THE FLIGHT OF TIME brings us within measurable distance of the close of another year, and also to that period when we record a summary of the events that have transpired since the last issue of THE LEDBURY ALMANACK, which will doubtless serve the purpose of recalling many pleasant functions in which our readers have taken part.
The year 1929 was characterised by Arctic weather in the early months, when abnormal degrees of frost were registered for several weeks; during spring and summer, the longest drought for something like a century; and the wettest November recorded for half-a-century.
December was ushered in by a series of storms and gales – spoken of as the worst in living memory - when everywhere there were signs of the month’s record of storm damage; ships wrecked, ocean liners driven out of their course, cables damaged at sea; and on land, buildings blown down, roads blocked by fallen trees, telegraphic and telephonic lines put out of action, vast areas devastated and towns and villages isolated by ﬂoods. These incidents paint a picture which, happily, we rarely see.
With the dawn of another New Year we now look forward to a brighter and more prosperous period in the history of the ancient little town of Ledbury.
January 1 Transfer of the business of Mr. W. HARRISON OSBORNE, chemist, High Street, to Mr. W. J. FORTNAM.
January 2 Funeral of Mr. Austin MADDOX, seed merchant, Homend Street, who died the previous Sunday in his 74th year. Deceased was a prominent member of the Eastnor Lodge of Freemasons, having been Tyler of the Lodge for over 40 years.
January 3 Ledbury Church Choir annual concert at the Church Room.
January 3 Christmas treat to the children of Ledbury Catholic Church.
January 10 Entertainment at the Church Room by pupils of the Court House School.
January 10 Fancy dress ball at the Feathers Hotel, in aid of Ledbury Catholic Church.
January 10 Congregational Church Sunday School children’s treat.
January 11 Eastnor Bowling Club first annual dinner at the Somers Arms.
January 14 Annual Ball of the Berkeley and Ledbury Hunts, held at the Guildhall, Gloucester.
January 15 Death of Mrs. Mary Ann SMITH, aged 75, of 35 New Street, as the result of a fall downstairs. At an inquest subsequently held, a verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.
January 16 Eastnor Lodge of Freemasons annual installation ceremony at the Royal Hall, when Bro. P. F. WINFIELD, of Newent, was installed Worshipful Master.
January 17 Concert at the Church Room in aid of the fund for renovation of Ledbury Congregational Church.
January 18 Local branch of the League of Nations Union meeting at the Feathers Hotel.
January 20 After a long illness, the death occurred at his residence, Bronsil, Eastnor, of Mr. Charles W. BELL, J.P., D.L., aged 70 years.
January 21 The Ledbury Branch of National Union of Railwaymen celebrated their 21st birthday at the New Inn Hotel, when the N.U.R. President, Mr. Jos. GORE, of London, was also present. At the meeting a presentation was made to Mr. R. LAWRENCE, who had recently retired after completing 50 years service with the G.W.R. Company.
January 24 Annual meeting of Church people, held at the Church Room, Rev. Preb. F. W. CARNEGY presiding.
January 24 Ledbury Company (Lady SOMERS’ Own) Girl Guides annual ball at the Feathers Hotel.
January 25 “C” Ledbury Company Herefordshire Regiment annual prize distribution and smoking concert.
January 28 Ledbury Women’s Liberal Association social and dance at the Feathers Hotel.
January 31 Ledbury Musical Society’s annual concert at the Royal Hall.
February 4 Wesley Guild annual rally at the Wesleyan Church.
February 7 Ledbury Annual Licensing Sessions. All licenses renewed with the exception of Bell Inn, New Street, which was referred for compensation and subsequently closed.
February 7 Annual dinner of Ledbury Branch of the National Farmers' Union, held at the Feathers Hotel.
February 7 Whist drive and dance at the Drill Hall in aid of the funds of “C” (Ledbury) Company Herefordshire Regt.
February 13 National British Women’s Total Abstainers’ Union meeting at the Wesleyan schoolroom.
February 15 Annual meeting of subscribers of Ledbury Cottage Hospital, held at the Town Hall, Mr. C. B. MASEFIELD presiding. The finances showed a balance in hand of £30 11s. 0d. on the year’s accounts.
February 16 Wintry conditions of a most severe character were experienced during the week, and large crowds of skating enthusiasts thronged the ice on the local pools during the weekend.
