Author Topic: St Mary Magdalene's Church, Stockbury  (Read 263 times)

Offline johnfilmer

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Re: St Mary Magdalene's Church, Stockbury
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2021, 06:13:50 PM »
Martin, you make my point for me, that it was likely to have been a regular practice night, but very well attended.
It was therefore possibly the last such practice night before the reading of the Banns on the next three consecutive Sundays for Harry's wedding at Hucking. Was the event only to be announced that evening?
Anyway my guess is a sort of celebration that his forthcoming marriage would soon be common knowledge. A stag night with loud bells?
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Offline MartinR

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Re: St Mary Magdalene's Church, Stockbury
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2021, 09:46:42 PM »
John, remember that the meeting was on a Thursday, so it is unlikely to have been associated with the reading of any banns.  I would still expect this to have been the regular practice night, most towers chose Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday with a few Fridays.  The KCACR was formed in 1880 so by 1889 there was a slightly more formal structure to ringing.  Perhaps the event was them being accepted as full members of their band, and possibly the Association once they could ring?  I don't recall seeing any handbooks that old in either Rochester Cathedral or Frindsbury towers so can't check them, if indeed handbooks existed at that date.

For information: to be a ringing member of the KCACR you need to be able to ring rounds (though all members I know of could do call changes before joining) and to safely ring your bell down.  This would be at least six months after starting to learn, probably more like a year.

Offline johnfilmer

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Re: St Mary Magdalene's Church, Stockbury
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2021, 05:20:38 PM »
I've been looking at the two Whiteheads, last on the list.
James was born in 1865 to Springfield and Mary Ann at Stockbury. Springfield was himself born in 1825, and with such a distinctive name was easily found in Stockbury baptismal registers, giving his parents names as James and Sarah.

Harry was born in 1867 to Frederick and Annie, from Rumstead Court Cottage, Hucking. A bit of digging about and Frederick's parents were also James and Sarah, he being born in 1841.
So these two were cousins.

James had married, in 1885 in Newington to a Sarah Ann Barrett, both of that parish.
Harry married at Hucking 12th October 1889. Now this is exactly the right timing from the Ringers meeting at Stockbury for the required three Sundays reading of the Banns before their wedding. Could this have been the reason for the meeting?
Harry's bride was Emma Marie Barrett, the sister of Sarah Ann who married James. Both weddings had one of both brides cousins, Edward Barrett as a witness. Of interest was that Emma Marie was a witness to her sister's wedding, but she was a couple of weeks off her 15th birthday at the time. She was still only 19 when she married Harry.
The 1891 Census also revealed that Frederick Whitehead was still at Rumstead Court Cottage, and next door was John Barrett, the two brides father.
The Barretts came from Rodmersham, and the 1881 Census has three families in adjacent houses, each with a son called Alfred. Good luck unravelling that family tree!
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Offline MartinR

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Re: St Mary Magdalene's Church, Stockbury
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2021, 07:47:41 PM »
For ease of reference, particularly to John's research, I'm transcribing the names.
Ringers of the Parish 1889:
  • W Hales
  • W Alexander
  • J Hughes
  • W Hughes
  • J Clinch
  • H Pepper
  • C Hales
  • S Hales
  • R Hales
  • L Hales
  • C Seager
  • F Whitehead
  • H Whitehead
The four plaques:
  • John Shirley Hales aged 21 years 8 months
  • Charles Hales aged 26
  • Walter Alexander, Wheelwright aged 20 years
  • William Hughes aged 23 years 7 months

Offline johnfilmer

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Re: St Mary Magdalene's Church, Stockbury
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2021, 06:22:04 PM »
I had thought along similar lines Grandarog.


Who said zero hours contracts were new?
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Offline grandarog

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Re: St Mary Magdalene's Church, Stockbury
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2021, 03:37:49 PM »
I may be wrong and stand to be corrected if so.
As far as I am aware in the old jobs recorded on Censii ,an Agg Lab. was a floating Farm worker who was not directly in the employ of one Farmer with little security or continuity of work.
 A Farm Wkr. or Farm Lab. had a permanent position with a Farm and probably a tithe cottage that went with the job.

Offline johnfilmer

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Re: St Mary Magdalene's Church, Stockbury
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2021, 12:44:10 PM »
Meanwhile, back at Stockbury...

I've had a look at some of the records that these names produced. It has been (as my old business advisor used to love to say) a quick and dirty rather than a slow and deeply considered operation.
There are a couple of points that seem slightly odd, firstly the date, 19th September 1889, as I have already mentioned is a Thursday. Secondly I am pretty sure that some of them were no longer of that parish, so a meeting of some past as well as current ringers seems a possibility. Could this explain the excess of ringers over bells?
I checked the Stockbury parish registers for births, marriages and deaths associated with the meeting date, but found nothing obvious. However many young men would take brides from other parishes, so an impending wedding is more difficult to track.

