A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode

Arthur John and Anne Noad of Slimbridge and Gossington


James Noad I (1717-1792) and Ann (1721-1801)

of West Kington, Wilts


 Isaac Noad (1762-1832) and Hester Buckle (1767-1829)

Labourer and Pauper of West Kington, Nettleton, Leonard Stanley and Slimbridge


James Noad II (1796-1867) and Louisa Cook (1798-1863)

Labourer of Rowley Regis and Slimbridge


 James Noad III (1826-1887) and Sarah Byford (1823-1895)

Labourer of Slimbridge


Arthur John Noad (1862-1938) and Anne Duffell (1866-1943)

Carpenter, Wheelwright and Pattern Maker of Slimbridge


 Florence Noad (1891-1968) and Edward Percy Barton

ARTHUR JOHN NOAD, Great Grandfather


Son of James Noad and Sarah (nee Byford)

Husband of Anne Duffell

Father of Bessie Cashmore, Florence Barton, Arthur, Mary Cuff, William, Henry Walter, Tom Duffell, Edith Evans and Evelyn James

Arthur John Noad was born on 22nd June 1862, third son of James Noad, a labourer of Whitehall Farm Cottage, Cambridge and his wife Sarah. John Noad was baptised at Slimbridge Parish Church on 27th July and there would appear to be no reference to his first name, Arthur.

Arthur John and Annie Noad 2.jpg

Anne and Arthur Noad

In the 1871 census his parents were at Churchend, Slimbridge, and John was described as an eight-year-old scholar, born in Slimbridge. James Noad was a forty-four-year-old agricultural labourer born in Slimbridge and Sarah was aged forty-five-years and born in Cam. John’s brother, Henry, was aged fourteen years and his grandmother Ann Byford was also staying with them. There were only two dwellings between his childhood home and the Forge.

In the 1881 census his parents, James and Sarah Noad, were still living at Churchend. James was described as aged fifty-four-years, an agricultural labourer, born in Slimbridge. Sarah was aged fifty-five-years and born in Cam. Their son, John Noad, was aged eighteen years and was described as a carpenter and wheelwright, born in Slimbridge.

John probably met Annie Duffell when she was working as a servant at Cambridge House and they were married after banns at Christ Church, Clifton, on 29th June 1889. This church was situated across the Downs from 7 Gloucester Row, Clifton, where she was in service. The bridegroom was described on the marriage certificate as a twenty-seven-year-old Wheelwright of Slimbridge, son of James Noad, a Labourer, and the bride was the twenty-three-year-old, daughter of Thomas Duffell, a Labourer. The witnesses were her brother Thomas Duffell and Annie Morris.

The young couple settled in Slimbridge where John worked as a Carpenter and Wheelwright. Between 1890 and 1913 they had nine children, all of whom survived childhood. My father referred to their home at Churchend as being nicknamed ‘Starlings Castle’.

The 1891 census reveals the following details for the family – Arthur J. Noad, was aged twenty-eight-years and his wife, Annie, was aged twenty-four-years and her place of birth was given as ‘Kington, Hfds’. Their child Bessie was aged ten months. Living with them was John’s mother, Sarah Noad, who was aged sixty-seven-years and her place of birth was recorded as Cam.

1901 census of Slimbridge Part 2 Entry number 69 Gossington  4 rooms

‘A. John Noad  Head  M  38  Wheelwright & Carpenter  Worker (as opposed to
Employer/Working at Home etc) born Slimbridge

Annie Noad   Wife  M  34   born at Kings Caple, Herefordshire

Children: Bessie 10, Florence 9, Arthur 7, Mary 5 and William 3 all born at

Noad Family.jpg

1910 circa Back: Florence, Arthur, Bessie, Mary. Middle: Harry, Arthur John, Anne, William. Front: Tom and Edith

Ten years later, in 1911, the family was living at Victoria Cottage, a five roomed property at Gossington. Arthur John Noad was listed as forty-eight-years-old, a wheelwright, a worker, born at Slimbridge. His wife, Annie, was forty-four-years-old and she was listed as born at King’s Caple. Annie had been married for twenty-one-years, had eight children and was engaged in home work. The children included Bessie, aged twenty, and at home; Arthur, aged seventeen, a builder’s apprentice; William, aged thirteen, a school boy; Henry Walter, aged nine, a school boy; Tom Duffell, aged seven, a school boy and Edith Annie aged four years. All the children were born at Slimbridge.

Their eldest son, Arthur Noad, enlisted in the10th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment, and he died in action at the Battle of Loos on the 13th October 1915, aged twenty-two-years.

Arthur John Noad worked as the chief Carpenter, Wheelwright and Pattern Maker for Frances Workman & Sons of Slimbridge, Agricultural Engineers. This firm was established in 1861 by Mrs Frances Workman who died in 1931, aged ninety-one-years. She ran the firm with her sons – Harry, who was a wheelwright, and Arthur, who was an engineer. At their peak the firm had thirty employees and they carried out all manner of work, a taste of which is given in their catalogue:

6 Noad I Gt h

Wood – Coffins, Roof Construction (cottages opposite Tyning Crescent, cowsheds at the Patch over the canal, large store shed at the Patch), wood for presses etc., wood for carts, wagons etc.

Cider Making Machinery, Presses, Pumps etc (Awarded first (£20) and second prizes (£10) at the Royal Agricultural Society of England trials in 1890 and Silver Medal at the Gloucestershire Agricultural Society Stroud Meeting in 1892)

Repairs – Carts & Wagons, Wheel banding, Traction Engines for Fairgrounds. Retubing, Timber Hauling Vehicles (Brownings Bros), single banding, removing solid rubber tyres replaced on steam tractors by hydraulic press, Church weather cock, mowing machines and binders.

Wood Sawing Machinery (Berkeley Castle, Badminton, Walkers Sticks of Nailsworth, Peake Sawmills of Cambridge)

Waterworks – pumps and steam engines

Steam Cars – White steam car AD1

Castings – Kells of Gloucester (later Dudbridge Iron Works and Bloodworth & Co., Brimscombe Docks on side of the canal – large docks there).

Women’s Institute: ‘The Story of Slimbridge’ March 1958

‘At the Foundry, Slimbridge, high-class cider mills and presses were invented, built and sold by Messrs. Workman & Son, who at one time employed 18 men. These presses and mills won the Gold Medal at the London Show and machinery for cider-making was sent to America and other distant parts. Many exhibition tractors and threshing machines have been repaired there and all farm implements made as required for use in the village.’

Workmans apprentices (See May)

Arthur Lacey, Gilbert Hurl, Eddie May and Bert Phillips at Workman’s

Ann Wilson & David Evans, ‘Around Dursley in Old Photographs’, 1986, page 23:

 ‘Arthur Lacey, Gilbert Hurl, Eddie May and Bert Phillips, in the doorway of Workman’s Engineering Works, Slimbridge. Workman’s made wagons and carts, and around 1908 they developed a flat bed lorry, which had a full lock and could turn on its own ground. They also made a cranked axle milk float. Mr Arthur Noad worked for the company for 49 years, and made all the patterns for castings used on the cider mills, for which Workman’s won great acclaim. They also serviced Centinal Lorries, renewing the steam pipes, and were the first to put rubber tyres on to their wheels.’

Report of Mr W Noad of Hemworthy, Cross Roads, Slimbridge concerning ‘Frances Workman & Sons’:

‘Mr John Noad – chief carpenter and wheelwright involved in building 2 cow sheds, one on either side of road just over Shepherd’s Patch Bridge on way to New Grounds. Involved with building very large ‘storage’ building at Shepherd’s Patch near canal.

He remembers corn bound for Draycott Flour Mills being stored there. At first it was transported by a) a two horse wagon (Walter Palser – driver) b) a four horse wagon (Henry Attwood – driver) Later steam wagons were used i.e. Sentinel Steam Wagons. These were brought into Workman’s for repair. Mr May was involved in these repairs, and later left to go to Draycott Flour Mills in charge of their engines both for transport and mill plant.

During the First World War this building was used to store cordite – brought by specially laid railway and boat. 36? storage sheds in area. See Ordnance Map 1921. It was said that Sentinel Steam Wagons were very economical and that you could drive it to Gloucester at 12 mph on a bucket of coal.

Den Bannister 23-1-2018. You’ve done it again!  There are some real little gems in the text.  We now know who built the Black Shed.  There is a mistake though in that story.  The Shed was never used to store cordite.  It was used between 1916/17 to store building materials brought along the canal and then transported to the munitions depot construction site by rail.  The lines were removed from both sides of the Shed in July 1917 to allow Draycott Mill’s lorries to regain access, the Shed having been handed back in early 1917.

