A History of Preston

in Hertfordshire

Preston People

1929 - 1951

It is perhaps surprising that it is easier to identify Preston villagers in the nineteenth century than from 1929  to 1951. There are few electoral registers for much of this period (partly due to World War). Also, mobility was not an issue for local people and many left Preston. So to catalogue who lived where in the village during this period is not straightforward.

Fortunately, other records are available and these have been researched to compile a list, albeit incomplete, of adult Preston residents over these twenty-one years, .

The face of housing at Preston altered very little between 1929 and 1951. The last of the tumbledown cottages on the north side of Church Road were demolished and replaced by Preston House and its garden. After World War Two, the council-built Swedish Houses were erected along Chequers Lane and the drive for new private houses was revving up - Rosebank and Greenfields on Back Lane; Westleigh on Church Road and an un-named bungalow on the north side of Chequers Lane were erected.  Thus, the village’s housing stock increased by around ten new homes over twenty-one years.


What is striking is the amount of what today would be called ‘social housing’ that was now available in Preston. This was clearly intended to house local labourers and prevent the drift of younger families into towns. There were the fourteen ‘Estate’ cottages of Holly Cottages and Chequers Cottages; the twelve council houses on the north side of Chequers Lane together with two on the south side which led on to the ten Swedish Houses on the  - a total of thirty-eight homes.


In 1929, there were 164 adults aged over twenty-one who were listed as living in the village (excluding twelve members of the Temple Dinsley servants’ household). In 1951, there were 191 adults (excluding the staff of Princess Helena College). Of these, only around fifty-one had been living in Preston in 1929 (This includes perhaps eleven teenagers who were aged under twenty-one in 1929). So, approximately three-quarters of the adult population of 1930 had either died or moved away from the village by 1951. These details also throw up some other personal questions: for example, where were my aunts, Flossie Sugden and Nan Wray in 1929?


For the purposes of this exercise, the area researched is from Sootfield Green to the north to Hitchwood Cottages to the south; Keepers Lodge, Kings Walden Road  and Preston Hill Farm and its cottage to the west and Bunyan’s Cottage, Wain Wood and Temple Dinsley Lodge and Poynders End to the east.


Looking through the lists of names of Preston residents during this time, it is noticeable how many photographs of these are featured on this site.

Sootfield Green

1929 - Sverre and Letitia Pettesen

1951 - Jean Hase


Pond Farm

1929 - Harold George and Grace Annie Jones

1941 - Bruce Brown and family

1951 - Arthur Freeman


Castle Farm

1929 - Herbert and Phyllis Jenkins and Frank Jenkins

          Eli and Daisy Jane Free

          George Currell

1951 - Herbert and Phyllis Jenkins

          Ronald B and Eileen Foster


North-east side of Chequers Lane:

Council houses


1929 - Elizabeth Fitzjohn (died Jan 1929)          

          Reuben George (died April 1976 aged 70) and Bessie                Freeman with Elizabeth and Eva Tristram Freeman                and the spinster, Margaret Helen Passingham (died                23 Nov 1932) 10

          Mary Elizabeth Garner (died 1944 aged 85) with                Sidney James and Ivy Constance Garner

          Samuel (died 12 Jan 1940) and Lily Hall  3

          Alfred and Caroline (died 9 May 1952) Longley  5

          Arthur James and Alice M Palmer  4

          Walter and Delphie Peters

          Herbert (died Nov 1957)and Emily Sharp with                Lawrence Herbert and Walter Sharp  11

          Lousia Jane Smith

          Thomas (died Sept 1936) and Annie Thrussell

          Laura Webster

          Ethel Rolfe  2


The Bungalow

1951 - Lucy J Fox

Sadleirs End

1930c - Reubin and Eva Tristram Freeman

1949   - John and Phyllis Hadfield

The Chequers

1929 - Frederick William and Daisy May Andrews

1950 - Frank and Maud Harper with Margaret Harper


South-west side of Chequers Lane:








