WITH THE DAWN of another New Year drawing rapidly nearer, the time is opportune to record a summary of the events that have transpired locally since the last issue of THE LEDBURY ALMANACK.
The notable feature of the year was the royal Visit in June, when T.R.H. the Duke and Duchess of York made a brief stay in the town for the purpose of inspecting local ex-Service men, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. The townspeople seized with eagerness this rare opportunity of making a worthy demonstration of their loyalty and appreciation of the honour conferred on the town by the royal visit, and the event will go down in the annals of Ledbury as a great and memorable occasion in her long history.
During the year, agriculturists had to contend with a prolonged drought, and the water shortage at times assumed alarming proportions. The low level of Ledbury’s water supply caused a great deal of anxiety, and necessitated the strictest economy in the use of town water.
January 1 A company of 150 attended the Feathers Hotel on the occasion of Ledbury Town F.C. annual New Year ball.
January 4 The death occurred at Hereford General Hospital, following an operation, of Mr. John Michael WALKER, of Orchardleigh, Ledbury. Well-known in the town, where he was formerly in practice as a veterinary surgeon.
January 9 A very successful dance, organised by Ledbury Traders Association, was held at the Feathers Hotel.
January 11 The old people of Ledbury of 70 years and over were entertained at the Feathers Hotel by the local branch of the C.E.M.S.
January 13 Ledbury Fire Brigade attended a disastrous fire which partially destroyed Canon Frome Church.
January 17 Eastnor Lodge of Freemasons annual installation ceremony was held at the Drill Hall, when Wor. Bro. L. M. STARR was installed Worshipful Master for the ensuing year.
January 20 Ledbury and district players competed at Hereford Dramatic Festival.
January 23 Mr. Ernest W. PALMER, who for a number of years was licensee of the New Inn, Ledbury, died at his home at Stapleton Road, Bristol.
January 24 At the annual meeting of Ledbury churchpeople, held at the Church Room, one of the chief items of business related to serious defects in the heating apparatus of the Parish Church, and a new heating system was proposed to be carried out at a cost of £350 to £400.
February 1 A very successful whist drive organised by Ledbury Girl Guides was held at the Feathers Hotel.
February 1 In aid of the funds of Ledbury Baptist Church, a company of 200 attended a “Four Season’s Tea” and concert held in the Schoolroom.
February 8 There was a large audience at the Royal Hall, on the occasion of the annual concert given by members of the Ledbury Musical Society. Handel’s “Acis and Galatea” and Cowen’s “John Gilpin” were the two works presented.
February 9 Four one-act plays previously given at the Hereford Dramatic Festival were repeated by Ledbury Players at the Church Room.
February 13 A variety entertainment was given at the Feathers Assembly Rooms by the Supierrots Concert Party.
February 16 Mr. J. P. L. THOMAS, M.P., addressed the audience at a smoking concert held at the Feathers Hotel by the Ledbury Conservative Association.
February 17 A meeting organised by the Ledbury branch of the National Farmers’ Union was held at the Feathers Hotel, when the Mayor of Hereford (Alderman E. W. LANGFORD) gave an interesting address on the Pigs’ Marketing Scheme.
February 22 Organised by Ledbury branch of the Young Leaguers’ Union in aid of funds for the National Children’s Home and Orphanage, a tea and concert held at the Methodist Schoolroom realised the sum of £6 14s. 6d.
February 27 The second annual bulb exhibition, arranged by various Women’s Institutes in the district, was held at the Town Hall, and a silver cup given by Mrs. AGAR-ELLIS was won by Eastnor W.I.
February 28 The annual meeting of subscribers and donors to Ledbury Cottage Hospital was held at the Church Room, when a highly satisfactory year’s working was reported.
March 3 Annual meeting of Ledbury British Legion Club, Ltd. The report showed a very satisfactory state of affairs a proﬁt of £28 16s. being made on the year’s working. During the proceedings, Lord SOMERS presented Mr. H. J. CHAPMAN with a half-hunter silver watch and a gift of money subscribed by the members in recognition of his long and valued services to the British Legion and the club since its formation.
March 5 A very successful boxing tournament was held at the Drill Hall, in aid of the 1st Ledbury Troop B.P. Scouts. An audience of upwards of 600 was present and several excellent contests were witnessed.
