This page was last updated on: April 4, 2011
1936 - 1938 Thomas Alexander Binns, was installed as Vicar of Holy Trinity. [S2] See entry for 25th July 1936.

1936 - 1938 - Mrs. May G. Clarke and her young son David rented Woodlane End Farm for the two years shortly following the death of Dr. Sydney Clarke, a St. Albans physician.  David Clarke, who had been given a Brownie Box Camera for his birthday in 1935, took two photographs during his stay.  One of the farmhouse itself and another of the summerhouse to be found in the grounds. 
The photograph confirms that the farm was of 17th century origin or earlier, and when talking to Mr. Clarke, he said how much he regretted that he didn't take a picture of the barn, or the delightfully carved oak staircase. From his knowledge of architecture and what he can remember of the house, it seems probable that the farmhouse was built at about the time we hear of Samuel Ewer coming to live in it in the 17th century.

David Clarke now lives in Witney in Oxfordshire, and he described the farmhouse at its grounds, and the time they spent there as follows:

My mother rented Wood Lane End for 2 years (1936-1938) after my father died.  We put in electricity for which the landlady promised to compensate us, but didn't.  It had been a farm and had 2 acres of garden and orchard.  Most of the ancillary buildings had been demolished, but the great barn, with its splendid timber roof, fronted the road, and the adjacent small barn had been had been converted to a garage.  In the barn was a well, now covered with cement on which had been written DEEP WELL 50 FEET. Local people said a horse's head had been found in it, a custom dating from the Iron Age.  A splendid owl was resident in the roof, and once made his exit through the door, as my mother was going in, to her great alarm.

The house was L shaped, the south side being half-timbered with brick infill, the north side plastered, as was the wing to the north, which was built in a slightly Gothic style. It was presumably a modification of an earlier wing.  The front door was in the angle of the L.  My aunt Kathleen made a watercolour of it which was unfortunately sold when we left St. Albans, it is perhaps still about somewhere.  There was a heavy oak staircase with heavy balusters suggesting an early 17th century date.  Our gardener built a tiled porch for the back door out of debris from the farm and I taught the cat to climb up to my bedroom, which was above.

Inside the backdoor was a passage, adjoining the kitchen, then the dining room, running the full width of the house, and a dairy beyond.  The dining room had an inglenook fireplace.  Upstairs was my mother's bedroom over the drawing room in the Gothic wing, and the bathroom opened out of my bedroom; no great problem, as I was often away at school.  There were two bedrooms over the dining room and dairy.

The stairs continued to a spacious attic, where I had my trains and playroom, and the usual store of trunks, etc.

From the back door a wide drive led to a gate in the lane.  The rose-garden was to the left, with two big lean-to greenhouses, decrepit but usable.  The walled vegetable garden was beyond.  To the right was the overgrown orchard, which had a round summerhouse, topped by a weather vane in the form of an early locomotive.  The (summer)house was of brick and flint, with a conical tiled roof: even the glass in the double doors was curved.  There was a shallow pond, cement lined, which I cleared out but it never filled properly.  We kept chickens and ducks.  There was a huge tree of black cherries, so big that we could not pick it properly.  WE sold cherries at 6p a pound, which one passing cyclist thought was excessive.

The lane led to a row of cottages, one of which was occupies by Mrs. Sears, who regaled visitors with country wines.  Alas I did not know that it also led to a major Roman site, which was discovered later.  I remember once on a country walk stopping the little train which ran to Hempstead (never Hemel, that was non-U), at the little halt where the line crossed the lane beyond the "Saracen's Head".

Altogether we passed two apparently endless summers there before we moved back to St. Albans, in time for the war.  The house, which did not get into RCHM Herts, was demolished by the growing town of Hemel Hempstead, a wanton act of vandalism, though all too common at the time!

Mr. Clarke remembers that for the Coronation in 1937, there was a procession along the main part of the village in which he took part in costume. [S283]

January 4th 1936 - The funeral of of Mrs K Collyer of Buncefield took place at Leverstock Green Church Arthur Durrant officiated.  Aged 73, Mrs Collyer had died on New Year’s Day.  She had previously lived in London, coming to Leverstock Green in about 1928.  The Gazetter report of her funeral gave a full list of all the wreaths.  [Gazette 11th January 1936]
January 5th 1936.- DEATH OF MR M LENO

Matthew Leno died in St. Albans on Sunday aged 83.  For many years he had been resident at Westwick Row Farm. He was of a quiet disposition (and unlike his father did not play prominent part in local life).  Matthew Leno senior had resided at Cox Pond Farm and had been High Bailiff of the Borough (see obituary - November 29th 1904) – Mattew Leno Junior was for some time in business as a dairyman and farmer, and like his father was for some time a keen poultry man farmer. He also ran the Rose & Crown PH in the village until he was declared bancrupt in 1905)
January 11th 1936 - TheHertfordshire Hounds to meet @ Leather Bottle January 11th 11.15am [Gazette January 4th]

January 20th 1936 - King George V died.

