From Leigh Trevail :-I have tried to find out more about the Hill Climbs at Branches Park nr. Cowlinge in the early 30’s. Sometimes this was erroneously referred to as Newmarket, have you heard of these races?
Doug Everitt, Kirtling historian, came up with this information: “Mr Tonge, who preceded the eccentric Miss Parsons at Branches Park, was interested in fast cars and had a sports car ‘with the handbrake on the outside’, you can have a good guess what that might have been. He had the reputation of driving to Newmarket ‘flat out all the way’. He used to have his cars serviced at the Cheveley Garage on Broomstick Corner”
Mr. Tonge apparently made his money in shipping and moved to Cheveley after leaving Branches Park. It may be that the car trials were held on the long approach drive to the house at Branches Park.
More information on this subject would be appreciated. (webmaster)
After further research Leigh has come up with this from 1930: C.U.A.C. Speed Trials…….Event at Branches Park….Owing to the fact that Ewelme Down could not be obtained for the Inter-varsity Hill Climb, this event has had to be postponed until a later date. In place of this, therefore, Cambridge ran a speed trial at Branches Park, near Newmarket, which was also open to members of the Oxford Club. The course which consists of 550 yards of straight macadam, was kindly lent by Mrs. Tonge and favoured with perfect weather a very successful event was run off.
October 28th, 2009
From Peter Williams to Eric Dunning Newmarket (LHS Chairman): – I have been given your name by the Newmarket Tourist Information Centre as someone who may be able to answer my question:
I understand that in the mid 19th Century there was an Independent (Congregational) Church in Newmarket with which the family of the famous preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon was associated. Are you able to tell me please, or put me in touch with someone who might know, where exactly that Church was situated and what building is there today?
at the time between the International and Goldings (from the Peter Norman collection)
I have spoken to Eric Dunning, who is not on email, and we agree that the Church you mention was in the middle of the High Street (south side). The building still belongs to the Church but is now occupied by The Stable, a meeting place and café open in the mornings. The Congregational Church amalgamated with Christchurch (Methodist) which is in St Mary’s Square. We have a file on the history of the Congregational Church compiled by George Ginn of Soham. This includes details of the Minister, Charles Spurgeon. If anyone wants access to this, please contact our Society through this website (webmaster)
October 22nd, 2009
From Charlotte Kempin of Burwell: -Dear Mr Vincent, Thank you very much for your recent talks on Icewell Hill, at Newmarket Library and at the meeting of Newmarket Local History Society. I really enjoyed seeing all the photographs of Icewell Hill that were included on Tuesday, hearing others’ memories, and the opportunity to speak to people who lived there prior to the changes in the 1960s.
I have been researching Elsie and Sophia Palethorpe since an article about them appeared in the Newmarket Journal in July this year. I contributed my research for the later article, published in August. I hope you will be able to help with my continuing research. I am gathering as much information as possible about the Misses Palethorpe, and plan to write a book in recognition of the captivating story of their lives, and their tragic deaths – which signify a landmark in Newmarket’s history that is sad in so many respects. (They walked out into the sea and drowned).
I am keen to hear from anyone who remembers the Palethorpe sisters. I already plan to see Bill Smith, Archivist for the Society, as I understand from Sandra Easom that he knows a lot about the sisters. I would love to hear any memories or anecdotes anyone else has about Elsie and Sophia. In particular, I am hoping to find anyone who may have any photographs of them. Please would you add an appeal for information to the Correspondence page on the Society’s website, and the newsletter if there is one? With very many thanks for your help.
We will help Charlotte with pictures. If anyone would like to get in touch with her please email or telephone me, contact details appears on this website (webmaster)
The Palethorpe’s “Woodbine Cottage” in St.Mary’s Square (from the Peter Norman collection)
October 1st, 2009
From C Norton :-I have a query relating to the former Workhouse which is puzzling me.
The present “St Philip’s and St Etheldreda’s” church is said to be the former Workhouse chapel. However, the baptism records refer to the Workhouse chapel as St Etheldreda’s and seem to imply that St Philip’s was a different building – i.e. on the baptisms records both names are used on the same page indicating a separate identity. (This is in the 1895-1905 period).