Rodgers of Chipping Sodbury had their fairground engines repaired and overhauled at Workmans. Jacob Studt of Southampton had engines in – Mr Noad remembers that a very early Maudsley Dynamo was fitted on front of traction engine, and light was produced to light the fairground.

Coal – boat lads came to Shepherd’s Patch Bridge – several local people combined. George Tudor had a coal wharf there – Workmans??

Oak Timber for Workman’s use in cider presses etc. carts, wagons, etc. Mr Noad thought it was hauled from the Nibley area by Brunsdons. Large trunks sawn into 3” planks and great stacks made set on wedges to season.

Morgan’s plough – Arthur Workman said that with this he could plough the six acre field at the Cross Roads in a day.

Re Coaley Junction. Thomas Viney was station master as well as station weighbridge – he had his own just inside the yard – he was the father of Albert Viney who married Miss Tudor of the ‘Tudor Arms’.

On death of Miss Mary Workman Dursley District Council took over the whole of the Workman site as sale of works as a going concern ‘hung fire’. George Hall lived in Mary Workman’s house and had pigs in the orchard. Mr Nelmes occupied the ‘Corner House’ – Mrs Phelps and her nephew Lloyd took over later.

Staff: Mr Noad, Mr Ivy Hurd, Mr C May, Mr T White, Mr Bert Perrett, Mr B Daniells, Mr Wilkes, Mr French, Mr Baker, Mr Hurle, Mr Bert Phillips, Mr Bert Smith, Mr Christopher Lord, Mr George Cordick (sp) from Glos – – –

Mr Baker’s daughter says Mr Baker left after completing his apprenticeship – had his own cider grinder and press at his Cambridge home.’

Arthur & Annie Noad 3

Arthur John and Anne Noad


According to his grand daughter, Marian Barton, Arthur John Noad, (Grampy Noad), was such a prominent wheelwright/carpenter, etc. he sometimes found himself leading funeral processions – which he hated doing. After the death, in 1922, of Aunt Elizabeth Noad of Newport, John received a substantial legacy from his uncle’s estate and this enabled him to purchase Victoria Cottage at Gossington.

Victoria Cottage_2019-11-19_170852 Gossington.jpg

Victoria Cottage, Gossington. Edith, Evelyn and Anne Noad

Arthur John Noad died on 29th April 1938, aged seventy-five-years, at Bristol Royal Infirmary.  He was described on his death certificate as of Victoria Cottage, Gossington, Slimbridge and as ‘Formerly a Carpenter and Wheelwright (Journeyman)’. The cause of death was given as post operative cardiac failure and a strangulated inguinal hernia (operation – hernia reduced sac not excised) and this was certified by Coralie Rundle Short M.B. Mr. F.D. Sainsbury, Registrar, registered the death on 30th April and the informant was W. Noad, the son, who was in attendance at the death. His address was given as “Hemworthy”, Slimbridge.


Arthur Noad

Arthur John Noad was buried at Slimbridge on 3rd May in that year and a gravestone was erected which was restored in 2006 by L.W. Clutterbuck of Cam, having had its kerbs removed some years ago.


Inscription on Gravestone:

 ‘In Loving Memory of Arthur John, Noad. Died April 29th 1938 Aged 75 years. Also Anne his Wife, Died Dec 22nd 1943 Aged 77 years. May they rest in peace’

According to probate records Arthur John Noad of Victoria Cottage, Gossington, died on 29th April 1938 at the Royal Infirmary, Bristol. Probate was granted on 28th June 1938 to Anne Noad, widow, William Noad, tool grinder, and Tom Duffell Noad, bricklayer. Effects were valued at £1,072-19-7d.

Mr Pope, of Pearce Pope Auctioneers, suggested to Annie Noad that the family cradle, made by her husband, should pass to Gloucester Folk Museum when Victoria Cottage was sold and the contents dispersed.

From Janet Freeman, 29th July 1996:

‘The cradle at Gloucester Folk Museum has the number F.3403 and is described in the catalogue thus:

‘Cradle, pitch pine. Rectangular canopy with four vertical knobbed corner pieces; lower part also rectangular with knobbed terminals; the whole on two rockers. Both rocker ends are broken away at one end and the top of the canopy is cracked. Overall length 2ft 8 ins, height of canopy 2 ft 1.5 ins, height of body 1 ft 5 ins, Loc. Gloucester, Donor: Mr W.P. Pope, April 1939.’

6 Noad I Gt i

I have a wooden cutlery tray made by Arthur John Noad, which was possibly an apprentice piece, and also his tool box which had been given to my father.


ANNE NOAD, Great Grandmother


Daughter of Thomas Duffell and Mary Preece

Wife of Arthur John Noad

Mother of Bessie Cashmore, Florence Barton, Arthur, Mary Cuff, William, Henry, Tom Duffell, Edith Evans and Evelyn James

Anne Duffell was born on 8th August 1866 at High House, Kings Caple, in Herefordshire. She was the elder daughter of Thomas Duffell, a Farm Labourer, and his wife. Mary (nee Preece). John Parsons, Registrar, registered the birth on 13th September and her mother was the informant.

The 1871 census return places Anne at home with her parents at Kings Caple and she is listed as a four-year-old and her place of birth is correctly given as King’s Caple.

Sometime between 1871 and 1880, the family moved to Llanbaddock near Usk, where her father died when Anne was only fourteen-years-old. It is a family tradition that he was gored by a bull. On the night of the 1881 census, Annie was working as a Domestic Servant in the home of Jno. T. Cherry of Usk. Annie was then a servant at Cambridge House, Cambridge, where she presumably met Arthur John Noad, and, finally, she was in service at 7, Gloucester Row, Clifton, situated close to the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Arthur and Annie Noad.jpg

Anne and Arthur Noad (Possibly Wedding Day)


Anne Duffell married Arthur John Noad on 29th June 1889 at Christchurch, Clifton, which is within sight of 7 Gloucester Row, Clifton. The bridegroom was described on their marriage certificate as a twenty-seven-year-old Wheelwright of Slimbridge, son of James Noad, a Labourer, and the bride as the twenty-three-year-old daughter of Thomas Duffell, a Labourer. The witnesses to the wedding were her brother, Thomas Duffell, and Annie Morris.

The young couple settled in Slimbridge where John worked as a Carpenter and Wheelwright. Between 1890 and 1913 they had nine children, all of whom survived childhood. My father referred to their home at Churchend as being nicknamed ‘Starlings Castle’.

Annie_ Elsie and Florence.jpg

Anne Noad with daughters, Elsie and Florence

In the 1891 census return Anne was at home with Arthur John and their young daughter Bessie and she was described as twenty-four-years-old and born at ‘Kington, Hfds’. Staying with the family was John’s mother, Sarah Noad. Four years later, on 9th February 1895, Annie was present at the death of her mother-in-law and she informed the registrar of the death on 13th February, signing her name.

1901 census of Slimbridge Part 2 Entry number 69 Gossington  4 rooms

A. John Noad  Head  M  38  Wheelwright & Carpenter  Worker (as opposed to
Employer/Working at Home etc) born Slimbridge

Annie Noad   Wife  M  34   born at Kings Caple, Herefordshire

Children: Bessie 10, Florence 9, Arthur 7, Mary 5 and William 3 all born at

In 1911 the family was living at Victoria Cottage, a five roomed property at Gossington. Annie was forty-four-years-old and her place of birth was given as King’s Caple. She had been married for twenty-one-years, had had eight children and was engaged in home work.

Their eldest son, Arthur Noad enlisted in the 10th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment, and died in action at the Battle of Loos on the 13th October 1915, aged twenty-two-years.

Anne Noad was a friend of the Hurd family of Slimbridge. When this family moved to the west side of the River Severn, Annie’s grand-daughter, Marian Barton, and her youngest daughter, Evelyn Noad, would stay with them.

After her husband’s death, in 1938, she sold Victoria Cottage, Gossington, and bought ‘Kilmaur’, 5 Lawrence Grove, Dursley, where she lived with her recently widowed daughter, Bessie, and her grandson, John Cashmore. Thomas Duffell Noad, her youngest son, died on 18th March 1941 at Gloucester Infirmary aged thirty-seven-years.

According to probate records her husband, Arthur John Noad of Victoria Cottage, Gossington, died on 29th April 1938 at the Royal Infirmary, Bristol. Probate was granted on 28th June 1938 to Anne Noad, widow, William Noad, tool grinder and Tom Duffell Noad, bricklayer. Effects were valued at £1,072-19-7d.

