A Montage of Arlesey Primary School 11 OLD PHOTOS

Arlesey Primary School potato race    arlesey celebration   Open Air Service at Arlesey Primary School Rev Beavan Outside Arlesey primary school      Headmasters,Mr Appleby  Mr currans and Mr Amos the caretakers Arlesey       back of old school  Arlesey primary school carol

Carol Lombari this was taken in 1977 she was expecting with my son Paul, the school was demolished in 1981.

bond_minicar Arlesey sportsday 1962OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAImage

The three-wheeler car belonged to head teacher of the Enfants Mrs Roberts.

I started school at 4.5 after Easter and had to go into Mrs Worboys class of the children who were a year older , and had started in the previous September.Jimmy Allen , Andy Fivez  , and Phil Mason were in this class. Miss Worboys used to bring in home made toffee and give it to us. She was a lovely woman unlike Miss Montague , who I can never remember being nice once.Mr Hunt was a sadistic using his cane every day , I remember him caning me just for smiling. He said you must have been up to mischieve otherwise you wouldn’t be smiling.

Mrs Camp and Mrs Brown used to patrol the playground of the enfants at lunch time.Mrs Camp’s husband had been an Army Major.Mrs Camp lived at Beverley house , with her daughter and family the Steptoes.Susan Steptoe went onto to be headgirl at Etonbury , and Gill had a horse called Shadow , she let me have a go on him a few times. As did Christine Seward on her horse can’t remember his name but he was old and cantankerous. He made it difficult for you to mount and would suddenly stop dead and start eating the grass , sending you flying over his neck.

Mrs Roberts came to school in a 3 wheeler car. It was 1957 and the car was a Bond and the photo is the actual colour .They produced them until 1965 .The whole top of the car used to have to lift up when she got out of it. And the was no reverse gear.So she used to push it into her parking space.
It was our first class and one day she saw a knob of poo on the floor , nobody owned up to it so she had all the kids one at a time up to her desk. She checked down the back of their pants or knickers until she found the culprit. I can’t see the would get away with doing something like that now. But in those days nobody took ant notice.
Once I took my boxing gloves to school , and came home with 2 black eyes. Everybody wanted to fight me . I thought this will be ok even if they were older kids cos I made sure I always had the right hand glove . What I had forgotten to account for was that some of them would be left-handed SHIT!! I remember there was only one set of toilets at this school and this was in a free standing block outside on its own .

The dinning room was heated by gas heaters the type before balanced flues , and in the winter by the time you had eaten your first course they were choking you to death . The boys played in the front playground and the girls behind the main building . That was for the Juniors , the enfants were allowed to share the same back playground with non teaching staff supervising them Mrs Brown was one , Mrs Camp , Gillian Steptoes gran the other. Mrs Camp , her Major Husband , shared Beverly House Manor with the Steptoes . It had stables and everything , I was a frequent visitor there as Gill and I were good friends . In the second from top class I bought an 11 + book ., because I lived on a council Estate the minority of the kids Grammar schoolers all walked the gauntlet down Lynton  Ave . Wen they came off the School coach in there immaculate uniforms , caps with school badges on or  straw hats for the girls. They got catcalled at , had the pee taken out of them or worse from the other Secondary School kids. So going to Grammar School didn’t seem very appealing. They never played with us “normal” kids either. Soon as they we got into the top class they recommended a different book , I had only got my mum and dad to buy we the  other one a few months ago , and there were 2 other kids as well as me , so I didn’t ask again . Consequently I couldn’t do the homework like the other kids were doing. That’s my excuse for not passing the 11+ anyway.

Arlesey Pitts , the Sandies , and the Blue Pond.


 The Mill Pitts

Arlesey Mill Pits Wall

Arlesey Mill Pits bridge
Sand was dug out of this pit and a convoy of  lorries took it to Henlow Aggregates were it was sorted and refined. The lorry drivers used to take us kids to the Sand works on the main road to Henlow and back for a ride . I remember getting thrown all over the place on the very rough tracks. Old man Carlisle would soon come and chase you off of the Sandies if you strayed off the footpath  . But we still used to swim in there when we could get away will it. The kids used to say that he shot at us in the late 50’s early sixties , but I’m not sure about that . Ducks and Coots used to nest there on the little sandy islands.The Sandies was situated after the second Mill pitts bridge as if you were walking towards Henlow Camp.It is all filled in now. I was told that the Sandies was actually brimming with fish in the 70’s when some locals stocked it with fish.
Arlesey Pitts . or the Blue and the Green Lagoon.