With only an initial rather than a christian name some of the identities are really speculation, especially when there were so many of that family, such the Hales, Hughes and others. The W Hales at the top of the list would, I presume, be the most important person, and if William, he would have been 68 years old. If so he was father to Charles and John Shirley Hales, and their older brothers Robert and Lawrence, which fits the list. Maybe he was passing on leadership of the group?
Whenever I look at local records chasing after obscure forebears I usually find a Clinch in the mix, and there is a J Clinch. I think that he was John, born in Stockbury in 1872, married at Milton on Dec 24th 1898 to Rose Mount, and in 1901 was living in Mill lane, Borden, next door to a George and Rhoda Clinch, who had been witnesses at this marriage. A little puzzled by that address it turns out to be the A2 end of what is now Borden Lane. This puts him very close to Walter Alexander in Victoria Road, just around the end of the road.
Also of note is that Herbert Pepper eventually married one Minnie Clinch.
Most of the group are, like the usual rural worker, described as either agricultural labourer, or farm worker. An interesting distinction that may have lost its meaning. The terms are used repeatedly on the same Census page, so its unlikely to mean exactly the same at that time. Others are farmers, by which I presume they worked their land for themselves rather than for others.

C Seagar could have been Cephas Seagar, born 1859, and is listed as a Grocer. He lived next to the Vicarage.
So I have not found why a group of mainly young men were writing their names on the backs of the panelling on what I suspect was a September evening. The church is not in the village itself and a gloomy walk back home awaited.
I will revisit this in a while, I often find mistakes and ommisions on a subsequent review.
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Offline MartinR

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Re: St Mary Magdalene's Church, Stockbury
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2021, 12:24:20 PM »
(OT) A "grab" is a slightly dismissive term for a quick visit to a tower just to add it to your list of towers you've rung at.  More of a 20C phenomenon with the coming of motorised transport.  It's only churches with a ground-floor (or mezzanine) ring that you can really hear the bells (and then only if the blessed organist is kept under control).*  Upstairs ringing chambers are rarely heard or if so only quietly, the purpose of the bells is to announce to the world outside, not so much to those inside.

*You should ring by sound and not so much by sight.  There are blind ringers but no deaf ones!  I've rung from the ground floor for a wedding, and the striking was awful until the organist finished!

Offline johnfilmer

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Re: St Mary Magdalene's Church, Stockbury
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2021, 12:03:21 PM »
Not a ringer myself MartinR, but my late brother in law was first in Blisworth, Northamptonshire, then Winchcombe, Gloucestershire. I witnessed a couple of “away” ringings, were they called tower grabs?


His daughter rang with him and she still does, in and around Perth Australia. She was a guide to a tower there at one time. Her (English) partner is also a (serious) ringer.


As a choirboy many, many years ago we occasionally witnessed bell ringing practice, but avoided it if possible, too darn noisy! That was St Mary, Newington next Sittingbourne.
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Offline MartinR

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Re: St Mary Magdalene's Church, Stockbury
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2021, 10:34:09 AM »
Currently they have no practice night listed, bu then we are 140 years, two world wars and a couple of pandemics later!
Ringers are a sociable lot and often try to visit other towers.  Perhaps the four lads walked or cycled over from Sittingbourne for practice night, a trip to the pub and a down-hill/flat cycle back home.  Quite a nice evening out.
BTW John, are you a ringer?

Offline johnfilmer

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Re: St Mary Magdalene's Church, Stockbury
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2021, 09:20:36 AM »
19th September 1889 was Thursday. So unlikely to be a holiday.


Practice night? But with people who now lived elsewhere. So definitely something afoot.


More delving required.
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Offline MartinR

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Re: St Mary Magdalene's Church, Stockbury
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2021, 08:28:58 PM »
D'oh!  :-[

Offline johnfilmer

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Re: St Mary Magdalene's Church, Stockbury
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2021, 06:58:18 PM »
Sorry MartinR, I didn’t make it clear. Walter Alexander is a wheelwright by trade.


Aged 31 he lived at 19 Victoria Road, Sittingbourne/Milton. For those familiar with the area, it’s the road that runs up alongside the Coniston Hotel on the London Road. He was married at Stockbury in 1891, and has a son aged 3 and a daughter 1 at the 1901 Census.


John Shirley Hales was born in Stockbury in 1868, in 1901 he was still at home, a shoemaker. He later married in 1909.


I’ll do more later...
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Offline MartinR

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Re: St Mary Magdalene's Church, Stockbury
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2021, 04:16:34 PM »
Well if Wheelwright was 20 in 1889 the census should have him as 32.

Offline johnfilmer

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Re: St Mary Magdalene's Church, Stockbury
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2021, 02:04:44 PM »
Walter Alexander, Wheelwright, recorded as such 1901 Census at Victoria Road, Milton, born Stockbury.


I’ll check some others.
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