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Dersingham Folk
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Site by Mike Strange
Craigwell and the Butcher's Shop
Elizabeth Fiddick ©
The first evidence I found for the house and shop at the corner of Doddshill and Manor Road was on the Tithe Map of 1839.  In a small enclosure on the corner of Doddshill and Manor Road , 71, a building is clearly marked.  The schedule describes it as a shop and yard occupied by William Hotchin and the whole property is owned by one Lydia Pitchey or Petchey.

Mike’s research discovered that in 1837 William was living in Ingoldisthorpe.  It was on January 22nd 1839 that William married Elizabeth Branton or Brunton ( the handwriting is not too clear) in Dersingham parish Church.  The 1841 census clarifies it further.  There we find William Hotchin, aged 24, described as a butcher living here with his wife Elizabeth.  Also listed with them are Robert Batterbee, 16, and Rose Mary Frary, also 16.

The pasture land, 72, known as Clark’s pasture, surrounding the shop belonged to the large farm by the church, part of the estate of John Motteux of Sandringham, and run by Joshua Freeman.  This pasture has changed little over the centuries.

On the opposite corner,252, where the village school would be built in 1875, a cottage and garden are listed occupied by Richard Lines and others.  This was the old Pakenham Manor House which was described in a survey carried out in 1802-4 for Robert Walpole of Houghton Hall, who owned it at that time, as “A dwelling House let in three tenements.” 

By the time of the Tithe settlement this property was part of the Sandringham Estate of John Motteux.   The cottage remained there even when the school was built in 1875.   It was finally demolished in 1934, by order of the King, to enlarge the school playground.
On the opposite side of the Main Road were four properties all owned by Lydia Petchey.   Moving from the right there was a cottage and garden, 227, occupied by John Greenacre, a gardener by profession.  In the next cottage with garden, 228, lived William Miller.  Then we find Lydia herself but her property is described as a house, with garden and shop, 229.  It is clear to see on the map there are two buildings on this larger site. The final property, 230, is occupied by Martin Flegg, a wheelwright, with his wife Maria, three sons George, William and Joseph and daughter Martha.

To complete the picture of this part of Dersingham a little further down the road is a small Public House with yard and garden, 232, known as The Cock run by Ann Gamble.  In the 1880s this would be demolished to make way for the present Feathers Hotel.

In Kelly’s Directory of 1845 we find Lydia Petchey now recorded as the victualler of The Coach and Horses so obviously the shop of 1839 has become a public house.  At some point, I suspect at about the same time the Cock Inn was replaced by the larger Feathers Hotel, it too was greatly enlarged possibly when Thomas Taylor was the Publican.   In recent times the old barn that once stood to the left of the pub was demolished to enlarge the car parking area.  So the Public House and car park now occupy the area where once Lydia’s house and shop stood.

Three of the cottages are still there although probably also much changed. Certainly the one on the left, at right angles to the road, has been greatly altered comparatively recently.

Lydia Petchey died in 1851 aged 66.   Her husband Benjamin, a wheelwright, had died in 1838, and both their gravestones can be found in the church yard side by side.

The census of 1851 records that William Hotchin has taken over as Innkeeper of The Coach and Horses.  He is living there with his wife Elizabeth, his elderly father William and Emily Greenacre is their house servant.  William and his wife were both born in Congham while his elderly father, formerly a farmer, originated from Little Massingham.

William is recorded in Kelly’s Directory of 1854 not only as the Proprietor of the Coach and Horses but is also still listed as a butcher. He is still recorded in 1856 as the Innkeeper of The Coach and Horses but by 1858 Thomas Taylor was the new Innkeeper.

Mike’s research revealed that in 1861 William and his wife were then living in the lodging house of one Hannah Cross in King’s Lynn.  Hannah’s son James, a mariner was living there also.  So some time after 1856 William Hotching  left Dersingham to live in Lynn.  So who took over the shop?

In the census of 1861 we find an answer.  William Waters, aged 29 born in Swaffham, is recorded as a Butcher with one employee.  He lives with his wife Susannah, born in Wisbech, and a very young niece, Fanny Coe just 2 years old.  She was born in Ingoldisthorpe.  Emma Mitchell  a general servant completes the household.  I  base my belief on this being the new owner of the Doddshill shop on the fact that as well as fitting the criteria for running the shop, the very next entry in the census is for The Coach and Horses and the entry immediately before was for Church Farm.  I realise that the enumerators of census returns were frequently extremely erratic in their listings and did not always follow a logical order for entries but I think this time the evidence is strong and can be seen in future entries.  So sometime between 1856 and 1861 William Waters came to the village to run the Butcher’s shop.

Ten years later in 1871 William Hotching and his wife are living in Lynn but now in their own house with a Matilda Fowler as a boarder.

William Waters is still recorded as the butcher employing 2 men.  One of his employees is Frederick Terrington, a slaughterman.   It was the usual practice then for local butchers to slaughter animals themselves.  In later records the premises are described as a shop with abbatoir.  The large barn complex at the side of the shop clearly served this purpose.

When I first came to the village there was a butcher’s shop in Chapel Road, by the traffic Lights, called Scoles, previously Towers Butchers.    At the side of the shop was a small stone barn that was still being used as an abbatoir at that time.  Regulations changed shortly after and these small abbatoirs became a thing of the past and the old barn was demolished to make way for a garage.  Today of course it has all been replaced by pleasant residential housing.
In 1872 records show that Elizabeth Hotching had died in King’s Lynn.

By the time we reach 1881 there has been a further change here in Dersingham.    Now we find Francis Rands, 26, born in Northants, listed as the Master Butcher, employing 1 boy.  He lives with his wife Elizabeth, born in King’s Lynn, and their young son Frank, just 1 year old.  Lillie Balding of Dersingham is their general domestic servant.

