Thorley Articles in the Herts and Essex Observer



20 January 1917 p5 col 4

Thorley Treat  Last Saturday afternoon Mr and Mrs Streeter gave an excellent treat to the children attending the Sunday and Day school and also to members of the Girls’ Friendly Society. After tea a capital entertainment was given by the Misses Streeter and Masters Thomas, John and George Streeter, which afforded great pleasure to all present. At the conclusion of the entertainment the Rector (Rev JEI Procter) thanked Mr and Mrs Streeter and their family for their kindness. The proceeding terminated with the singing of the National Anthem.


27 January 1917 p5 col 4

Death of the Rev Canon Procter  Widespread regret has this week been occasioned by the news of the death of the Rev Canon John Mathias Procter MA, late rector of Thorley, which occurred at Thorley rectory (the residence of his son) on Monday night. The deceased clergyman had lived in retirement for some years, his health rarely permitting him to leave Thorley, or latterly his house, and the end was not altogether unexpected, as he was in his 82nd year.

The late Canon Procter was the second son of Mr Edward Procter, solicitor, of Macclesfield, and was born on September 7th 1835. He was educated at Macclesfield Grammar School and Trinity College Oxford where he took second class in Classical Moderations in 1856, and second class Lit. Hum. In 1858. In the following year he was elected a fellow of Jesus College Oxford and in the same year was ordained Deacon in the parish church of Cuddesdon, by Bishop Wilberforce. In 1860 he was ordained priest in Christchurch Cathedral. After taking temporary charge of the parishes of North Rode and Gawsworth, he accepted in 1862 the curacy of Aldborough Hatch and Barkingside, Essex offered him by the Rev WFE Knollys, who was afterwards appointed Hon Canon of Canterbury, and who two years later he was appointed to succeed as vicar. In the same year he married Marion Marden, the only daughter of the late  Mr Samuel Mitchell, of Great Newbury Ilford, who survives him and by whom he had two sons, the Rev JEI Procter (the present rector of Thorley), the Rev Francis Henry Procter (Vicar of Kings Walden, near Hitchin) and a daughter, Miss Procter. About the same time he was also appointed  Honorary Secretary of the Church Extension Society, known as the Barking Church Union and when three years later the “London-over-the-Borders Fund” passed from the Diocese of London into that of Rochester he became Honorary Secretary of the Bishop of Rochester’s Fund, and subsequently in 1877, on the creation of the new diocese of St Albans, undertook the Honorary Secretaryship of the Bishop of St Alban’s Fund. In 1879 he was appointed to the Rectorship of Laindon with Basildon, Essex, where he remained rather more than four years, during which time he rebuilt Laindon church, and also restored Basildon church. In 1882 he was appointed Honorary Canon of St Albans, and at the time of his death was second in seniority. It was early in 1883 that he came to work at Thorley, where he spent the remainder of his days. He resigned the living in 1909, owing to increased age and failing eyesight, and was succeeded by his son, the present rector. His chief work – indeed almost his life’s work – was in connection with the “London-over-the-Border Fund” to which he devoted all his strength for close upon forty eight years, and of a token of the remarkable services of a remarkable man he was in 1902 presented with a large and beautifully painted portrait of himself, which bore the inscription “Presented to the Rev Canon Procter in recognition of his unwearied labours as Honorary Secretary for the Bishop of St Alban’s Fund etc for forty years – July 1902”. He continued to faithfully discharge the duties of this office until 1910, when the occasion of his retirement from the living of Thorley and honorary secretaryship of the fund was marked by several presentations. His own parishioners gave him a silver inkstand together with an illuminated address and a cheque, and his many friends in the neighbouring town of Bishop’s Stortford, where he was also held in the greatest and truest respect, gave him a silver salver and a cheque. The salver was inscribed “Presented to the Rev Canon Procter with a cheque for £100 on his resigning the rectorship of Thorley, Herts by friends outside his parish, as a mark of their appreciation of the good work he has done – Nov 1st 1909”. This presentation was made in St Michael’s Parish Room by the then Lord Lieutenant of the county, the late Earl of Clarendon. He was also made a recipient of a service of plate, together with a cheque, by the Diocese. A striking tribute to his unfailing and valuable services to the Bishop of St Albans Fund was set out in the thirty third annual report of the fund in 1910, which read: “The retirement of Canon Procter from the post of hon secretary marks the close of a long and very important period in the history of the church in London-over-the-Border. From the time when as Vicar of Barkingside, nearly half a century ago, he was one of the founders of the Church Extension Association in the Barking Deaneries, through the period when those deaneries were severed from London and added to the Diocese of Rochester, during which time he served as Hon Secretary of the Bishop of Rochester’s Fund, and on through thirty two years since the foundation of the See of St Albans, his connection with the Church in London-over-the-Border has been so close and intimate that his withdrawal from active work has left a gap which no words can describe.  To set down “all that he has been to, and done, for the fund” to quote the language of the Council, is not possible within the limits of a few lines. To do so at all adequately would be to write the history of these fifty years of church extension in London-0ver-the-Border, and even then there would be something wanting, the indescribable influence of his personality. The regret that is felt by all who are in any way connected with church work in London-over-the-Border is tempered by the thought of how closely he is still connected with the work of the fund. During the difficult year that has passed it is impossible to exaggerate the help that has come from the wealth of his experience and the sagacity of his counsel.” Even the records fail to adequately convey the enormous stimulus his efforts had on meeting the spiritual demands of the ever increasing population in that district, but it is indeed interesting to note that during his long association with the fund he was mainly instrumental in the raising of over half a million pounds, the income ranging from £2282/11/6d in 1878, when the fund was taken over by the Bishop of St Albans, to £25670/15/7d in 1909. About three years ago he Canon Procter was appointed by the Bishop of Chelmsford a vice president of the “London-over-the-Border” Church Fund (late Bishop of St Alban’s Fund) in recognition of his long and devoted labours as hon.secretary. The deceased clergyman was also Rural Dean of Bishop’s Stortford from 1892 to 1904, and from 1895 to 1906 he represented the Diocese of St Albans as Procter in the Lower House of Convocation for the Province of Canterbury. He was also for many years a member of the Bishop’s Standing Council and also of the St Albans Diocesan Conference. From 1882 to 1893 he acted as Honorary Secretary  to the St Albans Diocesan Suffragan Bishopric Fund and it was largely through his influence that Trinity College Oxford (his old college) founded its mission at Stratford in 1888. In parochial affairs of Thorley he was for many years the representative of the parish on the Bishop’s Stortford Board of Guardians, and the Rural Council. In 1906 he was elected an Honorary Governor for Life of the British and Foreign Bible Society, an institution on which he took a very deep interest. He was also a vice-president of the Additional Curates Society.

