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new project has been fully
completed during the past year but several are in progress and some are
ANNUAL REPORT 2002-2003
Following the Recorder’s concern that the parish local history records were being kept in far from ideal conditions, the Radwinter Parish Council agreed to convert part of the balcony of the village hall to a muniments centre. This went out to tender and is due for completion later this summer.The task of properly cataloguing the records will then begin and it is proposed to develop a database on Microsoft Access to enable this to be done in a relation way, enabling records to be searched for under a number of criteria
Following on from the success of the Radwinter Millennium project – a book on Radwinter in 1900, a small team has started on a similar publication covering Radwinter during the Second World War.People living in Radwinter at that time have been identified and will be interviewed. The Radwinter archives, the Public Record Office at Kew and Essex Record Office have all been searched for appropriate documents and these either are or will be researched.A number of photographic images have also been identified.
The Recorder has continued his mammoth project on the life and times of John Frederick Watkinson Bullock, Rector of Radwinter from 1865 to 1916. He was an active participant in the later half of the Oxford Movement and researches are throwing light upon the influence of the Movement in a rural parish.
The Radwinter Church Reredos was last year discovered to be suffering from woodworm and death-watch beetle and was badly in need of conservation. The Radwinter Recorder undertook a fundraising programme and some £9000 were raised.The reredos, which has been described as the finest piece of woodcarving in Essex, was carved around 1510 in Brussels. It was taken to the workshops of Plowden and Smith, the Queen’s conservators, where it has been restored.The conservation process has revealed the full glory of the work for the first time, probably since it was previously restored just before 1800.The reredos will now be reinstalled in Radwinter Church, lower down behind the altar and away from the wall, a major cause of damp penetration in the past.The altar will also be moved forward to further aid viewing.
The Radwinter Recorder had produced a Newsletter featuring the reredos conservation, to be distributed with the invitation to the Radwinter Parish Day, when it is hoped the reredos will be in place.He is also producing on booklet on the reredos, which will go on sale as a contribution to church funds.
The carving is exceedingly fine and contains some most surprising images for a church altarpiece.Some of these are reproduced here and show one of the Three Kings having his pocket picked and the “touching” picture opposite.
Church Guide will then need
to be completely revised to take into account work on the reredos and
changes in the church.
ANNUAL REPORT 2003-2004
The year began with fund-raising for the restoration of Radwinter’s early sixteenth century Brussels Reredos to enable it to be cleaned and conserved.£9000 was raised from corporate funders and a further £13,000 from private donations and the Radwinter church’s existing restoration fund. What has been described as the finest piece of woodcarving in Essex was conserved and is re-installed in the church.A booklet has been published on the history and conservation process.
Radwinter Parish Council have paid for the conversion of part of the balcony of the village hall into and office and muniments centre to house the substantial archive that have been accumulated through the years.
A meeting was held on Thursday, 26th February 2004 at which it was agreed to form a Radwinter Society. Eight people attended this inaugural meeting and it was agreed that, although the stimulus for the Society was the recording of Radwinter’s historical records, the objects of the society should also be widened to include other activities in Radwinter’s interests, such as the logging of footpaths or organisation of future anniversary celebrations.A constitution was agreed subject to adoption at the first General meeting.This was framed to allow for registration with the Charity Commission should the Society’s turnover reach the statutory limit of £1000, a situation which would arise should a grant be obtained for the purchase of, say, a computer and software.
A meeting has been arranged to begin the process of recording items in the Radwinter archives onto Uttlesford Local History Recorders’ RUTH record card prior to entry onto the new database.
Notes have been produced based on Essex Record Office training sheets to guide participants in oral history recording.An application for funding is being made to purchase a minidisk and CD recording system. A meeting has been arranged to begin the process of recording.
Two further publications are in preparation, both on former Radwinter Rectors.One is a translation of the diary and autobiography of Richard Drake, Rector from 1638 to 1667.Drake was one who was in full sympathy with Laud's revival of Church life.The churchwardens of the time made things difficult for Drake. The local cobbler and a tailor named John Traps, promoted brawling at church services.Drake was many times assaulted both in church and outside. Strange preachers were intruded into the parish as Puritanism triumphed but at the Restoration of King Charles II, Drake was restored to his rights.
The second publication is on John Frederick Watkinson Bullock, Rector from 1865 to1916. A high churchman, Fred Bullock was a leading light in the latter part of the Oxford Movement and his restoration of the church is a demonstration of his Tractarian views.
In addition to a complete run of paper-based facsimiles of the published censuses, Computer floppy discs and CD have been purchased and we now have the ability to search computer indexes for Radwinter and the Saffron Walden area for the years 1851, 1861, 1881 and 1891.
ANNUAL REPORT 2004-2005
3rd May 2005
We were successful in our application for two grants for our Oral History Project.The Rural Community Council of Essex gave us £325 from their Essex Community Hub Fund and Uttlesford District Council gave us a Leisure & Cultural Grant of £300. More recently we have been successful in our application to Home Front Recall and have received £4,700 to organise an exhibition of World War II memorabilia to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the ending of the Second World War.
We were unsuccessful, however, in our application to British Telecom for an internet-ready PC.
With the first two grants we purchased two sets of mini-disc recorders and a CD transcriber to record and transcribe memories of Radwinter current and former inhabitants so as to build up a permanent and developing oral archive of Radwinter life and times.Part of the Home Front Recall grant has also been used to purchasing an Olympus DS-2200 digital voice recorder which is capable of recording at broadcast quality in stereo and sending its recordings directly to a computer for the production of CDs. The recordings and transcriptions are being made using Essex Record Office (ERO) guidelines and will be deposited in the ERO Essex Sound Archive and the Radwinter archives so that future historians and all interested in local history can obtain a permanent and growing account of life in Radwinter as it has developed. The CD recorder and transcriber will be used for copying CDs so that we can make CDs on specific subjects available to the public.
Thanks to the Home Front Recall grant, we are staging an exhibition of World War II memorabilia in Radwinter Village Hall from Saturday, May 28th to Bank Holiday Monday, May 30th.