According to probate records her son, Tom Duffell Noad of Moorend Lane, Slimbridge, died on 18th March 1941 at the Royal Infirmary, Gloucester. Probate was granted on 29th May 1941 to his mother, Anne Noad, widow, and his effects were valued at £855-12-11d.

Annie Noad.jpg

Anne Noad

Anne Noad died on 22nd December 1943, aged seventy-seven-years, at ‘Kilmaur’, Lawrence Grove, Dursley, The death certificate described her as the widow of Arthur John Noad, Carpenter and Wheelwright. The cause of death was given as atypical Pneumonia and Influenza and was certified by B.W.D. Fayle M.B. The death was registered on 23rd December and the informant was her daughter, B. Cashmore, who lived at the same address. Anne Noad was buried with her husband at Slimbridge on 24th December.

Inscription on Gravestone:

 ‘In Loving Memory of Arthur John, Noad. Died April 29th 1938 Aged 75 years. Also Anne his Wife, Died Dec 22nd 1943 Aged 77 years. May they rest in peace’

In Memoriam card:

6 Noad I Gt j

‘In affectionate remembrance of Anne Noad who departed this life December 22nd 1943 and was interred at the Church of St John, the Evangelist, Slimbridge, Dec 24th. “Kilmaur”, Lawrence Grove, Kingshill, Dursley, Glos. With the family’s kind regards. Farewell dear children, my life is past, I dearly loved you to the last; Weep not for me, nor sorrow take, but love each other for my sake.’

Letters from A. John Noad and Annie Noad to their daughter Florence.  In one of the letters Arthur John Noad sends to daughter Florence, he mentions taking Uncle William Noad to a nursing home (June 1911). This is Highfield, Bassaleg, a few miles away from Newport which is where he died in the August, probably of dementia – his behaviour was like that of a child. A postcard sent by Bessie, in May 1911, is of Bassaleg Church:


28th July 1911

2 Caledonia Place



Dear Florrie,

I am sending you a line to tell you we heard from Bessie yesterday. She is giving her notice today & coming home.

I came home yesterday. I had a week down there & last Saturday we took him to a nursing home about 3 miles from Newport nearer Cardiff. Uncle said when I was with him he should very much like to see you both, so I think the best thing for you to do would be to go & see him the first opportunity as there is no certainty about how long he is going to last.

Aunt she is very poorly, she had to go to bed the day I came away. Mary she is with her, she seems to get on alright with her now.

I think I have told you all for now. We remain your ever affectionate B & S & F & M.

Annie & J. Noad’

(written on the back of the above letter)

‘Dear Florrie,

I don’t think you will understand Dad’s letter very well unless I write you a few lines.

Mrs Taylor the woman in Uncle’s house sent to ask me to let Mary go down as the work was to (sic) much for her. So Mary went last Saturday week, and I am inclosing the only letter I got from Dad but he came back on Monday. I sent his letter to Bessie, got back on Monday. I wanted him to write to you Monday night but he was so tired out and looked ill from worry, and I have been so busy. The other Sow had 13 (?) little ones while Dad was away, all doing well, but one of the three died Monday 5 weeks old; we were sorry for that.

Please send the two letters back that I have inclosed (sic). Has Percy sent you the piece put in the paper about Harry’s death. I have sent it to Bessie and am sending it on to Mary. I will ask her to send it on to you if you have not seen (it) and you let me know. I think your name is in it, Dad only said 6 when he came to it, Arthur and Willie looked at me in a bit of surprise.

Please write soon. Hoping this will find you well. Bessie said it was off between Fred & her. Dad said that was a good thing.’

Their children:


7 Noad I Gt 1 a

Bessie Cashmore


Bessie Noad was born on 20th May 1890 and baptised at Slimbridge Parish Church on 29th June. In the 1891 census she is described as 10 months old. She was in service and cards were sent to her sister Florence from the following addresses: 9th March 1906 – 85 Onslow Gardens, London SW (of Brompton Oratory), 25th August 1910 – Uffedale Hall, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs. (of Belton Hall), May 1911 (of Bassalag Church) and 11th June 1911(of the Coronation) both from 36 Price Street, Newport, Mon., two cards probably from about 1912 one addressed from Alresford Place (of Ballater) and another card with “we return to Alresfield June 13th”, (from Balnacoil, Aboyne), 2nd November 1919 –  12 Holland Park, Kensington W11(a birthday card).

In 1911 the family was living at Victoria Cottage and the children included Bessie aged twenty and at home.

On 5th April 1926 she married Percy Cashmore who she probably met in service. At the time of his wedding, Percy Cashmore was described as a thirty-seven-year-old widower and trunk maker of 29 Ewald Road, London SW6. The wedding certificate described his father as a deceased gardener.

On 3rd July 1927 John Philip Cashmore was born and, at that time, the family was living at 51 Danehurst Street, Fulham. In March 1931 Percy died of T.B. and was buried at North Sheen Cemetery. Bessie and John moved back to Slimbridge. On the death of grandfather, Arthur John Noad, Annie Noad sold Victoria Cottage, Gossington, which enabled her and her daughter, Bessie, to buy ‘Kilmaur’, 5 Lawrence Grove in Dursley. Later Bessie lived with her son at Heald Green in Stockport, from 1964, where she died, aged seventy-four-years, on 9th April 1965. She was buried at Cheadle Cemetery near Stockport.

More about Percy Cashmore:

 Percy was born on 5th June 1887 to William Charles and Emma Cashmore at Shustoke, Warwickshire. He was the third of nine children, eight boys and one girl, the latter dying when only eight months old.

In 1891 William Charles and Emma Cashmore were living in the village of Shustoke. He was an agricultural labourer, aged thirty-three and born in Shustoke. Emma was aged thirty-two and born in Over Whitacre. Percy was then aged three years and born at Shustoke. He had two older and one younger brother – namely Daniel aged eight and born at Nether Whitacre; Arthur aged six and born at Nether Whitacre and William aged three months and born at Shustoke.

In 1901 Percy Cashmore was one of six children living at Back Lane, Shustoke, Warwickshire. His father,William C. Cashmore, forty-three, was a waggoner on a farm, and born at Coleshill His mother, Emma, forty-two, was born at Over Whitacre. Percy was aged thirteen, a worker, born at Shustoke.

In 1911 Percy Cashmore was working as a footman employed by the Heathcote Family of twenty-five roomed Betton Hall, Market, Drayton, Shropshire. He was described as a twenty-three-year-old, British, single and born at Shustoke, Warwickshire. He was one of eight servants listed in the return and the only male.

In 1915 Percy entered France in the First World War as a gunner with the Royal Artillery. At one point he became the only survivor of a direct hit on his trench – possibly after the Battle of Mons – and had a silver plate put in his head.

On 7th September 1920 he married Alice Dodman (1890-1923) at West Rudham, Norfolk. She died of T.B. in 1923. They had no children.

7 Noad I Gt 1 b

Bessie Cashmore

7 Noad I Gt 1 d

The Cashmores

7 Noad I Gt 1 f

Bessie Cashmore

Letters and postcards to Florence Noad from her sister Bessie Noad:

’85 Onslow Gardens, SW. (Postmark: South Kensington, 12.15am Mar. 9 1906) (of the Oratory)

to Miss F. Noad, West Royd (Royal?) Kempsey, Worcestershire.

My dearest Sister, Just a line to let you know where I am. I have been here a week today. Will give you more particulars when you write. From your ever loving Sister, Bessie.’

Afedale (spelling?) Hall, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffs (Postmark: 9.45pm Aug 25 1910) (of Belton Hall) to 2 Caledonia Place, Clifton

‘Dear F,

Just a line to thank you very much for your kind and welcome letter. Will write soon. Arrived Afedale quite safe. Excuse scribble. Much love, Bessie xx.

36 Price Street, Newport, Mon. (Postmark: 7.15 pm May 11. 1911) (of Bassalag Church)

Dear Florrie,

Got here quite safe this morning. Mary is going home tomorrow been to see Uncle this afternoon. With heaps of love from Bessie.’

36 Price Street, Newport, Mon. (Postmark: 5.30pm June 1. 1911) (of King George & Queen Mary)

‘My dear Sister,

Just a line to let you know I received my lovely present this morning quite safe. I am delighted with it & I must thank you very much. Thought I would wait till after Whitsun before I write you a letter, but thought must let you know I got present safe once again thanking you very much. With heaps of love. sister Bessie.’

Balnacoil, Aboyne (of the house) (1910-12c)

‘My dear Sister,

 Just a P.C. to send you the view of our house. I went to Ballater and I climbed another big hill. Had a hard time. I expect some of us will be off back to Alresford Place on Tuesday night. I am sending you a little present. Hope you will get it safe. With fondest love from your ever loving sister Bessie. Will return to Alresford June 13th.’

