Christ Church Lower Broadheath Sept. 29th 1904.
The old photograph shows, the clock has not been fitted yet. This was erected in 1919 and cost Â£181.
In 1954 a former churchwarden, Mr Griffiths, went to a great deal of trouble to collect all that was known about the church, and record it for posterity. This is a factual record of what he found; much of the information has come from the parish magazines of the period.
A 10cwt. Bell that formerly hung in Hallow Church had this inscription “Cum tonat hoc signum, hostat fugat Anna malignum,” interpreted this reads “when sounds this sign, anna scatters the foe” and was believed to have been cast in a foundry at Sidbury over 500 years ago. This bell was placed in the new Church.
Electricity was installed in the church in 1927.
Until 1952, Lower Broadheath was part of the civil parish of North Hallow.
On 27th January 1903, a meeting was held in the village school, to consider building a new Church and to provide a burial ground for the village. The meeting was large and enthusiastic despite a wet night. Admiral Britten, who presided, stated the present Church was not large enough, and as further accommodation for the school was required, suggested the old Church could be used as a schoolroom.
He then mentioned that members of Mr A E Lordï¿½s family had promised an acre of land suitable for the site of the new Church and burial ground. Lord Dudley promised to give red sandstone from his Holt quarry.
A committee was formed to choose an architect, and to appeal for funds, by June of that year ï¿½2000 had been collected. On July 21st the sub committee met to consider the tenders. The lowest tender Messrs. Collins and Godfrey of Tewkesbury was accepted this was ï¿½2853.
On November 5th 1903 saw the laying of the foundation stone of the new church. The procession consisted of the Broadheath and Hallow Choirs, local clergy, headed by the Hallow Banner, the rural Dean (Canon Carr), the Archdeacon of Worcester and the Bishop of Worcester.
Mrs C Wheeley-Lee to whom a silver trowel was presented by Mr Harold Godfrey on behalf of the builders laid the foundation stone.
Admiral Britten had previously placed in a cavity under the stone, a glass bottle containing a record of the circumstances on parchment, all the current coins, from a sovereign to a farthing, a copy of the parish magazine and copies of local and London newspapers.
Tea was provided after the ceremony, in the school, for the subscribers, friends and members of the choir.
In March 1904 building was progressing. ï¿½300 ï¿½400 was still required to begin work on the tower.
The church was consecrated on September 29th Michelmas Day, and the Lord Bishop of the Diocese legally consecrated the Church at 3.30 PM. On the following morning at 8.00, he celebrated Holy Communion, which completed the consecration in its highest sense.
Finally, the churchyard was laid out and made by the voluntary labour of the parishioners.
The following has been taken from a booklet, called the History of Lower Broadheath edited by Dorothy Ricketts and Eileen Chapman published in June 1995
The Church Hall, usually referred to as the memorial hall, has in it a stone fireplace, which is a memorial to the Honourable Mrs Britten and was placed in the hall in 1950.
Captain Forester-Britten presented the small flag in the hall. It is of historical interest in that it was the colour of No. 4 company of the first Battalion the Coldstream Guards, and it was the first flag to be flown in Cologne, Germany at the occupation 1918
A group of residents, led by the late Lt. Col. J. D. Ricketts, investigated the possibility of the Church Hall becoming a village Hall, which would then become eligible for improvement grants from the County Council. Members of the Britten Family, the PCC. And the Diocesan authorities co-operated in this matter.
At a well attended parish meeting it was decided to apply to the charity commissioners for permission to convert the Church Hall into a Village Hall and for it to be named (Broadheath Memorial Hall) to fulfil the original intention that the Hall should be in memory of Admiral Britten.
The Hall became a charitable trust in 1965 under the trusteeship of the parish council.
Lower Broadheath Church.
On Sunday December 9th 1951 the Archdeacon of Dudley the Venerable A.V.Hurley, a wartime pilot , unveiled a memorial to the six villagers killed during the 1939-45 War. The Vicar Jack Stephens, who was wounded in the war, was with the Churchwardens Mr J Griffiths and Mr F.A.Smith and members of the congregation.There were three villagers in the RAF and three in the Royal Artillery.
