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Hicks Butchers, Church Road.

by | May 23, 2016 | Church Road, Home Page, Village Shops | 7 comments


This photograph dates from, we think, around the 1930’s, and shows Mrs Hedley Hicks holding one of her sons, Frank, and her daughter May standing beside the fence.  Just next door to the left you can see Hedley’s butchers shop.  If you look very carefully you can see joints of meat hanging in the window and the sign for the shop above the window. There are some flags so there must have been probably a national celebration going on but what it was we don’t know.

Mullion Cottage Church Road, chrishall, essex

The cottage in the picture above is Mullion Cottage at the top of Church Road near the Green.  You can see a modern day picture of the same cottage to the left.  It looks to me like Hedley’s Butcher’s Shop entrance is now the main front door with a porch, and the current window to the left of the porch is where the shop window would have been.  However the modern window is smaller.

The Hicks family had five children altogether and Mrs Hicks was quite a formidable lady by all accounts!

Hedley ran his butcher’s shop for many years and is listed in the local trade directories.  You can see him in the Saffron Walden 1949/50 directory here.  Hedley moved to the village, when he got married, from Burford in Gloucestershire but the family stayed local and are still in the area today.

Update: June 2020: newspaper article quote from Harry Reeves, who lived in Elmdon:

“…and Friday nights the baking would be done, and that was when the man from Chrisahll would come with the faggots. They were delicious – they don’t make faggots like that any more.”

On the left of the butchers shop was another little cottage lived in by a lady called Miss Dove.  So the current house you see on the left is a combination of two cottages and a shop.

With many thanks to Joan Clarke (Rose/Mumby) and Sharon for the loan of the top photograph to copy.

D: 1930 D: 1940 D: 1950
C: 20th Century


  1. Bryan Rogers

    Oh, how well I remember the Hicks family; Hedley, the butcher, always polite and obliging to his customers and every Sunday morning walking to church, carrying his gloves in his hand but,as you say, Mrs. Hicks was a formidable figure, and we boys knew not to cross her path! There was a period when Hedley could not drive his little van and he enlisted my mother (Dot) to drive for him making his deliveries to the outlying customers. The family suffered a tragedy when their eldest son John was killed, when he was 18, in a motor bike accident. He was such a kind and generous young man. He was working in Cambridge, and when he started there he told me he didn’t like being addressed by his surname. One of my abiding memories of him was during a football match when we were playing, and winning, against another village team, he said to me, “I wish I was playing for them.” He actually died on my 15th. birthday, in 1942.
    The cottage adjoining the butchers shop was occupied by, as I recall, an elderly man and his sister, I don’t think I ever knew their names, or where they came from; we nicknamed him “Woodbine Willy.” Can’t think why! Back to the Hicks family, I think George and Frank were in business, working from Hadstock. I didn’t really know the younger ones, or how and when Mr. and Mrs. passed away.

  2. Rosemarie Gant

    I think the Hicks probably moved away from the village at some point. There appear to be no grave records for any Hicks at all. Lovely memories though Bryan, thank you for those. We must find out who Woodbine Willy was!

  3. Rosemarie Gant

    Could Woodbine Willy have been Frederick W Gilbey, PSV and HGV driver (so possibly bus driver)?

    • Bryan Rogers

      No idea. He certainly did not drive any vehicle when I knew him!

  4. Kim

    My name is Kim and I am the granddaughter of Mr & Mrs Hicks.
    The brother and sister who occupied the cottage were Ethal Fanny Everett and her brother. Ethal Fanny Everett was a children’s book illustrator, Enid Blyton etc. Their graves are in the local churchyard. Mr and Mrs Hicks moved to Cambridge when Hedley Hicks retired due to ill health. Two of the children survive today, my mother Kathleen May and her brother Colin.

    • Rosemarie Gant

      Hello Kim – thank you so much for getting in touch. Ethal Fanny Everett sounds fascinating and definitely someone to look into. If your family come across any old village photographs it would be lovely to have some copies of them. And if you are local do visit us at the Archive some time. Best wishes.


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