Alresford Place (of Ballater) (1910-12c)

‘My dear Sis,

Just a line in haste to let you know have got back to Alresford quite safe. May thank you for kind letter which I was so pleased to receive. Will write soon. With fondest love and heaps of love from your everloving Bessie, sister.’

Alresford Place, Alresford, Hampshire. July 14th (1912).

 My Dearest Sister,

 Many thanks for your most kind and welcome letter which I was so pleased to receive. I was — pleased to hear dear that you had such a good view of the King and Queen and rather an amusing time jumping up in the old man’s cart and then him trying to get a 1/- out of you. I saw a picture of the children —— the Union Jack in the Daily mirror. I should think it was very pretty in reality.

Fancy Miss V coming down from London it did serve her right coming by the 9.30 instead of the 6.30. I should think the town did look nice all lit up and decorated. I should think the new Infirmary is a nice place too by the pictures. I am sorry to hear that poor Mrs Marks has got to go under an operation I hope she will get through it alright. I was so sorry to hear that Percy was not able to go down and see the King and Queen with you as I am sure you would have had a jolly time together. I think Percy’s father is a bit hard on him making him work so hard. I think the King and Queen come to Winchester tomorrow Mon but I am not thinking of going and the soldiers come to camp here on the 28th. I think — we shall be lively and we shall be having a lot of visitors I expect none, we have only 2 this weekend. I have not heard anything of Newport lately and I never want to see the beastly place again. I should think it was —— ——. You will be very busy now with all your folks at home. Annie asked Mrs Laming if I could have my holiday to go to Carrie’s wedding and she said ‘Oh certainly!’ I wanted to know in good time because of getting my clothes. Carrie’s wedding is to be on Aug. 5th but I don’t expect I shall be able to go before Aug. 3rd and after that I shall go and see Auntie Edie and Uncle Tom and then I shall come home. I do hope dear you will be able to come home while I am there as I do like you to be home when I am there. What will become of poor Mrs Robbins and Elizabeth after Miss M has moved to her flat.

Give my kind regards to Percy. Carrie sends her love to you I hope dear your cold and headache is better by now. Pleased to say I am quite well – only nearly (?) (booked). I should think the Sun. school children at home had a fine trip to Weston. Now I will close with fondest Love and kisses from your ever loving sister Bessie. Hoping to see you soon xxxxx


P.S. from Janet Freeman 26th February 1999: ‘Also enclosed is a letter your Aunt Marian gave to me on our first visit to see her and George. There are still words that I can’t make out, but most of it is there; the underlining is hers. The reference to Newport is when they had to visit their great uncle William Noad who died in April 1911. Apparently Bessie and Florence hated going over there because he was an unpleasant man, and even their father Arthur John Noad disliked visiting, often taking one of his daughters with him for support!’

12 Holland Park, Kensington W11 (Postmarked: 8am 27th Nov. 1919 Notting Hill) (Birthday card) To Mrs Percy Barton, Slymbridge, Nr Stonehouse, Glos.

‘My dearest Sister,

Just a card to wish you very many happy returns of your birthday. I hope you are all well. As usual I am a day behind the (rain). With fondest love xxxx & good wishes from your ever affectionate sister Bessie.’

Bessie Noad’s Family Tree
Bessie Noad (b. 20th May 1890, Slimbridge, d. 9th April 1965, Cheadle, Cheshire) married 5th May 1926 at Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, to Percy Cashmore (b. 5th June 1887, Shustoke, Warwickshire,
  1. 27th May 1931, Fulham).
[Percy’s first wife was Alice Dodman (1890-1923) married 7th September 1920 at West Rudham, Norfolk.  There was no issue.]
7 Noad I Gt 1 g

Bessie with John Cashmore



7 Noad I Gt 2 a

Florence on the left

Florence Noad was born on 27th November 1891 at Slimbridge and baptised on 7th February 1892 at Slimbridge Parish Church. She was the second daughter of Arthur John Noad and his wife Anne. Having attended Slimbridge Parochial School she went into service in Bristol.

7 Barton IV Gt 9 3 7 8 a

Florence on the extreme right in the middle row

I have a postcard sent to Florence by her sister Bessie, postmarked 9th March 1906, and addressed, to West Royd (Royal?), Kempsey, Worcestershire. In a letter, probably written in January 1908, Florence was living at 1 Osborne Road, Clifton. From August 1910 until the summer of 1912 she was working for a Mrs King (1911 census suggests Mrs Danbury), an elderly lady of 2 Caledonia Place, Clifton. From October 1912 Florence was employed by a Mrs. Weston of 8 The Avenue, Clifton.  At one point she spoke of going to work in an Infirmary closer to home but nothing seems to have come of this. During her years of domestic service in Clifton, Florence was receiving regular letters and visits from Percy Barton of Slimbridge and this culminated in their marriage.

At the time of the 1911 census Florence was living at 2 Caledonia Place, Clifton a house consisting of twelve rooms. The head was Mary Louisa Danbury a seventy-seven-year-old widow living from her own private means and a native of Brighton. With her was her daughter, Mabel Agnes Danbury, a forty-one-year-old single woman, born in Chelsea. The staff included Jemima Robbins, the sixty-two-year-old cook, Elizabeth Bru…(?) the fifty-six-year-old French maid, born in Boulogne, and Florence Noad a nineteen-year-old Parlour maid (domestic) born at Slymbridge (sic).

7 Barton IV Gt 9 3 7 8 d

Edward Percy and Florence Barton

Florence married Percy Barton at Slimbridge Parish Church on 21st August 1913. On the marriage certificate Edward Percy was described as a blacksmith, son of William Barton, blacksmith. Florence was described as a domestic servant, the daughter of John Noad, wheelwright. The newly-weds settled in the house that Percy had bought situated next to the Forge, his parents’ home, at Churchend, Slimbridge. Here their five children were born between 1914 and 1924.

7 Barton IV Gt 9 3 7 8 e

Dursley Gazette 23rd August 1913:

‘An interesting wedding at St John the Evangelist’s Church, Slimbridge, on Thursday last. The contracting parties were Mr. Edward Percy Barton (4th son of Mr. and Mrs. William Barton of Slimbridge) and Miss Florence Noad (2nd daughter of Mr. And Mrs. John Noad of Gossington. The service was conducted by Rev. J.O.H. Carter M.A. Rector. The Bride was given away by her father. Miss Mary Noad (sister of bride) and Miss Winifred Barton (sister of bridegroom) acted as bridesmaids. Mr. Maurice (sic) Barton (brother of the bridegroom) carried out the duties of best man… A merry peal of bells rang out as they left… Numerous and useful presents.’

Percy was a master shoeing-smith or farrier and blacksmith and farmed in a small way, keeping sheep, pigs and one or two cows. On 8th October 1924 he was accepted as a tenant of the Sharpness New Docks and Gloucester and Birmingham Navigation Company for twelve acres of land at Shepherd’s Patch extending from Patch Bridge to Gilgal Brook and also land enclosed by the new Kingston Rhine at a rental of £5 per annum. Percy also purchased land and buildings adjoining the Gloucester and Berkeley Canal as well as an orchard at Kingston. On 26th May 1926 he purchased ‘The Tyning’ at Churchend a field consisting of 4.325 acres. From 9th April 1927 Percy took on the tenancy of Narles Farm, Cambridge.

A further field was leased from the Berkeley Estates Co and this was sold to Mr. T.A.V. Scadding in January 1945. Percy also leased the Gravel Pit Field, which was sold on 6th September 1955 by Slimbridge Parish Council. On 26th January 1960 some of Scadding’s land was compulsorily purchased for the realigning of the A38, between Gossington and Cambridge. In November/December 1960 land and buildings were purchased at the Patch, by auction, for £2220 from the executors of the late Mr. R.S. Timbrell. In 1962 an agreement was signed between British Transport Commission and the Bartons for 17.25 acres of land between Patch Bridge and a point near Purton Schools, forming offside bank of their Gloucester-Sharpness Canal, leased to them at £26 per annum.

7 Barton IV Gt 9 3 7 8 u

Golden Wedding of Percy and Florence Barton (1963)

Florence Barton died on 21st April 1968 at Standish Hospital. She was aged seventy-six-years and described, on the death certificate, as ‘of Narles Farm, Cambridge, Slimbridge, Dursley, the wife of Edward Percy Barton, a farmer’. The cause of death was given as ‘1a Pulmonary Oedena and b Congestive heart failure’ and this was certified by M. Drabb MD. On 22nd April 1966, the Registrar, P.F.M. Cottam, was informed of the death by, ‘W.J. Barton, Son, of Little Gables, Fewster Road, Nailsworth.’ Florence Barton was buried in the churchyard at St John the Evangelist’s, Slimbridge.

