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COBBLER, POSTMAN AND SCHOOL CARETAKER


George MARSHMAN (24 June 1920 to 6 March 2008)

Much loved husband and father, George was also a former Hallow shoe repairer, postman and school caretaker – remembered here by his son, David.  (September, 2016.)

George Marshman was born at Thorngrove, Grimley on 24 June 1920.  His parents were Frederick, who was head gardener at Thorngrove, and Esther (nee Morgans) who was originally from Pembrokeshire. 
George had an elder brother, James (known as Jim) and a younger sister, Vera.  When the family had to leave the tied cottage, George and Vera went to live with a relative in Pembrokeshire, whilst Jim stayed in Hallow.  After a couple of years, the family was reunited when they were able to buy and move to The Haven, a cottage on Moseley Road.
George attended Hallow School until he left to work at Dents Glove factory in Worcester.  He then worked for Mr. Jacobs, a shoe repairer who had premises in either Friar Street or New Street, Worcester.  (George Jacobs, boot repairer, was listed in Kelly’s Directory 1928, as being at 43 Portland Street, Worcester).

George bought Carey Villa, Hallow in either 1948 or 1949 and in 1951, he married Mary nee Carpenter. They had three sons, David, John and Clive.


Carey Villa in 2016 – David is standing in front of his father’s workshop. 
The property was given Grade II listing in the October 1984, being one of the few remaining three-storey houses in Hallow.



We’re not exactly sure when George became a part-time postman, but a villager can remember him in the 1950’s working on the mail in the morning and repairing shoes in the afternoon.  The Post Office and Sorting Office was situated between Jessamine and Cleggs Garage on the Main Road in Hallow. (The post office was run by Mrs Clegg (Ray’s mother) and it was at the top of a slope at the back of where they now display cars above the brick wall. Before that it was in a thatched building behind where the telephone box is now.)

George would work from 06.00 to 12.00 hours, either sorting or delivering mail.  His sons would help out at Christmas time.  In the ‘worst winter of 1962/63’, George was knocked off his bicycle at the crossroads of Sinton Green and Grimley, and he was seriously injured, being hospitalised for two or three months.

Whilst living with his family at The Haven in Moseley Road, as well as being a part-time postman, George set up a workshop in the garden shed and started to repair shoes. After marrying Mary they lived at Carey Villa and he transferred his business there.  In the early days, if any stitching was required i.e. new soles, shoes were taken by his son David to the Empire Shoe Repairers in Farrier Street, Worcester.
In the early days, after the Hallow Sorting Office was closed by the Post Office, George took on the role of caretaker at Hallow C. of E. Primary School and one of his duties was to wind the clock by hand, climbing the tower by means of a wooden ladder and standing on a narrow platform.

He acquired more shoe repair equipment, including a (sole) stitching machine, a leather cutter, and a leather buffer and polisher, making it possible for him to take on other work such as repairing bridles and saddlery, and repairing motorcyclists ‘leathers’, damaged by their wearers at the Isle of Mann TT races.

These photographs are of the machinery and equipment used by George.



David Marshman in his father's workshop - 2016


Singer Treadle Sewing Machine





A Leather Cutter








David demonstrating how to use the Leather Cutter which has extremely sharp rotary blades







George's workbench c/w shoe lathe - but not the original !




View of the workshop from the doorway (the Leather Polisher and Buffing Machine on the left occupies the entire wall)







The Leather Polisher and Buffer is on the left of the picture with a machine that stitches on soles in the centre. The Singer Sewing machine and Leather Cutter is on the right.


George was featured in a Berrow’s Journal newspaper, date unknown -
George Marshman divides his time between repairing the villagers’ shoes and acting as caretaker to the school next door, which he attended as a boy.  “Parents from Worcester sometimes bring their children out here to see a shoe workshop in action” he explains proudly.

In his spare time, George was a member of the Hallow Working Men’s Club, and the Hallow Bowling Club – the green was situated in part of the area now tennis courts belonging to the Tennis Club.  He also supported West Bromwich Albion Football Club and regularly attended the home matches.  He also enjoyed gardening and kept his garden immaculate.
For many years George’s wife Mary was a ‘dinner lady’ at Hallow Village School.  She also loved to sing and was an active member of the Women’s Institute choir until her death on 9 July 1987, aged 61.
George retired in his mid-seventies during the 1990’s, and he died 6 March 2008 aged 87.  He is buried in Hallow churchyard, with his wife Mary.
His parents are buried in Grimley churchyard - Frederick died in June 1933 aged 54, and Esther on 3 October, 1975 aged 82.
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We are grateful to David Marshman for relating his father’s history to us.  David is a well-known and respected skilled tradesman and business man of the present day.
He was born in 1954 and attended Hallow Village School, followed by the Chantry Secondary Modern School, Martley.  (The Chantry became a Comprehensive school in 1983).
He was then apprenticed at the age of 16 to Cleggs Garage, working there from 1970 to 1990.  Then he worked at Halfords Garage Services at Blackpole until the garage was closed, making him redundant in 2004 and the business was taken over by the AA.
David also worked part-time at Oakleigh Garage, which was on the corner of the Moseley Road and Main Road, now no longer in existence, having been developed into housing accommodation.
Today, he has premises on the Mill Pool Industrial Estate, working for himself, and also providing holiday-cover for local garages/workshops.
(His brother John lives at Longdon, Upton-upon-Severn, and Clive is at Hounslow) 
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BUSINESS CENTRES 2017

ELGAR BUSINESS CENTRE:

Elgar Business Centre comprises of a number of purpose built units, built on the site of the old sawmills in Moseley Road and owned by Stallards. The units opened in 1993. 

