A few weeks before Christmas last year I received a visit from Councillor Peter Clark. A letter had been passed to him, which came from a man seeking information about his mother who had been born in Goxhill 100 years ago. Peter had been told that I was interested in such matters and asked if I could help him.
The young lady was Miss Laura Havercroft and she remembered walking to school and thought that she lived at Hallands Farm. Our first piece of research created a problem for we found from the rate assessment that Mr John William Roberts owned and lived at Hallands Farm. Hallands is however an ancient and much loved name which has been a part of Goxhill since Viking times. It is of Norse Viking origin rather than Danish, which makes it unusual in this part of England. It therefore seemed reasonable to look at other farms in the area that was once the Hallands Field and was then called The Hallands. We found from the rate assessment that William Havercroft had been the tenant of a farm, which belonged to Messrs. Faulding and Fussey and was situated in the Hallands field.
The area of the land was slightly less than 22 Acres and so we looked for a similar farm. We were helped by a number of people who kindly looked at the deeds of their property to check the owner at that time but we were not successful until Peter approached Mr Don Faulding. He was able to tell us that his Grandfather had owned the farm and it was in Thornton Road. The farm buildings were no longer there but had stood at what is now the site of The Homestead the home of Mr and Mrs D Lamming. The deeds of The Homestead clearly state that it was owned by Faulding and Fussey and then by Mr John Faulding of South Killingholme.
Peter next went in search of a copy of the registration of the birth. He obtained two copies. This is rather important to anyone approaching his or her 100th birthday because a birth certificate must be sent to Buckingham Palace three weeks before the birthday to enable Her Majesty the Queen to send her Birthday Greeting. The entry revealed that Miss Laura Havercroft had been born in Thornton Road in 1902.
Mr Lewis was the head master of the Goxhill Wesleyan Day School and he lived in the house next to the school. Laura remembered going to school and also that Miss Smalley was a teacher at the school. Miss Smalley was “walking out” with Mr Will Harrison a divorcee. So incensed were the parents of the schoolchildren that the School Governors dismissed Miss Smalley from her post and both she and Will were obliged to leave the village. Laura felt that this was very narrow-minded. I was able to refer to a copy of a school project, which my wife had done with the children while she was teaching at Goxhill. In it they had included a very interesting record concerning Laura’s sister Mary and her brother George.
An extract from the school Log Book Goxhill Wesleyan Day School 1907. October 11Th. The Awards for Perfect Attendance awarded by Lincolnshire Education Committee (Year ending April 07) have just been received, and were presented on Monday by
the Head Teacher as follows: -
For 3 years perfect attendance. Elizabeth Proctor and Dorothy Farrow. (Case of scissors)
For 2 years perfect attendance. Geo Jackson, Abel Easton, Margaret Nottingham, Susan Proctor, Betsy Naylor, Mary A Havercroft, Ernest Jackson, Thomas Allenby, Edith Proctor and Annie Nottingham. (Gilt Medal)
For 1 years perfect attendance
Spalding Jackson, Hannah Easton, Geo W. Havercroft, Elsie Nottingham, Olive Beswick, Rosamund Sargeant, John C. Northern, Winifred Northern. (Bronze Medal)
Laura remembers the name Cocking. George Fredrick Cocking owned and lived in a house outbuildings and garden (with other buildings rated separately which suggests business use) this was Pelham Manor (now Pelham Lodge) He is listed in a directory of 1900 as a fruit and potato merchant in Howe Lane.
There was a Wesleyan, a Primitive Methodist and a Methodist Chapel The vicar of All Saints church was the Rev William Seed. Mrs Davey lived at Mayfield House opposite the school and Mr George Martinson lived at New Hall. Mrs Scott was the sub postmistress. Alfred Ironmonger was the miller at the windmill and George Catley was a tailor beekeeper and assessor of the Queens taxes. Doctor Jonathan Fearnley was a surgeon Physician and Medical officer and Public Vaccinator for Glanford Brigg union and lived at Bridgehill Cottage.
Peter Clark has asked me to give special thanks to all of the people who have helped him by looking at deeds and in many other ways in the search for information. I am sure that all of the readers of the Gander will wish to join with Peter and myself as we wish Miss Laura Havercroft now Mrs Laura Foster every happiness for her Birthday on the 14th. April 2002.