7 Noad I Gt 2 f

Florence Barton

Letter from the Rector of Slymbridge regarding the wedding:

Gossington, Slymbridge dated August 15th 1913

‘My dear Florence,

It would be nice if you were able to come with Percy to Holy Communion at 8 on Sunday, before your approaching marriage, in which I am deeply interested, & in which I wish you every happiness. I shan’t expect any fee on this occasion from the bridegroom, except that which is due to Hobbs (2/6) for I feel that I am in Percy’s debt for kindnesses on many different occasions, & should like to take this opportunity of showing my appreciation of them. With all best wishes, Yrs very truly, H.H. Carter.

You will see at the end of the Marriage Service that there is a note about Holy Communion & now that weddings are often late the course I propose is a usual one.’

Letter from Ida to Florence Noad

From Kingston, Slymbridge, nr. Stonehouse to 2 Caledonia Place, Clifton, Bristol

Dear Florrie,

Just a few lines to wish you a very Happy New Year from us all. I hope you had a merry Xmas. We had Anthony Cuff up from Wales for a week. He came with Frank Tudor. I suppose Bessie is keeping well. Your father came in for a minute on Saturday afternoon so Mother told me. Its very quiet here now.

Remember me to Bessie when you write and wish her a Happy New Year from me. Now I must finish as it is getting dark.

With love from Ida

(written on the back of the above letter)

Ida had forgotten to thank you for the card you sent. I know she was very Pleased with it. She wrote that when it was nearly dark. A Happy New Year from us all.


7 Noad I Gt 3 a

Arthur  Noad

Arthur Noad was born on 29th July 1893 and was baptised at Slimbridge Parish Church on 5th November 1893. In 1911 Arthur was living at home aged seventeen, and working as a builder’s apprentice.

Arthur was a bell-ringer and friend of Edward Percy Barton, a son of the village blacksmith and husband of his sister, Florence. He enlisted at the time of World War I and died in action. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records that: ‘Private Arthur Noad 16052, 10th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment, who died on the 13th October 1915, aged 22, was buried in Plot IV, Row E, Grave number, 19 in Dud Corner Cemetery, Loos, France. Loos is a village 3 miles north-west of Lens. Dud Corner Cemetery is situated on the west of the village, the north-east side of the main Bethune-Lens road. Most of the dead buried there fell in the Battle of Loos in 1915.

Arthur Noad’s name is recorded on the Slimbridge War Memorial and his photograph was included in a War Memorial Album that was stolen from the church some years ago. Fortunately, for us, the Rector, the Reverend Eric Charlesworth, had allowed me to make a copy of the photograph of Arthur Noad..

WW1 MEMORIAL QUARTER PEAL AT ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST CHURCH SLIMBRIDGE……. As part of the more widespread commemorative activities marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 the local Wotton branch of the Gloucester and Bristol Association of Church Bell Ringers have arranged to ring quarter peals at each of the church towers in the branch which had ringing members killed in the conflict. St Johns Slimbridge, one of eight towers in the branch to have suffered in this way, will have the quarter dedicated to the three ringers, Percy Cuff, Arthur Noad and Bernard R H Carter, lost over the course of this war. The half muffled quarter peal will be rung at the church between 11.30a.m.and 12.30p.m. on Saturday 9th August 2014. The choice of muffling the bells was made as this is the typical emotive and poignant way of signifying to all those who hear the bells that this “in memoriam” activity is marked out from other ringing events. In addition it is planned to ring further quarter peals at the church in the coming three years on or close to the date of the centennial anniversary of each ringers death. These will be further notified. All villagers, and especially those with family connection to the three named ringers, are invited to listen out for the bells or even come to the church to remember all those local lads who made the ultimate sacrifice over those dark days and who, as well as being recorded on the war memorial in the churchyard, will now have their names on a plaque inside the church scheduled to be unveiled at a special Sunday service on the 3rd August.

7 Noad I Gt 3 c

7 Noad I Gt 3 e


7 Noad I Gt 4 a

Mary Noad

Mary Noad was born on 7th December 1895 and baptised at Slimbridge on 8th February 1896.

1901 census of Slimbridge Part 2 Entry number 69 Gossington  4 rooms

’A. John Noad  Head  M  38  Wheelwright & Carpenter  Worker (as opposed to
Employer/Working at Home etc) born Slimbridge

Annie Noad   Wife  M  34   born at Kings Caple, Herefordshire

Children: Bessie 10, Florence 9, Arthur 7, Mary 5 and William 3 all born at

7 Noad I Gt 4 b

Mary Noad

During the First World War she worked on munitions and, it is said, this weakened her constitution. On 5th April 1920 she married Hubert George Cuff. a twenty-eight-year-old saddler, the son of William Cuff, a builder. At this time, Mary was working as a dressmaker. Hubert took over the business of W.H. Fox, the Saddler and Harness Maker, of Parsonage Street, Dursley but this shop closed in 1945.

7 Noad I Gt 4 c

Mary Noad (probably taken during WWI)

Mary Cuff died on 12th April 1934.

Letters from Mary to her sister, Florence:

Victoria Cottage, Gossington, Stonehouse, Glos 27th November 1911

My Dear Sister, We all wish you very many happy returns of your birthday and hope that you will spend a happy one today. We are sending you a few flowers. We have had a lovely lot of Chrysanthemums this time. On Friday afternoon we made a wreath of white and cream chrysanthemums and green ferns. It looked lovely. We showed it to Mr Steele and he admired it greatly. We sent it to Mrs Read by the evening post and also a bunch of coloured for themselves. We had a very nice letter back this morning from her. She was very pleased with her flowers and Mr Read would take the wreath to the cemetery. Mrs Carter is very ill with scarlet fever since last Tuesday last. They have a trained nurse from Gloucester Infirmary there but no one from the Rectory came to church yesterday and another clergyman took the services yesterday. We will write again soon and tell you about Xmas. Please let us know if you get this safely. With love and best wishes from all. I remain your loving sister, Mary.

Victoria Cottage, Gossington, Stonehouse, Glos 21st July 1913

My dear Sister, We are sorry we have not written before. We are sorry that you were unable to go to the Show when Father and Percy were in Bristol. Did you see the king? Father thought you did. We are looking forward to seeing you. It is not quite a fortnight now. If you have no use for the watch you promised Willie will you bring it home for me please as Willie have (sic) got one and I should find one so handy. Before you come home will you try and get some seats for the two chairs in Mother’s bedroom. Cane if you can get them if not wooden ones. Size 13 ins from front to back and 14 and a half inches across. We expect the Sunday School Treat will be on the 13th Aug. but I don’t think you will find much for your happy home at our stall as we are making little children’s clothes.

Dursley Fete came off last Saturday – none of us went. A few weeks ago Henry, Tom, Edie and I went to a children’s tea given at Dursley by the Co-operative Stores to Members’ children. There were swing boat etc. I think they enjoyed it. Harry have (sic) been at home lately with a rash on his face and I have it too. He is better now but I think mine is worse.

The children will begin their summer holidays next week I think. I expect that you know that Mrs Carter is away for three weeks. An American clergyman have been taking on his work for the last two Sundays. I think he is going this week. He seems very popular. The first Sunday morning he spoke about the empty pews but he had no reason to do so since or at least not so much. Percy and Father went morning and evening yesterday and Mr and Mrs Hill. He came down to School and took the children’s service in the afternoon. He took the ringers photos and the teachers and children of the school yesterday. Of course he could only do it then. He could not do it on a weekday. If our photo comes out alright he has promised to let us have one each. I don’t think I have anymore to tell you so I will close with love and XXXXXXXX from all. Hoping you are quite well. Mother is about the same. I remain, your affectionate sister, Mary.

P.S. If you cannot get the chair seats the proper size get them as near as you can – bigger prefered please.

7 Noad I Gt 4 db

The Cuffs

Extract from ‘The Dursley Saddlers’ by Connie Cuff, daughter of Hubert and Mary Cuff, published in ‘Gloucestershire History’, 1995

‘After the War, during the depression years of the 1920s and 1930s business was poor. Mr Fox employed one man, often only part-time, until 1935 when this man, Hubert George Cuff, took over the business. Over 100 local farmers brought their work to the little shop smelling of leather and polish. Usually they collected it, but work for Nympsfield and Wotton had to be sent back by carrier, costing 3d (1p) or 4d (1.5p). Most of the work consisted of repairs, usually to cart harness, and costing between 6d (2.5p) and 4/- (20p). A frequent entry in the day book was ‘flocking collar 5/-‘ (25p). It was important that the collar the horse pulled against was kept in good shape and should not rub. A new cart collar cost between £1.8.6d (£1.42p) and £1.15.0d (£1.75p) in 1936. Time was charged at 10d (4p) an hour and this gives some idea of weekly pay. As well as cart collars, cart saddles and bridges, the harness consisted of a large variety of straps depending on the vehicle being pulled; many repairs involved double-handed stitching with waxed thread. A new pair of reins, 7ft x 1 and a quarter inches with brass cost 5/- (25p); two pairs of plough traces 13/6 (67p); a pair of driving reins 29.5 ft x I inch cost 19/6 (97.5p) in 1938.