As part of the celebrations, there will be a quiz on World War II in Radwinter Parish Hall exhibition on Friday, May 20th, at 7.00 for 7.30 pm and are inviting teams of six, or individuals who are willing to be assigned to a team, to take part.Those interested should contact Graham Schneider on 01799 599184.We will also be making the exhibition the focus of sound recording and photographic projects leading to the publication of a book Radwinter at War, a sister book to our Millennium publication, Radwinter 1900.
In conjunction with the Countryside Agency, Radwinter is conducting a household consultation exercise to elicit views on the future of Radwinter and to produce a plan. The local history recorder is taking an active part and, amongst other things has produced a potted Radwinter History for the Plan.It is appended to this report
Parish Clerk, Ray Jones, brought to our attention a series of pencil drawings in a shed belonging to 3 Church View.They are said to have been drawn in Radwinter by a German prisoner of war and was believed to have once been part of the wooden wall of a POW hut, subsequently used by a previous occupant of 3 Church View, Mr Cyril Richardson, to build the shed.
The recent exhibition of paintings by former Radwinter POW, Karl Weschke, the foremost artist of the Cornish school, and his subsequent death, began speculation that the drawing might have been his work.I wrote to Saffron Walden Museum, where we originally thought that the drawing had been transferred. They replied that they didn't have it but did have a clay sculpture produced by an ex-Radwinter German POW.The Museum subsequently told me that the sculpture depicts a seated man with a child crying on his leg.Inscribed on it are the words 'Deutchland 1946 Her F Wafiakt', presumably the name of the artist.They told me that they had one other item relating to Radwinter during the Second World War- a pair of leather boots thought to have belonged to a German POW. The Museum is hoping to be able to loan both these items to Radwinter for the duration of the WW II exhibition.
Although principally known as a painter, Karl Weschke had begun his artistic career as a carver. His talent for carving was first encouraged at Watten - the highest security prisoner of war camp in Britain - by the chaplain, and this determined him to be an artist. His paintings now fetch a very high price.
It is clear that there may have been more than one artist at the Radwinter POW camp and it is probable that the drawings formerly at 3 Church View are nothing to do with Weschke.However, we are keen to ensure their preservation and the landlord, Miss Claudia Servern, has kindly agreed to let us remove the drawing and has also generously agreed to meet the cost of repair to the shed.The drawings will be on display in the exhibition.
The local history recorder has made a computer presentation on the Radwinter Reredos from the booklet he prepared earlier on the same subject.This was used to give a presentation to the Saffron Walden Historical Society and he will be make a further presentation to Hatfield Regis Local History Society on 10th May.
We wrote to the Institute of Archaeology in Oxford regarding the origin of the name Wover, for the pond along the walk from the church to Radwinter Hall.A series of medieval fishponds is being researched in Radwinter and local people refer to one of the still visible ponds as “the Wover”. An expert once said that this is a Saxon name for a pond. However, Margaret Gelling, the leading expert on English place-names, said that there was no Old English word resembling ‘wova’ for a pond. The nearest name she could think of was the river Waver which flows into the Solway Firth and which probably means winding stream’ which she thought hardly seemed appropriate for a pond.However, as we know that the Pant was at one time far more substantial, supporting a Mill and barges coming upstream from the Blackwater, it could be the original name for the stream that was left behind when the fishponds were separated from the Pant. (Later research has shown that there is a modern German word Wovor which means “before or from which or what”.This name could well indicate that the Wovor would have been the first, header pond, in the series of medieval fish ponds and would owe its origin to one of the Germanic tribes who settled in Britain and contributed to Old English.)
There has been further progress on the Radwinter Archives.This is being done directly onto an Excel spreadsheet. Roger Mance from Greatford Cottage, Stocking Green, who is producing a history of Stocking Green, is helping the local history recorder with the project and we have already indexed over 500 items.
One of the most useful items in the archives, after the parish magazines and the Parish Council minute book, is a foolscap manuscript book of notes made by former Radwinter History Recorder, Dick Lloyd, largely from interviews with Radwinter inhabitants who have long since passed away. It has been time consuming to trawl through the book for all references to a particular subject.Radwinter Resident, Mrs Muriel Muncaster has kindly agreed to transcribe the book, which will make it easier to read and index and eventually we hope that it will be searchable by computer.
Similarly, Mrs Wendy Rowley has kindly agreed to transcribe notes made by Mrs Pamela Pratt.We are most grateful to Mrs Muncaster, Mrs Rowley, Mrs Pratt and Mr Dick Lloyd for their dedication in ensuring that Radwinter memories are not lost and are made readily accessible to future generations.
I have been in correspondence with Mr Bernard Slatter and Mr Frank Whitehead who as schoolboys stayed in the Radwinter Harvest Camp during the war to help bring in the harvest.Information on the camp is still coming in but and interim article with photographs is appended.
We received and enquiry from a Mr Mike Porter who is researching the novels of Madeleine Kent, the author of I married a German (1938) and The Isle of the Innocent (1945).She had a character named Miss Radwinter in the second of those books.The first book details her escape from Germany with her husband "Hans" before it became impossible to do so. The second is a novel that Mr Porter believes draws heavily on her experiences in Dresden and her admiration for a Jewish musician she might have known in Germany.Madeleine Kent was born in Hatfield in 1907. Her publishers thought she might have died in the early 50s. She was known to be living in Suffolk whilst ill with cancer in 1953.The portrayal of Miss Radwinter is not particularly sympathetic but Mr Porter is extracting the reference to her from the book in case they jog the memory of any Radwinter residents as to why Madeleine Kent chose that name.
Radwinter resident, Stan Sutherland, has transcribed all the births, banns, marriages and deaths in the Radwinter parish registers.He has let the Radwinter Society and the PCC have copies. These include The Registers from 1813 to 2004, searchable on Excel spreadsheets and a PDF copy of Browne’s Transcripts of the Registers from 1638 to 1812.The latter is provided with a name index to facilitate name searches.