28th January 1936 - A memorial service was conducted at HT Leverstock Green by Rev.Arthur Durrant in memory of the late King whose funeral took place at this time.  The service at noon  was preceded by a Eucharist at 9am.  Walter Ayre read the lessons and Mrs H Grimwood played the organ - including Chopin’s Funeral March. The official programme for the Funeral was found amongst the effects of the late Mrs. Parkins, landlady of the Leather Bottle.  It is uncertain whether or not Mrs. Parkins actually visited London for the event.[Gazette 1st Feb 1936]

31st January 1936 - The records of Horn & Co, Undertakers from Marlowes show the following entry:
Ref 526/ Deceased / widow: Bailey, Emma
DATE OF DEATH: 31.1.1936
NOTE: She was 86 years old and the funeral was held on 4.2.1936 at Leverstock Green Church
ADDRESS: Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead
[DCHT Undertaker’s Records, Horn & Co]

13th February 1936 - The records of Horn & Co, Undertakers from Marlowes show the following entry:
Ref 530/ Deceased: Drake, Charles Thomas William
DATE OF DEATH: 13.2.1936
NOTE: He was 78 years old and the funeral was held on 15.2.1936 at the cemetery.
Wife: Drake, Frances Elizabeth
ADDRESS: Hill House, Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead
[DCHT Undertaker’s Records, Horn & Co]

Monday 17th February 1936 - A major fire occured at Well Farm, on the Bedmond Road, just outside Leverstock Green.  The local paper reported the event in great detail the following Saturday:


Mother’s Save My Children cry

A Leverstock Green family have been rendered practically homeless as the result of a fire, which occurred on Monday morning.

The fire broke out at Well Farm Cottages, Pimlico, the residence of Mr & Mrs G Barge.  The cottage is the end one of three and the fire was discovered by the baker, who immediately drove in his van to Leverstock Green  & called the Hemel Hempstead Fire Brigade.  This done he went back to the cottage, and when the Hemel Hempstead Brigade arrived soon after 11 12 am, was with several others throwing buckets of water on the burning building.
On their arrival, the firemen, who were under Chief Office H E| Hancock were informed that Mr & Mrs Budge’s three young children aged 3, 4 &6 years respectively were inside.  They found no one in the downstairs front room and it was impossible to reach the upstairs rooms as the stairway was burned away and the heat made it impossible to ain access by means of the window.  The brigade obtained water from a pond further up the road, and their relief when they were told the children had been found along the road can be easily imagined.

In the meantime however, Mrs Barge arrived on the scene and imagining her children were still in the house was naturally distraught; indeed she was so upset that at first she refused to believe that the children were not in the house, and appealed to the firemen to save her children.

Every room in the house was on fire, and it was not until about 1.30pm that the Brigade were able to return home.  For them it had been an exceedingly anxious time as there is a continuous roof for the h tree cottages, and there was an ever-present danger of the fire spreading.
The roof of the cottage was actually not damaged but the backroom, bedrooms and scullery were absolutely burn out and the furniture in the house was completely destroyed.

When Mr & Mrs Barge had left to go to work in the morning the three children were left and there was a lighted candle in the room.  Much sympathy will be extended to Mr & Mrs Barge who have undoubtedly passed through a terrible experience. [Gazette 22nd February 1936]

11th February 1936 - The Gazette noted that precautions against air raids were beginning to be set up throughout Hertfordshire.

30th March 1936 - The records of Horn & Co, Undertakers from Marlowes show the following entry:
Ref 549/ Deceased / retired: Yeandle, Ernest
DATE OF DEATH: 30.3.1936
NOTE: He was 78 years old and the funeral was held on 3.4.1936 at Leverstock Green Church
ADDRESS: Well Farm, Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead
[DCHT Undertaker’s Records, Horn & Co]

2nd May 1936 - The Gazette reported:


Mrs Doggett, th wife of HG Dogget of Bridge Street, Hemel Hempstead, was the sister of Mr W J Seabrook and also the sister of Mrs V Steers, both of Leverstock Green.  Rev F A Power from Hammerfield conducted the service.[Gazette 2nd May 1936]

5th May 1936 - Mrs Mary Secretan died.  See entry for 9th May.