Green Lagoon

arlesey pitt before it filled with water


blue lagoon blue lagoon2


Internet grab for Andy Blue Lagoon, Arlesey, Beds

I have a whole blogg on Arlesey Cement Works which is integral to the Blue Lagoon and the Green Pit. This company made these pits by digging out trucks of clay with a steam excavator , then cable pulling them down to the Cement Works. My great Granddad big Jim Allen , my grandad Herbert Allen , and Great Uncle Ranjisinghi Allen worked there until it closed in the 30’s.My Aunty Jean Allen (Hazel) Crawley used to ride up to the Blue Lagoon on the empty clay trucks after taking Ranji his lunch down the Cement works. I recently interviewed her when I was writing a blogg about Great Uncle Ranji Allen. She told some great stories about the Sunday Angel weekday devil.Fred Vass also told me if there was an empty Cement Works truck left on the tracks , the local boys used to take turns riding in it while the others pushed it up and down the tracks to Arlesey Pitt. The clay was dug out of the green Pitt by hand and they were lots of Arlesey  Pitt workers locked in the Picking position unable to straighten their backs.When I was a boy loads of village people used to swim in there. I swam across at least half a dozen times. There used to be a really warm section of water and it was lovely swimming in that , then you would come across an ice cold section , I think this could have caused much stronger swimmers than me to be drowned up there. I only used to almost float then hardly use any energy at all to propel myself across when it was dead calm on red hot days. I used to get a mate to come across with me on my lilo incase I got cramp. Loads of Young Americans from Chicksands used to swim up there. They arrived in the MGB sports car with loads of cans of beer. They threw the beer in the Pit to keep cool the stripped off and started swimming. We were too young to drink in those days 1967.
Portland Silo , Old Cement Works
During war the site  which included the Old Cement Works was used for munitions  Storage and an Italian Prisoner of War Camp.This included an Old Silo , and when the old silo was finally dismantled for development the bomb disposal squad was called in to make the area safe. I think the railway Lines between Hitchin and Arlesey  Counties was shut for days. The ordinance was taken to the Lagoons to destroy and frequent explosions could be heard from the village. It took three months to make the area safe. The site was developed for industrial units and was called the Portland Industrial Estate. The area where the silo stood has since been renamed The Crossways Estate.During the War the Army used the Pitt as a firing range. Targets were put on rafts in the water.

Arlesey blue lagoon jib smoking chimney

The wife Carol Lombari
The Blue Pond
This was really good for fishing , even I used to be able to pull fish out of there. This was situated in the middle of the village over the tip and when you got to the brickyard you went down the track to the left of it , parallel to the Railway lines. It had some steep banks and I remember a young girl sliding in , she went under 3 times before an older boy Jim Bowskill (JUBILEE CRESCENT)held the other end of his fishing rod over her. She managed to grab it , and they pulled her out. I don’t know if she ever told her mum how she got wet. I’m sure I used to go potato picking with my mum in the fields around there. Course this is filled in as well now. I remember Don Clegg “Tuby” being the tractor driver. When I John Hayes was a lad Tubby Cleg used to work for Farmer Webb,John used to work in the farm with Dennis Hughes on Saturdays and Tubby used to let them  plough with the tractor. They also used to clean out the pigs and go muck spreading as well. The farmer that had these fields could have been Lionel Walker , Jim Webb or Wilson. There were loads of farmers in those days. I have another blogg about working on the land in Arlesey from the 40’s onwards.

20 years of working on the land in Arlesey

Ploughing ,  harrowing , planting seed , rolling , weeding , hoeing , harvesting , and stuking . If you are making Hay you don’t want the grass to dry out. You want to keep the nutrients in it . So you could bury it. Same for potatoes as well you need to keep the frost out. A threshing machine gets the corn of the stems saves having loads of labour tied up for ages doing this. Course you would then employ less men as well. Harvest time used to be all hands to the pump even kids having time off school to help harvest the crops. And grans, grandads , and mums. The stems for the corn were then made into long lengths plaits , and these made hats. Hats were made locally at Luton. Quite often the husband was an agricultural labourer and the wife and daughters plaiters.

I was interviewing today a guy called Alan Papworth who used to farm right up to the edge of the lake.
He told me Penny Beatham turned a lady away when she was trying to walk her dog around the lake . She had a serious heart condition and was very upset by this . Later she had a heart attack and died. This then started the argument about the right of way around the Lake.  Those who lived at the Church End area of Arlesey used the Lake as a regular walk . When the Councillor Beatham bought the Lake they stopped people walking round it . David Beatham then came and saw Alan Papworth and got him to go to a Solitcitors in Hitchin and swear on oath wot about what happened wen Lionel Walker owned the Lake. Alan then had to go to a council meeting and answer all the questions the council put to him about the right of way around the Lake. David Beatham won the day and the right of way turned out to be a Bridle path that went up to the lake spinney on the Arlesey side.Thro Big Meadow owned by Waterloo Farm .Thro a ploughed field , the track thro the middle was never ploughed up to Astwick church.THIS WAS FOR THE VICAR SO HE COULD DO BOTH SUNDAY SERVICES…and ride there on horseback……….
I interviewed Alan Papworth this man is a great story teller so I am going to keep this exactly as he told it into the dictaphone . I would only detract from it if I tried to change it in any way. It is him and me talking mainly him . All I have done it try to group the subject matter together.
Do you remember what George’s dog was called?.(My late Uncle George who emigrated to Australia in 60’s)
What the Whippet , no the Greyhound. Yea it was Whitey , I have a photo of her .  She fed the kids when they were little , they were brought up on Rabbit stew. 1930 free range organic food.
During the war there were 20 teams of horses for every tractor , and the most popular tractor was a Fordson.

