VILLAGE HISTORY


The Village Hall was opened on 9th September 1967. The chairs and tables were given in happy memory of Sydney and Dora Walker of Batchcott 1897 -1925 by their family. Mr. S T Walker (Architect) is remembered for his kindness and commitment to the village. Mr. Walker gave his services as architect for free on the first village hall in 1951.

The £4000 cedar wood hall was the result of the hard work, enthusiasm and determination of its past and present Committee members. Mr. J Muckleston worked alongside Mr. Walker in achieving the acquisition of the first temporary village hall in July 1951.

Mrs. F M Evans was a member of the Village Hall Committee for many years and held the positions of Secretary, Treasurer and Chairperson. Audrey Morris was secretary for 20 years and past Chairmen who played leading roles were Les Morris, Godfrey Cookson, Vic Oakley, Graham Wilcox, Mr. N Willoughby and John Brunt.


The Poor Houses of Smethcott

The restoration of these Grade II Listed cottages was begun in 2003 by Paul McRobb and Anne Lewis with the help of a grant from Defra (now Natural England).

On 30th September 1741 Henry Powis the Lord of the Manor of Wilderley and Catherine Pope the Lady of the Manor of Smethcott each granted a cottage on Smethcott Common “in trust for the sole benefit and advantage of the poor” to the churchwardens and overseers of Smethcott parish.  By 1828 the endowment of this Charity, known as the Poor’s Land, consisted of four cottages and 2½ acres of land.  Two of the cottages were occupied by paupers rent-free and the other two were let, their rents being applied to the poor rate.

There are no records of when the cottages were built, but we do know that “squatters cottages” were already in existence here by 1741 when the above-mentioned Deed was signed.  We know that an Elizabeth Hayward (spinster) already dwelt in one of the cottages at the time of the signing.  During the 17th and 18th centuries a number of spinners and weavers lived on the Common, there was also a tailor 1606-1650, a baker 1670-1709; a glover recorded in 1620 and 1634 and a shoemaker 1704-1771.  The most notable craftsman was the woodcarver William Hill, whose cottage (now demolished) stood at nearby Smethcott Bank.  Examples of his work between 1850 and the 1880s are to be seen in Smethcott Church, Woolstaston Church and rectory, and Netley Hall.

Two of the cottage are a rare survival of 17th/18th century squatters dwellings.  The third cottage, the one nearest the road, is a later addition, probably added in the late 18th century .

The Charity Commissioners agreed that the land could be sold although the cottages were still lived in as late as 1985.  The land was sold and the cottages were left and eventually fell into disrepair until Paul & Anne bought the property in 2003.  

Smethcote school 


Back Row :Jack Davies, Harry Jarrett, George Richards, Victor Francis, Evan Haycock, Dick Whittle

4th Row: Miss Allinson, Miss Webb ( Mrs Cox), Vera Millman, Peggy Mansell, Hattie Hall ( Wyke), Edie Mansell, Ivy Parry, Janet Parry, Mary Stephens, ( Hughs), Lily Parkinson,  Edie Francis ( Bowen),  Mary Morris ( Griffiths), Mrs Blackett, Kathleen Stephens,  Rev Blackett

3rd Row: Harold Parkinson, Jack Parkinson, Kenneth Mathhews, Tom Parkinson, Doug Richards, Jack Mansell, Victor Tipton, Jack Morris, David Davies, Tom Hill, Dick Munslow, Molly Rigg, 

2nd Row: Arthur Stevens, Alec Morris, George Parkinson, Dorothy Parry, Phylis Munslow ( Hill), Winnie Potter ( Mansell), Gwen Stevens, Renie Heatly, Jackie Powell, Denis Heatley, Roy Boston

Front Row: Jim Rowson, Jack Munslow, Noel Rowson, Norman Richards, Jim Parkinson, ? Hughes

Very grateful thanks to Mr & Mrs Cliff Tipton for providing names.




Sheep Dog Trials 

Back Row: Brian Evans, Noel Rowson, Jack Morris, Jack Shakeshaft, Jack Gretton

Front Row: Mr Hall, Gordon Tipton, Ted Davies, Dick James, Phil Evans, Lewis Heath, Mavis Heath

Colin Middleton winning the race - Sports Day 27th July 1963

Jennifer Kerswell, Heather Hulme, Carolyn Hill   ~ Village Fete & Sports Day 1963

Mrs D Evans winning the ladies' egg & spoon race

Beautiful Baby Competition  

 Back Row : Christine Manley, Jo Morris, Janet Carter

 Front Row  Not Known, David Coles, Stuart Manley, Andrew Carter, Sybil Potter, Margaret Mansell,  Margaret Morris,  Geoff Hill

Village Hall Re-Opening 1967

Smethcote School

Back Row : Cliff Tipton, Les Richards, Brian Middleton, Gordon Tipton, Dave ( Bunter) Davies, Derek Middleton, , Bill Evans, Tommy Davies, Philip Coles

Middle Row : Miss Townsend, Trevor Parry, Philip Davies, Stan Richards, John Middleton, Batty Francis, Peggy Bebbington, Rosemary Edwards, Jean Munslow? , Tom Parry, Bernard Parry, John Parry, Richard Parry, Mrs Evans

Front Row : Ken Richards, Frank Davies, Vera Mansell, Mona Evans, Joan Bebbington, Sheila Thomas, Kathlyn Parry, Molly Evans , Dorothy Roberts, Winnie Evans, Vera Thomas, Francis Bowen, Dennis  Hill

With grateful thanks to Molly Evan ( Front Row)  for providing names

Bottle and Glass Darts Team

Alan Jones, Harold Parkinson, Jack Davies, Victor Chidley, Matt Parry, Reg Morris, Jim Morris, Bill Rowson

Noel Rowson, Jim Parkinson, Dick Madley

Sybil Potter by the Brook

Horses & riders passing Jordan Cottage & The Gatehouse














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