1931. - The population of Leverstock Green Parish was 804 according to the census.

23rd January 1931 - Modern technology was beginning to make itself felt as part of the curiculum at Leverstock Green School, with the Headmaster recording that:

“Standard VII children to H.M’s house at 2.30 for Rural Science  Wireless Lesson.”  [S73]

4th February 1931  - Mr. Ayre reported in the school log book that “Herbert Hill knocked down by a motor, after School hours, and taken to hospital.”, two days later it was reported that he was progressing favourably, though “There was Concussion but no Fractures.” [S73]   The accident was later reported in the Gazette:


A six-year-old boy, Herbert Hill of Curtis Road, Leverstock Green was knocked down and injured on Wednesday at about 3 pm.  The boy apparently appeared to try and cross the road behind a stationary motor which was standing near the Leather Bottle public house, when he was knocked down by a motor lorry by Mr John Mead of Beach Tree, St. Michaels, A passing motorist conveyed the unfortunate boy to West Herts hospital where it was found necessary to detain him.  It is believed his injuries are of a serious character. [Gazette 7th February 1931]

7th February  1931 – as part of the the general report on court cases, the Gazette reported that William Vaughan (45) of 5 Norris Kiln, Hemel Hempstead was summonsed for obtaining by false pretences, payment under the Unemployment Insurance Act…. Evidence was given by William Henry Gale of Cherry Trees Farm that he had employed the defendant on the dates in question when he had claimed benefit, and by another casual labourer, William How that he had worked with Vaughan pulling mangolds on the dates in question.  The bench convicted Vaughan but were lenient, not sending him to prison, but giving him a fine. [Gazette 7th February 1931]

4th April 1931 – The records of Horn & Co, Undertakers from Marlowes show the following entry:
Ref 36/ Deceased: Hearn, George Major
DATE OF DEATH: 4.4.1931
NOTE: The funeral was held on 9.4.1931 at the cemetery..
ADDRESS: 27 Bennetts End Road, Hemel Hempstead
[DCHT Undertaker’s Records, Horn & Co  http://www.hertsmuseums.org.uk/dacorum/funindex.htm ]

14th April 1931 - The school log book records that:  “The School should have reopened this a.m. but permission was given to use the remainder of the week for removing books and apparatus to the New School lBuilding.  The Teachers and volunteers from among the children assembled each day and removed all the things..” [S73]

20th April 1931     - Pancake Lane School was first used. Walter Ayre, who had  been Headmaster at the old school, continued as Headmaster at Pancake Lane School.  He was Headmaster at the school for 35 years, and his children and grandchildren attended the school.  There were about 120 village children on the school's registers, aged from 5 - 14. Only two other staff helped Mr. Ayre at the time of the school's opening, Miss Biggerstaffe and Miss Herbert.  The entry in the school log book for this occasion read as follows:

“The New Building was used for the first time this morning.  The Vicar held a short service of Thanksgiving & Blessing in the Large Room.  Miss L. Durrant and Mrs. Ayre were also present.   Although a very cold day, the heating arrangement worked very satisfactorily.  Owing to the playgrounds not being ready, the Veranda has to be used for Assembling into lines.  Class I Girls commenced Cookery Instruction in the Parish Hall, Miss Lines as Instructress.”                         [ Gazette, 26/4/85, S73 ]

24th  April 1931 - The records of Horn & Co, Undertakers from Marlowes show the following entry:
Ref 44/ Deceased: Divall, Joan
DATE OF DEATH: 24.4.1931
NOTE: She was 14 days old and the funeral was held at the cemetery.
ADDRESS: Gold Croft, Bennetts End, Hemel Hempstead
Parents: Divall, Frank Edwin and Divall, Alice
[DCHT Undertaker’s Records, Horn & Co  http://www.hertsmuseums.org.uk/dacorum/funindex.htm ]

May 2nd 1931   - Pancake Lane School was officially opened. (Click here for more information on the school.)  The school log book records the event as follows: “The School was officially opened this afternoon in very fine weather, by the Lord Bishop of St. Albans.  A good company of Clergy and People was present.  Much satisfaction was expressed at the pleasing atmosphere of the School.” [S73]  The Gazette had a long write-up about the event the following week:


A service was first held in the village church, following which a procession, headed by the cross-bearer and surpliced choir and including the clergy, school children, and teachers was formed to the new school in Pancake Lane.