Your dad worked at Rawlins City Field Farm . I worked there before Peter when I was 13.5 yrs old. I used to race your dad home , I went over the fields and he biked the Road way home . I was a pretty good runner in those days (1946) . There were a lot of Sand Pits around City Field Farm , Inns and King , and later Redlands used to work them .There were lots of Farms in Arlesey you could work on then.You could finish on one walk down to the next one and start work on that .
We started at 0700 and finished at 17.00 . The peace workers finished at 16.00. I remember when there 40 peace workers working on Rawlin’s farm. They all biked to work as well and came from Potton , Biggleswade , Sandy etc and thought nothing of biking home after a hard day’s work .

These are the tractors that killed off the shire horses in the fifties and sixties.This one is an English Ransome.
There were six in a gang and went round working on different farms. When you pick brussels the idea is you always walk the shortest distance. So you walk down the aisle picking brusells from both sides with sacks in the middle of each row. So that you don’t have far to walk to each sack. I guess the same applied for all including pea-picking and potato picking. There were only six Cart Horses left when your dad started on the farm in 1948 .
One of the fields had its old Sand Pitts filled up with ashes used from the mouldings at Krin and Lay Foundary . Weeding and Shocking were regular tasks .
Weeding was pulling out the long weeds growing in between the brussel plants . Shocking was used before bales of straw . Lengths of straw were stood up vertically and tied in the middle. Roy Sharman and me used to go down lines of crops hoeing in between them , I saw Mr Rawlins and asked for a rise .
I got it so Roy asked but he said “You ain’t bloody worth it”. Was this the beginning of Staff Appraisals? Alan started working on the farm from the age 12.5 two days a week  Mr Rawlins used to call him Michael , I don’t know why but he always did .
When I was 14 he said Michael you won’t be going back to school once you break up , I have phoned Bedford and sorted it out for you . And that was how He started full time .
Rawlins also owned Ramerick Farm. Mr Rawlins started Alan straight on the tractors as that was the Future of Farming I guess.

He had a lot of tractors. A Ransome , an Allis Chalmers Caterpillar Road Cropper , this had 2 levers to pull which steered it by stop and starting each side independently . You had to crank the tractors to start them , no electric starting then , and they would kick back so you had to watch out for this.
Every night we didn’t have anti-freeze so we drained the engines then filled them up again in the mornings. Most of the workers went on the tractors , but mainly those who had a flair for them and could plough a nice straight furrow like Alan stayed on them .
In the winter they stripped the engines down and did the maintenance on the tractors.
Alan was putting oats in bins for the horses one winter , when he heard a massive explosion . It was a V2 German rocket with a 2,000 ilbs of explosives in the warhead that came down and made a Huge crater in one of the fields .

The Shrapenel was still hot when they got to the crater .Very soon the whole world turned up and the police cordoned off the whole area we weren’t allowed near it for a week.

The crater at Cityfield Farm was 10 feet deep and at 3 times as wide. It caused a massive hole.
Alan  married in 1946 . He left City Field farm and went to work over Biggleswade to get more money now he was married. He then started moving around from Farm to Farm if his gang got offered more money. He liked it at Cityfield and only left cos of the money.
He went to Moorlands , Oldfield , then Waterloo , so Alan has worked at most of the Arlesey farms at one time or another .They used bike to work in those days as well.
Walter Endersby who lived next door to my mum (Alma Allen Lombari) used to bike from Wrestlingworth to Arlesey Brickyard everyday. He married Dolly Haskell ‘s daughter Lil Haskell Endersby.
My mum told me Herbert Allen worked at Waterloo for awhile. Once when Alan was working at Moorlands the farmer from Oldfield said if you come and start ploughing for me tomorrow I pay you 50% more than you are getting now , so as Alan  had kids and he did.
We started up a brussel picking gang Arthur Mails , Johnny Warren , Jim Newbury , Jack and Alan Papworth. We worked for Carlisle who took over from Rawlins when he went bust.
We were frozen out for 2 months due to a bad winter. We started back again , but it was so cold we finished early , Alan went to the house to see old man Russell Carlisle cos their ganger was off . Alan asked for our money but he said he needed his brussells picked , so we told him to pick them himself then cos we were frozen to death , and we weren’t going to pick another brussel for him . So that was the end of that job then .
We went down the labour exchange and they told us if we if didn’t get a job soon he would make us Bevan Boys. Bevan boys took the place of miners who had joined the WW2 forces. Once the brussel picking gang were working down near the Dog Kennels for farmer Wilson.
They were stacking bags on a staging. Alan was about 18 .They were using railway sacks , they used to have to rent them .They weighed 4 llbs , we used to put  hundred weight of brussels in each bag. So that was 112 + 4 llbs =116llbs in a bag and we used to move them on our own.
I said isn’t over 56llbs now a 2 man lift? Alan said they even used to walk them up steps and put them into the hayloft. One of the guys thought we were pulling his leg. Old Burt West , who was a about 70 , the horse keeper and consciencious objector , picked one of the sacks up and put it on the staging . We only let him do one but this showed the guy how to do it and that it could be done.

