Tenants at No 46

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THE TENANTS OF NO. 46

THE RICHARDSON FAMILY

Old Mrs. Greenway lived at No. 45, and when she died, Fred Richardson and his mother moved in. Fred had arrived in the village to work as Gardener to the Manor, later becoming the Head Gardener with quite a large staff under him, for Mrs. Rees-Mogg demanded a perfect garden – and perfect village street!

Once the Annesleys had sold the Rectory to the Gloucester Diocese, action was taken to move the tenants out to elsewhere in the Parish. In their place came Canon Brookes. And Canon Brookes, when not visiting his parishioners, liked to put on his working clothes which included a smock, and work in the Rectory orchard where he kept bees, chickens and other things – in full view of his parishioners!

To give the new Rector of our Parish some privacy, Mrs. Rees-Mogg had her gardeners plant a privet hedge alongside the iron fence bordering the Rectory paddock which was already there But the hedge was planted on the village-street side of the fence. From then on, her gardeners had to keep that hedge in trim at least three – sometimes four- times a year. Even when she died, Fred and his son Charlie kept that hedge in neat order – until Fred's death.

Fred's wife, Annie, died at quite a young age. She was a rather large women, and I was told that the Undertakers found it difficult to take the coffin round the sharp corner from the bedroom where she had died to the stairs, so they temporarily removed the bedroom window and frame, and lowered the coffin with strong ropes through the gap where the window had been to more Undertakers down below in the garden. (But it is a possibility that the deceased was, in fact, the next door neighbour, Mrs. Hewins and it was the window of No. 47 that provided the way for the coffin to leave the house) .

When Charlie, Fred and Annie's son, married Laurie and two grandchildren were added to the Richardson family (later 3), No. 47 had become vacant. So Fred moved in there to make room for Charlie and his family at No. 46. Fred's sister Bessie, having retired from Nursery Nurse and Nanny, moved in with her brother, to look after him.

After Fred's death Bessie Richardson stayed on at No. 47, and this gentle praying lady, dearly loved by the village stayed there until her death. She was always knitting for the needy, and was recommended to Buckingham Palace for an Award of Recognition for her work. But she kept very quiet about this, seeing what she did as just what anyone would do who had the time, and who was good at knitting.