AS THE YEAR 1930 draws rapidly to a close, we hasten to record our memories of events in the district since the last issue of THE LEDBURY ALMANACK; a day-to-day diary of almost-forgotten happenings which are nevertheless interesting to recall.
Locally, outstanding features of the year were at a minimum. The largest assemblage was undoubtedly recorded at the Waifs and Strays Society’s Carnival at Eastnor Castle on Whit Monday and Tuesday, and falling little short of this, the crowd of sight-seers that were attracted by the novel events at the British Legion fete and ﬂower show on the Pound Meadow on the ever-popular August Bank Holiday.
Crops generally throughout the district were mostly over the average, and in certain classes of fruit the crops were so prolific that markets were glutted to an unprecedented extent, supplies exceeding the demand by a wide margin.
January 9 Ledbury Church Choir annual concert at the Church Room.
January 10 Dedication of a memorial window in Donnington Church, in memory of the late Mrs. Bertha MITCHELL, wife of Sir John MITCHELL, of Haffield.
January 10 The Rev. F. W. CARNEGY and his wife and son were involved in a motor accident at the Lower Wyche, Colwall, when their car skidded across the road and overturned, Mrs. CARNEGY sustaining serious injuries.
January 16 Under the auspices of the Ledbury C.E.M.S. the old folk of Ledbury of the age of 70 and upwards were entertained to a tea and concert at the Feathers Hotel.
January 18 Annual meeting at the Boys‘ School of the Ledbury branch of the National Union of Teachers.
January 20 Ledbury Parish Church annual meeting at the Church Room, the Rector presiding.
January 23 A large audience filled the Royal Hall on the occasion of an interesting historical pageant entitled “Joan of Arc.”
January 24 A 400-year-old house named “Madams,” situate at Upleadon, near Newent, was burned to the ground.
January 30 “C” (Ledbury) Company, Herefordshire Regiment annual smoking concert and prize distribution.
January 30 Ledbury Company (Lady SOMERS’ Own) Girl Guides annual ball at the Feathers Hotel.
February 1 When returning home from hunting with Col. SPENCE-COLBY’s hounds, Mr. Charles E. IRELAND, of Staunton, was fatally kicked on the head by his horse, after both horse and rider had accidentally fallen into a deep ditch. The deceased, who was 57 years of age was a well-known farmer and breeder of hunters.
February 1 In connection with the League of Nations Union, a most successful meeting was held at the Feathers Hotel, when Lord BIDDULPH presided and Mr. Frank OWEN, M.P., was the speaker of the evening.
February 6 Ledbury Annual Licensing Sessions. All licenses were renewed with the exception of the White Horse Inn, this house being subsequently closed.
February 6 Ledbury branch of the National Farmers’ Union held their annual dinner at the Feathers Hotel.
February 10 The death occurred after only a few days illness, of Mr. A. W. MONTGOMERY-CAMPBELL, The Heath, Redmarley, aged 67, who was for many years secretary of the Ledbury Hunt.
February 16 A burglary was perpetrated at the residence of Dr. T. A. JONES The Steppes, and a quantity of jewellery and furs were stolen.
February 19 Mr. R. G. GURNEY, who had been Surveyor to the Ledbury Urban Council for the past 25 years, was appointed Deputy Surveyor of Herefordshire at a meeting of the County Roads and Bridges Committee held at Hereford.
February 20 Annual meeting of subscribers to the Ledbury Cottage Hospital held at the Town Hall. The accounts showed a credit balance for the year of £39 9s. 0d.
February 20 Ledbury Musical Society annual concert, when Parry’s “Pied Piper of Hamelin” was given to a crowded audience at the Royal Hall.
February 24 Ledbury Junior Imperial League social and dance at the Feathers Hotel.
February 26 Variety concert at the Royal Hall, promoted by the Ledbury branch of the League of Young Liberals.
March 3 Girls Life Brigade (1st Ledbury Company) annual display and concert at the Church Room.
March 6 A large company was present at the annual dinner of the Ledbury Fire Brigade, held at the Feathers Hotel. The occasion was of special interest, being in the nature of a farewell to the Brigade’s chief officer, Mr. R. G. GURNEY.