February 18 Ledbury Cricket and Sports Club annual meeting at the Feathers Hotel. Accounts showed an expenditure for the past season of £114 4s. 10d. and income of £114 5s. 10d.
February 21 Ledbury Fire Brigade annual dinner at the Feathers Hotel.
February 25 The death occurred at 24 Chester Street, London, of Mr. W. A. H. MARTIN, in his 75th year. Formerly resided at the Upper Hall, Ledbury, for many years. The first portion of the funeral service was held in Ledbury Parish Church, the interment taking place at Eastnor.
February 25 Death of Mr. John SHINN, grocer and fruiterer, Homend Street, at the age of 86 years. The late Mr. Shinn was a native of the town and Ledbury’s oldest tradesman.
February 26 Mr. George Onslow DEANE, of Boyce Court, Dymock, died in his 101st year. Until 1914 the deceased gentleman hunted regularly and was known as the “Father” of the Ledbury Hunt, having hunted with this pack since 1852.
February 27 Public meeting at the Church Room in connection with the Ledbury Rural Deanery Association for Prevention and Rescue Work. The Archdeacon of Hereford presided.
March 1 Ledbury Women’s Unionist Association concert at the Royal Hall.
March 9 National Farmers’ Union branch meeting at the Feathers Hotel.
March 11 Ledbury Catholic Church novelty dance at the Feathers Hotel.
March 21 Bazaar at the Town Hall in aid of Ledbury Baptist Church.
March 22 Ledbury Cribbage League annual dinner at the Royal Oak. The League Cup was presented to the League champions (the Prince of Wales Inn).
March 24 Confirmation service at Ledbury Parish Church. 63 candidates.
March 29 Good Friday. Ledbury Wesleyan Church annual circuit rally.
April 1 Easter Monday. 1st Ledbury Troop B.P. Scouts annual ball at the Feathers Assembly Rooms.
April 4 Ledbury Traders’ Association whist drive and dance at the Feathers Hotel.
April 9 At the tenth annual meeting of the Ledbury Agricultural Co-operative Society, Ltd., held at the Feathers Hotel, the statement of accounts showed a profit of £1,568 13s. 3d. as the result of a very successful year’s working.
April 11 Entertainment at the Royal Hall by the British Legion Minstrel Troupe, “The Coughdrops.”
April 15 At the annual meeting of the Urban District Council, Mr. H. J. MORGAN was elected chairman for the ensuing year. General rate of 5/- in the £ for the current half-year.
April 15 Junior Imperial League social and dance at the Feathers Hotel.
April 16 Ledbury Hunt Steeplechases held near Redmarley. Fine weather and a very successful meeting.
April 17 Mr. William Charles LIPPETT (aged 31), of Homend Crescent, found dead in the Leadon Brook. At the inquest a verdict of “Suicide while temporarily insane” was returned.
April 19 “Call of the World” exhibition at the Royal Hall in connection with the Church Missionary Society, the exhibition being opened by the Bishop of Hereford.
April 19 At the annual meeting of Ledbury Rural Parish Council, Mr. Spencer H. BICKHAM was re-elected chairman.
April 24 Annual meeting of the Ledbury branch C.E.M.S. at the Church Room. Mr. C. N. JAMESON elected president.
April 27 Upwards of 150 local football enthusiasts made the journey to Wembley, the occasion being the great annual F.A. Cup Final. Result: Bolton Wanderers 3, Portsmouth 1.
April 30 Dancing display at the Royal Hall by the pupils of Miss Grace DOVEY, proceeds being in aid of Children’s League of Pity.
May 9 Ledbury Lodge R.A.O.B. annual dinner at the Talbot Hotel.
May 10 Annual display and concert at the Church Room of the Ledbury Company Girls’ Life Brigade.
May 11 Death of Mr. William MANSELL, of Mabel’s Furlong, aged 72 years, a very old member of the Ledbury Lodge of Oddfellows.
May 12 Death of Mr. John RILEY, of Gazerdine, at the age of 81. The late Mr. RILEY was for 53 years Chairman of the Ledbury Bench of Magistrates. The funeral took place at Putley Church.
May 13 Ledbury Cottage Hospital annual “Pound Day," the results of which were very satisfactory.