I have corresponded with a number of enquirers researching their family history and Stan Sutherland’s CDs have been invaluable for this.We have written to thank Stan for this excellent work and his generosity in sharing the information.
ANNUAL REPORT 2005-2006
3rd May 2006
A project is underway on behalf of the Friends of Radwinter Church to bind further copies of the parish magazines.The magazines commenced publication in 1881 and provide an invaluable record of the life of the village.Copies have already been bound by the Friends of Radwinter Church up to 1998 but a further 29 copies need binding in four volumes up to 2005. Later bequests and researches in the archives have brought to light a number of magazines that are missing from the previous binding and need to be re-bound in seven volumes, while a further four volumes need to be made that fall between existing volumes.On the recommendation of Martin Everett, a quotation for the work has been made by Riley Dunn & Wilson Ltd which was for high quality bookbinding to library standards at half the price I could obtain locally.I have applied to Awards for All for funding and am currently awaiting their response.
We staged an exhibition entitled Radwinter at War with a grant we received from Home Front Recall.This was coupled with a WW II quiz night.Well over £200 was raised at both events for the British Legion.
Stan Sutherland, ran a family history stall at the exhibition and displayed memorials of the Radwinter fallen.Several photographs were brought in and Stan copied them overnight and put the copies on display.By the end of the exhibition all the people in the photographs had been identified, including an entire pre-war Radwinter cricket team and the ladies of the Women’s Institute.
A major outcome of the exhibition was the re-discovery of a sculpture by Karl Wescke, which had been lost to the art world. Wescke, who died this year, was the leading artist of the Cornish School. Carolyn Wingfield was in touch with Karl Wescke’s widow, who is delighted that at least one of his sculptures has survived. She let us know that Wescke also prepared set designs for shows that the German Prisoners of War put on in the Radwinter Camp theatre. By great good fortune, photographs of the German Prisoners of War and of one of their shows, were lent to us for the Exhibition by David Haylock.We were able to copy these and send photographs of Karl Wescke’s set designs to his widow.
We have now purchased an Olympus AS 4000 PC transcription kit which enables us to transcribe the oral history recording we have made with our Olympus DS-2200 digital voice recorder. It allows the transcriber hands-free typing by using a footpedal and earphones.
As part of the grant we received from Home Front Recall, a book was planned.Work began on this during and after the exhibition but it has become clear that it will not be completed before Home Front Recall is disbanded.The problem has been the wealth of first class material which has come to life, both from local sources and from the National Archives at Key. It now appears that the Radwinter Youth Camp for German POWs was of National importance and events occurred there which make very interesting reading indeed.There is a similar situation with the Great Sampford RAF Station on Radwinter’s boundaries which impacted on Radwinter’s life during the War.Even the local school was the centre of a major dispute between the teachers and the Bishop with the staff being threatened with dismissal.We aim to proceed with research up until the end of May with a view to applying for a further grant for publication in perhaps a year’s time.
The bound copies of the parish magazines and the parish council minute book are both providing invaluable sources of information for this project.
The Radwinter Plan is still in process.All the questionnaires have been returned and analysed and an outline plan will be discussed at the next meeting on Thursday.
Following further fundraising the wings of the Radwinter Reredos have now been restored and conserved by Hamilton Kerr of Whittlesford.They present a magnificent appearance and it is hoped to produce a further booklet on the wings which included descriptions and illustrations of the source works which inspired the various panels.
Mrs Muriel Muckleston has completed her transcription of Dick Lloyd’s Radwinter History notes made largely from interviews with Radwinter inhabitants who have long since passed away. This is now on computer and is searchable.It has already proved invaluable in answering family history enquiries and in the Radwinter at War project.
Stan Sutherland has been researching the Radwinter War Memorial and delivered a talk in October 2005 to the Radwinter Society entitled Radwinter Fallen During the Two World Wars.
Many men were serving in some very unlikely regiments when they died, because, as their original companies or regiments had been almost obliterated, they were absorbed into others. Stanley had found that Private Harry Colman had joined the 34th Bn, Australian Infantry, AIF and was on a war memorial in Australia as an Australian Citizen although he was definitely a Radwinter man, born in Hempstead.
A poignant moment came when Stanley revealed that Mrs Lydia Halls of Old Hill Radwinter had lost three sons during the First World War, Leonard in 1915, Joseph in 1916, and Frederick George in 1918. For George, the last of these sons to lose his life, Mrs Halls was given as the only next of kin, her husband, Mr Edward Halls, not appearing. If she had lost a husband too, he did not appear in the list of Radwinter burials. Perhaps a surviving relative could throw some light on this.
Radwinter war hero, Private C E Andrews of the 10th Bn Essex Regiment, who died on 3rd April 1918, was awarded the DCM - the medal just below the Victoria Cross - for a gallant action in which he attacked a machine gun post and saved the life of his Company Sergeant Major.
The full list of those celebrated on the War Memorial is Private Bentley Andrews, Private CE Andrews, Private LC Andrews, Private George Barker, Private Edgar Charles Baynes, Major Edward Bullock, Private Charles Carter, Leading Aircraftman John William Chapman, Private Harry Colman, Private Walter Edward Cornell, Private Lionel Ernest Ellingham, Rifleman A Halls, Private Frederick George Halls, Corporal Godfrey Henry Halls, Private Joseph Halls, Private Leonard Halls, Lance Corporal, Albert Arthur Howell, Private A W Potts, Private James Potts, Private G Robinson, Private Alfred Robins, Private E J Ruse, Private George Ruse, Sergeant Arthur Sharp, Private William Spittle, Private H Swan, Private William Dudley Swan, Private William George Swan, Private James John Thake, Private William Thake, Gunner F H Turpin, Private Harry Underwood, Lieutenant J Valiant and Private Ernest Winship.
Stanley has kindly donated a CD of his presentation to the Radwinter Archives, so that relevant details can be printed out or e-mailed to enquirers.