Brigadier C.R.Britten read the lesson, and Mrs L Boaz played the organ. Max
The magnificent church at Lower Broadheath, features a 16th. century, fully rigged sailing ship weather vane. It is said that this is the only example in the country, it pivots on a brass ball.
This has currently been taken down awaiting re gilding.Can be seen through one of the windows. Of note are the gargoyles.
This magnificent wind vane of solid copper was given by Violet Britton, Daughter of Admiral Britton in 1920.
The Preserved Elgars Birthplace.
This Cottage situated in Crown East Lane Lower Broadheath, has been preserved in Elgars memory.
Elgar’s cottage was originally called “The Firs” later renamed “Rose Cottage”. Although Elgar lived here for less than three years, he told his daughter, shortly before his death, that he wanted the cottage preserved as a memorial. Worcester City Council purchased it in 1935.
Next to the cottage is the visitors centre, accessed near The Plough Inn.
Little Peachley Farm Lower Broadheath.
Ivor Perkins and his brother Jack, with Marjorie and Henry Wood, owned Little Peachley Farm, Lower Broadheath, Between them they ran a dairy farm and a successful agricultural contracting business, from the 1920’s until the 1980’s. They provided employment for a number of local people.
Ivor was a portly, jovial, teetotaller and was very well known in the surrounding area.
His main interests after the business, was a love of horses, and he owned several.
Until the fifties, two carthorses were also put to good use on the farm.
He was also keen on hunting, and shooting was also one of his pastimes.
He was able to repair most things on the farm, and had great mechanical ability.
Before the advent of the combine harvester and modern machinery, farming was much more labour intensive; small farms did not have the resources for a great deal of equipment. Agricultural contractors like Ivor were in great demand.
Mrs Corbett, The Blacksmiths wife outside the Stores 1908.
The Stores and bakery, has had a number of owners over the years. In 1900 it was run by Phelps, above the window in this picture is the name Fortune
In the mid 1920 Mr F A Smith took over, later in 1938 he took over another shop in Crown East Lane, Lower Broadheath until it closed in 1950.
David Senter whose father was born at Hopton Cottage, The Knoll, said his mother and sister moved from Cannock to work for Mr Smith in about 1933. Rose ran the village stores and Cissie ran shop at top of Common.
Mr Smith was well respected in the village and always ready with his advice. The bakery and stores was sold in the late 1960 to Mr and Mrs Bailey who almagamated the Post Office with the stores. Later Mr Browne owned shop and post office until 1998. Mr Browne could sometimes be seen driving his old Bentley around the village.
The present owners The Barratts have extended shop area and is now also a off-licence.
Cider Making at Victoria Cottage, Lower Broadheath 1900’s.
During first part of the 20’th century, Cider was made on farms in vast quantities. Farming was labour intensive at this time and workers would expect a ration of cider to be provided as part of their condition of employment. The cider jar would accompany the farmworker on every task.
Cider is made from apples, ideally a mixture of sweet and very sour even crab apples to provide the tannin could be added.
To make good cider the fruit should be ripe and left to soften for a few days, adding bruised apples does not detract from quality of final product.
You then crush the fruit, this could be done with a Donkey pulling a round stone in a circular trough, or by using a cider mill to pulp the apples.
This pulp was then wrapped in coarse cloth to form Cheeses, then placed on the press to extract the liquid.
Sometimes up to 50% water was added, the cider was then put into sealed barrels and left to ferment.
A good crop Aug. 1909.
Proud gardener Mr Albert Stanton displays allotment produce from his plot at the rear of Lower Broadheath Stores. At this time all allotments would have been fully utilised, vegetables and fruit were grown in large quantities, some would be sold by allotment holders to supplement their low wages.
Today most of the plots have been given over to a local farmer, it seems there is not the enthusiasm in the current generation for tilling the soil. If there is a demand in the future, disused plots could be brought back into use, although this seems very unlikely.