The late Canon Procter died, as he had lived his noble life, a quiet unassuming personality, beloved by all who knew him. His good work in the parish and the neighbourhood is recognized by all, and his little village church congregations always included some from outside his own parish whom his charm of manner and speech did much to attract. Canon Procter’s memory will indeed live.

The funeral was fixed to take place today (Friday) at Thorley Churchyard at 2.15.


2 February 1917 p2 col 6

Bishop of St Alban’s tribute to the late Rev Canon Procter.  The Bishop of St Albans, in the latest issue of the Diocesan Gazette refers to the death of the late Rev Canon Procter as follows: “The death at Thorley Rectory, Herts on January 22nd of Canon Procter, the father of the fund now known as the “London-over-the-Border” Church Fund, will awaken feelings of praise and thankfulness rather than of sorrow. It was a beautiful end of a beautiful life, and the whole Diocese of St Albans will feel it as an honour that such a man was one of its clergy and its Honorary Canons. He had reached advanced years, and had done his life’s work, and it touches me to think that he should have entered in to rest so soon after his friend, Mr David Howard, who was associated with him in all his “London-over-the-Border” work. But those who remember that a population which will certainly reach a million at the 1921 census, has grown up rapidly in what was until 1914 the Dioceses of St Albans, and that Canon Procter was the real founder and leader of the great effort that the Church of England has made to win that vast population for Christ, and will think of the unwearied toil, and thought and prayer that he spent for long years on this one thing, the extension of the Kingdom of God in far East London will thank God that such a man has lived. I cannot believe that he ever made an enemy. The number of those whose spiritual life is largely due to his life will never be known on earth.”