The clergy present were the Bishop of St. Albans, the Rev Canon Frederick Halsey Rural Dean and vicar of Shenley, the Rev. A Durrant, vicar of (Leverstock Green), the Rev Canon Parkes (director of education for the Diocese of St. Albans), the Rev W.J Gallop (of Wigginton). The Rev. Baird Smith (of Wheathamstead), the Rev. A.E, power (of St. Francis, Hammerfield), and the Rev S. Sewell (of St. John’s Boxmoor.

On the way to the school the children and members of the choir sang the hymn “All things bright and beautiful”.  On arrival at the school a square was formed in the courtyard and the Rev Durrant conducted a brief service, during which the Bishop, opening the door of the school said “In the faith of Jesus Christ, we dedicate this school in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost” The service included other dedicatory prayers on behalf of those who will learn and those who will teach in the new school.  The hymn “Now thank we all our God” was sung at the beginning of the service, and the concluding hymn was “All people that on earth do dwell.”  During of singing of the last hymn a collection was taken and various gifts of money were also handed to the Bishop.  As a result the Bishop announced that he had received cheques for £33 10s, £20, £5, £10 10s., and also in the plate two £5 notes  and numerous £1 & 10s notes.   Later it was announced that the results of the collection totalled £77.

Following the dedication everyone present made a tour of inspection of the new school, and it must be said that the work had been very well carried out, and the design leaves nothing to be desired for the comfort and health of the children who will be taught there.  There is a special contrivance in the roof by which the sunshine is bottled, and gives an enhanced amount of light and heat.

After a tour of inspection the Bishop addressed the gathering in the courtyard.  He said he could not let the occasion pass without expressing his real thanks to those, both of the parish and outside the parish, who had helped to make possible the building of the new school.  It was a real happiness for him to be there, and real encouragement for those who were not only trying to preserve their church schools, but also where possible. To extend their old one  or to build new ones.  He was glad to be there that day because he had been unable to attend their ceremony of the foundation stone laying. Although he observed he would always have the credit for that as the stone that was just behind him recorded that it was laid by the Bishop of St. Albans. However it was impossible for him to be there on that day, and for that reason he was especially glad to be with them that afternoon. The encouragement  that they received from the opening of the school that day was that they had triumphed because of three things. First team work, secondly faith & courage and thirdly recognition of the inherent soundness of the church schools.  That parish had done remarkably well, but they would not have done what they had done if it had not been for the help that had been extended to them from sources outside. Every parish in the diocese and even further afield beyond the diocese. It was an example of teamwork that was in evidence throughout the diocese, because there were some people who had helped the funds for the building of that school who had never heard before of Leverstock Green and who did not know where it was. But they had heard that Leverstock Green was in need of proper Church schools, and because of that need and because of their desire to help the work in the diocese they had done what they could.  There were all sorts of things which they could not do alone but which they could and which seemed easy to do when they got together.  They in that parish had got together and things had begun to happen when they sent out their S.O.S.  They had set themselves a hard task, but they would do it, and they had done it, and he did not know from his experience of one project which had been started on behalf of the Christian church and had not in the end been accomplished.  The Bishop acknowledged the help of Cannon Parkes and, continuing said that the basis of all Christian education was the injunction “Go ye and teach all things.”   And he did think that was what they wanted today was a more simple more childlike faith that if they carried out that wish of our Lord He would see them through. They were proud of their church schools; they were the most glorious thing that England had; and he asked the children there to be proud of their school and be proud of their Church, It was an excellent school, a school of which they should be proud.  It was a substantially built school, and he himself had butted against the wall and failed to make any impression.  There was a contrivance in the roof which he was told was for the purpose of bottling the sunshine. He would like to express his thanks to the architects for what they had done and for making the school such an excellent one from the health point of view.  Now their duty was to push on and to clear off the debt.   There was £750 owing and he had received £75, that was about 10% of it and he asked them to do their best to see that before very long the debt was cleared right off.

Before the Bishop had finished speaking he was handed some more notes and humorously remarked that he thought if he stayed there all night he would get the required sum, He then made another calculation and announced that £77 had been collected.