May 17 Mr. James SWAITHES (aged 60), of Groves End Farm, Ledbury, found drowned in a stream at Kites Wood Nest. A verdict of “Suicide during temporary insanity” was recorded at the inquest.
May 20 Whit Monday. Ledbury Sports Club ﬂannel dance at the Feathers Hotel.
May 21 Ledbury Hunt Earthstoppers annual dinner at the Feathers Hotel.
May 23 Fire at the premises of Mr. W. J. WILLIAMS, grocer, Homend Street. Estimated damage £200.
May 23 Lady BIDDULPH opened a very successful fete in the grounds of West Hill in aid of the Ledbury Nursing Association. A net profit of £103 14s. 8d. was made.
May 26 Dedication at the Children’s Eucharist of a processional cross given to Ledbury Parish Church by Mr. Henry DEW in memory of his wife.
May 28 Annual meeting of the Ledbury and District Football League, when the League championship medals were presented to the Winners (Bosbury F.C.).
May 28 George BRISCOE, a 16-year-old youth of Cardiff, was killed in a collision while riding a bicycle near Bromesberrow. At the inquest held at Ledbury Police Court, a verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.
May 30 General Election Day. Hereford Division result: Mr. Frank OWEN (Liberal) 14,208; Mr. Eric ROMILLY (Conservative) 13,087; Mr. Henry COOPER (Labour) 1,901; Liberal majority 1,121.
May 30 At a magistrates’ meeting Mr. Spencer H. BICKHAM was appointed Chairman of the Bench in succession to the late Mr. John RILEY.
June 2 Death of Mr. Hubert WESTON, of Caerswall, Much Marcle, in his 49th year. Deceased was the eldest partner in the well-known firm of cider makers and farmers, H. WESTON & Sons, Much Marcle.
June 4 Three Counties’ Agricultural Show opened at Gloucester by H.R.H. Prince George. The 1930 show will be held at Worcester.
June 27 At the County Folk Dance Festival held at Hereford, two challenge shields were won by Ledbury Grammar School.
June 27 Ledbury Congregational Church annual rally.
June 28 The Shropshire Electric Power Company commenced laying their power line through Ledbury for the supply of electric current to the town from their works at Stourport, and as a result, for several weeks the streets of Ledbury presented rather an unusual appearance while the work proceeded through the town.
June 29 Demonstration of “Changing the Guard” given in Ledbury Park by “C” (Ledbury) Company Herefordshire Regiment.
June 30 The death occurred at Abbey House, Homend Street, of Mrs. Emma BALLARD, aged 83 years, widow of the late Mr. John Edy BALLARD.
July 5 The death occurred at a nursing home in Hereford of Miss Constance WOOD, at the age of 80 years. The late Miss WOOD had formerly resided at Orchardleigh, New Street, Ledbury, for a great number of years.
July 9 Marriage in the Guards’ Chapel, Wellington Barracks, of the Hon. Mary BIDDULPH, younger daughter of Lord and Lady BIDDULPH, to Mr. Montague LOWRY-CORRY, Grenadier Guards.
July 10 Ledbury Fire Brigade attended a rick fire at Yarkhill Court.
July 10 Local branch of the League of Young Liberals formed at Ledbury.
July 12 Annual meeting of the Ledbury British Legion Club. The accounts showed a balance in hand of £83 15s. 9d.
July 13 Ledbury Parish Church choir boys’ outing to Penarth.
July 14 Children’s ﬂower service at the Parish Church.
July 15 Miss Lily ELSIE, the actress, until recently residing at Drury Lane Farm, Redmarley, was granted a decree nisi in the Divorce Courts against her husband, Major Ian BULLOUGH.
July 16 Gathering of Herefordshire Federation of Women’s Institutes at Eastnor Castle, when 44 Institutes were represented.
July 25 Marriage at St. Margaret’s, Westminster, of the Hon. Adele BIDDULPH, elder daughter of Lord and Lady BIDDULPH, to Mr. Henry Vincent YORKE.
July 25 Country dance party on the Grammar School lawn, in aid of the National Institute for the Blind.
July 26 Ledbury Grammar School annual sports.
July 28 Ledbury Company of the Herefordshire Regt. proceeded to camp at Porthcawl for a fortnight.
