Some history on Lapworth in the county of Warwickshire


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I cycle through Lapworth quite regularly. Of course, I have stopped from time-to-time to have a look at some of the buildings. It is an unusual place, the old village nucleus being some distance from what feels like the modern centre at Kingswood - not that there is much there as the old shops have long gone. There was some sort of central character to the area by the railway station but this is on the parish boundary, though this part of Kingswood traditionally made up a section of the old parish, the rest being in neighbouring Rowington. Bushwood is another oddity, the hamlet being part of Lapworth's ecclesiastical parish.

Map of Lapworth [1887]

For those who like off-road cycling there is plenty to enjoy at Lapworth, from the locks, unique split-bridges and barrel roof houses, along with the canal junction itself. The lanes of the Tapster Valley and around Bushwood roll gently and make for a pleasant ride. The pubs of Lapworth are handy for those visiting Packwood House in a neighbouring parish.

Lapworth : Church of Saint Mary [c.1918]

Transportation links via the canals and railway led to the development of Kingswood but the old village nucleus was clustered around the remarkable parish church of Saint Mary which stands on the edge of the Tapster Valley. The building stands on the site of its Norman predecessor and dates from between the 13th and 15th centuries. However, where the nave now stands, there was a Saxon wattle and wooden church that existed during the 10th century if not before. Today's church is most unusual in that it has a vestibule leading from the north aisle to what was originally a detached fourteenth century tower with its later stone spire.

Lapworth : Church of Saint Mary [c.1924]

The west end of the church has a two-storey porch with a processional path underneath. It is possible that this marked the line of an earlier public highway. Two staircases lead to the upper chamber and it is thought that this displayed a sacred relic. Pilgrims would leave the highway by going up the one staircase and, after seeing and praying in front of this relic, they would leave via the second staircase.

1912 Kelly's Trade Directory

Lapworth in Domesday "Lapeforde," with Kingswood, is a parish 2 miles west from Lapworth station on the direct main line to Birmingham, of the Great Western railway, 4 miles north from Henley-in-Arden, 9 north-west from Warwick and 98 from London, in the South-Western division of the county, Warwick division of the hundred of Kineton, petty sessional division of Henley, union and county court district of Solihull, rural deanery of Solihull, archdeaconry of Aston and diocese of Birmingham : the parish is intersected by the Stratford-upon-Avon and the Warwick and Birmingham canals. The church of Saint Mary, belonging from a very remote period to the wardens and scholars of Merton College, Oxford, is an ancient battlemented edifice of stone, in the Early English, Decorated and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel with a chantry chapel on the north side, clerestoried nave, with a kind of open porch and chapel above annexed to its western end, aisles and an embattled tower connected with the north aisle by a vestibule, with a turret at its north-west angle and a spire, and containing 5 bells, one of medieval date, bearing an invocation to St. Katharine, whose altar once stood in the church; two others are dated respectively 1600 and 1656, and the remainder 1786: excepting the chancel, which, from the close resemblance its windows bear to those of Wroxall, is probably by the same builder, the whole church was reconstructed in the 15th century: the chantry chapel, north of the chancel, presents features similar to it, and is probably a portion of a more ancient structure; the western porch, though annexed to the church, does not immediately communicate with it: the chapel above, reached by two small stairs in the angle, has a window in the east wall looking into the church; this appears to have been the chantry founded by Richard de Montfort and others A.D. 1374: within, the arches and walls of the nave up to the clerestory and of the nave roof clearly assign them to a later date: in the west window remain some fragments of ancient stained glass; other stained windows are of modern work; in the north aisle is a stained glass memorial window to the 5th Marquis of Townshend: the carved wood rood screen, a work of the 15th century, has been converted into altar rails and a reredos; panelling of a similar character also surrounds the sacrarium: here, as at Rowington, a fine example of Elizabethan furniture is afforded by the communion table, which has massive urn-shaped legs, richly carved: the font, standing westward of the north-west pier, is a plain octagonal basin, with sculptured hands beneath: at one time there stood in the churchyard a "cross built of stone with arches, wherein twelve men might have stood dry, and was a very convenient cross for a preacher:" The church was restored in 1872-3, at a cost of £1,520, and in 1884 the spire was partly taken down and rebuilt under the direction of Mr. J. A. Chatwin, architect, of Birmingham, at a cost of £248: there are 248 sittings. The register dates from the year 1561. The living is a rectory, net yearly value £213, including 26 acres of glebe, with residency in the gift of Merton College, Oxford, and held since 1897 by the Rev. Francis Lendon Bell M.A. of that college. The Lapworth charity estates produce about £400 yearly, out of which income are paid the expenses of the parish school, maintenance of parish roads and church expenses, the balance being devoted to the relief of the poor. At Hockley Heath is an Institute, erected in 1892 by George Frederick Muntz esq. [d. 1898], and comprising coffee room, refreshment bar, reading room and a lecture hall etc. The manor belonged to the families of Brandestone and de Montfort from the reign of Henry III. to that of Henry V. when it was purchased by the Catesbys, who lost it on the death and disgrace of William Catesby after the battle of Bosworth, August 22nd, 1485. Robert Catesby, to whom the contrivance of the Gunpowder Plot is usually ascribed, was born at Bushwood Hall, in this parish, in 1573, and was the sole representative of one of the most distinguished families in England, and the lineal descendant of William Catesby, the favourite counsellor of Richard III.: he died, with other conspirators, during the assault on the mansion at Holbeach, Staffordshire, where they had taken refuge, in December 1605. John Doughty D.D. rector in 1643, and a strong Royalist, resigned on the breaking out of the Civil War to avoid sequestration and imprisonment, but on the Restoration was made Prebendary of Westminster, and died in 1672. John Edmund Watts esq. who is lord of the manor, Cornwallis Philip Wykeham1Martin esq. of Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent, Mrs. Dering, of Baddesley Clinton, Edward Thomas Wright esq. of Oldswinford, Stourbridge, Mr. John Hildick, of Walsall, the trustees of the late William Udal esq. [d. 1880], the trustees of the late W. Garrad esq. the Charity trustees and Henry Billing esq. are the principal landowners. The soil is a loamy clay; subsoil, gravel. The chief crops are wheat, barley and beans. Area, 2,954 acres of land and 30 of water; rateable value, £7,747; the population in 1911 was 853.