In January 2006 Ken Neale gave a talk on the Sampford Heritage Project, which tested the methodology for computer archaeology becoming the blueprint for similar work in assessing the secrets that lie beneath our soil.Although it was not about Radwinter, it was highly informative and an inspiration to the Radwinter Society on what could be done in field archaeology.
A presentation as gripping and amusing as it was professional and informative was delivered by Fiona Wells at the Society’s April 2006 meeting.
Entitled Rooted in the Soil –a glimpse at the landscape history of Radwinter, the talk gave the meeting an enthralling account of how a thousand years of Radwinter’s history had left its impression on our landscape.
Fiona told the meeting that ploughing by ox teams had left their tell-tale mark in the sinuous field boundaries at the parish perimeter. These same boundaries were often accompanied by unusual strip woodland marked by ditch and bank on either side with older trees on the off side.
Moving on to Doomsday she said that the compilers were priests, the only section of the community that could write, and among their number was the oddly named Roger God save the Ladies. They recorded the numbers of working men, cattle, swine, woodland, pasture, eel-traps and fishponds. Radwinter then comprised three manors, Roos or Great Brockholes, Radwinter Grange, and Radwinter Hall.
Bendishes, given by William the Conqueror (or Bastard) to Count Eustace of Boulogne was a separate parish comprising eight villagers, one small holder and eight slaves. Arable land was measured in ploughs. There were four ploughs in the lordship and three ploughs among the men, which at 120 acres a plough gives 840 acres of arable. Woodland was also curiously measured in pigs and Bendishes was estimated as 100 pigs although the actual number of pigs recorded was 28 along with 112 sheep. It was later given to the Abbey of Faversham in Kent, which disabled the land holders from keeping up the fabric of churches and drained the parish to maintain the splendour of their cloisters. Probably a Bendish parish church was lost in consequence. Similar history and ownership of the other manors was also described along with the increasing reduction of woodland over the years.
The manufacture of tile and later brick from local clay came early in Radwinter’s industrial past. Saffron Walden church records show ‘one lod of bryck’ from Radwinter costing 4s 2d in 1454, while in 1471 ‘pathing tyle and brick was bought from Radwinter for 8d. By the 1540s brick chimneys became a possibility for the more wealthy and by 1587 William Harrison commented on the number of chimneys in Radwinter.
Potash was also in great demand for clothes washing, dyeing, soap making and bleaching linen and its production from ashes was a common industry until at least the 1830s. By 1907 Potash Farm was also a public house.
But agriculture was always the mainstay of Radwinter and Fiona’s presentation mapped the changing fortunes of its labourers. The shortage of labour after the Black Death when a third of the population was lost saw a rise in wages. By the late fifteenth century, however it took 15 days to earn enough for ¼ bushel of wheat. By the seventeenth century it took 48 days and by 1804 52 days. By 1900 agricultural labourers were at their financial best and it now only took 10¼ days to buy the same amount of wheat.
Every field was named at one time, Fiona told the meeting, and she suggested that a project be launched to record known names of the fields. As research for this project, Fiona obtained a copy of J King and Son’s 1859-59 plan of Radwinter to accompany the 1838 Tithe Apportionment already in our archives. The field naming project is at an embryo stage based on this Tithe Apportionment.
Radwinter Parish Plan
Radwinter has completed it parish plan to guide both the Parish Council and parishioners as to the needs of the village community over the next five years.The Plan covers the Environment, Community, Youth, Housing & Development, Traffic & Transport and Business. It examines, in each section, the issues identified, what it is proposed to do about them, when action should be completed and who should be responsible. The booklet is fully illustrated in colour and contains and excellent description of Radwinter by way of introduction.
Oral History Recordings
We now have fifteen oral history recording which have all been transcribed. More remain to be done.
Over 500 records from Radwinter have been indexed on RUTH. All are searchable on my computer and Radwinter people were given the opportunity of receiving a search at the Friends of Radwinter Church Summer Event on 10th June at The Grange, Radwinter.
A growing number of documents in the Radwinter Archives have been scanned so that their contents can be searched electronically for further details. Examples include Dick Lloyd’s Radwinter History Notes, accounts of the civil disturbances during the civil war, all the oral history recordings, the Radwinter names from the Essex Freeholders’ Book of 1734 and many more.
Archives Held Elsewhere
We have researched details of Radwinter Archives held in some unusual places, because estates in other Counties owned farms and land in Radwinter. The records ended up in several other counties and relate among a number of Radwinter people and places to the farms of Broadysh, Richmonds, Swann’s, Park Farm, Great Brockholds, Bendysh, Cutbush, Sheds Farm and The Grange.
Among talks organised by the Radwinter Society during the year under review was an interesting and informative presentation on family history research given by Stan Sutherland and a visit to Saffron Walden Museum where Museum Curator, Carolyn Winfield in January gave a presentation entitled A World of Discovery. Among many Radwinter items on display was a beautiful early face pot and a teapot commemorating the 1888 restoration of Radwinter Church. We understand that complete tea-sets were produced and that some people in the past have had cups, saucers, milk jugs and sugar bowls. We have researched the mention of ghosts in the Radwinter Archives and this will be the subject of our next interactive presentation.
Radwinter Christmas Tree Festival
The Radwinter Society took part in the Christmas tree festival in Radwinter Church and great interest was shown in the collection of old-time photographs that were displayed as baubles on the society’s tree. We hope to display a further set of photographs each year.
Field Name Project
A group of Radwinter people have agreed to take part in a field name project, walking the fields and recording the names, not only of the fields but the tracks, ponds and other features as well. In this connection, we aim to copy the Radwinter 1837 Tithe Apportionment Schedule onto Excel and cross reference the fields to a map book. We also have copies of copies of the 1941 Farm Surveys that lists all the Radwinter Farms, their owners, occupiers and many other details. In time this will be copied so that it can be searched electronically.
