IF THIS NEWSLETTER REACHES YOU IN TIME, PLEASE REMEMBER THE MINIMART, OUR ANNUAL FUND RAISER, AT HENRY BURDEN HALL, EGERTON GARDENS, NW4 ON SAT. MARCH 3, 1979, lO AM-12 NOON.
CHILDHOOD IN CRICKLEWOOD
In the last Newsletter a Cricklewood firm asked the help of HADAS members in preparing a history of the area. Six members responded at once; and we also found an interesting account by the MISSES WARDLEY (who are not HADAS members). MISS ETHEL spoke of her memories and MISS WINIFRED wrote it down – and added some recollections of her own. We thank them very much for allowing us to publish their artic]e below.
I was born in 1888 Eat 2 Cricklewood Lane, opposite the Castle Inn, Childs Hill. When I was 4 years old Father and Mother and my two sisters Alice and Grace moved down the steep hill a little way. Grandfather, a cheesemonger, had come there in 1860 from Kensal Green to live in Granville House, an imposing building with two shops below and two storeys of living rooms above, as well as cellars and stables. He and Grandmother, who came from the North and had been a cook had a family of 4 girls and a boy (our Father).
Grandfathcr built five little shops opposite, with one-storey living rooms and stables and mews behind, in about 1877, intended as businesses for his 5 children. These wore Nos. 1-5 Ridge Terrace. We went to live over No. 1, which was a Corn Shop, called Wardley’s Granary. No. 2 was Ironmongery and No. 3 Drapery, with Miss Button managing it. Grandfather, Grandmother and three aunts lived at Granville House and the shop below was Wardley’s Stores, selling grocery, meat, bread and cooked meat pies, etc. which Grandmother made. At the side of Granville House was a lane called The Mead (now called Granville Road,) but then Granville Road ran through fields up to the Finch1ey Road.
In 1877 the Baptist Church had been opened in The Mead and nurseries and laundries were there. There must have been wells and ponds behind. The laundries served the large houses on the Heath and along Finohley Road as far as Oxford Street. I remember the excitement when tents were put up in the fields opposite the Baptist Chapel for a Sankey & Moody Mission in the 1890s, at which I signed the Pledge. Beside the church there was a soup kitchen and Grandfather gave bones, peas, etc for soup.
Beside Granville House in Cricklewood Lane was the Red Lion Inn and a row of cottages with long gardens in front. Clark’s candle factory was nearby.
Opposite the Red Lion was All Saints Church and the National School with Mr and Mrs Harvey as the Heads. For two or three years before I was born Mother and Father had lived with them at Garfield House, No. 5 The Ridge, with a long garden and a gate at the bottom opening onto Church Walk and a quick approach to the school.
Down Cricklewood Lane was farmland. Mr. Dicker’s farm stretched away to West Hampstead and there was another farm opposite Cricklewood Midland Station, which had originally been called Child’s Hill Station. Halfway to the station on the right was The Tavern public house, and beside it a little low cottage. This is the only building standing today exactly as it was in 1860. Our Mother said it was a Dame School to which she went in 1861 when she was 4. A pathway opposite, called The Avenue, led to Mr. Dicker’s farmhouse.
Our Mother was born in a cottage behind The Castle Inn. Her mother had a very large family and took in washing. Mother remembered when she was about 10 walking all the way to Oxford Street with her brother, carrying laundry. When it was paid for they could buy a bun or something to eat. Mother also remembered going to a little fountain in the Sandy Gallop (see footnote) to buy drinking water.
When she was 11 she had a job as a servant in a dairy in Albany Street. She helped the women to put on their wooden yokes and attach the full pails of milk. After a time she asked for 1s 6d a week instead of 1s 3d. When it was refused she left, and obtained a job as a “tweeny” in a large house. There she rose to be cook. Then she became a cook in Grandfather’s house and Dad fell in love with her. Although their mother had been a cook too, the aunts did not think their brother should marry a cook! So Mother ran away, Father followed her and they were married.
Mrs. Poulton, wife of the Baptist Minister, had come from Great Missenden, Bucks, and this led to a close connection between our family and the farms and little Chapels there. My earliest recollection, when aged 5, was being taken by Father in the pony van which was used to take orders to the big houses. We carried a magic lantern and cylinders of gas for Father to entertain at one of the little Chapels in Great Missenden. I remember staying in a beautiful farmer’s house and seeing my hostess wearing a lace cap.
