mistress of his household. She showed, too, quite unmistakably her descent from distinguished ancestry. Tall, clear-complexioned, graceful, dignified and rather serious, but with a sweet smile, she was a daughter of whom any man might have been proud, to my thinking, she was the belle of the village, and she made a very pretty picture in her sun-bonnet, among the green and golden tracery of the hop-bine in the hopping season accompanied by the smaller members of the family. At the "crib" into which the hops are picked, many bushels proved their industry, and there were no leaves or rubbish to call for rebuke at the midday and evening measurings."

Denis Freel - 18th November 2004 - 0:00

First of all I would like to thank you very much for the work that you have done on the Badsey website. This is a model example of how parish records, censuses, school records and surname family histories can be presented. What an amazing accomplishment.

My mother's mother was a Hartwell and I have totally enjoyed tracing her family from Ebrington to Badsey to Pensham to Aston and to Trenton and Niagara Falls, Ontario. You have certainly brought to life the Hartwell family in Badsey and confirmed to me that they previously came from Ebrington. Now I have a question about Thomas William Hartwell. You say in your Surname Notes that "Elizabeth Hartwell (1852-), married John Crane in October 1874. Earlier in the year she had given birth to an illegitimate son, Thomas William Hartwell, who was baptised in Badsey in February 1874." Your transcription of the baptismal records, however, shows Sarah Hartwell as the unwed mother of Thomas William Hartwell on 15 February 1874. The IGI name extraction of the parish records also shows Sarah Hartwell as the mother of Thomas William Hartwell. When the census information is added it is clear that Thomas lived with John and Elizabeth Crane. And when Thomas Hartwell's second son was born and the Vicar wrote "commonly known as Crane", more evidence is added. I think that your conclusion is correct. However, there is still the oddity of the baptism. Did the Vicar just mistakenly record Elizabeth as Sarah? Did Elizabeth have two Christian names?

Denis Freel
Warren, New Jersey, USA

Maureen Spinks - 19th November 2004 - 0:00

In reply to by Denis Freel

Many thanks for your kind email; it is always good to receive letters of appreciation. I have gone back to my notes about the Hartwells, because as soon as I saw your heading, I remembered there was an issue with this person. I was aware of the inconsistency but had not had a chance to check the parish registers to see if I had transcribed the name correctly. However, I am grateful to Diana Daffurn who checked the register for me. The name in the "Mother" column is most definitely Sarah BUT, in the margin, someone has written "Elizabeth was the mother". So evidently an error was made which was later noticed and a message added. It was as a result of Diana's investigations that I was able to write with confidence that Thomas was the son of Elizabeth. What I forgot to do, however, was to have the note added to the baptism transcript. I will ask the webmaster to add this in.

Pat Widdows - 20th August 2004 - 0:00

I have found some wonderful information about the Malin family on the Badsey website, and would welcome more news, especially from Malin relatives!

My grandmother Ruby Henrietta Malin was born at Hidcote Bartrim in 1888. Her family moved to Badsey and grandmother attended Badsey School from 1891. Her parents John and Susannah Malin were married in 1876.  The marriage was registered at Shipston on Stour. Grandmothers Grandparents were Louisa and Thomas Malin.  Thomas was born in Broadway in 1815. Grandmothers family moved to Birmingham around 1900 and are mentioned in the 1901 census living at Old Farm, Dad's Lane, in the Parish of Kings Norton. Grandmother died in 1969 in Birmingham.  She married Robert Smith of Yardley Wood in 1908?

Pat Widdows

Jessica Byrd - 10th August 2004 - 0:00

I have been doing my family tree for about 6 months now and a friend of mine showed me the website and to my amazement I have found my relatives. I was so pleased to know where they lived and what they did had me speechless. Thanks to the website and you're hard work and time, I found my 6th generation. Hopefully now I can go on and find out more about my Byrd family and hopefully know more about their lives back then.

Thank you so much I feel I have filled the missing pieces.