March 8 Ledbury Fire Brigade annual dinner at the Feathers Hotel.
March 12 Under the auspices of the local branch of National British Women’s Temperance League, an exhibition was held at the Town Hall, and continued during the week.
March 19 Ledbury Young Methodist Movement held its first eisteddfod in the Schoolroom.
March 22 A large gathering was present at the Girls’ Life Brigade entertainment and social held in the Baptist Schoolroom.
March 22 A jumble sale organised in aid of the funds of Ledbury Group B.P. Scouts realised a proﬁt of £10.
March 23 The annual dinner of Ledbury Cribbage League was held at the Feathers Hotel, when the silver cup and medals were presented to the 1933-34 winners, the “Horse Shoe.”
March 25 The Bishop of Hereford held a confirmation service at Ledbury Parish Church, the number of candidates being 121.
March 26 Polling took place for fiver vacant seats on Ledbury Urban Council. There were ten candidates, and the following were elected: Messrs. G. H. SMITH, W. M. TAYLOR, J. R. DENSLOW, S. W. TOOKEY and J. W. SMITH.
March 27 The death took place at her residence, South Parade, of Georgiana Mar, Dowager Marquise de la PASTURE, in her ninetieth year.
March 31 Glorious weather favoured Ledbury Hunt point-to-point races, held at Bushley Park near Tewkesbury, and a large holiday crowd witnessed a capital afternoon’s sport.
April 5 Ledbury Cricket and Sports Club carnival dance at the Feathers Hotel.
April 7 There were upwards of 100 entries for the hunter trials held at Eldersfield in connection with the Ledbury Hunt Pony Club.
April 11 At the annual meeting of the Ledbury branch of the Herefordshire Women’s Unionist Association, held at the Feathers Hotel, the report showed a membership of over 300, and a credit balance in hand of £23 10s. 5d.
April 12 Oscar Wilde’s comedy “The Importance of being Earnest" was given at the Royal Hall by members of the Ledbury School of Drama, a large audience being present. The proceeds, amounting to £15 16s. 2d. were in aid of the Cottage Hospital.
April 13 In connection with the Ledbury (men’s) branch of the Herefordshire Unionist Association, a smoking concert was held at the Talbot Hotel, and during the evening Mr. J. P. L. THOMAS, M.P., gave a short address.
April 16 The Methodist Church choir gave a concert in the Schoolroom, which was well attended.
April 16 An inquest was held on the body of Wilson BRADLEY, aged 33, of Victoria Road, who died at the Cottage Hospital from injuries received when struck by a train on the railway near Ross Road bridge. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.
April 17 A meeting of Group J of the Women’s Institutes was held at the Feathers Hotel, when 112 representatives from various Institutes in the district attended.
April 19 A whist tournament held at the Church Room in aid of the Herefordshire Fund for the Blind realised the sum of £6 9s. 0d.
April 20 A dance organised by Ledbury Rugby Football Club at the Feathers Hotel attracted a good company.
April 25 Ledbury Lodge R.A.O.B. held their annual dinner at the Plough Hotel. The event was of special interest by the fact that the Lodge was celebrating the twentieth anniversary of its inauguration in Ledbury in 1914.
April 24 The annual dancing display by pupils of Miss Grace DOVEY was given at the Royal Hall, and was repeated on the following evening, both performances being attended by large audiences. The proceeds were in aid of the Ledbury Orthopaedic After-care Centre and amounted to the very substantial sum of £31 1s. 9d.
April 25 A large crowd was attracted to the Ledbury Town F.C. ground to witness a football match between Ledbury Urban Council and Staff and the Post Ofﬁce XI. A most interesting game resulted in a win for the Council XI by 3 goals to 2. Organised to assist the fund for re-heating the Parish Church, a sum of £10 2s. 6d. was realised.
April 26 A record attendance of about 350 were present at a dance held at the Feathers Hotel, which was organised by Ledbury Police in aid of Herefordshire Constabulary Benevolent Association. The proceeds of the dance amounted to £21 6s. 0d.