Mother worked tremendously hard, not only looking after us but cooking for all the assistants in the shops. There was no Shop Closing Act then. When the Red Lion closed at 10 pm people thought of the food they needed and we were busy until we closed at 11 pm. I remember Dad waiting up for the van to return from Smithfield Market or from the Surrey Docks where it had gone for sugar, etc. If the roads wore icy it was very late. Even if it were midnight Dad would wait to rub down the horses and see them comfortable for the night. He loved his horses and pony. I watched him doctor them, give them medicine, rub them with. Ellimans Embrocation or poultice them with linseed or mustard. He used to treat us in the same way, with no mercy!
Sugar and flour came in hundredweight sacks and had to be weighed out. I used to watch my aunt cut blue paper into squares. She would then take a square and twist it into a cup, fill it with 1 lb. of sugar and press in the top. I saw Father open a large wooden box of eggs in shavings. He would take each egg separately and test it at a light to see if it was fresh. There would be many broken ones, with which Mother used to make custard and sponge cake. There wasn’t much profit in those days. We couldn’t afford to eat the biscuits, jam and sweets Dad sold, unless it was the broken biscuits which came in a large wooden tub, almost as tall a I was. I well remember climbing up and reaching down into the tub for a special favourite.
Footnote: Sandy Gallop is Sandy Road today, and familiar to many HADAS members – because it runs down to the Leg of Mutton pond and the West Heath dig. The “fountain” was on the opposite side of Sandy Road from the Pond, about half way down the road from West Heath Road. It has vanished now, but when we looked for it in 1977 we found the ground marshy where it had been, and many water-loving plants still growing there.
When Mother was a girl she said she seldom had meat to eat. We had it once week – a glorious sirloin of beef, hot on Saturday, cold on Sunday, made into shepherd’s pie on Monday. For Sunday breakfast we had Dad’s home made sausages, the most delicious things you can imagine.
Grandfather was a preacher in the 7th London Circuit of the United Methodist Free Churches. We have a photo of him with 28 other worthies. His heart was in his preaching and not in business, and he liked nothing better than travelling on horseback to preach.
When he died in 1899 he left Father with debts. The folk in the large houses thought nothing of running up large bills, and not paying them. Costers in the cottages were cute, sending their children to buy one ha’porth of pickle in paper or a ha’porth of jam, and the scales in those days did not balance but must go down.
I remember when Princess Christiana (of Schleswig Holstein, sister of the Princess of Wales, who was later Queen Alexandra) came to open the newly built Institute (June 30, 1896). Dad made an archway of greenery from Granville House to our Corn Shop (what was the Men’s Institute in Cricklewood Lane is now Childs Hill Library).
I remember going in the wagonette to take Grandma and Grandpa to the Wesleyan Church opposite Willoughby Road. We went along the Finchley Road, up Frognal and through to Church Row, where we had to pay at a tollgate. We walked over the West Heath three times on a Sunday to go to Heath Street Baptist Church and Sunday School. As we walked up from The Castle to the top of the Sandy Gallop the fields belonging to Mr. Rickett of Sunnyfield were on our left. The Hermitage (pulled down in 1974) was on our right, followed by the horses’ drinking trough (very much needed, specially on the. nights before Bank Holidays when the fair people with their caravans and swings and roundabouts moved slowly up the hill) and Telegraph Hill on which was Miss Schroeder’s cottage. My eldest sister had an allotment oh the top of that hill, where the artist Sir Frank Salisbury later built Sarum Chase.
Grandpa died in 1899, aged 80, and Grandma in 1904, aged 92. Our family consisted then of Gordon 3, Winifred 5, Bernard 9, (darling twin’s had died in between), Alfred 12. I was 15, Alice 17, Grace 2O. Winifred remembers walking with Gordon down Cricklewood Lane to a private school in Elm Grove called Sparkbrook College. A sweet shop opposite The Tavern sold “wiggy waggy toffee” at 8 oz a penny. You could get a good-sized bag of the black wafery stuff for a farthing. Further down, on the left, was the Home of Rest for Horses.
In 1908 the trams came down to Cricklewood, and Granville House was pulled down to widen the Lane into a road. Trams with open wooden-lath seats and open tops ran down the Lane. Later they went all the way to Barnet. Horse buses went along Finchley Road from The Castle, all the way to Oxford Street for 4d. In 1974 the shops opposite Granville House were pulled down. Our house and garden at Ridge Road is now part of the site of two rows of maisonettes with a road in between. Our house and long garden next to the Hermitage, where we lived after Ridge Road, is now the site of a large block of greyish Council buildings.
