Who lived here?
97 Lower Road
George and Ann Bundy rented this house between 1871 and 1908 with their two children. George was a self-employed brickmaker, while his son Ernie also became a brickmaker, probably working for his father, and Ethel was a dressmaker. George's cousins, Frank Bundy, lived at 105 Lower Road (then 5 Sidney Terrace). In 1911 this cottage was occupied by Elizabeth Foster, a 68-year-old widow, and her two grandchildren; 18-year-old James was a gardener and Marina, who was seven, would have been at school.
99 Lower Road
John and Elizabeth Laurence occupied the cottage in 1901 along with their young daughter Florence. John was a railway labourer.
Tom and Drusilla Whitchurch had emigrated to Australia but returned to England and lived in Gramshaw Road before moving to this property by 1910 with their daughter Annie, who was a dressmaker. Tom was a carpenter and at the time of the census was boarding with a family in Durrington. Their son Fred, who was born in Australia, joined the Royal Navy in 1910 but died in October 1918 as a result of war service. His name appears on the Lych Gate at St John's church.
101 Lower Road
In 1901 Harry and Flora Jacklin lived in the cottage, when Harry was a railway platelayer, but later moved to The Cote at 58 Lower Road. In 1911 John Palmer, who was 29 years of age, lived here with his 43-year-old wife Alice and their son Charles. John was a horse-drawn cab driver.
Eddie and Rose Dredge and their family were here between the 1930s and the 1960s. Eddie Dredge, a road cleaner, lived here in the 1930s and was the spitting image of Old Bill, a WW1 cartoon character. Eddie cleaned the streets around Bemerton with a shovel and broom. He could be encountered six days a week anywhere between Bemerton Farm and the railway station. His yellow council barrow could often be seen parked outside the Blackbird pub, which was situated on the corner where Nadder Terrace meets Churchfields Road. Eddie, it seems, believed the dusty work required him to frequently ‘whet his whistle’. He was a friendly character and was always ready to lean on his broom and talk to passers-by.
103 Lower Road
Tom and Emily Crapp were here in 1901, when Tom was employed as a general labourer. In 1911 the house was unoccupied at the time of the census on 2nd April. Lilly White lived in this cottage in the 1930s with her husband Ernie and family. Lilly and her friend Ivy Romaine helped with cleaning and bed-making at Bemerton House during the war. They were both turbaned with curlers underneath, to be removed before their hubbies returned from work. Lily would sing as she brushed the stair carpet at Bemerton House and her signature tune ‘When they Begin the Beguine’ echoed around the house.
105 Lower Road
In 1871 Frank and Frances Bundy lived here with their two children, Rosa and Walter, and a boarder called Maria Lawes. Frank was a brickmaker and subsequently moved away to the Whaddon Brickworks. Frank's cousin, George Bundy, lived at 97 Lower Road (then 1 Sidney Terrace). Thomas and Emily Blake and their six children lived here in 1901. Thomas was an agricultural labourer, while their eldest son was a labourer in a coal yard, the next son worked in a watch and clock factory and the next again worked as a labourer in a brickyard.
107 Lower Road
In 1901 Mary Maggs was widowed and lived in the cottage with her 14-year old granddaughter Elizabeth and a 6-month old baby girl called Lilian Hoare, who Mary described as a boarder. Mary worked from home providing a laundry service. Alfred and Agusta Hicks lived here in 1911. Alfred was an iron and brass moulder.
109 Lower Road
In 1901 William and Ada Hearn lived in this cottage with their five young children. William was a railway brakeman. In 1911 Bertie and Elizabeth Norris lived here with their two young children. Bertie was a railway fireman.
111 Lower Road
In 1901 Henry Whatley and his wife Maria lived in this cottage with their five children. Henry was employed as a house painter, while three of the children were employed as a stone sawyer, a farm carter and a waiter of railway refreshments. William and Jane Whitfield occupied the property in 1911, when William was employed as a fish dealer.
The property was later occupied by Judy Rees, who named the house Sidney Cottage in honour of the 16th century poet Sir Philip Sidney. To many of his contemporaries Philip Sidney represented the ideal of the renaissance courtier. He was a soldier, diplomat and author who became one of the most influential Elizabethan poets. He is known particularly for his prose romance Arcadia and the sonnet sequence Astrophel and Stella. He died at the age of 32 from wounds he received fighting the Spanish at Zutphen. His sister, Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, oversaw the publication of his poems.
113-121 Lower Road
These five houses were sold separately for £500 by the landowner, Robert Futcher, in 1885 to a property speculator called Fred Bates, an accountant from Salisbury. Bates subsequently sold the properties in 1893 for £550. The properties were acquired by Charles Jefferis, a local dairyman.
113 Lower Road
In 1901 George and Mary Hibberd and their six children lived in this cottage, when George was employed as a rug weaver. In 1911 Ernie Bundy, a bricklayer, lived here with Margaret Bundy. Margaret was listed as single but did not appear to be Ernie's sister. Ernie had previously lived with his parents at 97 Lower Road and continued to live at No 113 until the 1950s.
115 Lower Road
In 1901 Albert and Fanny Singleton lived in this cottage with their two sons, Reggie and Charlie. Albert was a coal carter at the time but by 1911, when they were still living here, Albert had become a self-employed coal merchant and Fanny assisted in the business. Reggie was a plumber and Charlie was a carpenter. The Singletons were still here in 1925.
117 Lower Road
In 1901 Deborah Curtis, a widow, lived in the cottage with her two children. Deborah was a dressmaker, Victor was an errand boy and Ellen was an assistant school mistress. Alfred and Martha Noyce lived here in 1911 with their four young children, when Alfred was employed as a coachman. The property is now known as Gecko Cottage.
119 Lower Road
In 1901 Tom and Louisa Staples occupied the property; Tom was employed at that time as a street paviour – someone who laid paving stones. Edward and Louise Chamberlain occupied this property in 1911 with their two sons and two daughters. Edward was a coachman and Albert, their eldest child, was a domestic gardener. Later, Salisbury Theatre manager David Horlock lived in the cottage before losing his life in a tragic motor vehicle accident. The property is currently known as Angel Cottage.
121 Lower Road
In 1901 Charles Jefferis lived above the shop and post office with his wife Jane, their two daughters - Lilian and Geraldine - and nephew Walter Smith. The shop sold everything from mouse traps and fly papers to stamps and ice cream. Sweets were sold by the penny worth and included bull’s eyes, humbugs and pear drops. Butter came in large blocks, and wooden pats were used to divide it. Cheese similarly came in large blocks or truckles and wire was used to cut it into portions. Charles offered specials, which included Wiltshire bacon, home-cured hams, pure lard, and Huntley & Palmers biscuits.
Geraldine died in 1930 and her share of the property was acquired by Walter, who was the shop assistant. Walter also operated a cycle dealership from the rear of the premises. Charles died in 1936 and not long afterwards Walter married his cousin Lilian. Although Walter was indeed Lilian’s husband, local gossip in the 1930s wrongly held that the handsome young assistant had in fact married her elderly widowed-mother for her money. During the war, Walter was an air-raid warden and operated from the barn opposite the shop.
Mrs Dickenson ran the business in the 1960s and 1970s. Her
daughter Heather and her family moved to Salisbury from Derbyshire. Her daughter lived in Hadrians Close and two of her grand-daughters continue to live in Lower Road today.