3 February 1917 p3 col 2

Funeral at Thorley of the late Rev Canon Procter.  Amid manifestations of sympathy and respect the funeral of the late Rev Canon JM Procter of Thorley took place on Friday afternoon in the little churchyard of the parish in which he so devotedly laboured for many years. The day was bitterly cold, which undoubtedly prevented many who would otherwise have attended from being present, but the church was full, a large number of the parishioners of Thorley paying their last tribute of respect to one who was beloved by all. The Bishop of St Albans was unable to be present owing to indisposition, and the Dean of Windsor (a lifelong friend of the late Canon) was also prevented from attending for similar reasons. The procession was met at the church gates by the officiating clergy, the Bishop of Barking (Dr Stevens), Canon Bayne (who eventually succeeded the deceased as secretary to “London-over-the-Border” church fund), the Rev HT Lane (vicar of St Michael’s, Bishop’s Stortford and Rural Dean of Bishop’s Stortford), the Rev JG Geare (Rector of Farnham and Rural Dean of Stansted), the Rev CL White (vicar of Holy Trinity, Bishop’s Stortford) and the churchwardens of Thorley (messrs F Newman and L Frere), and the coffin was taken to the chancel. It bore the inscription:”John Mathias Procter, Hon Canon of St Albans, died January 22nd 1917, aged 81 years.”

The immediate mourners were the Rev JEI Procter (Rector of Thorley), the Rev FH Procter (Vicar of Kings Walden), sons; and Miss Procter (daughter).  The first part of the service was conducted by Canon Bayne, and the lesson read by the Rev HT Lane. Two of the deceased favourite hymns  “Jesu, lover of my soul” (193 A&M) and “Abide with me” (27 A&M) were sung, a full choir being present, and the organist (Miss Eccles) played suitable music as the coffin was brought in and taken from the church. The interment was made in a plain earth grave, lined with evergreens and flowers, and situated near the entrance gate. The committal portion of the service was read by the Bishop of Barking.

Among those present at the church and graveside in addition to the churchwardens were Messrs WA Evans, R Newman, J Lawrence, GS Streeter, G Patten and D Patten (sidesmen), Mrs GS Streeter, Mrs F Newman, Mrs Patten, Dr Hartigan, Mr FS Young (headmaster Bishop’s Stortford College), Mr ET Watts, Mr AT Watts, Mr F and Miss Bird, Mr H Cox, Mr F Alford, Mr and Mrs G Watson, Mr D Reed, Dr Dockray (Bishop’s Stortford), Mr J Patten, Mr J Nicholls (Bishop’s Stortford) and Mr CH Pincher (Bishop’s Stortford).

Beautiful floral tributes were laid on the grave bearing the following inscriptions:

“from his loving wife and children”

“with much sympathy from all at Kings Walden vicarage”

“from Ellen, Arthur and Mary”

“from Ethal and Florence”

“with deepest sympathy from all at Kings Waldenbury”

“with affectionate sympathy from Mr and Mrs Laurie Frere, Miss Frere and Miss Ursula Frere”

“in remembrance, Mr and Mrs GS Streeter”

“with Dr and Mrs Hartigan’s and Miss Hartigan’s sincere regret and heartfelt sympathy”

“In remembrance. With deepest sympathy, Miss Lawrence, Miss S Lawrence and Mr J Lawrence”

“From Mrs Lane and Mrs George Patten”

“with deepest sympathy from Mr and Mrs ET Watts and family”

“with deepest sympathy from Mr and Mrs J Bertram Bull”

“In loving and grateful remembrance from EA Ardley – so He giveth His beloved sleep”

“In affectionate remembrance and with great regret, from Mary, Jessie and Gertrude Nutter”

“in affectionate remembrance of a true friend, from Mrs JED Patten and sons”

“In remembrance of a dear kind pastor and friend, Mr and Mrs D Reed and family”

“A tribute of sympathy and respect from the church wardens and sidesmen of St James, Thorley”

“with respectful sympathy from the organist and choir”

“with deepest sympathy and respect from the members of the Mission Room”

“with deepest sympathy from the staff and scholars of Thorley CC School”

“Much sympathy. Principal and staff Hockerill Training College”

“With deepest respect – Thy will be done”

The services at Thorley church on Sunday were taken both morning and afternoon by the Rev Canon Bayne, who made touching reference to the life of deceased, most particularly in regard to his long services on behalf of “London-over-the-Borders Fund:. The Rector took part in the afternoon service. The “Dead March in Saul” was played at the close of the morning service, and both morning and afternoon several favourite hymns of deceased were sung. These were: “On the resurrection morning”, “Peace, perfect peace”, “As with gladness”, “Let saints on earth in concert sing”, “The King of love”. And “Alleluia, songs of sweetness”.