Jessica Byrd, Australia

Jessica's initial joy at tracing her ancestors may have been a little premature, as it was based on a precarious link between Jessica's great-grandfather Sampson Byrd and the Byrds which appear on the Badsey website.  Further research has shown that Sampson was not related to the Badsey Byrds but to a family of Byrds from Staffordshire.

Family History researchers, particularly from overseas, please check your links carefully from the present day back to the data which appears on the Badsey website.  Because of Data Protection issues, the parish registers and census returns have only been transcribed for dates of over 100 years ago. It is up to you to fill in the gaps for the last 100 years.  Even if the name you are researching is fairly uncommon, please be aware that in some families there are often frequent occurrences.  If you are unable to search the paper records, the internet is a useful tool, particularly, and  However, with the first website, not all parishes are covered, so always be aware of what information might be missing as well as what is there.  The census website is a valuable resource, but also be aware that there may be transcription errors.  For example, in the 1881 census, the notable Badsey family of SLADDEN appeared as HADDEN.

Dawn Cole - 15th June 2004 - 0:00

My Aunt and I are trying to trace our family tree and were delighted to find the Badsey website.  Most helpful is the section on the churchyard - congratulations and thanks to Peter Stewart for his hard work - we have quite a few relatives buried in the churchyard, such as my great grandparents Florence and Walter Jelfs, and he has made the job of finding their graves so much easier.  We are particularly interested in information regarding the following names:- Jelfs, Lloyd, Cull, Chamberlain and would appreciate any assistance.  My mother was Jo (Josephine) Jelfs who was brought up in Ivy Lane, Bretforton with her 4 sisters and 2 brothers and had various relatives living in Badsey and Childswickham.

Dawn Cole, Bath

Trevor Clark - 15th March 2004 - 0:00

How delighted I was to find the Badsey website and particularly the section about the school. As the Headmaster between 1981 -1987 I look upon it as the happiest time in my professional career! This was made so by a combination of the staff, children, parents and the whole village. How pleased I was that Jean James should be such a large part of the last 30+ years at the school. What a true professional who I'm sure will be remembered with affection for many years to come. I was particularly interested to hear that she now has connections with Murcia in southern Spain, as I myself now live very close by. Does anyone in the village have a contact address or e-mail for Jean? Perhaps someone could pass my address onto her. I shall continue to browse the website and remember a true piece of England!!

Yours, Trevor Clark

Alan Solomon - 10th March 2004 - 0:00

My maternal grandparents (Will and May Bigglestone) moved to Badsey in the early 1950's. They owned a house in Badsey Fields Lane. It was situated past a plot of land on the left hand side going towards the footpath to the recreation field. I believe that this piece of land was subsequently used to build a house. Next door to my grandparent's house lived an old lady who I recall was called Mrs. Dore and on the same side of the road a fisherman called Mr. Bunce who set me on a hobby for life when he taught me to fish - visits to the Avon at Evesham and a stream outside the village where there was an old mill pond if I recall correctly. The stream was full of dace.

As a boy I used to spend holidays in the summer in Badsey and got to know some of the village lads and lasses who spoke in a dialect if they did not want me to know what they were saying. To them I was known as "Cardiff" because I came from there. Still do!! We would meet on the rec. in the old wooden stand and climb the tall trees at the Sands Lane end. One boy lived with his family on the right hand side of the road after turning left out of Sand's Lane - he was called Jim. My grandparents name was Bigglestone and they moved away when my grandfather retired from the railway to live in Gloucester. He worked as an inspector of railways based at Honeybourne, I believe.

I remember going to the Blacksmith's shop just past the church and was thrilled to help him pump the huge hand operated bellows to make the fire glow. I cannot forget the smell of the burning hooves when the red hot shoe was presented to the hoof. Fantastic memories of the place.

In a field near the Wheatsheaf Pub was a donkey called Simon who we would visit with titbits. Is the tall tree in the churchyard still there? I have so many memories of your village but I have not been back for many years. I am 60 years of age now but the memories of Badsey are as fresh as though it was only last year.