There are moves afoot to build affordible housing in the village, perhaps the disused allotments could be put to good use.
Old Allotments site 2005.
This whole area was covered with productive allotments during the early 1900’s. Today it is used by a local farmer as pasture. People today would sooner spend a fortune at the gym in an attempt to regain fitness. An alternative way would be to keep an allotment, grow your own, keep fit and save money to spend at the Bell.
Temple Laugherne 1920’s. Parkbarn Archive.
Original driveway off Martley Road to Temple Laugherne farm. The Lodge was occupied by a Mr Woodhall and later by a Mr Wood, both were farm managers.
A computer firm is now based at the Lodge.
Hops were grown on the farm in the early 1900’s, in later times apples pears and plums were produced. Today a massive factory has been built in place of farm buildings,
several well stocked fishing lakes are situated on farm area near Dines Green and Oldbury. Most of the farmland now is given over to kidney bean and other vegetable crops.
In recent times the area in the photograph has been developed, tree’s removed and road widened to facilitate a huge lorry access to the food processing factory.
The Knoll Bank. Parkbarn Archive.
Today the ditches have gone, road widened and a footpath has been added. The cottages on the right originally built during the 1830’s, have now been rebuilt and extended. The large house in elevated position on the right behind cottages is Oaklands.
Tall saplins and a large oak now overshadow the Knoll.
Fancy Dress at the Fete. 1937.
Max Driving at Lower Broadheath Fete. 1959
Derek Hammond and Max Sinclair gave rides on the 15 inch. gauge Princess Elisabeth around the vicarage paddock.
King Edward V111 before restoration.
Lower Broadheath Fete 1959.
The “Tramp” on right of picture is Cissie Hughes (Mother of Worcester councillor Magaret Layland)
The Judging for fancy dress was carried out by Brigadier Britten.
Martley Road Lower Broadheath 1920’s.
Towards the northwest, The Church and School are in the background, the pair of cottages on right have now been converted into one house. today grass verges are a thing of the past.
Martley Road 1920’s.
The village stores is in top centre of picture, today footpaths have replaced the ditches and verges. Looks like it was free from speeding traffic in those days.
The black and white cottage on left is where a Mr Avery ran a open all hours taxi service.
On right is the nurseries, run by the Gregory family for many years and in later times by the Boultons.
Martley Road near Ashtree Cottage 1920’s.
Near outskirts of village, at bottom of the Knoll Bank, Eastbury Cottages and junction with Lovington Lane on the left. I dont think walking here today would be advisable.
Ashtree Cottage, Martley Road 1920’s.
The Honorable Mrs Britten of Kenswick Manor, in front of Ashtree, The Knoll Bank and turning to Lovington is nearby.
The Village Hall at Lower Broadheath 1920’s. Parkbarn archive.
The Hon Mrs Britten of Kenswick Manor provided the Church Hall for the village in memory of her husband Admiral Britten. The adjoining Hall caretakers cottage was given by Mrs Wheeley Lea in 1911.
The vicarage and paddock is on the right.
During the 1950’s tree’s and hedges were removed along Church Lane to allow house building alongside.
Cecil Townsends rose grounds on the left was sold for development to build the Peachley Garden’s Estate.
Planting the Jubilee Oak.
An oak tree was planted in the paddock by Mrs Britten to commemorate the silver jubilee of King George V in 1935
Lower Broadheath Church Hall 1914.
The field next to Hall was used as a carpark for many years, in later times area has been cleared of trees and shrubs to provide tarmacked white lined parking facility for hall users and also to provide parking for the nearby school.
A Presentation in the Village Hall.
Many villagers attended this presentation to Mrs Griffiths the Postmistress, by the vicar Jack Stephens On the right is her son Mr Jim Griffiths who wrote the history of Lower Broadheath Church. He was a Teacher at Christopher Whiteheads Secondary Modern in St. Johns Worcester. On left of picture is Margery Wood from Little Peachley Farm.