17 February 1917 p5 col 1

Parish Share for Thorley = £13.


24 February 1917 p5 col 2

Bishop’s Stortford – At a Meeting  held at Twyford House on February 16th an address on “War Savings” was given by the Rev J Antrobus. It was decided to form a “Thorley War Savings Association” and twenty two people gave in their names for membership. The secretary is Mrs L Frere, who will be glad to give any information and to welcome anyone who wishes to join the Association.


1 April 1917 p5 col 6

Thorley. The Easter Vestry  was held on Tuesday when the Rev JEI Procter nominated Mr Laurie Frere as Rector’s churchwarden. Mr Newman, who has already held the office for 31 years, was unanimously re-elected parishioners’ churchwarden. Messrs GS Streeter, J Lawrence, G Patten, W Evans, D Patten and R Newman were reappointed sidesmen. The churchwardens’ accounts were passed and other matters usually transacted at the Easter Vestry were dealt with. The rector thanked the churchwardens, the sidesmen, the organist, the choir and the bellringers for their services during the past year.

Easter at the Church – In spite of the scarcity of flowers the church was beautifully decorated for the Easter festival. The east end was decorated by Miss Procter: the pulpit and lectern by Miss Parience Streeter, the prayer desk by Mrs G Patten and Miss Lane, and the font by the Misses Frere. Several members  of the congregation sent cut flowers. The congregations were good, especially at the morning service, and there were a large number of communicants. The Rev JEI Procter (Rector) officiated at all the services. The offertory, which was on behalf of the St Albans Diocesan Board of Finance, amounted to £8/10/2d. The Lenten savings boxes for the Church Army for providing huts for our soldiers in France realized £9/3/5d.


28 April 1917 p5 col 4

Thorley. In response to an appeal made by the rector (the Rev JEI Procter) for eggs for our wounded soldiers in hospital, 456 eggs were brought to the church on Sunday last.


5 May 1917 p6 col 2

Thorley – War Savings Association

The association now numbers 128 members and has invested £228/12/6d.


23 June 1917 p5 col 2

Thorley War Savings Association

This association now numbers 156 members and has invested £335/11/6d.

Visit of the Bishop. The Bishop of St Albans visited Thorley on Sunday, and preached at the morning service, taking as his text 1 St John iii.14. There was a crowded church and a large number of communicants. The collection, which was on behalf of the sum which the parish is asked to raise for diocesan purposes, amounted to £3/13/3d.


30 June 1917 p6 col 1

Thorley – Bishop’s Stortford Hospital Saturday July 7th. House to house collection. All can help this Deserving Institution.


7 July 1917 p

Mr and Mrs GF Trigg of 38 Twyford Road wish to thank all kind friends for the many enquiries in their recent anxiety. (Mr Trigg is chief clerk in the goods department at the railway station).  [Their son is a POW]


14 July 1917 p5 col2

Thorley – Bishop’s Stortford Hospital Saturday.  Thorley raised £4/14/7d via Mrs GS Streeter.


4 August 1917 p5 col 1

Bishop’s Stortford – Death of Mr ET Watts.

The death occurred at his residence Tynewydd, South Mill in the early hours of Tuesday morning of Mr Edmund Thomas Watts, who was well known throughout a wide district. The second son of the late Mr John Watts of Colty, Bridgend, Glamorgan, the deceased came to live in this neighbourhood many years ago, and for forty four years held the appointments of Surveyor and Sanitary Inspector to the Hadham and Stansted Rural District Councils, and to the old Rural Sanitary Authority which preceded them, the duties of which offices he assiduously discharged. Until recent years he took but little part in local affairs but in 1910 came forward and was elected a member of the Urban District Council, and was a regular attendant at the meetings, while he always evinced the liveliest interest in the proceedings. His death creates a vacancy on the council. Deceased was a member of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, the Royal Housing and Sanitary Association, and the Incorporated Association of Municipal and Sanitary Engineers. His death occurred after quite a brief illness. Deceased was 70 years of age and leaves a widow, son and two daughters, with whom the greatest sympathy is felt. The funeral was arranged to take place at Thorley Churchyard this (Friday) afternoon.