March 6 Concert in the Church Room in aid of the Ledbury Market Canteen.
March 10 Women’s Unionist Association party at the Feathers Hotel.
March 13 The death took place at Croome Court of the Earl of COVENTRY, at the advanced age of 91 years. Surviving the Earl by only three days, Lady COVENTRY died on the following Sunday morning at the age of 87.
March 15 An outbreak of fire occurred at Bowling Green Cottage, residence of the Hon. Michael BIDDULPH, when damage amounting to £150 was caused.
March 17 Ledbury Cricket and Sports Club annual meeting at the Feathers Hotel. The balance sheet showed a total expenditure for the season of £124 9s. 9d. while income amounted to £113 2s. 2d.
March 20 Fancy dress dance at the Feathers Hotel, organised by the Ledbury branch of the Hereford League of Young Liberals.
March 22 Eastnor Church was broken into and the contents of the offertory boxes stolen.
March 24 Concert in the Wesleyan Schoolroom in aid of Ledbury Wesley Guild funds.
March 25 Final meeting of the Ledbury Board of Guardians, whose duties were subsequently taken over by the new Guardians Committee set up under the Local Government Act. Before the Guardians dispersed for the last time, a hearty vote of thanks was accorded Mr. W. L. PRITCHETT for his services as Chairman to the Board for 22 years.
March 31 Ledbury Wesley Guild annual meeting, Rev. A. E. ADAMS presiding.
March 31 Ledbury Catholic whist drive and dance at the Feathers Hotel.
April 3 Social evening at the Feathers Hotel, organised by the various Unionist Associations in Ledbury to meet the new prospective Unionist Candidate (Mr. J. P. L. THOMAS) on his first official visit to the town.
April 6 Confirmation service at Ledbury Parish Church. 60 candidates.
April 7 Ledbury Grammar School annual sports.
April 10 Women’s Unionist Association concert at the Royal Hall.
April 11 At the annual dinner of the Ledbury Cribbage League, held at the Feathers Hotel, the silver challenge cup was presented to the season’s champions (the “Seven Stars”).
April 13 A Midland Red motor coach, containing 30 Worcester and Malvern passengers, overturned on a hill between Ledbury and the British Camp. Several of the party received injuries and the bus was badly damaged.
April 14 At the annual meeting of Ledbury Urban Council, Mr. W. J. BRAY was elected chairman for the ensuing year.
April 18 Death of Mr. W. L. GAMBLE, of the Homend, at the age of 60.
April 21 Easter Monday. 1st Ledbury Troop B.P. Scouts annual ball at the Feathers Hotel.
April 22 Marriage at Ledbury Parish Church of Miss Josephine N. TILLEY, Redsul, Ledbury, to Mr. Leslie S. MAISEY, Cross Keys, Monmouthshire.
April 24 Ledbury Lodge of the R.A.O.B. held their annual dinner at the Feathers Hotel.
April 25 At a meeting of the Ledbury branch of the National Union of Railwaymen, held at the New Inn Hotel, a retiring grant was made to Mr. Chas. TAYLOR, an old member of the Union, being presented with a cheque for £23.
April 26 Two large parties of local football enthusiasts journeyed to London to witness the F.A. Cup Final. Result: Arsenal 2, Huddersfield Town nil.
April 29 Ledbury Cottage Hospital annual “Pound Day”, a most successful result being recorded.
April 30 Damage estimated at £150 was caused by a fire which broke out at buildings at the rear of Mr. H. J. MORGAN’s house in Oatleys Road.
May 1 The newly-formed Ledbury Amateur Dramatic Society gave their first performance in the Church Room.
May 1 Ledbury Women’s Liberal Association tea and concert at the Feathers Hotel.
May 2 Dance at the Feathers Hotel, organised by the local branch of the Junior Imperial League.
May 6 A crowded audience at the Royal Hall witnessed a dancing display given by the pupils of Miss Grace DOVEY in aid of the Children’s League of Pity, and a sum of £19 12s. 9d. was realised.
May 9 Mr. John MASEFIELD appointed Poet Laureate-in-Ordinary to H.M. the King. The Poet was born on June 1st, 1878, at “The Knapp”, Ledbury, a residence now occupied by his brother, Mr. Charles MASEFIELD.