War Diaries of Spr Seabrook
Another of the treasures of the Radwinter Records is the war diaries of Spr. George Henry Seabrook in France during 1915 and 1916. These were found whilst indexing the Radwinter Collection. 1633 Spr. Seabrook served in no. 4 Section of the Signal Coy., 47 Division of the Royal Engineers. He spent time in the trenches and repairing the communications lines, frequently coming under fire. In one incident he was gassed and returned to work after a short period of light duties. He was later wounded in the leg and returned to Great Britain after a long train journey and operation and was then discharged. The diaries have been transcribed and will take a proud place in the forthcoming Radwinter at War book.
Zeppelins in Radwinter
We now have three independent reports of the Zeppelin raid on Radwinter on 24th May 1917. Fire bombs were dropped in gravel field by Purkiss’s but did not explode. These have also been written up for the Radwinter at War book.
Parish Magazine Binding
The Jarvis family have donated a set of bound parish magazines from January 1881 to December 1915. They were salvaged by Clifford Jarvis from burning in the stoke hole at Radwinter Church and had been preserved by his wife, Joyce Jarvis. Although we have some bound copies, our collection is incomplete and so the new volumes will greatly enhance the Radwinter Archives. Their dates suggest that they were the Revd. Fred Bullock’s own collection and not those presented to the Church in 1952 and 1956 by Mrs E Potts, the Misses Halls and Mr and Mrs Coote.
The binding of the existing set of magazines for the Friends of Radwinter Church under a grant from the Community Champions Fund, has now been completed up to winter 2005. Both sets are now available for inspection on application. In time we will produce an index, indicating in which set of bound volumes particular magazines are located. We will then identify which magazines are still missing, which hopefully should be very few indeed.
In addition to reports from Radwinter, throughout the period of their publication, the magazines were variously combined with other parishes at various times. From January 1936 to December 1938 and from April 1940 to December 1946 Radwinter events were covered in the Deanery Church Magazine, which also covered the parishes of Ashdon, Great with Little Chesterford, Chrishall, Great Chishill, Debden, Hadstock, Heydon with Little Chishill, Littlebury, Little Sampford, Strethall, Wendens Ambo, Wenden Lofts with Elmdon and Wimbish.
Mrs Beryl Barbour, Mrs Joyce Jarvis’s elder daughter, has done some research on the new volumes and has found that they contain a serialisation of the ancient history of Radwinter and several other Uttlesford villages, written in 1769. It was taken from A new and Complete History of Essex...down to 1769, which Fred Bullock owned.
POW Icon Gifted to Radwinter
Also gifted from the Jarvis Family is an Icon produced by a German prisoner of war and presented to Mrs Joyce Jarvis..
German POW Graffiti
Following her renovation of 3 Church View, the actress, Miss Clair Parker has presented the village with two panels from her garden sheds with drawings by German POWs. The panels were linings from Nissan huts at the Radwinter POW camp, which Cyril Richardson used in the construction of his sheds. They appear to be in charcoal, which would have been readily to hand for German POWs. They have been recorded photographically and Sir Jonathan Parker has kindly agreed to store them in his barns.
Fr. Frank Harwood and Walsingham
Following a request from the organisers of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, a search was undertaken in the Radwinter and Deanery Parish magazines from 30th April 1949 to circa May 1960, the period of Fr. Frank Harwood’s active Radwinter incumbency. In consequence we have produced a seven-page transcript of relevant passages, including his concepts of Pilgrimage and the various visits he organised to Walsingham and other sites of pilgrimage. Copies have been sent to the Walsingham Shrine and to a Mr Raymond Hunt, of All Saints Church, Cheltenham Spa, where Frank Harwood went when he retired.
Memories of Reg Bacon
Age Concern Essex has sent us a photocopy for our archives of Reg Bacon’s (1901-1987) memories from their publication Yesterday’s Heroes.
Emigration from Radwinter
Mr David Stacey has written a paper on Emigration to Australia from Saffron Walden and surrounding parishes via the Saffron Walden Union Workhouse. References are made to the following people emigrating from Radwinter in 1850 and 1852: John Halls, Thomas Halls, the Shead family, Josiah (Joseph) Saville, John Livermore, Robert Gypps, Joseph Halls, Joseph Wright, Mary Halls, Mary Trinder, Thomas Bridgeman, Jacob Halls, Thomas Woodley, Benjamin Woodley, William Mascall, William Halls and Mary Halls.
Among family members of the above with a Radwinter connection mentioned are: Ann Siggs, Emma Halls, James Wright, Sarah Wright, Sarah Pamphlin, Jane Wright, Joseph Wright, Elizabeth Pamphlin, Isabel Livermore, Isabel Barker, Abraham Halls, Rebecca Halls, Rebecca Saville, Ann Saville, William Gypps, Lydia Gypps, George Gypps, Martha Gyps, Martha Halls, John Woodley, Mary Woodley, Mary Bridgeman, Mary Chapman, Charles Mascall, Jane Mascall and Caroline Halls. The name Jepps occurs as a variant of Gypps.
I received a visit
from Professor Richard O’Sullivan of the Royal Melbourne
Technology, who is descended from one of the immigrants and I was able
him chapter and verse on his early ancestors and point him on towards
Hempstead, from where his earliest
Family History Research
Family history research is taking a lion’s share of the time of the village history recorder and an informal charging system has been introduced to limit idle enquiries from people who can not be bothered to research their own families on publicly available websites. It would help if Uttlesford Local History Recorders were to publish a recommended scale of charges for this type of work.
Portway In Memoriam
One of the Radwinter Archive treasures is a printed book entitled - In Memoriam. It is inscribed on the title page “The following lines are written in loving memory of our sweet little darling, Winifred Charlotte Portway, who went Home July 13th, 1876 aged four years and seven months”. It was written by Sarah Ann Portway (Taddie) of Pilgrim's Hatch, Radwinter, Essex. On the flyleaf, hand-written in ink, there is “Mr & Mrs Halls with love from Sarah A Portway Christmas 1891."
Mrs Iris G M Mann, who presented the book, says that it was given to her great grandparents, Mr & Mrs James Halls. Here grandparents names were John and Sarah Andrews (her grandfather perhaps better known by the nickname 'Mousey' who lived in the cottage on the immediate left of the present rectory.
