From Backstone Brook - note the sewerage pipe to the left of the pony & trap. According to 'Mercury 'articles of 6 June 1885, 28 November 1885 and 12 October 1889, the works were expected to cost £800. A Local Government Board inquiry was held in respect of borrowing £800 to finance these works in Spratton. Attendees at the meeting included W H Foster MP, Capt. Gist, T Lucas, A Pearson, R Holt, T Bates, W Holt, E Copson, P Kimbell, and R H Gilby (sanitary inspector). Issues raised included damage to the nearby spring (as had happened at Brixworth etc., it was contended), and opposition to compelling people to connect to the scheme. The site was purchased for £150 and the sewerage works commissioned in 1886.
This is now believed to have been taken at about the same time as image 2130, and possibly also by the photographer Mr Cooper. Its appearance on a postcard would thus not be surprising and whilst this (postcard) was originally thought to have been circa 1935, it is not unusual for these to have been made from old images. Whilst this was taken when all the trees were in leaf (2130 some were not), many of the details look similar, and the state of the track - and lack of other vehicles - suggest an earlier date. In both, the lych-gate can be seen.
Acknowledged to Northamptonshire Record Office Reference P 1654 - 1661.
Charles was born in County Sligo, Ireland in 1886, the son of Charles William Wood and his wife Phoebe Jane. In 1911 when he was 24 he was living in Kensington, London, and working as a Ledger Clerk at John Barker & Son, a large department store. He volunteered for the Territorial Force, City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders) on 20 November 1915 giving his address as 4 Kensington Square.
Charles remained in this country, serving briefly with the Lincolnshire Yeomanry and then with the Royal Horse Guards from 30 May 1917. In May 1918 he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps and sent overseas to France. He returned to this country in March 1919 and was demobilised a month later. At this point he gave his address as Ard-na-Greena, Spratton, a house in Station Road (now Brixworth Road). His father also lived in Ard-na-Greena, named after a small village in Ireland. Charles was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
After the war Charles ran a popular taxi service in Spratton and died in 1953 aged 67. He is buried in the old parish cemetery with his mother and father and his two sisters Phoebe Ethel and Lillian Mary. These two Irish ladies were remembered in the village for their large hats and their dominant singing voices in church. The choir boys also appreciated their Christmas treat of a trip to the cinema in Northampton and then being taken out to tea by the two ladies.*
* See ‘Memories of Old Spratton’ by Enid Jarvis and Michael Heaton, published by Spratton Local History Society 2007 price £8 plus £2.50 postage and packing
1911 - 30th September article in Northampton Independent
Spratton Fire Brigade, photographed at the junction of Church Lane and Yew Tree Lane.
The article reported their call out to Cank Farm (Brampton) with their 'one-horse manual' at 1.42 p.m. They left the station in Church Lane at 1.50, and arrived at 2.04 about an hour before the Northampton Brigade. The latter left at 6 p.m., and half an hour later fire broke out again in the hayricks and barley ricks. The Spratton Brigade of 15 men, which was still at the scene, were kept busy all night dousing the fire.
Shown left to right are:
Front: Police Constable Jones, John Higgs (aged 60, shoemaker), George Taylor (aged 41, shoe finisher), Samuel Blundell (aged 46, blacksmith), George Dunkley (aged 49, bootmaker), Henry Surridge (aged 58, master sweep), William Higgs (aged 27, shoemaker), Levi. Richardson (aged 52, shoemaker and captain of the brigade)
Back: Edward Austin( aged 39, carpenter), William Richardson (aged 30, shoemaker), John T. Manning(aged 34, carrier), George Voss (aged 41, bootmaker), Ashley Bates (aged 39, bootmaker), Harry Cheney (aged 51, bricklayer), Albert Green (aged 44, corn and hay merchant and superintendent of the brigade).
According to articles in 'Mercury' of 17 October 1885, 16 June 1886, and 8 August 1890, the fire brigade was active. There was rivalry between this and the Northampton 'manual' and the Spratton 'manual, which required up to 12 people to operate it, was disparagingly called a 'donkey' engine. Not known when it started in Spratton, but not there in 1851 ('Mercury' 1 April 1851)
2nd June 1915 - extract from The Illustrated War News.
"The Daily Bulletin" 29th April 1915
"Details are now to hand of the successful air raid carried out on 26th inst. It is a story of amazing gallantry and heroism and is worthy of special notice. The aviator, Second Lieutenant Rhodes-Moorhouse, left Merville at 3.05 in the afternoon, alone in a biplane, to drop a heavy bomb on the railway junction at Courtrai. Arriving at his destination, he volplaned down to a height of 300ft. While at this low altitude he was subjected to a tornado of fire from thousands of rifles, machine guns and shell fire. He was severely wounded in the thigh, part of which was shot away, but instead of descending into German lines, where his life might have been saved, and to prevent his machine falling into the hands of the Germans, he turned and made for British lines. To increase his speed he descended a further 200ft. and crossed the German lines at a height of 100ft. only. He was again severely wounded by a bullet, which ripped open his abdomen. Instead of landing at Ypres, he flew the whole way back to Merville and made his report. We regret to say that he succumbed to his wounds twenty-four hours later. This would appear worthy to be ranked among the most heroic stories of the world's history.
The London Gazette announced the award of the Victoria Cross on 22nd May 1915 as follows:
"To the late Lieut. W.B. Rhodes-Moorhouse, Special Reserve, Royal Flying Corps, for the most conspicuous bravery on 26th April 1915, in flying to Courtrai and dropping bombs on the railway line near the station. On starting the return journey he was mortally wounded, but succeeded in flying for 35 miles to his destination, at very low altitude, and reported the successful accomplishment of his object. He has since died of his wounds. This officer was flying a BE 2b.
William Barnard Moorhouse, the elder son of Edward Moorhouse of Spratton Grange, was born on 26 September 1887 and was educated at Harrow and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He was 13 years old when the family came to Spratton in late 1900 or early 1901. When they moved to Spratton, they had two daughters, Anne (15) and Mary (11) who were educated at home by a governess (Emily Davison, who was later to become the well known suffragette who died when she threw herself under the king's horse at the Derby in 1913). They also had two sons, William (13) away at Harrow and Edward who was 7 years old.
The family employed a butler and housekeeper to head a below stairs group consisting of footman, lady's maid, cook, housemaid, kitchen maid and general servant. The children were cared for by a governess, head nurse, under nurse and nursery maid. Outside they employed a head gardener, a coachman and two stable hands. The servants in the house came from as far away as Scotland, Devonshire and London while the under nurse was Louise Horst from Switzerland.
While at school, William developed a passion for speed and the workings of the internal combustion engine. He is remembered in the village between 1909 and 1914 for his many motorcars in which he used to race around the streets with local boys on board. Sydney Holt said that William tested his cars on the hill leading up to Holdenby and he used to get Sid's father and his brothers to sit in the back to give more weight. Even more exciting for everyone, however, was his flying machine, which local mechanics would work on with amazement. Arthur Branson said, "The first aeroplane I saw was flown by Billy Moorhouse. He gave us a thrill when he flew low over the school one day. We all ran down to the Grange to see this wonderful machine that could fly. That was in 1911. Everyone in the village was there."
William Moorhouse had pooled his resources with another more experienced aviator, James Radley, to produce a version of the Bleriot XI aircraft - the Radley-Moorhouse monoplane. He took flying lessons at Huntingdon, and was the first person in Nort