Snippets from Parish Council Minutes March 1911 – 1956

Interesting Snippets From Nettlebed Parish Council  Minutes March 1911 – 1956 1911 –March. Plans made for celebrating the coronation of George V and Queen Mary. 1912 –Revd Armitage complains about dumping of rubbish outside Crocker End House            Complaints about motor vehicles speeding through the village – a hazard to horses, reported to A.A. and Motor Union“Danger” signs erected on roads entering the village.           Street lights damaged by youths throwing stones.           Query about trees planted on Crocker End Common. Lord of the Manor,MrMcKenzie states he gave permission and that the land is a green and not common land. It was part of Soundess Farm, dating back 200 years. 1914 –Complaints about nightsoil being carried through the street to the dump in daytime.            Call for Special Constables aged 19 to 35 - 18 men volunteered. 1916 –Government’s Wartime Agricultural Committee request to parish councils to destroy sparrows which are eating...
Read More

Nettlebed Congregational Church

Nettlebed Congregational Church – early services were held in a tent on The Common. The Rev. Robert Bolton, an American born in Savannah, Georgia, in the United States of America, became pastor of Henley Congregational Church in 1824. He came from a long family line of non-conformists who, originally from the cotton trade in Bolton, Lancashire, had emigrated to the American Colonies in the early eighteenth century. Clearly an energetic man, when he came to Henley Robert set about spreading non-conformist beliefs in the outlying villages. When the Rev. Bolton received Mr Joseph Fletcher into Henley Church membership on 1st June, 1831, he encouraged him to lead the Christian work in the neighbourhood. One Sunday afternoon in 1832 Fletcher was delivering tracts on Nettlebed Common. A number of youths were then playing cricket. He invited them to come into a nearby cottage and hear a book read. Two young men followed him, with the result that they became Christians. Regular meetings were then held in the cottage until...
Read More

Nettlebed And South Oxfordshire Government History 1873 – 1974

Nettlebed And South Oxfordshire Government History 1873 – 1974 A Royal Sanitary Commission of 1869 suggested a system of local government incorporating rural areas. This led to an Act of 1872 which, amongst various recommendations, created ‘Rural Sanitary Districts’. These authorities had to appoint a ‘sanitary inspector’ and a ‘medical officer of health’. The existing Henley Board of Guardians created a new authority under the name ‘The Henley Rural Sanitary Authority’. In 1873 it appointed George Shadrach Daniel Mattick as Sanitary Inspector; he was 37 and had worked as a builder and a ‘Scripture Reader’ in the very poorest parts of Southwark in South London and Reading. It was the beginning of modern local government in Oxfordshire. On his arrival he immediately reported on his visits to the surrounding villages. About Nettlebed he wrote: - “The village presents about as bad a collection of sanitary conditions as it is possible to conceive existing in a situation in many respects naturally very healthy....
Read More

Old Camp Road, Nettlebed

Old Camp Road, Nettlebed, Oxfordshire  A Tribute To Our Local Men Who Served In The Oxfordshire And Buckinghamshire Light Infantry RegimentThe regimental badge of the Ox & Bucks Light Infantry Walking through the beautiful woods on Nettlebed Commons today it is difficult to visualise how this countryside looked some seventy years ago. In 1943-44 the whole of southern England was involved in the military preparations for the Second Front and the invasion of continental Europe which took place in June 1944. For months the residents of Nettlebed had seen camps being rapidly constructed to accommodate the troops of many allied nations preparing for the assault on the beaches of Normandy. Some quarter of a million men and women arrived with tanks, trucks and ambulances which were kept hidden under the dense canopy of the beech woods. Camp sites were built between Nettlebed and Peppard which included dormitory blocks, officers’ messes, kitchens, mess halls, engineering workshops, a medical centre and cinemas to entertain the troops....
Read More

Nettlebed’s Servicemen Of World War Two

On the 70th Anniversary of the ending of World War Two we remember those who served and those who gave their lives in the defence of our nation. The men from Nettlebed who died are recorded on the village war memorial at St Bartholomew’s Church lych-gate and their names are read at Nettlebed’s Royal British Legion Annual Remembrance Service every November. Where the service records of particular individuals are known it is important that these are recorded on the Nettlebed website’s history page. We would be pleased to add the wartime careers of others if the details could be sent to the editor@nettlebed.org **************************** Captain John (Jack) Egerton Broome DSC RN 23.02.1901 – 19.04.1985 A destroyer captain who defended convoys with vital supplies for Britain and Russia during the long Battle of the Atlantic and later commanded an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. Jack Broome served in the Royal Navy in both World Wars. He entered the Royal Naval College at Osborne. Isle of Wight,...
Read More