May 9 The death occurred at Borrobol, Sutherland, of Mr. Horace Deane DRUMMOND, J.P., of Boyce Court, Dymock, at the age of 75 years.
May 10 Death of Mr. Arthur STEVENS, aged 67 years, who had been in business as a chemist in High Street for over thirty years.
May 16 At a meeting at Leominster, the North Herefordshire Football League cup and medals were presented to Ledbury Town F.C. players, champions of the League for the season 1929-30.
May 19 The Hon. Michael BIDDULPH, on behalf of the local branch of the Junior Imperial League, presented Miss G. A. BROOKES (hon. sec. of the branch) and Mr. R. E. DRINKWATER with a silver tea service on the occasion of their approaching marriage.
May 20 The death occurred at Brynmoor, Walton-on Thames. of Mrs. E. H. HOPKINS, wife of Mr. Ernest HOPKINS, who was for many years licensee of the Royal Oak Hotel, Ledbury. The funeral took place at Eastnor Church.
May 23 First annual meeting of the Ledbury Nursing Association, held at the Church Room, Mrs. C. A. H. PALAIRET presiding.
May 24 Ledbury Fire Brigade attended a fire at the Boyce Court, Dymock.
May 24 To celebrate a successful season, during which they had won the North Hereford League Championship Cup, the Ledbury Town football team held a smoking concert at the Plough Hotel.
May 26 Ledbury and District Football League annual meeting held at “No. 7”.
May 29 As the result of a successful “cake and apron" sale at the Wesleyan Schoolroom, in aid of the Wesleyan Circuit Fund, a profit of nearly £40 was realised.
June 4 First annual meeting of the local branch of the League Of Young Liberals.
June 9 Whit Monday. Brilliantly fine weather favoured the Eastnor Carnival and Elizabethan Maske, organised by the Church of England Waifs and Strays Society, which was held at Eastnor Castle. The opening ceremony was performed by the Mayor of Hereford, and a crowd of over 4,000 visitors attended the carnival. The programme was repeated the following day with an attendance of about 2,000. As a result of the event the funds of the Society benefited to the extent of about £600.
June 10 Opening day of the Three Counties’ Agricultural Show at Worcester. The 1931 show will be held at Hereford.
June 13 At the invitation of the Master and Subscribers of the Ledbury Hunt, a company of over 300 farmers of the Ledbury country were entertained to a dinner at Eastnor Castle.
June 16 Polling for two vacant seats on the Ledbury Urban Council, the successful candidates were Mr. Herbert THACKER and Mr. Charles HODGES.
June 18 A violent thunderstorm broke over Ledbury during the afternoon. Little damage was done locally, but throughout the Midlands the storm left a trail of destruction and ﬂoods and several fatalities occurred.
June 20 At the annual meeting of the Ledbury Town Football Club, held at the Plough Hotel, a most successful season was reported. The financial statement showed an income of £129 8s. 11d. and expenditure of £109 8s. 6d., thus leaving a credit balance of £20 0s. 5d.
June 25 Ledbury Grammar School had a most successful day at the County Folk Dance Festival, held at Hereford. The shield for sword dancing was again won and now becomes the property of the Grammar School having been won by them three times in succession.
June 26 Ledbury Congregational Church annual rally.
June 26 In connection with the Ledbury Wesley Guild a reception was held at “Birtleys”, Ledbury, on the occasion of a visit by the Rev. Geo. ALLEN, B.A., Connexional Secretary of the Wesley Guild.
June 27 A party of about 40 of the older pupils of Ledbury Girls’ School paid a visit to Stratford-on-Avon, and spent a most enjoyable day inspecting the various places of interest so intimately associated with Shakespeare.
July 7 Ledbury Women’s Liberal Association outing to Windsor.
July 12 Annual meeting of Ledbury and District British Legion Club. Mr. E. H. GUNTER-JONES, M.C., presided. It was reported there was an increase of membership during the year, and that the financial position was very satisfactory.
July 13 The Rector returned to his duties at the Parish Church, after an absence of six months necessitated by his serious illness.
July 17 The various Sunday Schools in the town held their summer “treats”.
July 18 Ledbury Hunt earthstoppers annual dinner at the Feathers Hotel.
