A History of Preston in Hertfordshire
Preston people: 1930 - 1951
It is perhaps surprising that it is easier to identify Preston villagers in the nineteenth century than from 1929 to 1951. There are few electoral registers for much of this period (partly due to World War). Also, mobility was not an issue for local people and many left Preston. So to catalogue who lived where in the village during this period is not straightforward. Fortunately, other records are available and these have been researched to compile a list, albeit incomplete, of adult Preston residents over these twenty-one years. .
The face of housing at Preston altered very little between 1929 and 1951. The last of the tumbledown cottages on the north side of Church Road were demolished and replaced by Preston House and its garden. After World War Two, the council-built Swedish Houses were erected along Chequers Lane and the drive for new private houses was revving up - Rosebank and Greenfields on Back Lane; Westleigh on Church Road and an un-named bungalow on the north side of Chequers Lane were erected. Thus, the village’s housing stock increased by around ten new homes over twenty-one years. What is striking is the amount of what today would be called ‘social housing’ that was now available in Preston. This was clearly intended to house local labourers and prevent the drift of younger families into towns. There were the fourteen ‘Estate’ cottages of Holly Cottages and Chequers Cottages; the twelve council houses on the north side of Chequers Lane together with two on the south side which led on to the ten Swedish Houses on the - a total of thirty-eight homes. In 1929, there were 164 adults aged over twenty-one who were listed as living in the village (excluding twelve members of the Temple Dinsley servants’ household). In 1951, there were 191 adults (excluding the staff of Princess Helena College). Of these, only around fifty-one had been living in Preston in 1929 (This includes perhaps eleven teenagers who were aged under twenty-one in 1929). So, approximately three-quarters of the adult population of 1930 had either died or moved away from the village by 1951. These details also throw up some other personal questions: for example, where were my aunts, Flossie Sugden and Nan Wray in 1929? For the purposes of this exercise, the area researched is from Sootfield Green to the north to Hitchwood Cottages to the south; Keepers Lodge, Kings Walden Road and Preston Hill Farm and its cottage to the west and Bunyan’s Cottage, Wain Wood and Temple Dinsley Lodge and Poynders End to the east. Looking through the lists of names of Preston residents during this time, it is noticeable how many photographs of these are featured on this site.
Sootfield Green 1929 - Sverre and Letitia Pettesen 1951 - Jean Hase Pond Farm 1929 - Harold George and Grace Annie Jones 1941 - Bruce Brown and family 1951 - Arthur Freeman Castle Farm 1929 - Herbert and Phyllis Jenkins and Frank Jenkins Eli and Daisy Jane Free George Currell 1951 - Herbert and Phyllis Jenkins Ronald B and Eileen Foster
North-east side of Chequers Lane:
Council houses 1929 - Elizabeth Fitzjohn (died Jan 1929) Reuben George (died April 1976 aged 70) and Bessie Freeman with Elizabeth and Eva Tristram Freeman and the spinster, Margaret Helen Passingham (died 23 Nov 1932) 10 Mary Elizabeth Garner (died 1944 aged 85) with Sidney James and Ivy Constance Garner Samuel (died 12 Jan 1940) and Lily Hall 3 Alfred and Caroline (died 9 May 1952) Longley 5 Arthur James and Alice M Palmer 4 Walter and Delphie Peters Herbert (died Nov 1957)and Emily Sharp with Lawrence Herbert and Walter Sharp 11 Lousia Jane Smith Thomas (died Sept 1936) and Annie Thrussell Laura Webster Ethel Rolfe 2
1951 - Francis M and Leslie A E Mardell 1 Leonard C Peters (died Feb 1952 aged 80), William James (died Oct 1989, 85), Florence E Peters 2 Percy James Sharp (died May 1977 aged 79) and Doris L Sharp with Lucy J L Sharp 3 Arthur James (died Oct 1967, aged 65) and Alice Maud Palmer (died June 1987, 95) with Maureen A and Reuben L Palmer (died Feb 1993, 73) 4 Caroline Longley and Clarice Bryan 5 Frederick and Alice Walker 6 (There in 1940) Ernest W (died March 1953 aged 66) and Evelyn Jane (died Jan 1970, 77) Hammond and Kenneth E Hammond 7 Richard (Dickie) and Kathleen (nee Burrows) Jenkins with Edna Burrows 8 William J (died March 1987 aged 75) and Mary Woodhams (died Jan 1984, 70) 9 (there, in 1940) Reuben G (died April 1976, aged 70) and Eva Tristram Freeman (died 2002) with Joyce E M Freeman 10 Herbert Sharp (died Nov 1957) 11 George (died 7 April 1959, aged 55) and Lilian May Crawley 12
