Some history on Mangotsfield in the county of Gloucestershire
Mangotsfield, a township and parish, with a station on the Bristol and Birmingham section of the London, Midland and Scottish railway, is 5 miles north-east from Bristol and 116 from London, in the Thornbury division of the county, Barton Regis hundred, rural district of Warmley, Lawford's Gate petty sessional division, county court district of Bristol, rural deanery of Almondsbury and archdeaconry and diocese of Bristol. The original church here is believed to have been founded as a chapelry to St. Peter's, Bristol, in the year 1231 A.D. The present church of St. James is a building of stone, in the Gothic style, consisting of chancel with chantry, which retains a piscine, nave of three bays, north aisle, south porch and an embattled tower on the south side, with pinnacles and spire, and containing a clock and 6 bells: the church was almost entirely rebuilt in 1850, and has 350 sittings. The register dates from the year 1578. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £350, with residence, in the gift of the Peache trustees, and held since 1929 ran by the Rev. Leonard St. Alban Wells M.A., B.D. of Hertford College, Oxford. There are Congregational and Methodist chapels. The charities amount to # per annum. The soil is sand and brash; subsoil, coal and Pennant stone; The south side of the parish borders on the coal district of Kingwood; the north, towards Down-end, produces Pennant stone; the remainder is agricultural. The area of the urban district is 1,160 acres; the population in 1931 was 11,251 in the civil and 1,412 in the ecclesiastical parish. By the provisions of the Gloucestershire [Mangotsfield Urban District] Confirmation Order, 1927, the parish was divided into Mangotsfield Urban and Mangotsfield Rural, the former to be governed by an Urban District Council consisting of 15 members.
This photograph is courtesy of Bob and Anne Powell who have kindly made it available to everyone. The image was captured in 1958, and shows a train service to Bristol from the north. The photograph was taken from the western end of the station platform, and shows the glass canopies that afforded weather protection for passengers. These were added to the designs of Midland Railway architect John Holloway Sanders when the station was improved in 1883. The first station at Mangotfield opened in 1845. The locomotive sat in the station was No.44753, built and completed at Crewe in 1948. It remained in service until 1965.
"The tragic discovery on the railway at Mangotsfield on Friday morning of the body of a well-known Staple Hill butcher, Arthur
Marvin, aged 34, 163, High Street, was inquired into by Seymour Williams [Coroner] at Mangotsfield railway station on Saturday. Mr G. D. Wansbrough watched
the case for an interested party, and there were present also Supt. Cooke [County Police] and William Etches [District Controller, L.M.S.]. Evidence of
identification was given by Graham Seaward Bateman, a butcher, of Staple Hill, who stated that he had not seen the deceased for some time. Mrs. Anna
Elizabeth G. Marvin said that she last saw her husband alive on Wednesday morning. After breakfast he was engaged in the slaughter-house and returned to the
shop just after ten o'clock to change his boots. He told her that one pair were uncomfortable and said he would get a new pair. Some little time after she inquired
of her son where he was and he informed her that his father had gone out. There had been no friction between witness and her husband and she was not aware that he was
in any financial trouble. She was not aware that he betted to any great extent. Occasionally he risked a half-crown. Coroner: "You didn't know he was
betting to the extent of £60 or £70 a week?" "No, sir." Witness added that she helped deceased financially to start the business at Staple
Hill. She did not think he had an enemy and could furnish no explanation for what had happened. They had always been on the best of terms and there had been no trouble
whatever. Replying to Mr. Wansbrough, witness said that the deceased went out on Wednesday morning whistling and humming a foxtrot. He was in good health as far as she
knew, but had not been so strong since the war. When deceased was missed she thought he had gone to London. On Wednesday she had telegram from Bristol railway station
to say that he would possibly return late that night. Then on Thursday a telegram came at about two o'clock from Berkeley stating that he would be back that night.
