Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Beeches and Yiewsley

Cambridge Street was developed up to Green Lane in the late 1890s. At the same time two large, south facing houses were built on the vacant block in front of the new tennis courts. They were called The Beeches and Yiewsley. The name Yiewsley may come from a place name in the old county of Middlesex, although I really have no idea where it might come from. The Beeches appears to have stuck with  the prevailing fashion in Wolverton of naming larger houses after trees. The inscribed brick tells us that they were erected in 1894.

With The Gables, The Elms, the old Villas, and a few larger terraced houses on the Stratford Road and the new Market Square these two semi-detached houses made up a very small complement of middle-class housing.

The first occupant of The Beeches was William Purslow, who was a senior figure in the Carriage Works. Yiewsley was inhabited by Heber Martin Williams, also a senior works employee. Within a decade Yiewsley became the residence and surgery of a doctor. Edmund Penney was there for about 20 years or so and was succeeded by David Max. After the war Dr Delahunty had a practice there and he in turn was succeed by Dr Hall - probably in the late 50s. In the Milton Keynes era purpose-built clinics became the norm and doctors tended to live away from their place of work.

As housing stock in North Bucks increased and road transportation improved I think senior works managers began to look outside Wolverton for their houses and although The Beeches remained in private hands, it was not occupied by a railway employee. In the 1950s a Major Brooks and his family lived there. I don't know what he did, possibly worked at Hanslope Park. He had two sons who went to a private school somewhere and made brief appearances in Wolverton during their holidays. They were two of a very small handful of children who were privately educated in the 1950s. Most Wolverton families accepted the local schools - and there did not appear to be very much question about their quality.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

The large mature tree at the far end of the picture next to the house that is called "The Beeches" is actually a beech tree. Not sure if the house is named after the tree or if the tree was planted because of the name of the house.

I remember this tree being very productive at this time of year.