11 August 1917 p2 col 6

Funeral of the late Mr ET Watts

The funeral of the late Mr ET Watts of Tynewydd, South Mill whose death we reported in our last issue, took place at Thorley Churchyard on Friday afternoon, amid many manifestations of respect. The remains were encased in a coffin of oak with brass furniture, and the plate bore the inscription “EDMUND THOMAS WATTS, died July 31st 1917, age 70”. The service was conducted by the Rector (Rev JEI Procter) and the Rev W Pennington-Buckford, Rector of St Clement Danes, Strand, and Miss Procter presided at the organ.

The immediate mourners were: Mr AT Watts (son); Miss Watts, Miss D Watts (daughters); Mrs ET Watts (niece); Mr EA Price Jones (cousin); Mrs Pennington Bickford; Mr Pryke; Mr EHC Baker; Nurse Goodwin; Nurse Copeland; Mrs Pask and Mr R Pask. Among those also present at the church and the graveside were: Messrs S Edwards (chairman) and H Kent, H Cox and J Brazier (members) and Mr RS Scott (surveyor) representing the Bishop’s Stortford Urban District Council; Messrs JS Symons and W Moore (representing the Hadham Riral District Council); Messrs JH Rowe (chairman), C Hicks (road surveyor) representing the Stansted District Council; Mr AG Gwynn (clerk to the Rural District Councils); Dr RA Dunn (medical officer to the Rural District Councils); Mr ER Riches (clerk to the Stansted Parish Council); Mr HD Field (Relieving Officer, Stansted); Dr WF Haynes and Messrs Bryan Nockalds, F Harvey, AJ Page, EA Markwell, D Robinson, J Day, F Newman, HG Featherby, E Hayter, Reynolds, F Bird, F Chapman, W Perry and W Edwards.

Many floral tributes were laid upon the grave, bearing the following inscriptions:

“In loving remembrance of my dear husband, from his sorrowing wife”

“In loving memory of a good, kind father from his sorrowing children Jenny, Alban and Dolly”

“With deepest sympathy, from Ernest, Kate and the little ones”

“With much grief from Aunt Emily”

In affectionate and most grateful remembrance from M & W Rainford and HH Watts”

“With sincere sympathy, from Pryke and Palmer”

“With heartfelt sympathy, from WM Pryke and family”

“With sincere sympathy and kindest remembrance, from Mr and Mrs AJ Page”

“A token of sincere regret, from Mr and Mrs GL Thurgood”

“In kindest remembrance, from Lieut. CJ Thurgood, RGA”

“With deepest sympathy and loving remembrance, from Alban and Lily”

“In devoted remembrance of our kind master, from H Chapman, W Perry, W Edwards”

“With deepest sympathy, from Mr and Mrs D Robinson, Stansted”
“With deepest sympathy and great respect from the tenants of Theodora Villas, Hugh Villas and Thorley Terrace”

“With deepest sympathy from all at Hazelton (Applegate family)”

“With deepest sympathy from Mr and Mrs Hayter”

“With fondest love, from little Kathleen”

:With deepest sympathy, from the Matron”

“With the Rev and Mrs JWB Haslam’s sincere sympathy”

“The Hadham Rural District Council, with much sympathy”

“With sincere sympathy, from the members of the Stansted Parish Council”
“The Stansted Rural District Council, with much sympathy”

“With deepest sympathy, from Mr and Mrs AG Gwynn”

“In affectionate and grateful memory of our dear old family friend, from the Rector of St Clement Danes and Louie Pennington-Bickford”

“With sincere sympathy, from Mr and Mrs HG Featherby”.

p5 col 3

Patriotic Meeting at Thorley.

A well attended Patriotic Meeting was held in the Thorley School on Saturday evening last. The Rev JEI Procter, as chairman of the Parish Council, presided. The following resolution, proposed by Mr L Frere, seconded by Mr GS Streeter and supported by Dr Hartigan, was unanimously carried: “That at this, the third anniversary of the declaration of a righteous war, this meeting of the citizens of Thorley records its inflexible determination to continue to a victorious end the struggle in maintenance of those ideals of liberty and justice which are the common and sacred cause of the Allies.”