2 levers to control this Caterpillar tractor so an easy one to start with
When they were all stacked up on the staging Wilson came up.What you gonna pay us then Mr Wilson we asked , the 2/6 we asked for. Well you are worth it he said , but then pointing to Dickie but he ain’t So that was the end of the that job as well cos we all stuck together. We thought he was a bit unfair to Dickie cos he had been driving the tractor all day.Dickie swore like hell and he was a “Chapel man” .
I used to go potato picking with me mum when I was young . Don Clegg was the tractor driver , all the neighbours used to go Mrs Geekie , Mrs Whyte , Mrs Gear , Mrs Murphy , Mrs Fiske , Mrs Albon , Mrs Rumbold etc etc
In the 40’s Oldfield Farm still had 6 beautiful Horses. They were Suffolk Punches and had slim legs but big powerful shoulders. Their names were Blossom , Queeny ,Goldsheaf , Heath , and Constance. Blossom was the gentlest.
You could take her without lines on in between the brussel plants.These were 3 foot apart and you called “Come here” to make her go to the left and “gee o “to go to the right. The Horse Keeper’s trick was to make the owners young son lie across her path and she would walk right up to him then stop dead.
This reminds me of a story my mum told me. They shared Gothic Farm with her Grandad Big Jim Allen and Grandmother Nellie Dear and her family the Herbert Allen’s. All of a sudden 2-3 yr old George Allen came running out and cuddled the Shire Horses front leg.The Shire Horse was drinking out of the trough . Everybody held their breath but the Shire Horse never flinched..The Shire Horse had come down the track from Stotfold and had been ploughing Gothic Farm.
Alan worked with some Italian prisoners of war but two stayed on after the War. Not many didn’t go home straight after the war so they must have been very good and essential for the Farmer. Tony Chirico he was a lovely very strong man. And Vince who married a women called Jeeves. They worked on Poppy Hill farm and partime on the Grange.
The Chiricos lived in one of the cottages on Poppy Hill farm.
Waterloo farm in 1986
A typical farm of this area is
waterloo farm owned by Mr.L.V.Davidson
.The farm covers 360 acres of arable
land north of the A507.The farm grows
sprouts,potatoes,beans,wheat and
barley.All the crops apart from wheat
and barley are sent to Beds.growers.
Beds growers sell most of them to
freezer conpanies,but the rest are
sold fresh.There are only a few
chickens,ducks and geese on the farm.
The machinery on the farm is as
follows:_ 2 Fiat 640 tractors,1 Massey
Ferguson loader,1 new Massey Ferguson
Turbo charged tractor,1 Fiat 940
crawler,1 Dousell 4 farrow plough and
other items,1 Massey Ferguson 12 foot
cut Combine Harvester.The Wheat is
sown in Autumn,and so is the winter
barley.The spring Barley however is
sown in spring and harvested in late

How the Allens Came to Arlesey

How the Allens Came to Arlesey

Our ancestor lost in theWorld War I
Roll of honour
paulallensps added this to Reginald Alfred Allen on 20 Nov 2011
Lance Corp. 201708 1st Bat. London regiment (Royal Fusiliers)Killed in Action 14th Aug 1917 Son of Phillip Allen Bourne end Wootton. Husband of Sarah Green of Chequers Inn Bessingham Norfolk. Enlisted Handel rd London Resident St Pancras. Commemorated Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial Ieper West Vlaaneren Belguim Panel 52

Phillip  Allens Will
paulallensps added this to Philip Allen on 17 Nov 2011
Contents: -Message and garden at Wootton Bone End, now in occ. of his son, Thos., to Thos. -Message in which testator dwells in Wootton Bone End to Rev. Jas. Jenkyn and Rev. Wm. Osborn Jenkyn both of Wootton Vicarage. on trust to sell if and from such sale the monies to be invested on trust to pay his youngest son, Joseph Allen, the interest, dividends or annual produce, subject to a trust to divide all the annual produce among his children, except Thos. and Jos. Proviso that the trustees may use all or portion of the principal for the maintenance or comfort of Jos. Allen, who is of weak intellect and incapable of providing for himself. -All household furniture etc. to his wife, Sarah, and in case of her death before the testator, to J. and W.O. Jenkyn in trust for the children, excepting Thos. Wit: Jas. Jenkyn, Solicitor, 11 John St, Adelphi. C.H.J, Jenkyn, Wootton. Signed with mark of testator