Alan Solomon, Cardiff

Mrs Sarah Horton - 5th March 2004 - 0:00

Having just visited Church Stretton in Shropshire and noticed their big sign with the website address of the town attached I wondered if this would be possible for Badsey? The Bretforton road only has a very small sign " to village Centre" which has to compete with a tree in the summer and a sign for recycling centre the rest of the year. Perhaps a sign which had our website address would generate interest in the village and could be financed with lottery money for example?

Mrs Sarah Horton, Badsey

We would certainly like to see WWW.BADSEY.NET on the village signs. We looked into this about a year ago and suggested it to the Parish Council. I gather getting permission to do this involves miles of red tape. I know of one village (not Church Stretton) who have just gone ahead and done it without getting proper permission and I would personally not object if signs just appeared!

Jeremy Cowell - 1st March 2004 - 0:00

My Grandfather Emile Anton Ollsson known as Jack owned Claybrook Nursery in Badsey early last century until 1948. I would be interested to know if the nursery is still going.

Jeremy Cowell, Eastbourne, East Sussex

Richard Phillips - 1st March 2004 - 0:00

In reply to by Jeremy Cowell

We believe Claybrook Nursery has closed although the farm buildings are still there. Can anyone provide more information?

Alison Brain and Terry Smith - 25th February 2004 - 0:00

Just a quick line to say how touched my brother, Terry, and myself were for the lovely comments that have been made about Aunty Norah on your wonderful website. In fact until Aunty's death I was not aware of there even being such a website in existence.

Both Terry and myself would like to thank the many people of Badsey who were friends of Norah's. Until her illness she really had been a stalwart of village life and I am proud to say that she was one of the few really "good" people I have ever come across. She gave willingly of herself, her time and her finances in many ways to many people.

Once again many thanks - Alison Brain and Terry Smith (niece and nephew)

Max Sinclair - 20th February 2004 - 0:00

My uncle Maurice Harvey lived at the Manor when he came with the evacuees to Badsey from Birmingham. Up in the attics there was all sorts of graffiti left by the German Prisoners.

Maurice Harvey was a schoolmaster at Prince Edwards Grammar School, Birmingham before the war living in Quinton. At the outbreak of hostilities the school was compulsorily evacuated to the Evesham area. Maurice, his wife Madge, and two children Pamela and Richard were housed in the Manor House. This sparsely furnished rambling house was a cultural shock after their modern home. Having survived a terrible winter trying to keep warm with open fires they moved to a house on a market garden, from memory along the Littleton Road.

I remember helping to sterilise soil using steam pipes from a large portable steam engine. This started my interest in engines which has been a lifetime hobby. When the war was drawing to a close and the school's return planned, uncle decided to try and stay. He had become a countryman growing asparagus and teaching my father the tricks. He applied for the Badsey School headship and moved into the School House.

While war is a terrible business for Uncle it was a blessing and the family enjoyed their Badsey involvement. He lost his brother Henry in the First World War so was well aware of the tragedies. Incidentally his Great Grandfather was Thomas Winter (alias Spring) of Fownhope, Herefordshire who was Champion of England at bare fist boxing having won his title before 40,000 spectators on Worcesters Pitchcroft racecourse. He is honoured in the American Hall of fame. No doubt Maurice stopped many a playground fight. I hope this will give ex-pupils a little insight into their headmaster.

Max Sinclair, Lower Broadheath Worcester

Betty Syril - 15th February 2004 - 0:00

I am trying to find any info on George Syril. He was in the 3rd Gloucester Regiment. He came to Badsey while he was in the army as a friend of the Bayliss Family. George married Linda Hodgkins on 17th November 1919 at Childswickham. George died in 1944 and is buried in the church grounds at St James Church Badsey. If you have any info it would be helpful.

Betty Syril and I live at Guiseley. Leeds

Tony Jerram - 16th February 2004 - 0:00

In reply to by Betty Syril

I passed on Betty's enquiry to Desmond Syril of Green Leys Badsey. He is a son of George Syril and he has offered to give Betty information about his father.