So, can you tell me if there was a separate St Philip’s church – with an identity later merged with the Workhouse chapel? Or was there only ever the one building which for some reason was referred to by two different names, i.e. if you entered from the Workhouse, it was called one thing and entering off the street as another…. Hoping you can shed some light on this.
St Phillip’s Church, which was a rather poor corrugated iron building in St Philips Road, was demolished in the 1960s to make way for housing. The services then transferred to the hospital chapel (formerly the workhouse chapel), as they had been served by the same vicar (webmaster)
St.Philips in St Philip’s Road……………………………..St Etheldreda- ex hospital chapel
September 11th, 2009
I am researching Henry O’Brien, Earl of Thomond and Viscount Tadcaster who owned Shortgrove Hall in Newport Essex. He was succeeded by his nephew Percy Wyndham O’Brien who inherited his estate in 1742 together with his debts of £102,000. Fortunately, Percy was the younger brother of the Earl of Egremont of Petworth House, Sussex so it was not too much of a problem. Henry was extravagant and not a good manager of his estates which he expanded without much thought. I have been told that among his acquisitions was Newmarket Palace.
I have searched the net but have found little about the Palace or Palace House. I would be most grateful if you could provide me with any information on any connection of Henry O’Brien, Percy Wyndhan O’Brien or the Earl of Egremont with the Palace.
I am the Village Recorder for Newport and on the committee of Recorders of Uttlesford History www.recordinguttlesfordhistory.org.uk. Thank You, David Evans
I refer you to http://www.newmarketshops.info/Charles_II_Palace.html, a website of one of our members (webmaster)
August 31st, 2009
Greetings – I obtained your email address from the website. I would appreciate your assistance.
I am interested in the family of Sir Charles Rose and his connection to the game of real tennis. He was the owner of Suffolk House which was located in the centre of Newmarket. I do not know when it was demolished but the old tennis court survived and was brought back into play as recently as 1995. I came to the UK to attend the re-opening.
Can you please advise if there is a picture of the old Suffolk House, in which case would it be possible to obtain a copy…. Thank you, Michael Garnett (Melbourne, Australia)
Our Chairman, Eric Dunning, knows a little about Suffolk House, some of which you may already be aware. At one time the old court fell into disuse and became part of the then Crisswells Garage, which fronted the High Street. I understand that it as brought back into use in the 1990s by Dr Shneerson, who was a surgeon at the Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire. I am told that he wrote a book about the court.
We will check in our archives to see if we have a picture of Suffolk House, but this is looking a little unlikely.
Added in December 2013. : – Col McCalmont of Cheveley Park c.1900 built a Real Tennis Court there, but apparently it was never used. For some reason rivalry existed between the owners of the two courts. (webmaster)
August 26th, 2009
I am trying to track down information (and more specifically photographs and plans of) Lanwades Hall in Kentford between its construction in approx. 1901 and WW2. There appears to be very little information available (other than reference to the place as being connected to the Derby winner Jeddah). By any chance can you help?
Many thanks in advance for any assistance that you may be able to offer…. With kind regards, Anthony.
Any information will be passed on (webmaster)
August 14th, 2009
Dear Rod, I have been trying without success to find out where inmates of the Union Workhouse at Newmarket (Exning) were buried. I came across the NLHS website while searching online and I was wondering if you, or any of the members, could shed any light on this matter. Any help would be gratefully received…. With best regards…….Alice Dalton
An interesting question Alice. There is a helpful little book about the running of the Newmarket Poor Law Institution (Workhouse) by Dick Heasman, the son of the former Workhouse master, which gives brief details of the way burials were arranged in the later years.
Sandra Easom, local historian and committee member, thinks the most likely answer is that they were buried in ‘paupers graves’, probably in Exning cemetery. The grave would have been numbered in the records but otherwise unmarked and the body would probably have been covered by a simple shroud. The cost would have been born by the parishes using the Institution.
This website rather confirms our supposition about the disposal of the bodies of dead inmates http://www.workhouses.org.uk/index.html?Newmarket/Newmarket.shtml.
If anyone has more precise information, we would be pleased to hear it (webmaster)
Added August 2013. This website now includes an article on The Workhouse at Newmarket, and uses information from Heasman’s Book, select here
August 3rd, 2009
I am researching my family history and I know that it states on your website that you do not deal with such enquiries unless they are of people of significance in the area. I have been led to believe that ancestors of mine were particularly well known in Newmarket as Horse Trainers and jockeys alike. I wonder if you have any information relating to any of the following: –
Mr William Martin (1818 – 1894) – Trainer of Horses – Fitzroy House
Mr William Scott Martin (1840 – 1887) – contributor to Sporting Life as Special Commissioner
and under nom de plume of Martingale.