front of assylum allen cottage
Census 1841
In 1841 there was this man called Philip Allen ,who was born in 1786..
He lived in Wood End , Wootton near Kempston ,he was 10 years older than his wife Sarah who was born in1796. In Houghton.
Living at home with him was George ,12 and Joeseph .
One of his other sons James Allen , 15 an agricultural labourer was living with Wood End farmer Robert Savill 55and his wife Mary. 50
The farmer had another labourer William Rowles 30 and servant Elizabeth Nilson also boarding there.
I believe another of his sons Thomas Allen 32 ,agricultural labourer and wife Hannah Perkins 29 lived next door..
They took Hannah’s dad Thomas Perkins 57 and brother-in-law in David 23 in when persumably Hannah’s mum died.

the old farm house guess the farm manager lived here

farmers3 WWWOPAC (1) fairfield hospital gate aerial view three counties arlesey
Census 1851
Philip was now 67 and still working.
Sarah was 58 and a lace maker.
George Allen agricultural labourer was 22 and still at home.
Joeseph Allen 19 never married was still at home, but James 24 was now back at home and married to Eliza aged 22.Joseph since told was of weak intellect unable to support himself.
Eliza was from Kempston.
Brother Thomas living next door now had 2 children Wiiliam 8 ,and a baby John 9 months.
Quite a big age gap.
Hannahs father and brother were still living with them.
Perhaps that’s why they didn’t have too many children.
Census 1861
James 34 and Eliza 33 now had their own house and four children.living at 3 counties asylum
Emma 8 ,Elizabeth 5 ,joeseph 3 and Alfred 1.
Joeseph wasn’t on the next census so presumably he died.
Philip Allen had died so Sarah 69 was now a widow living at home with Joeseph.31
Census 1871
James was now 44 and living at The Three Counties Asylum as an Agricultural labourer
Eliza was 42 and down as a farm labourer asylum wife.
They lived at 12 Asylum cottages.
They had lost Joeseph , but had had 3 more children ,making 6 in total..
So now there was Emma 19 , elizabeth 15 , alfred 11 , Sarah 9, Harriet 5 and James 3
at no 16 Ebenezer Hart is down as an Asylum Servant.
Census 1881
James was now 55 and Eliza 53 ,there is only Harriet 15 and James 14 left at home.
So presumably Emma ,and Elizabeth have got married.
Alfred I believe is in the Beds 33rd Battalion Reg based in Depot Kempston.
Under Major Clifton Westby 1/16 th Regiment from London Middlesex.
He is down as soldier single aged 19 Private Bedfordshire Militia
Harriet is down as a straw Plaiter and young James down as an Agricultural Labourer.
The Address is down as Asylum road Stotfold.141 ,next door at 142 are the Lesters who is a Clerk at the Asylum ,he was from Stagsden.
At 140 are the Keenans who is from Ireland and is Head Attendant at the Asylum.
Census 1891
James has retired as he is now 67, wife Eliza is 65 ,
They therefore have moved out of the asylum and are living at 122 Crawley terrace.
Big Jim a General Labourer is married to Ellen Dear and they have a son Herbert 4 and a daughter Elizabeth 2.
Also living in Crawley Terrace is
Obidiah Houghton general labourer @ 119 Crawley
James Dear brickyard labourer at 120 ,
Thomas Presland Cement works labourer at 121 ,
George Albon cement works labourer 121 ,
Arthur Mosely general labourer 123 ,
William Prutton farm labourer 124 ,
Abraham Prutton general labourer. At 125
Census 1901
James 33 a Cement Burner has moved out and is now living at Asylum road Arlesey no 237
Herbert my grandad is 14 , lizzie Ann Goss is 12, Beatrice Louise Ansell 9 (Aunt Louie) , Norah 6 , and the Baby Alexandra Violet May 3 months (Aunt Violet).
Neighbours are James Goodwin Labourer ,Brian Johnson Baker ,John Asam Horse Keeper on farm,Charles Asam Asylum Attendant ,Henry G Dear a Cement Labourer ,Charles Rainbow Brick Labourer ,John Templemam Brick Labourer ,Harry Jeeves Brick labourer ,Charles Parcell Brick Labourer ,
New Road Arlesey
Census 1911
James Allen ,Cement Burner 43 has moved again for the fourth time Asylum cottages ,Crawley Terrace ,Asylum Rd ,now 40 New Road.(hitchin rd jubilee cres)
Only Norah 16 and Alexandra Violet May were still living at home.
Herbert was in the Army doing his National Service,Lizzie was probably married to Goss
and Louie to Ansell who was in charge of the Shoe Repairing at the Three Counties hospital.
Ansell was a cricket nut and was always the umpire for the Three Counties Cricket Team
I know Big Jim then moved to Gothic Farm and then finally to Primrose lane where they finished their days.
Nellie Allen (Dear) ran the Fairfield Garage shop.
Walking distance from their house.,
Alfred “Punch”Allen
James ii only had one older brother called Alfred , otherwise there would be a lot more Allens in the village.He was five years older than James.
In 1881 Alfred was in the Army.
I have census records for Alfred who was by all accounts a Cricket fanatic and called one of his sons Ranjit Singh Allen (Ranji) his grave is in St Peters chuchyard with his sister Mary Frances Allen . Ranjit Singh was one of the best batsman of all time .He had six children.
1891 Census Alfred Allen
Alfred Allen a Cement Works Labourer 31,lived at Hitchin rd,
Sarah was 29 ,her eldest son was George W 7, then Agnes 4 ,then Alfred 2
1901 Census Alfred Allen
Alfred Cement Labourer 41 lived at 106 Hitchin road.
His wife Sarah was 39 and came from Stotfold.
They had 6 children , William General farm labourer 17, Alfred 12 , Norah 9 , Madge 6 , Ethel 4 and Ranji 1
Agnes was gone presumably died The Alfreds were real characters and were nicknamed Punch.
Punch was a well built man but with short legs.
One day he was walking over the common and a man with a horse came up to him.
He said “What are you doing this is private land .My father was given this land by the King
for fighting for him”Punch replied “If you get off your horse and come down here I’ll fight you for it”With that the horseman turned his horse and quickly rode off.
Alexandra Violet May Burr