Left to right: Bill and Mary Woodhams, Clarice Bryan, Percy Sharp and Dickie Jenkins
The Bungalow 1951 - Lucy J Fox Sadleirs End 1930c - Reubin and Eva Tristram Freeman 1949 - John and Phyllis Hadfield The Chequers 1929 - Frederick William and Daisy May Andrews 1950 - Frank and Maud Harper with Margaret Harper
South-west side of Chequers Lane:
Chequers Cottages 1929 - Arthur (died Sept 1945) and Lizzie (died July 1940) Palmer 1 Thomas Peters (died March 1940 aged 86) with Annie Martha and Caroline Peters 2 Amos Jeeves with Sarah (spinster) and George Jeeves 3 Charlie and Lydia Inez Bird Reed 4 Alfred and Emma Wray 5 Frederick William and Gertrude Kate Armstrong 6 (Note: 1 Chequers Cottages was used as a police cottage from around 1940. Frank Theophilus Dale was living there in January of that year. He had been replaced by PC Frank Leslie Dent by February 1945) 1951 - Frank Leslie and Clarice Dent 1 Annie Margaret Peters 2 Amos (died 24 Feb 1954) Jeeves with Sarah (spinster died Nov 1958, 84) and George (died July 1971, 70) 3 Sidney and Louisa Smith 4 Flossie Sugden and Annie Wray 5 Frederick William and Gertrude Kate Armstrong and Leonard and Eileen Newell   6   
13 and 14 Council Houses, Chequers Lane (right) 1946 - Herbert and Kate Hammond 14 1951 - Leonard C and Ada Smith 13 Herbert and Kate Hammond (nee French) 14 15 - 24 Chequers Lane, Swedish Houses
1950 - No 15 Jack and Margaret Meadows 16 Annie G Harper 17 Ernest and Violet Jenkins 18 Arthur and Dorothy Marlow with William and Elizabeth 19 Reginald Kimber 20 William A and Harriett Chalkley 21 Douglas H and Winifred H Salisbury (below left) 22 William Frederick and Monica (nee Hammond) Walker 23 William and Patricia E M (nee Currell, below right) Reid 24 Paul Edwin and Allison M Murray
The Wilderness 1929 - Annie and Ida May Sharp 1940 and 1950 - Frank T and Lucy K Sunderland Rose Cottage 1934 and 1950 - Frederick O and Eva C Blanchard (right)
Butchers Lane
Hitchin Road
Spindle Cottage 1929 - Hannah Brown, Clara and Rosa Frost and Elizabeth Levitt 1950 - Frederick P and Elsie M Smith Wain Wood Cottage 1929 - Victor Pearce 1932 and 1943 - Frank and Maud Harper 1950 - Philip Dick and Ethel M Middleditch with Roger James and Betty E Middleditch The Cottage 1929 - William and Agnes Austin, William Dugind, William McHardy and Matthew Bennie Scotland 1950 - Henry G MacIntosh
Temple Dinsley and associated homes
Temple Dinsley mansion 1929 - Almina Carnarvon and Ian Denistoun Servants ? Hannah Daniels Edith Davies Alfred Day Laura Jeffries Mary McIntyre Mary McLoughlin William Osborn John Sims Martin and Mary Taylor Winifred Thorpe Eva Woods
Princess Helena College 1950 - Teaching Staff, cooks etc. Dorothy Athoe Norah Bolingbroke Lois M Bower Bridget E Carrick Celia M Cotes Inez B Cottle Gwyneth M Dolley Nancy Hood Grace Constance Hubbard Edeltraut D M Insel Lilian Mary Kay Mary E Ladle Dorothy O and Ethelbert MacIntosh Phyllis Mary Mowle John Patrick O’Collard Vyvyan A Prain (Headmistress) Katherine I Richards Minnie Wallace Doris B Ward Cynthia M G Wilton Alison J Wooldridge Temple Dinsley Gardens aka ‘The Bothy’ 1930 - Horace Wright 1935 and 1950 - Charles J and Edith M Marshall
Temple Farm 1929 - Charles Ernest and Alice Eliza Darton Arthur Wilson and Mary White
Temple Dinsley Lodge 1927 - Caroline Longley 1929 - William and Daisy Faulkner 1940 - Mrs Lambert 1944 - Leonard George Gates, son of Frederick 1945 - Kenneth Frank Westell, son of Frank Westell 1950 Lodge 1 - William and Fanny Neve Lodge 2 - Ernest J and Nellie V Smith
Preston Green (including the North side of Church Lane)