RADWINTER LOCAL HISTORY RECORDER’S REPORT 2007-8
Parish Magazine Binding
As reported last year, the Friends of Radwinter Church now possesses a near complete run of Parish Magazines from 1881 to the present day. We have now analysed the other parishes covered in the bound copies of the Radwinter Parish Magazine.
Other parishes covered at various times include Ashdon, Wimbish, Great and Little Sampford, Hempstead. Additionally, from January 1936 to December 1938 and from April 1940 to December 1946 Radwinter events were covered in the Deanery Church Magazine, which also covered the parishes of Ashdon, Great with Little Chesterford, Chrishall, Great Chishill, Debden, Hadstock, Heydon with Little Chishill, Littlebury, Little Sampford, Strethall, Wendens Ambo, Wenden Lofts with Elmdon and Wimbish.
Parish was back with the Deanery magazine from May 1949 until June
Saffron Walden and its churches at Little Walden and Sewards End,
list of parishes and again between January 1962 and December 1966, with
Strethall being omitted from the previous list of parishes.
Ashdon and Wimbish Covered
January 1881 to
December 1882 the magazines cover Ashdon, Radwinter and Wimbish. Then
they cover Radwinter and Wimbish only, being solely concerned with
from January 1884 until December 1935.
Little Sampford added to Ashdon and Wimbish
times Radwinter did not publish a separate magazine but placed its news
the then Diocesan Magazine, we have copies of that magazine, which in
to many other Uttlesford parishes, also has information on neighbouring
and Wimbish as well as our own Benefice parish of Little Sampford for
1936 until December 1938, from April 1940 until December 1946, from May
until June 1951, and between January 1962 and December 1966.
Hempstead Great Sampford and
Little Sampford Included
Hempstead joined Radwinter in a combined Ambo magazine from December 1975 with Great Sampford and Little Sampford also joining from the autumn of 1995 to the present day.
The early issues of the parish magazines contain a serialisation of the ancient history of Radwinter and several other Uttlesford villages, written in 1769. The likely source isA New and Complete History of Essex... down to 1769,<which Fred Bullock owned. Parishes covered include:
1882, Ashdon in September, October and November.
1883, Radwinter in January, February and March and Wimbush (Wimbish) with Thunderly in April, May, June, July, September, October and November.
1884, Saffron Walden in January, April, May, June, July, September, October, November and December.
1885 Hempstead January, Depden (Debden) February, Hadstock March, Great Chesterford April, Little Chesterford May, Widington June, Sandford (Great Sampford) with the Chapelry of Hempstead July, Little Sampford August, Little Bardfield August, Great Bardfield October, Bumpstead Steeple (including, amongst others, the manor of Bendish) November, Bumpstead Helion December .
German POW Graffiti
Following her renovation of her home at Church View, a resident has presented the village with two panels from her garden sheds with drawings by German POWs. The panels were linings from Nissen huts at the Radwinter POW camp, which Cyril Richardson used in the construction of the huts. Walden Museum confirms that they are not by an artist of any merit but they are of interest to Radwinter as a record of the period. They appear to be in charcoal, which would have been readily to hand for German POWs. They have been recorded photographically and are now in store
In last year’s report we mentioned the teapot commemorating the 1888 restoration of Radwinter Church that the Radwinter Society saw during a visit to Saffron Walden Museum and a candlestick of the same transfer design and orange colour which was owned by a Radwinter resident. Now another resident has acquired a cream jug of similar design but with a green colour instead of an orange. The latter was crested china and bears the pattern number 112 but no maker.
Friends of Rawinter Church Summer Event
A summer garden party was held by the Friends of Radwinter Church at The Grange on Sunday 10th June. Visitors were able to research their family, house or other Radwinter topics on the RUTH database. Entrance was free and there was also be a sponsored swim, a treasure hunt, bouncy castle, bran tub and a raffle as well as stalls, including, a bookstall, bottle tombola, bric-a-brac, toys and children’s books.
Ghosts of Radwinter
A talk on Radwinter ghost stories was made at the Radwinter Society A.G.M. The following were described: Spirits of Cats & Dogs in the Churchyard, The Mummified Cat at the Old Forge, The Newhouse Farm Nun, the Ghost of Molly Moore at Goodloves, the Sellands Ghosts, the Honeyball Ghost at Star Green, the Homestead Farm Ghost, the Ghost of the Young Girl at The Plough, the Disappearing Car at The Plough Crossroads, the Young Girl at Purkiss’s and the Longs Lane Ghost. Three ghost stories were mentioned on which we had no information; these were the Poltergeist at 4 Thatch Cottages, Water Lane; the Ashton Road Spinney Ghost and the White Calf at Cutbush.
At the second presentation on Radwinter Ghost to the Hempstead History Society more information came to light. Dicky Bassett gave us another ghost story about a Roman soldier he had seen on the Ashdon Road during a very bad snow storm. David Haylock pointed out a solution to the mystery of the conflicting stories about the New House Farm nun. One story had it that it had been told by a Miss Gotcher and the other that it was it was by a Mrs Freeman. David pointed out that Billy Freeman’s full name was William Gotcher Freeman. Research has elucidated that Mrs Freeman was a Miss Gocher before her marriage.
Later Peter Thomas from Radwinter added another story about the ghost at Purkiss’s and Daphne Reader has identified herself as the source of the Disappearing Car story.
Hopefully a small booklet on Radwinter Ghost stories will be printed in due course.
Ghost stories, being one of the most potent forms of oral history in terms of survival, are proving to be rich sources of local history. More work is being done on the other ghost stories to see what they reveal. One story has led us to the records of the Star Chamber. The original story told how the Revd. John Mountford, M.A., Rector of Radwinter from 1593 to 1603, believed that his opponents were causing evil spirits in the shape of cats and dogs to haunt the churchyard. Mountford certainly had enemies and was removed by the authorities from Radwinter. No reason was given but the Patron of the living, Lord Cobham, had been in trouble with the Government and was executed. Later, in 1606, the incumbent who succeeded Montford, Richard Cradock, clerk, stood trial in the Star Chamber where Montford accused him of conjuring up false spirits in the Church and churchyard in an attempt to secure possession. Richard Cradock had become priest at Radwinter in 1603 but, on 22nd June 1604, his institution was revoked and Mountfort was restored.
