People and Events from Bygone Days

These pictures have been donated by current and former residents of Charlton showing people and events from times past. If anyone recognises their relatives in the pictures or has recollections of the events shown, please contact either Richard Sims (861167) or Julian Hawley (860420).

he Habbitts family, market gardeners, photographed in Top Street, c.1890s
Cropthorne and Charlton school 1926. Most of these children were from Charlton. Back row- L Hughes, J Gardner, H Price, R Dutton, (?) Price, W Hughes, E Foxwell Second row- L Watson, (?) Saunders, (?) Robinson, S Smout, E Drinkwater, G Read, M Pinchin, (?) Pritchard, R Reeves Third row- M Saunders, W Pomeroy, ?Hughes, V Tandy, (?) Millington, I Peart, C Russell Front row – W Salter, Reg Beale, G Brookes, S Hughes, S Brookes
The Reverend Nicholas Brown, showing damage in Charlton church after the fire in 1985
Alfred Ballard and his wife. He was formerly landlord at the Gardeners Arms but handed over to his son also Alfred Ballard, and retired to Bank House in Ryden lane where this photo was taken
Bill Stayte, pictured when he was a wagoner in charge of fourteen heavy horses at J M Stokes’s Whitehouse Farm where he worked for 52 years. Bill used to live in Sidings lane and then Top Street
James Faulkner who was the last squire of Charlton residing in the Manor House. He was very well thought of in the village and there was sadness when he suddenly died in 1923. He and his two young sons, who died at school age, are buried in Charlton cemetery
Allen Fryer, who was the farm bailiff for J M Stokes in the 1930s. He lived in The White House in Ryden Lane
There are a number of stories related to ghosts in the old manor house. One is that Sir John used to haunt the cellars and the servants were scared to go down there as “Sir John will blow your candle out”. Allegedly it took 12 priests to exorcise his spirit which was ultimately driven into a wine barrel which was then bricked up behind the cellar wall. Of course, the barrel is still there underneath one of the houses in the Dovecote! There was also a story about a white lady who haunted the staircase, there is someone in the village today who actually saw her. This may be her looking out of the attic window!
One of the first tractors to be used in the fields around Charlton, probably some time during the 1930s
Bridge over Merry Brook at Canada Bank, early 20th century
View from the early 20th century along Canada Bank with Charlton Manor House just visible in the distance
Merry Brook in flood. Much work has been carried out in recent years in conjunction with the Environment Agency to reduce the risk of serious flooding affecting the village in the future.
Charlton church choir c.1910
Charlton village football team on ballast hole ground with Charlton signalbox in the background
Outside the Gardeners Arms, early 20th century
Bonfire in The Bight to celebrate the coronation of King George V in 1911
Copy of certificate presented to Harry Fryer in recognition of his services as secretary of Charlton Working Men’s Club in 1920s
Inside the Gardeners Arms c.1930’s
Party in the village to celebrate the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937
Two more Land Army girls who lived in the Manor House in 1941
“Salute the Soldier” exhibits in the window of the Old Bakery at the junction of Brook Lane and Ryden Lane, which later became the village shop. The picture was taken in 1944
Donald and Arthur Crowley and Graham Ballard delivering the bread
Charlton children at Cropthorne School in 1950s Does anyone recognise themself? If so, please get in touch
Whitehouse farm workers c.1950’s
Another party for children of the village in the 1950s
Children on the footbridge over Merry Brook. This is still a popular location for local children for the game of “Pooh Sticks”
Another view of Charlton Summer Fayre in 1960s
Norman Ballard, market gardener of Charlton on a cider break c.1930s. He was the brother of Alfred Ballard jr, licensee of the Gardeners Arms
Shooting party outside Rutters Farm c.1900. In the centre, with one leg on pheasants, George Swift, cross legged on ground between pheasants, John Swift, gentleman holding dog, John Pritchard, bailiff to Swift family for forty years and resident in Rutters farm, behind him in checked waistcoat, his son Frank Pritchard, later also bailiff for the Swifts and young man to the right another son Geoffrey.
Two sons of Fred Pritchard outside Rutters Farm, c.1950s
The officers of the 4th Worcestershire (Evesham) Battalion, Home Guard at a dinner for all officers which was part of the standing down ceremony in November 1944 after which the Home Guard passed into history. Lieutenant Alfred Ballard, the commanding officer of the Charlton Home Guard section is third in from the right, first row standing. He was the son of the landlord of the Gardeners Arms and later took over the pub himself. Lt. J Cathcart-Davies, third from right sitting, was the vicar of Cropthorne and Charlton.
The Reverend Peter Eliot, Vicar of Charlton and Cropthorne until 1965 together with his wife Lady Alethea Eliot who involved herself in Charlton village activities during her husband’s time as vicar. She was the daughter of the 1st Earl Buxton who was Governor General of the Union of South Africa 1914 to 1920. This photo was taken in 1933
This is a photo of Hillside Café that used to be at the end of Top Street opposite the entrance to Cherry Orchard. It opened soon after 1946 and operated during the 1950s, closing in the very early 1960s when it was replaced by the present two semi-detached houses. It was very popular with local transport drivers and villagers. To the right of the café was a small shop which was attached to what is now Jars Cottage where the owners lived. From the shop was a serving hatch where sweets, ice cream and tobacco were served with fish and chips available on Saturdays. The café was run by Phyllis Fryer (pictured) and Robert Morgan. Phyllis’s husband Fred had died shortly after the war and is buried in the war grave in Charlton cemetery. The Fryers were a long-standing Charlton family, Fred’s father Allen being the farm bailiff for JM Stokes at Whitehouse Farm.
Cherry trees on land off Top Street, opposite Jars Cottage and Honeysuckle Cottage. The Cherry Orchard housing development now stands on the site. To the left of Jars Cottage, on what used to called “Cafe Corner”, there used to be a cafe. Two semi-detached houses now stand on the site
A view of the ford at Stocky Brook in Brook Lane, with Donald and Arthur Crowley in the background. Stocky Brook is now known as Merry Brook, and is officially classified as a river by the Environment Agency
Sheep wash pool on the village green, using water diverted from Merry Brook
Daffodil picking amidst plum blossom
Merry Brook in flood in earlier times
Charlton village football team 1909
Charlton village football team 1921/22
Members of Charlton’s snooker team in the late 1950s. In the back row are Dave Witts and George Boswell. In the front row are Emerson Fryer, Eddie Johnson and Brian Johnson. They were ferried to away matches by Len Dorrell who ran a garage and lived in the old chapel on Canada Bank
The Habbits family market gardeners
Washing onions in the remains of the old sheep dip on The Green c.1930s
May Day celebrations during the 1930’s with Charlton church and Mr Cook’s house in the background
Pea picking in the fields around Charlton c.1930’s
Women’s Land Army girls, who worked in the fields around Charlton during the second World War
Walter Douglas Faulkner, son of last resident squire of Charlton. Later Lt Col Faulkner MC, Irish Guards, killed during the invasion of Norway in 1940. Sold Charlton estate in 1930s
Workers in the packing house at Whitehouse Farm, c.1950s, possibly sorting and packing damsons or Brussels sprouts. If anyone can clarify this, please let us know
Party in the village to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953
Charlton Summer Fayre in the grounds of the Manor House in 1960’s
Rosemary Swift and Geoff Righton plant the first tree on the newly cleared village green in 1966
Another view of the footbridge over Merry Brook with cattle grazing on the village green in the background