9th May 1936 – Leverstock Green was front page news in the Gazette with the following headline:

The paper reported on the death of Mrs Mary Secretan of Tile Kiln Cottage, Leverstock Green, who had died on May 5th after a month’s illness. She had been 77.  She and her husband had come to live at The Dells in 1912, and in 1928 the family moved to Tile Kiln Cottage – her husband dying later the same year.  She was very well respected in the Leverstock Green area.  She had, together with Mrs Durrant, founded the Nursing Association, and following Mrs Durrant’s death, carried on on her own, being Secretary of the Association until her death.   Together with others since the war she had been fighting to get more & better housing built in Leverstock Green.  During the war she had been a member of the Military Service Tribunal, and had herself become a nurse at West Herts Hospital.  She was also a member of the Women’s Agricultural Committee for Hertfordshire.  The funeral  was held on Friday 8th at 2.30pm. [Gazette 9th May 1936]

9th May 1936 - Further on in the paper other headlines on Leverstock Green could be seen:


Town council reports in the paper contained information that a resident had made allegations concerning housing conditions, the state of the green, and the cleanliness of the children to the Minister of Health.  The council replied that there was “No foundation for the Statement.” – Gazette gave details of the full reports to the council, but little further detail on this matter was noted. [Gazette 9th May 1936]

16th May 1936 - The following headline appeared: DOUBLE WEDDING AT Leverstock Green
Foster- Sears

The double wedding of Mr Alfred V Sears to Miss Beatrice R Mayo, and her sister Miss Una Margaret Sears to Mr Montague George Foster took place at Holy Trinity.  the service was conducted by Rev Hill, curate of Boxmoor.  Gazette gave details of both weddings. [Gazete 16th May 1936]

27th May 1936: There were special celebrations at the Baptist Chapel when Leverstock Green
"BAPTISTS CELEBRATE 95TH ANNIVERSARY OF CHAPEL"  The above was celebrated on Wed 27th May with special meetings etc.  Funds raised on the day went towards teh cost of renovating and redecorating the chapel.  £100 had recently been spent on redecorating etc.  Gazette gave full details of speakers etc. who were mostly from around Hertfordshire, and concluded by saying that “ The meetings were splendidly attended and were a great inspiration to the Village Cause.”  [Gazette 30th May 1936]

6th June 1936 – The Gazette carried a major story concerning the death of William Brigginshaw at the local brickworks. (For general details concerning brick-making in Leverstock Green click here.  The article in the Gazette was very long, and only brief extracts  - dotted lines indicate where text is ommited - and generalisations from the report are included here.  Microfilm of the Gazette is kept at DHT, Hemel Hempstead Library & HALS and can be viewed if required.)



“The Leverstock Green & Acorn Red Brick Co were summoned, that being occupiers of a certain factory, they neglected to secure and make safe certain mill gear, and that as a consequence, William Henry Brigginshaw came by his death.

There was a second summons that shafting was unfenced.  Co pleaded not guilty……….

…Believed to be the first accident of many years, since he believed the opening of the factory in 1888………there was no suggestion of wilful neglect – because of the “very fair opening by Mr Dymock (HM Inspector of factories) plea of guilty withdrawn and “guilty” pleas replaced it.

Mr Dymock had visited the works on April 7th following a phone call. He had seen Mr R A Norris the managing Director, and was shown the machine room – Mr Dymock reporting in considerable detail  what was found there, nothing having been touched since the accident bar removing  Mr Brigginshaw's body. Mr Brigginshaw had been a valued employee, and it was reported that many engineers, companies and even inspectors didn’t consider such conditions dangerous  Many verbal warnings had been given not to touch shafting while it was working.  The Company  had had over 25 inspections, which it had passed, and there had been no complaints.