Mr Edwin Martin (1845 – ) Trainer of Horses
Mr Edwin Martin (1866- ) Jockey
Mr Archibald Martn (1874 – ) Jockey
Many thanks in anticipation…….Kind regards ……Emma Scott-Martin
July 28th, 2009
Hi, I am doing some family research and are trying to find out about a Louisa Hogg (Servant) who is shown on the 1911 census has working for an Australian Trainer called “John Brewor” who trained at Park House, Park House Lane, Newmarket in 1911. If you could help in any way, it would be greatly appreciated…….Robert.
As pointed out on our website we are a Local, as opposed to a Family History Society. You will appreciate that genealogy research can take up an awful amount of time and we are unable to pursue such enquiries unless the persons were famous or high profile and therefore of general local interest. However, I will enter your query on our Correspondence pages as you never know what that might turn up (webmaster).
July 16th, 2009
Hi, I am greatly interested in horse racing and in particular its history. I am researching the history of many of the stables and trainers/jockeys in Newmarket. However, I have become completely stuck on George Colling. I know that in the early 1950s he trained at Stanley House for Lord Derby. But I cannot find where he trained before or after this time. I am particularly keen to find where he was training when he had Nimbus who won the Derby in 1949. Any information would be gratefully received…. Many thanks….Charlotte McAndrew
Hello Charlotte, we do not have detailed knowledge of the history of horse racing in Newmarket but referring to that useful little publication ‘A MAP OF NEWMARKET showing historical training yards and their famous horses’
I note that after a spell at Stanley House training for Lord Derby, Geo. Colling trained at Hurworth House, formerly Meynell House (Fordham Road) and that Nimbus won from there in 1949.
The National Horseracing Museum, High Street Newmarket would probably be able to tell you more, the map mentioned above was bought from their shop. A link to the museum also appears on this website.(webmaster)
July 10th, 2009
I’ve read all I can on your excellent site, but still don’t know what category into which my query falls. I don’t want to break any rules so hope it’s within your remit. I’m afraid I know very little about Newmarket (and as I write local history for my own little area near Hastings in Sussex I don’t think I could manage too much more information).
My questions are brief and only partly about family history. My parents were married by special licence on Boxing Day 1941, and I have no photos and no record whatever of the event except for a greetings telegram and that was sent to the wrong name!
- The church was All Saints Parish Church, but there seem to be two churches of this name – is it All Saints Road or Cardigan Street?
- Is there access to local newspapers of the time to check whether or not a wedding report went in? – of course, there were rather more important things to think about in 1941.
My dear late mum was obviously in Newmarket from St Leonards on Sea as an evacuee, but I’ve never thought to ask before – why Newmarket? I wasn’t even aware of the places considered safe in the war. She was staying at no 8 Warrington Street, and her younger brother actually did marry a Newmarket girl, living there for the rest of his life. My dad was in the RAF with no address given on the marriage certificate.
I do hope that you can give me a few pointers towards finding the right places for this information, and I would be extremely grateful for the tiniest club! Kind regards…. Sue Sully
Sue, there was only one All Saints Parish Church, so it has got to be the one. Newmarket Heath (the Rowley Mile Racecourse) was turned into a bomber airfield at the very outset of the war (Wellingtons and later Stirlings), the airmen were initially housed in the grandstands but later many were billeted in the town.
Another satellite airfield was at Snailwell, about three miles away, this hosted a variety of aircraft mostly fighters and Lysander Army Cooperation planes, many foreign airmen were based at Snailwell, Polish, Belgians and visiting USAF, in fact Newmarket became a rather cosmopolitan town, all these uniformed servicemen very exciting for the young girls! (webmaster)
June 14th, 2009
From Pete Harvey.: – Sorry to bother you but maybe you could help me. I live in southern California and am in the jewellery business. I have a small hobby, Whenever I find an Item of a personal nature, I try to return it to the owner. A gold medal was found in the sand at the beach.