July 31 Court House School annual sports and prize distribution.
July 31 Tennis tournament on the Oatleys Lawn Tennis ground, in aid of Hereford and Ledbury Hospitals, which benefitted to the extent of £10 each as a result.
August 1 Death at the Old Grange, Dymock, of Colonel Sir John Arthur ANSTICE. K.C.B., in his 84th year.
August 1 Colwall Garden Club annual ﬂower show at the Winnings meadow.
August 2 At the quarterly meeting of the Ledbury Hospital Governors it was reported that as a result of the King’s Thanksgiving Appeal the sum of £201 2s. 1d. had been subscribed to the funds of the Hospital from Ledbury and surrounding parishes. The interior painting of the Hospital had been undertaken at a cost of £120.
August 5 Bank Holiday. British Legion fete and ﬂower show held in the Pound Meadow. A profit of £64 18s. 10d. was the result of this successful show.
August 6 At the annual meeting of the Ledbury Musical Society, Mrs. G. B. McKEAN was elected hon. secretary in succession to Miss C. N. MASEFIELD.
August 7 Ledbury Hunt puppy show.
August 8 Madresfield ﬂower show.
August 8 Ledbury Liberal Association fete and dance, which was attended by Mr. Frank OWEN, M.P.
August 9 Ledbury Babies’ Welfare Club garden party at Westhill.
August 12 Bosbury Agricultural and Horticultural Show. Record entries.
August 12 The steep camber of Homend Street, between the Cottage Hospital and Messrs. Geo. HILL & Sons, being considered by the Urban Council to be dangerous in view of present-day motor traffic, the work of lowering this portion of the roadway was commenced. This was completed by the end of autumn, and resulted in a much improved and safer condition of the street.
August 15 Redmarley Horticultural and Cottage Gardening Society held their annual show at Drury Lane Farm, when Mr. Stanley BALDWIN, M.P., attended and distributed the prizes.
August 15 Ledbury Women’s Liberal Association outing to Severn Beach.
August 16 Annual meeting of Ledbury Town Football Club at the Plough Hotel, Mr. F. W. JUCKES presiding. The accounts showed a credit balance of £18 3s. 3d.
August 20 Ledbury Ploughing Society annual meeting at the Royal Oak.
August 22 Annual prize distribution at the Ledbury Elementary Girls’ School. Rev. F. W. CARNEGY presided and distributed the prizes to the successful scholars.
August 23 Rick Fire at Long Bridge, Dymock. Damage £60.
August 26 Ledbury hounds commenced cub-hunting.
August 26 Death of Mr. William Gordon CANNING, at Carradale, Argyllshire, at the age of 72. Formerly a Master of the Ledbury Hounds.
August 27 Mr. Frank REECE, postman, of Newtown, Ledbury, awarded the Imperial Service Medal on completion of 46 years service in the Post Office.
August 27 An inquest was held on the body of Mr. George Frederick HARRIS (75), shoemaker, of Newbury Park, who disappeared from his home and after a week’s absence was discovered in a wood at Woolhope. Verdict of “Death from exhaustion.”
August 28 Ledbury Women’s Unionist outing to Barry Island.
August 28 Death of Mr. James TOWNSEND, of the Trumpet Inn, near Ledbury. The late Mr. TOWNSEND was 80 years of age, and had been licensee of the Trumpet Inn for 38 years.
August 31 Much Marcle and Yatton ﬂower show and sports.
September 1 Rev. A. E. ADAMS, of Stafford, took up the duties of Wesleyan Minister at Ledbury in succession to Rev. G. F. N. SHERWELL.
September 2 Hop-picking became general in the district during the week.
September 3 John ANDERSON (62), farm labourer, of Ledbury, knocked down and killed by a char-a-banc at the Rhea Bridge, Hereford Road. Verdict “Accidental death.”
September 14 Death of Miss Mary BALLARD, The Winnings, Colwall, aged 70 years.
September 17 Ledbury Fire Brigade attended a fire at Normandy, Much Marcle, but owing to lack of water, damage to the extent of several hundred pounds was caused.
September 23 Ledbury Wesley Guild annual meeting.
September 25 Rev. Charles HARRIS, D.D., Rector of Colwall for 20 years, resigns.