Arlesey House

arlesey house1 arlesey-house

DSCF1554 DSCF1555 DSCF1560 DSCF1561 DSCF1564 DSCF1565

arlesey housecaron's flat

Arlesey House was owned by St Peters Church , and they sold it to pay for a smaller building. This was the original vicarage which was much bigger than the present  and had three floors.It was built in the same style as the old houses in Stotfold Rd.Mrs Seward used to live in one.The big detached one before you come to Mrs Rix’s bungalow.After the second World War Mr Radnor owned Arlesey House and let it out as flats.He also owned the old post office on Stotfold Road.

The Increasing Attractions of Emigration – The Establishmentof the School of Farming at Arlesey, near Hitchin – The Lif eand Routine at the School – The Type of Girl requiredi n the Colonies and her Prospects
“The high-spirited and enterprising young English girl of the upper and middle classes, who is not bound by home ties, is being drawn more and more strongly towards the idea of emigrating to the Colonies, and seeking a living in the Empire beyond the Seas – in Canada, South Africa, or New South Wales – rather than staying at home to fight in the already overcrowded market for a post as secretary, journalist, governess,companion, or lady clerk.
It was to meet the demand for a thorough trainingin the various household arts and crafts, and in the care and management of a garden,poultry-yard, orchard, and farm, which is a very necessary part of the girl colonist’s equipment, that Lady Frances Balfour,Lady Burton, the Hon. Mrs. Evelyn Cecil, and a number of other ladies who have Imperialism keenly at heart, gave their active patronage to a scheme for starting a Colonial Training School at Arlesey, Near Hitchin, Herts.
The Arlesey Training School
This school was opened in 1907, under the governorship of Miss Turner, F.r.h.s., the former superintendent of the Glynde School of Gardening.
Miss Turner is an ardent advocate of emigration for girls of the upper classes. Not only is she an expert on all matters appertaining to the management of a garden or farm, but also is a distinguished lecturer on horticulture and small holdings in the intervals of personally supervising every detail of the entire dailywork at Arlesey House, where eight students are in constant residence. And this work is not easy, since many of the girls have no knowledge of the practical running of a farmhouse when they first arrive, and have everything to learn.
Noservantsare kept at Arlesey with the exception of a single maid to do the roughest work, and a garden boy. The students take it in turns, week by week,to act as gardeners, housemaids, or cooks, and the whole work of the farmstead, both inside and out, with its pig-styes, poultry farm, bee-hives, orchard,greenhouses, cucumber frames, and kitchen and flower garden, covering some four acres of ground, is carried on entirely by the girls themselves’.
Everything is kept in perfect order; the place is in a thriving condition, and is run in the most workmanlike and profitable manner.
The training in practical house wifery i planned so as to prepare the Arlesey students to meet with perfect equanimite a feature of colonial life which, to the untrained girl emigrant of gentle birth, is often one of its chief hardships, not merely the absence of any but the roughest domestic servants, but often the impossibility of getting any ” hired help ” at all.
An Ideal Farmhouse
Arlesey is a big, rambling farmhouse the cheerful, old-fashioned type,standing in about four acres of ground. Inside, it is roomy enough to provide a separate bedroomfor each of the eight students.
The terms for the ordinary course of training work out at about £80 a year. The course includes housework in all its branches plain cooking and bread-making; preserving and bottling fruit and vegetables; pickling and curing bacon; the care of pigs bees, and poultry, and the management of incubators; and, in addition, gardening in all its branches. After six months  general training, girls are allowed to specialise in riding, driving, and stable management laundry work, dairy work, and in simple carpentry for moderate extra fees. Student are also prepared for the Royal Horticultural Society and Board of Education examinations.
The Course Of Training
The full course of training extends over two years, but students can enter for on year at ordinary fees, and shorter course may be arranged for at special terms.
The school year is divided into four quarters – Christmas, Lady Day, Mid summer, and Michaelmas – but students may enter at any time, and six weeks’holiday is given by arrangement.
The girls wear the most business-like garb. In the garden they may be seen in very short skirts,shirts with the sleeves: rolled up to above the elbow, and the thickest of garden boots, each carrying on her own special work for the day with youthful vigour and enthusiasm quite delightful to see.
The poultry-yard is well stocked, and contains a special incubating shed, of which two students have the entire charge for a fortnight at a time, to learn how poultry management should be carried out – a most important branch of training for the girl colonist.
Inside the house all is order and precision. In the kitchen may be seen a girl – thecookof the week – enveloped in a huge apron, with her arms plunged in an earthenware bowl of flour, busily making bread.