It was given to Taffy Williams a racehorse trainer in the 1950s. His name came up in one of your articles. All I know is this medal was won at Ferryhill. If he is still alive, or has family interested in it I would like to return it to them. Any help would be appreciated…..firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nothing seems to be known of Taffy Williams since he ceased training at Saville House.
May 15th, 2009
From Celia Dean in Canada: – My father, Arthur Edwin Dean was born in “Nell Gwynn’s Cottage” in Palace Street. He apprenticed to Gilberts in High Street, Newmarket about 1939 aged 15. He worked there as a plumber and was sent out to all the stately homes in the area to fix the antique plumbing systems.
He had many stories about the wealthy “Lords and Ladies” including “old” Lord Wolverton who used to hover fascinated watching him making pipes and soldering. Arthur worked at Gilberts they closed their doors in the 60’s and Henry Gilbert and his mother migrated to Canada. Having a family to feed,
Arthur walked straight across the street to Hobbs Hardware Store where they welcomed him with open arms and “treated him like family”. He worked there until he migrated to Canada in the 1970’s. I would like any information you can give me on Gilberts Store, Hobbs Hardware and Nell Gwynn’s Cottage – tips on where to find old photos of the area would be fantastic! Thank you C Dean
Harry Gilbert’s shop was in Eaton House whch was bombed in the war (still having the facade signed as Simpson’s) and as Celia says,carried on until the 1960’s. (Webmaster)
May 15th -Further information from Celia Dean :- Although I have been away from Newmarket since 1973 and I have lived in many places around the world, I still consider myself a local girl. I was born in a house built in the mid 1800’s at Cheveley Park. I was Miss Newmarket in 1972 and Miss Sprite in 1969.
I started delving into my family history at the request of my dying father who knew nothing of his father’s ancestry. We all thought William David Dean b 1886 was from London but he turned out to be a local lad born in Newmarket and raised in Nell Gwynn’s Cottage. He earned a Military Medal in WWI. I can trace his ancestry back to Richard Dean who died in Burrough Green in 1633 and possibly Grantchester in 1540. When he married, Dorothy May Pammenter, the young couple had their first children in Nell Gwynn’s Cottage and then moved to Exning Road in 1927. My Grandmother lived there till she died in 1983.
Dorothy May Pammenter was raised in Exning, born in Snailwell and her ancestry goes back to 1738 through Swaffham Bulbeck and Bartlow. She worked for the Tate or Lyle Family (can never remember which) of Tate and Lyle Golden Syrup fame. They had a stately home somewhere in the Chippenham/Exning area. She started off as a scullery maid when she was about 12 years old and worked her way up to head cook.
Combine Julia Child with Mrs Bridges and you’ll get the idea – she was a real Queen of the kitchen. She travelled with the other servants to their London home each year for the season and we wrongly thought that’s where she met William David Dean.
My paternal Great Grandparents, David John Dean b 1860 and Selina Alice Rawlinson met when he was a bricklayer in Newmarket and called in to his local watering hole after work. Alice was at that time working as a domestic servant at the White Lion Inn on High Street, Newmarket. My other paternal Great Grandparents Jeremiah Pammenter and Eliza Clover, had a small farm in Exning and brought up 11 children in a tiny, thatched cottage covered in roses.
I have family connections to a person who once owned the land on which the Swaffham Prior windmill stands, and my family church is St Mary’s where my father was a boy soprano choir boy. I now have over 8,000 relatives in my tree; you could draw a 15-mile ring around Newmarket and most of my 8,000 relatives would have been born in that circle.
Yes, I do still have family in the Newmarket area. Three of my father’s siblings have passed on and out of the original 7 children two are still living in Australia and my Uncle Leslie Dean lives up Exning Road. Leslie will be 90 next year and is still going strong. He was taken prisoner by the Japanese and worked on the “Railway of Death” but luckily came home. I have a wonderful photo of the boys having a drink with their mother when he came home, and my Nana is looking adoringly at him. Leslie’s daughter and my cousin Jennifer lives at Studlands. Probably more than you need to know, but as you can see, we are a very local family deeply connected to the Newmarket area….Celia Dean
Gilberts shop was damaged in the February 1941 bombing of Newmarket. Our book ‘One Afternoon in February’ about the bombing has pictures of the damaged shop. If you look at the Francis Frith collection of pictures of Newmarket it will give you a good idea of what the High Street looked like in the 1920s and 1950s. You can reach this from a link on our web page ‘Links to related Sites’ (Webmaster)
May 7th, 2009
From Patricia Collins :- I wonder if you know anything of my Gt Grandfather:
1891 census shows 29-year-old Alfred Aley living at Rosa Cottages, Lisburn Road, Newmarket. he is a ‘groom in a racing stable’ Along the Lisburn Road in Palace House is trainer Alfred Hayhoe. All the other inhabitants of Rosa Cottages are employed in the stables. Did the cottages belong to Hayhoe?