September 26 Ladies’ Work Association annual sale of work at the Church Room. A profit of £36 18s. 0d. was realised.
September 26 Presentation to Rev. T. D. WATKINS, Pastor of the Congregational Church, on the occasion of his departure from Ledbury.
September 27 At Eastnor Village Clubroom, the Rev. H. SOMERS-COCKS was presented with a cheque for twenty guineas, on his departure after a ministry of 15 years as Rector of Eastnor.
September 30 Ledbury Reading Room and Library annual meeting.
September 30 Mr. Fred DREW (aged 44), licensee of the Farmers Arms, Wellington Heath, was found dead. At the inquest a verdict of “Death from natural causes " was returned.
October 1 At the opening practice night of the Ledbury Musical Society, Miss Norah MASEFIELD, for many years hon. secretary of the society, was presented with four volumes of “Haydn’s String Quartettes.”
October 3 Colwall Races abandoned on account of the prolonged drought.
October 5 A terrific rainstorm was experienced in Ledbury, over two inches of rain being recorded for the 24 hours.
October 6 “Summer Time” ended.
October 6 Harvest Thanksgiving services at Ledbury Parish Church.
October 7 Ledbury Ploughing Society annual match, held at Mainstone Farm. Dinner in the evening at the Royal Oak Hotel, Major A. Roger ROWDEN presiding.
October 8 Ledbury October Pleasure Fair.
October 10 Ledbury Catholic dance at the Feathers Assembly Rooms.
October 15 Mr. Frank OWEN, M.P., was present at a dance promoted by the Ledbury League of Young Liberals held at the Feathers Hotel in aid of the Hereford Liberal Bazaar.
October 15 Dispersal Sale in Gloucester Cattle Market of the entire Redmarley herd of Dun and Belted Galloway Cattle, the property of Major Ian BULLOUGH.
October 17 Ledbury Boy Scouts annual meeting at the Church Room.
October 19 Edward ALLEN, no fixed abode, admitted to the Cottage Hospital, suffering from the effects of drinking, at a local hotel, a glass of beer into which he had emptied a quantity of oxalic acid.
October 23 Marriage at Ledbury Parish Church of Miss Norah MASEFIELD, of The Cloisters, and the Rev. Thomas Henry PARKER, Rector of Burwarton, Salop.
October 25 The first of a series of public lectures was given at the Ledbury Grammar School.
October 26 Annual meeting of the Ledbury branch British Legion. Major PALAIRET presided, and the hon. Secretary reported a total membership of 306 and a cash balance in hand of £104 1s. 4d.
October 28 Junior Imperial League annual meeting at the Feathers Hotel. The accounts showed a credit balance of £12 9s. 9d., and the membership of the branch numbered 134. The “Imps” concert party afterwards gave an entertainment, which was followed by a dance.
October 31 A Whist drive in aid of Dr. Barnardo’s Young Helpers League, held at West Hill (the residence of Major and Mrs. PALAIRET), realised a profit of over £10.
November 3 At the Parish Church the Bishop of Hereford preached at Matins and gave an address at the St. Michael’s Class in the afternoon.
November 4 A general rate of 4s. 7d. in the £ was made at the Urban Council meeting, this being a reduction of 5d. as compared with the previous half-year.
November 5 At the annual meeting of the Ledbury Hunt, held at the Feathers Hotel, the chairman (Mr. G. S. ALBRIGHT) commented on the unsatisfactory financial position of the general fund which showed a deficit balance of £421 13s. 7d. There was a credit balance on the Poultry Fund of £8 5s. 6d. and £210 10s. 8d. on the Wire Fund.
November 7 Ledbury branch of the League of Nations Union opening meeting at the Town Hall.
November 7 Feathers Bowls Club annual dinner, Mr. A. G. T. BANKS presiding. The “Imperiots” concert party provided entertainment.
November 7 Mr. Mark ROGERS, an old Ledburian, formerly in the grocery business at the premises at the Lower Cross now occupied by Mr. W. MARKLOVE, died at Kidderminster, aged 66.
November 8 Ledbury Hounds opening meet at Forthampton Court.
November 10 Congregational Church 322nd anniversary celebration services.
November 11 The 11th anniversary of Armistice Day was commemorated in Ledbury with a united service at the War Memorial.
