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FloraThompson1

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 7 months ago

Larkrise to Chaddisbrooke

 

In 1901 Flora Thompson, author of the popular Larkrise to Candleford trilogy was not yet married. She was recorded in the 1901 census under her maiden name Flora A Timms aged 23, a post office clerk born in Oxfordshire. Flora was living at Church End, Yateley in the household of William B Bettesworth, aged 37, who gave his occupation as grocer, baker and sub postmaster, born in Horndean, Hampshire. Bettesworth's wife was Jessie M Bettesworth, aged 26, born in Brighton.

 

William Bettesworth was the manager of Gadd's Stores (now Discoveries) and lived next door at Chaddisbrooke (now the St Peter's Church parish office). William Thomas Gadd, grocer and draper, had purchased the house and shop in 1881. By 1901 Gadd had moved to Littlehampton. William Bellingham Bettesworth, the son of Henry Thomas Bettesworth and Mary Ann, had been christened in 1861 at Catherington, near Horndean. His wife Jessie was the sister of Frank Bridge (1879-1941) the composer, and composition teacher of Benjamin Britten.

 

Oral history notes from two sisters - one a former Yateley telephone operator, the other a schoolmistress - describe Mrs Bettesworth as "a very funny women, who fell out with her family" and " like another Queen Mary, very upright". However the Bettesworths were considered very kind. Such was the household with whom Flora Thompson lodged and worked in 1901, living right next door to our St Peter's church.

 

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Page written by Peter Tipton for the Yateley Society's 2003 Exhibition: Adult Education in Yateley mounted in Yateley Library during Local History Month, for which the theme was Adult Education. This exhibition was held in conjunction with Yateley Workers Education Association (WEA) -- now in 2008 defunct. Pages may have been updated as a result of recent research.

(C) The Yateley Society, 2003 and 2008

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