Students specialising in dairy-work and the management of cows spend two mornings and three afternoons a week at a neighbouring farm, where the farmer’s wife- a noted butter-maker – initiates them into the arts of milking and butter-making, and teaches them the use of the various types of churns and separators in common use, while students of laundry-work repair regularly on Tuesdays each week to the dwelling of an excellent local washerwoman, where they put in a hard morning’s work at the washtub, again making their way thither on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, in order to learn how to iron and get up the outcome of Tuesday morning’s work. Thus, they soon learn to turn out snowy piles of beautifully got-up personal and household linen.
The Type Of Girl Wanted
Miss Turner firmly believes that for the well-educated young gentlewoman, equipped with a thoroughly practical preliminary training for colonial life and able to work for herself, a place is ready and waiting in our possessions beyond the seas. Such a girl, if she takes a post as mother’s help, will prove a real help, and when she marries will be a true helpmate to her husband.
Arlesey House, moreover, is intended also for girls who have no intention of emigrating, but who want to learn the right way to manage a small holding, consisting perhaps of a farmhouse or cottage with a garden and farmyard attached, so as to make it pay.
In the gardens are special greenhouses for tomatoes, chrysanthemums, and cucumbers. In addition, there is a vinery. Thus, it is easy for a student to acquire a thorough horticultural training, and for skilled gardeners there are great openings for women in the Colonies.
Miss Turner has, naturally, special facilities for acquiring information as to the different Colonies and their requirements, and pupils are not only advised and helped in their selection, but every endeavour is made to get them suitable posts when trained.
The age limit for students is nominally from eighteen to thirty, and Miss Turner finds twenty to twenty-five is the ideal age at which to start work at the school.
Nothing is more helpful to students than an occasional object lesson in successful gardening, and the Arlesey students have the advantage of visiting the various famous gardens in the surrounding neighbourhood from time to time, for Miss Turner receives many invitations for herself and her pupils to spend an afternoon in some beautifully kept old-world or modern garden. Here the girls can study aspects,soils, ferneries, orchid-houses, and the thousand-and-one things appertaining to garden lore, as carried on in other and different surroundings.
The Management Of Arlesey House
The Arlesey House garden and farm are managed on thoroughly comfortable but economical lines. No labour is wasted merely for the sake of learning how this or that task or duty should be performed; there is always some definite object in view.
The girls learn to utilise every scrap of ground for some practical and, if possible, lucrative purpose, so that both garden and farm may at least pay their ownexpenses.
Thus, the shady corners of the garden are utilised for plantinga good supply of bulbs in early autumn. The flowers then are cut and sold in the early days of spring.
Then with the potato bed – which the students are seen hoeing so energetically in the illustration – every care and precaution had been taken to make the crop a success, with the consequence that Miss Kitson foresaw a harvest worth some £20 from that one piece of work alone.
Through dealing only with pedigree stock, the girls get to know the points, for instance, of a good healthy, well-bred bird, by instinct, and would never, in purchasing later on for themselves, be taken in by inferior live stock in starting a poultry farm of their own.
Home Nursing Taught
A knowledge of ambulance and home nursingis one of the utmost value in colonial life in order to deal promptly and successfully with accidents or sudden cases of illness where the girl settler’s farmstead may be situated many miles from the nearest doctor, and accordingly each student is expected to go in for the course of lecturesand to obtain the St. John’s Ambulance certificates in these two subjects.
Life resolves itself into a simple and very pleasant affair at Arlesey, and, in spite of early hours and plenty of hard work, mealtimes are always very cheery. An excellentl libraryand a good piano in the students’ sitting-room provide plenty of recreation for the long winter evenings.
For outdoor recreation in the winter the girls can play hockey, and in the summer tennis and croquet. An admirable lawn was levelled and laid out by the students in 1909.
In New South Wales suitable students can be sent out to a small farm – mainly poultry and dairy – at Yarraford, Glen Innes, belonging to Miss Brace, who will take pupils who have a certificate of proficiency in cooking and dairy-work; but someone must deposit or guarantee their return fare – about £25 – should they not prove suitable.
On arrival Miss Brace helps them to find work or to take up land of their own.
In Canada, Miss Binnie-Clarke receives pupils on her homestead in much the same way, and the expenses of the journey to Canada or British Columbia are from £15 to £20.
Read more:http://chestofbooks.com/food/household/Woman-Encyclopaedia-1/Training-Girls-for-the-colonies.html#.UOhK9-TZbhd#ixzz2H7IkGQy7

