Fenny Stratford & District Yearbook, 1908


A Market Town, 50½ miles from London by road, and 54 miles by the L. and N.W.R., via Bletchley Junction.  It is in the northern division of the county, and in the Cottesloe Hundred, Rural Deanery of Claydon, Archdeaconry of Buckingham and Diocese of Oxford.  The area of the parish is 1,922 acres, including four of water.  In 1901 the population was 1,703.  The Parish Church is an ancient fabric, dating back to the 13th century, and in parts, being perhaps, even older.  The later restorations have been in 1884, in 1885 the fixing of a new clock, with chimes, the opening in 1887 of a new Chancel Aisle and Organ Chamber, in which, in 1890, a powerful organ was placed.  In 1907 a stained glass window was put in in memory of Mr. Bullock, who had for long years been closely associated and connected with the Church, and in the course of the same year Mr. McCorquodale, of Winslow Hall, had erected a very handsome carved oak screen, dividing off the north transept and organ chamber from the body of the church, and at the same time had put in a handsome oak and glazed book-case, in which the ancient church books are now preserved and are visible to visitors to the church.

Clergy – The Rev. Thos. Hinkley, and the Rev. St. J. H. Beamish.  Churchwardens – N. McCorquodale, Esq., Winslow Hall, and Mr. W. H. Stevens.  Sidesmen – Messrs. J. C. Hawley, T. F. Vaisey, S. D. Bird, F. Lomas, W. Ingram, W. Monk, Wm. Wise, and H. Underwood.  Organist – Mr. G.H. Thompson.  Sexton and Deputy Parish Clerk – Mr. R. French.


The custom of ringing the so-called “curfew” at 8.0 pm., is continued during the winter months.  The Angelus or “Gabriel” bell is rung each morning, and the shriving or pancake bell is rung on each Shrove Tuesday.  It is a remarkable circumstance that six brothers named Gibbs were constant ringers on New Year’s Day, from the year 1747 up to the period when Mr. John Gibbs and five other brothers succeeded them, and who continued to ring on New Year’s Day.  The two generations completed 70 years in this annual performance.


The Town of Winslow has of late undergone several improvements and alterations.  A sewage and sewage disposal scheme has been completed at a cost of £7,750, Messrs. Matthews Bros., of the town contracting for, and successfully carrying out the works.  In the matter of water Winslow is even worse off than her neighbour Fenny Stratford, for while the latter has, and has had for many years, a water supply, which, though inadequate to the wants of the town and district, is absolutely pure, the former has still to rely upon water drawn from wells, and while many private sources of this sort are no doubt practically pure, it is only to be concluded that others are not so, judging from the fact that out of the six public wells in the town, three – or fifty per cent, - have been proved to be impure, and the water in them unfit for consumption and domestic purposes.

Messrs. Geo. Wigley and Sons hold a market on alternate Wednesdays, this arrangement having in 1908 superseded the custom under which the Market was held on the first and fourth Wednesday in every month.  The Market Place is in the centre of the town, but cattle are sold on ground at the rear of Messrs. Wigley’s premises.  It may be added to the improvements carried out in Winslow, of late years, that the Market Place has been laid down with asphalt, thus complying with the rules of the Board of Agriculture.

The principal Hotel in Winslow is “The Bell,” standing in the Market Place.  This hostelry, now owned and occupied by Mr. W. S. Neal, has been in the possession of his family since 1815, descending since then from father to son, a long and honourable record.  There are, no doubt, other instances of similar long and direct succession of sons to fathers in connection with other houses of public entertainment in the county, but one, that of the Hines family, which had lasted up to some four or so years ago at “The Talbot,” Loughton, near Fenny Stratford, for over two hundred years, may be mentioned on account of the fact that the families of Neal and Hines are connected by marriage.  The “Bell” lays itself out to cater especially for hunting men, having extensive and excellent stabling and all facilities for affording comfortable hunting quarters, within easy reach of four packs of hounds, and being in the centre of the countries of two of these – Lord Rothschild’s Stag Hounds and the Whaddon Chase Fox Hounds.

Of social events during the year the principal is, perhaps, the annual Flower Show and Sports on the evening of which event dancing takes place on the Bowling Green, as many as 1,100 dancers having been present at one of these festivities.

The Bowling Green itself deserves a word or two of description.  It is a beautiful sward of turf, admirably kept, and prettily situated and surrounded.  The Bowling Green has an extent of forty-six yards by twenty-eight and is reputed to date from the year 1700.  The ground is the property of Mr. T.  P. Willis, of Winslow, from whom it is rented by Mr. W. S. Neal, and is used by the Members of a Bowling Association, who, if residents in the town, pay an annual subscription of 15s., or if non-resident, of 7s. 6d.   Several interesting matches are played in the course of each season, these including one with the De Parry’s Avenue Club, Bedford; another with the North Oxford Club;  and the Earl of Jersey yearly invites and entertains the members and those of the Local Shire Horse Society.


Winslow is the centre of a Rural District, of a Board of Guardians, and possesses a Union Workhouse, where the Members of the Council and the Guardians meet on alternate Fridays.  It also boasts a Parish Council, which meets in the Oddfellows Hall the first Wednesday in each month.  The following are the members of those bodies, with the principal public officers.


Mr. A. J. Clear (Chairman);  Mr. W. R. Monk (Vice-Chairman);  Messrs. W. H. Stevens, J. H. Turnham, John Varney, W. T Walker, A. Watson, C. Watson, J. White.  Clerk : Mr. T. D. Curtis.

Rate Collector : Mr. T. D. Curtis.

Town Crier : Mr. E. Lines

Fire Brigade : Mr. G. Hancock (Captain);  Mr. J. Warner (Engineer.)

Post Office : See under “Bletchley Post Office.”

L. and N.W. Railway : Station-master Mr Cornelius Theobald.

The lists of male householders are shown below as JPGs - click on the image for a larger version. Buckingham Road includes much of what is now called High Street..

List of names List of names


Copyright 16 October, 2022