Heptzibah & George Harvey lived in Brick Row and had a large family, relatives of whom still live in the area. We now have another photograph and more information about the Harvey family.
Peter Dickinson is related to the Harvey family and has written a lovely piece about his World War II Memories on the Milton Keynes Living Archive. He includes a picture of his mother’s family (left) and a little piece about life in Chrishall. (Peter’s mother was Violet Harvey, front row second from the right).
You can clearly see Heptzibah and George sitting in the front of the smaller photograph. And several of the men are wearing lovely buttonhole flowers so perhaps it was a special occasion that the family had got together. I wonder if the flowers were grown on the family allotment?**
**Update March 2017: we now know that this picture was taken on the occasion of George and Heptzibah (‘Epsie’)’s Golden Wedding in 1936. In the photograph you can see:
Back row: Tom, Tim, Peter, Will, Reuben and David
Front row: Ada, Epsie, George, Violet and Rose.
Click on the photograph for a larger image.
(Sadly Peter’s article no longer appears on the Milton Keynes Living Archive website. Hopefully it is tucked away in their archive somewhere.)
My mum had been born in a small village called Chrishall, Essex which is near Royston, Herts. She had two sisters and six brothers, so I often wonder what life had been like when she was growing up. Around 1943 our family did visit the cottage where she had lived during her childhood. It had no electricity, gas or water. The toilet was in what was known as the barn. It did not have any lighting or running water. Quite an experience when there was a call of nature after dark. I can still remember my mum’s brother Tim taking two buckets attached to a yoke to what was known to the locals as the ‘dungle’. This was about half a mile from their cottage and adjacent to Uncle Tim’s huge allotments, which he referred to as his garden. On a hot day the ‘dungle’ had a smell all of its own, but he did produce masses of lovely vegetables from his garden.
In 2008 Mrs Olive Harvey from Duddenhoe End (very near to Chrishall) wrote a series of three books on the history of Duddenhoe End and Wenden Lofts. There are, of course, various mentions of Chrishall and many local families. These books can be borrowed from Saffron Walden Library.
- Aspects of an English Village: Duddenhoe End with Wenden Lofts; North West Essex: Book 1
- Life and Times of an English Village: Duddenhoe End with Wenden Lofts; North West Essex: Book 2
- Farming through the Centuries : Duddenhoe End with Wenden Lofts; North West Essex: Book 3
(Top photograph from the Bruce Drury Collection.)
Y: C: 20th century