Thorley Articles in the Herts and Essex Observer



8 Jan 1910

Petty Sessions – Brothers in Trouble

Walter Hudgell, labourer, Spellbrook, was summoned for using obscene language at Spellbrook on Dec 27th. PC Hart stated that about 5.30 on the afternoon named defendant was in the London Road hooting and yelling. Witness requested him to desist and go away and he then used the language complained of. Defendant, who did not appear, was fined 10/- including costs. George Hudgell, labourer of Thorley, a brother of the last defendant, was summoned for a similar offence at Spellbrook on Saturday night last. PC Hart deposed that when he served the summons on the defendant in the last case, the present defendant made use of filthy language. There were several previous convictions and a fine of 15/- was imposed.


15 Jan 1910


Mr E Pelley presided at the Schools on Saturday evening at a meeting in support of the candidature of Sir John Rolleston for East Herts. The candidate after addressing the gathering replied to a number of questions put by Mr Harry Cox, and a resolution declaring for Sir John to be a fit and proper person to represent the constituency was carried.


22 Jan 1910

Herts Education Committee – Thorley School

On the recommendation of the Hertfordshire Divisional Sub-Committee, it was decided to expend £4 for the formation of a new path at the Thorley School.


5 Feb 1910

Petty Sessions – back to Gaol

George Hudgell, labourer, Thorley, was summoned for being drunk and disorderly in the Market Square, Bishop’s Stortford on the evening of the 17th January. PC Dolley proved the case and said the defendant used bad language, was very drunk, and refused to go away.  Supt Hassell stated that when defendant was brought to the Police Station on this charge he sent him to prison on a commitment warrant, and made this summons returnable for after his release. The magistrates sentenced defendant to a further 14 days hard labour.


5 March 1910

Bishop’s Stortford Urban District Council – Thorley Extension.

The General Purposes Committee presented a report dealing with the question of the Thorley extension as follows:

1.      That it had before it the question of the various works which it is considered expedient should be carried out in the extended area at South Mill, together with the question of the retention of the main roads therein, when the Order for the inclusion of such area into the Council’s district comes into operation. It also had before it a report from the Surveyor of the result of his interview with the County Surveyor on the subject. The Committee is of opinion that it is desirable the main roads should be under the control of the Urban District Council, and accordingly it suggests that the General Purposes Committee recommend the Council to resolve that it claim, pursuant to Section II(2) of the Local Government act 1888 to retain the powers and duties of repairing and maintaining the main roads within such extended area; that the necessary application be made for these powers accordingly, and that the County Council be asked to make an annual payment towards the cost of Maintenance and repair, on the basis of the existing agreement with them.

2.      The Committee further suggests that the General Purposes Committee recommend the Council to instruct the Surveyor to prepare the necessary plans, specifications and estimates of the cost of laying water mains, sewers and surface water drains in the extended area, and to submit the same to the Council for approval.

The report was confirmed on the motion of the Chairman (Mr JL Glasscock), seconded by Mr Sworder.


19 March 1910

Edmund Thomas Watts of Thorley standing as a candidate for Bishop’s Stortford Urban District Council. Occupation described as a Surveyor.


26 March 1910 p3

Thorley – Missions

On the 17th, a well attainder meeting on behalf of Foreign Missions was held in the Thorley Schoolroom. The chair was taken by Mr Edmund N Pelly of Twyford House, who in the course of his opening speech advocated warmly the cause of Foreign Missions. He then introduced to the meeting  the Rev E Cornfield, Organising Secretary of the Church Missionary Society for the Archdeaconary of ST Albans, and formerly a missionary in North India, who gave an address illustrated by lantern views of the work of the church in India. At the conclusion of his address the Rev JEI Procter proposed the usual vote of thanks. The collection realized £1/14/6d.


Thorley – Reading Room

A bagatelle tournament has just been concluded, the 1st prize being won by Alfred Lane and the 2nd by Arthur Hills.

The Church  looked very pretty on Easter Day. The east end and lectern were decorated by Miss Procter, the communion rails by Miss Ashwell and Mr Horace Newman, the reading desk was the work of Mrs G Patten, the font of Miss Pelley and the pulpit of Mr Kent. Several members of the congregation sent cut flowers for the decorations. The congregations were good at all the services, and the communicants numbered 121. The offertories amounted to £4/13/- and were given to the Sick and Needy Fund for the parish and to the Poor Beneficed Fund for the Diocese.