Chequers Cottages

1929 - Arthur (died Sept 1945) and Lizzie (died July 1940)                Palmer  1

          Thomas Peters (died March 1940 aged 86) with Annie                Martha and Caroline Peters  2

          Amos Jeeves with Sarah (spinster) and George Jeeves  3

          Charlie and Lydia Inez Bird Reed  4

          Alfred and Emma Wray  5

          Frederick William and Gertrude Kate Armstrong  6

(Note: 1 Chequers Cottages  was used as a police cottage from around 1940. Frank Theophilus Dale was living there in January of that year. He had been replaced by  PC Frank Leslie Dent by February 1945)

1951 - Frank Leslie and Clarice Dent  1

          Annie Margaret Peters  2

          Amos (died 24 Feb 1954) Jeeves with Sarah (spinster                died Nov 1958, 84) and George (died July 1971, 70)  3

          Sidney and Louisa Smith  4

          Flossie Sugden and Annie Wray   5

          Frederick William and Gertrude Kate Armstrong and                Leonard and Eileen Newell   6                 

aka Elm Cottage

13 and 14 Council Houses,

Chequers Lane (right)

1946 - Herbert and Kate Hammond   14

1951 - Leonard C and Ada Smith  13

          Herbert and Kate Hammond (nee French)   14



now Farling

15 - 24 Chequers Lane, Swedish Homes

13/14 Council Houses




Swedish Houses, Chequers Lane

1950 - No 15 Jack and Margaret Meadows   

                 16 Annie G Harper

                 17 Ernest and Violet  Jenkins

                 18 Arthur and Dorothy Marlow with William and Elizabeth            

                 19 Reginald Kimber

                 20 William A and Harriett Chalkley

                 21 Douglas H and Winifred H Salisbury

                 22 William Frederick and Monica (nee Hammond) Walker

                 23 William and Patricia E M (nee Currell) Reid

                 24 Paul Edwin and Allison M Murray



Butchers Lane

The Wilderness

1929 - Annie and Ida May Sharp

1940 and 1950 - Frank T and Lucy K Sunderland

Rose Cottage

1934 and 1950 - Frederick O and Eva C Blanchard (right)

Hitchin Road

Spindle Cottage

1929 - Hannah Brown, Clara and Rosa Frost and Elizabeth Levitt

1950 - Frederick P and Elsie M Smith

Wain Wood

1929 - Victor Pearce

1932 and 1943 - Frank and Maud Harper

1950 - Philip Dick and Ethel M Middleditch with Roger James and Betty E Middleditch

The Cottage

1929 - William and Agnes Austin, William Dugind, William McHardy and Matthew Bennie Scotland

1950 - Henry G MacIntosh

Temple Dinsley and associated homes

Temple Dinsley Mansion

1929 - Almina Carnarvon and Ian Denistoun

          Servants ?  

          Hannah Daniels

          Edith Davies

          Alfred Day

          Laura Jeffries

          Mary McIntyre

          Mary McLoughlin

          William Osborn

          John Sims

          Martin and Mary Taylor

          Winifred Thorpe

          Eva Woods

Princess Helena College

1950 - Teaching Staff (?)

Dorothy Athoe

Norah Bolingbroke

Lois M Bower

Bridget E Carrick

Celia M Cotes

Inez B Cottle

Gwyneth M Dolley

Nancy Hood

Grace Constance Hubbard

Edeltraut D M Insel

Lilian Mary Kay

Mary E Ladle

Dorothy O and Ethelbert MacIntosh

Phyllis Mary Mowle

John Patrick O’Collard

Vyvyan A Prain (Headmistress)

Katherine I Richards

Minnie  Wallace

Doris B Ward

Cynthia M G Wilton

Alison J Wooldridge


Temple Farm

1929 - Charles Ernest and Alice Eliza Darton

          Arthur Wilson and Mary White

Temple Dinsley Gardens

aka ‘The Bothy’