But I still see things as they were.
Many members will have cut their teeth, as far as industrial archaeology is concerned, on Kenneth Hudson’s Introduction to Industrial Archaeology, a standard work first published some 15 years ago.
Mr. Hudson will be our lecturer on March 6; his subject is the Archaeology of the Second Industrial Revolution. Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Adult Studies in Bath, Mr. Hudson is a first-class speaker who makes his subject really come alive. We hope he will have the usual large and interested HADAS audience.
Looking further ahead, the last two dates of the winter session are:
Tues. Apr. 3. The Etruscans Geoffrey Toms, MA.
Tues. May 15. Annual General Meeting
(please note: this is on the second, not the first, Tuesday of the month).
Meetings are at Central Library, The Burroughs, NW4. Coffee 8 pm, lecture or business, 8.30 pm.
A NEW DIPLOMA
The Council for British Archaeology has recently launched a Diploma in Archaeological Practice which can be taken either by full or part-time students. This, it hopes, will come to be a recognised qualification for field archaeologists in Britain.
The academic level of the new diploma is said to be a little below first degree level. It is hoped that it will provide a qualification recognisable by employers; and, for mature students with experience of archaeology, a proof that “their knowledge is on a scientific basis and of a high standard.”
The diploma consists of 7 certificates, each of which is separately awarded. A pass in 4 certificates (which must include Nos. II, III, VI and one other) will give you a Diploma at Ordinary level. For a Diploma at Higher level you must pass all 7 certificates. Exemptions in some certificates may be made, at the CBA Academic Board’s discretion, for students already possessing qualifications such as a first or higher degree in archaeology or possibly another diploma. The 7 certificates are:
I. Introduction: the history and nature of archaeology and outlines of British archaeology in its European setting
II. Field archaeology (excluding excavation)
III. Excavation techniques
IV. Artefacts and the history of technology
V. Archaeological evidence
VI. Post-excavation handling of material and the production of reports
VII. Present structure and administration of archaeology in Britain
The CBA will act only as the examining body. It hopes that extra-mural departments and institutes of higher education will take the idea up and start offering courses for students who want to take the diploma.
CALLING ALL SITE WATCHERS
More helpers are urgently needed for the important work of site watching – and it is something you can volunteer to do even if your archaeological experience is limited.
HADAS tries to keep an eye on building operations on every large development site in the London Borough of Barnet where a planning application has been granted – and also on any site, large or small, in certain key archaeological areas.
One tricky problem is timing. Between the time the first application for planning permission is published (we get a list of applications from LBB each week) and the actual moment, after approval has been given, that the bull-dozers or mechanical grabs move in months or even years may elapse. Once the builders start work, however, there is often only a day or two during which any useful archaeological observations can be made. Trenches for drainage or foundations may be dug one day and filled in the next, particularly in fine weather, and it is only from the sections or the up throw of those trenches that useful information is likely to come.
For that reason we need a large number of HADAS members who will keep a regular eye – perhaps over a period of months – on a site in their own immediate neighbourhood which is known to be the subject of a planning application. The moment they see any sign of activity (either building or demolition) On the site, all they have to do is to ring our site-watching organiser, Myfanwy Stewart, and tell her that something is cooking.
From that point onwards she will take over, and will arrange for someone experienced to visit the site quickly and report on the sections.
Over a hundred members of HADAS indicated, on their membership application forms, that they would be interested in doing field work; and there must be many others who, for one reason or another, never even filled in a form. If all these members would be prepared to offer Mrs. Stewart their services, we would be able to blanket the Borough with observers, and could feel that HADAS was performing properly what is one of its more important functions. Help will be valuable everywhere in the Borough; but particularly so in East, New and Chipping Barnet; in Edgware and Totteridge; and in Friern Barnet and Mill Hill.
If you feel you can help, would you ring Mrs. Stewart or drop her a line and let her know? Then when an application comes up near your home she will tell you about it and ask for your help.
We are very sad to have to report that a HADAS member of long standing, Nancy Sato, died suddenly on February 21. Many members will remember Miss Sato as an enthusiastic supporter of outings and a regular attender at HADAS lectures. She also took part for 6 or 7 years in the course on Roman archaeology run in Hendon by the WEA.