1899 St Philips Road Exning, Alfred Aley is a stableman.
May 2009; We have since discovered that Alfred Aley’s brother Frank appears on the Newmarket Roll of Honour for WW I as can be found on www.undyingmemory.net
May 1st, 2009
From Jan Wagner: – Hi, I am writing from work in Canada, and my maiden name was Cooper, and my grandfather Charles Cooper was born in Newmarket. His father, my Great Grandfather was a businessman in Newmarket, and I wondered if the monument located in High Street had anything to do with him.
I wondered if you could tell me the name of the “Cooper” the monument is for.? I would be most grateful for any info you can give me.
The monument is to the memory of Sir Daniel Cooper (Bart) a popular owner and a great benefactor to the town. Australian by birth, his father had been the first baronet and was the Speaker of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly. It was erected in 1910 by Sir Daniel’s widow, Lady Harriet Cooper (webmaster)
April 27th, 2009
From Chris Strong in New Zealand :- My name is Chris Strong and I have an entry in your correspondence pages dated 2004 regarding the airman Edgar William Harvey (my uncle). I have just revisited your site and saw an entry from Denise Boneham dated April 2008 asking why my uncle is buried in Lakenham.
Are you able to reply to her and say that I think he is buried there because his wife came from around there. They had been married less than 2 weeks when he was killed and from what I understand, she came out to New Zealand to Edgar’s parents (my grandparents) and lived in NZ from then on. She died quite young herself, so I am not sure of the details. I have found out she was Josephine Emma Drake, and her father was Herbert Drake, they lived in Norwich.
Also, I was interested in what Max Lambert had to say, if you have his contact details, would you pass on my email address to him, I would love to find out if he is writing the history of 75 Squadron.
One of the countless tragedies from WWII. The message has been passed on (webmaster).
March 30th, 2009
From Avril Smith :- I note with interest your reply to an enquiry about Albion Street, Newmarket. I wonder if anyone remembers The Sir John Barleycorn pub in Albion Street, and/or has any photos or postcards of it? My husband’s grandfather, Ernest Ebenezer Carter, is listed as the licensed victualler there on the 1911 census.
Albion Street or what was left of it just before the final demolition c1970
(photo from www.newmarkepubs.co.uk)
From Nick Spencer: -I’m involved with Mildenhall Museum in a commemoration project for the 75th anniversary of the MacRobertson England – Australia Air Race of 1934. As part of my research, I went to Hendon in London to view the Royal Aero Club Archives. While there I had a very enjoyable time looking around the fantastic RAF Museum. One exhibit that particularly caught my eye was a temporary display dedicated to the flying life of Alex Henshaw.
It consisted of some wonderful paintings by the artist Michael Turner that were commissioned by Alex before his death and since turned into a limited-edition book ‘Alex Henshaw – A Flying Legend’ published last month. So impressed was I, that on returning home I placed an order for the book. I also discovered that he lived and died at home in Newmarket.
At this point I didn’t really know how much of a connection he had with the town but thought it might be a good idea if the exhibit could go on display somewhere in Newmarket such as Palace House. I mentioned this to Simon Batey (Forest Heath Tourism Manager) on Wednesday at our Air Race committee meeting and he seemed interested. He asked that I send him details of Alex Henshaw and he would make further inquiries. I think he may also have mentioned the NLH Society as the first point of information.
Anyway, I just stumbled across your website piece on Alex and thought I’d drop you a line to see what you think. A couple of web sites that you might like to look at:
March 19th, 2009
From Janet Köhne (Mendham) now living in Germany: – I wonder if you can help, in or around 1942 a poetry book was printed of the works of Newmarket Secondary modern pupils. One particular poem called EXNING I remember part of. I unfortunately lost the book when I moved move 33 years ago. The only words I remember:–
Exning is a village, a village very small,
Exning has a church, a church very tall,
by it stands a hut, some call it a hall,
Exning has a Policeman called PC Attawall.