Nettlebed Coinage

Nettlebed minted its own coinage in the 17th century. The turmoil of the English Civil War 1642-1651 caused a shortage of small coinage such as farthings and halfpennies (pr. ha’pennies) which had stopped being minted by the Government.  This was a problem for local tradesmen, particularly alehouse keepers. To counter the shortage “token money” was produced in many towns and villages such as Henley and Nettlebed and for twenty-four years 1648-1672 the currency of these privately issued tokens, defined as “money of necessity”, was not challenged by the authorities. Tokens were issued in Henley and other larger villages by many traders between 1669 and 1672 who were required to pay a local tax based on the number of smelting “hearths” they operated. The taxation records show that two tokens were issued in Nettlebed, with its busy coaching inns and thirsty brick and pottery workers. David Gasquon at The Bull paid tax on ten hearths in 1665 and Timothy Holding at The White...
Read More

History of Nettlebed

Early history The origin of the name Nettlebed is unknown. There are various theories. One is that Roman soldiers in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD rubbed nettles on their limbs to keep warm on marches. Another well known fact is that nettles yield a thread which can be made into a linen cloth. Many homes at the end of the 18th century had sheets and table cloths made from nettles which grow in abundance around the area. Nettlebed remained part of the manor of Benson until the late 13th century hence it was not mentioned in the  Domesday Book which was a record of the ownership of manorial land. Nettlebed has been an inhabited area for centuries and many middle Stone age implements found in earthworks in a Highmoor trench are now in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. At Digberry farm there are little-known remains of a Roman encampment with squared ramparts reaching as high as fifteen feet in places. Grimm's...
Read More

Village Club

The “Working Men's Club”, now known as the Village Hall and Club, was commissioned for the village in 1911 by Robert Fleming, the newly arrived squire, and designed by C. E. Mallows, F.R.I.B.A., a Bedford and London architect. It was built in 1912, using local materials where possible, wood from Scotland and with labour from the Fleming estate. The official opening was in February 1913, at a dinner given by Robert Fleming for everyone in the village. It provided the venue for a wide range of village activities, including quiz shows, musical evenings, plays, dances, gymnastics, rifle shooting, leisure classes, and a cinematograph (“kinema”) which allegedly provided the first example in England of film used as a teaching aid for the school children, c.1914. There was also, of course, a bar where the men could escape their womenfolk, since the word “men” in its original title meant just that, and it is only in the middle of the 20th century...
Read More

History of the White Hart

By Andrew Landmann There has been an inn on the site since the 15th century which was previously known as “The George”. In 1456-7 John Wattes held the licence for the inn and paid a rent of 8 pence per year. A ten year legal battle arose in 1504 when the new owner of the George, Thomas English tried to evict the previous tenant, John Wise who refused to move out. The name was changed during the Tudor Period to the White Hart, probably to reflect the resurgence in the popularity of the monarchy. Hunting was a favourite sport of King Henry VIII, and a white hart is a famous old English hunting symbol. The White Hart became a posting house at the time of the name change, where wagons would stop and collect post and parcels for carriage to London, Oxford and Henley. Nettlebed had at least three inns at this time, for in 1536-37 the three Innkeepers where fined for overcharging! The...
Read More
Brickmaking in Nettlebed

Brickmaking in Nettlebed

Nettlebed Common around 1900 from Windmill Hill. The large pond is the Sea Pond which still exists. Nettlebed was the major centre for brick, tile and pottery manufacture in Oxfordshire from medieval times, and possibly even earlier, up until the 20th century. As the same materials are required for both brick and pottery manufacture, namely clay, sand, water and firewood, the history of these products is inevitably closely linked. There is evidence that bricks were used in the region during Roman times although no manufacturing sites have been found. After the Romans left England around 300A.D. the use of bricks declined until the 12th century although there is evidence that medieval potteries operated in Oxfordshire in the 9th century. Nettlebed and nearby Crocker End, situated on the top of the Chilterns escarpment on a rich bed of Reading Clay and with a plentiful supply of firewood and pond water, was a natural site for brick and pottery making. 700 feet above the...
Read More