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Photographs of Lapworth

Lapworth : West Front of Rectory [c.1920]

Replaced by a new rectory in the 1950s, this old structure has long gone. This caused a lot of controversy at the time - the locals were not protesting about the loss of the historic building, but by the cost of erecting a new house for the vicar. It was reported in 1956 that no minister would accept the position here in Lapworth as it would mean living in a 14-bedroom house with no heating.

Many local residents were familiar with the old rectory as the grounds were often used for the annual fête. In June 1936 over 210 people enjoyed teas on the lawn, the catering being in the hands of Mrs. Dammers and members of the Mothers' Union. The Rev. Joseph Moore organised plenty of side-show competitions, such as a tennis rally. Corinthian bagatelle, quoits, bowls and skittles. In the following year the side-show organisation was put into the hands of the Badminton Club, under the chairmanship of Mr. John Souter. They succeeded in getting more variety and attractiveness into the shows, and the takings, used to boost church funds, were greatly increased. The piéce de résistance was a haunted house in a garage, along with another event billed as "Smashing up the happy home."

The incumbent of the old rectory was not supposed to appear in the newspapers. I imagine that the aforementioned Rev. Joseph Moore was summoned for a disciplinary by the bishop after he appeared in court in January 1935 where he was fined 5s. for driving a motor vehicle at Leamington without being duly licensed. Tut tut vicar. He was the rector at Lapworth for 23 years before taking a new post at Newton St. Cyes in Devon. He had only taken up that position for a matter of months before he died suddenly in November 1946.

Lapworth : Unveiling the War Memorial [April 1921]

Rev. Joseph Moore's predecessor at Lapworth can be seen here during the unveiling ceremony at the Lapworth War Memorial. The Rev. Francis Lendon Bell was rector between 1896 to 1928. The unveiling of the war memorial was performed on April 28th, 1921, by the Archdeacon of Aston, the Rev. J. H. Richards, later Provost of Birmingham. During a severe gale in November 1938 the war memorial was blown over and badly damaged. The chairman of the parish council, W. H. Hale, was so surprised and annoyed when he learnt of the damage wrought by the gale, he visited the site and inspected the damage to the memorial. He said it was obvious to him and to others who had seen it that the trouble was due to faulty workmanship. The stones were secured in the usual way by dowels, but the dowels were too short for the holes into which they fitted, and this was especially so in the part where the shaft was fixed to the base. The result was that the dowels had insufficient hold when subjected to strain. He interviewed the architect who designed the monument, who in turn arranged a meeting with a representative of the contractors. The architect agreed with Mr. Wale as to the cause of the damage. The contractors agreed to re-erect the monument as it was originally, charging only what it would cost them. However, the committee confirmed that there was no surplus money for the work. An alternative plan was proposed in that the architect would submit a design which could be carried out at the contractors' own expense. Consequently, the design was submitted to a meeting of the parish council who were told that the base and cross would remain, but with a shorter shaft. I am sure that everyone would agree that the scaled-down memorial was not a patch on the original.