Eventually after much discussion the bench decide they must convict as a guilty plea had been lodged, but that they would meet the case by imposing a fine of £5.  [Gazette 6th June 1936]

12th June 1936 -  The Gazette’s write-up of  the  wedding of Miss N G L Sanguinetti and Mr R H Purves noted that the couple had taken Hill Farm Leverstock Green as their new home.  It had previously been the home of Mrs Cox, the bride’s aunt.  The very long write up of the wedding included a list of all the wedding presents and who they were from. [Gazette 12th June 1936]

20th June 1936 - A well known resident of  Leverstock Green,  Mrs Lydia Seabrook of Tile Kiln Lane, died.  Mrs Seabrook, who was 78, was the widow of Reuben Seabrook who predeceased her three years ago.  He was well known in the district as a chaff retailer.  Mrs Seabrook had been born in Aylesbury, but came to Leverstock Green directly after her marriage.  Her funeral took place on Saturday 23rd June at Leverstock Green. A further brief article was on the front page of the next issue giving details of the funeral.  [Gazette 23rd June 1936 front page , & 30th June 1936 front page]

2nd July 1936 - Two important resident's of Leverstock Green, one past and one present, died this day - the Reverand Arthur Durrant, Vicar of Holy Trinity, and Mrs. Cox who had lived at Hill Farm for many years, but who had moved to St. Albans.  Both the Hemel Hempstead Gazette & the Herts Advertiser carried obituaries on them, and mentioned that the village was a village of mourning, as it mourned these two eminant members of the local community.  In addition to the information given in the Herts Advertiser, the Hemel Hempstead Gazette did note that the vicar's two surviving daughters – Lorna Durrant and Mrs George Ansom had nursed him during his illness. The article also included details of funeral including list of those there.  To view full details of the funeral and lying in of the Rev Durrant, including pictures of the official order of service produced at the time, click here. [Gazette 11th July 1936; Herts Advertiser & St. Albans Times July 3rd & 10th 1936]

10th July 1936 - The Herts Advertiser & St. Albans Times carried two long obituaries and funeral reports concerning prominent Leverstock Green residents, namely the Rev. Durrant and Mrs. Mary Cox.  A full transcript of the Rev. Durrant’s obituary is available separately; and an obituary for Mrs. Cox was carried in the previous week’s Herts Advertiser. Although at the time of her death Mrs. Cox had lived in St. Albans, she had previously lived at Hillside Farm in Leverstock Green for 40 years, leaving the village in 1928, and was buried in the churchyard.  She had been a manager of Leverstock Green School. [ Herts Advertiser & St. Albans Times July 10th 1936; Leverstock Green school Log books]
Thumbnail images can be enlarged by clicking on them.
King George V
T. Alexander Binns
25th July 1936 – The Gazette reported that:


The Rev Thomas Alexander Binns, at present an assistant Curate to the Archdeacon of Bedford at St Paul’s Bedford, has been nominated as the new vicar of Leverstock Green in succession to the late Arthur Durrant…

The Rev Binns was for 20 years in the Wesleyan Ministry and he was ordained as a priest n the CoE in 1928 in Johannesburg by the present Bishop of Southampton.  He served as curate at St Mary’s Cathedral there and as vicar of Redesdorp and subsequently as rector of Klerkesdorp and as Rector of Rossettenville for 4 years.  He returned to England in 1935. [Gazette 25th July 1936; S141]

21st August 1936 - The records of Horn & Co, Undertakers from Marlowes show the following entry:
Ref 584/ Deceased: Hall, George
DATE OF DEATH: 21.8.1936
NOTE: He was 81 years old and the funeral was held on 26.8.1936 at Leverstock Green Churchyard
ADDRESS: Pimlico, Hemel Hempstead
[DCHT Undertaker’s Records, Horn & Co]

Thursday 19th September 1936 - The Gazette reported: Hemel Hempstead Man Charged

At HATFIELD PETTY SESSIONS LAST WEEK Arthur Collins (21) alias Frank Morgan, labourer of 1 Kiln Cottages, Wood Lane End, Bennetts End, Hemel Hempstead was charged on remand with stealing cash and jewellery to the total value of £17 13s 6d, the property of George Salmon of Holwell Heath, Hatfield on August 11th.
He was also charged with stealing a bicycle while bailee, at Holywell Hyde, on the same date.
Previous evidence was to the effect that. PC Smith saw accused detained at Wesbury-on-Severn Police Station.  When told that he would be arrested he is alleged to have said “I took the property and it is at my home”.”
The hearing of further evidence was adjourned for a fortnight.  It is difficult to tell from the newspaper precisely where the defendant lived! There were Kiln Cottages off WoodLane end ( still, if only just, within the area of interest for the Chronicle) and also at Bennetts End.

