The High Street in Ware runs east to west from the roundabout at the junction with Star Street to Priory Street, just beyond Ware Museum. The 1911 census, Kelly’s Directory of Hertfordshire (1910 and 1912 editions) and Bennett’s Business Directory (1911-12 edition) reveal that at that time the street included a mixture of businesses offering a wide variety of services as well as several privately occupied residences. The even-numbered properties are located on the north side of the street and the odd-numbered ones on the south side. This article is one of four, each of which looks at who was living in the street in 1911. This one covers the first half of the odd-numbered buildings on the south side, from No.1 to No. 53.
The census enumerator lists both No. 1 and No. 3 as cottages/piano repairers, but there are no main entries for these properties as they were unoccupied when the census was taken. The ‘occupier’ is given as a Mr Chard, but no further information is available about him and there are no references to him in the local business directories either.
There was a hairdresser, John Thomas McNaughten, at No. 5. Aged 33 and born in Ware, he was married to Lucy, 32, from Hertford, and they had one son, John Henry William, 10, who had also been born in Hertford. John Thomas’s niece, Mary McNaughten, 9, lived with them in their 5-room home.
Next door at No. 7, also a 5-room property, was a greengrocer and fruiterer, Henry Ginn, 28, from Ware. His wife Nannette Amelia, 30, from Amwell near Ware, assisted him in the business. They had two young daughters, May Violet Nannette, 2, and Elsie Maud, 7, both born in Ware. The census enumerator also lists a malthouse at this address, with a reference to Ward & Sons.
No. 9 was a private house, which at the time of the census was uninhabited.
No. 11 was the home and workplace of a 70-year-old widower, William Bateman, from Ware. He was a boot and ‘list’ [last?] maker and lived with his son Arthur, 28, who worked as a carman. A domestic servant, Miss I. Warren, 61, from Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, also lived in the 4-room house with them.
The local trade directories list the occupant of No. 13 as a beer retailer called Frederick Grover and the enumerator’s list confirms that this property was the Bird in Hand public house.
At No. 15 could be found the Saracen’s Head Hotel. James Smith is listed as the main occupier, probably the proprietor, but in total there were six people living on the premises, although no further details about them are available. There were also stables here for the guests of the hotel.
Henry Wilkinson, 52, originally from west London, lived at No. 17 with his large family. He was a butcher by trade and was assisted in this business by his wife Minnie, 44, who was from Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. Their eldest daughter, also called Minnie, 22, was a book keeper and their only son, Albert, 20, who had been born in High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, worked ‘in business’, although it is not clear whether this was with his father. The three other daughters were Ethel, 11, Else, 6, both born in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, and Gladys, 3, born in Thornton Heath in Surrey. A housemaid, Maggie Noble, 21, lived with them in their large 7-room house.
Oliver Harry Williams, 26, and his wife, Ellen, 24, both originally from Hammersmith in London, lived at No. 19 (now a Grade II listed building with 5 rooms). In the census he is described as a jeweller and shopkeeper, but the local trade directories refer to him more specifically as a watch maker, silversmith − and optician!
No. 21 (now a Grade II listed building) was the home of retired medical practitioner Henry Osbourne Fawcett Butcher, a single 70-year-old from Ware. He lived in the 9-room house with his sister Anna Elisabeth, 78 and also single, who had been born in Woodham Walter in Essex. They had a cook, Emma Knight, 56, from Ware, and a maid, Florence May Abraham, 24, from Roydon in Essex, Ward & Sons had another malthouse at the rear of the building.
A branch of Barclay & Company Ltd could be found at No. 23 (now a Grade II listed building). The manager of the bank was Leonard Lucas, 39, and he lived on the premises, which had 9 rooms, with his wife Annie Irene, 40, and one servant, Emma Jane Presland, 27, who was from Ware. Leonard, who was also treasurer to Ware Rural District Council & Ware union, had been born in Wandsworth in south-west London and Annie in Carlisle in Cumberland.
Herbert Etty Wells, 40, from Wadesmill near Ware, lived at No. 25 (now a Grade II listed building) with his wife and child. He had been married to Florry, 40, from Ware, for eight years and they had a 5-year-old son, Alfred Henry, also born in Ware. A domestic servant, Edith Mary Sumbridge, 21, lived in the 7-room house with them. Herbert worked with his father, Henry Wells, 76, as smiths and ironmongers in the family business, which was located at the same address. The blacksmith’s shop could be found at the rear of the property.
No. 27, a large private residence of 10 rooms called the White House, was the home of Sarah Cheyney, 57. She was a widow and lived there with her daughter Ethel, 32, and her sister Eliza Hammond, 56, both of whom were single. Sarah and Eliza were originally from Stanstead Abbotts, Hertfordshire, but Ethel had been born in Clapton in London. They are all listed on the census as having private means. A domestic servant called Gertrude Mabel Walter, 21, from Ware, worked for them and lived with them.
The building next door, No. 29, also a private residence and now a Grade II listed building, was uninhabited at the time of the 1911 census, although by the time the 1912 edition of Kelly’s Directory of Hertfordshire was published a company that manufactured blouses, M. Klinger, Ltd, was listed at this address. At the rear of the property a Mr J. Harrington had two malthouses.