My question is, who wrote the poem?
Anyone got any ideas (webmaster)
In connection with a biography of Lily, Duchess of Marlborough, I am trying to get a feel for Newmarket in the late 1890s (1896 through 1900). Laura Thompson gives some idea of “society” homes in the town, although most Newmarket histories seem to be mostly about horses and jockeys.
Lily’s husband was Lord William Beresford, who kept his racehorses in training at Newmarket. The couple rented there during Derby week and Beresford is said to have leased “Heath House” during the last couple of years of his life (he died in late 1900), but from what I’ve read about Heath House I don’t see how this would have been possible.
I was wondering if there were any contemporary or somewhat later descriptions of Newmarket that you could recommend that might give a better feel for the town during this period…. With thanks…. Sally Svenson, New York
The most comprehensive description of Newmarket and its personalities during the Victorian period is contained in the two volume ‘History of Newmarket and its Surrounding Areas’, edited by Sandra Easom and produced by our Society. They contain much information on all aspects of the town and its people and gives a real feel for the times. It is not surprising that racing tends to be the dominant subject in connection with the wealthy and the aristocracy of the town.
A whole section is given over to short biographies of some of the high-profile characters, including Caroline, Duchess of Montrose, born the Hon Caroline Beresford, an extraordinary woman who built St Agnes Church in memory of her second husband, and married for a third time in 1888. Although this does not directly relate to your question, I thought you might find it interesting, because of the Beresford connection.
The Duke of Marlborough had connections with Newmarket and the Marlborough Club survived until recently. If further information is forthcoming through our Society, I will contact you again. Our two volumes were supplied to Libraries and schools and are available for reference but were never on general sale and do not appear in book lists. We no longer have any spare copies. …. Rodney Vincent, webmaster Newmarket Local History Society.
March 28th, 2009
Further note from Committee member Sandra Easom: – There is the possibility of a digital version of our 2 vols. Other books she could do an internet search for are ‘Headquarters’ by Richard Onslow or ‘Newmarket, Its Sports and Personalities’ by Siltzer. However, both are fairly rare now. NLHS no longer loans its copies out. Also, Royal Newmarket by Lyle (even rarer) records early 20C but is useful for looking back as things had not changed that much.
March 5th, 2009
I don’t know if you can help me, but I have just discovered that my great grandfather, John Stubbs, was a jockey at Newmarket in the 1880’s and would like to know any information about him. If you cannot help me do you know who might? Kind regards….Brenda Wilkinson
Perhaps the Horseracing Museum can help (webmaster)
February 22nd, 2009
I am researching my Family Tree and have discovered that William Walters is my great Uncle. My research shows he was quite well known in Newmarket as a horse trainer. I was wondering if I could locate any further information on him, for example, did he ever get married? Did he see out his years at Wroughton House stables? Any other information would be most appreciated…. Kind regards…. Lyndsey Donaldson-Selby
You could try the Horseracing Museum.
February 11th, 2009
From Julie Bennett: – I realize that you don’t deal with requests for family research, but I hoped you might have information on my grandfather’s business in Newmarket. His name was Gordon Challice and he ran a coal merchants’ business with his brother George and later his nephew, also George.
As I was still only young when Gordon died in the 1960s, I know very little about his business, although I do know that he also ran a coach business because I remember going with my Grandmother Hilda Challice on the buses to the schools around the district.
Many older Newmarket people will remember Challis Bros Coal Merchants and Coach business of Granby Street. Any more information will be passed on.
February 3rd, 2009
I am trying to find any information on my father, (Kenneth O.Pugh) he was a groom for Sir Gordon Richards about 1920 approx. I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction, I have been led to believe he worked for Sir Gordon at this time in Newmarket….Regards…David Pugh
I am reliably informed that Sir Gordon often rode at Newmarket but never trained there. It may that Kenneth Pugh accompanied Sir Gordon when he stayed in Newmarket from time to time. (Webmaster)
January 19th, 2009
From Robert Rodrigo following a query about Heath View House, which is shown on the old map of Icewell Hill (see pg 5 of this website). Yes, Heath View House (I think it should be three words) was right on the top of Icewell Hill. I think I sent you a picture of it some time ago. The expression Castle Dangerous was coined by the Hon. Francis Lawley, who wrote about the house and its uninterrupted views of the Heath in an article in the Daily Telegraph in 1874. (I’m not sure whether he used the expression in that article, though).