Miss Sato was partly Japanese, although she had always lived in England. A physiotherapist by profession, she had a serious illness last year, but was hopeful that she had made a good recovery; as one of her friends put it, “she had the courage of a lion,” and she insisted on returning to work. She also planned to join our Welsh weekend next September. We shall greatly miss her quiet, gentle, cheerful presence at HADAS events.
BAPTISTS IN BRENT STREET
By F. M. Gravatt.
The earliest date given for the Baptist Chapel in Brent Street, Hendon, is 1832. This is in Dr. Whitley’s’ “Baptists of London,” where the entry reads:
Hendon Church formed 1832. Jonathan Gundry last mentioned 1843.
A later entry adds the following information:
Chapel re-opened by the Shouldham Street Baptists, 1845. George Warne, 1847-57. When the Chapel was once more c1osed and the minister George Warne went to the Chapel at Sarratt.
Obviously, for Hendon Baptists to have their own chapel and minister in 1832, they must have been meeting together for some time prior to this in order to have acquired sufficient resources.
The Tithe Map of 1841 numbers plot 12O4 as The Chapel. There seems to have been a paddock and probably a cottage for the Minister, Jonathan Gundry. The chapel itself was constructed of wood and was situated in Brent Street, at the rear of what is now Holbrooks fish shop, opposite the Bell. The adjoining plot was occupied by a grocer, John Smart, from 1833: cottage, forecourt, paddock and yard. On the other side to the south was Heriot House, where Dr. Holgate lived. It was built in the 18th c, and its gardens extended to where Christ Church (built 1881) now stands.
By 1848 John Smart owned the grocery business himself, had married and had five children, Emma, John, William, Edwin and Alfred. Sadly, the three eldest died in the early 185Os, probably in an epidemic.
In 1849 John Smart added a Post Office to his enterprises, and this would have led to the erection of new premises in the forecourt of the plot. The original cottage where the business began and where all his children were born was retained as a warehouse. When the Baptist Chapel was forced to close through declining numbers, he also took this over, using it to store goods and to serve as the Post Office sorting office. Ben Walker, one time owner of much Hendon property, recalled that blocks of salt were stored in the pulpit.
The elder remaining son, Edwin Smart, opened the ironmongery in Brent Street in 1863, and later a coal business and estate agents at West Hendon. The younger son, Alfred, came into the grocery business and the use of the old chapel. John Smart died in 1897. The business and its branches at Finchley and other centres continued to flourish and by this time a new Baptist church had been formed (1873) and in 1886, had a large church in Finchley Lane.
Alfred Smart collapsed and died suddenly in Brent Street in 1913, and for a while his wife ~ Mary, carried oh the business. Eventually in 1919 it was sold to Thomas Hawes. It was his son, Timothy – a schoolboy when the family came to Brent Street – who supplied the only description of the old chapel.
“Attached to the rear of the grocer’s shop was an ancient wooden building with small dark rooms and a shaky staircase which gave access to a large room which was the GPO sorting office. This building, which was covered with ivy on the outside, the wood of this being over a foot in diameter at the base, became unsafe in the 192Os and had to be demolished. On stripping the structure the formation of the old beams and rafters showed that it had been a chapel or church and this was agreed by all taking part in the demolition. In a small loft at the top of the building a large quantity of heavy ledgers were stored, with boxes of tallow dips and lamp glasses. The weight of these contributed to the building becoming unsafe.”
Timothy Hawes also remembered the old coach house at the rear, which actually housed an old coach. So disappeared many records of local Baptist history.
These notes on Baptists in Hendon were written by HADAS member Mrs. Frances Gravatt as part of George Ingram’s survey of the history of non-conformist churches in the Borough of Barnet.
For several years now George has been collecting everything he can lay hands on about the history of the churches of the Borough, apart from C. of E. He is on the look out for booklets produced by churches themselves; notes such as those made by Mrs. Gravatt, photographs and so on. He badly needs, however, some more help with this long-term project – particularly volunteers who would be prepared either to take photographs of churches (interiors as well as exteriors) as they are now or who would go along and talk to the minister or secretary of their local church and find out what they can about its history. All too often nowadays local churches close or amalgamate without such a record having been made, and sometimes even the building is demolished before it has been properly recorded.
If you would be prepared to help George, please give him a ring. He will be delighted to hear from you.
THE NEOLITHIC IN BRITTANY
ENID HILL reports on the last HADAS lecture.
