YOUR HOUSE

 

132-138 Lower Road

In 1838 the original ground consisted of a meadow and small cottages. Built around the same time as St John’s Church in 1860, the two houses (now Nos 132 and 134 Lower Road) were known as Church Cottages.

132 Lower Road

In 1901 Harry and Mary Mountford lived in the house with their five children.  Harry was a coachman, driving the horse carriages owned by the Rector, and his eldest son Charles was employed a groom.  In 1911 Henry and Alice Cake lived here with their son Tom and daughter Alice.  Henry was a gardener, Tom was a butcher’s errand boy and daughter Alice was a poultry spice packer. The Cake's other son, William, enlisted in the Army in 1907 but died as a result of war service.  Brother Tom also enlisted in the Army and he, too, was killed in action. Later Henry and Alice moved to Hill Terrace, a terrace of four houses which were demolished in the 1960s to make way for Syringa Court.

134 Lower Road

John and Fanny Ewence occupied this property in 1901 when John was a church sexton and thatcher.  Their adult son Herbert, an agricultural labourer, also lived with them.  Thomas and Maggie Warr and their three young sons lived here in 1911, when Tom was employed as a groom.

136 Lower Road

This detached bungalow was built in the 1960s and was known as Farthings - because the new owners had spent  everything building the property and were left with few savings on completion.

138 Lower Road

Bemerton School was opened in 1846 with the support of the Earl of Pembroke.  The school building was improved on several occasions and in 1871 there were two teachers: 23-year-old Emily Kite was the school mistress and 16-year-old Emma Seaward was a trainee teacher.  The school gradually expanded as the population increased and in 1915 the Parish Room at No 84-86 Lower Road had to be used as a temporary classroom.  In 1901 Fred Harris was the schoolmaster, supported by his wife Jane and their daughter Winnifred who were also teachers.  The family lived in the  School House along with son Reginald and niece Eva.  Fred was still teaching in the school in 1911.

During the Second World War the School House was occupied by the Headmaster, Mr Jack Wyatt. He was known affectionately by the children as ‘Pop Wyatt’ and was a veteran of the First World War.   He oversaw the local Home Guard during the Second World War – Bemerton’s own Captain Manwaring – and his work as a major in charge of the  mobile  column of the Home Guard earned him an MBE.    When Jack retired he and his wife moved to Meadow View in Lower Road along with their daughter and her family, the Shorneys.