William Page, a 52-year-old widower from Ware, who was a long-established corn, coal and coke merchant, had a shop at No. 31. Living with him in the 7-room building were his two daughters ̶ Jane, 25, who worked as a housekeeper (perhaps for the family home?), and Annie, 17, who was an apprentice milliner ̶ and his son Edwin, 16, described in the census as an assistant (possibly in his father’s business?). At the rear of the shop there were stables and a corn warehouse.
Although there is no 1911 census record of the occupant of No. 33 (now a Grade II listed building), according to the 1910 edition of Kelly’s Directory of Hertfordshire this was the location of a milliner’s shop, under the name of Mrs Mary A. Hammond.
Joseph Ketterer, 67, from Baden in Germany, had a shop at No. 35. According to the census he was a watchmaker, but the trade directories of the time say that he was also a confectioner. The building had 5 rooms and Joseph lived there with his wife Matilda, 63, from Ware, and two of their five children, both of whom had also been born in Ware − Alphonso, 33, who was employed as a carpenter and Joiner, and Matilda, 30. Joseph’s other children were Albert Frederick, Alfred John and Joseph Jnr. The 1910 and 1912 editions of Kelly’s Directory of Hertfordshire list the latter, Joseph Edward, 37, who at that time was also working in Ware, as a plumber, painter and house decorator.
Next door, at No. 37, was a milliner and draper’s shop run by dressmaker Bertha Barnett. She was a 59-year-old widow from Eaton Socon in Bedfordshire. Both Nos. 35 and 37 are now Grade II* listed buildings.
William John Griffiths, 58, from Freshwater on the Isle of Wight, was a family grocer and provision merchant, and a dealer in fine teas. His shop was at No. 39 and this was also home to his wife Mary Gwynne, 36, originally from Aberdeen in Scotland, their son William C.,11, born in Ware, and William John’s two daughters from his first marriage ̶ Mabel, 36, born in Newport on the Isle of Wight, and Olive, 27, born in Shrewsbury in Shropshire, who worked as a Post Office clerk. They had one domestic servant, Mary Harwood, 21, a local girl from Ware, who lived with them in the 7-room building. Behind the shop were two malthouses under the name of Mr Harrington.
No-one lived at Nos. 41 and 43, but the enumerator identifies shops, a malthouse and a printing factory at these properties, the first and third occupied by a Mr Price and the second by a Mr Harrington. The same Mr Harrington also had a maltings at No. 45.
Gideon Talbot, 26, a cycle agent and maker from St Dominick in Cornwall, had a shop at No. 47. He lived alone in the large 8-room building, but would appear to have been in partnership with Herbert Sidney Booker, another cycle agent, who lived in Watton-at-Stone near Ware. Bennett’s Business Directory (1911-12 edition) has a listing for Booker & Talbot, cycle and motor works, and Kelly’s Directory of Hertfordshire (1912 edition) refers to S. Booker & Co., cycle agents. No. 47a was a lock-up shop used by the butchers Eastmans Limited.
No. 49 (now a Grade II listed building) was formerly the site of the 15th-century Bear Inn, later the Falcon, before subsequently becoming the Falcon Foundry in the 1830s. In 1911 Edwin Waller, 50, originally from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, had a shop here, established 20 years previously. He was a tailor and cutter and, according to Bennett’s Business Directory (1909 edition), a ‘Gentlemen’s complete outfitter’ who also supplied ‘Ladies’ coats & skirts. Liveries of all styles. Fit and style guaranteed’. He lived there with his wife Emma, 48, from Ware, and five of their seven children (an eighth had died). Two of these, Oscar, 22, and Victor Edwin, 16, were both also employed as tailors, presumably working with their father, and the older daughter, Gwendoline Violet, 18, was a milliner. The other two children were Baden Nelson, 10, a schoolboy, and Kathleen, 5. Also living with the family in the large 8-room house were Caroline Barnes, 20, from Little Munden, Hertfordshire, who was a servant, and two young men, Charles South, 24, from Kimpton, Hertfordshire, and John Doole, 21, from the Bedford Barracks, both of whom were employed as tailors in the business.
According to the 1910 and 1912 editions of Kelly’s Directory of Hertfordshire No. 51 (now a Grade II listed building) was the site of the Falcon Works, occupied by J. Goodfellow & Co., ironmongers. The census enumerator’s list reveals that there was also a blacksmith’s shop here.
No. 53 was a private residence, a large 12-room property, the home of a well-to-do 71-year-old widow, Ellen Ann Medcalf, who had been born in Kenton Hall in Suffolk. Living with her were her step-grandson Sidney Medcalf, 24, from New Barnet, Hertfordshire, who worked as a grocer’s assistant, and her niece Nellie Kersey, 44, from Ipswich in Suffolk, who like her aunt had private means. They had two domestic servants, Alice Rebecca Long, 23, and Lily Florence Wright, 18, both from Ware.
Click on each picture to enlarge.
See also separate articles on the High Street, Ware, 1911: Part 2 (Nos. 55-111), Part 3 (Nos. 2-56) and Part 4 (Nos. 58-120).