Mr L Frere, in the course of his speech, remarked that the Prime Minister said in parliament the other day, when they were wrangling over the past, that he wanted to get on with the war, and they were there that night at Thorley to help him in a small way to do so. Some of them might wonder if there was any use in the people of Thorley holding a meeting. They were all small people and not of much account, but if one took thousands or millions of people like themselves one got the British Empire, and this, if ever there was one, was a war of the people, and they could not carry it on unless the people were with them. What was our army today? It was not a small army of professional soldiers; it was the whole of the able-bodied manhood of the country. There could hardly be a household in the country that had not some connection with the Army, and in most a cases a very close and dear connection, and those who were left behind, men and women, were mostly engaged in some work connected . with the war. It was a people’s war and they were there that they might tell to the world and out enemies in particular that as far as the people of Thorley were concerned they were prepared to do and bear anything that their leaders might ask in order that the War might be brought to a satisfactory conclusion. Perhaps it was well to enquire if there was any truth in the statement that we were waging an aggressive war. He did not trouble himself about documents and secret meetings. It was hard when at war to see things clearly, but one fact stood out and could not be denied. We were not ready for war. We had no army as armies are reckoned today, and if one intended to spoil one’s neighbour he would certainly see that he had the means of doing so. Germany was ready. Within a few hours of declaring war her army was in Belgium: she had men, guns and shells and the means of making them all ready, guns such as no other nation had thought of using in field warfare. There was one other question. What were we going to gain, supposing we were victorious, commensurate with the enormous sacrifice in life and treasure? Nothing that he could see except the great ideal we were fighting for – our own freedom and that of the small nations who were not strong enough to defend themselves, that our descendents might be free from the ever present menace of Germany which had been hanging over Europe for the last generation. It was our duty to carry on the war till we could conclude a lasting peace. We owed it to our children and their children in time to come and above all we owed it to those who had given their lives for our safety, that their sacrifice should not have been made in vain.

Mr GS Streeter, in seconding the Resolution, remarked that he had onlt a few words to say. First, we could not hope to bring this terrible struggle to a successful end without continuing to make sacrifices. Some in that room had already made very great sacrifices, and, unpleasant though it might be to hear, further sacrifices would be asked from all of us before we could hope to see victory in sight. The chief interest of their parish was food production, and it was the bounden duty of every one of them to grow every ounce of food they could, irrespective of any question of personal profit. They might only produce a few more quarters of corn or a few more bushels of potatoes in the year, but if every parish in Great Britain did the same it would amount in the aggregate to many thousands of tons of home grown food, thus diminishing the nation’s chance of being starved out, and releasing our tonnage for other Government purposes. Three years of war was a long time, and some of them might be feeling that they were tired of doing their bit, perhaps thinking it had no effect on the cause all had at heart, but they must endeavour to banish any such feeling, for although they might not be able to see the good they were doing, they must try to realise the spirit that every little helped. They ought also to feel thankful that the horrors of war had been kept from our shores. Attempted invasions had been very near once or twice during these three years, and they might be tried again, but so far we had been spared seeing our country overrun by the enemy. Houses, villages and towns destroyed, and our people killed, tortured, or taken into slavery. One more thing: they had been hearing lately a good deal about socialism, and the uselessness of kings. He thought they might compare our vast  Empire to a Faggot – bound together it is unbreakable; loosened , every twig was easily snapped. It was our gracious King and Emperor who kept our Empire together. Without him we should split up into a collection of individual states, perhaps one here, another in India, another in Australia. Our strength would be gone, and in the future we should become an easy prey to any war-like enemy.


18 August 1817 p5 col 6

Thorley. Robbery at Twyford House.

During the weekend a robbery was committed at Twyford House, the residence of Mr Laurie Frere, when the thieves decamped with  few pounds in Treasury Notes, after having regaled themselves with bread and meat. The police have the matter in hand.


22 September 1917 p5 col 1

Bishop’s Stortford.

The Will  of the late Mr Edmund Thomas Watts has been proved at £11, 007.