Lower Broadheath School, May 24’th 1911
The School was founded in 1874 controlled by the Church of England.
Since 1952 the County Education Authority has been responsible for running.
The school log for 1895 gives the number of pupils as 121 must have been large families then, but until 1930 all children attended were aged 5-14 .
The substantial wooden frame in top right of picture was put up in 1901 at east end of Chapel- of -Ease, to hang a bell that had previously hung in Grimley and Hallow churchs. This bell was later installed in the new Lower Broadheath Church.
In later times the Chapel-of-ease was integrated into the main school.
School concert to welcome the Rev. S F Lloyd MA. in 1914
The Bell Inn, Stores and Bakery at Lower Broadheath. Parkbarn Archive.
According to old maps the Bell Inn was known in the 19’th century as “The Bell Hotel” it is the oldest Public house in the village. Cider was made on the premises until the 1950’s
The Hayward family ran the Bell for more than forty years, a coal, firewood yard and haulage business was also operated by them from here. A high wall with tall gates surrounded the yard and buildings.
An old wooden building at the side of the Bell, called “The Clubhouse” was used as the venue for a number of village activities. The football team used it as their changing room for home games. The Red Cross also met here for many years. The building is still in use today.
A large lawn at the rear with a “summer house” was extremely popular with families in the summer evenings. Guinea fowl were kept here.
Frank Hayward was a “Winston Churchill” lookalike, always making a popular appearance at the local fete.
An unusual feature at the Bell was the single petrol pump situated in front of bar window, probably the only source of petrol for the district.
In later times the annex at side of The Bell was demolished to allow road widening.
The high wall at north side of The Bell carried large advertising hoardings, this was reduced in size when buildings were removed.
Today in it’s place there is a telephone box and a mobile phone mast.
A useful feature has recently been situated here by the Parish Council, a direction board and map showing every house in the village.
Lower Broadheath 1920’s. Parkbarn Archive.
Croft Villa in centre of picture was the first village Post Office, the Postmistress was Mrs Griffiths.
Opposite to Croft Villa, Mansel Perkins “The Midnight Milkman” was the local dairyman at Woodbine Cottage for many years.
He aquired the title because of his tendency to leave his deliveries later and later, until you did not know if you were getting todays milk early or yesterdays milk late.
The Dewdrop Inn is in centre of picture; Southbury The Colonels residence is on the left, Sling Lane is on the right. The van is likely to belong to F A Smith who ran the local bakery; he also kept both village stores.
His small fleet of Ford vans was used to deliver bread over a large area even around ST. Johns.
Local person Leslie Senter worked for F A Smith as a delivery driver in the 1930’s
Bell Lane leads to the Common. Bell Lane was formely called “Heath Road” or “Heath Lane” even after renaming, locals preferred to use old name. Sling Lane runs along bottom of the 40 acre Common, which until the 1930’s was covered in gorse. During World War two it was ploughed and drained, potatoes were planted to help with food production at this time.
Laylocks Lane (an old name for lilac) leads off Crown East Lane and runs alongside the Common. There was a small pool nearby.
Local composer Sir Edward Elgar was born in 1857 at “The Firs” in Crown East Lane, the cottage is now preserved as the “Elgar Birthplace Museum.”
Little Common is accessed from Ankerdine Road, a bridleway links to Heath Grange.
The Lower Broadheath Common area is known on Ordnance Survey maps as “Upper Broadheath” today the Lower Broadheath name is applied to whole of village.
In the 19th. century there was at least five public alehouse’s in the village. “The Crown” and “Sailors Retreat” gave their name to village locations Crown Meadow and Sailors Bank.
Two of the three remaining hostelrys can be found in the common area, “The Dewdrop” and “The Plough”.
Several small business’s were established here, Ted Edwards had a bakery at “Brockhill” on Sling Lane with a horse and cart for deliveries, in later times Bill Knight who ran a motorcycle garage from this property also helped his brother in law Len Vale-Onslow with his S.O.S. motorcycle manufacturing business at Hallow.