They had many friends in Berkeley. By Supt. Cooke: "He had a New Hudson motor-bicycle and side-car, but it was not until Thursday that they looked and
noticed the bicycle was missing. The side-car was still there. Mr. Albert Pearce, of 29, Anstey Street, St. Mark's, Easton, an underman, employed on the
permanent way, said that on Friday morning he was proceeding from Mangotsfield station and after going some three hundred yards saw something lying on the outer side
of the up-road. When near enough to see that it was a man he blew his whistle to attract the attention of the signalman, and asked him to wire news of the discovery
to Mangotsfield. Deceased was lying flat on his stomach, perpendicular to the line, with his feet towards the bank and the head close up against the outer rail, with
the face looking towards Mangotsfield. His arms were folded. The head was practically severed from the body and the face was unrecognisable. The rest the body was unhurt.
The deceased man's hat was found 50 or 60 feet higher up towards Gloucester lying in the four-foot way. Mr. Pelham Fynes, the Mangotsfield stationmaster,
gave details of the trains which passed the fatal spot during the night, and said that nothing had been found on any of the engines to indicate what had happened. He
formed the opinion that deceased was killed by an express which, passed at 1.10. By Supt. Cook: "There would be no difficulty in getting on to the line."
P.C. Gerald Packer said that on Thursday night at 11.55 he was on duty near the railway siding, when he heard someone coming towards him, and on flashing his light in
that direction saw a man pushing a motor-bicycle. Witness said, "Got some trouble?" The other replied, "Always trouble with these things," and
added that the carbide had run out. Asked where he was going, he said to George Read at the Bridge [meaning the Bridge Inn] to get some. They wished one another
good night and then parted, the deceased going towards Shortwood. Describing a visit to the scene of the tragedy on Friday morning, witness expressed the opinion that
the head must have been on the rail. He identified the deceased as the man he had spoken to on the previous night. He found two cheque books on the deceased. After
examining them and other papers, the Coroner observed that there was a credit account with a bookmaker which showed that he had made £30 in the previous week. The
constable proceeded to describe how he found the motor-bicycle of the deceased standing against the stable doors of the Bridge Inn. He inquired of George Read,
the landlord, if anyone had called upon him during the night, and he replied "No." Inquiries at Berkeley showed that no one had seen him there. By Supt.
Cooke: "Deceased was perfectly sober and normal in his manner when he saw him on Thursday night." The widow, answering the Coroner, recalled that the ninth
anniversary of their marriage was celebrated a short time ago, and he said "I care for you even more now than I did then." Witness added that he had a habit of
walking along the line. He had done this when they were living at Dursley, and came home from the French Front. She was not aware that he had walked along the line at
this particular spot. He had made arrangements for dealing with the Christmas trade. Mrs. Maria Agnes Marvin, of Havington, Basingstoke, the mother of the
deceased, said she was convinced that it was not premeditated. Deceased had written stating that he was looking forward to visiting her. As a very young boy he was
standing behind a cowman, who was engaged in milking, when a cow backed out and he was crashed against the wall. The result of that was that he had giddy turns. The
widow stated that he had had a bad heart attack some two years ago, and the coroner decided to adjourn the case till this morning in order that his medical man. Dr.
Barber, could conduct a post-mortem."
Western Daily Press : December 1st 1924 Page 5
"A young Mangotsfield woman was found lying dead with a sporting gun by her side at the home of her father, Mr. Edgar Webb, of
Lodge Farm, Mangotsfield, yesterday morning. She was Mrs. Gladys Dinham , wife of Mr. William Edgar Dinham, of Wilks Farm, Doynton, near Bristol.
It is stated that about 10 minutes after Mrs. Dinham came downstairs to breakfast she went into a room and when Mr. Webb went in to investigate a noise he found his
daughter lying on the floor with serious gunshot wounds in the head. There was a gun by her side. Mrs. Dinham had not been well following the birth of a baby about
six weeks ago and she had been staying at her father's farm for the past two weeks in order to recuperate."
"Woman's Death at Farm"
Western Daily Press : January 9th 1939 Page 12