Charles & Harriet Winchester of Redhill

Charles Winchester, a son of William and Sarah, was born in Bletchingly on 30th April 1854 and baptised on 28th May. He was brought up by his parents in their cottage at White Hill and in 1871 he was an apprentice staying with John Bashford, a bootmaker in Plough Road, Bletchingley. By 1881 he was a bootmaker lodging at 2 Warwick Terrace, Redhill.

Harriett Heasman, the youngest daughter of William and Amelia, was born in East Grinstead on 2nd March 1857 and baptised on 26th April. Her family moved to Redhill in about 1866. Before she married she was a cook and in 1881 she was working at ‘Ferndell’, London Road, Reigate.

Charles married Harriett in St Mathew's church, Redhill, on 16th September 1882 at which time he was still living in Warwick Terrace and she was a servant living in Ladbroke Road. Witnesses were Jane and John Inkpen; Jane was Harriett’s married sister. Two years later they moved into 11 Ladbroke Road, Redhill, where Charles set up his own bootmaking business, which was later run by his eldest son, also Charles. Most of their children were baptised at Redhill, St Matthew:

Clara Amelia

bap. 21 Oct 1883

St John, Redhill

Winifred Emma

bap. 27 Sep 1885

Charles Vincent

bap. 27 Feb 1887

Alice Jane

bap. 23 Sep 1888

died early 1889

Kate Hilda

bap. 10 Mar 1890

Frederick Lewis

bap. 22 Jan 1893

born 28 Nov 1892

Ernest John

bap. 22 Sep 1895

born 8 August

Albert Victor

bap. 22 Aug 1897

Winchester family group
Albert      Bill Preston
Harriett    Frederick    Kate

Charles was a volunteer in the Redhill Fire Brigade and in 1897 was promoted to sub-engineer. Also in 1897, on 14th June there was a serious fire at Pitt’s Furniture Repository in Warren Road, Reigate, which the Redhill brigade also attended. The firemen were hampered by a disorderly crowd and by horses from an adjacent stables and Charles was injured, believed to be from a fall from a ladder, for which he received a payment from the London Accident and Guarantee Company who provided insurance for firemen. In 1899 he was promoted to engineer, which meant he was responsible for the maintenance of the hand-operated pumping engine. In November 1897 he had been involved in testing a steam operated engine but this was not purchased.

Ernest remembered that every Sunday Charles took his two youngest sons to visit his blind mother at her cottage in Nutfield (but probably Bletchingley), where it was Ernest's job to draw water from the well.

Winchester family group

In an 1899 directory Charles’ address was given as 6 Meadow Place, Ladbroke Road, Redhill, although in the 1901 census Charles and Harriett and their children were still shown at 11 Ladbroke Road.

Charles died on 29th April 1903, shortly before his 49th birthday, of influenza and kidney failure.

In 1911 Harriett was still at 11 Ladbroke Road with her younger children.

All their sons subsequently became volunteer fireman and after the First World War some joined up as full time firemen. His daughter Kate married a fireman, Bill Preston.

Harriett regularly attended the Baptist Chapel in Redhill. An article about her appeared in the local paper, probably on 1st March 1947 the day before her 90th birthday. She died in 1954 aged 97.

Of their children:

  • Clara, known as Tot, was a costumer’s assistant in 1901. She married John Charles Moreland at Redhill, St Matthew, on 20th April 1908 and had a daughter, Margery, on 28th August 1913. They are said to have lived across the road from Harriett in Ladbroke Road, although in 1911 they were living in Horley. John died in 1948 and Clara in 1965.

    • Margery married John Sanger in 1941 and they had 2 children. John died in 1972 and Margery in 1992.

  • Winifred married Harry Picket in Toronto on 2nd September 1913 He is believed to have worked for Dunlop, originally in England and then in Canada. They had no children.

  • Charles became a shoemaker and eventually took over his father's business. He married Dulcie Smith in the church on Sir Jeremiah Colman's estate in 1915. He served with the Royal Garrison Artillery 1917-1919. They were still shown at 11 Ladbroke Road in the 1956 Kelly’s directory. Charles had joined the Redhill Fire Brigade in 1905, was appointed sub-officer in 1913, engineer in 1921 and assistant district officer, and later district officer, in 1925. He was commended four times for work done in the borough and was still serving in 1944. Although they had no children of their own they did have an adopted daughter, Vivienne, and apparently kept Alsatian dogs. Charles died in 1962 and Dulcie in 1977.

    • Vivienne married Victor Burberry (1933-1979) in 1955 and they had a son.

  • Kate married William Preston, a baker in Station Road, Redhill, in 1919. They lived with Harriett and had no children. Kate died of cancer of the throat on 11th December 1937. Bill died in 1966.

  • Winchester family group
    Fred and Lilian
  • Fred was a house painter and was appointed to the Redhill Fire Brigade reserve in 1911, promoted to fireman in 1912, and sub-officer in 1936. On 28th December 1915 he was involved in fighting a huge fire at the Athenaeum Printing works in Brighton Road.

    He was called up in early 1916 and served in Mesopotamia (later Iraq) with the 5th Battalion the Queen’s Regiment, fighting the Turks. Being a fireman he was put in charge of the regimental fire tender.

    After the war he returned to his job as a painter, married Lilian Wood in 1921, lived in Frenches Road Redhill, and had a son, Kenneth, in 1925. By this time he was a builder with his own business in Redhill and in 1930 he bought a patch of land in South Merstham and built his own house, 22 Orpin Road. He lived there until about 1950 when he moved to 94 Nutfield Road. Lilian died in 1970 and Fred in 1978.

    • Kenneth lived at 187 Nutfield Road in the 1950s and later in Woodfield Way, Redhill. He married Frances Bonner in 1953 and they had three children. He died in 1996.

  • Ernest became a fireman, married Marjorie Woods, and lived in Wimbledon with their two daughters (see Ernest & Marjorie).

  • Albert was also a volunteer fireman for a time. During the First World War he became a driver in the Tank Corps and while in France suffered burns to his head. After the war he became a private chauffeur, married Edith Shoebridge in 1919 and lived next door to Tot (Clara) in Ladbroke Road. They had two children; Charles (1920) and Peggy (1922). They presumably divorced as Albert married Ellen Hughes in 1936. He died in 1942. His first wife, Edith, remarried to Frank Bardell in 1948 and lived in or near Leicester where she died in 1969.

    • Charles is believed to have been in the Redhill Fire Brigade before and during the Second World War. He married Gladys Hill in 1945 and they had 4 children. Gladys died in 1997 and Charles in 2004.

    • Peggy married William Tailby and lived in the Leicester district where they had 2 children. Peggy died in 1978 and William in 2003.