The Easter Vestry was held on Easter Monday. The Rev JEI Procter (Rector) again nominated Mr Pelly as Vicar’s Churchwarden, and Mr Newman was unanimously re-elected as the Parishioners’ Churchwarden.  Messers Streeter, G Patten, J Lawrence, W Evans, S Newman and R Newman were reappointed sidesmen. The churchwardens accounts were passed, and other matters usually transacted at the Easter Vestry dealt with. After the vestry, a meeting of churchwardens was held for the purpose of appointing 3 lay representatives of the parish to the Ruri-Deconal Conference, and Messers Pelly, Newman and Lawrence were appointed.

Concert. A very successful concert arranged by Miss Procter, Mrs Newman and Miss Mitchell was held in the Thorley School on Wednesday. There was a good and appreciative audience, and encores were numerous. The programme was as follows:

Pianoforte duet “Marche au Flambeaux” Miss Mitchell and Mrs W Newman

Mandolin solo “Les cloches des Cornville” Miss M Newman

Song (encored) “The Corporal’s Ditty” Mr Edwards

Recitation “The Revenge” Miss Pelly

Song “Magic Month of May” Miss Ashwell

Dialogie, Misses E and M Newman

Song (encored) “Two eyes of grey” Mr Hill

Song (encored) “The little Irish girl” Miss Mitchell

Mandolin Solo “Simple Avon” Miss M Newman

Song (encored) “My old Shako” Mr Edwards

Song with mandolin (encored) “Neopolitan Fishers Song” Misses D & M Newman

Recitation (encored) “The Pied Piper” Miss Pelly

Song (encored) “Ellen Vannin “ “ Isle of Man” Miss Burgess

Song “Songs of Araby” Mr Hill

Dialogue “Tittle, tattle” Misses E & M Newman.

At the conclusion the Rev JEI Procter thanked all those who had made the concert the success it proved. The proceedings terminated with the singing of the National Anthem.


9 April 1910 p3

London Over the Border – Canon Procter’s Devoted Work


28 May 1910 p2 col 4

Canon Procter’s Resignation

Canon Procter’s resignation of the rectory of Thorley and of the Secretaryship of the Bishop of St Alban’s Fund makes an opportunity, of which I will gladly avail myself, to express our gratitude for his invaluable and devoted services to our greatest diocesan effort, and I may express at the same time the affection and respect which he inspires in all who know him.  From the Arch-deaconal Visitation at Hertford by the Archdeacon of St Albans, Canon the Hon. Kenneth Gibbs.

p5 col 5

Thorley Empire Day

Empire Day was fittingly observed on Tuesday by the children attending the Thorley School. The children sang patriotic songs and saluted the flag.

The Memorial Service in Thorley Church on Friday, on the occasion of the King’s funeral, was very largely attended. The Rector (Rev JEI Procter) in his sermon on Sunday morning alluded to the great loss which the country and empire had sustained by the death of King Edward VII: he also spoke of some of the characteristics of the late king, namely his kindness of heart, his love of peace and his sense of duty – never more shown than in his last illness – which had won for him the affection and esteem of his subjects.


2 July 1910 p5 col 3

Death of Col. JH Vander Meulen. The death occurred at Mullion, Cornwall on Tuesday morning of Colonel John Harrison Vander Meulen, second son of the late Rev Frederick Vander Meulen, rector of Thorley, and brother of Admiral Vander Meulen RN of Hockerill. The deceased, who was 69 years of age, joined the army in 1859 and served for twenty years in the 50th and 35th Regiments. He saw service in the Ashanti War 1865. In 1879 he joined the Army Pay Department, and went through the Egyptian Campaign with the 50th  Regiment in 1882. He then, for ten years, undertook duties as District Pay Master at Preston and Kingston-on-Thames. Col Vander Meulen entered the Pay Department as captain with the rank of major, and retired as Lieut. Colonel about the year 1894. He had since lived in London and was spending a holiday in Cornwall when the end came with peaceful suddenness. The body was brought to Bishop’s Stortford on Wednesday evening, and has since rested at the residence of Admiral Vander Meulen. The funeral takes place at Thorley this (Saturday) afternoon, the cortege leaving the residence at 2.30.