Lapworth : Cranmer's Drawbridge [c.1910]

This image shows Cranmer's draw bridge, an earlier crossing over the canal to the south-east of Wharf Lane and provided access to Draw Bridge Farm, occupied and worked by the Cranmer family in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. William and Mary Cranmer were married at Christ Church, West Bromwich, in August 1882. Mary hailed from the Black Country town but, on her mother's side, came from an old Ludlow farming family. Following their marriage, and for a few years, William and Mary Cranmer lived on the Stratford Road before moving to Cheedon Farm, Hockley Heath, where they remained for eight years. In 1895 they took over Draw Bridge Farm, which until then had been farmed by William's father, Thomas.

William Cranmer was a native of Nuthurst, and spent all his life in the area. He was one of the first farmers in the district to become a member of the N.F.U. He was also among the first to send stock to the Henley sale.

William and Mary Cranmer had ten children, seven sons and three daughters, but one daughter died when 3½-years-old. Two sons were killed in the First World War. Corporal Christopher Henry Cranmer, serving in the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, died from wounds in Salonika in August 1916. Private Oliver Cranmer, of the Royal Sussex Regiment, died in October 1918 from wounds received in France. He was buried at Vadencourt British Cemetery at Maissemy. Both men were 19 years of age. Three other sons also served in the Forces.

John Cranmer, who went to Canada in 1914 and joined the Canadian Police, was later made Chief Constable of Samia, Ontario. Lucy Cranmer, eldest daughter of William and Mary, was for 21 years Senior Nurse of Sparkhill and District Nursing Association. When she died in December 1957, her remains were brought back for a funeral at Saint Mary's Church.

Lapworth : Post Office [c.1908]

Before the post-office was moved to the Old Warwick Road, transactions were conducted in this cottage along Mill Lane and over the canal bridge. In the early 1870s Walter Richmond was both tailor and sub-postmaster. In the following decade the post-office was kept by Samuel and Elizabeth Gazy. Samuel was a carpenter by trade.

Lapworth : The Stores of Charles Potterton at Kingswood [c.1913]

This building, located on the corner of Old Warwick Road and Mill Lane, was still standing in the 21st century and occupied by Solihull Tiles. In this Edwardian photograph, the premises, known as the Kingswood Stores, was occupied by Charles and Isabelle Moseley. Charles was recorded as a baker and grocer. The couple also operated the post-office, the business having been moved from a small cottage along Mill Lane. A map published in 1887 shows no building on this corner position so it was seemingly built in the 1890s.

Born in the local area, Charles Moseley was the son of George and Eliza Moseley of Kingswood Farm, quite close to the railway station. Some of the farm produce may have been sold in these premises. Charles Moseley was also a corn merchant. He married Isabelle Owens in October 1900. The daughter of a glass embosser, she was born in Cannock in 1875. However, she spent some of her childhood helping out in a grocery shop run by her grandparents at Wolverley. In the 1890s, as a teenager, she was living with her parents in Cardiff. Her life journey to Lapworth was rather circuitous, proof that the Victorians were capable of great mobility.