1930 - Horace Wright

1935 and 1950 - Charles J and Edith M Marshall

Temple Dinsley Lodge

1927 - Caroline Longley

1929 - William and Daisy Faulkner

1940 - Mrs Lambert

1944 - Leonard George Gates, son of Frederick

1945 - Kenneth Frank Westell, son of Frank Westell


Lodge 1 - William and Fanny Neve

Lodge 2 - Ernest J and Nellie V Smith

Preston Green (including the North side of Church Lane

Old Forge

Preston House

Laburnam Lodge

1929 - (starting at the Red Lion and moving clockwise):


Red Lion -James Edward and Martha Hedley

Laburnum Lodge - George William and Bertha Emily (nee Peters) Nash

The Laburnums (aka Pryor House) Ralston Dev Pryor and Annie Christobel Peters (housekeeper)

Fig Tree Cottage - Ernest and Florence Cannon

Vine Cottage - Harry and Margaret Elizabeth Worthington

‘Peters Cottage’ (abutting to the north-east of Vine Cottage) - Frederick Arthur and Margaret Robinson

The Old Forge - Thomas and Caroline Ashton with Catherine Rose and Agnes Margaret Ashton

St Martin’s Place - Ernest (father) and Frederick (son) Jenkins

Old houses now replaced by Preston House - Emma Crawley; Frank Currell; William Ewington; Harry and       Lizzie Jenkins (Note: where these folk lived cannot be pinpointed accurately. Perhaps one household shared       The Old Forge or Kenwood Cottage. However it is likely that at least one family lived in the old cottages which       were demolished in the 1930s)

1929 - Philip Dick and Ethel Margaret Middleditch

1950 - Alfred Charles and Sylvia Grace Creese


Back Lane, Armstrongs Lane and Preston Hill Farm

Holly Cottages

1929 - George and Adelaide, George jnr and Emma Andrews

          Arthur and Mary Ayres

          Walter, Ellen and Lilian Bunyan (5)

          Arthur and Annie Currell (4)

          Arthur and Agnes Dorothy Dobbs (2)

          Thomas Payne

          George Thomas and Eleanor Perry (3)

          John Swain


1950 -1 Thomas E and Alice R Hedley

          2 Arthur, Agnes Dorothy and Frederick Arthur Dobbs (right)          3 Kathleen A Perry (there in 1942)

         4 Arthur, Annie and Alec Currell

         5 John J, Lilian M and John J jnr Hodgson

         6 Ellen Bunyan

         7 Percy and Dorothy Rose Bailey


‘Rosebank’ (right)


1950 - Sidney R and Rose M Raffell

(starting at Red Lion and moving clockwise):


Red Lion

1945 Frederick Stevens

1947 and 1950 - Alfred J and Kate Massey

1950 - Kenwood Cottage  - William Charles and Elizabeth Evelyn Palmer

1950 - Laburnum Lodge - George William and Bertha Emily (nee Peters) Nash

                                             with Annie Christobel Peters

1950 - The Laburnums - David F G and Elizabeth Sadler

                                     -  Caravan - Robert and Elizabeth Collett

1950 - Fig Tree Cottage - Ernest F and Florence Cannon

1950 - Vine Cottage - William and Rose Stanley with Margaret E Worthington

1950 - The Old Forge - Hugh and Sybil W (right) Whitmore

1950 - St Martin’s Place - Ephraim R and Elizabeth Webb

1950 - Preston House - Frederick B and Audrey W Geidt with Charles J W Geidt

Church Road aka Kings Walden Road

‘Westleigh’ (right)

1950 - John A and Dorothy Raffell with Ethel M Raffell

Keepers Lodge. Deadwomans Lane/Mayles Corner (right)

‘Greenfields’ (right)


1950 - Bertram G and Phyllis Waller

Preston Hill  Farm Cottage


1929 - Burrows

1942 - Leslie Mardell

1940 - Arthur William King

1947 - Sam and Grace Wray

Preston Hill Farm

1950 Frederick Hinings and  Frances Edith Ann Maybrick

School Lane




1929 - Ernest and Irene Box

          Frank and Margaret Wray

          Fanny Louisa Deed -

              School Bungalow ?