July 20 Children’s annual ﬂower service at the Parish Church.
July 24 Ledbury League of Young Liberals outing to Bristol and Clifton.
July 25 Mr. Charles LUCY, aged 65, of Bridge Street, Ledbury, died suddenly while engaged bricklaying at the Crown Inn, Colwall, the cause of death being heart failure.
July 26 Ledbury Parish Church choir boys outing to Penarth.
July 27 Ledbury Company of the Herefordshire Regt. journeyed to Holyhead for their annual training in camp.
July 30 Court House School annual sports and prize distribution at the Royal Hall.
July 31 A country dance party in aid of the National Institute for the Blind was held on Ledbury Grammar School lawn.
July 31 Ledbury Wesleyan Church Choir outing to Symonds Yat.
July 31 Brilliant weather favoured the 83rd annual show of the Colwall Garden Club.
August 1 Death of Mr. Andrew WARREN, of Bank Crescent, Ledbury, which occurred at the Cottage Hospital following an operation. The late Mr WARREN, who was 69 years of age, had been in business as a house furnisher in Ledbury for 47 years.
August 3 Mr. Llewellyn S. LEWIS, of Faircroft College, Bournville, commenced duty as pastor of Ledbury Baptist Church.
August 4 The annual fete and sports of the Ledbury British Legion, held on the Pound Meadow, proved a most successful Bank Holiday fixture, and attracted a crowd of over 2,000 visitors.
August 5 Ledbury Hunt annual puppy show.
August 7 Madresfield ﬂower show.
August 7 Mr. Frank OWEN, M.P., attended a dance at the Drill Hall promoted by the Ledbury League of Young Liberals.
August 11 At the Bosbury Agricultural and Horticultural Show, fine weather and a record number of entries resulted in a most successful exhibition.
August 11 Ledbury Boys’ School annual sports.
August 12 Annual meeting of the Ledbury Musical Society held at the Congregational Schoolroom. It was decided that their next annual concert should consist of the rendering of Handel’s “Messiah”.
August 13 Herefordshire Bow Society held their annual archery meeting at Ledbury Park.
August 14 Redmarley horticultural show and sports.
August 14 Ledbury Fire Brigade attended a cottage fire at Red Hill, Redmarley.
August 20 The members of Ledbury Babies Welfare Club were entertained by Lady BIDDULPH at Ledbury Park.
August 21 Ledbury Girls School annual prize distribution.
August 26 Annual meeting of the Ledbury Ploughing Society, held at the Feathers Hotel. The accounts showed a credit balance of £17 9s. 9d. for the past year. Col. SPENCE-COLBY’s offer of land at the Lower House Farm, Donnington, for the annual competitions was accepted.
August 26 As a mark of appreciation of the services of Mr. W. L. PRITCHETT, who for 22 years presided over the old Ledbury Board of Guardians, the members made him a presentation in the form of a silver salver.
August 28 A fete, organised by the local branch of the Women’s Unionist Association, was held in Ledbury Park. The prospective Conservative candidate, Mr. J. P. L. THOMAS, visited the fete during the evening and addressed the large company present.
August 28 1st Ledbury Company Girls’ Life Brigade variety concert in the Baptist Schoolroom.
August 30 Ledbury Hounds commenced cub-hunting.
August 30 Much Marcle and Yatton Horticultural Society’s annual ﬂower show.
August 30 The Bishop of Hereford (Dr. M. Linton SMITH) was the preacher at Evensong at Ledbury Parish Church, this being in the nature of a farewell sermon before his transfer to Rochester.
September 2 Services of welcome to the new minister, Mr. S. L. LEWIS, were held in the Baptist Church.
September 4 A large audience assembled at the Royal Hall on the occasion of a violin recital by Mr. Harold BERKLEY, of New York, son of Mr. and Mrs. Chas. BERKLEY, The Homend. The proceeds were in aid of the Cottage Hospital, the sum of about £30 being realised.
September 8 Hop-picking commenced in the majority of the local yards.
September 14 Harvest Thanksgiving services at Ledbury Congregational Church.
September 16 Ledbury Fire Brigade attended a fire at Pridewood Farm, Ashperton, in the occupation of Mr. W. J. RIMELL.