In the above photograph, the man stood in the doorway of the post-office may be Charles Moseley. I do not know for certain the names of the other people. However, the census of 1911 recorded shop assistant, Robert William Sanders, along with the baker, Harry Eustace Yardley living on the premises. It is possible that these are the young men featured in the image. Charles and Isabelle had an adopted son, Sidney, living with them. Perhaps he is the one with the shop bicycle, used for delivering groceries in the local area. Harry Yardley's skills as a baker saved him from front line service in the war. When married and living in Gerrard Street at Lozells in Birmingham, he enlisted in 1915. The army tested him at [Supply] Company Field Bakery and deemed him an efficient baker and fit for service in the Royal Army Service Corps. He was posted to 545 Company at Colchester. The master baker returned to Lapworth and operated the shop further along the Old Warwick Road. In his retirement he spent his days horse-riding. However, in 1945 he was killed not far from his home when his horse suddenly shied at a heap of rubbish and sent the baker flying over the top. He sustained several fractures of the skull and died in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

In November 1911 the post-office was the scene of a Robbery during which several London men were arrested and charged with taking money, postal orders and stamps from the premises. This incident may have been a reason for Charles and Isabelle leaving this shop and post-office. For many years the couple 53 Alvechurch Road at Northfield.

Lapworth : The Stores of Charles Potterton at Kingswood [c.1920]

The same building can be seen in photograph dating around 1920. The name of the premises had been changed to the Lapworth Stores, and was occupied by Charles and Mary Potterton. The Potterton family hailed from Blankney in Lincolnshire but Charles was born in King's Lynn in Norfolk. As a result of his parent's migration, he found himself in Birmingham at an early age. He married Mary Archer at Aston in July 1913, the couple moving to Lapworth shortly afterwards. The remained here for 35 years and became very well-known figures in the locality.

Charles and Mary Potterton had four children and, inevitably, they would help out in the business. Their eldest son, Charles, became the baker on the premises. During World War 2, whilst being retained as a baker and confectioner, he became an active member of the A.F.S. was it was first formed. He also served as a leading fireman in the N.F.S. for the Lapworth area. The couple's daughter, Margaret, took her retail skills to run a draper's shop. She took a very active part in the Guides, and was a member of the Hockey Club. In April 1944 she married Trooper Eric Reginald Hefford, of the Glider Pilot Regiment. Her brother was unable to attend the wedding as he was a prisoner-of-war. Driver Arthur Edward Potterton, R.A.S.C, did not return home until May 1945. After being taken prisoner while retreating to Dunkirk, he was held for almost five years. It was reported that he did not know the story of Dunkirk beaches until he was released. His most memorable experience was an 800-mile march from Marienberg to Butterfeldt, on the Elbe. With snow on the ground for most of this journey, the thermometer registered as low as 20 degrees below freezing. Of the 1,000 who left Marienberg over a third fell by the way. Arthur Potterton recorded in his diary that "death held no terrors."

Lapworth : Railway Station [c.1907]

A lovely Edwardian photograph showing the approach to Lapworth railway station. Actually, it was only known as such after May 1902, the station previously being known as Kingswood Station. It opened in 1854 on the Oxford & Birmingham operated by the Great Western Railway. The track was pretty much ready by August 1852 when a test, or experimental trip, was made by directors and officials of the company. It was intended to stop at some of the stations to inspect the ongoing works. Kingswood Station was still being constructed at this time. Driven by a man named Thompson, the locomotive used for the test run was named "Harpy." Following the opening of the station, there was considerable development in Kingswood, shifting the importance of the old village near the parish church down towards the transport hubs around the railway and canal junction.

Lapworth : Platform of the Railway Station [c.1912]

Lapworth : Railway Station with Locomotive [c.1926]

Lapworth : Station Lane [c.1908]

Lapworth : Malthouse Farm [c.1920];

Lapworth : The School [c.1934]

Lapworth : Garage of Bertram Turner [c.1924]

Lapworth : Warwick Road Shop and Houses Opposite Station Road [c.1912]

Lapworth : Kingswood Canal Junction [c.1908]

Lapworth : Kingswood Manor House [c.1930]

Lapworth : Broomfield [c.1935]

Lapworth : Pound Cottages [c.1914]

Lapworth : Bushwood Hall [c.1920]

Lapworth Hall [c.1930]

Lapworth : Warwick Road Houses [c.1909]

Lapworth : Pratts Pitt [c.1918]

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Contemporary Photographs

This set of photographs are a few that I took during a cycle ride on September 14th, 2020. I covered a lot of the parish, along with elements of Packwood and Rowington. It was a glorious day of sunshine and the temperature was in the mid-20s. Sadly, due to the Covid-19 situation I did not call into any of the public-houses. It was not possible to take photographs of some notable buildings because they sit behind high fencing, walls, hedges. Quite often, this is for security rather than privacy, a sign of the times I guess.