9 July 1910 p5  col 6

Funeral of Col JH Van Der Meulen.  The funeral of  the late Colonel John Harrison Vander Meulen, second son of the late Rev F Vander Meulen, rector of Thorley, and brother of Admiral Vander Meulen RN of Hockerill, whose death was recorded last week, took place at Thorley on Saturday afternoon. The cortege left the residence of deceased’s brother shortly after 2 o’clock and proceeded to Thorley Church. The mourners included Admiral Vander Meulen (brother), Mr FA Vander Meulen (nephew), Colonel and Mrs Bax, Dr JE Morris, and among others who attended were Mr and Mrs Marshall Taylor, Mrs Procter, Messrs E Pelly and F Newman (churchwardens), Mr J Lawrence, Miss Lawrence, Mr WE Duckworth Clavering Hall, Mr John Barker, Mr Simpson, Mr Matthews (from Admiral Vander Meulen’s King’s Cottages) and the servants from Admiral Vander Meulen’s residence. As the coffin was borne into the church, Miss Procter, who presided at the organ, played Mendelssohn’s “O rest in the Lord”. The service was conducted by the Rector (Rev JEI Procter), the lesson being read by the Rev Dr Irving (vicar of All Saints Hockerill). During the service the hymns “On the resurrection morning” and “A few more years shall roll” were sung, whilst as the mourners were about to leave the church the choir chanted the Nunc Dimittis. At the graveside the Rev Canon Procter (late rector of Thorley) performed the last rites. The coffin was of polished oak, and bore the inscription “John Harrison Vander Meulen, died 28th June 1910, aged 69 years.”

Floral tributes were sent by the following: “With the fondest love, Admiral Vander Meulen RN”; “With sympathy and regret from Admiral Vander Meulen’s servants”; Colonel and Mrs W Ironside Bax, Tangier Park “In loving remembrance from Evelyn, Muriel and Olive”; Mrs Manet (sister); and Mr Charles Neate.

p3  col 2

Bishop’s Stortford Urban District Council

Motor Speed Limit and Other Matters

Report of a discussion about the dangerous corner next to Mr Watts house – this is London Road Thorley at the South Mill corner. The limit suggested was 10 mph.

MR WATTS  There is the additional point on the south side of your boundary. I have wondered people have not been killed at that point many time. It is awfully dangerous.

MR SWORDER  You mean just against your house?


MR KENT  You have to bear in mind that there is a long span of raod before you reach there.

MR WATTS  But there is a nasty turning

MR KENT  If you take the road from the maltings you have a perfectly straight road as far as your house.

MR SWORDER  On the back road you might perhaps have gone for the ten mile limit from the railway bridge at Hockerill to Mr Watts’ house.

MR WATTS  It is a very dangerous spot.

MR SWORDER  I don’t know what the custom has been in other towns

MR KENT  Our chairman has seen it in force in other towns, and he thought it not wise to go to extremes.

MR WATTS  There are about a hundred houses down at that corner, and a great number of children are constantly out in the road – a great number. I really think that if you see your way clear to do so it would be well to get the point protected.

MR SWORDER  You refer to the back road

MR WATTS  Yes, the Hockerill Road

MR SWORDER  The Newmarket and London traffic is all on that road.

MR HOLLAND  It is just a question as to whether that point could not be protected by notice.

MR KENT  There is no doubt that you get a very heavy traffic on the road on Sundays; I don’t think you have traffic equal to that in any other part of the town.

MR WATTS  The children congregate there, on a small green.

MR SWORDER  And they cannot see a car until it gets on to them

MR KENT  If that is the feeling, I think as Chairman of the Committee, we might include the extra road. If it won’t go through we shall have to consider when it comes back to the Council.

P2  col 2

South Mill Transfer

The clerk of Hadham District Council reported receiving a cheque for £10 from Bishop’s Stortford Urban District Council for the water mains in the South Mill portion of Thorley Parish, which had been transferred to BS UDC, and had paid the same to Mr Watts to whom the pipes belonged.


30 July p5  col 3


On Saturday Henry Camp of Thorley was thrown out of a trap near Thorley, his wrist , his wrist being dislocated. His injury was treated at the Hospital.


6 August 1910 p5 col 1

Alarm of Fire

On Friday evening much excitement was prevalent in the town when a rumour that Twyford House was on fire circulated. The fire engine with a full complement of men under Chief Officer Lee dashed off to the scene, but on arrival found that their services were not required. It seems that the alarm was given by Dr Dockray (chairman of the Fire Brigade Committee of the Urban District Council) in order to test the efficiency of the brigade. In 15 minutes after the call the engine was in position and everything in readiness for the commencement of operations. Subsequently Dr Dockray stated that the turnout was most satisfactory. Just about the time the brigade arrived at Twyford House  a serious accident was narrowly averted in the lane. A horse and wagonette was in the road, when something seemed to have gone wrong with one of the reins, and the animal commenced to turn and gallop off. PC Burt however threw himself at the horse’s head and succeeded in turning it into a low wall upon the top of which wire was stretched. The animal got its forefeet over the wall and through the wire and before it could be released the wire had to be cut. Beyond a portion of the wall being broken down no damage was done. But for PC Burt’s smartness the horse would in all probability have dashed into a large crowd, which was following the engine. A serious accident was undoubtedly averted by his courage and promptness.

