The early 1920's saw many exciting changes in design and advances in technology.
6th January 1923 - Leverstock Green's most famous resident of the time was about to embark on a new part in the West End:
"MR LYN HARDING
We understand that Mr. Lyn Harding has accepted the invitation of Mr AB Limpers to play the principle part in his new play "Trespasses". Mr Harding will commence rehearsals as soon as the run of Peter Pan at the St. James Theatre is ended. His many local friends will wish Mr Lyn Harding who lives in Leverstock Green every success." [Gazette 6.1.1923]
9th January 1923: - Mr. T H Ford, the previous Head Master of Leverstock Green school, died on 9th January in Acton where the Ford's now lived. Rev Durrant, Mr Ayre, Mr JW Dell and one or two others attended the funeral from Leverstock Green.[ Gazette 20.1.1923]
14th April 1923 - Gazette reported that £17 was raised by Leverstock Green residents on behalf of the West Hertfordshire Hospital during Easter week - whist drives, a fancy dress dance & social had raised the funds. [Gazette 14.4.1923]
14th April 1923 - It was also reported that Mr AG Mears the farrier had won 1st prize in a horse-shoe making competition, held at King Cross the previous Saturday. There were 24 competitors in all drawn from the home Counties. [Gazette 14.4.1923]
17th April 1923 - A Letter dated 17th April 1923 headed Hillend & Maiden Crouch from the Gorhambury steward stated that:
Lord Verulam has decided to let Hillend from Michelmas next and Mr Jolly has asked to be relieved of fields 485 & 495 from that date. If these fields are again let with Hillend the holding will then be as rented by the late tenant Mr Aris………….. This plan was obviously agreed to as the farm was subsequently let Thomas Aldridge. (See entry for 29th September 1923.) [HALS, D/EV.E98 (1-7) Hillend.]
23rd April 1923 - A report dated 23rd April 1923 on Hillend & Maiden Crouch farms included the following:
Generally speaking this holding appears to have been farmed fairly in accordance with the Gorhambury Estate agreement, but the drought of 1921 upset the rotation in some of the fields as all the young seeds failed that year. I obtained the croppings of the arable land for the past five years from Mortlock and the croppings for this year are as follows:
The acreage of arable land is 83 acres 2 roods 19poles and if the farm is let this year there should be, under the Gorhambury agreement 16 ¾ acres fallow, 16 ¾ acres of young seeds and 16 ¾ acres of clover. Mortlock however, informs me that he is putting in another eight acres of young seeds which will make the entry next Michaelmas about correct.
The holding seems to have been properly cultivated and the land appears to be fairly clean with the exception of course of the bare fallow, which is only natural. This latter has been once steam ploughed……………………
With regard the state of repair of the buildings these appear in very fair condition with the exception of the cart shed, which is very dilapidated and in danger of falling down. The garden wall is also in very bad condition. The floor in the cart horse stable is also very bad and requires taking up and relaying and the barn also requires a new floor……………………I did not inspect the interior of the farm and cottages as I had no instructions to do so…………………………………
Part of Maiden’s Crouch Fm
I also met with Mr Jolly the tenant of the above farm and inspected fields 495 & 485. Both fields are arable and in very poor condition and I am not at all surprised at Mr Jolly wishing to give them up. Field 495 comprises about 26 acres and the crop this year is roughly as follows: 10 acres of wheat
8 acres of winter oats 8 acres of sheep feed…………….the crops this year are very poor and the majority of the wheat and oats hardly show now and where they do the crop is extremely thin. The ground is also far from clean.
With regard field 485 comprising nearly 12 acres this is in deplorable condition. Mr Jolly informs me that he laid this field down to permanent pasture in 1921, but the seeds failed owing to the drought….perm pasture last spring, but the seeds…..failed again for the field is nothing but a mass of sorrel and other weeds. This shows that the lands must be very sour.
He then went on to recommend it be kept with Maiden Crouch Farm – but obviously this did not happen as it was later let in September. inclusive of these fields. (See entry 123rd September 1923).
The report included a large scale plan of the farm showing its land-use between 1914 and 1917.
[HALS, D/EV.E98 (1-7) Hillend.]
26th April 1923 - The village school children were given a whole day holiday in celebration of the wedding of the Duke of York and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later to become Edward VIII and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.) [S73]
May 16th 1923 - An intriguing note in the school log book read as follows:
"Towards clearing off the Debt on the School, the sum of £14-11-7 has been obtained by a School Concert held on the 12th." There had been no previous mention of any debt - but think it may have been in connection with the building of new "offices" (toilets) mentioned earlier in the year. [S73]
3rd June 1923 - The records of Horn & Co, Undertakers from Marlowes show the following entry:
Ref 244/ Deceased: Orchard, Elizabeth DATE OF DEATH: 3.6.1923 NOTE: She was 80 years old and the funeral took place at the cemetery on 6.6.1923. Husband (late): Orchard, Thomas ADDRESS: Woodwell, Hemel Hempstead
9th June 1923 - The following advert appeared in the Gazette:
Leverstock Green: MR W DORANT Will sell by auction at the Leather Bottle Leverstock Green on Wednesday 20 June at 6 by the direction of the owner, 13 valuable Freehold building plots having frontages from about 41 ft and depths from about 165 ft to the main road, proposed new road and Pancake Lane. Charming location very open and healthy. Low rates, company's water, buses pass Property. Well adapted for erection of pleasant country homes. Also the freehold detached house and garden with barn at corner of New Road and St. Albans Road. Particulars from Lovel /Smeathman solicitors."