April 26 With the object of providing a fund for attendance prizes, pupils of Ledbury Girls’ and Infants' Schools presented a programme of plays, songs. etc., at the Church Room.
April 30 A most successful programme was staged at the Drill Hall by the Ledbury Amateur Boxing Association, and a packed audience enjoyed a good evening’s boxing. The principal event was a welter-weight competition for a silver challenge cup presented by the Hon. Michael BIDDULPH and was won by Ken BARNES, Ledbury. The proceeds of the tournament were in aid of Ledbury Cottage Hospital.
May 6 The dedication of the new Standard of Ledbury British Legion took place at a public service held at the town’s war memorial in the Market Square, the service being conducted by the Rev. E. C. ELLIOTT, rector of Eastnor and chaplain to Ledbury British Legion.
May 6 With the object of stimulating recruiting in the district, the Herefordshire (T.A.) Regimental Band visited Ledbury, and after parading the main streets played selections in the Market Square.
May 8 Ledbury Cottage Hospital annual “Pound Day.”
May 16 Ledbury Deanery Ruri-decanal Conference held at the Church Room.
May 20 At evensong in Ledbury Parish Church the sermon was preached by the Lord Bishop of Hereford.
May 24 Ten choirs from churches in the district participated in Ledbury Deanery Choir Festival at the Parish Church.
May 24 Ledbury Girl Guides’ Empire Day Ball was held at the Feathers Hotel and proved a highly successful event.
May 29 Ledbury Women’s Liberal Association summer outing to Keynsham and Bristol.
May 30 A very successful year’s working was recorded at the annual meeting of Ledbury Nursing Association, held at Church Room.
May 30 Organised for the benefit of Ledbury Boy Scouts headquarters fund, a women’s football match was played on the Hazel meadow, when a crowd of 300 spectators witnessed a most interesting game between Redmarley and Ledbury ladies, the former eventually winning by 5 goals to 1.
June 1 The death occurred at his residence, Canon Frome Court, of Col. John HOPTON, J.P., a noted Herefordshire sportsman, at the age of 75. The interment took place at the private rifle range on the estate, where Col. HOPTON for many years held his famous shooting matches.
June 8 At the annual meeting of Ledbury Town Football Club held at Short’s Tea Room, one of the most successful seasons in the history of the club was recorded. The ﬁnancial statement showed a very satisfactory balance in hand of £38 10s. 4½d.
June 12 Opening day of the Three Counties’ Agricultural Show at Hereford. On the second day the show was visited by the Duke and Duchess of York.
June 13 This was a day which will live long in the memories of the inhabitants of Ledbury, the occasion being a brief visit to the town of the Duke and Duchess of York, on their way to the Three Counties’ Show at Hereford. Overnight the Duke and Duchess had been the guests of Lord and Lady SOMERS at Eastnor Castle. With the brilliant sunshine of an ideal summer day, the streets of the old town were one blaze of colour with a maze of flags and bunting. The chief object of the royal visit was the inspection of local ex-servicemen, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, this ceremony taking place in High Street, after which their Royal Highnesses resumed their journey to Hereford, being given a tremendous send-off by the townspeople.
June 19 The death took place at Ledbury Cottage Hospital of Mr. William James ROBERTS, of Beulah Villa, at the age of 57. The late Mr. ROBERTS was the youngest son of the late Mr. and Mrs. James ROBERTS, who for many years carried on a. baker’s and confectioner’s business in High Street.
June 28 A sale of work was held in the Church Room by Ledbury Ladies’ Work Party in connection with the Parish Church.
June 30 Ledbury Company Herefordshire Territorials held a sports meeting on the Pound Meadow, when a series of competitions were keenly contested.
July 3 Members of the police force in the Ledbury Division had their annual outing and an enjoyable day was spent at Ilfracombe.
July 5 Ledbury branch of the Junior Imperial League held an open American tennis tournament at the Oatleys Club. A ﬂannel dance was afterwards held at the Feathers Hotel which was well attended.
July 12 A fete and sports programme, organised by Ledbury Troop of Boy Scouts in aid of their new headquarters fund, was held at Ledbury Park. Unfortunately the proceedings were seriously interfered with by adverse weather conditions.
July 14 Ledbury Hunt earth-stoppers annual dinner was held at the Feathers Hotel.