p5  col 5

Arthur Porter and Bertie Warwick, labourers of Bishop’s Stortford, were summoned for trespassing in search of game at Thorley on July 18th. Ernest Felgate, gamekeeper to Mr F Taylor said that about 7.45pm on Monday July 18th he was standing by a fence belonging to Mr Patten of Thorley Wash, when he saw the defendants walking along the footpath with a dog. They put the dog through the fence, which it hunted, and also for a distance of 300 or 400 yards into the adjoining field. The defendants then searched another fence further along. Witness asked the defendant Warwick of the dog was his and he admitted it was, but afterwards denied it. Defendants said the dog did not run anything – they were standing on the road. The bench dismissed the case with a caution.


20 August 1910 p5  col 4

Urban District Council  -  Roads at South Mill

An account of the agreement with Herts County Council for the maintenance of the main roads at South Mill


3 September 1910 p2  col 2

Urban District Council

Making of Main Roads. All main roads in the district are made of granite except the last road taken over – viz. Twyford Lane, Thorley.

Other Highway Matters. Speaking on the reconstruction of the bridges, Mr  Kent said the object of the committee with regard to the bridge at South Mill was to prevent flooding.

p5 col 3

A broken arm. Edward Saban, labourer, of South Mill was on Saturday proceeding to his home on a lorry from Sawbridgeworth, where he had been engaged on the sewerage works, when he slipped and fell and sustained a broken arm.


17 September 1910 p5 col 5

Revision Court. Mr Theobald Mathew, Revising Barrister, held a court at the George Hotel on 10 September 1910 for the purpose of revising the voters’ lists for Bishop’s Stortford, ……….. Thorley and Widford. It is estimated that the Bishop’s Stortford list has increased by about 150 voters, this being largely due to the merging of the South Mill portion of Thorley in the Urban area.

 p7 col 3

Drainage works at South Mill. Work to be done in the area at South Mill acquired from Thorley.


1 October 1910 p8  col 3

Thorley – Harvest Festival.

The Harvest Festival was held at Thorley  on Sunday. The Church looked exceedingly pretty. The East End and lectern were decorated by Miss Procter; the communion rails by Mrs Newman, Miss Mitchell and Miss Ashwell; the pulpit by Miss Streeter and Miss Taylor; the reading desk by Mrs G Patten and Miss Lane; the font by Mrs Streeter and Miss Patience Streeter; the windows by Mrs Waterman and Miss Burgess; and the porch by Mrs Watson and Miss Florence Bird. The following also assisted in the decorations – Mrs Akers, Mrs I Clark, Mrs Hall, Mrs G Harris, Mrs W Waterman, Mrs John Watts and Miss R Reed.

The sermon in the morning was preached by the Rector (Rev JEI Procter), Canon Procter was the preacher in the afternoon, and in the evening a very striking sermon was preached by the Rev T Given-Wilson, vicar of St Mary’s, Plaistow. The congregations were very good at all the services, especially in the evening, when many additional seats had to be brought in. The thank-offerings throughout the festival amounted to £15.16s.9d and will be divided between the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, the Herts Convalescent Home and the Bishop’s Stortford Hospital.


15 October 1 p2 col 1-3

Thorley – Annual Ploughing Matches

Report of an event held on a field at Castle Farm Thorley occupied by Mr F Bird. Competitions started at 8.00am. Lunch at 1.30pm was provided by Mr GS Streeter in a large marquee in an adjoining field, followed by toasts and speeches. The competition results are given for: setting out roots; setting up sheaves; harvesting with binder; stacking without elevator; stacking with elevator; thatching; milking; ploughing; hedging and ditching; land draining; horses.

p3 col 4

Urban District Council  Lighting the Thorley District

The clerk stated that the manager of the Gas Works had sent a message that afternoon that the gas lamps were lighted at Thorley for the first time on Monday evening.

p5 col 2

Thorley Lamps. The new gas lamps which have recently been erected in the South Mill and Thorley district were lighted for the first time on Monday night. This much needed improvement is greatly appreciated by residents.


22 October 1910 p5 col 3

Narrow Escape. On Sunday, ER Waterman, son of Mr EC Waterman, was walking near the Green Man, Thorley, when he was knocked down by a motor car. It seems that he was on his right side of the road when he noticed a motor car, which it is alleged was being driven in a very careless manner, coming in the opposite direction on the wrong side of the road. Before Mr Waterman could get out of the one of the wheels of the car caught his leg and he fell.          The driver did not pull up but continued on his way. Mr Waterman, who was bruised, being unable to obtain the number of the car.