Matt & Martine Johnson - 10th February 2004 - 0:00

We've just enjoyed browsing through the website and have found it very interesting. We were hoping to find out a bit about the history of our cottage, The Dovecote (formerly known as Stewart Cottage) in Aldington. We would be very interested to know if you have any details, pictures, etc or if not where we could possibly try to track these things down. We hope that you might be able to help.

Many thanks, Matt & Martine Johnson, Aldington

Ted Heath - 5th February 2004 - 0:00

I was very interested in the information about Thomas Walter Green (father and son) in your recent article on Houses that no longer exist. I am researching T.W.Green junr. because he published postcards (or had them published on his behalf) at his toy and confectioner's shop at 58, High Street, Evesham. I have attached some information about him which I found in the Evesham Journal 1914 (he died on 31 July 1914) plus various directory entries. My main interest is researching Worcestershire postcard publishers, e.g. Crisp's Series of Badsey published in Teesee Series (Thompson of Coventry) and Worcestershire history in general. This is a bit difficult as I live in Greenwich which is why I find your website so useful. Hope the information is of some use.

Ted Heath, Systems Librarian Southwark College, London

Dick Mathews - 1st February 2004 - 0:00

First let me congratulate all those responsible for a truly amazing website. My late father in law was one of the many bearing the Knight name to hale from Badsey, and it's been an absolute godsend to me in trying to discover his ancestry. Clearly such a wealth of material is bound to contain some interpretations of old writing which others with the benefit of additional material might conclude are probably not correct. I think I've found one such, and I hope you'll be able to check and correct if necessary.

In the index there are references to my wife's ancestor Edwin Knight born in 1844, who married at Badsey church on 30 Nov 1868. According to your index entry to the marriage registers his bride was Sarah DANBREY. The copy of the marriage certificate which I have from the General Register Office shows her surname to be what I read as DAUBNEY, rather than DANBREY. Edwin and Sarah appear in several census entries, all of which give her place of birth as Longborough. In the 1851 census for Longborough (HO 107 / 1790 pages 331 et seq) on schedule 99 are John DAUBNEY and his family, including a daughter Sarah, aged 3. There are six other schedules featuring people bearing this surname, which I assume must be a common one there. By contrast the FreeBMD site, which contains over 70 million entries from the civil registration indexes, has only one person named Danbrey!

With best wishes, Dick Mathews

Kathleen Harris - 20th January 2004 - 0:00

I first want to commend you on such a beautiful website. My name is Kathleen Harris, and for the last few months I have been conducting a genealogical search for my surname. In my search, I came across family records from a departed uncle that had kept some family information showing me that my family originated in Badsey England.

Through your site, I have grown fond of what it must have been like to have grown up and lived in Badsey. I have never found another site like this out there. You should be proud.

Now, the most interesting information that I would love to see if you can assist me in. I was looking through the Badsey School photos, and one in particular caught my attention. Badsey School History: The Earliest Years lists a reference to Elizabeth Harris the grandmother of Geoffrey Hancock, and I believe it was submitted by Geoffs wife Peggy. (I have her surname in our records as Margaret Mary Ingles) This is my family - the Harris/Hancock side. I would love to see if there is a way to get this message to them, and confirm such.

See Elizabeth, was the sister to my Great Great grandfather, who left England for New York, USA. I had been stuck for many years at his line, until I found the records. To know that there are others with relations to me still living, let alone in the Badsey area makes me more than interested to reach out and learn more. Could you offer advice on how I could get the word to them, and others?

If you can, I greatly appreciate it. If not, then I shall continue to search and will remain a faithful visitor to this site. Wishing more towns/villages would take the effort to document their history as you have done.

Much appreciation, Kathleen Harris, Boston, Massachusetts US

Thank you very much about your kind comments about our website. Peggy Hancock is a keen family historian and a member of The Badsey Society, but is not a computer user. She lives in Evesham, so I will put a copy of your e-mail through her door. In the meantime, could you let me know your postal address, please, so that I can pass this information on to her. I see that Elizabeth Harris had two brothers, Thomas and David. Which one are you descended from? When did he go to the USA? Do you have any information which would be of interest to the website?