6 October 1917 p2 col 7

Thorley Harvest Thanksgiving Services  were held in Thorley Church on Sunday last. The church was beautifully decorated. The east end and alter rails were decorated by Miss Procter, the pulpit by Mrs and Miss Streeter, the reading desk by Mrs G Patten and Miss Lane, the lectern by Miss Taylor, the font by Mrs Bull, the porch by the Misses Bird, and the windows by Mrs Newman, Mrs Watson, Mrs Watts, Mrs Akers, Mrs J Clark, Miss Penzer, Miss Bird, Miss G Seebon and Miss Ethel Hadaway. Many members of the congregation sent contributions of corn, fruit, vegetables, flowers and bread for the decoration of the church. The sermon in the morning was preached by the Rev AE Murray-Aynsley, who chose for his text the words “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies” – psalm 23, part of verse 5, and the preacher in the afternoon was the Rev CL White, vicar of Holy Trinity, Bishop’s Stortford, who preached on the words “Father, I thank Thee” – St John xi, part of verse 41. The congregations were good at all the services. The offertory, which amounted to £13/5/8d was divided between the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, the Herts Convalescent Homes and the Bishop’s Stortford Hospital. A large number of vegetables, which were one of the special features of the decoration, have been sent to the Fleet.


13 October 1917 p1 col 3

Preliminary, by direction of Arthur N Gilbey esq, Thorley, nr. Bishop’s Stortford.

Freehold agricultural estate of about 713 acres comprising Thorley Wash farm, 255 acres; Thorley Hall, 250 acres; Moor Hall, 208 acres; all let to long-standing tenants. Messrs Daniel Watney  & Sons will sell the above by auction at Bishop’s Stortford at an early date unless previously disposed of by private treaty.

Bishop’s Stortford – Absentees

At the police court on Monday morning before Mr H Kent, Harry White described as a gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery, was brought up in custody charged with being an absentee. He admitted the fact. P Sergt Elderton stated that he was on duty in the London Road, Thorley on the previous day, about 12.30pm, when he saw defendant coming towards Bishop’s Stortford. Witness stopped him and asked him if he wss on leave and he said “Yes: taking some>” Defendant had no pass and witness took him to the police station, where he found he had been posted as an absentee since August 19th. When charged defendant said that was quite right. Defendant was remanded to await an escort.


27 October 1917 p5 col 2

Fire at Thorley

Shortly after 10 o’clock on Thursday morning as Police Sergeant Steel of Sawbridgeworth was cycling along the main London Road at Thorley, he noticed the thatch on the roof of a cottage just off the main road alight. A strong wind was blowing at the time and the flames spread with alarming rapidity. The building, a six-roomed dwelling – owned by Mr Laurie Frere of Twyford House and in the occupation of Mr Tom Collins, gardener to Dr Hartigan – being quickly doomed. The Bishop’s Stortford Fire Brigade were summoned, and were quickly on the scene with their motor and steamer, and a full complement of men, under the officers Messrs HO Lee and FC Markell. Meanwhile the police discovered that the occupier was at work and that his invalid wife was upstairs in bed. As the police entered the room the flames were just breaking through, and there is not the slightest doubt that had the fire not been discovered, more disastrous consequences would have resulted. However, Mrs Collins was got out safely and taken to another cottage nearby. On the arrival of the Brigade it was found that the upstairs rooms and their contents were past being saved, and the men devoted their efforts to clearing the downstairs rooms, which they were largely successful in doing, by cutting through the sides of the rooms. The cottage was quickly destroyed, and the Brigade could do no other than stand by until well into the afternoon, damping down the ruins. The Brigade recovered £18/2/6d and £11/1/7d in cash from the house, but is feared that some paper money is lost.


3 November 1917 p5 col 1

Died of Shrapnel Wounds

A letter has been received from an officer in France by Mr Arthur Blake. Of 131 London Road, conveying the sad news that his second son Private Henry Blake, of the Bedfordshire Regiment, died on October 25th from shrapnel wounds in the head, sustained in action. Deceased was 31 years of age and single, and before enlisting in the early part of September 1914, was employed on the Great Eastern Railway as a platelayer. He went to France in July 1915, and after being in the firing line for some time was transferred to work in connection with railway laying, which duties he only recently left again to take his stand in the trenches. This is the second son Mr Blake has lost in the war, and he has two others serving.