In the 1606 Star Chamber trial Richard Cradock, clerk and others were accused by John Mountford, Vicar of Radwinter of conjuring up false spirits in the church and churchyard of Radwinter in an attempt to secure possession. Full details are given in the records of the Star Chamber under Mountford v. Cradock, Byrd, Martyn, Brett, Smith, Starling, Smith, Baker, Tailour, Sparcke, Smith and others. Efforts are being made to secure a copy of this record for the Radwinter Archives. It could be a valuable document for Radwinter because, apart from the story itself, it should be able to tell us something about Radwinter life and people from a period when the Church Registers are non-existent.
Spr. Seabrook WW I Diary
Last year we reported on the transcription which had been made of the First World War Diaries of Spr. George Henry Seabrook who was buried at Radwinter on 20th November 1964, aged 69. His wife, Edith May Seabrook, who was a member of Radwinter Women’s Institute. survived him and was buried at Radwinter on 1st December 1966.
Thanks to local residents we now know that the Seabrooks were the parents of the publican’s wife at the Red Lion and stayed there after the end of the Second World War until their deaths.
The Radwinter Airfield
The story of our very own WW II airfield at Great Brockholds is almost completed. Although called Great Sampford Airfield, it was mostly in Radwinter with the attached RAF Station in Wimbish and part of the perimeter track in Great Sampford. Several World War Fighter aces saw service there. The article will be included in our forthcoming Radwinter at War Book.
An article is in preparation on the Polish airmen who settled in Radwinter and Wimbish and grew mushrooms for a living after the end of the Second World War. Information has come from Freda Piechocki, Kath Browne, Janet Swan, Joy Matthews and Zofia Everett as well as researches on the Internet. Much is known about the career of Freda’s husband, Leon and of the other airmen. There is a powerful story to be told about how the brave Poles were key players in winning the war against Germany.
More items are coming in all the time to the Radwinter Archives, with three large assignments from Tim Pratt, Dick Lloyd and from the Jarvis family, courtesy of Beryl Barbour and Joy Matthews. As fast as they are being catalogued by Roger Mance and Michael Southgate, the pile is renewed.
Sarah Emson’s Photograph Album
One item donated to the archives by Martin Baynes is the photograph album of his grandmother, Sarah Baynes, née Emson. This has been shown to an expert in Victorian photography, Tom Doig, who was very impressed with the collection, demonstrating as it does, some of the techniques used by Victorian photographers to keep their subject steady during the three minutes that they had to keep still. The Emson family came to Radwinter from Hellions Bumpstead. I lent the album to Gordon Ridgewell who wrote:
‘The Album you loaned me naming Sarah Emson has caused a stir. We have contacted some distant relations but we have gone full circle finishing up at Radwinter. An Edmund Emson gave the Pulpit to the church when he was at Little Brockholds and his son David has a window in the church dedicated to him. We are still working on it. In the meantime we called at the church and took some photographs. Two Emsons, father and son, were Mayor at Saffron Walden. One of them married a Mailer, a family of farmers who moved from Scotland. They hired a whole train from Scotland to Royston and brought the entire farm, horses, carts, cows, everything and settled at Heydon.’
Radwinter Watercolours Find
Mr and Mrs David Eldridge visited Radwinter Church on the Saturday Open Day and showed Churchwarden, Wendy Rowley some watercolours of Radwinter. Wendy put us in touch with Mr Eldridge who has sent further information and copies of the paintings.
David who inherited the pictures several years ago, says, ‘One small book contains pencil sketches whilst a larger volume has a selection of watercolours. There is no indication as to the artist. She was paying visits around the country, which suggests a lady with servants and leisure time.’
The Radwinter sketches and paintings show views of the Church from Princes Well, the garden of Radwinter Hall Farm and two of the Wovor. The drawings were made in 1855 and the paintings in July 1861 and August 1862, suggesting a Radwinter resident or someone who made frequent trips here.
David says, ‘The book came from a collection belonging to the Goldhawk family for whom my maternal grandmother worked. They came from Surrey to South Norwood between the end of the nineteenth century and the start of the twentieth. It was then that my grandmother began working in service. However the only clues are two paintings mentioning My Garden, drawn in the village of Colkirk in Norfolk in 1858 and 1862. Looking in the 1861 census, the only person who could have had the time to paint was the Rector’s wife, Emily Jane Sweet. I have searched but, have not yet found a connection with the Goldhawks and Sweets except through The Church, there being at least one rector in each family.’
As the owners of Radwinter Hall, the Bullock family of Faulkbourne Hall would have had access and the artist may have come from that direction.However, it is more likely that the artist was a member of the Davis family. Radwinter Hall Farm was tenanted by John Davies at the time of the paintings. In 1861 the Davies family comprised John aged 65, Lydia aged 48, Mary aged 22, Helen aged 21 and Mary aged 22. Without access to the 1861 census for Radwinter at the moment I don't know if everyone mentioned was in Radwinter at the time, or who else was at the Hall.
John and Lydia’s eldest daughter Mary was a spinster aged 37 on 8th June 1874 when she married James Brown, widower aged 57 of the parish of Greenstead, Colchester. Mary is a likely candidate as she was in possession of the Baynes family crest, presumably removed from Radwinter Hall. She may have moved around with James Brown or, before that, been with another family perhaps as a lady's maid. The other candidate might be Helen Davies, Mary’s sister, who at the age of 31 married William Davies King, aged 30, of Sisted on 31st July 1872.