19th September  1936 - Reporting on the induction of New Vicar at Leverstock Green, the Gazette stated that:
The Rev Thomas Alexander Binns was instituted as Vicar of Leverstock Green on Thursday evening. (17th)  The mayor and corporation of Hemel Hempstead attended the service officially in robes, making a splash of colour in the crowded little church.
The new vicar has been assistant curate at St. Paul’s Bedford, and was first ordained priest in 1928.  Prior to that he had been for 20 years on the Wesleyan ministry.
The Rev T A Binns was unanimously nominated by the Trustees and he will receive a warm welcome at Leverstock Green where he succeeded the late Rev A Durrant who was vicar there for 37 years.
The Mayor, Alderman A H Jarman, was accompanied by …………(there then followed a comprehensive and long list of clergy and other dignitaries.)

The institution and induction were performed by the Bishop of Bedford, the incumbent being presented by the Earl of Verulam, the patron of he living. (There the followed a list of clergy present.) [GAzette 19th Septemeber 1936]

September 26th 1936 – The week after the induction of the new vicar, the Gazette carried a report headed: A NEW VICAR – A Need for Cooperation.  This was a virtual verbatim on the sermon given by the Bishop of Bedford at the induction of Rev TA Binns. [Gazette 26th September 1936]

October 31st 1936 - The gazette reported that: The Moorfield Athletic Football Club held a concert dance in the Village Hall on Friday evening and achieved a big success.  The Harebreakers Concert Party contributed some pleasing items and were supported by Eric Goodwin and his Harmonica Boys who supplied tuneful numbers for the dance which followed the concert.  The organisation was in the capable hands of the club’s Hon treasurer Mr E Perry, and his efforts were rewarded with a packed hall which had been decorated in the club’s colours. [Gazette 31st October 1936]

October 31st 1936 –  The Gazette carried a long article headed; BOVINGDON AND THE NEXT WAR  It gave full details of air Raid Precautions which were to Be Discussed at next Parish Meeting. [Gazette 31st October 1936]

November 18th 1936 –: The District Rover Crews of Hemel Hempstead were the artists at a concert held for  the Leverstock Green Nursing Association at Leverstock Green.  According to the Gazette : Their programme was a very entertaining one and consisted of sketches, songs and monologues, which were applauded repeatedly by the large audience. The Mayor & Mayoress were present and before the commencement of the proceedings a bouquet was presented to the Mayoress by  Mrs Wright.  The second half of the programme consisted of a dance and whist drive, the dance music being supplied by the Arcadians Dance Band.   The then Mayor of Hemel Hempstead was a Leverstock Green resident Mr John Arthur Marston, who lived at Orchard Lea Tile Kiln Lane. [Gazette November 21st 1936; Kelley’s Directory 1933]

November 28th 1936 -  To quote the Gazette: A pretty wedding solemnised by the Rev T A Binns took place at Leverstock Green Parish Church on Saturday between Elizabeth May Gregory. Eldest daughter of Mr & Mrs J Gregory of Ranelagh Road, and Edwin John Stent, son of Mr & Mrs J Stent of 61 Picott Road, Merton Surrey. 
Given away by her father the bride was attired in a dress of white satin beaute, with a veil held in place by coronet of orange blossom and carried a bouquet of white lilies.
There were three bridesmaids, Miss A Gregory (sister of the bride) and the misses D & I Stent (sisters of bridegroom) who were attired in Tangerine dresses and carried bouquets of bronze chrysanthemums.
The duties of best man were carried out by Mr W` Chiverton.
Following the service a reception was held at the home of the bride, 8 Ranelagh Road. [Gazette December 5th 1936]

December 24th 1936 -  Under the unusual headline on the following Saturday: Leverstock Green breaking Up, the Gazette reported:  The mayor & Mayoress (councillor and Mrs Marston) attended the “breaking up” and annual prize giving at the Leverstock Green School on Thursday.  Excellent items were rendered by the children and prizes were presented by the Mayoress. [December 26th 1936]

Death of George V; death of Rev Arthur Durrant; death of Matthew Leno
Click to link to principle LG Chronicle web pages.

Leverstock Green ChronicleMaplinks page (for large scale and old maps of the area.)

20th Century Leverstock GreenGlossary
LG C of E School, Pancake Lane.
Leverstock Green in the 1930's
by Sidney Dollimore.
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