Mrs Margaret A Roberts - 10th January 2004 - 0:00

I came across your website whilst trying to find information on ivory carvers in England and I note that Bertram Jones's great grandfather was also an ivory carver. Does anyone know his name? My ancestor Thomas Moody Jacobs(1805 - 1851) carried on the same craft in Manchester, Liverpool and London and I wondered whether there was any possibility of a connection. Can you help please?

Yours faithfully, Margaret A Roberts (Mrs)

Maureen Spinks - 11th January 2004 - 0:00

In reply to by Mrs Margaret A Roberts

Thank you for your enquiry. I'm afraid nothing is known about Bertram Jones' ancestors. He and his wife moved from London to Badsey during the Second World War, to escape the bombing.

Allan Warmington - 5th January 2004 - 0:00

First of all congratulations on your excellent website. We have a couple of Campden websites, but yours is one I shall tell them they must emulate - though I doubt if we shall find anyone with the time or energy to do so. The Historical Society archives are mainly held as hard copy, though we have a growing amount of photographic records and oral history on computer.

I am interested in the Warmington, Bennett and Parker families of Badsey - all ancestors of mine. This is not a request for information, but I hope it might be helpful for your archives to fill in a few links.

The Parkers at The Manor House. About 1850 a young farmer, Edward (or William) Parker and his elder sister Prudence, or Prudence Grace, (both unmarried) moved into Manor House (folio 335 on the 1851 Badsey census). They were the son and daughter of William and Mary Parker and I imagine the house and farm had been bought - or leased - for them by the parents. The father, William had been born in Welford, where the Parker line stretches back to to the very early 18th century and probably earlier. William senior later moved from Welford, apparently first to Pillerton Hersey where in 1824 he married a Mary Smith of that village. Although originally a farmer, the couple later moved to Warwick and he may have taken up another occupation or profession.

By 1861, William and Mary, now retired, had moved into the Manor House with their son, (f.73; 1861) who was now married. (Your version of the census says Emilia Parker was William junr's sister; in fact she was his wife). Edward (henceforth always called William) by then had three children. It is interesting that all of the children were named after relatives : William Corbett (Corbett was the maiden name of Emilia) Emiia Grace, and Prudence Mary. Edward's sister Prudence Grace (of whom more later) had by then left the house. The elder Parkers are buried near the church door in Badsey, and Mary's grave states she was 'of the Manor House'.

The Warmingtons. Also by 1861, William Warmington had moved into Badsey and was at the Bell Inn. William was the youngest son of John Warmington of Wilmcote. John had moved to Wilmcote from Bidford (or possibly Marlcliff) as a young man to work in the newly opened quarries there. He had later married the daughter of the landlord of the Swan Inn in Wilmcote (later known as the Swan House Hotel, and now, I believe, Arden House Hotel). He had thus inherited the Swan. Having given up his former occupation, he farmed as well as being a brewer and publican. William followed in his footsteps and at the time of his marriage in 1854 he was farming in Dorsington. William had in fact married Prudence Grace Parker from Badsey Manor House.

Allan Warmington, Chipping Campden
January 2004

Emma Butters - 5th December 2003 - 0:00

I am an ex student from Badsey first school and am very confused with what I recently read in the Evesham Journal. I left badsey 6 years ago and now am in year 11 at Prince Henrys High, Evesham. During my time at Badsey, in year 3 ( 9 years ago) we all celebrated the 100th anniversary of the school, so how is it now that 9 years on the school is 150 years old? I have photos of the pupils on the field in a 100 shape which was taken by a helicopter and remember well that we dressed up in Victorian outfits, so I am not mistaken. Please could you get back to me, and explain how Badsey is 150 years old.

Thank you, Emma Butters

The answer is a simple one. The school building was 100 years old in 1995.