1929 - (starting at the Red Lion and moving clockwise): Red Lion -James Edward and Martha Hedley Laburnum Lodge - George William and Bertha Emily (nee Peters) Nash The Laburnums (aka Pryor House) Ralston Dev Pryor and Annie Christobel Peters (housekeeper) Fig Tree Cottage - Ernest and Florence Cannon Vine Cottage - Harry and Margaret Elizabeth Worthington ‘Peters Cottage’ (abutting to the north-east of Vine Cottage) - Frederick Arthur and Margaret Robinson The Old Forge - Thomas and Caroline Ashton with Catherine Rose and Agnes Margaret Ashton St Martin’s Place - Ernest (father) and Frederick (son) Jenkins Old houses now replaced by Preston House - Emma Crawley; Frank Currell; William Ewington; Harry and Lizzie Jenkins (Note: where these folk lived cannot be pinpointed accurately. Perhaps one household shared the Old Forge or Kenwood Cottage. However it is likely that at least one family lived in the old cottages which were demolished in the 1930s)
(starting at Red Lion and moving clockwise): Red Lion 1945 Frederick Stevens 1947 and 1950 - Alfred J and Kate Massey 1950 - Kenwood Cottage - William Charles and Elizabeth Evelyn Palmer 1950 - Laburnum Lodge - George William and Bertha Emily (nee Peters) Nash with Annie Christobel Peters 1950 - The Laburnums - David F G and Elizabeth Sadler - Caravan - Robert and Elizabeth Collett 1950 - Fig Tree Cottage - Ernest F and Florence Cannon 1950 - Vine Cottage - William and Rose Stanley with Margaret E Worthington 1950 - The Old Forge - Hugh and Sybil W (right) Whitmore 1950 - St Martin’s Place - Ephraim R and Elizabeth Webb 1950 - Preston House - Frederick B and Audrey W Geidt with Charles J W Geidt
Church Road aka Kings Walden Road
‘Westleigh’ (right) 1950 - John A and Dorothy Raffell with Ethel M Raffel Keepers Cottage Deadwomans Lane/Mayles Corner (right)
1929 - Philip Dick and Ethel Margaret Middleditch 1950 - Alfred Charles and Sylvia Grace Creese
Back Lane, Armstrongs Lane and Preston Hill Farm
Holly Cottages 1929 - George and Adelaide, George jnr and Emma Andrews Arthur and Mary Ayres Walter, Ellen and Lilian Bunyan (No 5) Arthur and Annie Currell (4) Arthur and Agnes Dorothy Dobbs (right) (2) Thomas Payne George Thomas and Eleanor Perry (3) John Swain 1950 -1 Thomas E and Alice R Hedley 2 Arthur, Agnes Dorothy and Frederick Arthur Dobbs 3 Kathleen A Perry (there in 1942) 4 Arthur, Annie and Alec Currell 5 John J, Lilian M and John J jnr Hodgson 6 Ellen Bunyan 7 Percy and Dorothy Rose Bailey
‘Rosebank’ (right) 1950 - Sidney R and Rose M Raffell ‘Greenfields’ (right) 1950 - Bertram G and Phyllis Waller Preston Hill Farm Cottage 1929 - Burrows 1942 - Leslie Mardell 1940 - Arthur William King 1947 - Sam and Grace Wray Preston Hill Farm 1950 Frederick Hinings and Frances Edith Ann Maybrick
School Lane
Bungalows 1929 - Ernest and Irene Box Frank and Margaret Wray Fanny Louisa Deed - School Bungalow ? 1950 - Emilie M Gardner William A and Alexandra Moffoot Kathleen Ayres School Bungalow Herbert G and Eileen G Wilson
Crunnells Green House 1929 - Reginald J W and Annie Anderson Dawson with Barbara MacGilvray 1950 - Henry R and Alethea S Townsend Crunnells Green 1929 - Evelyn Mary Davis 1934 - John Wilson 1950 - Charles, Reginald H (right), Gladys and Joan Alice Darton Arthur W and Mary W White No 3 - Harold and Nora M (nee White) Tomlin Kiln Wood 1929 - Henry, William Alfred and Gladys Darton Minsden Dairy Farm 1941 - George Baird 1942 - Thomas William Darton 1943 - Joseph T Butler (the three men listed above may have been ‘live-in’ labourers on the farm) 1950 - Nelson Brian and Jeanetta Ada Pike Alec J and Elizabeth M V Piggott
Poynders End 1929 - Hugh Sexton, Frederick and George Seebohm with Ellen Paternoster, Edith Baker, Enid Marion Woodhouse, Mary and Ella Evelyn Fielder (perhaps some of these were servants) 1950 - Derek and Patricia Seebohm with Ellen Paternoster Gardeners Cottage 1951 - George and Ethel Atkinson Poynders End Farm 1929 - John and Daisy Garner 1950 - Stanley Walder with Annie Wilkins
Poynders End
Hitchwood Cottages
These included 1 and 2 which were designed by Lutyens and 3 - 7 which were owned by Hugh Seebohm in 1910. 1929 - William George and Nellie Garner. William, Arthur James and Millie Jenkins William Marshall Hubert Thomas and Eliza, Isabella, Leonard Charles, George Henry, Lawrence Henry, Emily Lavinia, Nora Eleanor, William James (Jockey) Peters (below) Percy James and Lucy Jane Loveday Sharp Frederick and Alice (nee Marshall) Walker 1941 - Jack Grice David Walter Pitcher 1942 - Dorothy May Gunner, daughter of James Henry 1950 - James and Lilian Phyllis Affleck Minnie Jenkins Alfred and Rose Kelloway Ian and Margaret M McEwen Hubert Thomas and Eliza Peters with James A Peters Charles and Joyce Willingham