At times harness was also required for cattle, goats and a pig! Binder canvases had to be mended by replacing the ash strips and straps and buckles. Early cars had new celluloid windows put in and other repairs carried out. The saddler could turn his hand to repairing almost anything in leather, and also sold pieces of leather for people to mend their own shoes. He supplied oils, soaps, brushes, sponges, polishes,and many other things needed for the care of harness and the horse. Supplies came from wholesale companies in Walsall and Bristol.

Some farmers rode round their farms on horseback, and so needed the repair and replacement of riding harness, as did the hunting fraternity who kept horses and rode to hounds. These were the local gentry and also a number of retired Army officers who lived in Uley and Dursley between the wars. As well as repairing all the hunting paraphernalia, Mr Cuff repaired their luggage and their motor cars. At the outbreak of the Second World War, this riding for pleasure came to an end.

But there was another source of income; some of the farmers had milk rounds, and most of the local traders (bakers, grocers, and the Co-op) delivered their goods by horse-drawn van. Cash bags needed repairing quite often. Van harness was usually repaired, but occasionally the trader bought new. A new set of hand sewn brown harness for Walters & Sons (bakers) cost £13 in 1939. One baker bought a new van saddle with reins, back hand and collar for £5.7.0d (£5.35p) and paid back 5/- (25p) a time when he could (it took three years). Generally it appears that traders liked to keep their horses and vehicles well turned out. As traders turned to motor vehicles there were fewer horses on the roads and less saddlery was needed as the farmers used tractors. Inflation caused prices to rise and Mr Cuff was charging 1/6d (7p) an hour in 1944. The saddler did all sorts of leather repairs from footballs to cabin trunks and, increasingly, the leather work required by the industrial concerns in the town. Mending and supplying new machine belts was often undertaken. Hundreds of leather straps were needed by Listers and these, with the assembling of thousands of air filter felts, continued to provide employment after the saddler’s shop closed in 1945. The property and the dairy next door was converted into a grocer’s shop by Burtons of Nottingham.’

(First published in the Dursley and Cam Society Newsletter 1995)

Sources: Recollections of Mr L.G. Ayliffe (the Champion family) and Mr W. Noad, who worked in the shop 1912-1916. Trade Directories. Day Book of H.G. Cuff, 1935-1945.

‘H.G. Cuff, Late W.H. Fox, Saddler & Harness Maker, Hunting and Dog requisites, attaché, weekend cases and trunks, chamois leather & sponges, celluloid windows fitted, leatherwork repairs, Parsonage Street, Dursley, Glos.’

Part of Hubert Cuff’s Indenture:

‘Indenture witnesseth that Hubert George Cuff of Cambridge in the County of Gloucester, with the consent of his father William Cuff, at himself Apprentice to Walter Harry Fox of Dursley, in the said County of Gloucester, Saddler & Harness Maker, …’

7 Noad I Gt 4 f


7 Noad I Gt 5 b

Bill Noad

William Noad was born on 12th February 1898 and baptised on 10th April 1898 at Slimbridge Parish Church. In 1911 William was living at home, aged thirteen, and still attending school. From 1912 until 1916 he worked in the shop of W.H. Fox, the Saddler and Harness Manufacturer of Parsonage Street, Dursley.

During the First World War, Bill Noad served in the 2/5 Norfolks and the Sherwood Foresters – infantry – but was not posted abroad. On his return to Slimbridge at the end of hostilities, he took up employment with R.A. Lister in Dursley where he worked as a lathe engineer. In 1948 he was described as ‘Machine Tool Grinder’. He retired in 1965.

7 Noad I Gt 5 a

Bill and Hilda Noad

On 31st July 1920 Bill married Hilda Theyers the daughter of Alfred Theyers, a small holder, at Slimbridge Parish Church. Hilda was born in 1895 and was described, on the marriage certificate, as a domestic servant and William was described as a Machine Tool Maker. The newly-weds settled in Slimbridge where they brought up their three children, namely, Douglas, Stanley and Barbara. They made their home at ‘Hemworthy’ which was situated in St John’s Road, near to the County Primary School.

On 23rd September 1938 William Noad was appointed as an Air Raid Warden by the County and City of Gloucester Air Raid Precautions and his identity card was issued on 16th January 1939.

Bill Noad was involved with local government, he was also churchwarden and a church bellringer from 1915 until after 1980. Other involvements included the Dursley Gardening Club and the Slimbridge branch of the British Legion.

Hilda Noad died on 24th November 1984 and was buried on 3rd December 1984. William died on 2nd September 1992 and his funeral service took place on 10th September at Slimbridge. A church window was restored in his memory.

7 Noad I Gt 5 h.jpg

Dursley Gazette Saturday 9th August 1980:

‘Diamond Day for Slimbridge Couple. One of Slimbridge’s best loved couples – Mr and Mrs William and Hilda Noad – celebrated their diamond wedding last week, with a family reunion.

William (82) and Hilda (85) were married at the Church of St John the Evangelist, Slimbridge on July 31st 1920. They still retain links with the church and William takes bellringing classes for young children. He is an honorary life member of the Wotton Bellringers who marked their anniversary with a quarter peal of bells. William or Bill as he is known, has been interested in local government for many years, and was a member of Slimbridge Parish Council for 45 years, 31 years as chairman. He also served on the former Dursley Rural District Council for 11 years, and is a founder member of Dursley Gardening Club of which he is currently president. He has been ringing bells at Slimbridge Parish Church since 1915 with a remarkable record of continuity, missing only three years during the First World War.

7 Noad I Gt 5 d

Bill Noad posing on horse back

7 Noad I Gt 5 c

Bill Noad

“Cars were just coming in after the war and there was not so much work about with saddlery”, said William, from his home at Hemworthy, St John’s Road. The couple have three children and three grandchildren, who all live locally. It’s the second diamond celebration in the family as Hilda’s sister and her husband, Mr Percy Pegler and his wife Helen, also of Slimbridge, celebrated their 60th anniversary two years ago.

Hilda stayed at home after the couple’s marriage to bring up her family, and was a founder member of Slimbridge Women’s Institute. She was also a very keen gardener, and won numerous cups for her work in the garden and exhibits. Sadly Hilda suffers from ill health which has kept her from being so active as would like.

William was a founder member of the Slimbridge Horse Show and Gymkhana Committee, and is president of the Slimbridge branch of the Royal British Legion. He is still fond of gardening and manages to keep their large garden – a third of an acre – beautifully neat and productive.

What’s the secret of their happy marriage? “I don’t really know”, said William. “It has been a progressive marriage, and it was hard in the early twenties. But life has been fairly reasonable since, except for Hilda’s arthritis”. “We have been blessed with three lovely children, and three lovely grandchildren. The basis of a happy life seems to be to keep active”.

The couple have roots in the Berkeley Vale going back over two hundred years. Both families lived in Slimbridge, and William’s father was a Cartwright and wheelwright.’

Also ‘Mr and Mrs William Noad of Slimbridge, who celebrated their diamond wedding last Thursday.

Dursley Gazette May 1975

‘Slimbridge Chairman for 31 years. Slimbridge Parish Council Chairman Mr Bill Noad has retired from the chair after 31 years of Parish Council leadership. At the Annual Meeting Mr Noad, of Hemworthy, Slimbridge confirmed earlier suggestions that he intended to step down from the chair. His proposition of Mr Lionel Keedwell as his successor was unanimously backed. Mr Noad’s intention to retire was announced at the Annual Parish meeting and so came as no great shock to the Council.

In his announcement to Parish Councillors he thanked them for their support and co-operation through the years. He said that he regarded the Council as a family and while they had differences of opinion on occasions, they had always worked together for the good of the community.

After his election to the chair, Mr Keedwell paid tribute to Mr Noad’s career on behalf of the Council, and added that he would try to fulfil his duties as well as Mr Noad. Mr Brian Wherrett was re-elected vice-chairman.

Retirement from the Chair does not mean the end of Mr Noad’s interest in the Parish Council, he will stay a Parish Councillor to add a few more.’