Lawley and Sir Charles Russell (later Lord Russell of Killowen) were regular visitors there on the mornings if race weeks, when they would chat about racing affairs. On one occasion these two also brought a third person with them, ultimately revealing him to be one Hawkins – he was the current official executioner.
Now I wonder whether Alfred Munnings, the artist, ever went there. He used to stay with Fred Butters in Rous Road for race weeks, just across from Avondale, and he would spend a lot of time sitting in my grandmother’s (Rodrigo) sitting room. I never made a connection, although his babyhood nurse was a Bonnett – and so was my grandmother. (We do have Munnings family relations, but they’re from Kirtling/Haughley.)
One wall of Heath View House’s grounds abutted the cottage in which the Elliott family lived. Father used to take an extra breakfast egg to pass over the wall to Charlie, who tried to repay him by telling him that Bois Roussel would win the 1938 Derby (which it did, at 20-1). Sadly, Father didn’t back it.
I have always believed that one major aspect of Newmarket history is contained in the cemetery. There are the graves of so many of the people who made Newmarket what it used to be before inept local government and archaic Jockey Club thinking (coupled with what must surely be the world’s worst example of “traffic management” which, among many other defects, permits horses to mix with vehicles) allowed it to be turned from the horse racing capital of the world into the nightclub capital of East Anglia. Now, if you want to see a modern racing set-up, you need to go to Hong Kong.
For further information about Heath View House see the Icewell Hill page on this website.
January 19th, 2009
Information from Geoffrey Woollard about The Red House, Regent Street, following our feature on Icewell Hill. Lt. Col. Arthur Herbert Catchpole (1880 – 1962), lived his last years at The Red House, St. Mary’s Square, sadly demolished but pictured on your photograph below right of the criss-cross paths and opposite where Hobbs were until recently.
Lt. Col Catchpole served in the Gt War and was retired badly wounded. He had a big hand in founding the Exning Road Club and was Chairman of the Club Committee.
Red House with Arthur Catchpole’s invalid car under wraps in the front garden (Peter Norman collection)
January 7th, 2009
From Roger Newman in response to our feature on the old Icewell Hill.
I do remember the Old Icewell Hill area or at least parts of it. There was fish and chip shop there just down from the Victory pub and at least once a week I had a portion of chips for lunch whilst at the Grammar School. My mother always gave me enough money for fish and chips, but I used to buy a box of Smarties from the sweet shop next to the Grammar school so only had enough left for chips.
When my sister and I were very young, our first two wheeled bicycle was a small second hand one which she had first and then I had it. When it was too small for me, I am sure that a family called the Bishops, who had twin girls, had it next and I believe they lived on Icewell Hill somewhere.
Sometime in the 50’s, a boy was run over and killed on the hill outside the shop that used to be on the opposite side of the road to the houses.
that fish and chip shop (Peter Norman collection)
This follow up from Tony Pringle: Just reading the correspondence and on 7 Jan 2009 a letter from Roger Newman mentioning fish and chip shop on St Mary’s Square, which was Arthur Watkinson’s. The boy he refers to as being run over and killed just up Mill Hill was Hilda Butcher’s son, (cannot remember his name) the accident was right outside what is now the gun shop (see below)
May 7th, 2010
This from Bev Hill: I forwarded Tony Pringle’s comments (see above) to my elder brother John Hill since we both knew the boy in question. I have copied his reply which may be of interest.
“It was Colin Butcher. He was in the choir with us at All Saints (Head chorister) and the scouts. His dad had a shoe mender’s shop by the Rutland which was eventually taken over by Jack Martin who lived two doors up from us in Centre Drive. He had a smaller brother about Steve’s age and for years afterwards his dad wore a black rectangle on his sleeve. He was run over by a lorry full of sand on Icewell Hill.
I’ll never forget it nor his funeral at All Saints and we said we would not take the two-bob funeral money…. Regards….Bev Hill