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Dersingham Folk
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Reynolds Nursery
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Reynolds Nursery (Roseneath Nurseries) was on the left of Post Office Road looking towards Chapel Road. The Orchard Close bungalows now cover the site of the nursery and where the glasshouse can be seen in the photograph by Walter Edwin Ralph below.
The large house that can be seen on the right of the photograph above is on the corner with Chapel Road; it was also a shop and owned by the Reynolds family. The glass house seen here on the right is to the left where we also see Millicent Walden standing outside the shop in the next photo. Millicent's father was a blacksmith and had his yard near here; more in another article.
Mr John Charles Reynolds of "Roseneath", Post Office Road, Dersingham, Norfolk, Nurseryman, died 20th February 1966.
The London Gazette

Mr Peter Reynolds died in 2005 as reported in Village Voice issue 34 Mr Reynolds was a member of a very well known and respected local horticultural family who were honoured by the village when the streets in Sandringham View were named, Reynolds Way having been named after his father John. Born in Dersingham, Mr Reynolds originally worked for his father at Roseneath Nurseries in Post Office Road, He served in the Royal Air Force during WW2 and was a member of the Royal Air Force Association and of the Royal British Legion. Being at one time the President of the Dersingham and Sandringham Branch. He spent his retirement years in Snettisham, but never lost contact with Dersingham being associated with St Nicholas Church for many years.

Interviews were made with Peter Reynolds (Frederick Peter John Reynolds in full) in 2000 and you can listen to most of them and find the transcriptions here Interviews . Sadly the recordings of Peter are both missing so if anyone out there has a copy of the tapes please loan then to us to copy. However, all is not lost as the transcriptions of his interviews can be read; they are items 25 and 23.
Addition on 29 June 2020
The following two items have come to light from 1997 editions of Dersingham Parish News; the second one is with thanks to Dick Melton:
Dersingham Parish News - June/July 1997

The 'where is it' picture in the June edition of Parish News, prompted Mrs Betty Lincoln to rootle in her box of family photos. Betty was my neighbour in childhood, the youngest daughter of Mr and Mrs Robert Walden at The Smithy in Chapel Road.

She has found a good photo [above] of the former shop at the corner of Post Office and Chapel roads, which her family ran as a lock-up shop for a while after my Grandma ceased trading there. Betty's elder sister Millicent is standing in the road in front of the shop. The photo shows, more clearly than that published in June, the holly tree, and the laburnum tree that stood on the south side of the house and shop. It also shows the shrubbery in front of the house living room window, and the access way to the shop front. In the upper window are two modest forerunners of today's window obliterating advertisements that plaster nearly all shops, sadly the product name does not show large enough to be read. In the distance the photo shows the entrance to the yard in which the smithy, and the wheelwright's workshop, were situated.

Betty also found the 1920's photo of part of a 'troshin tackle' [below], taken in the yard in front of the smithy, probably after a repair and fettling by both tradesmen. The steam engine, and the threshing machine or drum, are shown, the elevator part of the threesome set is not on the photo. Robert Walden, the blacksmith is on the driving platform of the engine, distinguished by his 'toothbrush' moustache. Mr Porter, the wheelwright, is in his white working apron, I, by the rear wheel of the engine; by him, in his leathern, thigh trousered, belly bibbed, farrier's apron, is Mr Hailstone, assistant to Mr Walden. Faded paintwork lettering on the side of the upper trough platform of the drum, appears to read 'Lyons & Shuttleworth Ltd'. Whether that is the name of the manufacturer or of the owner, is not known at present.

Betty remembers that her father made trundling hoops from thin iron rods, for his children. He also made one for me once, as I related in an earlier edition of Parish News. She has particularly happy memories of the flat circular iron disc on which wheels were assembled and shod. It was a superb surface for playing whip tops. It is many years since I last saw children with whip tops. They were great fun to play with. Brightly painted wooden pegs, shaped like mushrooms, with a shallow domed flat head on a slightly bulbous stem which can to a point at the bottom. At the bottom of the stem there ,vas a hob nailhamrnered in, its head filed smooth to eliminate its usual criss cross pattern and to make a smooth bearing surface for the top to spin on. Around the stem there were usually two or three shallow hori­zontal grups to allow the string to take purchase on the stem. The whip, was a short handle of stick with a thong of string, preferably braided. The string was wrapped round the top's stem, the top placed on a level surface, then the string whipped away which caused the top to revolve on its point. To keep the spinning going the top was whipped with the string lash. The lash wound round the stem, and as it was pulled away on the backward stroke of the whip, it imparted more spin to the top. The art was to keep the top spinning even if it was pulled up in the air by the whipping, as it fell it landed on its point, and the gyroscope principle kept it going, one hoped!

Trundling hoops and spinning tops; is it really such a relatively short time ago that children were so unsophisticated?

P.R. June 1997
Dersingham Parish News - August/September 1997

The junction of Chapel and Post Office Roads, has of late cropped up with some regularity.

I'm preparing to move house, and have been fying [?] out the loft. I've found papers which my father had kept relating to affairs of his father. Among them is the carpenter's bill for work in building the house which grandfather Daniel built at the junction of Post Office and Chapel Roads, and which figured in the photograph in the August/September [sic - June/July] issue of Parish News, with Millicent Walden standing in front of it on Chapel Road. The house was built in 1884; for the times and his position in society it was a substantial property. Brick and carstone under a clay tile roof. On the ground floor there was a kitchen, scullery, two living rooms and a shop; on the first floor, four bedrooms and boxroom. Outside, a washhouse, a store room, coal house, privy (earth closet), barn with stable, and hay 10ft running over both, a partly concreted yard with surface water drain, also connected to a gulley below the lead bodied pump which drew water from the shallow well beneath the yard.

The bill from Mr Forster, reproduced here, shows a contract price of £89, which appears to cover floors, roof timbers, stairs, doors 'and windows. Extras were for variants in the kitchen and doonvays, some fencing; and fitting out the shop with counter, till, drawers, and the bank of shelving and pigeon hole receptacles which was against the wall behind the counter. It seems that grandfather paid cash of £80 towards the total bill of £100.7s.0d., retaining about 20% for contingencies; and eventually settling the bill after about a year with approximately 6% discount. Grandfather Daniel drove a hard bargain!

The general level of pricing is interesting; how time and monetary inflation have changed things! In particular the total of £6.2.6d. (now £6:125), seems astonishingly cheap for fitting out the shop with counter, till, and pigeon hole type shelving. The pump plank, a piece of timber 5ft x 11" x 3", cost only 2s.6d. (£0:125), presumably including its painting. This was the vertical board to which the water pump was affixed. The pump was a cylindrical body made of lead, connected to a lead pipe leading down to a shallow well beneath the yard, it had a lead spout sweated with lead to the body, the spout was at 90° to the cylinder and overhung the gulley which connected to the surface water drain in the yard. The pump worked by the suction of a leather washered plunger moved up and down inside the cylinder on an iron rod activated by a curved iron handle, about three feet long. That pump was still operative in the 1950 and was there until shortly before the property was demolished in course of the development of the Orchard Close estate of bungalows for older people, which was built by Docking Rural District Council in 1969-70 on the site of the house, buildings, orchard, yard, paddock and Roseneath Nursery garden, which whole site fronted Chapel and Post Office Roads.

So my family affairs continue to haunt me; and I hope that sidelights from them may be of interest to readers of Parish News.

August 1997.