Badsey National School opened on 1st November 1854 in premises which have now become the British Legion. The school was a Church school and was funded by voluntary contributions. However, by the 1880s, it was running into financial problems, and in May 1893, the responsibility for educating the local children passed to a local Board. From May 1893, it was known as Badsey Board School. At this time, the population of Badsey was growing quickly with the growth of market gardening, and the Board either had to extend the school already in existence or move to new premises. The opportunity came up to purchase some land, so it was decided to build on a new site. On 21st June 1895, the teachers and children were able to move into the new building. The building was much smaller in those days, and has been extended extensively over the years.

From 1903-1948, the school was called Badsey Council School, from 1948-1975 it was called Badsey County Primary School, from 1975 to the present day, it has been known as Badsey First School. In a sense, there's a chance for lots of anniversaries - the original founding of the school, the move to the new building, or since it became known as Badsey First School!

It's the same with your current school. I believe Prince Henry's moved to its current premises in 1911, but the school foundation is much much older, dating back several hundred years.

Hope this helps and that you are reassured that your maths is still OK! More information about the school history can be found on this website.

Pam Copson - 9th November 2003 - 0:00

I came across your site during a search engine trawl for information, specifically "exactly when in 1943 was the wartime ban on ringing lifted?" My reason for writing is to say that you have all the (very nice) photos of St James' bells upside down! When bells are set for ringing they are mouth upwards and the clapper (painted a nice shade of blue on these) rests against the edge of the bell. If they had been in the 'down' position (as after ringing is finished) they hang downwards like in your photos. But the clappers then would hang centrally in the bell, not touching the side of the bell.

I've enjoyed ringing at Badsey on a number of occasions and will copy a copy of this to Hilary Bolton and Roger Savory, both of whom know me!

With best wishes, Pam Copson

Roger Savory - 15th November 2003 - 0:00

In reply to by Pam Copson

Hello Everyone, It is some time since I have looked at the Badsey website. Consequently I had not seen the addition of the pictures of Badsey's bells, inserted in several places on the site. This evening I took the time to take a look, following Pam Copson's e-mail note.

She is, of course, quite correct in her statement that the pictures of the bells, in every case, having been inserted upside down. I have known Pam for quite some time, and we usually meet up in some belfry or another (or pub) when I'm back over in the Vale to get a much needed "recharging of batteries" in the old country --- something that clearly would not be complete without the bells and the beer. Pam is well-known in "ringing circles" throughout the world for her excellence in ringing, and particularly in the teaching of newcomers to the Art.

As for the pictures in the webpages, as currently presented they are probably more aesthetically pleasing to the layman than if they were "correctly" inserted "the right way up"!. But, as a "purist", I must admit that I would prefer to see the pictures rotated through 180 degrees, so that they are technically correct. It's a very difficult, if not impossible, job to take good pictures of bells in their "normal" mouth-down position, packed tightly in their bell frames inside a church tower. And this is mainly because the bells themselves, when in this "Down" position, are mostly hidden from view in their "pits". It's not until the bells are pulled into their "Up" position that you get to see clearly the metal bells themselves. Well, they were obviously in the "Up" position when Peter Stewart took his pictures. (See also the position of the louvres in the window in some of the pictures which, as shown, would direct rainwater INTO the tower, rather than keeping it out!). The bells will probably "look funny" if you do decide to rotate the pictures into their "correct" orientation --- but that's your call.

Regarding Hilary's question about the band that rang the first peal on the eight bells at Badsey on December 30, 1902, they are all Oxford Diocesan Guild men and part of Rev F.E. Robinson's itinerant "regulars". Furthermore, Robinson was not a member of the Worcestershire & Districts Association at that point. Hence, I think it's more than likely that this peal was rung for the ODG. You could ascertain this for certain by going to the ODG records and asking for the peal details, much of which is, of course, already given in Robinson's book "Among the Bells". Robinson was the first person to ring in 1,000 peals, and these were predominantly of Stedman Triples, most of which he conducted himself. It is said that when he rang a peal at his home tower of Drayton, Berks, after the peal he would invite the rest of band into the Vicarage for supper. But if they lost the peal attempt Robinson just put on his hat and said, "Good evening gentlemen --- No Peal, No Supper!".