We were lucky on February 6 to have such an expert as Dr. Barbara Bender to talk to us. She began by describing Brittany c. 10,0QO BC, at the end of the Ice Age. She showed how hunter gatherers of the Mesolithic period found there a fertile coastal plain with many sea inlets which, with the numerous rivers, made communication in small boats easy, and provided fish and shell fish, as proved by shell middens which date back to 10,0QO BC.
Fertile coastlands meant good vegetation, and geometric microliths found in the area were probably used for cutting and grating food. Flint was rare, but in the central upland of Brittany there is good hard stone; dolerite A was used for tools. At Seledin a vast axe factory has been found, dating from 3000 BC or before, and though axes of very early date have not been found, it seems that early man would have used this site for his tools.
Dr. Bender therefore concluded that life was fairly settled for Mesolithic man in sites on the coast with only a few temporary settlements on the uplands. Possibly a few people were leaders; in a male burial at Teviec, Morbihan, there was an enclosure of stone slabs, with a pile of stag antlers, suggesting importance. Unfortunately, at about 6000 BC the rise in the sea level which created the English Channel and the Gulf of Morbihan drowned many of the coastal sites of the Mesolithic period.
However, by the time the first farmers reached Brittany, probably from southern France where the Chassey culture had developed, the local people had domesticated cattle and were probably moving towards farming themselves. The evidence for the origin of the new colonisers is slight, but the plain Breton pots are similar to early Chassey ones.
It is also not known why so many megalithic tombs were built from 3800 BC onwards. There were no big megalithic graves in southern France, but they might have been an indigenous development or copied from Iberia. Dr. Bender showed slides of several of the megalithic tombs. There are a great number in southern Brittany and a few in north and central Brittany. Owing to the acid nature of the soil few bones survive. There are a variety of megalithic graves, the early ones being passage graves, while later ones had the passage and a chamber at the far end.
At the end of the period gallery graves were very large and could take up to 200 bodies. Barnenez in the north is a vast mound of stones covering about 12 passage graves of different age, while Gav’rinis in the south – an island site in the Gulf of Morbihan dated to 3000-2500 BC – has a long passage with a square chamber at the end. This tomb is famous for its art. Of the 29 orthostats, 23 are decorated with abstract designs of spirals, half-circles and axes, all chipped in relief. This grave must surely have been that of a ruler who organised his tribe in ritual as we1l as work, such as making axas and tools and ritual pottery.
Towards the end of the Neolithic in Brittany the creation of the Carnac a1ignments necessitated great organisation. Here there are thousands of menhirs in 3 alignments, each having 11, 10 and 13 lines of stones, about 1/2 mile in length and ending at the west end in a square or circle of standing stones presumably for ceremonial purposes. Yet not long after there was a breakdown in society, and there seems to have been a shift of population to the interior.
Dr. Bender’s book, Farming in Prehistory, is in the HADAS Bookbox, and may be borrowed on application to our Hon. Librarian, George Ingram.
IDEAS FOR A SUMMER BREAK
The range of summer courses linked with archaeology increases every year. You can find everything from a weekend to a fortnight – at commensurate prices. Here ara a few, taken at random from the brochured:
April 12-25. Archaeology of S.E. Sicily. Dr. David Trump. A course based on Syracuse, Agrigento and Catania. Fee of £348 includes demi-pension accommodation, air fares, local travel and normal holiday insurance.
Apri1 18-22. How to write Local History. David Dymond at Flatford Mill Field Centre, East Bergholt, Colchester. Fee £56.
June l-3. Field Archaeology. Dr. David Trump, at Madingley Hall, Cambridge. Fee £20.
June 30-July 28. Four weeks of courses designed for both beginners and experienced students. They cover digging techniques (on a dig), surveying, archaeological photography, recording, biological data sampling and recognition of archaeological material. Based on Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. Fee £60 weekly.
J.uly 4-18. Two weeks at Kindrogan Field Centre, Blairgowrie, Perthshirc (bookings are taken for single weeks) on an Introduction to Excavation. Local Iron Age site. Suitable for beginners or those with some experience. Tutor L Thomas, fee £58 a week.
August 8-15. The Making of the Lakeland Landscape. Course, which includes a good deal of walking, is based at Brathay Field Studies Centre, Ambleside. Fee £65.
Any member who would like further particulars of any of these courses can get them from the Hon. Secretary.