12 November 1910 p6 col 5

Bishop’s Stortford Urban District Council – Water Supply in South Mill District.  The Inspector of Nuisances stated that he had received complaints that the supply of water from the pumps to certain houses in the Thorley District was really very bad indeed, and he therefore asked permission to take samples. Dr Dockray asked whether they would not come under the new scheme. The surveyor replied in the affirmative, but said they could not do anything till it was in force. The matter was referred to the Committee.


26 November 1910 p2 col 3

Bishop’s Stortford Urban District Council – Water Supply at South Mill.

Mr Watts said he would like to mention that the laying on of the town water to some of the houses at South Mill was very much appreciated.

p8 col 6

Thorley – Entertainment

A successful entertainment arranged by Miss Burgess was given in the Thorley School on Friday. The performers were for the most part children attending the Thorley School, and very well they discharged their various parts, thanks to the careful training they had received at the hands of Miss Burgess. There was a good and appreciative audience and the encores were numerous. The programme was as follows:

Part Song O who will o’er the Downs

Morris Dances, by the girls

Song (encored) The Minstrel Boy Mabel Wootten

Action songs by the infants and older girls (modern BoPeep and nursery rhymes)

Song (encored) The King’s Own Miss Burgess

Humourous Song Off to Philadelphia Horace Turner

Song (encored) When Jack and I were children Miss Chandler

Song (encored) The Skipper Mr Fysh

Part Song A Canadian Boat Song

Musical Tableaux, by the girls

Song The Biter Bit  Miss Chandler

Song Mr Fysh

Recitation A Kitten’s Complaint Charlie Flack

Song Mighty Like  a Rose Miss Burgess

Duet  Maying Miss Chandler and Mr Fysh

Songs by the “Thorley Blackbirds”.

At the conclusion the Rev JEI Procter thanked all the performers and all others who, in their various ways, had contributed to the success of the evening. The proceedings terminated with the singing of the National Anthem. The proceeds, which amounted to £4.2s, are to go towards a fund for buying a piano for the school.


17 December 1910 p4 col 7

Bishop’s Stortford Confirmation

A confirmation service at St Michael’s Church conducted by the Bishop of Barking included 12 male and 4 female candidates from Thorley.


31 December 1910 p8 col 1

Thorley. Reading Room

A bagatelle tournament has just been concluded. The first prize, given by Miss Death, was won by Mr Watson, and the second, given by the Rev JEI Procter, by Mr Arthur Gilson.

Christmas at the Church              

The Church looked very pretty on Christmas Day. The East End and lectern were decorated by Miss Procter, the communion rails by Miss Mitchell, the reading desk by the Misses Lane, the pulpit by Mr Kent and the font by Mr Baldrey. The following also took part in the decoration – Mrs Akers, Mrs Isaac Clark, Mrs Hall and Mrs George Harris. The collections on Christmas Day were on behalf of the Coal and Clothing Clubs of the parish and amounted to £4.1s.10d

School Treat

On Thursday in last week the children attending the Thorley School had their Christmas Treat. The tea was provided by Mrs Hartigan and Mrs Procter. Later the children gave an excellent entertainment, which afforded great pleasure to their parents and others who were present. The following was the programme:

Pianoforte duet The Robin’s Lullaby Florence North and May Kent

Action song Christmastime the elder children (chorus of flower girls, organ-grinders and shoe blacks}, soloists Gwen Chappell, Mabel Wootten and Harry Prior

Recitation The Baby’s Stocking Charlie Flack

Action Songs The Modern BoPeep and Nursery Rhymes Update  by the Infants and Standard 1 and 2

Carol The First Nowell parents and children

Anthem Suffer the little children Older children

Carol Carol, carol gaily Infants and Standard 1

Song Nigh Two Thousand Years Ago Mabel Wootten

Recitation The Legend of the Christmas Roses Katie Wootten

Song and Chorus The Children’s Vesper Gwendoline Chappell & infants

Song and Chorus See amid the winter's snow Edward Threadgold & full chorus

Carol Hugh Harris and Edward Threadgold

Carol Softly the night is sleeping small and full chorus.

Then the prizes given by the County Council for good attendance at the day school were presented, and gifts were also given to those who had been regularly present at the Sunday School, and to those who had done their best in the scripture examination in the day school. The Rector (the Rev JEI Procter) on behalf of those present thanked Miss Burgess and Miss Potts for the trouble they had taken in arranging the entertainment. The proceedings terminated with the singing of the National Anthem.

Return to Thorley Articles