Dick Lloyd, the first Radwinter Local History Recorder, passed away on 15th August 2007. David Hoppit, a long time friend and fellow Old Chigwellian, wrote, ‘Dick belonged to an era when manners and modesty were prized assets – and they remained the chief canons by which he conducted his long and fruitful life. It was a life punctuated with joy and sadness – achievement and endeavour. He found a way or made a way.’ Born in Ilford, Essex on 17th November 1917, he died just three months short of his ninetieth birthday.
He was a Churchwarden of St Mary the Virgin, Radwinter from March 1981 to April 1986 and a founder member of The Friends of Radwinter Church in 1985, continuing to play an active part in The Friends for the rest of his life, latterly by proxy. He was also an active participant in Saffron Walden Historical Society, the Saffron Walden Town Library Society and the Sampfords Society for whom in 1986 he wrote a paper on The River Pant.
His great work was A Deuce of an Uproar, published in 1988. Although he was the editor of the book, he characteristically refused to put his name to it. This award winning collection of the letters of the architect, William Eden Nesfield to the Rector of Radwinter, was widely praised in the church, historical and architectural press. In 1994 he was instrumental in persuading Dover Publications to publish a new edition of Harrison's Description of England - a major (and local) source for Tudor scholars. He also facilitated the copying of the George Stacey Gibson letters through his contacts with Barclays Bank. Dick secured the attendance of the prominent Tudor historian Jasper Ridley to lecture at the local launch of the Description of England and also arranged for the prominent architectural historian Andrew Saint to speak at the Deuce of an Uproar launch. Victor Gray, then Essex County and Honorary Diocesan Archivist, Andrew Saint, historian, Revd. Dr Geoffrey Rowell, then Chaplain of Keble College and now Bishop of Gibraltar, and Clive Aslet, Associate Editor of Country Life, all contributed articles to A Deuce of an Uproar.
He left behind a massive quantity of Radwinter records – both original documents, photocopies or manuscript copies of others he had seen or borrowed and a wealth of oral history memories in his own handwriting.
Before he died, Dick Lloyd gave the Friends of Radwinter Church a magnificent volume of William Eden Nesfield’s lithograph drawings of medieval architecture.
The Radwinter Friendly Society
One most interesting document that has emerged from recent accessions to the Radwinter Archives is an early photocopy of the ‘Articles to be Observed by a FRIENDLY SOCIETY of Tradesmen and Labourers, who agree to meet every fourth Saturday at the PLOUGH PUBLIC HOUSE, in the Parish of Radwinter, in the County of Essex’. The articles were printed by E Hart, Bookseller, Market Street, in 1837 and state that the Society was inaugurated on 27th February 1836. Members dibbed into the pot at their fortnightly meetings and, if anybody was sick, they could draw relief from the Society. Some of the rules appear quite hilarious to present day eyes but demonstrate the harsh conditions and very different times in which our ancestors lived. Mention is made in the document to the Radwinter Smallpox house. Does anybody know where that might have been?
I had recently been called in by the Saffron Walden Museum as they had found some accounts of the Society of a later period. Hopefully the documents can be reprinted and the names of those involved indexed. Edward Halls and Daniel Richardson were stewards of the Society and John Chapman was its clerk. Other ancestors of present day Radwinter people were among the members.
A Parson’s Lot
John Walter’s talk, A Parson’s Lot, in Radwinter Church on 21st April, was a roaring success and was given to a packed church. John Walter, who is Professor from the Department of History of Essex University, brought to life the assaults and insolences that drove Parson Richard Drake out of Radwinter. After a series of clashes with his parishioners such as Thomas Banes, Abraham Chapman and Henry Coote, not to mention the troublesome wives, Drake was forced to flee Radwinter in 1643. Drake's autobiography offers valuable evidence of the successful attempt of loyalists in the revolution to continue to live their lives by the rites of the Anglican Church. After the Restoration of the Monarchy, Drake came into his own. Restored to his living of Radwinter, he became a chaplain to Charles II. In September 1662, shortly after the death of his wife, he was collated Prebendary of Alton Borealis in Salisbury Cathedral. He was chancellor from 1663 until his death. Drake resigned at Radwinter in 1667, and when he died on 16 October 1681 he was also rector of Wyke Regis, Dorset. He was buried in Salisbury Cathedral. The evening was a joint venture between the Friends of Radwinter Church and the Radwinter Society.
Where did it all Go?
After the meeting John Walter asked if anybody knew what had happened to various items in Radwinter Church which would have been replaced during Fred Bullock’s restoration. A man who had once lived at a house in Mount Pleasant Road, Saffron Walden, said that his former house had been built in 1896 by a builder called Bell. It is semi-detached, one third being built for Bell’s own use and two thirds as a wedding gift for his daughter. It is built in the style of a church, particularly the window stone and the front door. The outside of the building is of brick clad in stone. The words, ‘aged 17’ can be seen engraved in the stone and the building appears to be entirely clad in broken grave stones. The story goes that Bell undertook the church restoration at Radwinter after which nobody could find the stained glass windows. The bottom half of all ground floor windows are of stained glass.
A current resident of Radwinter has also said that there used to be a small stone receptacle in the front garden of the Cottage attached to the Radwinter Village Hall. She had had her eye on it for years but she doesn’t know when it disappeared. It may be that it went during the recent refurbishment. From her description it sounds as though it might have been a font.
Mr Bell crops up again during another Radwinter Building project. Inga Adomite, who worked at New House Farm, Radwinter, recalled, ‘The Roof was in a bad state at New House Farm and was rebuilt in 1928 using oaks from the estate. In the process the monastery bell was removed from the roof and replaced by a weather vane.Bells the builders of Saffron Walden did the work and Billy Freeman asked them what happened to the Bell.They said that they still had it and Billy bought it back from them.
From the Radwinter Church Registers
On 1st August 1835 Abraham Swan (batchelor) married Mary Coote (spinster). Five years later on 23rd October 1840 Isaac Swan (batchelor) married Elizabeth Greygoose (spinster).
On 7th October 1675 William Blewett married Susan Nettell at Radwinter Church, this being her ninth husband.
Radwinter Local History Recorder