Stobbarts Row – Then and even longer ago

Stobbarts Row! Or should that be Stobberts Row? Or even Stobbards Row? Different spellings seem to have been used at different times and there probably is not a right answer for all time. We are using the spelling on the front of our older photo which is a postcard.

Stobbarts Row in about 1910

Stobbarts Row in about 1910

Here’s an idyllic rural scene with house just ceasing as the downland of Salisbury Plain begins.

Each householder has a person standing outside the door.

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We don’t tend to see people gathering for photos these days and we certainly didn’t for our second photo which dates from 1985.

Stobbarts Row - 1985

Stobbarts Row – 1985

What looked like a hedge and maybe a footpath in the older photo has become Stobbarts Road and agricultural buildings have appeared at the end of it. Once the houses were behind a hedge. Now they front straight on to the road. Stobbarts Road is not busy since it only serves these houses – even the farm buildings are out of use at the time of writing.

The people outside the doors have been replaced by the rather swish sports car. It seems a shame that the spacious porches on the second terrace have gone. We assume there wasn’t room for them and a road.

Once again we see change of a gentle kind which may have made life easier for the residents of Stobbarts Row.

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3 Responses to “Stobbarts Row – Then and even longer ago”

  1. Kenny Green Says:

    Whilst it may at first, appear an impossible task putting names to strangers, with some detective work cross referencing old census returns and valuation rolls (where applicable and available) and critically analysing old photographs (ideally having date verification), it is possible to make an educated guess to name some villagers that lived in our homes 100+ years ago.

    It is also important to recognise that the properties they lived in which still stand today, are also incredibly interesting. The photo which is titled ‘Stobbarts Row Lavington’ captures six houses that by 1910 were at least 50 years old or thereabouts.
    From the lane, No’s 3-6 appear older than No’s 1 & 2 going by wall construction, window openings and the brickwork/coursework. We can question whether No’s 1 & 2 were later rebuilds or were they just built as a later phase to complete the terrace during the 1860s?

    Looking at the first close-up photograph, it is the 1901 census return which is the most useful to start the review of the people captured in the photograph. If we assume the bearded chap standing in front of No 1 Stobberts Road was the occupant, and was taken prior to 1911, then it is almost certainly Richard Hopkins.

    In the 1901 census, Richard is listed as a 64 year old general labourer living with his wife Elizabeth aged 65. So by 1910, he would well into his 70s. Elizabeth, his wife, appeared to be self employed working from home as a laundress – tasks that were most probably undertaken behind the window fronting the lane in what could well have been the scullery.

    Both Richard and Elizabeth were born in the village, and had by circa 1910, lived along Stobberts Road for at least thirty years. The Hopkins previously lived down Northbrook (as confirmed in the 1871 census records).

    To Richard’s left and standing in front of no. 2, is probably Thomas Goddard. The 1911 census records him as being 37 employed as a carter for a coal merchant who was born in the village and was raised in a property along Parsonage Lane was married to Julia (who was nine years his elder), living with two step sons – 20 year old Bert and 18 year old William Butler (who served and survived WWI) and two step daughters – 16 year old Ivy and 14 year old Ethel Butler. It is interesting to note that Julia was resident at no 2 back in 1901 married to her first? husband, Charles Butler – who was the village postman – who must have passed away sometime between 1901 and 1903, as we know Thomas Goddard and Julia Butler nee Gray Mills were married in June 1904.

    The second close-up photograph is more of a puzzle. To begin with, it may not be obvious, but the subjects are not standing immediately outside No’s 3-6 (unlike the previous close-up photograph), so pinpointing who lived where, is a tad troublesome.

    Before making a stab at ‘who is who’ one might well question the accuracy of the suggested photograph date of 1910. There could well be a case for suggesting the photograph was taken 4 or 5 years earlier circa 1905/06 (we know that Thomas Goddard and Richard Hopkins were resident at the previous addresses listed above, so only their stated ages would need to be adjusted).

    The principal reason for suggesting an earlier date for the photograph is because the age range of the children shown do not fit comfortably with the recorded residents listed on the 1911 census for the six properties.

    If the photo was taken circa 1905, the boy with a cap on the extreme right could well be a 12/13 year old William Butler (step-son to Thomas Goddard). The young lad to his left with his head down sadly cannot be identified. The lad looks to be 4 or at most 5 and was quite possibly born after the 1901 census, and either didn’t survive or was a visiting relative. The girl further to the left with the bonnet could be an 8 year old Ethel Butler sibling to William and the young lad potentially as all three children appear posed as a mini grouping – suggestive of a family link perhaps?

    The lady with the white apron standing roughly in front of No. 4 could well be Mary Ann Giddings who was listed in 1911 aged 44 (who was born in the village) and married to her husband of 6 years: 39 year old Herbert Giddings who was a brewer’s carter. By 1911, Mary and Herbert were childless, but the 1911 census records that Herbert’s 20 year old brother, Frederick was resident along with Herbert’s 6 month old nephew Herbert George Muller. No mother is recorded for Herbert George on the census.

    Three potential reasons for this are – 1. The mother had died, 2. The mother was living back in Camberwell, London where Herbert George Muller was born or was elsewhere, or 3. The mother was a suffragette and like many women at the time of the 1911, refused to have their name/age /employment listed officially record.

    Note: Unlike previous censuses, in 1911, the forms were completed by the head of the household.

    Identifying the young lady holding the infant on the far left of the image is perhaps the most difficult task of all given that infant mortality was high during the late 19th and early 20th Century, and like the young lad pictured further to the right, the infant may not have lived long enough to be recorded on the Decennial census returns. The young lady/infant may well have survived but lived elsewhere and could have been photographed whilst visiting parents and therefore putting a name to such a visitor would be incredibly difficult without family /relative recognition.

    Whilst it is difficult to be certain, the infant could be Doris Edith Hopkins who was born most probably at No. 6 Stobberts Road to parents Adam Mary and Edward around 1906. At the time of the 1901 census, Edward was living at No. 6 and married two years later. By 1911 the young family had moved to the high street.

    Alternatively and whilst it might scupper the concept that the photograph dates from 1905/6, the image could well depict Herbert George Muller and his Suffragette? Mother – which if correct, places a question mark over the names of the three children on further up the lane.

    • marketlavingtonmuseum Says:

      Thanks very much for all this work. People are so kind when it comes to Museums.

      I will pass your ideas on to a lady who lives in the Row now and is researching their history – and inspiring neighbours to be interested as well.

      Rog

      Curator

      • Kenny Green Says:

        Hi Rog,

        It is really great having the museum and such interest in the village. Long Nay it continue…

        By the way, the lady you refer to could well be my neighbour! My wife and I live at No. 2…

        All the best
        Kenny

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