July 15 Children’s annual ﬂower service at the Parish Church.
July 20 The Court House School annual prize-giving and sports were held on the Cricket and Sports Club ground.
July 21 Ledbury Hunt puppy show held at Forthampton Court.
July 25 Pupils of the Abbey School gave their annual entertainment in the School garden, when a good company of parents and friends were present.
July 26 A garden fete and ﬂower show was held at Woodside, Bank Crescent, in aid of the Methodist Sunday School funds.
July 26 Colwall Garden Club were again favoured with fine weather at their annual ﬂower show at the Winnings Meadow.
July 29 Ledbury Company of the Herefordshire (T.A.) Regiment left the town for their annual camp, which was this year held at Tenby.
July 30 The annual meeting of Ledbury and District Football League was held at the Central Cafe, when a most successful season was reviewed. At a meeting of the Hospital Cup Committee the accounts showed that the substantial sum of £35 had been made during the season, and this amount would be handed over to Ledbury Cottage Hospital.
August 6 A company of 175 dancers was attracted to the Ledbury Town Football Club dance at the Royal Oak Hotel.
August 8 Ledbury Fire Brigade were summoned to a disastrous fire which occurred at Temple Court, Bosbury, when over 100 tons of farm produce was destroyed.
August 9 In connection with Col. SPENCE-COLBY’s foxhounds, the annual puppy show was held at Donnington Hall.
August 13 There was a large attendance at the Bosbury Agricultural and Horticultural Show, and the total number of entries in the various classes constituted a record in the history of the show.
August 15 The Herefordshire Stage Plays and Cinematograph Licences Committee granted a licence for a super-cinema to be erected in the Homend, Ledbury. It was stated that the cinema would be built by a syndicate at a cost of between £15,000 and £18,000 and would accommodate about 650 people.
August 16 A tennis tournament was held at The Orchard in aid of the Children’s League of Pity.
August 17 In connection with the Ledbury Babies’ Welfare Club, a garden party was held at Westhill.
August 21 The annual meeting of Ledbury Ploughing Society was held at the Feathers Hotel.
August 25 Brilliant weather favoured the Much Marcle and Yatton ﬂower show and sports, and nearly 3,000 spectators attended the show. The various attractions included a flying exhibition and a massed jazz-bands contest which created a great deal of interest.
August 30 A dance, organized by the joint committees of St. Anne’s and St. Michael’s, was held at the Feathers Hotel and attracted a large company.
September 1 The death occurred at Beckenham, at the age of 76, of Mrs. Caroline HODGES, who formerly for many years carried on a bakery business in the Homend. The interment took place at Ledbury Cemetery.
September 5 Hop-picking commenced at the various yards in Ledbury district. The hop crop was rather larger than the previous year and of excellent quality.
September 11 The death took place at Albert Road, Newtown, of Mr. Robert HYNER, in his 82nd year. The late Mr. HYNER held the post of manager at Ledbury Gas Works for 42 years, from which he retired in July, 1921.
September 13 At the invitation of Dr. and Mrs. T. A. JONES, who were leaving the town at the end of the month, members of the Crescent Bowling Club were entertained to a farewell supper at the Steppes, and a most enjoyable evening was spent.
September 22 Organized by Ledbury branch of the Junior Imperial League, a meeting and social was held at the Feathers Hotel, when an interesting address was given by Mr. J. P. L. THOMAS, M.P.
September 23 Large congregations attended the Methodist Church on the occasion of the Harvest Festival services.
September 25 The annual meeting of members and subscribers of Ledbury Musical Society was held at the Church Room. The works chosen for the Society’s next annual concert were Sir Edward Elgar’s “Banner of St. George” and Bach’s “Peasant Cantata.”
October 1 There was a large attendance of members of the Women’s and Men’s branches of Ledbury Unionist Association, at the Feathers Hotel, when the presentation of a cheque, subscribed to by the members, was made to Dr. and Mrs. T. A. JONES, of the Steppes, who were leaving the town to take up residence in Hertfordshire.
October 7 Harvest thanksgiving services at Ledbury Parish Church.