Lapworth : Chain House [2020]

Lapworth : Yew Tree Cottage [2020]

Lapworth : Stratford-upon-Avon Canal from Church Lane [2020]

Lapworth : Church of Saint Mary the Virgin [2020]

Lapworth : South Aisle of the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin [2020]

Lapworth : Interior of the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin [2020]

Lapworth : Window of Hope in North Chapel of the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin [2020]

Lapworth : West Chapel of the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin [2020]

Lapworth : Chancel Screen of the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin [2020]

Lapworth : Florence Bradshaw Memorial in the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin [2020]

Lapworth : Organ in the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin [2020]

Lapworth : Rectory Cottage [2020]

Lapworth : Tanhouse [2020]

Lapworth : Bridge 32 on Stratford-upon-Avon Canal [2020]

Lapworth : Lock Cottage at Bridge 32 on Stratford-upon-Avon Canal [2020]

Lapworth : Barge Exiting Lock on Stratford-upon-Avon Canal [2020]

Lapworth : Barge Entering Lock on Stratford-upon-Avon Canal [2020]

Lapworth : Lock Flight and Cottage from Split Bridge [2020]

Lapworth : Canal Wharf [2020]

Lapworth : Canal Bridge at Warwick Road [2020]

Lapworth : Kingswood Basin [2020]

Lapworth : Kingswood Junction [2020]

Lapworth : Barrel-Roofed Canal Cottage at Kingswood Junction [2020]

Lapworth : Barrel-Roofed Canal Cottage on Grand Union Canal at Kingswood Junction [2020]

Lapworth : Bushwood Hall and Moat [2020]

Lapworth : Kingswood Farm [2020]

Lapworth : Kingswood Hollow [2020]

Lapworth : Catesby Farm [2020]

Lapworth : Map Extract showing Catesby House [1887]

Lapworth House [2020]

Lapworth : Lees Memorial Hall at Kingswood [2020]

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Related Newspaper Articles

"A fearful thunderstorm visited this village on Friday, the 1st of June, causing the loss of one life, and slightly injuring four other persons. The storm commenced about half-past four p.m. The direction of the storm was from S. E. to N. W., wind north. It came on rapidly, with vivid flashes of lightning, accompanied by heavy thunder. About five o'clock the rain began to fall in torrents, and the storm continued in all its violence to six o'clock. About a quarter-past five there was a terrific flash, which was instantly followed a clap of thunder which seemed to shake the very place. It was this discharge which was the cause of the sad calamity. The fluid entered the house of Mr. Linney [the father of the unfortunate boy] by the attic window, which was open, taking a downward course, ripping the plaster from the wall in its descent in the attic, passing through a crevice of the floor, attracted, no doubt, by an uncased clock which was hanging in close contact to the ceiling beneath, the support to the bell of which nearly touched the plaster. This, to all appearance, was the conducting power, as the pendulum was removed, and cast to the ground; from the pendulum its course was unmistakably shown, as it struck a post supporting the staircase, splintering it in several places until the stair foot door was reached. Its course was then a little eastward, shattering a deal board of the staircase, striking the unfortunate boy beneath the left ear, passing down the left side, and shivering his boot lace into shreds; the body was much discoloured from the ear to the toes on the left side, but no apparent marks on the right. He died about five minutes after being struck. By his side were sitting his sister, two brothers, a boy from the next house, and a man who had taken shelter from the storm. The father was sitting by the fire-side, and scarcely felt the shock. The man was struck to the floor, and was some time before he had the use his legs. The little girl was much scorched about the face, and was feared for some time that she had lost the sight of her right eye. The two brothers were struck to the ground, but soon recovered from the shock. The boy from the next house was struck the arm, the fluid passing from the elbow to the wrist, leaving marks of curious character, somewhat in appearance to the branch of a tree. No other trace of the electricity was discernible, and would appear to have passed from this boy to the street door, which was open at the time. I have little hesitation in saying that had the stair foot door been open and the current of air unchecked, the fluid might have passed in an uninterrupted course from the stairs to the front door, and so sad a catastrophe probably avoided. If, as appears a common error, people will fling open their windows during thunderstorms, they should also be very careful not to stop the current of air by closing any of the doors, and be very cautious not to sit in the current, as it is as dangerous as sitting beneath an oak tree."
"The Late Thunderstorm"
Leamington Spa Courier : June 9th 1866 Page 8

This newspaper article did not print the name of the young boy who died. On checking, it was 9-year-old William Linney.