Herbert Allen

File22 arlesey CEMENT WORKS Arlesey's 7 brickyard chimneys brickyard men1 herbert brickyard  OLDFLOAT youngherbert herberts medals bedfordshire_regiment_cap_badge medal roll card


ww1 soldier young herbert allen

lorna nan and grandad

My granddad Herbert  Allen 1887-1962 as the only son of Big Jim Allen the Fairground Booth Boxer.  He did have four younger sisters though . Lizzie Goss (Elizabeth Ann) , Louie Ansell (Beatrice) , Norah Allen ,Violet May Allen (Alexandra)

Big Jim Allen .He used to travel around the country as a Fair Booth boxer . He was big and strong and boxing came easy to him . The more he boxed the better he got , but when Herbert was old enough to start school he gave it up and got a job at Arlesey Cement Works . His mother Ellen Dear “Nellie”was the daughter of  The Fountain Publicans , George and Mary Ann Dear. She later ran the shop where Fairfield Garage office now stands . Herbert was born in the now demolished 122 Crawley Terrace in 1887.
Nellie Dear . He moved to 237 Asylum Rd about 1900 . He lived here at least until he left school .    His dad moved to 40 New Rd (Newtown) in 1911 and by then Herbert was 24 and had moved out . When he left school Herbert started working with his dad and Allen Uncles at the Arlesey Cement Works. When work was scarce Granddad even walked to the East End of London and got a job on the docks . The First World War started and Herbert was called up.Herbert  was pretty useful with his fists like his dad . Tough as he was , Herbert saw some terrible things in the war and never talked about it.
The Allens were a cricket mad family and his Uncle Alfred Allen even named one of his sons Ranjit Singh Allen after one of the Worlds best ever batsman .Herbert was a demon fast bowler for The Lamb Inn who played in Lamb Meadow .The Three Counties Asylum poached him so he could play for them . It was here he met my grandmother who became his wife , when she was making tea for the cricketers.

Herbert back row 3rd in

Herberts medals I used to regularly look at these and sometimes I was allowed to clean them. When nan was in her 80’s they disappeared .They is no great value in them I might buy a replacement set on Ebay. They are medals given for fighting in a war zone. The star is for fighting in France or Flanders. The lady with wings is the victory medal. The King George Medal and the set of 3 is for serving the full term of the war.They only got 2 if they joined after 1915. I looked up Granddad in the National Archives and have a copy of the paperwork saying he was awarded all three. I will shortly add this.
Mary Mills “Polly” parents Jane Avery and Jim Mills had emigrated to Canada with her youngest sister Daisey.  Mary needed somewhere to live and a job. So when Three Counties Asylum were recruiting in Mere Wiltshire it seemed the answer to her prays. Herbert and Polly started courting and after a time they married . They now needed a house. They moved into Gothic Farm with dad Big Jim and worked there as an Agricultural Labourer.  He also worked at Waterloo Farm                                                           Herbert heard the foreman at the Brickyard was retiring so Herbert blagged his way into the job.

He told them he was a Sargeant in the army and was used to dealing with men . He got the job and a Brickyard house went with it . Herbert carried on working up here till he was 70 . They lived in the Brickyard house until they got 2 St Peters Ave in 1938. It was almost brand new and had a flush toilet that was joined onto the house , and a bathroom . Course no hot water or electric lights yet.

Arlesey cricket team
Grandad Herbert died in 1962 aged 75 .    Nan Polly ‘s son Uncle George and family moved from the Rally to live with her .            But he emigrated to Australia in the late 60’s. They emigrated to Rockingham in Western Australia , and they have all done very well there. Mollie Polly Daisey Alma George and Whitey the dog.Whitey helped subsidize the families budget with all the rabbits he caught . So we have family in Brisbane , Calgary , Naples in Italy , New York and Toronto on the Lombari side .                                                                                                                               Some Early Allens contacted me from New Zealand and their family tree matched mine.They were the first to emigrate in the 1800’s .
Herbie Herbert My memories of granddad was that he always called everybody nicknames. My nickname was clivical Clive. He then always drew a watch on my wrist. When the 1 o’clock home service news was on you weren’t allowed to say even 1 word , and the same when the football pools were on you were hardly allowed to breathe.