18th June 1923 - The records of Horn & Co, Undertakers from Marlowes show the following entry:
Ref 248/ Deceased: Jamieson, Cicely Thelma DATE OF DEATH: 18.6.1923 NOTE: She was 8 months old and the funeral took place at the cemetery on 22.6.1923. Father : Jamieson, William Frater ADDRESS: 55 Bennetts End Road, Hemel Hempstead
23rd June 1923 - Report of previous week's auction:
"Lot 1 a plot of land having frontage of 40 ft to Pancake Lane and 195 ft depth was sold to Mr Perkins for £33 but the other lots were withdrawn as they did not reach their reserve. Lots now can be bought privately." [Gazette 23.6.1923]
29th June 1923 - Children and their parents from Leverstock Green School went on a trip to Clacton on Sea for the day.
30th June 1923 - The Gazette reported "a fire in Westwick Row to a rick of newly thrashed wheat straw. Fire brigade had no water despite turning out promptly, so Rick was lost". [Gazette 30 6.1923]
August 1923 - April 1924 - The parish registers show that the Rev. Durrant was absent from Leverstock Green at this time - or at least absent from his duties. This was confirmed by various notices in the Gazette giving major services such as Harvest Festival being undertaken by the Rev. E.D. Pollock. No reason was given for the Vicar's absence at this time either in the parish registers or the school log books. Similarly the school log books fail to record either his taking children to religious instruction or signing the registers between August 2nd 1923 and May 16th. (the registers at this time instead being signed as correct and noted in the log book by a Mary M. Cox. On April 14th, 15th & 16th the senior children from school were ordered to attend church by the Rev. Pollock between 9 and 9.40 am. Perhaps he was addressing the children for the last time before leaving the parish. It is also interesting to note that Arthur Durrant's signature in the school log books after this date is not as firm as it had once been, - perhaps he had been ill during his absence from duties. [S73; S301, S302; [Gazette September - November 1923]
29th August 1923 - The records of Horn & Co, Undertakers from Marlowes show the following entry:
Ref 261/ Deceased / farm labourer: Thorn, Walter William DATE OF DEATH: 29.8.1923 NOTE: He was 62 years old and the funeral took place at Leverstock Green Church on 1.9.1923. ADDRESS: 6 Bennetts End, Hemel Hempstead
29thSeptember 1923. – Thomas Aldridge, of “The Fishery “ Wheathamsted, took over the tenancy of “Hillend”. Hillend was part of the Gorhambury Estate. The Tenancy agreement between Rt Hon James Walter Earl of Verulam and Thomas Aldridge stated that: -
1.Tenancy to commence on 29th Sept 1923 for one year and so on from year to year at a clear yearly rental of £126.11.6 payable in advance half yearly by equal half yearly payments on the 25th day of March and the 29th day of September…the said tenancy to be determined by either party giving the other notice to quit, in writing to expire at the end of the then current year’s tenancy. 2.Tenant to constantly reside in the farmhouse with his family during the said tenancy, and to farm, cultivate and manure the said farm lands and premises according to the most approved system of good husbandry, followed in the immediate district……….and to have each year 1/5 part of the said arable land in fallow properly cleaned, or green crop well………………………the remaining 2/5 ….at tenants option provided always that he does not sow more than 2 white straw crops in succession and so that the whole of the said arable land be properly fallowed and cleaned once in every 5 years……..
There then followed several more pages of specifications. The farm totalled 145acres. 1 rood and 27 perches, with an annual rent of £126.11.6 A breakdown of the fields was given as below:
A valuation of of £188.3.8 was made on 7th November 1923 for the hay and straw.
[HALS, D/EV.E98 (1-7) Hillend.]
28th November 1923 - The records of Horn & Co, Undertakers from Marlowes show the following entry:
Ref 277/ Deceased: Wiles, Elizabeth DATE OF DEATH: 28.11.1923 NOTE: She was 74 years old and the funeral took place at Leverstock Green Church on 1.12.1923. Husband: Wiles, George ADDRESS: Bennetts End Cottage, Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead
8th December 1923 - The Gazette reported a further sale of work jointly in aid of Parish Hall and Baptist chapel funds. Total of £335 raised. [Gazette 8 12.1923].