Only one of the original occupants, Wychbury Engineering, remain but most units are currently occupied. A surprisingly large number of people work from the business park. There are 80 – 100 employees currently working in the site of whom only around 5 are Hallow residents.  Most units are currently in use.

A notable firm no longer on site is ‘Postcode Anywhere’ which started up there in 2001 with 3 employees but by 2014 with up to 50 employees, outgrew the site and moved to new larger premises in Diglis.

Another was ‘Arthur Amos Associates’, a landscape architect’s firm created by a local resident with a long term contract with Sainsbury’s amongst others. The firm operated from there from 2001 until Dec 2014 when it folded.

A variety of firms currently work from Elgar Business Park, none producing a physical product on site.

The Childcare Bureau is a fostering service renting 2 units since 2014 with 20 employees.

The Women’s Institute, Worcestershire Federation of WIs, quit their valuable city centre site for WI House in 2006, employ 2 people. Their premises include an accessible training room.

Parsons Trading moved their Cocoa powder and Freeze Dried Coffee offices to the site in January 2016 from Swindon and currently employ 4.

Britannia Site Solutions, with 10 employees, design industrial roofing and cladding for projects such as Asda in Worcester and the new swimming pool in Perdiswell.

The Hallow based firm Wychbury Engineering, heating contractors previously rented space at Hallow Park but moved to Elgar in1993 with 5 employees.

Other firms in occupying units provide services remotely. These include Cloud Shepherd, providers of IT support to businesses, Opus Claims Solutions an Insurance firm, Clearview Systems, a business management consultancy with 11 employees, Microtel Ltd, on site since 2001, provides industrial computer installations and employs 6.

Until October 2016 Bridgehouse Property Consultants Ltd operated from Elgar but have recently relocated to Shirley.


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HALLOW PARK BUSINESS CENTRE:

The hundred year old mansion house, built as a gentleman’s residence, later a children’s home and then a residential school until 1988, is more recently used in part as a business centre. It was sold by Barnardos to Foley Park Estates in December 1988 but is currently owned by Jonathan Hickton of Thorngrove, Grimley. Part of the premises is once more residential and the substantial grounds neglected but inside the building, houses thriving businesses.

In the past the upper floor housed offices for Paul Vaughan (PVA management), theatrical and literary agent for a number of well-known writers and performers including local star Chris Tarrant, Larry Grayson, Geof Hamilton and David Icke. Hallow Park was also the headquarters for a double glazing firm and a manufacturer of shell suits. Wychbury Engineering (Heating Contractors) rented 5 rooms between 1990 and 1993 before the firm moved on to Elgar Business Centre.

Since 2009 Bishop’s Accountancy Ltd (Chartered Accountants) have managed accounts for a number of firms from four ground floor rooms in Hallow Park, employing six staff.


The largest firm currently in the premises is Eclipse Homecare Services. Occupying nine rooms on 2 floors, sixteen staff are employed managing homecare services for the elderly and disabled. Hallow Park is the head office of the service which has branches in Bromsgrove, Tenbury and Stourport with a total staff of around 200. 


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GREENGROCERS AND MARKET GARDENERS


JESSAMINE

The Thorpe family moved down to Hallow and bought Jessamine with its 2 acres and another 2 acres   for £1180 in 1889 from the Trustees of John Pickup Lord’s estate. The Thorpes let out the cottage, and ran a market garden on the adjoining land. They lived at the Laurels.

1891 census, Hallow
The Pratt family at Jessamine Cottage – Henry Pratt and his wife Edith and 4 children. (They later lived at The Royal Oak.)





The Worcestershire Archive have bills for vegetables sent to the business by Edgar Rowley of 65 Lowesmoor, Worcester, which seem to indicate that they bought in a lot of their market gardening produce to sell on.

The Green family at Jessamine -

Taken from an interview with John Green in September 2009. Interviewer Jeannette Roe



John was born in 1931 when his father and mother lived in (what is now called No.2)  Lea Cottages on The Green. This was a two up two down cottage with the toilet up the garden. (This was usual at this time.) His father Tom, who was born in 1903, was a market gardener as was his grandfather, George Green. Tom Green bought the house at Auction in 1951 and   later moved to Jessamine known at the time as “Longways”. The name was changed back to Jessamine.



Here is Tom with his fleet of delivery lorries -




Tom Green died in 1953, so at the age of just 21, John his son took over the business. With wife Mary they built a new house in the 1960s.  