September 16 At a special meeting of the Ledbury and District Football League it was unanimously decided to terminate the Ledbury League in consequence of the alleged unfair treatment by the Herefordshire Football Association to which the local League was affiliated.
September 18 At Ledbury Police Court, costs and fines amounting to £50 were inﬂicted on John HORGAN, an importer of Irish cattle, of Bristol, for infringement of regulations in connection with a sale of imported cattle in Ledbury Stock Market.
September 21 Ledbury Baptist Church harvest festival.
September 23 Ledbury Cribbage League annual meeting at the “Ring of Bells”.
September 24 Annual meeting of Ledbury Reading Room and Library.
September 27 Death of Mr. Frederick PAGE, of Oatleys Road, Ledbury, at the age of 70 years. Deceased, who was a retired butler, had been in service with the family of the late Lord BIDDULPH for over 40 years.
October 5 Harvest Thanksgiving services at Ledbury Parish Church.
October 5 Ledbury Wesleyan Church harvest festival.
October 9 Ledbury Ploughing Society annual competitions, held at the Lower House Farm, Donnington. The annual dinner was held in the evening at the Feathers Hotel, Col. C. SPENCE-COLBY presiding.
October 10 Annual meeting of Ledbury Bowling Club, held at the Plough Hotel.
October 14 Ledbury October pleasure fair.
October 17 Mr. Walter BICKFORD, surveyor to the Pewsey (Wilts) Rural District, appointed as road surveyor, sanitary inspector and waterworks engineer, to the Ledbury Urban Council.
October 18 At a general meeting of the local branch of the National Farmers’ Union, held at the Feathers Hotel, Mr. J. Ll. EVANS (County Agricultural Organiser) gave a most interesting lecture on “The use of home-grown foods”.
October 18 Death of Mr. Frederick J. MORGAN, watchmaker and jeweller, of New Street, Ledbury, at the age of 78. The late Mr. MORGAN was a native of Ledbury, and one of the oldest tradesmen in the town.
October 20 Ledbury Girls’ Life Brigade annual display and concert at the Church Room.
October 21 At Ledbury Police Court, a verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned at an inquest on Patrick MULKAAN (65), farm labourer, who was knocked down at Ashperton by a motor cyclist and fatally injured.
October 23 The Freedom of Hereford was conferred on Mr. John MASEFIELD, the Ledbury-born Poet-Laureate, at the assembly room of the Hereford Town Hall, in the presence of a distinguished company.
October 23 A public meeting was held at the Town Hall in connection with the centenary of the Ledbury auxiliary of the British and Foreign Bible Society.
October 23 At a “Fair” held at the Shirehall, Hereford, organised by Herefordshire Liberals, one of the stalls was provided by Ledbury women Liberals.
October 24 Ledbury Traders’ Association annual meeting at the Feathers Hotel. The accounts for the year were reported to be in a very satisfactory condition.
October 24 Junior Imperial League dance at the Feathers Hotel.
October 25 Death of the Rev. E. H. COUCHMAN, M.A., Rector of Eastnor, aged 68 years. The rev. gentleman had held the living for only twelve months, having succeeded the Rev. H. L. SOMERS-COCKS in October, 1929.
October 30 The forty-second annual sale of work in connection with the local Ladies Work Association was held at the Church Room.
October 30 Ledbury Grammar School “speech day” and prize distribution, held at the Royal Hall.
November 1 At the annual meeting of Ledbury Branch of the British Legion, Major C. A. H. PALAIRET presided, and the hon. secretary reported a credit balance of £84 11s. 0d.
November 2 Death of Mr. William OAKES, of 23 High Street, at the age of 64. The late Mr. OAKES had been in business in Ledbury since 1914, when he took over the business of tailor and outfitter formerly carried on by Mr. Chas. BIXLEY.
November 4 Annual meeting of the Ledbury Hunt, held at the Feathers Hotel.
November 6 Annual meeting of the Ledbury and District Boy Scouts’ Association, held at the Church Room.
November 7 Opening meet of the Ledbury Hounds at Forthampton Court.