24 November 1917 p5 col 1

War Savings Progress.  Latest Thorley figures: 191 members, and £57/7s invested.


1 December 1917 p5 col 2

Extensive property sale at Bishop’s Stortford, Thorley.

Lot 1. Thorley Wash Farm in the parishes of Thorley and Sawbridgeworth, possessing  a long frontage to the main road, and consisting of an attractive farmhouse, farm buildings, two cottages, an enclosure of over 37 acres of woodland, together with arable and pasture land, of a total area of 256a.2r.25p. Let under an agreement on a yearly Michaelmas tenancy to Mrs HL Patten and Mr GP Piper (now deceased) at a rent of £262/10s per annum. A figure of £3000 was the first bid received for this lot, and by advances of £500 and £200, the £7000 mark was quickly reached before any check was apparent. On this figure, Mr D Patten (son of the tenant) went another £200, for which sum (£7200) the farm was sold to him, amid applause.

Lot 2. Thorley Hall Farm, with frontage to Thorley Road, and situate in the parishes of Thorley and Sawbridgeworth, consisting of fine old farmstead, farm buildings, two modern cottages and farm lands, amounting in all to about 253a.3r.1p., and let under agreement upon a yearly Michaelmas tenancy to Mrs H: Patten and Mr GP Piper (now deceased) at a rent of £250 per annum. Bidding commenced at £5000 and at £8000 the farm was secured by Mr HS Tee, solicitor of Bishop’s Stortford, acting for Mr John Tinney.

Lot 3. Moor Hall Farm, in the parishes of Thorley and Sawbridgeworth, comprising farm house, agricultural buildings, pair of cottages, and three other cottages, together with arable and pasture land, the whole covering an area of 214a.3r.18p. and let upon a yearly Michaelmas tenancy to Mr Francis Newman at a rent of £176/10s per annum. Mr HS Tee (for Mr J Tinney) also became the purchaser of this lot at £5000. Bidding had commenced at £3000.

Lot 22. The freehold South Mill Farm, in the parishes of Bishop’s Stortford, Great Hallingbury and Thorley. The property has good road frontages and there is also access to the River Stort, while it comprises farmhouse, farm buildings, and arable and grass land covering an area of some 50a.3r.33p.. It is let on a yearly Michaelmas tenancy (expiring 1918) to Mr G Whitnall, at an apportioned rent of £71.15s per annum. Commencing at £800, advances came rapidly, until at £1700 it was sold to Mr L Sparrow of Bishop’s Stortford.

Lot 23. Freehold farms at Bishop’s Stortford and Thorley known as Great Havers and Benbrooks, comprising a total area of about 220a.3r.17p.. Great Havers farm has a brick and tiled homestead, dairy, farm buidling cottage and 79a.0r.17p. of arable and pasture land, let on an annual Michaelmas tenancy to Mr HT Cox at a rent of £75/10s per annum. Benbrooks farm, adjoining, consists of a house, agricultural buildings, pair of modern cottages and a cottage known as The Lodge, which together with arable and grass land covers an area of 141a. This property is let on a yearly Michaelmas tenancy to Mr Cox at a rent of £177/5s per annum, or £252/15s a year for the whole lot (apart from small areas of land in hand). Great interest was evinced in this lot, for which the tenant offered the first bid of £3500. It was soon evident that other would-be purchasers were attracted by these farms, but at £6500 Mr Cox was not further challenged and the property was sold to him amid applause.


22 December 1917 p5 col 1

Progress of the war savings campaign 

Thorley: 184 members,  £77/18/6d invested.


29 December 1917 p5 col 3

Thorley. Christmas at the Church.

The church was beautifully decorated for the Christmas festival. The east end and alter rails were decorated by Mrs Bull, the pulpit and lectern by Mrs and Miss Streeter, reading desk Mrs G Patten and Miss Lane, font the Misses Frere, and the windows by Mrs and Miss Procter, Mrs and Miss Newman, Miss Bird and Mrs Watson. The congregations were excellent and there were a large number of communicants. The Rector (the Rev JEI Procter) officiated at all the services, and in the morning he preached on II Cor. Vii.6. The offertory, which was on behalf of the Coal and Clothing Clubs of the parish, amounted to £6/16/6d. Mrs Streeter has provided cut flowers for the church during the past year.

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