Mobile glasshouses were constructed and were moved along as each crop matured – lettuces, tomatoes and chrysanthemums.  One thousand boxes of bedding plants were grown in a season and in the fields, salad crops, vegetables, soft fruit plantations, and straw-berries, a lot of hard work for young John, who can be seen in the photo below







John and Mary later opened their own farm shop in the small brick building (on the left of the main photo) and later in the green corrugated building. Following John’s retirement the business ceased and the land was rented out and new crops such as sweet corn were grown.






Market gardeners at Jessamine
1889 - Joseph & Andrew Thorpe,.      
1911 - Andrew Thorpe,    
1924 - Andrew Thorpe &  1925 -  Fanny Thorpe , 
1930 -T William Sherratt , 
1938 - Walton family,  
1946 - Tom Green,  
1952 - John Green


MARKET GARDENING

The Thatch, Charles Smith – ancestor of Ann Ganderton at The Oakes Farm.






The Thatch was the cottage on the right of the old Post Office. Behind the cottage there was space to keep cows and grow some of their vegetables which included carrots, parsnips, cabbages, cauliflowers and potatoes. Beyond was an orchard. The Smiths had a vegetable and dairy round, using a horse and cart, which covered the Dines Green and St John’s area. 




Charlie went into business as a market gardener with his son Jack at Hallow Mill and The Oakes.  



















Parkfield Nurseries

Previously the Nursery to Mrs. Wheeley Lea’s “Parkfield”




In 1967 it was a commercial nursery with a gate on the main road. Vegetables, tomatoes and fruit were also delivered to Worcester Fruit & Veg. market on Hylton Road.


Three generations of the Lock family operated the nursery. Peter and his wife Pat took over from his father and then their sons John and Robert ran the business until about 1985. The Redwoods bought the nursery after it closed and a wonderful garden was created with just the greenhouses attached to the wall and house retained. Further changes have been made by the present owner to create a large family home.


Some other market gardeners -

About 1921 -1935  William Griffiths

By 1939 there were market gardeners from down near Blea Beck up to Thrift Villas. Some of those mentioned in the 1939 Register had been born between the 1870’s and 1920’s. They were:-

Arthur Thorley at Pound Piece Cottage.


Samuel Hill at the Oak Cottages near the Royal Oak. He was assisted in his rounds by the
teenage John Gwilliam and had an orchard approximately where Motorline Hyundai is now. 



George Gardiner, Rose Cottage/Flatins near Heath Farm

John Shaw at Villanella.

On what must have been a larger scale John Bushnell at Shoulton Farm called himself a dairy farmer and market gardener in 1939.

In the 1940’s and later -

The Boulton brothers opposite Hallow School

Mr. Mann delivered Fruit and Veg on a Saturday morning at the top end of the Village by the Heath.


In the 1950’s/60’s,  Mr. Lamberton was a Market Gardener with land situated opposite the Church, he grew strawberries and had an orchard behind Stoneycroft, where Ernest Munslow (village postman) used to live. 


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ONSLOW MOTORCYCLES




Leonard Leslie Hubert Vale-Onslow MBE (2 May 1900 – 23 April 2004) was a motorcycle  builder.  He invented the SOS racing bike in 1926. He repaired and test-rode motorbikes and lived above one of his shops in Birmingham, England,  close to his three children, six grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. In 1999 he was awarded the MBE for being Britain's oldest worker and in 1999 he also became the oldest subject of This Is Your Life.

When Len was a youngster, his six older brothers ran two garages in Birmingham and they made him a small motorbike. They used to take him to Sutton Park  and taught him how to ride it. He was too young to fight the First World War, though he drove a munitions lorry at the age of 14.

He lost one brother on the Somme  and another was invalided out of the forces. In the Second World War, he was pronounced unfit to serve by doctors who, as it turned out, were all to die before him.

When he was 26, he designed and built a motorbike. The frame weighed 19 lb. and cost 19 shillings. It was so light, that he took out a world patent on it. When WWII started, he sold the manufacturing business and he and his wife started selling motorcycles. When they had met, she was just a country girl who was staying with the parents of a friend of his. She was 16 and he was 10 years older, and when he took her to the pictures, it was to silent films. He proposed to her after they had been going out for three years.

They became a formidable business team, both being workaholics and living above the shop. They had some land where they were going to build a house, but even when they eventually became millionaires, they decided not to move. They bought more property - another three shops and a showroom and two or three smaller companies.

When his wife died in 1982, Len's heart was broken. For two years he simply could not think straight, and that was when the business went through tough times. But eventually he got over his problems and threw himself back into his work, labouring on his bikes even at night. Despite his commitment to motorbikes, Len was not quite so keen on the automobile age.

He once said in an interview:  "With the traffic and all the pollution, I keeps saying cars ought to be abolished. With a car you can't feel the wind on your face or the sky like you can on a bike. There was no stress in the days when cars were a luxury; you had to walk mainly, or ride a bicycle and it was much healthier. I can't see anything has changed for the better."


He continued to ride until the age of 102. He died in 2004, 
shortly before his 104th birthday.


Super Onslow Special


Reg Kelly
Red Marley Hill Climb