7 Noad I Gt 5 g

‘Mr W. Noad, pictured with the portable television set presented to him last week in recognition of his work on Slimbridge Parish Council and for the Parish generally. Mr Noad, who lives at Hemworthy, Slimbridge, has been a parish councillor since 1930 and Chairman since 1944 until he gave up the Chairman’s seat in May.

From ‘The Dursley Saddlers’ by Connie Cuff, niece of Bill Noad:

‘In 1892 the saddler’s shop was sold to Walter Harry Fox who had been working there for the previous twenty years. Mr Fox, who was unmarried, did not have the benefit of the dwelling house and only took over the lock-up shop with its cellar underneath, reached by an iron staircase. John Benjamin Champion and his family continued to live in Parsonage Street as he owned the premises next door, No 46, later Mr. Gullick’s dairy and dwelling house.

Before the First World War the saddler’s shop prospered. Mr Fox employed two journeymen and took on apprentices. Accommodation was basic: at one end of the shop Mr Fox had his desk and there was a small fireplace. The heavy workbench ran along the length of the shop behind the window and here the workmen sat on high stools and with clamps and awls plied their trade. Also some of the repair work was done in the cellar. They were especially busy on the last Friday in every month when the Board of Guardians met in the morning, had lunch at the Workhouse and then met as the District Council in the afternoon. These worthies left their horses at the Bell & Castle and the Old Bell hotels, and their harness had to be attended to. The gentry each kept a carriage and pair, the clergy travelled by pony and trap; the horse was the accepted way to travel by all the well-to-do.

The saddlers did all the leather work for the Pedersen bicycles which were made at the factory in Walter Street. This required tool bags in three sizes, and straps, corners and coverings for the unique hammock saddles. When R.A. Lister was working on his new milking machine at the Downhouse Farm of his friend Joseph Bennett, one of Mr Fox’s apprentices attended to measure for the webbing belt required. The relationship with Lister’s continued for many years the saddlers provided straps, belts and other work whenever they were required.’

David Evans, ‘Dursley – A Study of a Small Town at War 1914-1918’, 2008, Page 21:

‘William Noad had been a saddler’s apprentice in the leather shop of Mr. Fox in Parsonage Street. He joined the Sherwood Foresters Regiment and on leaving it, in 1919, he was described by his officer as excellent, both as a horseman and as a saddler’

Women’s Institute: ‘The Story of Slimbridge’, March 1958

‘In 1911 the Severn flooded and covered the land up to Shepherd’s Patch. With a strong wind behind it the force of the water was so great that the canal burst its banks. Mr. William Noad, now the Chairman of the Parish Council, can remember seeing repeated efforts by Mr. Edward Keedwell Morgan, a local farmer, to rescue sheep by boat and on horseback, while Mr. Harry Smith who then lived at Moorend Farm, also rode into the water on horseback, the water coming right up to the haunches of the horse. Now that there is a constructed sea-wall there seems little likelihood that such flooding will ever extend so far in future.’

7 Noad I Gt 5 f

Dursley Gazette 1973:

‘Slimbridge W.I. members pictured planting a flowering almond tree on Wednesday in the grounds of the village hall. Pictured digging is the President, Mrs Joan Tocknell, and also shown is the Chairman of the Parish Council, Mr William Noad.’

7 Noad I Gt 5 i

Dursley Gazette November 17, 1989:

‘Mr Bill Noad (91) who was a member of Slimbridge Parish Council for over 46 years, with 33 years as chairman, planted an oak tree in the village playing field on Saturday to mark Gloucestershire County Council centenary year. Watching Mr Noad were members of his family and parish councillors.’

7 Noad I Gt 6 a

Henry Noad

Henry Noad was born on 29th May 1901 and was baptised on 8th September 1901 at Slimbridge Parish Church. In 1911 Henry Walter was living at home, aged nine and attending school.

Harry was a sailor and extant naval records suggest that he joined on 26th June 1918 and was initially engaged for twelve years. Firstly he served on ‘Powerful’ and then, from September 1918 until the May of the following year, he served on ‘Carysfort’, followed by a brief tour on ‘Vivid I’ before being transferred to being a Short Service Stoker on 22nd May 1919. Further records take his service up to 15th June 1921 during which time he served on ‘Vivid II’, ‘Colleen’ and, finally, ‘Defiance’. His character was described in his record as ‘Very Good’ and his ability as ‘Satisfactory.’

On 29th August 1922, having left naval service, Henry Noad embarked from the Port of London on the Commonwealth Government Steam Ship, ‘The Moreton Bay’, bound for Melbourne, Australia. He was described as a twenty-one-year-old ‘Farm Worker’. Australian electoral rolls have him listed for the years 1924 until 1926 as a labourer at Rowland, in Cohuna Subdivision of Wimmera in Victoria. It is said that he was engaged in fruit growing and that, as a result of being badly beaten up in a pub brawl, he had to come home.

According to the electoral rolls, Harry was living in Gossington from 1927 to 1929. However, he suffered from mental illness and in 1939 we find him listed amongst the patients at the County Mental Hospital in Gloucester. He died in 1946, aged forty-five years, at the Mental Hospital in Wotton, Gloucester, and was buried at Slimbridge on 30th October 1946.

7 Noad I Gt 6 ba

Harry Noad

Janet Freeman wrote on 3rd December 1997:

‘My second item concerns Harry Noad of whom I have a photograph in naval uniform with the name H.H.S. Carysfort on his cap. Incidentally I thought this was a converted trawler but have recently come across a warship of that name. She was an armoured cruiser built at Pembroke Dock in 1914-15 of the ‘Caroline’ class, being 3750 tons, about 440 feet in length and capable of 28-30 knots. Her complement was 325 men, and she was with the Light Cruiser Squadron which served with the Grand Fleet in 1915, the Harwich Force in 1916, then again in the Grand Fleet in 1918. I presume though that Harry was just too young to serve in the war itself…? The ship was finally broken up in 1931. I send you a photocopy of a sister ship, ‘HMS  Caroline’ to give you an idea of what ‘Carysfort’ must have looked like. I see in your notes that Harry went on to be a fruit grower in Melbourne for a time, and that Tom Noad also was in the Navy and went to Australia, but as a wheat grower in Queensland.’


7 Noad I Gt 6 c

Tom Noad


Tom Duffell Noad was born on 22nd January 1904 and was baptised on 10th April 1904 at Slimbridge Parish Church. In 1911 Tom Duffell was living at home with his family, aged seven years and attending school.

Tom spent time in Australia, like his brother Harry, and is said to have worked with a wheat grower in Queensland. His work involved leading teams of twelve horses to pull heavy machinery before the advent of tractors. There is a record of him departing for Australia on the Osterley, from the Port of London, on 6th December 1924, and his arrival at Southampton, on 25th May 1926, on the ‘Moreton Bay’ (Australian Commonwealth Line), having sailed from Brisbane. Tom was described on his return as a twenty-two-year-old builder’s labourer. He returned to Slimbridge and lived at Narles Farm with his sister Florence Barton and her husband, Percy.

In later years Tom lived in Moorend Lane where he kept a pony and trap. He worked as a builder, and his local houses included ‘Hemworthy’, which he built for his brother, Bill Noad. Tom also built two houses near to Coaley Junction – occupied by Percy Nicholls and the Perretts. In addition to house building, Tom also carried out casual carpentry jobs in the locality. Tom enjoyed his cricket and he drank in local pub at Gossington.

7 Noad I Gt 7 a

Tom Noad

7 Noad I Gt 7 b

Tom Noad

Tom died on 18th March 1941 at Gloucester Infirmary and was buried on 21st March at Slimbridge. According to probate records Tom Duffell Noad, of Moorend Lane, Slimbridge, died on 18th March 1941 at the Royal Infirmary, Gloucester. Probate was granted on 29th May 1941 to Anne Noad, widow, and his effects were valued at £855-12-11d.

In Memoriam Card:

7 Noad I Gt 7 c 

‘In Affectionate Remembrance of Tom Duffell Noad, who departed this life March 18th 1941 aged 37 years and was interred at the Church of St John the Evangelist, Slimbridge, March 21st ‘Hemworthy’, Cambridge, Gloucester with the family’s kind regards.


A sudden change: at God’s command he fell

He had no chance to bid his friends farewell

Affliction came, without warning given

And bid him haste to meet his God in heaven.’




7 Noad I Gt 8 a

Evelyn and Edith Noad

Edith Noad was born on 23rd October 1906 and baptised on 20th January 1907 at Slimbridge. In 1911 Edith Annie was aged four years and was living at home with her family.