October 8 Ledbury Ploughing Society annual competitions were held at Lillands, Little Marcle, and attracted an increased number of entries. Following the competitions the annual dinner was held at the Feathers Hotel, when Lord SOMERS presided over a large attendance of supporters.
October 9 Ledbury streets were thronged throughout the day on the occasion of the annual Michaelmas Fair, the event being favoured by ﬁne weather.
October 11 A variety entertainment entitled “Keble Komix,” organised by Miss Rachael CARNEGY in aid of the funds of the League of Mercy, drew a large and appreciative audience at the Feathers Hotel. Proceeds amounted to £22 3s. 2d.
October 14 Harvest thanksgiving services at the Elim Hall.
October 18 In connection with the Ledbury Congregational Church, a sale of work and social was held in the Schoolroom, the event being organized in aid of the Church and Sunday School funds.
October 30 Members of the newly-formed women’s branch of Ledbury British Legion held their ﬁrst annual meeting in the Congregational Schoolroom.
October 31 A large and enthusiastic audience attended the Church Room on the occasion of an entertainment given by the “Supierrots” Concert Party in aid of St. Michael's Football Club.
October 31 Ledbury Golf Club annual ball held at the Feathers Hotel.
November 5 A large company attended a “Guy Fawkes” ball at the Feathers Hotel, organised by Ledbury Town F.C.
November 5 A public firework display was given on the Recreation Ground to celebrate bonﬁre night.
November 6 Ledbury Hunt annual meeting held at the Feathers Hotel.
November 7 The death occurred at Highbridge, Ledbury, of Mr. James Ernest CRADDOCK, a well-known local corn merchant and miller, at the age of 60 years.
November 8 Ledbury Grammar School annual “Speech Day” was held at the Church Room. Lord and Lady SOMERS were present at the proceedings, the prizes being distributed to the successful scholars by Lady SOMERS.
November 8 Annual meeting of Ledbury branch of the British and Foreign Bible Society was held at the Town Hall.
November 8 A whist drive was held at Westhill in aid of the funds of the local British Legion, a sum of £18 4s. 6d. being realised.
November 9 Ledbury Hounds opening meet at Forthampton Court. A ”cap” taken in aid of Earl Haig’s Fund realised the sum of £26 3s. 0d.
November 10 Opening meet of Col. SPENCE-COLBY’s foxhounds at Walwyn Arms, Much Marcle.
November 11 Armistice Day was observed in Ledbury by the customary united service at the War Memorial. Poppy Day collections in the town for Earl Haig’s Fund realised £45 14s. 11d.
November 11 Ledbury branch of the League of Nations’ Union organised a very successful meeting in the Congregational Schoolroom, when Mr. J. P. L. THOMAS. M.P., presided over a packed audience.
November 15 In aid of the funds of Ledbury Catholic Church, a bazaar and carnival dance was held at the Feathers Hotel, and proved an outstanding success.
November 16 At the annual meeting of Ledbury Traders’ Association, held at the Feathers Hotel, a proposal was put forward of affiliating with the National Chamber of Commerce.
November 19 Lady Amy BIDDULPH presided at the annual meeting of Ledbury and District Girl Guides Association, and a most successful year’s working was reported.
November 23 There was a large attendance at the Feathers Hotel at a social evening arranged by Ledbury Women’s Unionist Association.
November 26 An excellent year’s work was reviewed at the annual meeting of the 1st Ledbury Girl Guides (Lady SOMERS’ Own), held at the Church Room.
November 28 In connection with the Eastnor Lodge of Freemasons, a ladies' festival night was held at the Feathers Hotel.
December 4 A large number of buyers attended the Christmas fat stock show and sale at Ledbury. The champion beast of the show, a Hereford steer exhibited by Mr. W. H. BARRETT, of Little Marcle. weighed 17½ cwt. and realised £41.
December 6 Ledbury Parish Church choir annual concert at the Church Room.
December 7 Annual ball organised by Ledbury Women’s Unionist Association, held at the Feathers Hotel.
December 12 At the Ledbury Girls’ School annual prize-giving, it was announced that Muriel JENKINS had won a silver medal given by the Education authorities for five years’ perfect attendance.
December 17 Junior Imperial League open meeting and entertainment at the Feathers Hotel.