"On Saturday morning last, William Thomas Heath, the six-year-old son of John Heath, signalman at Lapworth railway station, was crushed to death under the wheel of a timber carriage upon which he had been riding. The boy, with three others, who had been playing together, was returning home, and when near the railway bridge he and one of his brothers got upon a passing timber wagon, unobserved by the man in charge. Hearing the cries of a younger brother, who had been left behind, William attempted to get down to go to his assistance, but, unfortunately, stumbled and fell lengthways in front of the hind wheel, which passed completely over his body. An eye-witness of the occurrence called to the waggoner, who immediately stopped the horses, but nothing could be done to save the young life. It appears that the boys mounted the carriage on the off-side, and as the waggoner was away in front with his horses he had no opportunity of seeing them. An inquest was duly held on Monday by Mr. G. F. Lodder, deputy-coroner, when evidence was given substantiating the foregoing facts, and the jury returned a verdict of accidental death."
"Fatal Accident"
Stratford-upon-Avon Herald : July 6th 1906 Page 8

"At the schoolroom, Lapworth, on Friday afternoon, last week, an investigation was made by the Deputy Coroner for South Warwickshire [Mr. G. F. Lodder] into the circumstances attending the deaths on Wednesday, shortly after mid-day, of four boys, whose bodies were recovered after much difficulty from a deep pool, known locally as the Spring Pit, upon which the lads ventured very soon after they had left a service at the church. The deceased were : Frank Wise [13] and Arthur Wise [10]; sons of a machinist at Catesby Farm, William Spight [11], son of a gardener; and Sidney Warren [11], the son of a bailiff, all living in Lapworth Street. The Coroner, at the outset, said he had no doubt that no one present could recollect a more distressing accident in the village, and he was sure they would all join with him in an expression of sympathy with the parents. The first witness was the father of the boy Warren who gave evidence of identification, and said that his boy had been repeatedly warned against going on the ice, both by himself and the schoolmaster. William Kettle [11], told how, when the church service was over at 11.50, a number of boys went to the pool, including Frank and Arthur Wise. When they were upon the ice they commenced to play hockey, employing sticks, and a piece of wood as a ball. Sidney Warren and Spight were detained at a choir practice, but they joined the others at hockey on reaching the pool. Altogether there were about thirty children on the ice. The Coroner asked the witness if the boys had ever been warned not to go on the ice, and the lad said that Mr. Davey, the schoolmaster, had told them several times not to go. He did not know that some part of the ice was dangerous. Kettle then related how, after they had been playing about ten minutes, the ice gave way. "Ernest Spite, Sidney Warren, and Frank Wise were in a bunch," he said, "trying to get possession of the piece of wood, and the ice breaking under them, they fell in together. The three of them came up out of the water. Arthur Wise rushed to try and save his brother." The Coroner: Did he have a stick with him: "No," answered the witness, "but he put his hands out and the ice gave way under him, and he fell into the water. Arthur Wise got out, the ice being strong enough to bear him. He left the pool and went on top of the bank. Then he went back again, and tried to help Frank a second time. Frank nearly got out, but Arthur then fell in, and all were struggling together, and at last sank. They tried hard to get out." Witness ran for assistance, and meeting Mr. Warren, the father of the deceased boy Warren, he told him of the disaster. Luther Hammond, who was also upon the ice, said he heard the ice crack before the accident. The Coroner : Didn't it frighten you? "Yes." And what did you do? "I went to the bank, and did not go back again." At this stage Mrs. Wise, dressed in deep black, and crying bitterly, came forward to give evidence of identification of Frank and Arthur Wise, and the Coroner afterwards proceeded with the evidence of the boy Hammond, who said that when the deceased had fallen in he went away and fetched a "prop," with which he hoped to be able to reach them. He was too late, however; when he got back the boys were out of sight, and he did not see them again. Another lad, Arthur Jenkins, said he was on the ice, but went off when he heard it crack. He added that play continued after the cracking. He also saw Arthur Wise endeavouring to save his brother Frank. Arthur tried to reach his brother, but the ice was breaking, he too fell in. Evidence concerning the recovery of the bodies was given by Harry Booth, groom, and Richard Warren, coachman. Booth said he was told of the accident by the boy Hammond, and he hastened to the scene with some clothes props. When he reached the pool he could not see the boys, but on the ice there was a cap, and on the water, which was perfectly still, there were three caps. Witness assisted in the recovery of the bodies. Asked how long the boys had been in the water before they were got out, witness said he thought it would be quite a quarter of an hour. "Did you try artificial respiration?" asked the Coroner. No, answered witness, I helped Warren, there were people there, and a doctor came afterwards." The Coroner remarked that apparently there was no one at the time who understood ambulance work. Richard Warren stated that Booth placed a rope around his body and he went into the water and recovered three bodies. Afterwards he felt ill, but had now recovered. John Corbett, farmer, whose field the pool is situated, said that where the boys were drowned the water was 4ft. 6in. deep, but in other places the water was 6ft. deep. The boys fell in at a spot distant 20ft. from the bank. He had warned children - he did not say those particular children - against going on the ice. There were two pools, and they were not properly fenced. Dr. Hollick, Knowle, said he was passing the Rectory at two o'clock, when he heard of the occurrence; the boys, he was told, had been dead about an hour. The Coroner : How long is artificial respiration helpful? Is it of use after an hour? Witness said it might be, but the cases were rare. Twenty minutes or half hour was the usual period, in ordinary cases. These boys had been shut in under the ice. Addressing the jury, the Coroner said that the lad Arthur Wise seemed have lost his life in attempting to save his brother. One was very sorry that there was no one present capable of applying artificial respiration when the bodies were brought out of the water. The Rector [the Rev. Frank Bell] interposed with the remark that Mr. Davey, the schoolmaster, applied artificial respiration. Mr. Davey was there before he arrived, and told him that they had done everything possible. Mr. Davey had had experience. The Coroner : I am glad you have said that, because none of the witnesses have been very clear about it. The schoolmaster was then called, and said that when he got to the pit two bodies had been brought out, and he tried artificial respiration. He applied it slightly, because he found the bodies cold - they had been in the water half an hour. The Coroner : Are you satisfied that everything possible was done? "Quite, and great credit is due to those who were there; they did everything in their power." The Coroner said he was now satisfied that everything possible was done for the lads. The witness Warren was to be particularly complimented. The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death," finding also that the boy Arthur Wise was drowned in attempting to save his brother. The funerals of two of the boys took place on Saturday, and two on Monday."
"The Ice Tragedy at Lapworth"
Warwickshire Advertiser : February 23rd 1907 Page 6