November 11 The sale of poppies in Ledbury Urban, in aid of Earl Haig’s Fund, realised the sum £38 12s. 0d.
November 11 The total ”Poppy Day” collections in Ledbury and the adjoining villages amounted to £152 10s. 3d., an increase of £13 5s. 7d. over the previous year’s total.
November 14 A very successful whist drive was held at the Church Room, in aid of St. Michael’s Club and realised a profit of £10 17s. 0d.
November 18 Ledbury Cricket and Sports Club annual whist drive and dance at the Feathers Hotel.
November 18 Annual meeting of the Ledbury and District Boy Scouts’ Association, held at the Church Room.
November 18 The Ledbury Wesley Guild held a “Grieg” evening, arranged by the musical committee, being a programme devoted to a revue of Grieg’s works.
November 21 At a “jumble” sale held at the Church Room, in aid of Ledbury Parish Church purposes, a nett profit of £21 7s. 3d. was made.
November 25 Ledbury Bowling Club annual dinner at the Feathers Hotel.
November 25 Under the auspices of the local League of Young Liberals, Mr. R. E. ABBOTT’s three-act play, “Prophets without Honour,” was given in the Royal Hall by a party of Hereford artistes.
November 25 A landslide occurred near Westhill on the Coddington road, large quantities of earth being strewn across the road.
November 25 Owing to heavy rainfall, several roads into Ledbury were ﬂooded and impassable, at one point the Ledbury-Gloucester road was ﬂooded to a depth of five feet.
November 28 In aid of the funds of Ledbury Catholic Church, a bazaar and dance was held at the Feathers Assembly Room, when a nett profit of £20 was realised.
November 28 George WEBB, aged 54, of Bridge Street, was admitted to the Cottage Hospital suffering from severe injuries to his throat alleged to have been self-inﬂicted with a pocket knife.
November 30 The rainfall measured at Underdown for the month of November was 8.50 inches, an amount only exceeded once in 50 years in Ledbury. The average for November is 2.44 inches; the fall therefore was three and a half times the average.
December 2 Ledbury and district Girl Guides’ Association annual meeting at the Feathers Hotel. The hon. Secretary read the balance sheet showing a sum of £37 18s. 8d. in hand.
December 4 Ledbury experienced a series of gales throughout the week, several of the storms being accompanied by thunder and lightning, a rare occurrence for December. The side of a house was blown down at Greenway, near Ledbury, the inmates narrowly escaping personal injuries.
December 6 Ledbury Traders’ Association annual meeting at the Feathers Hotel. The financial position of the Association was considered very satisfactory, there being a balance in hand of £9 14s. 10d. while the Plate Glass Insurance section showed a credit balance of £149 9s. 3d.
December 6 Ledbury Bowling Club annual meeting held at the Plough Hotel.
December 7 A fatal motor accident occurred near the Lower Cross, when Mr. John BROOKES (aged 67), general dealer, of Bye Street, was knocked down and killed by a motor lorry belonging to Messrs. LUCAS & PUTLEY, road transport contractors, Gloucester. A verdict of “Accidental death” was recorded at the inquest.
December 9 Annual whist drive and dance, held at the Drill Hall under the auspices of “C” (Ledbury) Company, Hereford Regt.
December 10 There were exceptionally large entries at the Ledbury Christmas fat stock show and sale.
December 11 Entertainment at the Royal Hall, given by the pupils of the Court House School.
December 12 During a heavy storm Preston Church, near Ledbury, was struck by lightning and the tiles on one side of the roof stripped off.
December 12 At the Ledbury Grammar School “speech day” and prize distribution, held at the Royal Hall, there was a large attendance of pupils, parents and friends. Mrs. RAYNER-WOOD presided, and Mr. F. S. PRESTON, M.A. (headmaster of Malvern College) distributed the prizes and afterwards gave an encouraging address.
December 15 After playing a few holes on the Cleeve Hill golf links, Mr Charles Herbert BASTOW, of “Roadside”, Cheltenham, fell down dead. The late Mr. BASTOW had formerly resided in Ledbury for many years, being a partner in the firm of Messrs. LANE & BASTOW, brewers, of Ledbury, until this business was purchased in 1919 by the Cheltenham Original Brewery Co. Deceased had been a member of the Eastnor Lodge of Freemasons since 1898.