1950 - Emilie M Gardner

          William A and Alexandra Moffoot

          Kathleen Ayres

          Herbert G and Eileen G Wilson -

             School Bungalow

Crunnells Green House

1929 - Reginald J W and Annie Anderson Dawson with Barbara MacGilvray

1950 - Henry R and Alethea S Townsend


Crunnells Green

1929 - Evelyn Mary Davis

1934 - John Wilson

1950 - Charles, Reginald H, Gladys and Joan Alice Darton (right)

          Arthur W and Mary W White

          No 3 - Harold and Nora M (nee White) Tomlin

Kiln Wood

1929 - Henry, William Alfred and Gladys Darton

Minsden Dairy Farm

1941 - George Baird

1942 - Thomas William Darton

1943 - Joseph T Butler  

          (the three men listed above may have been ‘live-in’ labourers on the farm   

1950 - Nelson Brian and Jeanetta Ada Pike

          Alec J and Elizabeth M V Piggott



Poynders End

1929 - Hugh Sexton, Frederick and George Seebohm with Ellen Paternoster

          Edith Baker, Enid Marion Woodhouse, Mary and Ella Evelyn Fielder (Perhaps some of these were                servants)


1950 - Derek and Patricia Seebohm with Ellen Paternoster


Gardeners Cottage

1951 - George and Ethel Atkinson

Poynders End Farm

1929 - John and Daisy Garner

1950 - Stanley Walder with Annie Wilkins

Hitchwood Cottages

These included 1 and 2 which were designed by Lutyens and 3 - 7 which were owned by Hugh Seebohm in 1910

1929 - William George and Nellie Garner

          William, Arthur James and Millie Jenkins

          William Marshall

          Hubert Thomas and Eliza, Isabella, Leonard Charles, George Henry,

              Lawrence Henry, Emily Lavinia, Nora Eleanor,

             William James (Jockey) Peters (below)

          Percy James and Lucy Jane Loveday Sharp

          Frederick and Alice (nee Marshall) Walker


1941 - Jack Grice

          David Walter Pitcher

1942 - Dorothy May Gunner, daughter of James Henry


1950 - James and Lilian Phyllis Affleck

          Minnie Jenkins

          Alfred and Rose Kelloway

          Ian and Margaret M McEwen

          Hubert Thomas and Eliza Peters with James A Peters

          Charles and Joyce Willingham






1 & 2

Hitchwood Cottage

Hitchwood Cottages

1951 - Francis M and Leslie A E Mardell  1

          Leonard C Peters (died Feb 1952 aged 80), William James (died Oct 1989, 85), Florence E Peters    2

          Percy James Sharp (died May 1977 aged 79) and Doris L Sharp with Lucy J L Sharp  3

          Arthur James (died Oct 1967, aged 65) and Alice Maud Palmer (died June 1987, 95) with  Maureen A and               Reuben L Palmer (died Feb 1993, 73)  4

          Caroline Longley and Clarice Bryan  5

          Frederick and Alice Walker  6 (There in 1940)    

          Ernest W (died March 1953 aged 66) and Evelyn Jane (died Jan 1970, 77) Hammond and Kenneth E               Hammond  7

          Richard (Dickie) and Kathleen (nee Burrows) Jenkins with Edna Burrows  8

          William J (died March 1987 aged 75) and Mary Woodhams  (died Jan 1984, 70)  9 (there, in 1940)

          Reuben G (died April 1976, aged 70) and Eva Tristram Freeman (died 2002) with Joyce E M Freeman 10

          Herbert Sharp  (died Nov 1957)  11

          George (died 7 April 1959, aged 55) and Lilian May Crawley  12

Left to right: Bill and Mary Woodhams, Clarice Bryan, Percy Sharp and Dickie Jenkins

Left to right: Win Salisbury and Pat Reid

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