Just like the earlier entries the next listing is for the Coach and Horses and the previous entries are for Church Farm and cottages.  So again I believe this to be Doddshill shop.

However, the employment of Frederick Terrington as a slaughter man, aged 22, by William Waters in 1871 is interesting  because in the 1881 census we discover a Frederick Terrington,  aged 32, as a butcher.  He lives with his wife Ann, and two young sons Reginald and Douglas.  His sister Louisa is described as Butcher Assistant and Henry Hammond as a Butcher’s servant.  Martha Yallop of Dersingham, a general servant, completes the household.  I believe their shop to have been in Manor Road possibly where the current Funeral Directors is sited. When I first came to the village these premises were occupied by Milton’s Butchers.  There are many old photographs of a large shop in Manor Road run by one R. Terrington.  This must surely be Frederick’s oldest son.

The next change of ownership of the Doddshill Butchers comes in 1890 when William Tansley takes over.  In the census of 1891  he is described as a Master Butcher, born in Wisbech, living with his wife Alice.  Mike’s research also uncovered the fact that in that same year William Hotching died in Lynn aged 74.

In the summary of the 1911 census William Tansley  is listed with a house and shop on Sandringham Road, (the previous name of Manor Road),  once again immediately before the listing for The Coach and Horses. 

William was a very active member of the community.  He was a great supporter of the cricket club and made frequent donations to its funds.  He rented land from the Dersingham Charities at 10s. per year. He contributed a generous £5 to the Coronation Commemoration fund to install the clock in the church tower.  His wife Alice contributed to the Widows’ and Orphans’ Fund run by The Daily Telegraph during the South African War and they were both active members of the church.
It is about 1922 that William Tansley retires and William Herbert Lines then takes over the premises.  William Herbert Lines was born on the 23rd of February 1873. He was the oldest child of Miles Lines and his wife Mary Ann (nee Cuthbert)   He had four brothers, George Alfred, Arthur Vincent, Frederick,  Alfred and two sisters Martha and Elizabeth.  His first marriage was to Sarah Ann Hall in 1897 at St. Nicholas Church in King’s Lynn.  His second marriage was to Elizabeth Ann Walker.  It seems that he was usually known by everyone as Herbert Lines.

William Tansley continued to live in the village and his name can be found in many accounts of church activities.    His wife Alice died on the 14th July aged 81 and William died on the 1st of August 1945 aged 84.  His epitaph describes him as Master Butcher.

For the next 25 years or so William Herbert Lines successfully ran the butchers shop and abbatoir. In a booklet published before WW11 with general information on the area for residents and visitors I found this recommendation under Dersingham and District Trade Notes.

“One of the district’s best known businesses is that of Mr. W. H. Lines, Family Butcher , Manor Road Dersingham.  For many years recognised as one of the leading butchers for many miles around.  He sells only the finest quality English meat.  Mr.Lines’ noted sausages are sent regularly to all parts of the country.”

The advert shows the range of his products.  He certainly kept up with modern times with one of the few telephones in the village, Number 6, and offering motor deliveries.  He states the shop was established in 1870 but we now know that it was established some time before that. 
I have been told that two large wooden Bullock heads decorated the front of the shop.  I wonder what happened to them?
There is, however, a great tragedy associated with William and the shop.  It happened during the Second World War and several older villagers have told me the story as they had remembered it.  Tom Ebert recorded the whole sad event in his recollections of War and Peace in Dersingham.

“At the other side of the village opposite the Coach and Horses was Lines the Butchers.  During the war and its strict rationing laws farmers had to account for every animal on their farms to ensure that none were slaughtered on the side for the farmer’s own use.  Herbert Lines and a local farmer colluded in slaughtering a lamb illegally and were brought to book.  Herbert felt the shame of this so much that the poor fellow hung himself in a shed at the back of his premises before his trial.  His nephew took us lads round afterwards to show us not only the shed where the deed was done but the actual rope, with the noose still tied in it, lying on the floor.  The farmer was eventually taken to court and received a fine of one shilling (five pence) for his part in the affair” .

William was buried in the churchyard and his gravestone recorded his death as January 22nd 1945 aged 72.  Probate was granted to his widow Elizabeth Ann Lines with Effects valued at £6199 18s   2d.  A sad end after a lifetime of service.

Later History
The history of the shop from the end of the war up to the present day is very varied. It changed hands many times and had varied uses.  Here is a list of the different businesses villagers remember once operated there:
Humphries Hairdressers  and then Chapman Cycles  were recalled.  Gilbert and Riches Dairy operated from there for some time, running their milk floats around the village from the old barn.  The Riches were a well known village family and they also ran a Fish and Chip shop from the premises that was fondly remembered by older villagers.  Members of the family still live here today.  I have found an advert for
R. Riches     Fish and Veg coFish kept in Frig.  Manor Road. 

Perhaps this was run from the old Butcher’s shop.

Dick Melton recalls that at one time you could buy dresses there.

When I came to the village the shop traded in Antiques and Pine Restoration which is shown in all the photographs I took at the time.  Perhaps somewhere amongst all the old furniture , timbers and collectibles that were stored in heaps  outside, those two old wooden Bullock heads, that once decorated the front and proclaimed that this was a Butcher’s Shop, were lying unnoticed.

We would love to hear from anyone who remembers any of these premises or has any information at all relating to them. I had forgotten the name of the main house but was pleased to be reminded very recently that it was Craigwell.

It was a sad day to see the main house demolished but at least the old barns were saved and although very different now they at least are still there to remind us of the this part of the village's history.

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