At the conclusion, on the call of Mr. Ayres the Headmaster, who had made admirable arrangements for the ceremony, the school children gave the school thanks, which was a loud “Thank you very much.” [Gazette 9th May 1931]

6th June 1931 – The Gazette reported:

The annual meeting of the Nursing Association was held recently.  It was reported that receipts for the year amounted to £222. 17s 11d, expenses were £172 8s 0d leaving a balance of £50 9s 11d The members subscriptions totalled £66.  Great appreciation was expressed of Nurse Henry’s services during her 6 years work for the Association. The officers and committee were re-elected.  The annual jumble sale in aid of the Association was held on May 29th.  The committee of friends worked hard to make it a success and after deducting 8s for expenses £13 4s was added to the funds. [Gazette 6th June 1931]

17th June 1931 - Class I visited the “Hygienic Dairies to see Milk Bottling” [S73]

26th June 1931 - The records of Horn & Co, Undertakers from Marlowes show the following entry:
Ref 51/ Deceased: Morrison, Annie Gertrude
DATE OF DEATH: 26.6.1931
NOTE: She was 64 years old and the funeral was held on
29.6.1931 at Leverstock Green Church.
ADDRESS: Bennetts End House, Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead
Husband: Morrison, Richard William
[DCHT Undertaker’s Records, Horn & Co  http://www.hertsmuseums.org.uk/dacorum/funindex.htm ]

18th July  1931 - The following advert appeared in the Gazette
This page was last updated on: April 4, 2011
Visitors since  September 2003
29th August  1931 -  The Gazette told of another accident in the village:


A Young motorcyclist and his lady pillion rider both sustained grave injuries on Monday.  It appears that Mr David Walters of Hand Model Farm Felden, was riding his motor cycle with Miss Jean Curtley of the Isolation Hospital on the pillion, through Leverstock Green at about 9.10.pm, when the machine crashed into a horse which had been grazing on the green, but which unfortunately at the moment had attempted to cross the road.  As a result, the horse, which belonged to Rose Smith, a caravan dweller, was killed instantaneously, whilst both motorcyclist and pillion rider were thrown heavily.  Local residents rushed to the spot, and the ambulance was sent for to convey the injured to the West Herts Hospital.  Mr Walters was suffering from concussion, fracture to the base of the skull and internal injuries. and Miss Curtley from a broken leg.  On Wednesday Mr Walters had not regained consciousness and still in a critical condition and still gave rise to much anxiety. [Gazette 29th August 1931]
10th October  1931: The Webster Cup competition’s AGM was held at the Leather Bottle Leverstock Green.  “Mr V F G Whitefield president and Mr. Water Ayre submitted the balance sheet. which showed a balance in hand of 3s 1d.  The Hon Secretary pointed out that last season the competition gave runner up medals for the first time, a policy they hope to sustain.  While they were fortunate win the Apsley Club loaning their ground on the last two occasions, they had a wet Saturday for the final.  On the proposition of Mr WW Armstrong, seconded by Mr Freer the accounts were adopted……………” Mr Whitefield was elected chairman and Mr Ayre Hon sec. Other committee were: WW Armstrong, W G Weatherly,  E Kerry,  S F Rous,  & P P Poulter.

The reports noted that 18 clubs had registered for the season, and there was a discussion over whether or not to admit the Boxmoor St. John’s Reserves as they were a Div 1 club.  It was eventually agreed that the team could be admitted provided only Junior members of the team played.

Draw for preliminary round:
Hunton Bridge v Berkhamsted ath.
Bovingdon v Great Gaddesdon

Sarratt v Hunton Bridge or Berk Ath
Apsley St. Mary’s v Chipperfield
Hemel Hempstead Eng v Kings Langley
Watford & St. Albans Gaz Reserve v Boxmoor Sty. John’s Reserve
George Street GB v Moorfield Ath
Ashfield OB v LMS FC
Berkhamsted or Great Gaddesden v Ashridge
Bedmond Res v Northchurch

30th  October  –  The Berkhamstead Petty sessions was held. The front page of the following days’ Gazette sported the following headline:


Rose Smith, a caravan dweller of no fixed abode was up before the Berkhamsted petty sessions Friday (30) charged with allowing a horse and cart to stray on the public highway, at St Albans Rd August bv24.  She pleaded guilty.

Pc Dickinson of Leverstock Green gave evidence, as did Stanley Minter.  Mr Minter had seen the two horses together when he was walking down Green Lane.  PC D reported that in consequence of a report he had gone to Green Lane where he had seen a horse lying dead, a motorcycle overturned and two people lying injured.

Having established that the horse was Rose’s property she was fined 10/- as the bench thought the pony was not properly tied up. [Gazette 31st October 1931]

10th November 1931  - Class I boys from Leverstock Green school visited Wood End Farm from about 9.45 am. to watch a ploughing match, taking their lunch and staying until 3.30pm. [S73]

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Leverstock Green in the 1930's
by Sidney Dollimore.
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