Nos 29 & 31 Church Street

Hilary Roadley

2015 No 31 Church St showing marks where previous joint porch was
No 31 Church St in 1911 showing joint front porch to left
Church St, Harston 1920. Back row: William Newling, Arthur(tbc), Robert Ransom Newling; Front: Frederick, wife Rose, Alice Pointing (Robert's future wife)
Rob Sharp
No 31 taken by Robert Ransom Newling c 1970
(Rob Sharp)
29 Church St with back extension. April 2016

Early occupiers and owners

In the 1886 sale No 29 and 31 were owned by Henry de Freville but in 1910 Fanny J Ives owned them and all of the Beech Farm estate opposite. Nos 29 & 31 had already been sold before the 1926 Beech Farm sale as they weren’t included.

Alice Bass nee Ashby lived in No 29 in 1910-11 with her children Ron & Vera. Her husband Walter had died in 1899. Alice was earning her living as a dressmaker/tailoress in 1911. When Ronald Bass (1897-1970) married (Nell) Ellen Rogers from Newton in 1925 they lived with Alice in Church Street and brought up their child Betty there.

In 1911 no 31 was occupied by Frederick Newling and family, brother of Thomas Newling who lived in No 37-39. At one point more recently Liz Chapman, an Aunt to Mrs Ashby, lived at No 31.

The 1911 photo largely of No 31 shows the joint porch to the left for the two houses and Frederick Newlings children outside.

The 1920s photo of the Newling family who still lived there shows the side of the house at No 31 before the extension was added on.

The 1970s photo was taken by Robert Ransom Newling when he returned to make a visit of the house where he was born and lived for the first 16 years of his life 1897 – 1914. When he lived there it was called Rose Cottage. He said he left at the beginning of 1914 and apart from odd visits up to the 1920s, it was over 50 years since he had visited and what changes he saw. He said ” Oh dear, the village as I knew it exists no more – it is just not the same, of course it could not be”.

The house had been extended by then although you could still see where the double front porch had been.

Don Salter, landlord of the Queen’s Head, died around 1973 and Kay his wife stayed only a few weeks before moving out and buying No 31 Church St to live in with her sons Keith & Richard. They think No 31 had originally been owned by Gladys Ashby while Agnes Ashby had lived in Lilac Cottage in Church St opposite the present surgery

Semi-detached dwellings with flying freehold

There was no running water; the occupiers used the Fountain Cottage pump nearby until a good water supply came to the village around 1933.

No 29 & 31 Church St are semi-detached with two bedrooms from each semi overlapping creating a flying freehold!

Betty, granddaughter of Alice Bass remembers there was a front porch that served both houses with front doors straight into the ‘Front Room’ as it was termed in those days although the original double porch is now blocked up. The room at the back of No 29 was a general kitchen come living room. Betty’s memory as a child living in No 29 was of a small lean-to kitchen added on to that and later 1950/1960 her father had a brick extension kitchen with a bathroom and bedroom built above . The small side extension for a hallway and new stairs (instead of going up from the living room) was added probably late 1930’s.

This page was added on 05/03/2020.

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