"Considerable interest was evinced at a special sitting of the Henley-in-Arden magistrates on Wednesday, when the extensive robbery, already reported as having been committed at Lapworth Post-Office last November, was gone into. The accused were described as Alfred Fullerton, clerk, of Leroy Street, Old Kent Road, London, Albert Edward Fox, dealer, of Farringdon Road, King's Cross, London, Charles George Carter Palmer, tailor, of London Street, Copenhagen Street. King's Cross, London, Alfred Charles Read, printer, Tenby Place, Caledonian Road, London, and Henry Burton. Mr. Simmons [for the prosecution] said that Burton was arrested in London some days ago in connection with a burglary in Hampshire, and on being searched two the stolen postal orders from the Lapworth post-office were found upon him. Charles Richard Moseley said that addition to being sub-post-postmaster of Kingswood he also carried the business of a baker and grocer. On November 25th, at 11-30 p.m., he locked the door between the kitchen and the shop, put the key into his pocket, and went to bed. About 8-20 on the following morning he received a communication from, his servant, Jane Shervington. He came downstairs and observed the shop door open leading into the office from the kitchen. He also found that part of the lock had been removed from the door. It was lying on the floor about a yard from the door. He observed the lid of the till open and the cash gone. He examined the desk containing the postal order forms and office stamp. All the orders and the stamp had gone, and the contents were pulled about. The postage stamps had also disappeared. Several drawers were on the floor and the desk pulled about generally. He looked into the desk, and also found the £5 packet of silver was missing. The side window in the sitting-room was unfastened, and it appeared that entrance had been effected there. He remembered fastening the window the previous evening. All the postal orders [produced] formed part of witness's stock Nov. 25th. P.C. Jones [Rowington] gave corroborative evidence. Evidence having been given as to the postal orders being presented by the prisoners, the Bench committed the men to the Warwickshire Assizes, bail being refused."
"Lapworth Post-Office Robbery"
Leamington Spa Courier : January 5th 1912 Page 4

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