November 7 The death occurred of Mr. H. J. PRITCHARD, of 45 New Street, at the age of 62 years. Deceased was an old member of the Ancient Order of Foresters, having held the office of secretary to the local branch for over 23 years.
November 10 The Ledbury branch of the League of Nations Union held a public meeting at the Feathers Hotel, when Mr. J. P. L. THOMAS (prospective Conservative candidate) gave a long and interesting address on the work of the League.
November 11 The 12th anniversary of Armistice Day was observed in Ledbury by a united service of remembrance at the War Memorial.
November 11 The sale of poppies in the Ledbury town area, in aid of Earl HAIG’s Fund, realised the record sum of £50 2s. 11d.
November 13 Concert given in the Wesleyan Schoolroom by Ledbury branch of the Young Leaguers’ Union, in aid of the National Children’s Home and Orphanage.
November 16 The dedication of a memorial tablet to the memory of the late Mr. C. W. BELL, who for many years lived at Bronsil, took place at Eastnor Church.
November 26 A ladies’ festival night in connection with Eastnor Lodge of Freemasons was held at the Feathers Hotel.
November 27 A case of unusual interest was heard at Ledbury Police Court, when Wilfred J. SMITH, postman, of Bridge Street, was charged with attempting to obtain by forgery the sum of £12 from Messrs J. LEE and Co, a firm of betting agents of London. The accused was bound over for 12 months in the sum of ten pounds.
November 28 Annual dinner of the Feathers Bowls Club.
December 4 A very successful bridge drive was held at the Church Room, in connection with the Ledbury Reading Room and Library.
December 8 Annual meeting of the local branch C.E.M.S., held at the Rectory.
December 9 Ledbury Christmas fat stock show and sale.
December 9 This was the first day of “Shopping Week” in Ledbury, the opening ceremony being performed by Sir John E. MITCHELL, O.B.E. Being a united effort to interest residents of the district in the exceptionally good shopping facilities which the town offers, all the shops made splendid displays of the most up-to-date and seasonable goods, many attractive offers were made to customers, and various competitions were an important and interesting feature. Streets were decorated, and in the evenings, brightly illuminated, the old Market House with its display of bunting and at night its gaily-coloured electric lights being a point of special interest. Never before were the shop windows of the town so attractively decorated, and reﬂected the greatest credit on the various tradespeople who spared no pains to make the new venture the success it deserved. From every point of view an annual “Shopping Week” in Ledbury, as a means of attracting trade to the town, has great possibilities.
December 10 Opening performance of the Ledbury Amateur Dramatic Society, when “The Man from Toronto” was presented at the Royal Hall.
December 11 Court House School pupils’ annual sale of work held at the Church Room, as a result of which £13 13s. 0d. was allocated to the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
December 11 Ledbury Girl Guides’ Association annual meeting at the Feathers Hotel, Lady BIDDULPH presiding.
December 12 A very successful dance at the Feathers Hotel, organised by the Ledbury Junior Imperial League.
December 13 Two burglaries were committed at residences in Newbury Park while the occupants were away.
December 14 Local “footballers service" at the Baptist Church.
December 16 Organized by the local Traders’ Association as a grand finale to Ledbury’s “shopping week”, a very successful whist drive and dance was held at the Feathers Hotel.
December 17 Ledbury Boys’ School annual prize-giving.
December 18 The pupils of Ledbury Grammar School gave a very successful performance of John Masefield’s play, “The Tragedy of Nan", at the Royal Hall.
December 18 About 100 ex-pupils of Ledbury Girls’ School were entertained by the Headmistress.
December 25 The great festive day - Christmas. Rain commenced to fall early in the morning and developed into a steady drizzle for the remainder of the day.
December 26 The Boxing Day meet of the Ledbury Hounds at the Feathers Hotel attracted a good crowd.
December 26 A happy band of about 350 dancers attended the Ledbury Girl Guides and Scouts ball, which was held at the Feathers Hotel in aid of the Cottage Hospital X-Ray up-keep fund.
December 29 The record number of 285 unemployed was registered at the local Labour Exchange, an increase of 70 in one week.
December 31 Ledbury Town Football Club annual dance held at the Feathers Hotel.
And thus the curtain is rung down on the final incidents of the year 1930; may the new year be a bright and prosperous one for our readers - one and all.