A photograph taken at Slimbridge County Primary School shows Mary teaching. However, in 1928, in Bristol Registration District, she married George Corbett Evans, a farmer from Uley. They had four children, namely, Ronald, Margaret, Dorothy and Elizabeth and farmed at Luggers Hall Farm, Owlpen.

7 Noad I Gt 8 c

Edith Noad teaching at Slimbridge County School

George Corbett Evans was born on 11th January 1906. His parents were Francis (son of Evan, a cordwainer and later Farmer of Wood Farm, Forest Green, and Keziah) and Emily Clear Evans (daughter of Corbett, a Labourer of Orridge Street, Corse, and Sarah Twyning) who married during the year 1903 somewhere within Newent Registration District.

On the night of the 1911 census, George’s parents, Francis and Emily Evans, were farming at Owlpen Farm and living in seven rooms. Francis was then aged fifty-four-years, a farmer, born in Nailsworth. He and Emily had been married for eight years and they had five children. Emily was only thirty-four and was a native of Corse. Their children included Cyril, aged seven; George, aged five; Doris, aged two; Gladys, aged one and Harry, aged two months. All the children were born in Owlpen. Staying with them was Edward Evans, a sixteen-year-old butcher who was born in Nailsworth.

7 Noad I Gt 8 b

George and Edith Evans

George Evans died on 6th July 1978 and was buried in the churchyard at Owlpen. Edith moved to Kingshill, Dursley, where she died on 27th February 1986.

7 Noad I Gt 8 d

Obituary in the Dursley Gazette 1986:

 ‘Mrs Edith Annie Evans died at home 24 Olive Grove, Dursley, on February 27th aged 79 years. Interment at Owlpen followed the funeral service on March 7 at Owlpen Church with the Rev. Rawlingson officiating and organist Miss Edginton.

Family mourners: Mr and Mrs R C Evans (son and daughter-in-law); Mr and Mrs A W Sutton, Mr and Mrs D J Kerr (daughters and sons-in-law); Miss M E Evans (daughter).

Mr A C Evans, Mr R V Evans, Mr and Mrs C A Evans, Miss S Kerr, Miss J Kerr, Miss W Kerr (grandchildren). Mr W Noad (brother); Mrs P M Evans (sister-in-law); Mr and Mrs F A Evans, Mr and Mrs J Gabb (brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law). Mrs E Wilcox, Mrs J Parsons, Mrs Roberts-Hindle, Miss C.M. Cuff, Mrs (sic) D A Noad (Mr P Timbrell), Mr and Mrs S Noad, Mrs B Cole (Mr P Cole), Mr and Mrs J Barton, Mr N Barton, Mrs (sic) G Barton, Miss M Barton (Mrs V and Mr D Gunter) (nephews and nieces). Mr R Barton (great nephew) (Mr and Mrs W Duffell, cousins).

Unable to attend: Mr J P Cashmore (nephew); Miss E Williams, Mrs E Miles (cousins); Mr and Mrs A Eltringham; Mr A J Sutton; Mrs D T Parks; Miss J Hollingsworth.

Others present: Mr and Mrs A Y Rymer (Mr T Rymer), Mrs J Neville (Mr and Mrs A W Grigg), Mrs A Haddrell (Dennis and Susan), Mr R H Barnfield (Mrs A Barnfield), Mr G W Barnfield (Miss E May), Mr G Taylor (Mrs Taylor), Mr and Mrs G W Tilling, Mrs M Partridge, Mrs S Johnson, Mrs H Kerr.

Floral tributes: Loving remembrance from all your children; in loving remembrance from your grandchildren and great grandson. Donations in lieu of flowers to the Church of England Children’s Society.

Funeral arrangements carried out by L W Clutterbuck, High Street, Cam’

May C Neville, My childhood days in a Gloucestershire Rural Area in the 1920’s:

‘ – I do not remember much about the ploughing which took place on the farm (Summerfield Farm). My father kept only a small proportion of the land as arable. Mr George Evans, who used to live at the farm next to ours, told me that my father had a 2-horse Hornsby plough which he used to plough the ‘Clarke’s Penny’ – a 5-acre field on top of the hill.’

Evelyn and Gwynydd James 6

Evelyn Noad – Dubarry Studio, Great Western Arcade, Birmingham

Evelyn Noad was the youngest child of Arthur John and Anne Noad and was born on 9th September 1913. She was baptised on 9th November 1913 at Slimbridge Parish Church. She studied History at Birmingham University.

Evelyn and Gwynydd James 2

Evelyn and Gwynydd August 1937

Evelyn married Gwynydd Francis James at Kew, Victoria, Australia on 29th June 1940. He was born on 28th June 1912 in Bolton, Lancashire, of Staffordshire parentage. His parents William Job James and Eliza Frances (nee Callow) (1881-1951) married in Bolton Abbey in 1911. In the 1935 Electoral Roll he was listed at 56 Camden Square, St Pancras, London, and, eventually, became Head of the University of Melbourne Press having emigrating to Australia.

7 Noad I Gt 9 b

Gwyn and Evelyn James

In 1942 Gwynydd James was listed as living at Henty, Victoria and in 1948 the couple were living at 773 Hampton Street, Brighton, in the County of Bourke. 

7 Noad I Gt 9 c

Gwyn James. Photo given to the Cashmores on 12th September 1959

Evelyn died on 29th June 1948, aged thirty-four years, from the effects of drowning brought about by her own act, whilst mentally depressed. It happened in the sea opposite Dendy Street, Brighton. Apparently Evelyn had suffered a nervous breakdown during the previous year and had tried committing suicide before. She had even come back to England for a short stay. She would probably have preferred to stay in the United Kingdom but of course they returned to Australia. Her cousin, Marian, said that the heat didn’t agree with her for one thing.

Gwynydd James later married Patricia Mary Stewart on 5th September 1949 and the 1949 electoral roll has Gwynydd living at Balaclava, Victoria. They probably remained in Australia. He visited Auntie Bessie in England on 12th September 1959.



1950 Australian Who’s Who

From Lynne Stone, Sept 2019:

‘Evelyn was born in Dursley, Gloucestershire, on 9th September 1913 to Arthur John Noad and Anne Duffell. She was obviously bright and in the VIth form won academic prizes – reported in the Western Daily Press and other newspapers on 11th – 12th December 1930.

Evelyn and Gwynydd James 1

1932 ‘Noadie’ top left and Alice Shelley top right

In 1936 she was listed as a voter in the parish of Kempsford, Gloucestershire, and living in the Village of Horcott. By 1939 she had moved to Rugeley in Staffordshire and was boarding with the Degg family. She was listed as a Teacher with the Air ministry. She must have met Gwynydd Francis James in England but when he left for Australia in 1938 she followed him after a year. Gwynydd was listed as a student in 1938.  He was English by birth, born in Bolton, Lancashire, but soon called himself a “British Australian.” They married in the State of Victoria in 1940.

Evelyn and Gwynydd James 3

Evelyn and Gwynydd returned to the U.K. arriving on December 19th, 1947, and stayed in Staffordshire. They returned to Australia aboard the Strathaird, a P & O ship, that departed from London on 14th May 1948 bound for Melbourne, Australia. They seemed to live at Brighton, Victoria, and that’s where Evelyn died on 29th June. Prior to that they had lived in Kew, Victoria.

Her husband was a lecturer in History and during his time in Australia edited a homestead history of Alfred Joyce, an early settler in Victoria, published 1942. Gwynydd married again within a year of Evelyn’s death – to Patricia Mary Stewart. I think she may have died young too as in 1959 he travelled alone to New York and she is not listed as a voter at his North Balwyn home in Victoria. Later references to Gwynydd call him a publisher, but I can find no reference to him after 1977, at which time he was still living in North Balwyn, Victoria, Australia.

Evelyn and Gwynydd James 4

Alice Shelley left with ‘Noadie’ on the ground


Evelyn’s dear friend, Alice Shelley, herself a teacher and, I think, school principal, was the first cousin of my mother-in-law, Mary Shelley. Alice died in 2000, never having married, and we inherited the photographs. Many years earlier she had given me her copy of the book written, or rather edited, by Evelyn’s husband. A couple of these photographs show Evelyn with children, though I can’t find any reference to children being born during her marriage 1940-49 – and certainly none travelled with the couple on that last trip to the U.K.’

Evelyn and Gwynydd James 5 

Janet Freeman wrote on 25th January 1998:

‘I tentatively mentioned her death to Dad and thankfully he did know about it; in fact, he was the only person who seemed adamant that it had occurred on the Australian mainland and not Tasmania! He also remembers when he was about 9 years old (1936/7) hearing Evelyn discussing the rise of Hitler, and going to bed wondering if Hitler would ever have an impact on his life. Little did he know…’









Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: