DERSINGHAM HISTORY
DERSINGHAM  HISTORY
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Dersingham Folk
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Linford Family
Elizabeth Fiddick and Mike Strange ©
The name of LINFORD is well known in Dersingham mainly because of the name of the junction between Hunstanton Road, Chapel Road and Station Road which is named Linford's Corner. This was derived from the name of the family who started the shop opposite where the War Memorial stands, it is now (2021) a Fish and Chip shop. We have a page devoted to that location here: Linford's Corner.

The first member of the family to come to Dersingham was Frederick Linford (1867 - 1945). He was born in Flitcham, his mother was Sarah Ann Linford but the father is unknown. A year after Frederick was born Sarah married one George Dowdy on 23 November 1867 in Flitcham. Her age was just 19 and a spinster living in Flitcham; her father was a John Linford, a Hawker.

In the 1871 Census Frederick is shown by his birth name of Linford with his mother, George Dowdy and Emma, the second of their own children, all four are shown as hailing from Flitcham. For some reason their first child, George, was not at home but living with his Dowdy 'grandparents'. In 1881 all four are together in West Lynn with a further daughter, Ethel, born there.

By 1891 Frederick had left his mother and adoptive father and was living with his wife of two years, Mary Louisa Blackwell of King's Lynn. They had set up house in Snettisham; Frederick was a Painter and Decorator and an employer. Their first four children were born in Snettisham: Stanley Marshall 1891, Maud Mary 1893, Roland Fred 1894 and Ruby Ethel 1896. Their move to Dersingham had taken place during the 1896/7 as there fifth child, Clarence Victor, was born here in 1897 followed by their last, Ivy May, in 1900.

White’s Directory of 1896, and 1900, lists Frederick Linford as house decorator and China & dealer.

One of Frederick's moments of pride must surely have been his completion of repainting the Norwich Gates; how magnificent they look [below] in their black and gold livery.

1st July 1897 - Frederick Linford's family
Ruby Ethel, Frederick, Rowland Fred, Stanley Marshall, Maud Mary, a servant holding Clarence Victor, with May at the back.

c1902 - Frederick Linford's family
Back row: Frederick, Roland Fred, Stanley Marshall, Maud Mary, mother
Front row: Ruby Ethel Ivy May and Clarence Victor.
In 1901 Frederick was in Dersingham, working in his own business as a Plumber and Housepainter with  employees.

In 1905 he built his house and shop on the corner of Station Road.  The house was known as Glebe House and it is recorded as such in the Electoral Roll of 1912.  Doreen Linford who is Frederick’s grand-daughter, the daughter of his son Clarence, told us that originally the house had two staircases. Her father told her that it was the first house in the village to have a bathroom and was the first house to install electricity.

c1910 - Frederick Linford's family

Back row: Clarence Victor, Roland Fred, Maud Mary,  Stanley Marshall

Front row: Ivy May, Frederick, mother and Ruby Ethel.
Roland Fred Linford was 15 when he first became an apprentice in grocery and when he had finished his training he went to London, as he puts it, “to gain London experience.” He was  recorded in the 1910 Street Directory as living at 47 Dickinson Street, Kentish Town, at the junction with Tovey Place (Dickenson Street is now Dorrington Street, Tovey Place no longer exists - the result of heavy bombing during WW2 - Note: George Dickenson was a Hertfordshire farmer who was a creditor of the bankrupt father of James Tovey Rowe).

In the 1911 Census Roland was back in Norfolk working as an Apprentice Grocer with Lambert & Sons in Snettisham while Frederick and family were here in Dersingham living in Glebe House (later Linford's Stores). With Fredrick were his wife Mary and children Maud, Clarence and Ivy May. An interesting point is they recorded that they had seven children with one having died. The birth and loss of a child must have occurred between Census; I suspected between 1897 and 1900 and there was indeed the birth and death of a Hilda May Linford in the Docking Registration District in the third quarter of 1898.

In those early years of the Linford’s shop the family dealt purely in china and fancy goods, with Roland Linford’s mother running the business and his three sisters helping.

Doreen Linford who is Frederick’s grand-daughter, the daughter of his son Clarence, told us that originally the house had two staircases.  Her father Clarence told her that it was the first house in the village to have a bathroom and was the first house to install electricity. The Turret room was a sitting room.   At first Frederick’s wife Mary Louisa (May) sold fancy goods and crested china.  Doreen remembers her father told her that the Princess Royal and her brothers often cycled down from Sandringham with their governess to buy sweets.
This photograph of about 1910 the shop shows it was then called "LINFORD"
In 1915 at the age of twenty Roland Linford joined the East Surrey regiment and saw action in Palestine during the first  world war.  He was demobilised in 1919 with the rank of sergeant. (Transcript from The Lynn news and Advertiser 1959 - War Service)

At the beginning of 1920 Frederick's wife Mary (Roland's mother) died. Roland took over the business and converted it into a grocery store. Since then the name of Linford’s Corner Stores has been a by-word in the village but as reported in our Linford's Corner article.

Meanwhile Frederick remarried to a Mable May Tombling on 25th October 1920 in North Elmham, Norfolk (aged 54 and Mable 38). George Dowdy was named as Frederick's father on the marriage certificate. They had one child, Edna Mable born 19 February 1922, she married Alexander Edgar Fisher in 1947 whose parents, in 1939, were running the "Chestnut Tree Guest House"; "previously the Temperance Hotel" .

Kelly’s Directory of 1922 also lists Roland Linford ,Grocer.  Both are listed until 1933 when only Roland is listed.  By 1937 he is recorded as Grocer, Lynn Road with a telephone number 43.

At the side of the house as you walk down Station Road was a large lawn.  Today a bungalow and house cover that area.  Doreen tells me that her grandmother used to serve trays of tea there.  For 6d you could enjoy a pot of tea, bread and butter and a slice of cake. It was referred to as a Plain Tea 6d.  She remembers in later years that when her elderly father was asked what he would like for his tea he would answer, “I’ll have a plain tea sixpence, thank you”.

I have also been told that in the twenties and thirties a doctor’s surgery was held in the front room.  The room was also used at times for inquests into any accidents that happened at the cross roads.

As Roland's father was a master plumber, decorator and sign writer it was not surprising that Roland had actually spent his early days in his father’s trade.  He told a Lynn News reporter that it was a “toss up” between the trade and grocery. Grocery came down heads;“I have never regretted it and I have had some very happy times,” said Roland.

Some of the old skill of his father’s trade still lingered about the shop still did the sign writing on the premises.

By 1939 Frederick and Mabel were living at "The Bungalow" in Station Road seen below marked with an x; he only showed his occupation as Plumber and Painter (Retired). It would appear that nobody was living over the shop at this time as it is not shown in the Register.

Frederick died  23 Nov 1945 and was buried here on the 27th; Mabel survived him and died in 1976.
Florence May 'Maisie' Linford (nee Terrington), Roland Fred Linford and Ena Linford
 
Frederick Linford's Children:

Stanley Marshall Linford (1891-1978)
Having flown the nest Stanley was in Crouch End, near Hornsey, in 1911. He was working as Post Office assistant for James William Ryder, a grocer, and his family at The Broadway.


Stanley married Elsie Bertha Jackson (1892-1984) on 6 May 1925 at Downham Market.  [Pictured above]
They had two sons and lived most of their married life at 132 Wellington Road, Edmonton, Middlesex; later at 15 Belgrave Gardens, Southgate where Stanley died on 29th December 1978. Elsie died 18th June 1984  at "Holly Bush" Southgate London

Maud Mary Linford (1893–1967)
Maud married William Albert Victor Wellstood, a gas tester) on 1st July 1922 at St Mark, Peckham. They remained in the Camberwell area. William was a spray painter at a gasworks in 1939.
They both died in Taunton, Somerset where they had presumably retired to.

Rowland Fred LINFORD(1894–1980)
As discussed throughout this page.

Ruby Ethel LINFORD(1896– ????)
Other than being Tower House, Tower Place, King's Lynn St Margaret, England in 1911 where she was employee as a Draping Assistant I know nothing about Ruby.

Ethel May LINFORD(1898–1898)
Infant death

Ivy May LINFORD(1900–1992)
Ivy married William Henry Ernest NORTHCOTT on 23rd January 1928 at St Peter and St Paul, Teddington, Middlesex, England. They lived in Cherry Hinton, Cambridge in 1939, William was employed as a Groundsman, mechanic and equipment driver. He died at 32 Beresford Road, Frimley Green, Surrey on . Ivy died at the same address on10th January 1992.

Edna Mable LINFORD(1922–2014)
Edna married in 1947 to Alexander Edgar Fisher. They had lived at 1, St. Marys Close, Snettisham in later years.
Both died in Snettisham, William on 1st March 2006 and Edna on 23 Jul 2014.

Clarence Linford 1897-1977

Clarence was Roland’s younger brother born in 1897.  He served in the military during WW1 and was wounded.  Doreen said she remembers he told her that at the end of ther war King George came down to Dersingham to meet all the men who had returned from the war.  The men lined up in the area where the war memorial would be built and the King walked down the line and when he came to Clarence, still showing signs of his injuries,  he asked him if he had found a job.  When he heard that Clarence had not yet been successful he turned to his equerry and said, “See if you can fix this man up with something.”  So Clarence was appointed as a footman to Queen Alexandra in Buckingham Palace. In 1923 he married Alice Theresa Kidner In Balham Hill. 


It turned out that working indoors did not improve Clarence’s health and that a job outside would be of more benefit . So he became a park keeper in Wandsworth.  They also lived in Lambeth, Mitcham, Norwood, Mitcham
Clarence and Alice had two daughters, Doreen in 1924 and Ena in 1925.
In 1939 they were living in Dorset Road, Mitcham; Charles was a London County Council Park Keeper while Alice, as well as keeping house, was a  part time Auxiliary Nurse.
During WW2 Doreen played a vital part in our war effort.
Full article in Dersingham Village Voice 109 pages 43-46 - by Brian Anderson
When I wrote, a couple of issues ago, a short essay on the way the German enciphering machine Enigma was broken I was wholly unprepared for the response. People approached me in the street and in shops to pass comment - favourable, I'm gratified to say. But the most intriguing  response came from Doreen Linford, a Dersingham resident, who phoned me and said that, during the war, she had used the British Typex machines to decipher Enigma traffic using key settings provided by Bletchley Park.Doreen joined the WAAF in 1942 when she was 17½. She admits she chose the WAAF because she liked the uniform! When her call up papers arrived she travelled to Wilmslow and, after kitting out, was sent for basic training at Morecambe, eventually becoming a clerk G/D (general duties). After about six weeks she was posted to Biggin Hill (of Battle of Britain fame), the No. 1 Fighter Station in 11 Group. She worked for the Signals Officer in an office adjoining the Ops. Room, located some miles from the airfield at Keston then later at Bromley after the bomb damage there had been repaired. After 18 months Doreen was posted to the headquarters of 11 Group in Uxbridge in West London.

At Uxbridge she worked on the arrangements to retrain fighter pilots to fly the light bomber and night fighter Mosquito. And here Doreen takes over the story in her own words, taken from her written account, “The office was huge and it was only much later that I discovered we were probably working over the Operations Room, deep down below. CARELESS TALK COSTS LIVES was a slogan and for most of us we knew only what information it was necessary for us to do our jobs; what anybody else did was secret. Therefore, I had no idea that very important and strategic plans were being made there. It was SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force). General Eisenhower, Mr Churchill and other dignitaries were often in Uxbridge making plans for the invasion of Europe. We were billeted in the married quarters; very cramped and basic.

The camp was very large and we noticed that gradually all the roads and anywhere else that could be used to park vehicles was becoming jammed with road transport of all kinds. Once in June 1944 an "all ranks" dance was organised and we were all strongly urged to attend. There was really no need for this as the prospect of being able to dance with officers was too good to miss! It was held in, what I think was, the gym and a very large and noisy American-style band played. I would like to verify that it was Glenn Miller; it could well have been. At midnight the dance ended and we returned to our billets only to find the camp completely empty of all vehicles. It was like a ghost town and quite eerie. We learnt later that it was the night before D-Day. Looking back one can only admire the planning involved making it impossible for any of us to let out what was happening. The invasion of Normandy was beginning; Hitler had expected us to invade via Calais. This episode is imprinted very strongly on my memory.

In the autumn there was an opportunity for me to retrain as a Code and Cipher clerk. This involved a 6-week course at Headington near Oxford, after which we were all promoted to the rank of sergeant. At our passing out parade and, standing to attention, strains of "Moonlight and Roses" were heard over the Tannoy. How we kept our demeanour I shall never know! Apparently it was the CO's favourite tune. My posting was to Leighton Buzzard, the RAF Central Signals Centre and only a short distance from Bletchley Park. We were in constant communication with them, but I had no idea of its significance, only recently learning of the important part it played in the war. I was billeted in an almost dilapidated inn "The Albion" which was infested with cockroaches and other vermin. We took our main meals there and it was no wonder that some of us caught dysentery. M & B tablets made us feel very nauseous and the regime in the sick bay was very strict. Code and Cipher clerks were allocated to "watches" of about 8 or 9 hours.

We worked different hours all around the clock and these irregular hours played havoc with sleep, eating and social life. We used Type X machines which were similar to the Enigma machines though more advanced. The Enigmas used 3 drums but ours used 5. These were adjusted daily and it was quite a complicated process. When I came on duty on 2nd February 1945 there was a memo for me from the WAAF Wing Officer which said that, because of a shortage of officers it was decided that a sergeant could be in charge of the watch for the time being (we were all sergeants) and that I was to take over the watch. I believe I was the youngest (20) and apart from one other woman the others were all men. Why I was chosen remains a mystery, but orders were never questioned! I was given a small hammer the purpose of which was to smash up all the drums in the event of an invasion. This threat was less since D-Day but still possible. I wondered how I could manage to do this as there were so many drums (no chance to practise) and this gave me some anxiety. All messages were secret but when top secret messages were received we had to refer to an officer from a nearby office. This memo told me to keep a look-out for emergencies and special mention was made of messages to and from Transport Command. Although I had to take full responsibility for all that happened on my watch I received two-thirds of the men's pay; this was the case for all members of the WAAF.” 

In April 1945 Doreen was posted to Belgium (her photo below at this time). We take up her account again. “My next home was in Ghent until the autumn. We were housed in what had been the Belgian Army Cavalry Barracks near to the centre of the city. I shared a large room with other WAAF sergeants and we slept in 3-tier bunks occupying only two of the tiers. One day after I had been on night duty I awoke to find a male civilian sweeping the floor. The Belgians received us with warmth and enthusiasm. The black market was more prevalent there than in England but they were still short of most things. I was able to give my cigarettes and some of my soap ration to some eager recipients. One day our CO was approached by a Belgian couple who were anxious for their daughter Denise aged 15 to have some conversational English and I gladly offered. The family lived in a neat terraced little house directly onto the pavement and I was welcomed warmly and shared a few meals with them (probably mostly via the black market). They were Flemish-speaking and  only Denise had any knowledge of English but she was eager to learn and we struck up a friendship that lasted until recent years. I visited her a few times and stayed in her home, but she had a sad life with many problems and was never able to come to England. She did very well in her school examinations and I felt privileged to have been able to help her. One of my duties in Ghent was to supervise the destruction of secret waste of which there was a huge quantity. The teleprinters churned out paper and carbon paper in triplicate along with lots of other stuff. Usually I watched as it was all put into the furnace, but on one occasion the furnace was out of action and this necessitated travelling in an open truck with a Flemish-speaking driver to burn the waste in a field. Tethered goats and a gusty wind made this quite difficult and I was unable conscientiously to sign that it had all been consumed.

Army signals personnel were also stationed at the camp and I was very fortunate to meet a couple of signals officers who had at their disposal an open Jeep which they used to tour most of Belgium. I do not know what their business was but I suspect it was probably to check on dispatch riders etc. However, they very kindly allowed me accompany them when their duties permitted and it was an exciting experience to be bumped on the cobbled roads and to explore quite a lot of the country. Once they took me to Bruges and arranged for me climb the very tall tower in the centre; I had thought I was on my own but there were a couple of mechanics at the top who were doing something to the clock. They were Flemish-speaking but we had a grand old time with gestures and smiles! I took every opportunity to explore Ghent, then without tourists, and have been back since mainly to visit Denise and to see the wonderful van Eyck altarpiece which, during the war, had been secreted away somewhere. I was also given the opportunity to "play" the bells in the cathedral for a few seconds.

In August 1945 it was my 21st birthday and our CO had been offered the use of a small launch to use on one of the rivers and he very generously let me have it for the afternoon where  I "entertained" a few colleagues. Champagne was plentiful. On VE day (8th May) we celebrated as well as we could but missed all the fun back home. During our time in Ghent our food was limited mostly to tinned stuff, no fresh salads or vegetables in view of the practice they used to fertilise the crops, I'll leave that to your imagination. It was quite a relief to later on to be fed more healthy food.We were still coding and ciphering until after VJ day (15th August) but gradually there was less need for it and many of us were redeployed to other work.

Back in England, and how thrilling it was to see London all lit up again after all those years in the blackout! We docked at Tilbury.”Doreen goes on to describe jobs in different stations after her return to England, including a period at Gatwick where she registered incoming passengers and took over domestic arrangements in the officers' mess. After descriptions of ENSA shows ("every night something awful") and the canteen arrangements of both the NAFFI and the Salvation Army (the "Sally-Anns"), Doreen continues, “To occupy us until we were demobilised we were offered EVT (Educational and Vocational Training). I chose to take up horse riding and squash, both of which I was completely useless but it was fun to have a go. I've really touched on only a few of my personal experiences but I remember that we all lived life "in the fast lane" enjoying what we could and sharing things, somehow knowing that IN THE END GOOD WOULD PREVAIL!

Life wasn't always comfortable and we were frightened a lot of the time, but I'm proud to have played a very small part in it and am eternally grateful that I survived. I was demobbed in January 1946 to take up a nursing career"
The last page of history is never written!

Doreen Linford 1945

In 1951 Clarence and his wife they were living at Furzedown Lodge (now a Grade II Listed Building), Furzedown Road in the Borough of Wandsworth. As seen below, it is still there, a pretty little house on a busy roundabout on the edge of Tooting Bec Common where Clarence no doubt worked.
Google Maps
By 1954 Clarence and Alice had moved yet again, this time to  Common Keeper's Lodge (below), St John's Terrace, Plumstead Common. In 1956 Doreen was living with her parents.  Still here in 1958
Google Maps
1961 Bexley Road, Woolwich SE9

Doreen told Elizabeth that her mother had worked in the sewing room of Selfridge’s in London and subsequently modelled some outfits for the store.

Clarence died in 1977 in Hampshire.   Alice came to Dersingham where Doreen cared for her until her death in 1989.
Jean Linford

From Village Voice 45
From Ivan Green - The Dersingham Scout Group c1945

You will note that a lot of the uniforms are lacking hat badges, this was, I recall, due mainly to unavailability.
The group consists of, left to right;

Back Row: Alex Fisher, Tony Ridley, John Playford, Pat Linford, Derek Asker, Malcolm Nurse, George Franklin.
Centre Row: John Mitchell, Archie Reid, Owen Green, Joe Jackson, Bob Riches.
Front Row: Ivan Green, Bob Dilks, Alan Goff, Peter Hooks, Brian Pike, Trevor Riches, Brian Skipper.

From a newspaper cutting:
"Steady with that paint tin! Now that Mr. Linford  [Roland Fredd] has retired from the grocery business he finds time to do some extensive decorating at Beech Cottage."

OBITUARY FROM THE LYNN NEWS.  FEB. 1966
DERSINGHAM SOCIAL WORKER
MRS. F. LINFORD

A large congregation attended the funeral of Mrs. Florence (Maisie) Linford  aged 60, whose death occurred suddenly at Lynn General Hospital.  A native of Dersingham she had lived there all her life being the only daughter of the late Mr. & Mrs. D. Terrington, family butchers.

After the retirement of her husband from the grocery business they lived at Beech Cottage Manor Road.

She was keenly interested and organised the women’s Toc H, a member of the Mothers’ Union and a former member of the W.I. and amateur dramatic society.

As a member of the W.V.S. during the second world war she was a canteen worker for the forces and a War Savings collector, and had been helper for the meals-on-wheels service, cooking when St. George’s school canteen was closed.

The service at St. Nicholas Church Dersingham was conducted by the vicar the Rev. T.O.Glass with Mr. E. Harding at the organ.

OBITUARY FOR MR. R. LINFORD IN THE LYNN NEWS AND ADVERISER.  MAY 1980
A well known personality has died in Lynn District Hospital – Mr. Rowland Linford. Aged 85, of Beech Cottage  Manor Road Dersingham.  A native of Snettisham he came to Dersingham with his parents at the age of two(1897).

For over 50 years the Linford’s  kept a small family business in the village.

His father was a master plumber, decorator and sign writer so it was not surprising that Rowland spent his early years in his father’s trade. In fact it was a tossup between that trade and grocery; the latter came down heads and he never regretted it.

He was 15 when he became an apprentice in grocery eventually going to London on a finishing course. (1910)

In 1915 Mr. Linford joined the East Surrey regiment and saw action in Palestine; one of his memories was swimming across the Suez Canal.  Twice he was torpedoed while in a troopship. He was demobilised with the rank of sergeant in 1919.

He played a big part in the social life of the village having been a member of the parish council, church hall committee and former chairman and treasurer of Toc H.

He was a keen artist and two of his works have been displayed in Lynn and Dersingham festivals.

At the time of his death Mr. Linford was trustee of the Dersingham Limited Charities having been elected 50 years ago.(1930?).

For 75 years he was a noted tenor singer in St. Nicholas’ Church Choir, his last appearance being on Easter Sunday.
During the 1939-45 war he served in Civil Defence.  He also delivered Meals on Wheels.

The funeral took place at St. Nicholas Church Dersingham, the Rev. Hugh Pollock officiated with E. Walker at the organ
A robed choir headed the cortege and led the singing of Mr. Linford’s favourite hymns. The vicar in his tribute said a landmark had gone from the village.
Information from Readers of Dersingham Village Voice
By Patrick Linford, son of Roland Fred Linford

From  Issue 45

I took some photos in and around Dersingham in the mid 1950s after I had bought a Paxette 35mm camera. I have attached two of these which I hope will be of interest. The first is of my father's shop, Linford's Corner Stores as it was in 1954. The second shows "Rowly" Linford at work weighing up in the shop. When Rowland left school in 1908 or thereabouts, he went to Lambert's in Snettisham as an apprentice to start learning the grocery trade. He moved on to Williamson's in Surbiton after two or three years, as an improver.

The first world war interrupted his career, and he did front line service in Egypt. He survived, and after the war started up his grocery business in Dersingham. He retired in 1958, and the business was bought by the Co-op. One thing to muse on about grocery shopping from The Corner Stores, and now from a supermarket in town, recently some supermarkets have for a fee started a delivery service. If you phoned Linford's and said please send my usual order Rowly, it would be delivered free of charge that afternoon via trade bike when the delivery boy arrived after school. One of his delivery boys in the 1950s was Roy Hipkin who went on to become a builder of many Dersingham houses.
Glebe House - The Grocery Store about 1954
Roland Linford - The Grocer
By Patrick Linford, son of Roland Fred Linford

From  Issue 45

I took some photos in and around Dersingham in the mid 1950s after I had bought a Paxette 35mm camera. I have attached two of these which I hope will be of interest. The first is of my father's shop, Linford's Corner Stores as it was in 1954. The second shows "Rowly" Linford at work weighing up in the shop. When Rowland left school in 1908 or thereabouts, he went to Lambert's in Snettisham as an apprentice to start learning the grocery trade. He moved on to Williamson's in Surbiton after two or three years, as an improver.

The first world war interrupted his career, and he did front line service in Egypt. He survived, and after the war started up his grocery business in Dersingham. He retired in 1958, and the business was bought by the Co-op. One thing to muse on about grocery shopping from The Corner Stores, and now from a supermarket in town, recently some supermarkets have for a fee started a delivery service. If you phoned Linford's and said please send my usual order Rowly, it would be delivered free of charge that afternoon via trade bike when the delivery boy arrived after school. One of his delivery boys in the 1950s was Roy Hipkin who went on to become a builder of many Dersingham houses.

From Issue 55
I have recently caught up with VV after a long interval , and have noted references to, and requests for information about my family. I am a Linford and it is interesting to note that many contributors still refer to Linford's Corner.

My grandparents were Douglas Terrington, Ruth May Terrington (nee Riches), Frederick Linford, and Mary Louisa Linford (nee Blackwell). Some Terrington family comments below. In another letter I will say something about the Riches side of the family. Douglas inherited the butcher's business at the Heath Road /Manor Road junction from his father Frederick. Douglas married Ruth May Riches on Boxing Day 1900. They had two children, Percy and Florence May (Maisie), my mother.

Percy went into the business with his father but tragically his career was cut short on 27th July 1922, at age 21, when he lost control of his motor cycle on Ken Hill, Snettisham and was fatally injured. As a result Maisie left the High School and joined the business which then became D and M Terrington. Maisie married Rowland Linford, the grocer of Linford's Corner, in 1928, and they had two children Anne and Patrick (Pat). The Linfords lived in "Kingswood" the house attached to the butcher's shop after the marriage and Douglas and Ruth occupied "Fern Villa" next door.

Dick Melton remembers the orchard, so do I. Grandfather Douglas had apples, pears, plums, and currants, and you could buy the fruit in his shop. It also kept us in apple jacks for a good part of the year. It was a boast of Grandfather that he could pick apples from July to November. He had one tree which he called the July apple, and true enough you could pick and eat a ripe apple in July, probably not much before the 31st though. The latest one was John Standish, the apples seemed to be red and ripe in October, but they were not edible until well into November, and I believe a touch of frost was necessary. Grandfather retired soon after the war and the business was taken over by Mr Kerry. Douglas and Ruth remained in Fern Villa for the rest of their lives. The Linfords moved to Glebe House, ie Linford's corner, until 1958 when father retired, and the business was bought by The Co-op. Beech House in Manor Road became the retirement home of my parents.

Douglas's young brother Reginald and his wife Eleanor (nee Garner) ran the grocery and general shop in Manor Road. Incidentally, Grandfather Frederick Linford and family lived there for a few years in the early 1900s while Glebe House and shop was being built. Great Uncle Reg and Aunt Nell were well known to me as a child (from late 30s) because I used to trot along to the shop quite often to buy sweets. Uncle Reg had an aviary in the garden and when he had time he would take me to see the birds. Canaries I think they were. The war however put an end to this hobby to my disappointment.

Uncle Reg had some spells of bad health when running the shop, and Aunt Nell kept things going. My father used to help by preparing the bacon orders because she wasn't able to do that. Uncle Reg died sometime in the mid to late forties I believe, and eventually the business became Hanfords.Not quite sure when that happened, but the E M Terrington of Avalon in Lynn Road referred to by Dick Melton was Aunt Nell Terrington. Reg and Nell had no children. Douglas's elder brother John trained as a Pharmacist, and eventually owned a Chemist's shop in Herne Bay, Kent. He was married to Rose, not sure when, and they had a daughter Marjorie. I don't know very much about John except that it must have been a disappointment for him that in later life Rose developed serious mental problems, and Marjorie suffered poor health for most of her
adult life.

I have provided a Terrington family photograph [below]. It was taken on the lawn of Kingswood which is between Kingswood and Fern Villa.  The exact date of the photo is not known, but I would say about 1913 or 1914. Back row are Douglas, Ruth, Reg, Eleanor and John. Seated are "not known", Frederick, Anne (nee Hunter), and Rose. On grass Marjorie and Maisie and pet dogs. Missing is Percy, perhaps he was the photographer.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a letter in the Oct 08 issue of VV from Eve Witney. She is in fact a long lost 2nd cousin. Our great grandfather was George Riches the builder. I can remember my grandmother, Ruth May Terrington (nee Riches) writing to a sister in Australia 60 or so years ago because I used to post the letter for her.

There were eight Riches children who survived infancy, and my grandmother Ruth May was the only one who remained in Dersingham. By the way, one sister's name has suffered a typo; it should be "Georgieanna". My sister Anne and I would be pleased to make contact with Eve. One final point. Frederick Terrington's mother (nee Kemp) had the unusual first name "Mahala".

Pat Linford (Old Dersinghamite)
From  Issue 110

I was born in 1934 at “Kingswood”, the house attached to the butcher’s shop on the corner of Manor Road and Heath Road. This was referred to by Dick [Melton]; it was myhome for 12 years.The master butcher was Douglas Terrington, brother of Reg Terrington the grocer in Manor road. My mother, Maisie Linford, nee Terrington, was also in the business which traded when I knew it as “D and M Terrington Family Butchers”. It should have been D and P, not D and M. The P is for Percy my mother’s brother who was 5 years older. However, Percy in the evening of 27th July 1922 went out for a ride on his motor cycle with a friend. On Ken Hill Snettisham he lost control, fell off and suffered fatal injuries. My mother immediately abandoned her studies at Lynn High School to join the business.

This tragic accident must have caused great grief and sadness to my mother, grandparents and others who knew him. Needless to say, that I realised that I should never ever mention a desire to own a motor bike.In September 1939 WW2 started, and wartime regulations meant that for rationing purposes butchers had to get meat allocations from a controlled central source. I believe this was Helsdon’s of Snettisham for my grandfather. I also remember other wartime sources: Canterbury lamb from New Zealand, and big tins of corned beef from Argentina.Grandfather had always kept chickens and grown a lot of vegetables and fruit as part of the business. He grew much more during the war. One interesting new crop was maize to help keep the chickens fed.

Mention of Reg Houchen, motor engineer, has occurred from time to time in VV. I think it is less well known that he was an important part of the butcher’s business, both before and during the war. His motor engineering skill was certainly invaluable for keeping the the two temperamental delivery vans running. During the war it was only possible to keep one van going by taking parts from the other.

Another member of the team I remember well was Jack Howard of Pleasant Place. He was the bike delivery boy and general assistant. I used to like ”helping” him with his jobs. Fortunately, he was very tolerant. When war came Jack joined up as a private in the Royal Norfolks. He came to visit us in uniform just before being sent to help defend Singapore from invasion by Japan. I was very impressed and still remember soldier Jack’s visit very well.Jack lost his life on active service in Singapore on the 6th of February 1942 aged 24. His grave may be found in Kranji cemetery, Singapore. I always think of Jack on 11th November.After the war Reg needed to revive and expand his motor business, so his involvement with D and M Terrington came to an end.

Does anyone remember Houchen’s coach holidays to Dunoon? Fortunately, his brother Fred was able to take his place until it was time for grandfather to retire. The business was then sold in 1946, and the Linford family moved from “Kingswood” to “Glebe House” the house attached to “Linford’s Corner Stores”.

During my time as resident of Manor Road I was a regular customer of George King’s barber’s shop. George sold cigarettes and tobacco, and a lot of tobacco was smoked by customers waiting their turn. It was, therefore, very smoky in those days. Hair cut for a boy if I remember was nine pence (about 4 pence in today’s pennies). My grandfather always used to greet George as “your majesty”.“

Wellswill” school (not Wellswell) was not just for girls. I was a pupil until1942. I was then eight years old and boys had to move on. My sister Anne was also there, and one of my class mates was Dick Stanton. The Princpal was Miss Hough and Miss Wragge, her deputy, lived in “Greengates” the house next door. I am not sure when Miss Hough retired and the school closed, but I think it was not many years after I left.

The Scotts (shop Lynn High street) bought the house and I think they changed the name to “ Woodroyal”. They kindly arranged a re-union for old pupils soon after they had moved in.

Finally, I must mention Tuck’s tomatoes. My wife and I always bought some when we could. We have never tasted a tomato with a better flavour. My school friend Peter Hooks, “Holmfirth” Lynn Road, next to the Twites, also agrees. He thinks that Mr Tuck made his own tomato feed, and that sheep were essential for its preparation. Perhaps Bernie can help us with more information?

Pat (Patrick) Linford, Old Dersinghamite

Patrick Linford - Obituary - With full acknowledgement to Basingstoke Villager 2020 10 Oct
It is now six months since Pat’s death and still we have Government restrictions on gathering numbers in both Church and Halls; so sadly we have decided that no Memorial Service can be held in his name. Pat would have approved this decision as he never did like ‘Fuss’. Born in the Norfolk village of Dersingham. Pat remained “a good old Norfolk boy”, and was a regular correspondent to the Village Voice newsletter on the people, places and local history he recalled from boyhood.
Diligent in his studies, particularly the sciences, Pat was awarded the Queen’s medal (the first awarded in the Queen’s reign) from King’s Lynn Grammar School, he went on to study at Cambridge to begin his lifelong career in physics. Having honed his technical skills working for a beach photographer in his holidays, he went on to record his time at Cambridge
through the lens of his camera. Many of the faces captured during these three years continue to appear in later albums, often with the addition of growing families, as the friendships made remained dear to him throughout his life and travels.

He went on to work as a materials physicist at AWRE; here he remained throughout his working life, with trips to use research facilities at the Los Alamos laboratories in New Mexico. His research with colleagues into the development of thick film technology, a precursor to the silicon chip, led to publications in this field still cited to-day. Collaboration was also made with colleagues on the completion of The Daily Telegraph cryptic crossword, often with final clues solved on the bus home. His struggle to complete the puzzle on retirement serves as a testament to Pat’s inclusive approach to research and willingness to share and learn from others.

Pat will be remembered by family and friends for his love of music, the theatre and playing the piano, as a productive gardener, loyal friend, devoted church goer and family man. He joined the village school governors after his eldest son started education there, only retiring on reaching his eightieth birthday. Living in the same Hampshire village for over fifty years he was well known and respected; so much so that many feel they have lost a much loved friend. Kind and gentle with a great interest in all of those around him, he would always have time to engage in conversation, and was delighted whenever an opportunity to return to college with friends arose.

Pat died peacefully in his sleep on 1st March 2020.
The family.


By Doreen Linford - Village Voice 56, Page 5
May I please add a few words to my cousin P at Linford's article in the December Village Voice about Linford's shop or Glebe House as the family knows it.  According to my father, Clarence (younger brother of Roland), the house was built about 1902 by my grandfather Frederick. It was built of Heacham hand-made bricks, had 5 bedrooms and 2 staircases, and was the first house in the village to have either electricity or a bathroom - I'm not sure which.

My grandfather was a builder, sign-writer, plumber and cabinet maker and was quite highly and multi-skilled; in fact he made the wooden memorial to the victims of WW1 in St Nicholas Church and also did the gold-leaf work. He built the shop for my grandmother to sell sweets, fancy goods, postcards and crested china etc and the story goes that King George's children with their governess would cycle from Sandringham to buy sweets there.  On the lawn (Station Road side) grandmother would serve teas during the summer and years later when asked what he would like for his tea, my father would reply "plain tea sixpence". I imagine that this would have consisted of a pot of tea, a piece of cake and some bread and butter. Two bungalows now occupy this site.

There were 6 children.  Grandmother died prematurely in 1920. Grandfather later married a local schoolteacher, Mabel Tombling, and they had a daughter, Edna.  Edna married Alex Fisher from the fish shop (now the Chinese take-away). Incidentally, these premises used to be a bakery owned by Mr J (Jimmy) Jarvis and was one of 3 bakeries in the village then! His bakery was destroyed by fire.

Be fore the last war I reme mber travelling up from London by train once a year to visit grandfather, "Auntie" Mabel and Edna, usually on an excursion for the day, but sometimes to stay for a holiday. These were always very happy occasions. Perhaps some readers will reme mber Edna and Alex who were both active in the village. Edna, now a widow, lives in Snettisham.
Doreen Linford

Reader's Comments

Helen Richardson
I remember my uncle in there Rowland Linford in the 1950s.

Joanne Wing
Lovely to read some of my family’s history.