As for his travelling considerable distances for his peals, yes he did, and most of it was I believe by train. However, all the details in his book are not accurate. For example, on page 369 there is the following extract, dated April 1903 :- "Having been (recently) elected a member of the Worcestershire Association, I accepted an invitation from the Rev. J. F. Hastings of Martley, and conducted my first peal of Stedman Triples in Worcestershire at Hartlebury on April 23, 1903....". We know, of course, that this is incorrect, since Robinson had by then already conducted his first peal of Stedman Triples in Worcestershire at Badsey the previous December 30.

Best Wishes, Roger Savory

Editor - 16th November 2003 - 0:00

In reply to by Roger Savory

Hilary and John Bolton of the St James Guild of Bellringers at Badsey also contacted us about the photographs: John noticed the louvres were upside down in the photos, strangely enough before he registered the position of the bells, perhaps as you say Roger they may well suit the lay person best this way but like you we would rather see them in the correct position, in this case 'the up for ringing' position. I can confirm John had just raised the bells in readiness for a wedding later in the day when Peter Stewart was around doing some photographic recording. At John's suggestion he took him up the tower to take these shots. Shows off Brian White's shade of blue to a treat. The clappers were sprayed or painted this colour on collection from his works after rebushing. Can recommend a good job well done.

Richard Phillips comments: We have had several more letters about the photographs. The photographer Peter Stewart did carefully consider the issue of which way up to display his pictures. But in view of the objections we have now inverted all the photos of bells so they are now the right way up ... or the wrong way up ... look at them and you will see what we mean.

Jenny James - 11th October 2003 - 0:00

Hi. To begin with we would like to say how wonderful your web site is. We have had great pleasure in looking at items and searching for families.

My husband is researching his CLARKE family of Bretforton and many associated families. Hannah HARWELL (HARTAL) married Thomas CLARKE on 17 Nov 1808 at Badsey. They are my husbands 4x greatgrandparents.

My husband's great grandfather Herbert David CLARKE married Ellen Eliza SOLLIS at Bretforton 09 Aug 1884. Ellen's father was given as George SOLLIS. I have checked all the SOLLIS/SAL(L)IS references on the Badsey website and have found a possible anomaly: On Marriages at Badsey 1860 - 1869 George SALIS married Mary Ann ROBINS dau of William ROBINS 15 Sep 1864 but the IGI record shows the wife of George SALIS as Sarah Ann ROBINS. Would you mind checking the original parish registers?

Until recently all the information we had is that Ellen Eliza SOLLIS married Herbert David CLARKE at Bretforton. On her marriage she gave her father's name as George and one of the witnesses was a John SOLLIS. At each census she gave her place of birth as Dorsington GLS. So far we have not been able to find any record of her birth. In the 1851 census there was Daniel and Amelia SALLIS with four sons, John, Job, Charles and George are at Lower Farm, Bretforton, so we have been working on the premise that this family are possibly related to Ellen. Until we have proof that George and Sarah Ann ROBINS are her parents it would be incorrect for us to publish the assumptions we have made until we are able to confirm the link. If we are successful I will be happy to contact you again with the SOLLIS family information.

We have not made a link with the more recent SOLLIS families although when we visited Bretforton in 2000 I recorded the cemetery records of some of the Sollis burials.

We would love to have Bretforton records added to your web site!

Regards Jenny James, Oamaru, New Zealand

Many thanks for your email pointing out the error. Yes, you are right, the marriage entry for 1864 should be SARAH ANN ROBINS rather than MARY ANN ROBINS. On checking my records, I had already picked up this error on my own database, but had forgotten to get it amended on the website which has now been done.

You may have noticed that we now have a Members' Interests page on the website. Have you considered supplying details about what you know about the Sollis family. I have put together some information about what I know about the SOLLIS family from Badsey records, and from the IGI and 1881 census. What I haven't been able to work out, though, is how the Sollises who appear in Badsey records in the latter half of the 19th century link up with the Sollises who lived in Aldington at the beginning of the 19th century. Do you have notes about the family that you could supply for the Members' Interest page? Do you know how they all link up? Please let me know if I have made any errors in my assumptions.